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One wrong turn Episode 7 & 8

The 6’o clock alarmed buzzed with It’s usual disrespect and insolence. I hated that alarm. It seems to go up during the sweetest [email protected] of my sleep.
Unlike most people though, I loved Monday mornings. It meant going back to school. It was my getaway, my only chance of leaving this cell and gaining my freedom for few hours before returning back to my parent’s den.
Today was a special Monday, I was going to do something I had never done before. I was excited and scared at the same time.
My day began like every other day, I jumped out of be-d 5 minutes after the alarm, and dragged myself to the sitting room for morning devotion.
Once again, other than mumbling a few unintelligible words, I had no active [email protected] in the prayers.
My mind was solely focused on getting to school. As soon as the prayer ended, I greeted every one, and headed straight for the kitchen to do my chores.
I finished up quite early, the zeal and speed with which I finished my chores surprised my mum, I was fond of lingering on chores.
I bathed swiftly, and got set for school. My white shi-t and blue Sk-irt were properly ironed. There was not a single stain on my stockings.
I looked as neat and tidy as possible, everything was in order. I [email protected]£ out of the house, and sat inside my mum’s car waiting for her to take me to school. She took me to and from school every single day of my six (6) years in secondary school.
As I sat there, my mind began to wander. I was about to do something strange and unfamiliar. How ‘ll this day turn out? Where exactly is Matthew going to take me? I was unsure of myself, but I just couldn’t wait to find out.
My mum joined me in the car few minutes later, it was alre-ady 7:45 am. She started the engine and we zoomed off. My day was just about to start.
The usual traffic in Lagos ensured that I was almost late for school. My mum dropped me off exactly three (3) minutes before 8 0’clock. She handed me a #200 for lunch, and zoomed off.
As I walked throu-gh the gate, I took time to examine the entire school compound. And kept wondering how I would be able to make it out without being noticed. Was I even re-ady to take this risk at all? I asked myself.
The entire compound was ti-ghtly secured. The perimeter fence was high, and lined with barbe-d wire. It was impossible to jump over.
The school had 2 entrances, and 2 security posts. One in front and one behind. Each had stern looking security manning the gates, with strict warning not to allow students out of the compound till the school closes.
The security arrangement in the school, coupled with the hostile nature of the gate-men made the school look more like a federal prison than a learning center.
I walked straight to the as-sembly hall with my bag firmly hung on my shoulders, as I was alre-ady late.
The morning as-sembly was like every other one. We sang some hymns, recited the national anthem and performed other daily routine.
The principal made an announcement, reminding all SS3 students of the commencement of WAEC and NECO registration, we were to [email protected] with the sum of 35 thousand Naira in all.
The announcement was welcomed with great happiness, it meant we would soon be out of secondary school. I can’t wait to be in the university, it would mean one thing….. Freedom!
We marched to our various clas-ses, singing along.
As soon as we sat in clas-s, I moved to Sarah’s seat. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I wanted all the details of the escape plan. How exactly am I going to leave this school compound?.
Sarah and Hannah looked at me with surprise and laughed hysterically. My naivity must have amused them. I looked like a curious lamb perhaps.
“Did you bring extra clothes?” Sarah asked
“Why? What for?” I asked, genuinely surprised.
“Haba you can’t be walking outside with your school uniform na, you want to tell the entire city that you escaped from school?” Hannah replied, a little irritated.
I didn’t know I had to, so what do we do now?” I asked, with a worried look
“Hannah will give you her own”
“Will you?”
Sarah obliged, she always comes in handy for evil deeds. She was like the devil’s as-sistant to me.
I was about to ask other questions, when the clas-s suddenly [email protected]£ quiet. Our clas-s teacher had just walked in.
I turned around and headed for my seat.
“Last period before break” Sarah whispered to me. As I approached my seat.
The morning lessons went by slowly. I ba-rely un-derstood anything that was said in clas-s, thanks to the fear and excitement building up inside me.
The bell rang, to signify the end of the third lesson of the day, and the beginning of the last lesson before break.
The subject was geogra-phy, which I don’t offer. I got up and hurriedly left the clas-s before the teacher arrives. Sarah and Hannah were right behind me. They were both holding their school bags, mine was still on my seat. (Still a novice).
They led me towards the security post behind the school. I kept wondering how we were going to walk past the gate-man.
Is this also the fault of her parents? Or her on inward behavior?
As soon as the gate-man saw us, he beckoned on us to hurry up. I was quite amazed, that means this happens often. We quic-kened our pace, and entered the gate house.
I saw two other girls inside the house, I couldn’t tell which clas-s they were, because they were no longer on their uniforms.
One was putting on blue jean trou-sers, with a pink shi-t, with a slightly opened n£¢k line.
She was busy applying make up, she ha-rd ly noticed our pres£nce. Her companion seemed a little more decent, she was uneasy and shy just like me.
They finished their make up, and handed 1000 naira note to the gate man.
He stepped outside, opened the gate and looked around for a while. When he was sure no one was in sight, he beckoned on them to proceed. They both walked briskly across the gate and out of sight.
It would be really difficult for anyone to sp©t them, because the rear gate was quite far from the main school compound, and it was shielded by trees and tall gras-ses.
It is rare for anyone to use the rear gate. It is mainly used during the morning hours, to ease traffic.
As I stood and watched, I began to un-derstand how the whole process works. The gate man was merely ma-king money off the girls. He collects, a fee of 500 naira from each girl, and allows them escape unnoticed. The gate house was their changing room. The gateman even keeps their uniform safe when they are gone.
It all seemed like a safe plan, at least for now.
“Here, put this on” Sarah ordered, as she handed me a pair of leggings and a yellow t©p.
I struggled into the trou-sers. It felt really weird, I had never worn trou-sers before, my mum doesn’t like it on me, even if she wears.
Hannah opened her school bag, and brou-ght out a box containing make up accessories, and handed them over to me.
I held on to them, not knowing what exactly to do with them. I have never used make up before. This was a whole new experience for me.
Sarah noticed my dilemma, and [email protected]£ to my rescue. She applied the make up on my face, layer after layer. I felt like a different person alre-ady.
I [email protected]£d a mirror from the box, and looked at my face. I couldn’t believe how pretty I was.
The redl-ipstick matched my earrings, the handbag went with the shoes. Everything looked perfect. I wished I could look like this every day.
Sarah brou-ght out her phone, and dialed a number. I guess she called Matthew.
Few minutes later, we heard the sound of a car horn just outside the gate.
The gate man [email protected]£ out, looked around as usual, to make sure no one sees us. He signaled us to go. Hannah handed over a thousand naira note to him, as we made our way outside.
Sarah waved me farewell with a smile on her face, urging me to have fun. She did not go with us, because I had borrowed her cloths.
A car was packed just outside the fence. I recognized it, it was the same car from Sunday.
The door opened, and I sat in front. Hannah took the back seat. There was someone else at the back, a boy. I haven’t seen him before. But judging by his appearance, he was in his late twenties.
I turned towards Matthew at the driver’s seat. He smiled as my eyes met his.
“You look beautiful honey”
“Thank you” I replied, almost blu-shing.
He introduced me to the boy at the back, his name was Joseph, he was a cousin of Matthew, who just returned from his NYSC.
I turned around and greeted him in English. He extended a hand, and I gave him mine. He drew my hand up to his mouth and k!$$£d the back of my palm.
“You are such a pretty lady” he said, staring down my b©dy.
I was a little embarras-sed
“Thank you sir” I replied, trying to turn around quic-kly before he tears of my clothes with his eyes.
Matthew started the ignition, and drove straight ahead. I had no idea where we were going, or what we were going to do. Matthew simply said we would hang out.
I raised my head and looked at the rear view mirror, I could see Hannah and Joseph. They were k!ss!nglvstfully and engaging in some ungodly activities with him which really irritated me and feel like [email protected] her.
My heart began to beat fas-ter. I felt the tension building up in my head. Only then I realised what was going to happen that day.
I was de-eply terrified, I didn’t think I wanted to do this anymore. But it was alre-ady too late, as Matthew pu-ll-ed over and st©pped the car.
As we all alighted, I kept turning from side to side, I could not risk being seen by someone who knows me or my parents.
One would have to look closely to recognize me though, because the make up and trou-sers made me look different entirely.
This [email protected] of the city was unfamiliar, I have never been here before. It was somewhere around Lekki road.
The building was large, and booming with activities.
It is one of the numerous places to have fun in Lagos. A really magnificent building, containing a cinema hall, hallmark supermarket, a gaming center, and different fast food joints.
I was quite excited to be here, I knew I would have fun without doubt, but what would happen afterwards, I wasn’t sure. We made our way into a section of the plaza, it was a fast food segment.
We occu-pied a table for four.
Matthew and I sat side by side, facing Hannah and Joseph. A waiter [email protected]£ around, and we made our orders.
I waited patiently for everyone to make their orders first, I wanted to be last because I had no idea what to order. I was quite lost. I have not eaten at a fast food before.
The orders [email protected]£ eventually, I had a plate of fried rice and chicken with five alive.
Hannah ordered the same, but with a bottle of smirnoff ice. The guys opted for local dishes.
Joseph requested for a bottle of coke, while Matthew took a can of lacasera. As we ate, we discussed various t©pics. I was starting to feel a little more comfortable.
Joseph dominated the conversation, he spoke quite fondly of his university and NYSC days.
He was a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. He wasn’t shy about admitting that he was a “rugged” man in school.
I [email protected]£ a little scared of him. For once I noticed his “rugged” appearance. His red eyes and darkl-ips gave me the impression that he is a smoker.
I stole a quic-k glance at Hannah, she had been actively involved in the conversation, asking questions and laughing when there’s nothing funny.
She didn’t seem scared of Joseph as I was. But I could tell from the conversation that both of them had only met today!
Occasionally, Joseph would run his hands throu-gh Hannah’s [email protected] She would simply look at him and give a smile of approval.
I was irritated every time I saw this, this I really chose this kinda lady as friend?, they were in public for crying out loud. It made Hannah look like a prostitute. But she didn’t mind.
My displea-sure was written all over my face. Joseph must have noticed this as he turned attention to me.
“So Ruth, how old are you?”
” I’m 16,”
“Ah! you are a big girl nau, just relax and enjoy yourself okay? There’s money to be spent. You ll go home loaded”
As soon as he mentioned money, Hannah gave him a pe-ck. I started wondering, is it all about the money?
If she will let him do those nas-ty things because of money, does that not make her a prostitute? And what about me?
I turned my attention to Matthew, he seemed quite indifferent. He took my hand and told me to relax.
We finished our meal, and Joseph took care of the bills and we headed out of the restaurant. We took the stairs upwards, and entered hallmark. The entire complex fascinated me.
The store offered all kinds of consumer items, there was a lot to de-sire. I stood for a while, looking round and round. Not knowing exactly what I was supposed to do.
Joseph and Hannah walked towards a different direction, out of sight.
Matthew put his hands around my [email protected]!st, and pu-ll-ed me forward as we continued walking. I felt special, but I was still a little shy. I wasn’t used to such public [email protected] affection.
“So what will you like to buy?” Matthew asked, pu-lling me closer to himself.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I have not been out shopping before. My mum buys everything I nee-d.
“Thanks, but I don’t think I want anything, I’m okay” I replied politely
“Oh come on, I have to buy something for you today, something to prove how much I love and adore you”
Seeing he wasn’t going to give up, I looked around the section we were standing in, trying to pick out anything that may interest me.
“There,” I said, pointing towards a glas-s shelf containing wrist watches.
We both walked towards the shelf.
There were different [email protected] of wrist watches carefully arranged, with price tags on them. I examined each price tag carefully, the cheapest was #4500.
I looked up at Matthew, and shook my head, indicating that I didn’t want the wrist watch anymore. I thought they were too expensive to buy.
“What?” Matthew asked with a puzzling look on his face
“They are too expensive” I replied
“Oh, don’t worry about the price baby, I can do anything for you, even if it means paying with my life”
I blu-shed a little and thanked him, his words made me fall in love with him more.
I pointed at the cheapest wrist watch, he open the shelf and brou-ght it out.

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