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

Good morning.” Nate said. Serena ignored h im, stood up and walked into the bathroom where the sound of running water could be heard for the next one minute. By the time she returned, Nate was still seated on her bed. “You are still here?” She asked as she approached her wardrobe. “l came to talk t o you.” He replied She rolled her eyes angrily as she removed a white top and a black jean trouser. “l want to change.” She said “What’s wrong with this one you are wearing?” He asked. “What’s your business? I want to change, so get out.” “You are just m aking excuses to get me out of here. There is nothing wrong with what you are wearing and moreso, I won’t take your time. I just want to talk to you nothing else.” So, Nate can plead? Nate can be this gentle and calm? Waoh. She thought. “But you’ll have a hard time convincing me. ” she thought with a smile. “Nate. She said before walking out of the room. She returned immediately, picked her phone and a naira not lying underneathe. “Are you leaving me here?” He asked, but got no reply. She walked out of the corridor into the living room and headed out of the house. “Where you dey go?” The gateman asked “l couldn’t buy the card yesterday. So I’ll just buy it now.” She replied before easing herself out of the compound. She walked down the tarred road without g lancing back. Then she came to a stop in front of a provision shop down the street. “l want to buy recharge card” She said to the young lady setting up her wares for the day. “How much?” “Mtn two hundred. ” She replied. A minute later, she loaded the recha rge card succesfully and started walking back homer when a red coloure toyota camry parked beside her. She ignored the driver and continued walking towards the house. “Serena, enter now.” Dave said. “Enter where? That’s the house over there, why should I e nter?” She replied as she walked faster towards the gate. “You shouldn’t take this too far. There is a reason behind keeping you in the dark. He thought as he stepped on the gas. “The first one wants to talk, the other wants to give me a lift What do they take me for? A fool? They will be served in their own medicine until they tell me whatever is going on in this house ” She thought as she stormed into the compound, almost pulling down gateman who innocently opened the gate for her. Serena carefully set th e table after she had spent an hour in the kitchen fixing up breakfast for herself and her brothers. “Where are you going?’ Nate asked as soon as she saw her walking out of the living room. “My room of course.” She replied.

To dc what?” n the room?” She replied rudely. “What do they do i “Are you talking to your elder brother like that?” Dave asked he emerged from the hallway where she was headed L She kept quiet, rolled her eyes and kept staring at the floor. “Are you not the one I am talking to?” Dave ask ed “What do you want me to say? Your question sounded somehow. ‘Am I talking to my brother like that?’ I don’t get ” She replied angrily as she made to walk out, but Dave blocked the hallway. en acting a little bit “Serena, talk to me, what the hell is your problem? You just be strange in the last few days.” He said. “Please, am not in for any of your talks. Let me get to my room.” She said raising her voice. “Serena, I won’t warn you again. You’ll be suprised at what will happen the next time you raise you r voice at me.” Dave said angrily “Fine, I won’t raise my voice. Now can I go?” She asked “No you can’t, we need to talk.” “When I was willing to hear everything you had to say, you hid it like I am an outcast or I am invalid. This is my family, the only family I have ever known, but the family that doesn’t know me. I can’t join discussion, I can’t even contribute to issues, I am not listening to whatever crap you have to say.. Her voice trailed off. Weakness they say can make us loose our composure in p laces that matters most. A popular philosopher once said, a weak mind will always lack composure, while a strong mind will sometime fall short of composure, the reason for that he said would be discussed another day. Tears rolled down Serena’s cheek as she muderously stared at her brothers. “Serena, sit down.” Nate cuts in, even though he regretted cutting in much later. A wicked neighbour is not a person who saw you hang your clothes to dry and out of stupidity, he flung them all to the ground, but a wicke d neighbour is that person you so much trust with everything you have, but in the end he used the trust you have for him to his own advantage, he let you suffer. “Don’t you tell me to keep quiet. After I spent the whole of yesterday trying to bail you out, even to the extent that a friend visiting me for the first time, meeting you for the first time met you behind the bars. I spent all I had on me, I pleaded like my life will end if you weren’t released. Someone was seated in an air conditioned office duri ng the whole time. I secured you bail, go home and asked you like a sister will ask her brother, you refused to tell me what happened. Even lies you couldn’t frame up, only for the person who was seated in a air conditioned office, all through the time you were being held to return, and you started telling him everything. If there is one person that deserve to know everything, I am. And you know; dad’s number is close, I can call him, but for the love I have for you, I decided to play along, but unknown to me, I am playing an abstract game.” She screamed, while Dave and Nate had forlon looks on their faces “Serena, wait. Its all for the best.” Dave cautioned. “What kind of best is that? What do you plan to achieve with this? No matter the situation, I should be carried along, afterall, our parents had just the three of us. Or is there something that I don’t know? Like, I was adopted or something. ” Dave exchanged looks with Nate who gave him a you immediately he realised that everythiareonyourown look and ng falls back on him as the eldest child, he for the first time in weeks returned to the former Dave. He angrily picked up his laptop bag and car keys and he stormed out of the house. He needed to clear his headr and the only place that offer him distracti on is the office. One hour after Dave left for work angrily, Serena was at the dining eating her breakfast when Nate came out all dressed. “Hey.” He said. She ignored him and continued her meal, but it has lost its taste. “l think I need salt.” She muttere d as she stood up, but Nate’s swiftness had catapaulted him to the door connecting the dinning room with the kitchen. “What?” She asked rudely. “I’ll get it.” He offered with a smile. She glared at him for roughly a minute, thinking of what to say or how t o react. Even though she was angry, she wanted to try her possible best in making sure that her anger level doesnt exceed its limit, because she knew the after effect will be to disappoint Taiwo who was hopeful that they’ll be going out together. And the l east she wanted to do was offend her new friend. “Fine, I’ll just eat. I don’t need the salt anymore.” She replied as she returned to her seat. Nate walked towards her and sat down one one of the chairs. The smile on his face was becoming annoying and Sere na was fast loosing her temper. She needed something to distract her. “Serena, why are you acting up?” He asked. Serena hissed quietly and kept picking at her food without taking it anywhere near her mouth. “Serena.” He called as he stretched his hand to p robably hold hers or something, but she quickly dropped her spoon and withdrew her hand from his reach. To cover his failed attempt, he quickly got hold of the plate, drew it to himself and took a spoon to his mouth. He pushed the plate back to her, a vict orious smile on his face. “Finish it.” She said with gritted teeth. “Why?” He asked “You already ate it and its best you finish it to avoid wastage cos I have lost my appetite.” She replied. “Waoh! Serena, you lost our appetite because I ate out of your f ood? Do you know what that means? Hatred. Despite the fact that we are blood.” Emotional blackmail was something Nate hated most, but the best way to render an angry Serena powerless is by blackmailing her emotionally. Nate shook his head in disgust, and m ade for the door. “l am off to the station. I was asked to show up today.” He said as he turned the door knob. “Wait.” She called after him, but he ignored her. She wanted to run after him and apologise, but a strong force held her to her seat. Even when s he heard voices outside the house, like a chatter, she still didn’t move an inch, neither was she curious to know whoever was chatting with Nate. Her ringing phone caught her attention. “Am coming right away.” She said as she dropped her phone and made for where she opened the door for her friend. “Don’t tell me you are not ready.” the door “Actually, I am. Lemme just pick my purse.” She said once Taiwo was seated on one of the couches.

To Be Continued…

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