Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Burnt' Episode 5 by Tunde 'Leye

By Misan Bel   Posted at  5:30 a.m.   Entertainment No comments
The next day was Saturday, so there was no school. Oyiza woke up happy and gay. She hummed a tune as she raced to her room to write her diary. She always wrote in it on Saturday, filling it with everything that had happened during the week. It was where she poured all the things she couldn’t tell anyone else, which she didn’t have the chance to share. Even Inya had never seen it and she had been keeping it for three months now after watching Carly talk about one on an episode of iCarly.

This week had been an interesting one and she couldn’t wait to write. Inya had woken up feeling much better and she felt much lighter after that. She was over Brian already anyway, she didn’t like him so much anymore. As it is with kids at that age, they fall in and out of love commensurate with the length of their lives. The whole insecticide episode and Inya’s attack was behind her and no one else would know. But even as she said this to herself, a thought kept tugging at her mind.

By the time she was done writing, there was a sound at her door and her heart skipped a beat. She was alone in the room. She sighed when it was only her mum. “It’s time to have your bath little woman, a lady always…”

Inya completed the statement with her mum “…always bathes first thing in the morning. Clean ladies are pretty ladies.”

“Good,” Hajara said, as she led Oyiza away. That morning, Donald had spoken with her about his conversation with Oyiza the night before and she had seen clearly that she needed to make an extra effort to reach out to her quieter daughter. “Quiet people are a lot more sensitive and they internalize a lot of hurt. And I am speaking from experience dear. Oyiza needs closer attention.” Donald had said. Starting this morning, she was going to do just that. Inya was already waiting at the bathroom in her dainty bathrobe when they got there.


In the Okwurah house, Brian was at the bottom of the food chain. He was younger by his immediate older brother by ten years. He had overheard his parents mention that having him was a mistake they had no plans for, and he hadn’t doubted it for one minute. He was always treated like an afterthought, left to his own most of the time.

His parents had been away from Nigeria again for two weeks and his two older siblings were in school in Covenant University. He was alone in the house with Aunty Clara. She had been his nanny since they returned to Nigeria about three months before. And in those three months, she had done things to him. But yesterday, he had experienced something new with Inya in school – pleasure. He would assert himself today.

Since they were alone in the house, he knew she would soon call him and he would have to respond. Sure enough, he heard her shrill voice moments later. He rolled off the bed onto his feet and sauntered to the living room. She was seated on the couch, watching Africa Magic, with a wrapper tied across her chest. He had seen ugly black people back in the States, but none came close to her. She was what his elder brother called FUGLY. Her face was meant to be yellow but it had some red patches on the cheeks which he didn’t understand. Her teeth were like a rabbit’s own and she always reminded him of Wreck It Rabbit. But below her face, she was hot, or so he had heard his elder brother, Charles saying regularly. He remembered one day he had heard Charles tell his friend that he would not mind “slamming” Aunty Clara as long as he had a pillow over her face otherwise seeing it would make him go limp. His friend had laughed so hard and Brian had wondered what was so funny about slamming someone or going limp.

But now, he wasn’t thinking of all that. His ordeal was about to begin.

“So you want me to come and wake you up abi?” she barked.

“I was waiting for you to call Aunty Clara,” he responded.

“Foolish child, you don’t know how to say ma abi, see the way you are calling my name as if you were there when they gave me the name,” she said, eyes blazing.

Brian wished he was bigger so he could punch her face and make it uglier. Whenever his parents or brothers were around, she was always the sweetest, most doting nanny one could imagine but the moment they left and she as alone with him, she would become evil like Ursula from little mermaid. There was a day she made him kneel down and carry a stool over his head until his hands ached and the floor was drenched in sweat, while she sat watching some blasted movie on Africa Magic. She always threatened to deal with him if he ever breathed one word, and from the way she already dealt with him, he decided that not talking would be best, lest she increase the dealings with him. She had started something new like a month ago though.

She would strip him naked and then ask him to lie down. She would then sit on top of him and move up and down, closing her eyes and groaning like an evil spirit. He would get so hot and her weight would press him down so much he would want to yell, but after she dealt with him the first time he yelled, he never yelled again. He simply lay there and let her move until she began to shake profusely and then fell on him, rolling of him and lying down. She would then whisper in a sinister manner

“I am only repaying you for the way your brothers use me every time they come home, simple payback. And as I don’t tell anybody, if you tell anybody, I will deal ruthlessly with you”.

He had never tested the strength of that threat. Today, she was requesting a variety of that scenario.

“Sit on the chair’s edge!” she ordered as she increased the volume of the TV.

He obeyed and she undid her wrapper. As she was about to straddle him, he summoned up courage and said “I don’t want to do it like this.”

Clara was taken aback. Brian had always obeyed without saying anything and she preferred it that way. It helped her rationalize that if his brothers could be raping her repeatedly under this roof, then she would strike back at the family anyway she could and Brian was fair game.

“What are you saying, you rat!” she said, scowling.

“I said that I don’t enjoy it like this. I wanna do it different.” Brian said impetuously.

“Who gave you the mouth to talk? What do you even know about doing anything that is making you talk about different? Is it not only what I have taught you that you know?”

“I have a girlfriend now, and she does it differently and I enjoy it the way she does it,” Brian said in a voice he imagined was grownup.

Clara threw her head back and laughed. “See this one? Who dashed you girlfriend,” she said in the midst of teary-eyed laughter.

“She made me shake the way you shake. And I know what the shaking feels like too now. So you have to make me shake too as I make you shake, otherwise…” he said.

“Sharrap there! Who gave you mouth to talk? You think this is about your enjoyment? Do your brothers think of my enjoyment when they use me? I do anything and everything they want without asking questions and you will do the same now!” she shouted. As she shouted, she recalled images of being tied up by the two vermin that the older Okwurah boys were, while the boys tried things they had watched in movies on her body until they were exhausted. So this little rat too thought he could do like his older brothers and enjoy her without giving her pleasure abi? He was already beginning to show their evil signs of selfishness at this early age. Anger welled up within her. She would teach him a lesson.

Brian cowered under her verbal assault. He didn’t know what to do and he fidgeted. “I will deal with you! You asked for it,” she continued. She then dragged him to the corner and forced him on his knees and placed the stool on his hand. He began to shake even before it touched his hands. “Please Aunty Clara,” he begged but his begging only made her angrier.

She went into the kitchen and got a knife. She waved it before his eyes viciously and said “if your hand drops before this movie finishes, I will throw this knife at you!”

The fear crept into his eyes as he watched her go and sit down, and then she fixed her eyes unwaveringly on him. Once, when he got tired, his hands dropped and the knife flew past his face faster than he could react. Thankfully, it missed. She walked past him to go and retrieve it. “This time I missed, but I won’t miss again,” she said. No matter how his hands ached after that, he didn’t drop them.


“Your Aunty Laraba is getting married next month and she wants you Inya to be her little bride,” Hajara announced at the breakfast table. Inya yelped in excitement.

Everyone was seated at the table, even the fully dressed Donald. He decided to have breakfast quickly with the family before heading out for the weekend’s round of meetings. The NCC Chairman was in town to see him.

“Hold on, hold on, hold on, I’m not finished,” Hajara said as she struck her plate with the fork. When Inya became quiet, she continued “and she is coming from Abuja,” she paused dramatically until the girls couldn’t take it and Oyiza shrieked “wheeeeeeen!”

Laughing, Hajara told them their aunt had taken the first flight and had called her that she was on her way from the airport already. The girls began to chatter excitedly. Aunty Laraba was their favorite aunt. She always got them beautiful dresses when she came, plus storybooks for Oyiza and the reigning dolls for Inya. She just always seemed to know what to come with for the girls. And she could tell the most amazing stories and always listened to whatever they wanted to say when she was in Lagos.

“Idris, confirm that the housekeeper has fixed up the guestroom for her after breakfast. She’ll be here anytime soon, since there shouldn’t be traffic from the mainland today.”

Idris got up to go and do as he was asked. He had been super quiet all through the meal but no one took any notice. Not long after he left, Donald kissed his girls on the forehead and took his leave.

The children’s piano teacher came not long after and they went into the music room with him.

“I hope you have practiced your scales,” he said without a smile. He was the dourest possible piano teacher in the whole wide world but he was really good with the piano. Oyiza sat down and ran her scales perfectly in one go. She stood up and bowed dramatically to an imaginary audience and Inya scoffed. Silly showoff, Inya thought. When did she even practice the scales?

Inya went to the piano and touched the keys gingerly. The truth was that she really didn’t like music, but her dad always went on and on about how he knew they would soon be doing piano twin recitals and all that she didn’t want to disappoint him. She would rather sit and dress the dolls she had than touch the piano. Now, she looked at the keys and wasn’t even sure which scales she was supposed to run.

“Inya, we are waiting,” the teacher’s stern voice reminded her. She began to strike the keys in hope that she would at least play something that would pass for the scales. She wasn’t halfway through when the teacher shouted “stop it, stop it!”

She turned to look at him and his yellow face had gone red as if he was going to have a heart attack.

“I am going to have to tell your dad about how unserious you are with your music lessons. Didn’t your sister just run the scales with pristine perfection?”

Inya did not know what pristine meant but she could make out that it meant very very great. Oyiza tried to explain to the teacher “she had an attack this week so couldn’t…”

The teacher hushed her. It stung Inya that she needed to get Oyiza’s sympathy.

“I am going to have to tell your father about this,” he said.

Inya thought about it. A thought occurred to her and she stood up from the piano. Picking her steps with as much grace as she could muster, she walked towards the teacher and hugged him from behind. Because he was sitting down, she was about his height and so she whispered into his ears “please don’t tell daddy, it’ll make him so sad. I’ll do better next week.”

As she said this, she ran her small hands down his sides.

The teacher was shocked. If he didn’t know better, he would think that Inya was trying to seduce him. He waved the thought away. She was just sorry and was trying to pacify him. Maybe that was how they did in all these ajebuta houses.

“Okay, I won’t tell your daddy this time. But you have to try much harder with your piano lessons.” His voice was much calmer.

Wow, Inya thought. Uncle Idris had been right. It had worked! She had found the key to escaping bad situations. She said meekly “I promise I will.”

Oyiza watched the whole drama that had just unfolded before her wide-eyed. It was as if Inya had worked some magic as she touched the teacher. Was this how Inya had convinced Brian to become her friend so quickly yesterday? Was it Uncle Idris that taught her? Was this what he had been trying to teach her the night before? But she knew what he had been trying to teach her was bad, otherwise, why did he hide under the bed when daddy came in?

Inya’s shriek brought her out of her thoughts. “Aunty is here!” she screamed with excitement. She turned around and saw a smiling Aunty Laraba coming towards them. She joined Inya shrieking and the events she had just witnessed took the backseat in her mind instantly. They both rushed towards her and almost toppled her when they jumped on her together.

The piano teacher packed his books. He was sure piano lessons for the day were over.

Monday, 7 October 2013

'Burnt' Episode 4

By Misan Bel   Posted at  3:29 p.m.   Entertainment No comments
Donald returned to a quiet house. The last few days had been super stressful, with his company’s ongoing acquisition of the fourth largest CDMA network in the country. It was his thought that data was the key to making money from telecoms in the future, and he was about to put his money where his mouth was. In other saner places, the acquisition would have been a straightforward business transaction. But in Nigeria, as usual, it was a different ballgame entirely, with political, regional and all other nonsense undertones. He knew he would be getting home too late to see the girls now, so he decided to make a quick stop in their room and just look at them before heading across the gym to their own room. It would turn out to be one of the most fateful decisions he would ever make.

The moment he opened the door, he sensed that something was not right. He felt around for the switch and turned the lights on. He took two quick strides into the room and saw Inya shaking, with Oyiza sleeping peacefully by her side. Quickly, he picked her up and got her seating with her back against the wall. He started shouting “Hajara! Hajara!” she didn’t respond, she probably didn’t hear him. He was torn between leaving the girl shaking here and going to get the inhaler in his room or not.

Thankfully, he remembered the intercom they had installed in the girls’ room and taught them to use once it was past their bedtime and they needed to talk to mummy or daddy. It had been his idea. He picked it up and dialed his room. Hajara picked up on the second ring.

“Hajara, get the inhaler and meet me in the girls’ room now!” he ordered, skipping any pleasantries.

He had barely dropped the phone when the door opened. That was fast, he thought. Then he looked up and saw it was Idris, wearing just shorts and a singlet.

“Uncle, is anything the matter? I heard you shouting now,” he asked.

“Inya is having an attack!” Donald said, and Idris’ eyes went to the wall where Inya was backed up against. By now, Oyiza had woken up. Of course she had been awake when her father had come in but she pretended to be asleep. With all this commotion though, she couldn’t act asleep any longer without raising any suspicion. She got up, rubbing her eyes and asked “what is it, why is everyone here?”

“Your sister is having an attack,” Donald answered. “Ow!” Oyiza remarked, feigning as much surprise as she could manage.

“Where the hell is this woman?” Donald bellowed.

Idris got up to go and check on her but just as he got to the door, it swung open unexpectedly, hitting him in the face and sending him reeling backwards onto the floor. An onrushing Hajara practically climbed over him mumbling apologies. She rushed the Ventolin inhaler to the child, carrying her as she administered it. As Idris gathered himself off the floor, his eyes caught something gleaming under Oyiza’s covers.

Donald was already dialing the doctor’s number. If the inhaler didn’t work, they would have to get her to the hospital and get the drugs administered intravenously. He hoped it wouldn’t get to that.

Twenty minutes later, Inya had become stable and everyone in the room heaved a sigh of relief. Donald insisted that she come and join them in the master bedroom so they could watch over her for the night. One by one, everyone left the room, leaving Oyiza alone. The circus was leaving, she thought, as she settled into the bed to sleep. She didn’t bother to turn the lights out, she could sleep with them on. She felt so alone already. Turning the lights out would only make it even worse.

As she began to doze off, she heard the door open. She wondered who had come back for her. Maybe they would come to ask her too to come and sleep in mummy and daddy’s room. She really wanted to, but no one had asked her. It was only Uncle Idris. She flopped back into the bed as he took a seat beside her.

“Inya stole Brian from you shay?” Idris asked.

“She always steals everyone from me. Everyone!” Oyiza found herself saying with more vehemence than she meant to let off. The resentment she always tried to deny she felt was beginning to boil over now.

“Even your mummy and daddy?” Idris asked, leading her on.

“See the way they have taken her to be with them and left only me here. It’s always Inya Inya Inya Inya! Do they even want me Uncle?”

“But isn’t Uncle Idris always there for you? Am I not the one that has come to stay with you even now when all the others have left to follow Inya?” he asked.

She thought for a few moments and then nodded “yes uncle, you are always there. Always, always.” She smiled a little.

He lifted her up and put her on his laps. “Unlike everyone else, I’ll always be your friend. I’m never going to leave with Inya, I’ll always be there for you.”

Oyiza liked this. She snuggled up to uncle Idris, wishing daddy or mummy would rock her like this, the way they had rocked Inya minutes ago. Her eyes were closed and she was falling asleep when she felt something creep between her legs. Instantly, she was awake and it was then she saw Uncle Idris hands inside her pajamas. She immediately jumped up from his laps.

“Uncle, why are you touching me there? It is bad for you to touch me there.” Her eyes were now wide open.

“What is the problem?” Idris said, livid. “Don’t I touch you there when I’m bathing you?”

“That is different uncle, you are not bathing me now,” Oyiza said with as much firmness as she could muster.

“So you want to be finally alone? Everyone always leaves you. Do you want me to leave you too? You will be a lonely, lonely little girl when I’m no longer your friend.”

“But you were my friend before Uncle, and you never touched me like that. Why do you have to touch me to be my friend now?” Oyiza asked, puzzled.

Idris hadn’t thought she would have clear logic as strong as that. He groped around in his mind for a valid comeback but found none. She got up and went to the door, about to leave the room. He quickly stood up and raced to the door to block it. Oyiza remembered things much better than Inya and she was much smarter at saying what she remembered in detail than Inya. He had no doubt that she would go straight to her parents, wake them up and tell them everything. If Inya also spoke up, he was a goner.

“Where are you going to?” he asked.

“I am going to mummy and daddy’s room, I want to go and sleep there.” Oyiza answered.

“And why don’t you want to sleep in your own room. They didn’t call you, did they? Weren’t you planning to sleep here before?” Idris asked, angry that this little girl was trying play coy and outsmart him.

“I just want to go uncle,” she responded, raising her voice.

Idris saw the unspoken threat. If she shouted loud enough for her parents to come, kasala would burst. He held her shoulders and said quietly “stop shouting!”

Ignoring him, Oyiza said even louder “Uncle you’re hurting me. Let me go!”

In times of desperation, ideas flash through one’s mind at super speed. Idris was desperate and his mind groped for something to shut his niece up. His mind flashed through all those episodes of Crime and Investigation he had watched where people committed murders in situations like this just to shut people up and solve the immediate problem. They always ended up creating bigger problems for themselves and he was ashamed he even allowed the thought of killing his niece creep into his mind. He discarded the thought and many others raced through his mind, until he remembered something he had seen earlier. His frenetic mind made the connections quicker than it would have if he hadn’t been desperate and he knew he had struck gold.

“I know your little secret,” Idris said to her as he fell on one knee to be at eyelevel with her.

Her eyes shifted and his suspicion was confirmed. She indeed had that secret.

“What? Which secret?” she asked, her voice considerably lowered.

“How did Inya’s asthma attack start today?” Idris asked jeeringly.

“Everybody knows Inya’s asthma can come anytime,” Oyiza said, flustered. If she had been any older, she would have done a much better job at hiding what was going on inside her. But at eight, all those types of wiles were yet to be developed. Idris read her like an open book.

He simply stood up and walked to the bed and pulled out the can of insecticide from under her sheets. She ran up to him and tried to snatch it out of his hands but he held it out of her reach.

“I saw what you did. I saw everything. You used this to cause Inya’s attack while she was sleeping, because of Brian!” he said. From her reaction, he knew his guess was correct. She held her head down, as good as if she had said yes.

Idris smiled lasciviously and sat back on the bed.

“But Uncle Idris is your friend, and he won’t tell on you. He’s not like everybody else who wants to hurt you. He just needs you to be a good girl and nobody will hear your secret.”

Oyiza looked up, shy and defeated.

“You promise?” she asked.

“I promise, promise!” Idris said emphatically, crossing his heart.

She stood where she was, fidgeting until Idris tapped his laps and said “come and sit here.”

She obeyed and walked up to him gingerly. He lifted her up to his laps and began to reach into her pajamas again. She closed her eyes and tried to shut everything else out.

The house was extremely quiet; otherwise Idris would not have heard it on time. Before he could reach into her panties, he heard a sound of someone approaching. He surveyed the room. “Shit!” he exclaimed and Oyiza opened her eyes. “What?” she said, glad for whatever had given her respite. He dumped her on the bed and looked around the room like a hungry animal. The door began to creak open. He looked to the bathroom, but realized he couldn’t get there quickly enough before the door opened so he fell heavily to the ground and rolled under the bed, pulling the sheets down to cover the side he was.

He heard Donald speaking with Oyiza. His teeth were almost chattering. “I should have stayed out and let him see me. Then I would have been able to explain myself. But if he finds me under the bed, it will be so damning that it won’t be explainable,” he thought to himself. He hoped that Oyiza would shut her mouth.

“Zaza, you haven’t slept?” Donald said.

“I couldn’t sleep daddy, I was worried about Inya,” she said.

“Why didn’t you come over to stay with her then,” Donald quizzed.

“Because you and mummy didn’t ask me to come along. I thought I should stay back since I wasn’t called,” Oyiza responded.

“Zaza, you should have come if you wanted to. You didn’t have to wait to be called,” Donald said.

“Really daddy?” Oyiza said, sounding very happy. To Idris, it was because she could leave the room with her dad that she was happy. In reality, the little girl was happy because she had discovered that she didn’t have to ask or be called to be a part of her family. She was a part of it already and she should just live it.

Idris let out a sigh of relief when he heard the door close and the room became quiet. He waited for another five minutes before rolling out from under the bed and making his way quietly to his own room in the darkness. He hoped the leverage the insecticide gave him over Oyiza was enough to keep her mouth shut.

Ethiopian underdogs VS Nigeria

By Misan Bel   Posted at  2:49 p.m.   SPORTS No comments
Ethiopian underdogs train under the blistering morning sun for hours in their matching blue jerseys and red shorts. At this crucial stage in the 2014 World Cup Africa zone qualifiers, the team knows that every minute of training counts if they are going up against the Nigerian footballers in their toughest qualifying match on Sunday 13th, October 2013.

'We have tried to prepare them physically as well as mentally in the first week and now we are doing our tactical work and we will continue in the coming few days to combine the two,' said Ethiopian 'Waliya Antelopes' coach Sewnet Bishaw, as his team waged a practice match behind him.

Having played Nigeria last January at the Africa Cup of Nations, Ethiopia are familiar with the strength of Nigeria's 'Super Eagles', who won the game 2-0 before moving on to win the lift the trophy in South Africa.

'We are ready for this match, we are very ready. We learned a lesson from the mistakes we made last time,' said midfielder Menyahil Teshome.

Coach Sewnet said despite Ethiopia's defeat, the Nigerian squad is not a better team and the 'Waliyas' maintained their strength until the last 10 minutes of the game.

'If you look seriously at that match, Nigeria was not a better team than us. Up to the (end) we were performing good. But in the last 10 minutes they used their experience, so they got two penalties,' he said.

'I think we will have a better game in the coming match against Nigeria,' Sewnet said.
But he admits training has been set back by the absence of the team's four professional players, including star striker Saladin Said, who are expected early this week.

Ethiopia -- a country better known for their renowned runners than their footballers -- have amazed supporters by making it this far in the qualifiers.

Menyahil said his team, regarded as underdogs among powerful African national football teams like Ghana and Ivory Coast, is bolstered by a strong sense of nationalism and a refusal to be intimidated.

'Our strength is our team spirit,' he said, sweating after training at Addis Ababa's national stadium, which is lined with posters of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

'We have nothing to fear. Until now, we've been supported by our people,' added Menyahil, who was fielded illegally in a match against Botswana, costing the team three points.

Though preventing Nigeria from scoring away goals is crucial if Ethiopia want to precede, coach Sewnet said the team is focused on both defending and attacking, and is not prioritizing one over the other.

And while he insists he is focusing on winning each match individually, instead of pressuring his team to reach Brazil, he does not scoff at the idea of making it to the World Cup.
'Why not? I don't know Brazil, so I want to see it,' he joked.

The return match is scheduled for Calabar in south-east Nigeria on November 16 and the aggregate winners qualify for the World Cup.

[source: supersport]

Friday, 4 October 2013

Good Samaritan 8 Year Old Turns in $1450 Cash Found in Park!

By Misan Bel   Posted at  11:49 a.m.   World No comments
8 year old finds and turns in $1450 cash
8 year old Max Parenti was walking with his dog and his dad in an Exeter, N.H., park when he saw something in the grass. It turned out to be $1,450 (about N232,000) in cash, lost last month by a local shop owner, Cheri Smith, on the walk to her car.

When Parenti asked his dad if they were going to keep the money, he told him, "Keeping it is no different from taking it."

So together, the father and son took the money to the police station the next morning, where the officers gave Parenti a hero's welcome for returning the lost cash and reunited the money with its owner.

A grateful and impressed Smith sent him a card and $100 as a reward for his good deed. She told Yahoo Shine: "I grew up in this town and raised my kids here, and it really is the place it is because of people like Max’s parents, who used the opportunity to teach him,"

What does he plan to do with his $100 reward? Watch the video below to find out!

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

'Burnt' Episode 3 by Tunde Leye

By Misan Bel   Posted at  12:30 p.m.   Entertainment No comments
Oyiza was super excited about going to school today. After all, she was going to get to see Brian again. When they got into the car, Inya jumped into the front seat as usual but she couldn’t care less. Inya could have Uncle Idris all to herself for as long as she liked.
In the front, Idris debated internally on whether he should try to ask Inya on the ride. He decided that it wasn’t a good idea. Oyiza was known to be one who could repeat any conversation she had heard almost word for word if she wanted to. Even if Oyiza didn’t quite understand what they said, if she blurted out to his sister or her husband, they would surely decode it. He played loud music on the journey and drove as if he was in a hurry to get to their school on time. And he did. They arrived in the school about fifteen minutes earlier than usual and the school car park area was not yet as rowdy as it would be in a few minutes.
Immediately the car stopped and the pop sound informed the girls that he had unlatched the child lock, they threw the doors open, each for different reasons. Inya wanted to get away from Uncle Idris fast, and Oyiza simply couldn’t wait to see Brian. The way they bolted surprised Idris. He hadn’t been expecting them to leave so suddenly. Leaving the engine running, he undid his seatbelt and tumbled out of the car to try to catch Inya. Oyiza had already left her behind. Inya was asthmatic and she couldn’t keep up with her sister. Idris caught up with her in three quick bounds. For the first time since yesterday, they were alone.
He fell on one knee and came to the level of her face. She trembled all over, unable to still herself.
“Inya, why are you shaking? Are you afraid of me?” Idris asked
“No Uncle,” she managed to whisper in a small voice. Fear was good, Idris thought. He could use that. “Did you tell your mummy our little secret?” he asked. She didn’t answer. “Oh my God” he thought. Her hesitation meant she had said something.
“You couldn’t keep a secret. I’ll just ask Aisha to teach Oyiza herself so she can be the one that becomes Brian’s friend,” he said.
“I did not tell on you Uncle. But I don’t like this thing, it doesn’t make me feel pretty at all. I felt dirty,” she said.
“Do you think Aisha is dirty?” Idris asked her.
She shook her head vigorously. Aunty Aisha was always pretty just like Genevieve.
“Good, and she does that everytime, and even more. You try it with Brian and if he becomes your friend, I’ll teach you more to keep him if you want.”
Inya was confused. If what Uncle Idris was saying was true, then she just didn’t know again. There was only one way to be sure if what he was saying was true.
“So we are cool again, yeah?” he asked.
She nodded.
“Talk to me now, Inya,” Idris said beseechingly.
“Okay Uncle Idris.” She said and then raced away. Idris heaved a sigh of relief as he watched her go. That had gone well. He had established she hadn’t told anyone and he could manipulate her to keep it that way. He gathered himself together, got up and walked back to the car slowly.
When Inya got into the classroom, she spotted Oyiza playfully chatting away with Brian, looking all cheery. Jealousy welled up within her but she held her nose in the air and acted like she didn’t take any notice of them. When she got to her seat, she said hello to all her friends and they began to chat about the iCarly episode of the previous day on Nickelodeon.
“Brian is going to be our friend by the end of today.” Inya declared suddenly in the middle of their chit chat. The other four became quiet. They hadn’t forgotten how he embarrassed them the previous day.
Basirat spoke up “how are you so sure Inya?”
“Because Inya always gets what Inya wants. And Inya wants Brian to be our friend.” Inya responded. Then like a little general marshalling her troops, she began to dish out directives.
“Basirat, tell Kingsley he will be leaving his seat to go and be with Oyiza after break time.” Kingsley was the boy that sat next to Basirat and he would do what she asked. Inya turned to Charles and continued “Charles, you will help me go and tell Brian something. I will tell you quietly in your ear and you will tell him quietly too. No one else must hear it. After break time, we will change how we are sitting like this,” she pointed as she spoke to make it clear “so that I will be next to Brian when he comes to seat with us.”
They all didn’t move at first. Inya urged them on “go now, before Miss Kunat comes in”. That spurred them on and they all set about carrying out her instructions.
Oyiza watched Charles come and whisper something to Brian. She didn’t say anything about it. She didn’t want to do anything to make him angry, and she had seen her daddy get angry at her mummy at times when she asked many questions. She simply smiled and they continued talking until Miss Kunat came in and took the roll call. By the time they were doing social studies, she had forgotten about Charles’ whispering.
When it was break time, Brian escorted her to the playground and they went back to the swings, giggling. After a few moments, Kingsley came to call Brian. He said Miss Kunat was calling him. Oyiza thought the day over to see if they had done anything bad that would make their class teacher want to see Brian now. As if he read her thoughts, he said reassuringly “I’m sure it is something about my transfer. I’ll be right back.” Then he was gone. Oyiza had never felt so alone before. And she waited and waited, but Brian did not come back before the break was over. To her little mind, the fifteen minutes she waited till the end of the break time seemed like an eternity.
When Brian got to the classroom, it was empty. All the pupils were out for break and the teachers had gone to catch up on the latest gossip. In the corner at the back of the room, Inya stood. He went to her with a little scowl on his face.
“So what do you want?” he said with as much sternness as he could muster in his pre-puberty voice.
“I can give you something that your girlfriend cannot give you,” Inya said with a knowing smile as she moved closer.
“What is it? Let me see it,” he said skeptically.
“I’ll have to show you.” She responded. By now she was in front of him, transformed from the little girl to a manipulative woman by the knowledge she had while he lost all the manliness he was trying to put forward and became a little boy. Even before she did anything, she knew the tables were turned. She was now in the driver’s seat.
The male uniform was a shirt tucked into a pair of shorts. The waistband was elastic and did not require a belt. She easily pulled this down along with his underwear. He was nowhere near Uncle Idris in size. She could definitely get him to shake like he did. He tried to resist half-heartedly before he relaxed and fell into a chair. Then she really began. When he shook, she knew it was his first time. Uncle Idris was right. She had him in her power now and would be hers alone.
Oyiza walked slowly to the classroom after the break. She kept looking around as she went, expecting Brian to join her so she could walk into the class majestically with him by her side. It didn’t happen. She peeped into the staffroom to see if he was there. Miss Kunat wasn’t there and neither was Brian. They had probably rushed to the class after break, she reasoned.
When she got into the class, her eyes went straight to her seat. In place of Brian, she saw Kingsley seated beside her desk. She bounded over to him and demanded angrily
“Why are you sitting on Brian’s chair? Get up before he comes or I will report you to Miss Kunat!”
“It’s no longer Brian’s seat. He exchanged with me.”
Oyiza’s head immediately shot up and she looked towards Inya’s side of the class. She knew that was where Kingsley normally sat. He was one of those who wasn’t cute enough to be amongst Inya’s four but still hung on to them. Sure enough, Brian was there, right beside Inya. Kanayo had moved to Kingsley’s former seat and Brian had taken his own to Inya’s left. She rubbed her eyes in disbelief. What had happened to “No! Never!” from yesterday? No wonder she had waited and waited. She knew immediately that the whole Miss Kunat is calling you thing was planned and that Brian had been in on the plan. It must have been what Charles had come to whisper to him in the morning. Hot tears welled up in her eyes. Inya had done it again; she had stolen the only friend Oyiza had. She began to walk angrily towards them when Miss Kunat walked in and said firmly “children, the break is over. All, to your seats and keep quiet for the next lesson.” She stopped in her tracks and turned back slowly. She had never felt so alone before in her life. In the space of twenty four hours, her little heart had fallen in love, and then had itself blown to smithereens.
Oyiza sat through the rest of school that day impatiently. The moment the closing bell rang and Miss Kunat left the classroom, she sped towards Inya’s corner. Ignoring all the other kids, she addressed Brian.
“Why did you lie to me? You did not go to Miss Kunat during break.”
Avoiding her gaze, Brian answered “I had to do something and didn’t want you to be there,” he blurted out.
“So you just left me alone? And now you have moved to this place to sit with them? You have left me alone!” she waved her hand around as she spoke, her little body shaking with the emotions she could not understand at that age.
When he didn’t answer, her eyes flashed and she continued “I did not ask you to be my friend. I was happy the way I was, and you came to make me think you would be my friend. Why? Why didn’t you just leave me alone? And now you have left me alone.” Then to Inya, she said “are you happy now?”
Then she turned away before the tears came. She would not let them have the pleasure of seeing her cry. She went back to the swings in the now deserted playground and let the tears come. They would soon come to get them. She dried her eyes and decided there and then that it would be the last time she cried because of anyone. They all just always left.
“Normalcy restored” was the first thought that came into Hajara’s mind when Inya was the boisterous one when she got home that evening. She quickly mentally corrected herself. “Where is your sister?” she asked Inya when Oyiza didn’t come to the door to greet her.
Inya pointed to the corner where Oyiza was curled up with a copy of her fairytale. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that she would have normally shut the book to greet her, but now totally acted like she hadn’t heard her come in.
“Oyiza, you won’t come and greet mummy?” she said.
This time, it was Inya that was dancing around the living room while Oyiza slammed the book closed angrily and letf the living room. Hajara was about to get angry and follow her to scold her when Idris quickly gave Hajara a rundown of how Brian had now decamped to Inya and how Oyiza was taking it. Hajara calmed down. She was glad that today, unlike yesterday, she would be here to be the one to comfort her daughter.
When she got to the room, the lights were turned out. She sat beside on the bed and lifted her sobbing daughter to her laps, rocking her back and forth, whispering soothing words to her. But Oyiza had already made her mind up. She would get back to Inya.
Now that they were alone, Inya told Idris about how she had tried the things with Brian and how he had been following her around like a puppy since then. When she was done, she asked him intently
“When do I learn more things?”
Idris was almost taken aback by the boldness with which she asked. She had gone from the shy and angry girl in the morning to an enthusiastic “student” now. He smiled that lascivious smile again and said “we will find a way to create your lesson time.”
Hajara walked in with Oyiza just as he was saying this and she smiled “someone is changing and is now interested in her lessons! Uncle Idris is a miracle worker.” She smiled.
Idris heaved a sigh of relief. That was close. He hadn’t heard Hajara come in, but he was glad she hadn’t heard the earlier parts of the conversation. He put on a plastic smile and said “yes o, she wants to be top of her class from now on and Uncle Idris has no choice but to help her.”
As they laughed, Oyiza’s little mind seethed. Even though mummy had promised to never leave her alone, the moment they came into the living room, it was as if they forgot she was there and the whole talk became about Inya. She would get back at her for always stealing everything to herself.
That night, after dinner, their mum tucked them in and Oyiza acted as if she was asleep. The moment her mum stepped out of the room, she checked to make sure Inya was really asleep. She was. She reached under the bed and retrieved the can of odorless insecticide she had brought into the room. She shook the can well as she had seen her mum do and then sprayed it directly over her asthmatic sister. It didn’t take two minutes before Inya woke up to a violent asthma attack.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Shopping Mall Shoot Out and Hostages Situation In Kenya

By Misan Bel   Posted at  4:00 a.m.   World No comments
Like something from an Action-packed movie but much worse because it is so real, Kenya shoot out is still a shock! Watch video below for a brief summary of the report from REUTERS.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

'Burnt' Episode 2 by Tunde Leye

By Misan Bel   Posted at  11:00 a.m.   Entertainment No comments
Hajara ran one of the prime makeup studios on the island. With her enterprise and her husband’s backing, she had grown it into one of the biggest brands around. Just recently, she had launched her own line of beauty products and it was an instant sellout. Owning her own business which was flexible was a compromise, one she had come to with Donald. He had been opposed to her doing any sort of work, insisting that he made more than enough to provide for his family. But she would have none of it and almost took up a job. They had gone back and forth on the issue until they eventually agreed that she would work, but it would be her own business and it would not be a boutique, events management, consulting or all the high stress, plenty traveling type of work. Makeup had been a perfect fit and it was one of her passions. It was one of her greatest sources of pride that she had been able to build the business herself and it was uber-successful.
That evening as she returned home from the studio, Hajara was surprised by her daughters. First, Oyiza was the one who greeted her at the door. Even before she sat down, her daughter was regaling with tales of how great school had been that day, uncharacteristically talkative of her. Normally, Inya would be the one who met her at the door, while Oyiza was curled up on the sofa watching TV or reading some of her beloved storybooks. When she was able to get a word out in, between Oyiza’s stories, she asked
“Where is Inya? Is she well?”
Oyiza snickered as she responded “she’s being a cry baby who wants to see you her mummy in the room. She’s been there the since we came back from school.”
“What happened to her?” Hajara asked as she hurried towards the girls’ room.
Oyiza went after her, recounting the episode involving Brian as she did. Hajara was relieved that it wasn’t some physical ailment that had brought her daughter down. But thinking about it again, she knew this would probably hit her more than any sickness could. If the tables had been turned and Oyiza was the one who had experienced what Inya did, she would not have been this worried. But with Inya, it was a different matter. She had learnt long ago that things affected them differently.
She got to the room and quickly opened the door, with Oyiza right behind her. Inya was curled up in one corner of the bed with her back to the door. If she was awake, she did not show any signs of being so. Hajara looked sternly at Oyiza and waved a finger in warning so that she would behave herself and not gloat.
She sat down on the bed and touched her daughter, waiting for her to stir if she was awake. When nothing happened, she guessed Inya was asleep and shook her a little.
Inya had hoped that they would leave her alone when they came in and she pretended to be asleep. She really did not want to talk to anybody. She felt dirty and disgusted with what Uncle Idris had made her do hours earlier. She had thought it was going to be some nice lessons like things she watched on Barney and Friends, but it hadn’t been anything like that. She shut the memory away, trying to pretend that it hadn’t happened. He had made her touch him and touch him until her hands ached, yet he didn’t let her stop.
Then suddenly, his eyes had looked funny and he shook as if something was wrong with him. She was about to scream when he hushed her up and then looked at her in a way she would never forget and told her “if you do this to Brian and he shakes like this, he will be your friend alone.”
Then he had taken her to the bathroom, given her a warm bath and taken her back into the room. Before he left, he had warned her sternly “if you tell anyone about this, you will never have any friends again because of this secret.”
She could never look at Uncle Idris the same way again after that, but she would not tell anybody. She didn’t want to be alone.
She turned and stretched like she was just waking up. “Good evening mummy!” she said putting on a fake smile. When Hajara saw her daughter smile, she let out a sigh of relief. She touched Inya’s neck to feel her temperature and it was normal
“How are you? Were you so tired from school that you slept so much?” she asked.
“I was sad when I came back from school, but Uncle Idris came to cheer me up and I’m happy again.” Inya said sweetly.
The honking of a car horn cut into their conversation. The two girls screeched in unison “Daddy!” and raced out of the room. Hajara let them go and meet their father, while she went into the kitchen to fix dinner. She met Idris there, taking a drink from the two-door refrigerator. She wondered what she would do without him now as per the girls; he was so good with them. She was glad he had helped handle Inya’s tantrums and cheered her up this afternoon. A house-help would definitely have ignored the girl.
“Good evening aunty,” he said.
“Idris how are you. I hear you had to stop a civil war between the girls today and cheer one of the parties up. Thank you o.” she laughed as she said this.
Idris looked like he was embarrassed for being thanked for helping with the girls. Hajara placed a hand on his shoulder and said seriously “seriously, thanks for being so great with the girls.” Then she turned and opened the chest freezer and said, “Now, what to warm for dinner…”
Idris quickly escaped from the kitchen. He wondered if Inya had blurted out anything. His sister had never thanked him about the girls and it was suspicious that she suddenly did so today. When he got to the living room, their daddy was already back with one of his friends that came to the house a lot, Mr. Udoh. He knew he would not have the chance to be alone with Inya till morning. He bit his fingers.
“Chief Idris,” the loud Udoh was saying, slapping him on the back. “Shay we will not find you wife like this, with this everlasting ASUU strike that is not ending.” Udoh and Donald roared with laughter and Idris quickly joined in. As Udoh sat down, he called Inya to come and sit on his laps. “Inyus Inyus peperempe, come and sit on uncle’s laps now,” he said in his rambunctious way. Normally, Inya would have raced to go and sit there, but today, she seemed to be hesitant, looking to Idris. Inside her, Inya trembled. The laps were so close to where she had touched Uncle Idris today. She didn’t want to be anywhere near anyone’s laps. Idris tried to avoid her gaze, so that it would not be obvious. He broke out in sweat inside the air-conditioned room.
“Inya, what is it?” Donald asked, noticing the way his daughter tensed up at Udoh’s request.
Idris quickly jumped in “Inya, go and answer Uncle Udoh now,” he said tersely with a sideways nod of his head in Udoh’s direction.
Inya walked gingerly to Udoh and sat on his laps. “Now, that’s a good girl,” Udoh said, bringing out some chocolates and giving them to Inya. All the while, Oyiza sat curled up on the Sofa, uninterested in what was going on, glad that Mr. Udoh wasn’t paying any attention to her.
At that moment, Hajara walked into the living room to announce that dinner was served. She nearly had a fit when she saw Inya on Udoh’s laps. She had taken this up with Donald severally but he still allowed and encouraged it.
“Inya, come and help mummy finish setting dinner up,” she said, eyeing Donald.
Even though she was not called, Oyiza went with her mum to the dining area. Donald knew what that look meant. He was too tired for a quarrel tonight, but he could see it brewing, only waiting for two of them to be alone in the room before it exploded. As a rule, Hajara made sure that everyone in the house had dinner together. All the members of the Wadada family ate quietly save for an occasional comment or request to pass something, each silent for their own different reasons.
Udoh was oblivious to the tension at the dining table though. He just rambled on and on, sharing one story after the other and laughing loudly. Even when little Oyiza sarcastically asked him about table manners, he merely brushed it aside saying “food is the engine of life” and then laughed again.
They were glad when dinner was over and he left immediately after. It was the girls’ bedtime and Hajara went to tuck them in. The moment they fell asleep, she crossed the gym area and flung the door to the master bedroom open. The lights were out.
“Donald, I know you are not asleep, so stop pretending!” she said as she turned the lights on.
Donald didn’t stir. If there was one thing that wasn’t perfect about his wife, it was her temper. She was like a grown up Inya throwing tantrums when she was riled up. The good part was that it took a lot to get her worked up, and he apparently had done the “a lot” required this night.
“Donald Wadada, you better sit up and listen to me now, since you refused to listen all the many times I said this calmly!” Inya said louder. She struggled to keep her voice down since the kids were just across.
Donald knew he could not go on pretending, so he sat up. “Hajara, what is it now? You know I’ve had a very long day and I’m tired. So let’s sleep and you cuddle and comfort me like you should now,” he said, his attempt at a joke coming out lame.
“Donald I’m not joking. I have said severally that our kids are girls and we need to be careful! I am not comfortable with any of your friends carrying any of my daughters on their laps and all those kinds of physical things. Must the girl be on his laps before he gives her chocolates? I’ve heard all sorts of stories of things happening to girls of all ages and I don’t want my daughters to be victims!”
“Haba, we have known Udoh for how long? He has always been like that now, it’s just him. Forget the stories you’ve heard, Udoh cannot…” Donald was saying when she cut in.
“In every story, it’s always someone who has been known for long and who they are comfortable having physical contact with. I’m not saying Udoh specifically, I’m talking generally. Our girls are becoming women right before our very eyes!”
Donald laughed a little “Women? Hajara, don’t be dramatic. They’re just eight. That’s a long way from being a woman. You my dear, are a woman” he said, attempting to reach her.
Hajara slapped his hand away and hissed “look at you. Do you know that they are liking boys already? Inya came home crying today because a boy she liked wasn’t being her friend and was being Oyiza’s friend. Wake up o, and smell the coffee. Children grow up faster these days. Your daughters already know what it is to like boys. SO PLEASE, I DON’T WANT THEM SITTING ON ANY FRIEND’S LAPS EN, PLEASE, BIKO, JO, DAN ALLAH, ABEG.” She dramatically went on her knees as she said this.
That explained it, thought Donald. Out aloud, he said. “Hmm. I noticed Inya hesitated before going to sit on Udoh’s laps today so this might be true.”
“Of course it is. They are growing up fast. That’s what I’ve been trying to say since”.
This was news to Donald. He would definitely take his wife seriously now. His daughters were becoming aware of things. A thought occurred to him.
“Since the girls are getting more matured, I think Idris should stop bathing them now. He can still take them to school and help them get ready and all that, but if what you say is true, he should stop.”
“No issues. That means you’re taking this real serious now.” She stood up and sighed, visibly relieved.
Sensing that the fight had blown over, Donald quickly got up and went to hold his wife. She allowed herself relax into his arms. He smiled as he hugged her tight, all the tiredness fleeing from his body and the Black Eyed Peas song “I got a feeling, tonight’s gonna be a good night” ringing in his head.
The next morning, Hajara got up a little earlier than she normally did, cutting Donald’s “look at Hajara in her sleep” time by fifteen minutes in order to get to the girls’ room before Idris would. “By showing I’m serious about this thing, Donald will take it seriously too,” she said to herself.
Idris got up a little earlier than usual. He wanted to get Inya alone so that he could find out if she had said anything to anyone. The only time he could think of doing this was when he would bathe the girls. Normally, he would bathe them together but today he planned on separating them and bathing Inya first. He needed to get there before their mum came to check on them before she then went to fix breakfast. He walked briskly towards the girls’ room.
He got there just as his sister was ushering the twins out of their room in their towels. Only Oyiza greeted him boisterously as the girls would normally do. Hajara thought maybe Inya was tired from getting up a little earlier than usual and waived this fact.
“Good morning aunty,” Idris said, deliberately choosing not to notice that Inya didn’t greet him.
“Idris, good morning. How was your night?” Hajara asked.
“Very well o, I slept well.” Then addressing the girls, he said as cheerily as he could “oya, let’s go and get some little girls clean. Bathing time!”
Hajara laughed at the way Idris had put having a bath in a fun way. Then remembering why she had gotten up earlier than normal, she said “ah Idris, mummy will bath the girls from now on. We need to have our girl time away from all you men.”
It was as if Idris had been punched full in the face. He wanted to protest then he caught himself. What reason would he give for wanting to bathe the girls so bad? But the question rushed into his mind “why had his sister suddenly decided to take over bathing the girls?” His eyes shot to Inya, but she wasn’t looking at him. Had the girl said anything and his sister was merely waiting to get them out of the house before acting? Was his brother in law already out and returning with police to get him now? The man had the means to get the police to do anything to him if he wanted to, of that Idris was sure. Instead of giving voice to the thoughts racing through his head, he smiled and said “ah, even though I’ll miss the girls, I’m glad I’ll get some more minutes of sleep.”
“Ah, Uncle Idris, not so fast, you still get to drop the girls in school.” Hajara said
Idris made a face that was meant to mean he was sad about that. Inside, his mind began working out how to get Inya alone on that ride to school. He turned and returned to his room to get dressed for the drive to their school while Hajara led her twins to the bathroom.

Monday, 9 September 2013

'Burnt' ...Episode 1 (a story by Tunde Leye)

By Misan Bel   Posted at  2:17 p.m.   Entertainment 2 comments

Donald Wadada had been lying awake in bed for the last fifteen minutes. In those fifteen minutes, he had done nothing but stare at the woman sleeping beside him, the one who was his first girlfriend for three years, and had now been his wife for another ten. He could go on looking at her like that all day long, content with nothing but having his eyes feast on her beauty. Here she was, first thing in the morning without makeup, and she was still looking like the most stunning woman in the world. He let his eyes run all the way down her lingerie clad body and then back to her face, feeling a wave of desire course through him as he did. After she had given him a set of twin girls two years into the marriage, the doctor had called him into a small office and told him in clear terms that his wife would not be able to have any other children.

At first, she had been afraid. Afraid that he would want a male child and go outside of their marriage to get one. She worked hard at making her body bounce back, and bounce back it did. But she did not know how he loved her, how she was the center of his world. He could never do such a thing to her. He had eyes only for her, and worshipped the ground on which she walked.

She smiled in her sleep, stirring a little, and he thought she was about to wake up but she settled back into dreamland.

Hajara had almost given away the fact that she was awake when she smiled. After ten years of marriage, it amazed her that her husband was still like this with her. She realized now the wisdom of her aunt when she had told her "you can bring yourself to love any man you marry, because you are a woman. But make sure you marry a man who is crazy about you, and who loves you more than you love him. That, my dear, is the secret to a happy marriage." Those words rang true about her and Donald even now.

She remembered how everyone in her circle had been when she started seeing him all those years ago now. She had been a finalist in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria competition, and the general opinion was that she should have won. Everyone thought she was destined for a life of stardom, dating celebrities local and international and maybe settle down with some rich oil magnate or foreign designer. So they were all shocked when she brought this shy guy who ran a modest IT firm on the mainland to them. He was the classical IT geek caricature. He wore thick glasses, jeans and t-shirts and his idea of a date stopped at seeing the Facebook movie or the Steve Jobs biopic. By dating him, she effectively dropped out of the social radar and stopped appearing on the magazine covers and blogposts. It was around that time that he accompanied her to some family event that she couldn't quite remember now. Funny how things that seemed like the world when they happened became insignificant with the passing of time. He was sitting on a table that day, looking around awkwardly while she was with some family members. The conversation inevitably turned to the two of them and everyone said what they had been saying since the first time she introduced him "Hajara, you are dating beneath you!" it was after they had all gone, that aunty pulled her aside and spoke those words of wisdom.

Thankfully, she had listened to her aunt and not the rest of the family. Three years after that, she walked down the aisle with Donald and became Mrs. Wadada. That was in March 2003, early in the internet era in Nigeria. When the internet boom began, Donald was well positioned to be at its forefront. From a struggling IT company, his business grew to become a giant. Today, he had emerged as one of the richest men in Lagos. Hajara always said an internal "in your face" anytime they came across any of those people that had said she should leave him. After his money came, she had braced herself up for what she thought was the inevitable – the other women. But they simply never came. She was beyond ecstatic that she had listened to her aunt. Any other man but Donald and she was sure they would have entered the "carry your women but not in my face phase".

Finally, she opened her eyes and cooed "good morning baby," and he smiled back at her, moving closer to kiss her on the forehead.

"Morning darling. That is the holy kiss. Now this is the real good morning kiss." With that he kissed her full on the lips, passionately.

Of course, the lanky frame had filled out now, and the hairline was beginning to recede but he managed to stay fit. She demanded it, asking why would she be working my ass off to look good for him and he would be allowed to grow a protruding belly?

She sat up in the bed and wrapped a nightdress around herself. She never really slept with that on, it was merely for fashion. "Morning duty calls," She said as she left the room.

The master bedroom was on the first floor of our two-storey duplex. It opened into a large room where the exercise equipment was installed. On the other side of this mini-gym was the children's room. She picked her way through the mass of equipment in the space towards their room. She could hear them even getting to the door. Or more correctly, she could hear her.

She opened the door and sure enough, the little girl was jumping up and down all around her twin on the big bed that they shared.

"Play with me, play with me, play with me," she kept on chanting. The other one just kept on rolling away from her path, ignoring her with an uninterested look on her face.

"Inya!" Hajara shouted and Inya stopped jumping, only now realizing that her mum had walked in. She flashed her perfect teeth and ran over to the door, wrapping her arms around Hajara in tight embrace "Mummy!" she shouted too.

That was Inya, adorable Inya. She looked like a miniature version of her mum. "This child is just a drama queen" Hajara thought to herself. If she entered a room and she was not the center of attention within five minutes, she would employ every antic her eight year old mind could come up with to capture everyone's attention. She would not be satisfied until then. Hajara's folks told her she had been like that when she was her daughter's age, but she always vehemently denied it.

In contrast, Ohiza was like her father. Tall for her age, she didn't possess her sister's cuteness or easy charm. She would rather go into a room and sit in a corner, watching everyone. It was only when she got home that she would almost accurately tell you everything that happened in the room, if she was in the mood to talk. Hajara was scolding Inya now, but as usual, she was paying absolutely no attention.

"Good morning sis," a male voice came from behind Hajara.

Immediately they heard his voice, the two girls bolted out of the room to greet their uncle. He was the only one that Ohiza took easily to. Though he was Hajara's youngest brother, he was more like her son. He was twenty three, sixteen years her junior and she had basically taken care of him while their mum worked when they were younger. Naturally, he had moved in with her when he got into the University of Lagos, and had helped the Wadadas raise their own kids. Because they needed him for this, he had never stayed in the hostel all through school and now he was in his final year. They gave him a car to use in school so he could go from their place in Oniru.

He tried to pick them up and feigned difficulty "you girls are becoming too big for uncle to carry o!" he said and they pushed him over and climbed all over him. He took them away to help them get ready for school while she went to get Donald's breakfast ready.


Inya always sat in front whenever Uncle Idris was taking them to school. That way, she could be the one chatting away with him. He was very handsome, and his girlfriend, Aisha was like all the models in the magazines that her mum bought. She wanted to be fine like Aisha when she grew up and she never missed an opportunity to ask questions about being pretty when Aisha came visiting.

As soon as they got into the classroom, she went over the part of the class where all her cute friends like Tomisin, Basirat, Kanayo and Charles sat. She liked coming to school because everybody wanted to be her friend here. They knew her daddy was super rich, and she was the prettiest girl in the whole primary four. Even their class teacher treated her a little special.

Before the class started, the class teacher, Miss Kunat brought a boy into the class. "He's soooo cute!" Inya whispered to Basirat. Kanayo made a face at her. "No he isn't".

"Didn't your mummy tell you jealousy would make you rotten?" Inya said mockingly and Kanayo quickly shut up. None of them questioned Inya. "He has to be our friend; we're the cutest in the class." She said this with an air of finality. By the time she had stopped talking, she had missed his name.

Break time came and Inya and her friends tried to get to the boy. All the other kids were trying to get her attention as she passed with her crew but she ignored them all so she could be the first to make friends with the boy. When they finally found him, the boy was talking to Ohiza by the swing. Inya felt jealousy rise within her as she led her team towards the duo.

In school, since she had all her other friends around, she didn't try to get Ohiza to play with her like she did at home.

A dry "Hi Ohiza," was all her twin got, and then she moved on to him. Flashing her most charming smile, she said "Hiiiii", and the rest of the quartet echoed her.

The boy looked all four of them over and then said "so I don't have a name? Of course you didn't hear the teacher saying my name, did you? You were too busy making noise in the class."

Inya didn't think before she retorted "of course I did!"

The boy raised an eyebrow lazily "oh, really? What's my name then?"

The heat rose in Inya's face as she fought desperately to dig his name out.

He laughed at her, an annoying laugh and then looked at her and the others "you want to be my friend? No! Never!" he said with a slight American accent. Then he went to join Ohiza who had left them to go sit on the swings and observe the drama from there.

When she went quietly to the swings, Ohiza had thought that she would watch Brian skip away laughing with Inya like all the others. Inya seemed to think everyone should be her friend, and whenever Ohiza made a new friend, it seemed to make Inya want that friend even more. After being tired of losing friends to her twin, Ohiza developed a defense – if she didn't have friends to lose in the first place, then she wouldn't lose them to Inya.

She had felt awkward when Brian had come to meet her in her corner of the playground. He belonged to Inya's kind of crowd, cute like all those boys on Disney Channel and with his American accent, he was bound to be a cool kid. But he had come to her and said hi and then he sat with her IN THE PLAYGROUND! She had been floating, enjoying it until Inya and her crowd came.

Now, as he left them and walked towards her, she felt like a Cinderella whose prince had brought the glass slipper. Her little eight year old heart fell in love. Throughout the break time, she played with only Brian and found herself laughing at everything he said. When they went back to class, she saw that her seatmate had gone to Brian's seat and he was sitting with her now. He must have asked to seat with her and her seatmate hadn't hesitated to give up the seat beside unpopular Ohiza. All of them could go away for all she cared now – she had Brian beside her, and that was all that mattered. School was going to be fun from now on.


Idris wasn't in the mood to listen to any chatter that afternoon. This ASUU strike was already getting to him seriously. He wanted to get back to school and get it done with so he could go and serve but the government was saying nonsense about the country grinding to a halt if they met ASUU's demands. Bollocks! And then Aisha had come around today and he had thought he was at least going to get some. But trust the girl, she had brought up that stupid quarrel over him not being able to get her the dress she wanted for one of the plenty award shows she liked to go for. And because of that, she didn't allow him do anything! He hissed again as he saw his nieces coming towards the car.

He was ready to snap at talkative Inya if she would not let him be today, so he was very surprised when she sulked and hardly said a word on the drive home. By the time they got home, he was worried. "Inya, are you okay?" he reached out to touch her neck to see if she was running a temperature. There was nothing abnormal about her temperature.

Ohiza was the one that volunteered an answer "it's because she couldn't steal my friend" she said, dancing around the living room.

Inya stormed away into the room, crying. Idris spoke sternly to Ohiza "now you've made your sister cry!" Ohiza shot back "she always, always does that to me, and now this one time she doesn't get what she wants, she's sulking and you are trying to make me feel bad. Well, I won't!" Then remembering something Brian had done in school to Inya, she said "No! Never!" mimicking his stance and accent.

Idris left the jubilant Ohiza in the living room and went to the room. Inya was curled up on the big bed, sobbing. He sat on the bed, speaking softly to her as he did.

"Inyus, our princess, don't mind that naughty Ohiza. Look, I got you something," he said, holding up Aisha's glasses. He knew Inya loved even though they would be oversized for her. She turned and smiled when she saw it, taking it from him and looking it over.

Then she looked at him and said "is it because I'm not pretty like Aunty Aisha that boys don't like me?"

Idris was taken aback by her unexpected question. "But you know you are our beauty queen dear, you are very pretty. In fact, we are going for Little Miss Nigeria with you, just like your mummy was in the big Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria," he said, nudging her playfully.

"Then why doesn't Brian like me?" she asked.

"Who is Brian?" Idris asked.

"He's the cutest boy in our class, and he speaks with a nice pho-ne. but he doesn't like me. Uncle, how can I make him like me?"

"Oh, that's Brian. Well, there's one way you can make every guy like you," Idris said as he got up from the bed. Quickly, Inya sat up, her eyes shining now and tugged at his shirt

"Uncle, pleeeeeeeaaaaaassssseeee tell me now," she said.

"If I teach you, it has to be our little secret. We don't want Ohiza knowing it so she won't be able to get the boys to like her too. So it's going to be between you and me alone. Can you cross your heart?"

She solemnly put her hands across her small chest and swore "I cross my heart and hope to die". Idris grinned and then went back to shut the door.

"Now, you will follow my lead and do exactly as I say, so you can learn what only big aunties like Aisha know" he said.

She nodded vigorously. Smiling leeringly, he dropped his pants. Already, his erection was bulging underneath his boxers. When he dropped the shorts, his erect penis shot up into the air and Inya who had never seen anything like it before shrank backwards.

"Are you afraid? You don't want to learn anymore?" he asked tauntingly and bent over to pull his boxers back up.

She quickly said "no, I want to learn."

He stood upright again and moved towards the bed, the trouser and shorts between his legs making his gait awkward. When he got beside her, he took her tiny hands and said, "Now, touch me here, like this."

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