MASKED

By Juliet Dauda 14 months ago

MASKED

Joselyn, a lively, industriuos young girl is torn between helping her friend or keeping her friend's secret, secret.
She is seperated from both her friend's who mean a lot to her in the same year.
After getting involved with the wrong guy, she has refused to go into another relationship even if it is with the one guy she is in love with - Her best friend.
Years later, her past comes after her in a very familiar but unrecognizable face for something she said to someone.
But did she?
And will she come out unscathed? Journey with me.

©Juliet Dauda, 2017

 

Chapter One

Moving in what I hoped was stealthy advancement, I sneaked into Jeremy's room. I released a breath I did not remember holding after I closed the door and did not hear Jeremy yelling at me from the living room to leave his room. Standing akimbo, I searched the room with my eyes, hoping to spot my sandal on the floor or on the bed or even in the air. Anywhere. I was already running late and had no plan to skip breakfast.


"Selyn, you have less than ten minutes to come eat your breakfast. Unless you plan on walking to School" Jeremy finally yelled.


"I am not deaf okay?" I yelled back and continued the search for my sandal.


I woke up this morning to one leg of my sandal where I left the pair beside my wardrope last night.


I know James hid it but this time he did a good job. I should have seen it by now as I have checked his room, the garden and even the store (usual hideouts) but nothing.


Now I am in Jeremiah's room. It just might be here.


Jeremy's room is like a semi Library. With his bed left of his door, you have wardrope and his bathroom just past the wardrope, the other part of the room facing his bed, holds a simple shelf for books and mounted beside it is his study table with more books on it.

I looked around the room but nothing. Jeremy is a neat freak, which means looking for something in his room won't be that hard.


After much searching, that is, checking his wardrope, under his bed, his shelf, I finally found it in his bathroom.
You can't even imagine the relief that swept through me when I stepped inside the bathroom and was not greeted by the stench of most bathrooms.


Now I have just five minutes to eat breakfast before the School bus arrives.
James pray I don't kill you this time.
James is my younger brother while Jeremiah is my older brother (I call him Jeremy) Jeremy is eighteen years old (three years older than me) He is preparing to write his GCE. Jeremy is the best older brother I could ever wish for. He is quite protective as well as quite annoying sometimes but above that, he is sweetness personified. Jeremy loves to read and solve Maths.
He hardly lets us into his room without his permission because according to him, whenever we go into his room something follows us out.


While James on the other hand is twelve years old. He is in JSS 1. Unlike Jeremy who is the family's geek, James has come to the conclusion that schooling is not for him as it is way too boring for his liking. James is an Artist though. A very good one who prefers to lock himself in his drawing room -which is actually the guest room- than sit in a classroom.


I quickly looked around the room to make sure it didnt look like someone ransacked it. My eyes suddenly land on a book on Jeremy's study table. I walked over to the table to take a look at it. The face of a girl is on it, with the title 'Purple Hibiscus' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Jeremy has been talking about this book for days but has refused to tell me the whole story.


"Selyn you just skipped breakfast. Come on, the bus should be here soon" Jeremy said.


I picked up the book andwith one more glance around, I shut the door and made my way downstairs.


"Except you plan on walking to school afterall" He added.


"Actualy I think that will do her a lot of good. Walk to school today to reduce the fat in your head that makes you think you are smarter than I am" James said sniggering.

I slipped the book into my school bagon the living room couch before heading to the dinning room to meet the boys who were already dappng their mouths with their napkins.


"By the way good luck with the sandal search" James said and gasped almost immediately.


Ah, he just said that to Jeremy's hearing.


"Go and give it to her" Jeremy ordered with a subtle glare as if tired of James' endless pranks.


"I found it" I announced. Saving him from being scolded.


I passed by James to grab something to eat but not before giving him a smack on the back of his head and ignored the glare he sent my way.


"Selyn come on, let's go" Jeremiah said as he rose from his seat.


"I need to eat something" I said taking two slices of bread to butter.


"Tell that to your ever wandering sandals" James said adjusting the strap of his school bag on his shoulder with a mischievious smile.


"If I slap you eh" I smiled


"Time to go. Out you too" Jeremy ordered in his older-brother tone. He was already at the main door.


"I'm out" James said as he made his way out with one strap of his school bag on his left shoulder.


"I'm coming" I said.


I grabbed a carton of Lucozade boost from the Fridge and ran out to meet them.


"Pleas just hold on, she will be out in a jiffy" Jeremy said standing beside the school bus.


He stepped back from the door and I hopped in before him.


I made my way to the third pair of seats by the right and as usual Sarah was already seated on the seat by the window. My breakfast in hand I sat beside her.
She grabbed the drink from me and opened the lip, gulping almost half of it immediately.


"Missed breakfast again?" She asked replacing the lid.


"Yeah and last I remember your name was not written on that" I said with bread in my mouth.


She looked at her hand as if just realising she was holding the drink.


"I just blessed it" She shrugged handing my drink back to me.


"Yeah, by drinking it. I know"


"So you were planning to skip school?" She asked.


I scoffed "As if that is possible"


"Anything is possible sweetheart"


"Except me ditching school" I scoffed down the last of my breakfast.


"Right" She affirmed.


Well thing is, my parents don't let us ditch school. Especially me.
They are not hell bent on us topping the class, no. We just have to attend every class and get good grades.


  *


"Jeremiah said you almost made them walk to school this morning" Nathaniel said taking one more plantain chip - my plantain chip - and munching it.


"Me or James?" I asked


"James now answers Selyn? I was not aware" He said sounding amused but doing a good job at hiding it.


"Don't start" I rolled my eyes.


He stuffed more of my plantain chips in his mouth. I looked down at the remaining and stared at him.


"What? Its not like you wanted to buy it in the first place. You are not even eating it. I am just helping okay?"


"Yeah right"


Nathaniel is a friend of ours. Our parents are good friends. He is eighteen and also Jeremy's classmate. He is dark in complexion, tall and lean with a beaming smile sometimes. He has a sister who he believes is spoilt. No one shares his opinion though because Matilda, his twelve year old sister is simply a sweetheart.


We were sitted at our usual table at the Canteen but Jeremy, James, Sarah and Matilda (Nathaniel's sister) are not here and I wonder what's holding them.


"Where are the others?" I asked


"Jeremy is reading a new book and James is making a portrait of Anita"


"Anita?"


"Yes. The same Anita, his  crush"


"Woah, she finally let him draw her a portrait" I smiled "Mehn, I am not going to hear the end of this"


"You bet"


"Yeah"


"And how did the Maths test go?" He asked


"Got a five" I murmured


"Are you even making progress?" He asked nonchalantly.


"Of course" I said "God is always leading me in victory remember? I will get there"


I quickly grabbed the pack of the plantain chips just as he was about to take another one. I threw one into my mouth and chewed it slowly while he sends a subtle glare my way.


"Hmn, is that where you read today?"


"Nope" I said popping the 'p' " Second Timothy 1:7"


"Hmn" He mused, stroking His chin "Spirit of power, love and self-control"


"Mmn-hmn" I affirmed with a nod.


"Love huh?" He asked and I raised my gaze to meet his with narrowed eyelids.


I bet this is leading to my chips.


"If only you will show the love"


"Ehen, how?" I asked looking him all over - which is just from his head to his chest, as the rest of his body is hidden behind the table - as if sizing him up with raised eyebrows.


He stretched his hand towards me, palm wide open "Pass the chips" He said.


"Ha! Dream on" I drawled.


"Can you imagine Mr Martins telling me to hold on while the others leave for lunch?" Sarah asked pulling a seat beside Nathaniel with meatpie in her mouth.


Sarah is a fair Ibo girl from Abia state. She is an only child. she is lean and has the body of a model . She doesn't smile much but when she does it illuminates her face. She tends to look like a kid in a shop full of sweets when she smiles. She lost her Mum as a child, and let's just say things have not been the same for a while now.


Sarah is a eater. She loves her food. Although she is not a great fan of snacks. She will choose Fufu and Egusi soup over snacks anyday, anytime.
But even with Sarah loving food so much, you still have not met the food devourer.


"Why imagine when I was there?" I asked trying to give ger a blank look which she didn't even notice.

She went on without looking my way.


"He made do that classwork two more times" She huffed "Two more times. Apparently what I had written was wrong but he didn't have to hold me against my will" She said taking a gulp of water from the bottled tabled water she was holding.


"Its not like he kidnapped you Oma" I said casting a glance her way. I turned my head the other way and wait for the outburst.


"Call me that one more time and I will drown you with this water" She snapped and I just rolled my eyes.


Nathaniel leaned forward in his chair and asked " Which teacher is she talking about?"


"Economics" I said.


"Right" He said and leaned his back on the chair as if just grabbing what she was talking about. " But you are actually  good in Economics"


"Please do tell that to my insufferable teacher" She said and shoved the last of her meatpie into her mouth.


Sarah is quite the intelligent one. She is a good Economics student and she is pretty good at Maths too. I don't let her tutor me in Maths though because I most times end up more confused. I just let Jeremy do the job.


Sarah dipped her hand inside the pocket of her Navy blue uniform skirt and pulled it out to reveal her oh-so-lovely companion - Banana Chewing gum. She unwrapped it, placed it in her mouth, foldded  the paper in two and shoved it back inside her pocket.


With just about four or five chips remaining, I dropped the pack on the table to unscrew my bottle water and Nathaniel snatched the chips. After drinking my water I looked at the cupcake in front of him.


"You don't want to eat that?" I asked pointing at the cupcake.


"I will"


I reached for it.


"Don't touch" He slapped my hand away. I stared at him confused.


"You are eating my lunch" I stated.


"Because you don't want to eat it" He said without a care in the world.


Oh? Okay


I bit the inside of my bottom lip to refrain from smiling.


Sarah looked at me with slighty furrowed eyebrows "What are you planning?" She asked.


"Me?" I asked trying a blank look "Nothing"


She shook her head and muttered "As if I will believe that"


I smiled sweetly at her.


She looked at Nathaniel then at me, then back at Nathaniel who was drinking his water.


She tapped him on his left arm to get his attention, he removed the bottle from his mouth and looked at her.


"I think Jose is planning...." Sarah was saying but was cut short by the bell going off signally the end of our lunch break.


Before she could complete her sentence, I reached out, grabbed the cupcake and dashed to class.

 

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