I let out an exasperated sigh and faced the guy who wouldnt stop trailing me wherever i went…he was a very popular guy in school…Ralph, a guy whom was well known to have slept with almost all the guys at school.
‘Ivyy, just give me a chance, i will take care of you, i really love u..please’ he said immediately i turned to him.
‘i bet thats what you tell every girl who’s ur next target…the same thing you said to Henna and the rest’ i said and walked away immediately but not after hearing him curse out.
Fool! Just because his family was rich and he walked with swag and the neatest guy in school, he thought every girl would easily fall for his charms. As it was, i already had too much problems on my own and Ralph wasnt going to add to my problems.
Its been two weeks since i started staying with aunty Chimezie…after father practically dumped me there. I wasnt allowed to see my mum nor Dada.
Aunty Chime practically imprisoned me whenever i came back from school, to the extent she went to the stream herself…going to the market herself instead of sending me…what was going on?
Did something happen to Dada and my mother? Why was my life like this? First was my mum being hospitalised due to father’s brutality and i being prevented from visiting her. Why was papa trying to separate mama and i? What was going wrong?
I raised my head to see Henna standing in front of me.
I rolled my eyes and forced a smile ‘hi Henna…’
‘hi babes…i saw Ralph following you…’ she had a mischievous glint in her eyes ‘so he’s the one kpanshi you now abi?’
‘Henna, maybe you should just stop this….there’s nothing btw Ralph and i okay?’
‘but that guy is hurt and if i hadnt caught him with that ugly albino called Mesoma, we would still have been dating and he would have been servicing me wella’ he hissed maliciously ‘i hate that albino eh!’
I rolled my eyes. Simply because she had caught Mesoma and Ralph in bed, Henna had swore to make life a living hell for Meso in the village.
‘so babe, i saw ur neighbour, ehm, whats that her name again…Kina, i saw her and she said she hasnt seen you in the compound for over two weeks now and it seems you havent been living there, whats going on? Did you run away from home?’
‘nothing…’ i quickly stood up from the chair i had sat on under a mango tree, and packed my books ‘i’ll be in the library Henna’
‘you are going to the library to read abi you want to corner one guy there’
‘Henna please!’ i sighed and walked away.
I heard her laugh ‘change oil my dear make ur waist no stiff jareh!’
I rolled my eyes…spoilt rabbit!
‘Ivyy…’ aunty Chime said during our evening meal of boiled yam and red oil ‘your father was here when you went to school, he bought new novels for u and also new scandals with a new socks and he also gave me some money to give u for ur upkeep’
I suddenly lost my appetite…what did papa come to do? I suddenly hated him…why was he preventing me from seeing my mother? Why?
‘Ivyy…’ aunty Chime said again breaking my thoughts ‘i know you are worried about your mother…but i just want you to know that all is well’
‘thats a lie aunty and you know it…u and papa are both keeping something from me and i can feel it’ i said.
I knew aunt Chime had never liked mama and i feel like all this was her doing. She just hated mama for no just reason, i dont know why.
‘Ivyy luv, there are just somethings you will never understand now, no matter how well explained it is…we took you away from your mother for some reasons, traditional reasons to save u from shame and stigmatization….’
‘what shame and stigmatization aunty?!’ i cut in sharply ‘what is going on? Is mama dead? Why wont you guys tell me everything? I believe i’m matured enof to handle the truth but please…u guys should not hide things from me…u dont know how it feels to be kept away from the truth…if my mother is in her sick bed, at least let me see her before she dies, aunty please’ i pleaded in tears.
‘your mother is not in her sick bed Ivyy, she’s fine and just know that if you keep persisting on seeing her, we will send you to a faraway village where you wont even think of seeing her’ she said calmly dipping her large piece of yam into the oil.
‘just so u know Ivyy, we would do anything to separate you from your mother…Dada has been taken in Ezei to live with Uncle Nonso..its because of ur school you are still here…but if u keep insisting on seeing her, just know you are leaving Umueke for good because we would do anything to separate you from your mother…take it that way’
I felt shattered and hopeless.