‘i cant believe that ugly hausa corper is straffing the principal seriously…’ Henna laughed sipping from her drink ‘that “protect ur body for its a temple of God” woman, yuck!’ Henna sighed in disgust.
My friends laughed. The rumors had been circulating that our Geography uncle was straffing our principal…i really didnt believe the rumor but when i saw the picture of both of them kissing from Henna’s phone, i believed it.
Henna and Ralph were the only ones who had a phone in our class due to their father’s status and riches. A phone was something i had always begged father to get me whenever i could but he adamantly refused. If only i had a phone, i would have tried to contact mama or mama would have tried to contact me but mama equally did not have a phone.
I chewed slowly on the meatpie Henna had gotten for all of us..after that day i had eavesdropped on their conversation, i knew i became different…i was no longer cheerful..not like i was a very cheerful person right from time..but i became the dullest person i ever came across.
I needed a distraction…and thats why i hanged out with my so called friends more often to try laughing at their jokes and other stuffs.
‘heyy guys i’ve got good news…’ Henna said getting my attention ‘my brother is visiting the village next week..oh my gosh! I cant wait to see him’
My heart skipped a bit. Ifeanyi! I didnt want to see him…not that he was a monster or anything..but everyone was aware of my huge crush on him before he left the village to study in the city. He was a really nice guy…the richest and the most handsome as at the time he left. That was two years ago.
At the mention of his name, the girls turned to me, of course, they knew about my crush on him.
‘what? Why are you girls staring at me like that?’ i asked rolling my eyes and pouting.
‘it seems my bestie is going to have the best straff of her life now’ Ije said.
That made me angry but i controlled it…i didnt want to cause a scene.
‘heyy!’ Henna said flashing her fingers in front of Ije ‘my brother doesnt do straff and dump…he does the ideal thing…love’
‘and how would you know that?’ Oma interjected.
‘because he’s my brother…he’s really not the flirty type’
‘oh really? What if city changed him?’ Oma asked.
‘then so be it…whats the big deal about being a flirt?’
‘who flirting don epp?’ Ije asked and they laughed.
I tried to laugh too but i couldnt..thoughts of mama flashed through my mind. Truth is, i didnt know when she was going to die, i didnt know what was going to stop her from dying..i didnt know what to do to protect her…i felt so hopeless and useless.
A junior student came to our table that instant and Henna frowned ‘what the heck are u doing in our table Junie?’ Junie was an abb. of junior.
‘sorry senior…but someone asked me to call Ivyy Maduemezie…’ the junior replied.
My heart skipped a beat ‘who…who’s that?’
‘its a woman…she just asked me to call you. She’s at the gate..’ the junior said scampering away.
‘bae, dont tell me the D arent enof for u…u go for V too?’ Henna said and the other girls laughed.
I stood and adjusted my uniform ‘seriously Henna, u need to stop this sick jokes of yours…they arent funny all the time’ i said and hurried away.
What was aunt Chime doing in school? Had she come to inform me of mama’s death? No…she had never do that.
When i got to the gate…i nearly fainted at who i saw…mama!
I nearly jumped around…luckily there was no student is sight as it was break over.
She had tears in her eyes as she embraced me ‘nwam…nwam…’
She was weeping seriously.
Seeing how emanciated mama had become brought tears to my eyes. What had aunt Chime and papa done to my innocent mother? What was her offence? Why wasnt anyone telling me anything?
I held mama ‘mama, tell me please…tell me, what is going on?’
She shook her head ‘its not something i should tell you Ivyy..its something you’d be better of not knowing about..and its equally for your own good that you and Dada were taken away from me…because you…especially you Ivyy, would have been dragged into this mess with me’ she said wiping her eyes with her handkerchief.
‘mama, please tell me, i heard you were going to die’ i sobbed.
I saw the surprise in her eyes..then she smiled ‘very soon…but i want you to know that…no matter what, i still love u my children…you guys brought me hope when i felt i didnt have one..you guys brought life into my soul…you two brought all the joy and happiness i required into my life…no matter what…i will never stop loving you and Danke..i’m sorry i had to leave you both like this…but i had to see you one last time…this is the last time you’re going to see me Ivyy…i’m very sorry….someone is coming…’ she thrusted a thousand naira note into my hand and before i could speak, ran away like a mad woman.
‘break over…runto ur classroom..’ the gateman said.
I ran away in tears.
I watched as aunt Chime spoke over the phone. I knew she was discussing with papa and she was using coded words.
‘….really, so they have chosen a date?….when….okay, i will be there…i wont miss it for any reason…i would be there..bye…Ivyy is fine…okay, i would’ She hung up and turned to me.
I faked a smile and swallowed a morsel of eba…papa and aunt Chime were going to pay for what they were doing to mama. If anything bad happens to mama, then i would never forgive them.
I suddenly washed my hands and stood up.
She looked at me ‘where are you going? Are you satisfied?’
‘yes..i want to go and see my friend Henna, i need to borrow her Biology textbook’
She looked at me suspiciously ‘dont you have one?’
‘mine was stolen the previous week’
‘how much does a new one cost?’
‘a thousand five hundred naira’
She contemplated for a while ‘sit down, i will go to mama Chidi’s store, borrow some money and buy you a new one okay?’
‘but i nid it now for my assignment!’
‘i said sit down Ivyy, you’re going nowhere!’ she commanded.
I became angry ‘what makes you and papa think you can stop me from seeing mama if i want to…dont i go to school? Or you think i cant skip school just to see my mother whom you guys have falsely accused and framed? You think ur wickedness can separate mama and i?’
She was taken aback for a moment before she stood up ‘its not what you think Ivyy…i will tell you everything but when the time is right’
‘tell me now! I request you tell me now! Else…i will show you all how stubborn i can be…what kind of father would separate his children from their mother…isnt that wickedness?’
‘i’m so sorry about that Ivyy..its really isnt our intention…its all your mother’s fault…we dont want you children to suffer for the mistakes your mother made…’
‘what mistakes? Why wont you tell me whats going on in this place?’ i said violently kicking the tabel causing our meal to pour all over the sitting room.
Angered, aunt Chime slapped me ‘you’re very stupid! Now, get into your room immediately before i handle you in a way you would not like’
I ran to my my room but not after mouthing “you will pay for this” to myself.
I wan going to teach them a lesson…i was going to teach them a lesson whereby they would pray for death but death wouldnt come..i knew exactly what to do.
I fell on my bed crying and praying for mama. She needed God’s mercies like never before.
The time came for my plans to be set into action when papa paid us a visit and aunt Chime sent me to the garden to pluck garden egg leaves for abacha.
I had smiled within me…they wouldnt know what hit them.
As i strolled to the garden which was not faraway from the house, i hummed mama’s favourite tune to myself ‘nnem nnem oo, ezigbo nnem ee, nnem nnem oo, ezigbo yoyo nnem mama…’ as i sang i remembered my mother and i cried.
She normally sang that song whenever she told us tales of how her mother struggled to bring her up as she was the only child and her father died at a very tender age.
I plucked the garden egg leaves..then moved to where the Imezi leave had grown as a weed.
I had come across it several times in the garden and also told myself to uproot when next i come but i always forgot…now was the time for it to come into use.
The Imezi leave was a very dangerous leave. Once it enters a human body…it doesnt kill, but it slowly weakens every system in the human’s body thereby leaving the person paralyzed with pains…it also causes different types of illness…ranging from terrible fever to diarrhoea and stroke…it was a terrible leave and it would eventually lead to death..but it might take years of pains and paralysis.
I smiled and plucked five leaves from it.
I went to the kitchen and sat on the stood…took the knives and sliced the leaves together.
When the meal was ready, i served it and took it to the sitting room where they were sharing a hearty laughter.
I watched as they ate with a smile on my face…it will take only a matter of hours before the leave began its effect on their body.
It took minutes after clearing the plates and hearing papa complain of the bitter taste of the abacha for me to realise that i had plucked the utazi leave instead of imezi.
Yes, the utazi and Imezi do look alike and i must have mistaken it for imezi.
I seethed in anger…why do God spare the unjust and endanger the just?
Maybe they were spared this time but next time, there were certainly going to die because i wont use the imezi next time, i was going to use Otapiapia or indoseed.
I blinked twice clutching my books tightly to my chest to ensure i was seeing the right person.
My friends went ahead hugging him while Henna just stood by his side clutching his arm. Yes, she had told me he was going to be arriving this week but maybe i really wasnt prepared to see Ifeanyi again.
‘hi Ivyy’ he said coming closer to me.
I percieved his masculine scent and i felt like relaxing in his arms..before i could speak, he came closer to me and engaged me in a bear hug. Due to the books in my hands, i couldnt hug him back but i relaxed my head on his shoulders.
‘how have you been? I missed you’ he whispered into my ears still holding me tightly.
I saw my friends making funny faces and snide remarks.
I paused to think…did i really miss him too? Maybe i was too preoccupied with my family problem to even miss him.
When he had left the village recently, i had missed him. Because i no longer had my companion with me. One who would hold me close to him tightly shutting my ears to prevent me from hearing mama’s screams as papa pounced on her.
One who would climb the roof with me so i could give food to mama who had been locked up in a room to mama and also help clean her wounds…then climb out through the roof before papa comes back.
One who encouraged me and helped me in anyway he could. Yes, he had left the village without keeping in touch with me..not even replying the messages i sent to him through Henna….i really felt his absence when he newly left but i soon got accustomed to it.
I got used to it.
We sat under a pawpaw tree opposite aunt Chime’s compound…aunt Chime had gone for one of their numerous women meetings and i wondered if mama had been killed yet.
‘i’m sorry i didnt keep in touch Veebeauty…’ Ifeanyi said calling my per name.
I was still angry at him and he knew that ‘you havent still told me your reason of coming here..you really have to go before my aunt sees you here’ i wasnt smiling.
‘Obim…’ he said holding my left shoulder ‘i really wanted to contact you but…but…’
‘i just felt there was no need..i felt you might get into problems with your father again and i wont be there to take the blame…and you might suffer everything all alone’ he said.
True, papa had been wary of our closeness and he accused Ifeanyi and i of having a s£xual relationship…and whenever papa tried to hit me, Ifeanyi was always there to take all the blame for my sake.
Tears came to my eyes…papa had always denied me happiness for no just reason…was i really his child? Why did he favour Dada more than me?
‘Ivyy…’ he said wiping my tears with my back hand ‘i never stopped thinking about you’
I didnt say anything. I couldnt say anything.
‘i asked about you countless times from Henna…and i told her to safeguard you from boys’
I nearly laughed. Henna? Henna whom had been trying to force me into a relationship? He made a mistake entrusting me to Henna.
‘i heard everything about your mother from my father…’ he said and i abruptly turned to him ‘but i’m sorry i wont tell you…because i know how much you love your mother and i…i dont want you to see your mother negatively…because i know how highly you think of her…heck! You wont even believe me when i tell you all she has done’
I quickly stood up grabbing his shirt ‘Ifeanyi! Tell me what is going on with my mother! Tell me!’
‘heyy calm down…’
I held his shirt even tighter ‘tell me all you know about my mother please…please i beg you…is she dead?’ i cried.
He drew me to himself and kissed my hair ‘my baby’ he breathed ‘i’m so sorry for all the pains you are passing through right now…i’m here, so everything will be alright henceforth’
Mama…please dont die…i cried.
‘veebeauty….’ he said blocking my way as i made to hang the w€t clothes on the rope.
‘get out of my way Ifeanyi!’ i snapped. Yes, i was mad at him..if he wasnt going to tell me everything happening with my parents then i see no reason why we should remain friends.
‘Ivyy, try to understand me…its best you dont know whats happening…okay, okay…i will tell you…’ he breathed and closed his eyes like he was fighting with his mind.
I dropped the clothes back in bucket and looked back at the compound, aunt Chime was in taking a nap and i didnt want to risk her seeing Ifeanyi here.
So i held his hand and led him to the garden…i spread cocoyam leaves and we sat on the ground.
‘tell me everything now…’ i said in an authoritative manner.
‘Ivyy, it would be best if you dont know…you’re not going to be happy about it if you find out what your mother had done and i cant stand you being sad…’ he said touching my cheeks.
I slapped his hands away ‘if you are not ready to tell me then forget about it….’
‘Vee calm down…’ he held my hand ‘promise me you wont be sad…’
‘okay…your mother is…you mother….’
‘Ivyyyyyyy!’ i heard aunt Chime’s voice screaming from the main house.
I sighed in fustration ‘this goddamn woman…’ i cursed.
‘calm down…’ Ifeanyi said chuckling ‘there will always be another day…i’ll come pick Henna up from school tomorrow…so maybe we could talk from there’
‘okay…’ i said getting up.
He held my hand ‘Ivyy…about us..who are we to each other?’
I remembered him using this particular line several times two years ago and each time, i kept telling him the same thing…”friends”
Maybe i should tell him the same thing again…but were we really friends?
‘acquaintances’ i replied and walked away but not before seeing the look of hurt in his eyes.
‘Ralph! Leave me alone…how many times am i going to beg you to?’ i asked as he locked the door.
We were in the female toilet. I had gone in there to ease myself only for him to barge in just before i could squat.
He dragged me to himself forcefully and breathed on my face ‘babe…you are so beautiful…’
‘leave me alone you per.vert……else i’ll scream!’ i stuggled to get out of his arms but he was stronger than i am.
I went behind me and grabbed my as.s kneading them together.
‘leave me…alone Ralph…’ i said my voice shaky.
I couldnt explain what i was feeling inside…but i knew i was getting aroused.
His left hand left my buttocks to my brea.st and he squeezed them touching my ni.pples in return. I didnt know when i m0aned.
He chuckled ‘you love it dont you? Guess u never felt like this before…’ he was unbuttoning my shirt now.
I slapped his hands away ‘get lost!’
He dragged me to himself and enveloped my mouth in a hot kiss that brought out an involuntary m0an from me.
I tried protesting but the kneading of my as.s and the squeezing of my ni.pples were really getting to me.
And before i knew it, i had my hands wrapped around his neck responding to his kisses as he continued massaging my breasst.
He completely unbottoned my shirt, dipped his hands in my bra and massaged my ni.pples.
I broke the kiss and m0aned shamelessly asking him to continue…his perverted chuckle and smile didnt bring me to back to my senses and all i wanted was for him to keep on.
His mouth covered one of my ni.pples and the warmth sent waves of arousal down my spine…i gasped.
His hands went under my skirt and into my panties toying with my cli.t. The toilet was just filled with my m0anings.
I didnt care that someone could walk in at that moment and catch us in the act…all i wanted was maximum pleasure from the boy i hated the most.
The ringing of the bell and the voice of the disciplinarian brought me back to my senses and i pulled back immediately…my face flushed in embarrassment.
I picked up from blouse from the filthy ground, dusted it and wore it.
The grin on his face was really annoying and i gave him two slaps for it.
He held his cheek in shock.
‘thats for taking advantage of me…’ i said ‘perver.t!’ I dashed out of the bathroom in embarrassment and anger.
I couldnt believe Ralph had my first kiss. Ralph of all people.
It was Henna’s birthday.
Yes, i should have gotten a gift for her but it skipped my memory…because i had alot on my plate.
The issue with mama, Ralph, papa and aunt Chime and then Ifeanyi. We decided to have a small get together in a small restaurant in the outskirts of the village. It was very far and we had gone in Ifeanyi’s car.
Kainene, Henna and Ifeanyi’s elder sister was there…gosh! I hate that girl…she’s so pompous and proud and believes no one was better than she was.
Then Ifeanyi, Henna, Ije, Oma and i.
We…or rather should i say they were having fun.
‘i invited Ralph and Jude over you know…’ Henna suddenly said.
I nearly choked on my drink ‘you did what?!’
Ifeanyi gave me a wierd look while Kainene was like has-she-gone-mad?
‘i invited Ralph and Jude…’ Henna repeated staring at Ije and Oma ‘any problem?’
‘you shouldnt have invited that shameless golddigging flirt over to this place!’ i snapped before i could stop myself.
‘i can sense something here…’ Ije said looking at me suspiciously ‘babe…tell me like seriously, whats between the both of you…i mean…’
‘just hold it there Ije…’ i said immediately ‘i dont have time for this. You know very well that i cannot date Ralph even if i want to date…i’d rather go for….’
‘Ifeanyi…’ Henna said immediately and the girls laughed.
My face flushed in embarrassment..why did they have to say that in front of him.
‘what…’ i stammered.
Kainene rolled her eyes ‘seriously..dont tell me you too have a thing for my brother…’
Henna looked at her ‘so what if she does?’
‘Henna, i wasnt talking to you’ Kainene said.
‘Sure you werent…’ Henna snapped.
‘thats enof seriously…’ Ifeanyi interjected ‘you guys should stop taunting Ivyy please…you know she doesnt like it’
‘thing is…i’m already regretting coming to this place’ i said rolling my eyes.
‘oh my babie…’ Henna said pouting throwing her hand over my shoulder ‘i’m sorry some people are giving you a hard time…’ i knew she was referring to Kainene…for some reasons best known to the both of them, they never really got along as sisters.
‘you are also one of them…’ i said smiling.
‘you are finally smiling…’ Oma said.
My smile widened but disappeared immediately i sighted the monster coming with a swag i had come to hate. His errandboy, Sam was with him as usual..i wonder if that boy was ever going to get a life asides from being Ralph’s toy thing.
‘hello babies in the house…’ he said smiling sitting beside me ‘hi Vee luv…happy birthday Henna’
Henna and the girls exchanged glances ‘so you had to acknowlegde the presence of ur luv first before wishing me a happy birthday. Anyways, no problem…where’s Jude?’
‘Jude, uhm….stopped by to get cigarettes..’ he replied looking at me.
I caught the anger and jealousy on Ifeanyi’s face but i pretended not to see it.
‘excuse me Veebeauty…seems you’re as bored as i am, lets take a stroll’ Ifeanyi said standing up offering his hand and i gladly took it. Anything to get away from the demon beside me.
We walked away from the table despite the stares the girls were giving me. Who cares?
‘care to tell me what….’ i was saying.
‘Vee pls dont start…its going to spoil your mood and i dont want you ruining Henna’s birthday’
‘truth is, i dont know why you’re hiding this from me…she’s my mother’
‘i know…’ he suddenly looked pale ‘Vee, i…i want to ask a question’
‘what is it?’
‘are you and Ralph an item?’
‘heck me! That dirty and nonsensical idiot? Hell no! Why do you ask?’
‘nothing….’ he shook his head immediately ‘i…i just dont want any guy claiming you…’
I laughed ‘and why would he claim me? Am i a trophy?’
He laughed then suddenly looked serious. He brought my hands to his chest ‘i rili love u Ivyy…yes, i havent been able to tell you about it…but i always did love you…even before i left for the city…you’re my source of joy and happiness, even Henna and Kaine knows that’
‘Ifeanyi….’ i was dumbfounded and flabbergasted…Ifeanyi was my best friend…yes he was once my crush but…did i still have feelings for him?
‘just say yes…i’ll take care of you…i’ll make sure you are contented and happy…’ he said pushing my hair aside.
‘Ify, i nid time to think about this…’
‘i cant wait…i luv you…i cant wait any longer…’
‘you dont nid doubts…i love u so much…’
Maybe i should give it a try..give love a trial…afterall he was once my crush…i made up my mind to tell him yes when his phone rang and he had to step aside to answer it.
I decided to use the ladies as he answered his call.
I paused when i saw Ralph there with a grin on his face ‘i knew you’d come here baby’
I opened my mouth. He had an Attention.
I cant remember what happened next but i knew before long we were kissing and smooching inside the ladies…his manhood already out of his trousers.
A prayer for me please.
I was m0aning shamelessly…it didnt occur to me that the guy who had his head under my skirt was the guy i hated the most infact i didnt care.
I heard Ifeanyi call me from outside…i didnt respond rather did Ralph stop. He called again and i had to respond.
‘i’m here….’ Ralph’s tongue grazed my cl.it ad i whimpered ‘i’m coming…’ i shouted again.
‘are you alright?’ Ifeanyi asked.
‘okay…i…i will just wait for you here’
‘dont bother because i just might take more time…’
‘okay baby…see you at the table…’ i heard his footsteps signify he had left.
I had my hands on the wall with Ralph’s tongue buried deep inside me.
He pulled out and grabbed me for a kiss placing my hand on his throbbing manhood. I wondered what to do with it at that moment.
He unhooked my bra and took it off, then pulled off my skirt and panties and laid me on the floor…i didnt mind that the floor was dirty..he climbed on top me kissing every inch of my body..from my boo.bs to my neck, my navel, my cl.it.
He placed his d—k at my entrance and looked at him with a smile of victory.
That smile brought me back to my senses as i pushed him with all my might.
I pounced on him before he knew it raining blows and slaps all over his body, pinching and biting where i could.
After which i wore my panties and bra…he tried reaching for me again and this time i spat on his face. I wore my skirt and shirt, it was rumpled and my hair was a mess…my lipstick was smudged…wouldnt Henna and the rest suspect because Ralph was equally not in the table and to think my voice had been shaky when i spoke to Ifeanyi.
‘you think you’re smart right?’ Ralph cursed wiping the blood from his mouth ‘swear you didnt enjoy it…i’m so going to deal with you’
‘you cant do more than a dead rat, you da.mn loser. Let today be the first and the last time you come close to me…else i will report you to the principal…’ i warned.
‘okay, we shall see…’ he stood up and i went out of the bathroom.
Immediately i stepped into the classroom the following day, i saw the way some girls looked at me and whispered.
Ralph and his other guys were by one corner of the classroom smoking as the first period teacher was yet to come.
Henna, Ije and Oma werent in the chair when i came in so i just brought out my mathematics textbook and proceeded to solve more equations.
The wierd stares i recieved were getting to much to the extent some boys even whistled at me…what was going on?
Henna, Oma and Ije came into the class at that time.
They came straight to me ‘pretenders do the worst…’ all three of them chorused.
I looked at them confused…what were they blabbing about ‘what is it?’
‘heyy! Ivyy, i thought you were a virgin…’ Oma stated sitting on the desk.
‘me too oo…hian!’ Ije sighed.
‘whats happening? Why would you even ask me that when you know very well that i’m a virgin…’
‘shut up abeg! Na which person brain you wan wash? Thing is i dont know why you hid it from us when we tell you everything including our s£xlife!’ Henna said, her voice a bit high.
Ije signalled her to reduce her voice as people were already staring at us. She looked around the class and shouted at them ‘you guys wont mind your business oo…if you like dont read your books…let ur eyes fall in the middly of the chair…akuna kuna…ashawos like una…fools!’ She cursed.
Someone from the front said ‘at least we are not as cheap as some people doing it in the toilet of a random restaurant!’
Henna jumped down from the chair immediately ‘who said that? Who’s the fool who said that?’
No one said anything…of course everyone was scared of Henna.
‘that person had beta seal his mouth else i will cut a dogs d—k and use it on the person…nonsense!’ She walked back to the chair.
Really, i was confused and my heart was pounding now.
Henna flashed the phone on my face ‘you will have to pay me to delete this video and not tell Ifeanyi of this…he told me you guys were dating…why then did you do this?’
‘do…do what?’ i felt like choking.
She perused through her phone and placed it on my face. I nearly died….it was a video of Ralph and i in the restroom.
The video was clear and well detailed…it stopped when he climbed on top me.
I looked at Ralph who grinned at me and puffed thick smoke towards my direction and i knew mine was over.
How many more problems am i going to have? What to do i tell Ifeanyi?
What do i tell mama?
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