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

The air inside the Thomas family home was thicker than the thickness of crude oil. Serena herself ret urned home to find everyone in a foul mood, from the gateman to Dave, to her father. As at when she entered the living room, she met only Dave in the living room reading a novel, and greeting him, he only mumbled a reply, more to himself, than to anybody e lse. It was at that instant that her fåther came out of his room. “Where are you coming from?” Her father’s voice rang from the doorway. “Good evening dad.” She had replied going down on her knees as a sign of respect. “Where have you been all day?” He a sked. “l went out.” She replied “Went out to where?” He asked. She mumured some incoherent to herself, much to her father’s anger. “You can’t talk right?” Her father closed in on her. “You have started going out to meet those long legged girls right? You no longer bring them home, you now go to their house. How worse can you get?” “Am sorry dad.” She replied “Are you admitting that you went to see that boyfriend of yours?” Mr Oluwole asked. “No dad, but…” “But what?” He replied. “You heard that I was in the hospital and you still had the nerve and audacity to go out. I still returned from the hospital only to start looking for what to eat like it was some treasure or something.” Mr Oluwole poured out. “l didn’t know you are in the hospital sir.” She mutt “You said whatv “Nothing.” She replied. ered to herself. “And by the way, your boyfriend visited. Jake or what did he call himselfl He said you told him you are sick.” Her father dropped the bombshell. “You cursed yourself in a bid to gain the boy’s pity. You keep forcing yourself on him. You want to see him, but you couldn r t bring yourself to say it, but claiming that you collapsed will get him running down here abi?” “Its a lie.” She had said it before she realised the gravity of what she just said. “Who is telling lies? Myself or the boy?” “l don’t know o.” Serena replied but a strong hand had hit her accross the face.

Kneel down there.” And with this, Mr Oluwole Thomas stormed out of the living room. Serena knew her father’s return will only be with on ly one thing. A leather belt The last time her father beat her with the leather belt was three years ago, while the horse whip which was used on her brothers has been thrown into the incinerator to burn as their father claimed his sons are big men ouldn’t have said a thing. You know how much daddy hates being talked back at.” Dave said from where he was lying down. “You sh “You better keep quiet there. Assuming you told me dad was in the hospital, will I go out?” She screamed at him. “Now, I am about to be beaten. And if you hadn’t treated me like an outcast, I won’t be in a problem as big as this.” She cried Just then her father returned with the black leather belt. Now lying on her bed, every part of her back ached badly and she just wished an unseen po wer will just heal her of the pain. The after effect of the beating she recieved formed a couple of red marks on her back, being a light skinned girl. Even though she was able to recieve six strokes which was her father’s benchmark when it comes to beating his girls, she felt like someone who was beaten twenty strokes. “l think, Mum is right. Dad doesn’t like me.” She concluded as she allowed the tears to flow freely and despite the messages and calls entering her phone, she made sure she picked or read no ne of them. Anita drove into the premises of Oluks private hospital and orthopedic, Bodija estate Ibadan dressed in a white lace with a matching silver shoe. “Good Morning ma.” The security man greeted calmly. “Yeah… Good morning.” Anita replied as she picked up her bag from the passenger seat “How is the family?” she asked. “We thank God o madam.” The elderly man replied. Anita dipped her hand into her bag and fetched the change she collected when she fuelled her tank at the filling station on her way. “Thank you madam. God continue to bless you.” He said happily on realising that he was given a five hundred Naira note. “There is a car at the gate.” Anita said as she hurriedly stepped out of the driveway and made for the wide pathway adorned with flowers . “Good morning ma.” A young nurse greeted as she walked past her. “Morning dear.” She replied. A known face around the very large hospital which was privately owned by Dr(Mrs) Jane Olukunle or Medical doctor, and a senior obstetrician at the University Co llege hospital, Ibadan. Oluks was regarded as one of the largest privately owned hospitals in the city of Ibadan, and the hospital was also a major shareholder at the largest Pharmaceutical store in Ibadan, Oni and sons limited. The famous friend of the Di rector/CEO was in the building. “When will Jane be back?” Anita asked a young doctor who was occupying the office directly opposite Jane’s and also serving as the boss in the absence of Jane. “She didn’t categorically state when she’ll be back. You know sh e went to see the directors at UCH in preparation for the convocation ceremony at the University of Ibadan where she is the guest speaker. But am sure she would be back before eleven o’clock.” The young doctor explained. “Okay…” Anita drawled as she went into deep thoughts. “Can you do me a favour?” Anita asked after five minutes.

To Be Continued…

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