A sunny day, a patio surrounded by an assortment of flowers, the afternoon breeze flutters through the garden making the plants sway, in the mist of all this ,two teenagers sat, they seemed to be dining and having a peaceful discussion, but in reality….

Temis POV

”Mike,gimme a bite, just one biteeee ”

Mike looked up from the plate containing an half eaten slice of cake, giving me a blank stare, he forked another bite into his mouth chewed slowly blinking, he then swallowed pointing the fork at me.

”um, noooo ”

”whyyyyyy? ”

He raised the container holding the cake, which was obviously missing a few slices, turning the transparent top towards me

”cause you stole two slices from me already, two!! unforgivable, I won let you have anymore ”

he said with a squint, I scoff, and roll my eyes pouting

” I made the cake though ”

”yeah you did, but this is a bribe, a b.r.i.b.eee treat it with respect, you shouldn take out of a bribe, besides, you could have made some for yourself ”

Mike mumbled, speaking with his mouth, full of cake, swallowing, he stuck his tongue out at me

”Le gasp!! you
e in my territory you know, and I can so take this cake away from you ”

I drawled, he hugged the container holding the cake to his chest, glared and hissed

”my precious ”

”which I baked remember ”

”you villain, fiend,devil,evil non human, person, creature ”

”I don even know what to say to that ”

”i.i..if you threaten to take my cake I won give you the calculus assignment, or any more assistance, on your assignments ”

Mike muttered, with a pout on his babyface

”you are cruelll, fine I concede ”

waving my arms, my palms spread out in front

Ayina Michael, hes my best friend, rather my only friend, as youve probably noticed, Im a total shut in, if we
e speaking lightly, hermit, if we were to go further, and total prisoner, if I decided to be blunt and truthful about my situation, to make it clear or using lay man terms, I don leave the house, I never leave the house of my own will, if I do then, my mum probably wants to bring me somewhere. well I know what you
e all thinking, is your life like that movie we all have watched?, … well uhh no, Im not sick, nor have I ever been told, I have health issues, that will prevent me from venturing into the outside world. I think Rapunzel and I have a lot in common, and you might ask, why? why can you just sneak out? shell never know, I did it once, just once, and I swore never to again, each time I think about that day, it sends chills running through my veins.

*I was five when it happened, ever since I was a child, its always been my mum and no one else, both of us against the world, and its still the same way. Our house was a one room apartment, with a tiny bathroom, and no kitchen, the two windows, one in the living room, and the other in the bedroom, were the only sources of ventilation in the whole house. It was a building complex, the type to have several apartments in one large building it was the kind of place where the residents were very loud, you could always hear loud voices, deep into the night, we lived alone as then as we do now and normally, Ive always been, the do as mama says girl, but that day, I decided to rebel, I don know why I did that. That day after my mum had left for work, it was just like any other day, I usually peak through a tiny gap by the door, or look through the window, if mum forgot to lock it, to look at the other children playing, I was looking through the window that particular day, I had pushed the stool against the wall, and stood on it, even then I was just tall enough for my eyes to reach the window still, so I had to tip toe to see better, but then, the netting was covered in dust and soot, so my vision wasn so clear, In my vision was the silhouette of a woman, she was bent, probably sweeping , there was usually a roster for that, I overheard mum having an argument about it, a lady joined the woman sweeping, her yellow wrapper was glaringly bright against the dull dusty environment, her legs pitta pattered against the concrete floor she was probably wearing flipflops

”mummy Zainab ”

her shrill voice cut through the rythmic swish swash of the local broom, the bent lady straightened up she must be Zainabs mother

”ah aunty Tope good morning ”

and then they proceeded to exchange superficial pleasantries with each other, like they weren going to gossip about each other when they both leave to their separate destinations, I zoned out their conversation until…

”this room 34 the woman that stays in there with her child ”

” yes? ”

” I heard she doesn have a husband, and that the child is a bastard without a father ”

”are you just hearing that now, infact have you not noticed that ,that child of hers is always indoors ”

”ha its true ooo! other than when they go to church, I never see that little girl anywhere else, does she go to school at all? ”

”Is that what you
e worried about, youve never seen the girl outside, she might be doing something bad to the little girl ”

” why are you saying this, thats not possible stop, that little girl looks fine infact the lady showers her daughter with a lot of love ”

”how do you know that, she might be an evil witch when no ones looking ”

”thats true …

I kept on listening to the two women, when I slipped, the pain blossomed on my side the impact jarring as I hit the floor, I hissed sitting up to inspect my limbs, tiny abrasions were scattered across my right arm, knees and palms I blew at my injuries sniffing, my eyes stinging from the pain I felt, the hall fell silent the commotion from the fall startling the women outside.

”Is someone in? ”

”its probably the daughter I watched the woman leave for work this morning ”

” at such a young age already learning to eavesdrop ”

”what do you mean shes still a young child ooo what could she know about eavesdropping ”

”children of this days you don know what they can be up to…..do you think she can understand all we have been saying? ”

” ha you are too narrow minded shes just a child what could she possibly understand please ooo leave the poor girl alone ”

”ok if you say so oo ”

Zainabs mother picked-up the broom hitting its head against the wall to get rid of the excess dust

”oya please weve talked enough for one morning I have to finish my sweeping now ”

she said in a dismissive tone signaling the end of the conversation

I turned away from the window, and went into the bathroom to dress my wounds, the conversation running through my head.

later that same day, we sat down in the living room that also served as a kitchen, I had a plate of yam pottage in my arms, as there were no dining tables and chairs, just a stool which I occupied, and a single couch. I looked up at my mother and she was almost done with her meal, and looked down again poking at mine, the time said 7:30 one hour and thirty minutes before my bed time, i fidgeted about on the stool

”is there anything wrong dear ”

my mother finally caught on

”no mummy can I ask you a question ”

”but you already asked one ”

”when? ”

”just now dear by the way you asked another one just now ”

mother said a smile on her face her arms folded she rested her face on her palm eyes twinkling

”mum are you teasing me ”

I folded my arms trying to look as serious as I could manage

”alright alright sorry ok then speak hmm? ”

I frowned trying to remember what I heard and the relevant questions

”mummy where is daddy, do I not have a dad what is a bastard, am I a bastard?

my mothers face, her expression, it was a twisted frown that had chills running down my spine

” mummy whats wrong ”

” nothing, nothing at all, but w..w.why did you suddenly ask me about your dad, is that why you had those injuries I checked earlier, did you go outside? ”

she asked adjusting her expression quickly ”did anyone say anything to you ” ”not really ” ”look don ask me about your dad, at least for now, when you
e older and ready Ill tell you all you need to know about him alright? ” ”yes maam ” ”and just know no matter what anyone says you
e not a bastard, you are my daughter, and, make sure you don go outside ” ”I won ” ”now since we
e already talking, tell me how you got those injuries ” I narrated everything that happened earlier that day, which earned me a ton of scolding before I was sent to bed, I just wanted to know something, anything about my father, anyways my rebellion didn stop there .

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