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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

Stephanie’s mum.” The new outspoken Serena blurted out and all eyes turned on her including her father’s who was the only per son who understood her. “What’s that?” Mama Londoner asked “Nothing.” She replied. Serena removed the last piece of clothing on her body, picked up her towel and walked into the bathroom. Even though she returned from the exam hall two and half hours ago, she hadn’t had the opportunity to change her cloth. The impromptu family meeting she was made to take part of was still haunting her, afterall, her Uncles and aunty had agreed that her mother should return to the house or he allowed the children visit her once in while, but he refused bluntly. Even though she had a feeling her father would in the end bow to the pressure from his family, she strongly had a feeling that there was something going on between her father and Stephanie’s mum. She couldn’t place i t, but the show of generousity from her father was just too much. “Only time would tell.” She had concluded as she walked out of the bathroom minutes later. After drying her body with a seperate towel, she got dressed simply in a blue top and a black jean short. Her ringing phone got her attention and she made for her reading table. Without checking the screen, she picked the call. “Hello Serena I made it ” The excitement was quite evident in the caller’s voice. “Please, who is this?” She asked calmly. “Ch eck you screen.]’ Whoever was on the other side of the line replied. Boldly written on her screen was Stephanie. “Yes? What’s the matter?” Serena asked angrily “Hey! Chillax na. I got 256 in my exams.” Stephanie screamed. Serena didn’t know when she excla imed “wow!” But quickly got herself together. “So, what do I do with that? Start running on the street because you got 256?” Stephanie broke into a scornful laugh. “l only called to tell you that I am not as dumb as you think. Thank God I was seated beside you and you didn’t see me cheat or did you? Am waiting for your woeful result tho.” With this she hung up. Her revelation kind of got to Serena and she felt bad about attacking Serena the other time. Even though she truly got her WAEC result thanks to the special centres in villages, she shouldn’t have said that in public. Moreso, this is their second time of writing the UTME exam, the previous year she had scored 176 in the paper test while Stephanie who sat the computer based had 218. But unfortunately, she couldn’t secure admission anywhere except colleges of education, while Stephanie couldnt secure admission because she still needed her complet o’levels. This year again, Stephanie had set the records between them straight, she just needed a score above 200 to be qualified to settle for any course in the university. And since she was yet to recieve her own text message, she decided to say hi to her brother and if possible, ask him why Mama Londoner referred to him as being rude while she was with them. ” Serena, come here.” No sooner had she walked out of her room that she father’s voice. With shaky hands, she shut her door and walked into the living room. “Yes dad.” she said as she stood before him, expecting the worst “What were you thinking w heard her hen you were blabbing in front of Mama Londoner and others? Did I tell you I am going out with a woman presently? Why Stephanie’s mum.

and not someone else? Not even my secretary. I only picked them up this morning because she was your friend’s mother. You and I know I don’t pick people on the street while driving. Are you out of you mindV And the fatherdaughter relationship they had shared in the last three days had gone sour again. “Dad, it was just a slip of tongue. I was actually deep in thoughts, so by the time I came around, I blurted out the first thing that came to me oblivious of my environment or what was being discussed ” She lied. “Serena, I know you have learnt bad things and lying is one of them. Why were you thinking about the woman that time? What a coincidence.” Her father replied. “‘Anyways, I have seen the type of girl that you have become. Even when you have everything at your disposal, the best you could do is leave your books and focus on things that has nothing to do with you and your l ife. Are you being influenced by friends or your mother?” He continued “Check it.” He said handing his phone to her. She took it fearfully and on display was a message from JAMB. Than it dawned on her that, she used her father’s number during the registra tion process “What?” She screamed. Serena was lying on the floor in her semi dark room. The time was 6:5pm and for the last two hours, after her encounter with her angry father, she had restricted herself to her room. Afterall, she had succeeded in getting the word ‘disappointment’ out of her father’s mouth for the third time in two weeks. She wanted to tell her father she was sorry, but what was she sorry about? She couldn’t tell. Even though she wanted to beg her father, she still couldn’t bring herself t o do it, she just stood defiantly in front of him and cried inside without shedding a single tear. But all hell was let loose when she entered her room. That moment, she realised the implication of scoring 191 in UTME exam. Another extra year. Her mind dri fted back to Stephanie’s call, how would she handle the news of her failure? She would definitely mock her and make life hell for her, but that is if she told her her score. But knowing Stephanie, she could go any length to get a glimpse of her score. The door creaked and the next second, even though everywhere was getting dark, she could still make out Dave’s figure as he walked in, using his phone backlight as torch. “Serena.” He called as he got to her empty bed “l am here.” Serena replied weakly. He wa lked to the side of the bed, bent down, held her two hands and helped her up. “Are you okay?” He asked her made her sit on the bed. “Am fine.” She replied with a weak smiled. “Are you sure?” He asked. “Uhnn uhnnn.” Her voice threatened to break but she hel d her breathe. After almost a minute of silence, he spoke again. Probably he was searching for the right words to use at the moment. “Dad told me about you score How did you do it? What happened?” He asked, the cocern evident in her voice. Even though they weren’t close siblings, Serena still felt the sadness in his voice. “l don’t know what went wrong.” She replied.
Silence enveloped the room for another minute before he spoke again. “Except the exam body made use of bad computer, I don’t believe this is your score. I mean, for the last two months, you are always at home 24/7. Tell me, who do you do while at home? Eat and sleep? If you had prepared very well you should at least make the benchmark of two hundred. One hundred and ninety one is nothing to wr ite home about And you know dad will never settle for the less.” she has been expecting this, she knew he would definitely yab her and put the blame on her. r t prepar “There is no point repeating what dad had already told me, I know I failed because I didn e. Lets talk about something else.” She thought. And as if he could read her mind, he expertly changed the topic. “So, what do you intend to do now? I mean, UI won’t accept anything less than two hundred. Do you plan purchasing the change of institution fo rm or what?” He asked. “l know UI is out of it. I think I will just purchase Ede polytechnic form and hope for the best.” She replied. “Are you just knowing dad? He won’t give you a kobo to purchase the form. I anything short of the University, forget its it. He won’t even support your going to a state university.” Dave replied “But no fedral university in the South west will take below two hundred.” She added sadly. “I’ll talk to Nathan, I think there are some one hundred and ninety courses in Unilorin. At least last year, there was. Hopefúlly, there will be this year too, but first, you need to do a change of course ” Dave explained. “But don’t put your hopes so high, Dad might not buy the idea of going for a change of course, he wants you to spend that extra year at home. And he won’t let you go to a private Uni either. Just pray that he accepts, I will talk to him. There is no way you are spending an extra year at home. Serena looked at her brother searchingly, for the first time, he wasn’t on their fa ther’s side. “Thank you bro.” She said with a smiled “Don’t thank me yet. Pray he accepts and bear it in mind that you deserve a spank for not getting two hundred at least.” He said with asmile. Like seriously, Dave is making jokes? She asked herself Five minutes later he left her room and she was once again back with her thoughts. Will he let me take the change of institution form? Will he support a change in my course? What will Stephanie say if she hear about my score? Were the question on her mind as s he drifted into sleep.

To Be Continued…

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