To wonder for your mother is like you growing older than your age. Leaving your mother’s comfortable car to trek is like going into the wildlife jungle where the scorched sun can drain your energy, only the love for the street will make you do such. But it’s a single world…
I waved off the fantasy of marriage counseling as suggested by George. He’s open, vocalized, jovial and eloquent so he can do such- he can summon his parents to order. Not me the quiet type, that have more of my conversation to my mind.
I thought of George, he’s angry with me! He is pleading for what Sir Thomas is demanding- boys. Is that their nature, just to sooth their urge. Cultism and hanky-panky are their major games especially in Busyminds Academy.
“Hello George!” I said as I got his call while I was thinking about him.
“Hey, Juli! Where’re you?” He asked.
“Why do you care?”
“I thought we planned to meet.”
I scowled and frowned, you turned it down, since you want me to…”
He interrupted, “you never insisted.”
“Yea.” I smiled.
“No. You have nothing to say.”
“I have,” I paused, “We can only be friends?”
“No in an affair…”
“Don’t get?”
He smiled.
“Can we meet?” He digressed.
“Maybe tomorrow.” I added.
“Why not now?”
“What’s making you look keen?” I asked.
“I can come over if you wish.” It was like a slap on my face.
“George, I’m up to somewhere…”
“Sir Thomas’ area?” He responded.
“I don’t know.”
“For what this late.”
I didn’t wanted to hear more as I let go the call. I saw his several calls refused to answer, it didn’t bother me.
I was up to Sir Thomas’place with biased intentions hoping I’ll end up with positive replies, I’ve some hope of anxiety that my name will be among the national schools orchestra championship.
I knocked at the iron barred door, severally before he replied. He opened the door and was astounded as he saw me, the same one who rejected his offer; detested his touch and murdered his lust.
“What happened?” He asked.
I walked into his room- bachelor’s type but well arranged. This time I perceived some strong spirits, by his standing fan was a contraceptive material that made me to fidget. I turned to him, this time he wasn’t looking like my music teacher but different, somehow like my flirting neighbour in the last flat.
“What happened, why are you back this late?” He asked. I wondered why he’s asking all sort of silly questions when he should be happy to be fortunate that I changed my mind. 
“I wish to enroll, to join in the competition.”
“Have you accepted…”
“How about me paying?”
“Pay!” He giggled, “you think it’s a chicken change? It’s a competition of great value.”
I knew he’ll disregard all my offer but was desperate to get into the competition, help my school as well as others. 
The champion school gets the award, it’s a yearly competition craved by much music student to play before the governor and others. He may be right, such a big competition will require some huge amount.
“How!” I asked. 
I sat on the bed as my feet crumbled.
“Okay, how much do you have?” He got digressed by the televangelist preaching against immorality, I knew Thomas won’t believe or listen as he changed the channel.
“I have about a hundred thousand…”
He giggled before I could finish, I detest looking at him because I felt him to be a monster.
“You’re always funny, just so funny!” He laughed.
I felt like crying but it wasn’t forth coming.
“Can’t you help me, I really want to be among.”
He sat on the bed close to me, I squirmed as I sensed him by me.
“Some are paying about a million and you’re coming with little change for help.”
I thought of him being right as many politicians must have bribed their children into it.
“When will it be holding?” I asked after a hush.
“Next month or so, don’t really know.”
“Who’re the people representing our school?”
“Halima, Cherish, Dave, Prisca, Kelly…” I cried as he didn’t mention my name.
“How will you put me to be among if I…” I paused as it was too heavy for my mouth. He understood me but wanted me to exclaim it. I wanted to ask, I was about falling but wanted to have some assurance.
“My uncle is a senator and a popular state man, so with his help I can fix in your name.” 
That sounded cool but was it to coax me? “How?” I asked.
“What’s how when you’re living in a man know man country.”
‘How will George feel if I tell him?’ I thought. If he hears that I slept with my music teacher… I was confused as I thought of not doing it, I watched him as he was on his phone. Immediately my phone rang…
“Mother what’s it?” I asked rudely.
“Where’re you?” The connection wasn’t secured as I couldn’t get her clearly, “stay at home and…” It went off.
I was biased of what she was about saying.
“Where’re you going to?” He said as he saw me rushing out.
“My mum is worried, have to meet her.” I rushed out not minding his comment.
“Damn it!” He yelled. He knew that the call came in the wrong time, when I was almost succumbing to his demand. I was still confused of what was happening but wondered why my mum interrupted- was it a bad omen.
All my thoughts turned to the emergency call as I rushed with the leading taxi just to get home quick. The road was crowded that many refused obeying the traffic light and none to punish them. Even our driver was rough they he overtook some cars without notice.
I got to my house rather than seeing my mother’s car the garage was empty, the house was still as I left it, why did mother call?
‘Perhaps it’s to rescue me from destruction.’ I smiled as I threw my bag on the sofa and went for a drink. Immediately the alarm bell rang.
“Hello Juliana!” Christine exclaimed.
We both hugged each other. My long time neighbour who I haven’t seen for long as she after she told me she was traveling to her state- Centre of Excellency.
“Wow, you’re back!”
“Yea, I came back yesterday but couldn’t see you because of the numerous schedule at hand.” She smiled as she sat on the sofa.
“What’s up, how was your journey?” I asked as I offered her a glass of orange juice.
“Good oh, except for the traffic jam, crazy drivers, steady noise… It’s hard thinking to survive there.”
I laughed, “even at the border it’s shown boldly that it’s not like other states.”
“I dey tell you.” She chuckled, “but things are sold on cheaper price there. Like me I bought some dresses at an amount more cheaper than it’ll cost here.”
“Sometimes the cost of transportation affects the price.”
“What cost!” Christine interrupted.
“Ah ah, you think say to transport goods dey easy.” I exclaimed in a funny manner.
“So what’s up how’s George?” She asked.
I turned to her amazingly, “he’s fine I guess.”
“How is you both relationship, gist me!” 
I chuckled, “he’s acting funny.”
“As in?” She was keen to hear.
“I’m not interested in his love or flirting acts…”
“What!” She alarmed, “son of a popular mogul.”
“I ain’t care!” I shrugged my shoulder.
“As in, you well?” She touched my neck, “oh, I see the weather has some effect on you.”
“Christine I’m okay.” I chuckled, “I just can’t do anything flirting with George even though he’s of a wealthy background, but-“
“You hate him!” She interrupted.
“Not really!”
“You have another guy…”
“You’ve turned a lesbian…”
“Christine!” I yelled, “how dare you.”
“Dare what?” She paused, “if na me, huh! I for eh…”
“Do what? Surrender your body?”
“That one easy na.”
“I go surrender even my soul,” I watched as she shook her tiny bosom.
I smirked, “why that?”
She stood up and turned displaying her small stature in her tight red dress. “See shape!”
“What shape?” 
“One or ten because there’s no eight in that body.” I laughed.
“You wey get the figure eight you still dey dull.”
“How?” I asked.
“George love you, na util him follow another girl your eye go open.”
“Okay, you know what? I’ll encourage you both relationship.”
“Abeg oh no do!” She laughed, “your school na rotund figures full, big hips and breast…”
Even if she wasn’t part of my school she was right to that, and immoral acts is like the game for the seniors, even to that I never wished to be like them, to dress in a crazy manner or do some nasty things. Rather I appear on soignee and seems cool with my lifestyle- even though  I’m the target of many in school.
“Not really.” I protested.
“No tell me abeg, is it not Busyminds we know the school.” She stressed.
“Can we change topic because even your school has her own.”
“What?” She asked.
“Check out this trending dress on Zara.” I digressed.
“It’s beautiful!” She examined as she paid closer look at my phone to see it.
“I hear one of the Kardashians got it for a whopping dollar.”
“Those girls are big, I haven’t seen them on screen though.”
“You’re dulling, yours is those crazy street music.” I laughed.
“What’re you trying to say?”
“Don’t be local!”
We laughed.
“I’ve been busy, I’m preparing for my SSCE and…”
“Oh!” I remembered, “have your written the exam?”
“Yea, I wrote it at my hometown.” She said, “you need to see how students were anxious for malpractice.”
“That’s part of the exam.” I shrugged my shoulder, “I hope your holy faith withheld you from committing.”
“Babe, currently A1 without expo na fake.” She sighed, “who wan write am again?”
While she was talking we heard an unsteady knock on the door, ‘who’s that?’ I thought.
While she was talking we heard an unsteady knock on the door, ‘who’s that?’ I thought. It can’t be my mother because hers is light and calm.
“I’m coming.” I got up, arrange my dress and went for the door. Immediately I opened, it was like an ambush. Some men walked in with pistol, one directly at me, which alone quivered me to fear.
“Who’s Juliana?”
My lips were frozen, teeth chilled, breath paused as my eyes were static. I couldn’t day anything not at the motion of a gun at me.
“I don’t know who’s Juliana.” I stuttered.
“Are we fools?”
“No, but I don’t know!” We said simultaneously with fear, “check the next flat.” Christine added coldly.
It didn’t work as they held us hostage.
“If you shout I’ll kill you before your helper come around.” They led us outside and forced us into a squashed Mercedes-Benz. The night was shocking for the compound to be at serenity, like none was around, none saw till they drove off after releasing some bullets to the air.
“Who’s Juliana?” One asked again inside the car. He was beside me with hand around my neck as he gave a wry smile.
We both kept silent, sneering at them as they laughed idiotically at our predicament. I stared at my tied hands and thought of what to do, none was coming through rather fearful thoughts.
“Just cooperate and all will be fine.” 
“Why are you holding us captive, who are you guys? Who’s this Juliana you’re looking for, what’s her fault?” I asked.
It wasn’t funny as they covered our face with some thick clothes that we couldn’t see any not even when they park and dragged us out of the car leading us into a building- looking old and uncompleted as strong whiff of drinks and strong smokes were sensed. I could smell blood as well that alone gave me some belly rumbling.
“Do you know them?” I asked Christine when I guessed the room to be in tranquility.
“Have you encountered them…”
“No, why all these questions perhaps you’re the searched piece.”
“Shhh…!” I exclaimed. I prayed none listen as we couldn’t see through the dark cloth, it was suffocating my patience.
I thought of mother, how would she feel if she hears I’ve been kidnapped, I digressed my thought to prayer that they don’t ask for money.
Suddenly I heard a creaking sound from a far end. I wondered who, what action? My heart was heavy with strong beat.
“God please spare us.” I prayed earnestly wondering if God heard me, if he’ll answer me. Did God love me? Have I offended him unknowingly?
I thought much tearfully.
“Who’s Juliana?” He removed the clothes of our face. I stared around the incomplete building. Nasty and disgusting that cause some wave of nausea swept over me. His face was harsh and scary that took me aback at sight, his deep roaring voice, ripe bumps were displayed around his cheek and scar appeared all over his body.
Neither I nor Christine replied, we displayed our blank face.
“Eh, so una no wan answer…” He giggled.
“Who’re you?” Christine asked.
Her comment was beyond idealism.
“What’s that for?”  He asked.
I stared at Christine with a sorry face. Our hands hands were tight as we sat on the floor with musty smell.
I thought of why was she there, why that moment, why was she held captive. I thought as I was confabulated in mind.
Suddenly my phone rang and it invited a host of them. I forced it out of my pocket.
“Bring that phone.” One of them barked. He grabbed it out of my pocket and answered the call. He put it in loudspeaker as I found out they it was George.
“Who’s this?” He asked.
“Hello, what of Juliana?” George asked.
I watched as some of the gang pointed their gun at me, desperately. 
“Who, don’t get…”
“I’m asking of Juliana, is she around?” George asked.
“No!” Immediately he off the phone. I gazed at him as he gnawed his lips.
I seemed to cry as George had unveiled my name. 
“You’re Juliana.” He stressed. I felt irritated as he caressed my braid, he gestured at his gang as they left the room.
“Now talk to me, you’re Juliana?” He asked.
I stared at him with my wet eyes.
Christine stared at me as I kept silent, she was expecting words from my mouth. Rather than words it was junks about to gush out. “I wanna throw out.” I said.
He ordered for a bowl, I thought I’ll be led out but it wasn’t that’s way as I threw up in the bowl this wasn’t like home where mother will assist me.
“Are you fine now?” He asked. I was gripped with sour surprises as I glared at him as he was squatting by me.
“What do you want?”
“You wanna know what I want?”
I stared at him especially his cruel words.
“The same Juliana dating the son of a sophisticated mogul…” He smiled. I wondered who told him lies- George and I were not fit.
“Wasn’t it him- George they called?”
I turned to Christine astoundedly.
“How do you know him?”
He smiled, “there’s no news under the sun,where are your parents?”
At first I was mute because I felt it was a way to extort money from them. Not till he brought out his pistol did I made any comment.
“They aren’t at home?”
“Are you both sister?” He asked Christine.
“No, but neighbours.”
“Is she Juliana?” 
Christine stared at me.
“Em… Um…”
“Okay, fine what do you want?” I exclaimed as I interrupted.
I stared at him as he giggled.

By penhouse

Jaja Godspower is a creative thinker and business strategist. He an award winning writer, blogger, author and a film maker from Nigeria. He is motivated with the desire to grow brands and businesses through adequate branding and visibility with his writing expertise. He is the founder of Penhouse Initiative, one of the largest growing writing hub in Africa.

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