A New Year Celebration And A Divorce Declaration
As Emily walked down the street to her house, she wished the ground could swallow her, and make her stop having the feeling she had. To her, everybody was staring at her as if they could see that she had just being deflowered, as if the shame she just faced was written on her body. She cringed at the look of the people she recognized. They greeted her ‘compliment of the season’ and returned to whatever they were doing. While that would have made her happy, that day wasn’t the right day for them to ignore her. She needed someone to stop her and stare at her and tell her something was wrong with her. But no one cared. The air was mixed with a peculiar dryness that even the loud noise of the different knockouts rocking the air couldn’t drive it away. She remembered that her house would be full by now. Her nuclear family were expecting a lot of Aunts and Uncles, and they have collected women known as alaro who were blessed with great cooking ability. Her father had ensured none of the women in the house did the cooking. What was the essence of his money if he couldn’t just collect people that would cook, he said.
Emily knew she was trying hard not to cry, so it would be good to just go straight to her room without having to greet anybody. How will it feel if the person that would first notice her melancholic face would be someone she shouldn’t tell anything about herself? All she needed at that time was just to go into the toilet to wash herself, to wash off the pain from her mind and wash her mind off her stupidity. She just needed something to take away the feeling that Mustapha was the first man to sleep with her. Even if it required her sleeping with another man, she preferred it to him.
Just as she locked the gate, she heard her father trying hard not to shout at someone. When she looked at the person it was her dubious Uncle, Bro. Ajose.
‘ This is rubbish! Total rubbish! How can you quantify this rubbish you have done. I told you to bring it…’
Her father looked at her and smiled. She bent her knees to greet him.
‘ Oh.. Emy.. How are you?’ He said blatantly, as if he had grudges with her, the same way he had been replying her for months now. She wasn’t even sure of who she should claim had been having such issue- her father or her mother. Both of them had been having an unusual scowl on their faces of late. And the most distressing part of this scowl is that whenever both of them saw each other, they allowed a very comical and fake smile replace it.
They would act happy around themselves and the children. But Emily knew something was wrong, but whatever was wrong it was good for her. It gave her liberty to enjoy what she enjoyed and even gave her the opportunity to visit Mustapha. Although at this point, she wasn’t sure their pretence was a good thing especially now that she needed a shoulder to grieve on.
‘ Eh.. Emo… When did you return from Mustapha’s place? Mum had been looking for you’, Shikemi shouted as she ran towards the ground floor to their secret room. Of course no one knew this room, except the two of them.Their house was a two storey building and it housed only their family. And the implication of that was there were some rooms rarely entered by their ever busy mother and their always-travelling father. Yet, there were some rooms that she and Shikemi had kept for some purpose no one in the world should ever learn about.
Right now, she just couldn’t answer Shikemi because of the pain that wallowed in her brain. She needed a place to deep her head and cry.
‘ Emo….’ Shikemi said as she turned. ‘ What’s wrong?’
Emily shook her head. ‘ Not now.. I’ll tell you later’.
‘ Okay. I’ll sure be ready to hear it’, Shikemi said as she dashed away into their secret room.
Normally, these past days, they entered that room together but she wasn’t in the mood to go to the room and was really glad Shikemi didn’t invite her
She looked at the street from her window and felt the cool air blowing into her room, even as tears dropped from her eyes. She absentmindedly watched a boy sit across their house. She had always wished to catch his attention. But today she wasn’t in the mood. Someone must and should pay for what Mustapha did to her. She looked about and wondered who she would blame. The only person that should get the blame is none other than Shikemi her archenemy cum friend.
Shikemi was her sister or should she say used to be her loving sister. They were both called 5 and 6 because they went about doing the same things. Many children in their street envied and showed their disgust for such bond. They grew closer by every fight. But things suddenly became different after they returned from a holiday, after their twelfth birthday. Shikemi just hated her for no reason. And it was worse until four months ago when Emily caught her in an act that would forever bring them closer.
‘ Shikemi…’ A frail voice said from behind her. She didn’t hear her door open. She knew that voice, and stiffened. As much as she loved her newly found desire, she just couldn’t bring herself to face the voice.
‘ Shikemi is that….’
Emily turned to face the most attractive girl in their family, Anita.
Anita smiled at her and batted her eyes. She winked at Emily. ‘ Bad girl’.
Emily heart skipped beats. Did Anita know about her ordeal? The only person that knew about what she did was Shikemi. If Anita knew, Shikemi was surely the only person that could have told her.
‘ Wh… Do you mean?’
Anita winked at her again and moved closer. Her short gown clung to her body and made Emily cringed to the wall. During the days Shikemi suddenly hated her, Anita was her close friend. And Emily was still sure Anita was the cause of the trift between her and Shikemi.
Anita moved nearer and whispered to her ears. ‘ I know what you did? Bad girl’.
‘ Who told you?’ Emily asked shivering as Anita moved nearer. Those days Anita and Shikemi fought were unbearable for her especially when Anita came visiting. They did a lot of strange things to her- beat her up, lock her up and made her feel unwanted.
‘ I heard what you and Shikemi did and I want us to talk about it….’
‘ What’s happening between you girls?’ A hoarse voice said behind them, at the door. Emily released a long prolonged breathe which generated into short and sharp ones.
Anita’s hefty father stood at the door and stared dagger at Anita. His grim look soften as he looked towards the place Emily stood.
‘ Are you sure she is not troubling you?’
‘ Ahahn! Daddy I wasn’t…’
‘ I wasn’t talking to you…’
‘ Daddy’, she called and sustained the call. She stared at him while she pouted.
‘ Yes. You… Emily, did she touch you?’
‘ Did I touch you?’
Emily held her breathe and it reflected in her stiffened breathe. She shook her head.
‘ Okay. Anita, let’s leave her to prepare for the party’.
‘ But we are still talking’.
‘ No you are not. Let’s go this instant’.
Her father wasn’t always like that. But whenever it came to Emily, he always tried to protect her from the ferocious arm of Anita.
‘ Emily, tell him I wasn’t doing anything bad’.
‘ You were not doing anything bad. But I truly need to be alone at this time’.
Anita bared her teeth as she winked at her and turned. ‘ We should talk later’.
‘ By the way, where are your glasses?’ Anita father asked as Emily closed the door.
Immediately they left, Emily flopped on the the bed as she finally let down her gaurd to cry. And her tears poured down till a soft long hand touched her. She assumed it was one of the numerous family members in the house so she wiped her eyes.
The hand didn’t stop at touching only, it caressed her.
Emily jumped off her bed, out of the reach of the person carressing her, her gown rolling round her. Her mother had complained of her gowns and always wanted her to change it to something smart as she called it. But Emily believed since it was the dress used by queens and Princesses in the foreign movies she saw, it depicted wealth. But now she detested it because the moment she dropped on the floor, she stepped on the tip of her gown and tripped. The feet of the person edged nearer. She hurriedly turned, her body and heart vibrating heavily.
‘ Oh God! Don’t injure yourself’, Anita said as she moved nearer.
Emily stood in a haste and backed away from her. Anita was more sophisticated and about three years older than she. She wasn’t sure about anything at that moment. All she wanted was just to escape her..
‘ The problem I’m having with you now is that you are still behaving like the Mary sue we always know you to be’.
‘ Leave me’, Emily whispered as her eyes dashed to her door. It was closed.
‘ Don’t bother looking there, I’ve locked the door and nobody would be able to open it because the keys are in a very safe place. Only you can take it’, she said as she touched her chest.
Emily felt rage overcome her fear. ‘ Are you mad? Leave me alone. I said leave me alone’.
Anita moved nearer and rolled her hair with her fingers.
‘ Sorry bad girl, I can’t do that. When I see that the girl I always hated now does what I like. I like to ask for forgiveness in a better way’.
Emily pushed Anita on the bed, ran for the door, and pulled it. Indeed, the door was lock.
‘ Are you as dumb as I have always said you are. I’m now in charge of you’, Anita said as she hobbled towards her. Emily looked around for anything that could serve as a weapon in fighting Anita. Nothing in the world could quench the hatred within her heart for Anita.
Emily rushed to her wardrobe and pulled out a pocket knife. ‘ Get out of my room. I will have nothing to do with you. I will still get at Shikemi. She brought me into this mess’.
Anita looked calm. And this infuriated Emily. Her breathe on her skin was as hot as her anger. Anita licked her lips and pulled her cloth. Emily couldn’t believe she was reacting to this. She blinked and bit her lower lips.
‘ Are you deaf’, Emily said as she maintained her ground and stabilize her emotions. ‘ Leave this instant’.
‘ Or ….’ Anita said as she sat on the bed and removed her trousers.
Emily’s fear heightened. Whatever she must do, she must now. ‘ I will stab you’.
‘ Be wise. They will think you are mad. And everybody will finally reveal the secret they’ve been keeping from you’.
Emily stood still. She never had any secret she had forgotten. ‘ You are lieing’.
‘ About what? Its not a news. Everyone in the family knows it. But I’m not in the best position to tell you’.
‘ What are you saying?’ Emily said as her stiff hand relaxed and dropped slowly. She regained concentration. ‘Whatever the situation, I’m ready to face it. You know me now, I’ll always win’.
Anita laughed. ‘ Not today. Not this one as in us here. And not this big secret’.
Anita stood and came nearer. Emily withdrew. Then she came to her sense. She was the one with knife and should be the scarier of the two of us. She launched as she aimed for Anita’s arm. Everyone was aware that Anita had always tried to hurt her. So if she harmed her, it would be termed self defence. Anita shifted to the side and gave Emily a blow at the side of her neck. Emily moaned and blacked out.