I was glad that the holidays were coming to an end coz I couldn’t wait to leave home, that was the worst holiday I’d ever experienced. I kept myself busy by hanging out with the girls, Austin, Monica sometimes or just lock myself up in the bedroom and I never studied except when I was with Austin and I always had early nights so I couldn’t remember the last time I spoke to dad not to talk of seeing him
I was in a forest searching for dad who left me at a certain spot to look for Monica and told me to wait for him which I did and it started becoming dark then I heard footsteps approaching me
I called out
Me: dad, is that you?
I saw a shadow of a woman and couldn’t believe what I saw when I looked up so I started running as she chased me, I ran in the forest cutting through trees and tall grass and I kept screaming for dad to help me but he didn’t show up so I took a glance at my pursuer and I stumbled on a stone then fell down
I tried getting up but she approached me with a machete knife her hands, and the smile on her face
Me: please, don’t kill me Florence
Florence: yes, I’ll kill you for coming in my way
She said that with so much hatred then she raised the knife ready to stab my heart….
I got up and it was Monica who was roughly shaking me while shouting my name, I had chest pains and they were getting frequent by the day but I ignored them thinking it was some heartburn
Monica: you scared me, your breathing wasn’t normal
Me: well, I’m okay. You’re all dressed up, going somewhere?
Monica: dad and I are going somewhere
Me: where exactly?
Monica: uh…umm…to….see Florence
Me: no, no, no, no
I shook my head countless times
Me: you’re not going anywhere, you hear me? Where’s dad?
Monica: bu…but I want to go.
Me: that woman is a witch and has probably bewitched you
I touched her forehead
Monica: she hasn’t, we meet up with her and her daughter and she’s a nice person
Me: HER WHAT? anyway she’s not what she seems she wants you to like her and only pretends to be good but when she comes to this house she’ll make sure you cry on mom’s grave and that’s what I’m preventing. You can ask any of your friends at school how they’re treated by their step mothers
I went out to look for dad and found him opening his car door
Me: so this is what we’ve gotten to taking one child to private visits while the other one isn’t awake?
Monica joined us
Dad: I knew you wouldn’t accept coming with us that’s why I did
Me: good, then Monica isn’t coming with you anymore and please write a fair will dividing your property between Monica and I equally because I have this strong feeling that we’ll be orphans soon
Dad: Princess, aren’t we leaving?
Monica: no dad, I’m not coming anymore
He said disappointed and locked the car door then went in the house then we followed him, I wasn’t going to tell dad about my dream because I wanted us to bond since he wasn’t going anymore and I was returning to school the following day but dad stayed in his study and Monica was in the cinema room so I also decided to lock myself up in my bedroom, we even had lunch in those rooms. I took out our family picture which was on my dressing table and starred at it for some time
Me: we’ve fallen apart why did you leave us? I’m even afraid to tell dad about her threat in my dream for fear that he won’t believe me. If only you were here we wouldn’t have been like this and that ugly woman wouldn’t have showed up her acne filled face and we’d be happy. If dad’s memories of you have faded away then mine are still fresh and I’ll fight her, I ask for your protection mother………
I went to dad’s study and found him busy with paperwork that he didn’t even notice that I was in, I watched him for a while then left and went to the cinema room and watched Monica who also didn’t acknowledge my presence coz she was carried away by her favourite cartoons then I left her and went to pack my bag and prepare for the following day. A home that was filled with happiness and laughter was replaced by gloominess and I was glad that I was in a boarding school, I prepared myself something to eat and went to bed then I called Austin and told him that we’d leave early and I’d fetch him. I got up the following morning and did my hygiene process then I wore a white and pink flower printed jumpsuit, pink ankle boots, tied my newly braided hair in a messy bun and applied light make up, I went to the kitchen where I made myself breakfast and no one was awake including the girls then I washed my bowl and wheeled my suitcase out. I took a taxi which drove me to Austin’s house and I had to wait for him to get prepared then went to the bus station, I felt free because being in that house wasn’t helping me at all.
Concentrating in class became a challenge for me as I’d find myself thinking of what happened back home and I couldn’t help but blame dad, I remember when I had just returned from classes and took a walk to clear my mind off things and sat on a bench starring at nothing in particular until I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was Austin who was standing behind me
Me: you scared me
Austin: I’m sorry, Uncle’s here to see you
Me: I don’t want to see him because each time he comes here he always begs me to accept that woman and he doesn’t know that it’s affecting me negatively, I left that problem home so why does he have to follow me even here? let him go back coz I’m not seeing him.
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He tried pleading with me but I didn’t near him out until he gave up and I found myself crying on his shoulder.
The year was coming to an end and we wrote our exams which I enjoyed but I hated the fact that I was going back home, dad gave me my space and stopped coming to school which I appreciated a lot and it had helped in the few months. When we wrote our final paper I packed my bags and took a tour around the school, all the memories flowed and I knew I’d miss the place that I could call home then I returned to my room and we went to the parking area to wait for dad who I doubted to show up but he did. He pulled both Austin and I for a hug then took our bags and went to the car “maybe dad has thought things through and let go of that woman” I thought positively, we talked about random things as he drove and I couldn’t wait to hold Monica was in my arms….we dropped Austin at his house and the car was filled with silence until dad asked about my stay at school
Did he really care or he just wanted to break the ice but I was glad he brought that up instead of Florence because she was all we talked about with him, we got home and Monica was still at school so I unpacked my bags and told myself that I wouldn’t let the house be gloomy like it was before I left so I played some music and danced along as I cleaned my bedroom. Monica walked in when I was almost done and she jumped on me excitedly, I was glad to see her and we did some catch up then she said something that dropped my mood instantly
Monica: sis, dad and Florence are getting married in two weeks
I coughed so hard that I felt myself running out of breath
Monica: are you okay?
Me: yes, don’t worry
I heard my stomach rumble and remembered that I had skipped my lunch so I went to the kitchen and made myself something light as I awaited supper. “So dad’s visit pleading with me to accept her was simply because he was bringing her in soon, they’ve still been together for the seven months I was away?” I thought to myself. I was not going to ask him about it coz he’d tell me if he really wanted me to know, I snapped out of my thoughts when the girls startled me and we began our chit chats on things we missed out……