Finding Sophia: 16-20

To go directly to chapter 20, click here: Finding Sophia: Chapter 20

CHAPTER 16

She moved slightly, causing the dagger to slash her cheek. It left a horrible searing pain and a trail of blood. Before she could have time to wince, Ejo punched deep into her tummy and she fell to the ground. Most fighters know when to accept defeat and recoil in the pain, but not Tiwa. She. Was. Pissed. She couldn’t believe she had allowed this inferior fighter leave such a ghastly scar on her face and cause her to fall on her knees. The hair on her skin rose and her heart raced faster than ever. Her entire body was on fire with anger as she glanced up with murderous eyes at Ejo who was wiping off the blood from his dagger, clearly being cocky. Like a bolt, she lurched, toppling him over on the ground.

Ejo was no slacker himself. After being toppled, he dug his knee into her stomach in an attempt to get her off him, but Tiwa was not in the mood to back down. She bent his elevated knee until it reached the ground before then twisting it to an unpleasant angle. Ejo tried to punch her, but she simply rammed her head into his, causing the bleeding from her tooth to restart and drip onto Ejo’s face. Ejo’s heart trembled as he saw a glimpse of that crazed murderer Tiwa actually is, her psychotic eyes and smile were enough to cause any man to fall to his knees. They were definitely enough to make Ejo’s eyes widen in fear. She kept twisting his knee until she heard a bone snap. Still not satisfied, she pressed on a crucial pressure point on his knee to ensure that his leg was completely paralyzed.

“Remember that fear, Ejo…Remember that I am the blood daughter of M.K…I am not to be taken lightly.” She pressed further “I would have killed you right now if not for your bond with my father… Next time, you wouldn’t be so lucky.”

She pushed herself off him, leaving him twitching in pain and drenched in sweat. A dry laugh burst through her lips as she realized how good it felt to feel as powerful as she used to be. Grabbing her jacket from the floor, she smoothed her sweaty hair and spat out her bloody saliva. Before she exited the room, she gave one last glance to Ejo, who was barely hanging on to consciousness.

“I have to thank you though. You brought Tiwa back to life” she said, strutting out of the room, leaving behind bruised, fear stricken men in her wake.

 

“Dad, I’m scared… why are all these men looking at me like that?”

M.K. grabbed her gently by the shoulders and looked her in the eyes.

“It’s because they think you are weak. Are you weak, Tiwa?”

“No” she said with so much fury burning in her eyes.

“Love that fire. Now prove to them that you aren’t. So far, your combat skills have been getting better, but with your size, you will never be able to beat any skilled fighter.”

“But I have been training so hard…” she muttered sadly.

“Not to worry, sweetheart. You can use your size to your advantage.” She raised her big hopeful eyes to him. “You can become fast…as fast as lightning…”

“As fast as lightning…”

“Do you want to be that fast?” he asked, leading her to the door at the extreme right of the mat.

“I do!”

She would do anything to make sure her father never thought she was weak.

“Great.” M.K. said smiling.

He pushed open the door, revealing a new arena with burning red coals arranged form wall to wall with a large picture of Sophia and her family hanging on the wall opposite them.

“What i-is this?” she asked fearfully, moving backwards, but M.K. stopped her.

“This is the Room of Fire. Prove to me you are not weak. Slash your dagger across that picture and come back here. Do that 20 times. Remember the faster you run, the quicker it’s over.”

Tiwa wanted to run away. She was scared, but her fear of disappointing her father was stronger.

She cautiously took her first steps into the room.

“AHHHHH!”

Tiwa screamed and jumped forth from her bed and immediately grasped her feet. Plastic surgery can conceal what had happened in that room to the rest of the world, but it can never take away the pain.

CHAPTER 17

As experienced as Tiwa was, she didn’t notice the looming figure staring sadly at her by the bedroom door frame until he coughed out loud.

Tiwa jolted forward and lifted her eyes to see a downcast Tomiwa looking down at her.

“What do you want?” she asked under her breath

He didn’t reply. He just kept staring.

His presence coupled with the thick silence prickled Tiwa’s ebony skin. Anger rose within her until she could literally taste it on her tongue.

“Are you just going to keep staring?” she snapped “What kind of person watches someone while they are staring, huh?”

He refused to move.

“Don’t you have better things to do with your life? Oh right you probably want to propose again.”

His face twitched briefly in anger. She saw it. She had hit a nerve. That gave her sweet, exciting joy with some tints of sadness. She continued regardless.

“Let me save you some time. My answer remains the same. But if you want to hear it again—

“I heard you scream. That’s why I’m here” he cut in with a coarse voice.
“Boo hoo. So what?” she teased “Haven’t you ever had nightmares?”

He was about to give a swift retort, but he noticed the band aid on the other side of her face. It was on the far side of her cheek, almost beside her ear. His heart nearly broke thinking of how quickly she had managed to get hurt after just arriving. However, he suppressed all form of reaction, so she wouldn’t observe him noticing.

“Okay, I see we are back to staring. I need you to get out of my room.”
She stood up from the bed and walked towards the bedroom entrance to slam the door in his face. Just as she grabbed the white door, he stopped it with his foot and gently used his palms to remove the band aid before she could stop him.

She recoiled from the pain of having the band aid removed and let go of the door, quickly covering her wound. It was pointless. He had already seen it. It wasn’t like it was a nasty wound. Ejo had made a clean cut, and the scar had already started to scab.

“Make up a lie” her brain screamed at her, but she couldn’t think of one while looking into Tomiwa’s pained black eyes. She grabbed the door once more and quickly slammed it in his face before he had a chance to say anything judgmental.

Locking the door, she pushed behind all thoughts of what just happened. She crawled slowly back into bed, but she couldn’t sleep anymore. Her mind was haunted by the Room of Fire and Tomiwa’s sad eyes.

“Why didn’t he say anything?” a little part of her wondered.

 

Tomiwa stood at the other side of the door in shock. He couldn’t think of anything to say. Deep within him, he had been praying that Tiwa had changed after all her months away and had finally given up her dangerous life. In just a day, she had already gotten a scar. He wondered if he should tell Ayo his worries about Tiwa, but that would be stupid. Ayo never saw fault in her; she was his big strong sister.

Tomiwa hurried away from her door when he heard Ayo open the front door below.

“Hey guy, what’s up?” Tomiwa called out from the stairs.

“Guy I dey tired. We get any food?”

“I look like your servant ni? If you’re hungry, kitchen dey there. I dey go sleep” Tomiwa replied, heading for his room.
Ayo threw down his bag in frustration and dragged it to the living room. He would rather sleep hungry than actually have to cook.

With nothing to do, he brought out a little leather book from the inside pouch of his bag as he sat on the couch. He gently glided across the tiny compass-made carvings on the front that said S.B. With quiet resolution, he lifted the cover and smiled softly at the familiar writing on the other side: “The diary for my husband.”

The unknown black figure looking in from outside at the window opposite the couch peered closely at the book in Ayo’s hand.

Ayo flipped through a bunch of pages he couldn’t bear to read as they were about their wedding and first few weeks of marriage. Scrolling through the book, he realized there was no page that didn’t bring him pain. He finally settled for one of his favorites.

“Dear Husband,

I see you still don’t understand the meaning of a “diary”. Well I’m not going to indulge you today. I’m not going to share any “secrets”. All I have to say is I love you, and we both know that.  Can’t believe it’s been a whole month. I know you have forgotten that today is our first month anniversary as a married couple. I’m not angry though; I have known you long enough to understand you. And I know that you will pretend like you never forgot and order something off the internet. Typical, typical.

My mum called me this afternoon telling me she wants me to come home for some days. I wanted to tell you over dinner, but you looked so happy about your grade that I didn’t want to ruin it. I know you guys don’t get along. I have learnt to live with that. I need to go home though. I know that I shouldn’t be leaving so early after we got married but it seems really important. Besides, it might give you a chance to actually read for school.

Ugh look at me blabbing again. You are going to end up reading my diary forever. I just can’t help myself. Talk to you in the morning after you read this as I sleep peacefully like an angel beside you. You are lucky to have me.

With love from Blanks.”

Another tear slid down his cheek at reading her absurd signature ending. He quickly wiped them all away before anyone else saw them, trying to protect his “masculinity”. It was stupid, considering Tomiwa had already seen him cry and Tiwa had seen him cry so many times, but he did it anyway. The exhaustion of the day finally hit him and he tucked the book under him as he lay down in the couch to sleep. The stairs to his room were like a mountain he was not ready to climb. He fell asleep smiling, thinking of how his wife would soon be home.

The black figure outside tried to carefully open the glass window to no avail. It glanced one last time at the book before walking away.

Both Tiwa and Tomiwa stared at their room ceilings for hours. Patricia was still practicing at the dance studio, and nightmares scared Tireni from sleeping. Only Ayo had peace that night, but his wouldn’t last long.

 

CHAPTER 18

“You have to be kidding me” Tiwa said.

“Oh come on, it’s just a couple of hours of your time.”

Ayo and Tiwa were seated together on the couch with Ayo desperately clutching Tiwa’s hand. Tomiwa pretended to be watching football on the television screen, but he was secretly amused by their brother and sister interaction evident by the small grin on his face.

“I am not a stalker, Ayo!”

“But this isn’t stalking” he whined.

Tomiwa couldn’t stop the laugh that forced its way through his mouth.

“Oh you think this is funny, do you?” Tiwa snapped

“Stay out of this, Tomiwa!” Ayo yelled at the same time

“Sorry, sorry” he said chuckling with his hands raised in surrender. He got up from his chair and walked to the kitchen to grab some chin-chin. The kitchen was opposite the parlor and the only separation was a tall counter where they often have their meals. It was a simple space equipped by Tomiwa, the cook of the house. Ayo couldn’t care less.

When Tomiwa got to the fridge, he “nonchalantly” said,

“Although I wouldn’t mind going with you to the performance.”

“Tomi, my boy!” Ayo exclaimed and rushed over to meet him on his way.  “Now I know why we are best friends!”

“Because you both are weirdos” Tiwa whispered loud enough for them to hear.

“Yeah and YOU are the normal one” Tomiwa quietly retorted as he grabbed the chin-chin from the top of the fridge.

“Hey, hey no fighting in this house” Ayo chastised

“Ha! Tell that to Tiwa and the scar on her face”

“She scratched herself with her nail” Ayo said, confusion etched on his face. He had asked Tiwa as soon as he saw her and that’s what she had said. It was a simple scar and not the first time she had accidentally injured herself, so he couldn’t understand Tomiwa’s point.

“Really, dude? You believe that?”

“You don’t?”

“Of course, I don’t.”

“Yeah, keep talking like I’m not here. I will just continue my work in my bedroom.” Tiwa made a move to go up the stairs, staring down Tomiwa with hateful eyes.

“Aren’t you going with us anymore?” Ayo asked

“I would rather kill Tomiwa than go”

“What?” the boys both turned and asked in surprise.

She simply smiled innocently and went to her room.

Ayo laughed and shook his head. “Always making jokes, that girl”

Meanwhile, Tomiwa was having trouble not choking on his chin-chin.

 

“You think the girls will be shocked to see us here?” Ayo asked

“Oh you mean the boys that have been stalking them everywhere? Of course not!” Tomiwa said with an all too sarcastic eye roll.

The boys had already entered the theatre and were seated in their regular space. This was one of the last performances the girls arranged to do before they left to another state to compete in the regional competition of “We Dance, We Live”. The situation was a bit high stakes because some of the scouts for the contest were around that day to see the team and although they had already been assured of a spot, the girls still had to impress them.

“Hey guys!”

The boys nearly tripped on the steps when they saw Tiwa calling from the front row.

“You said you weren’t coming?” Tomiwa asked suspiciously as they walked up to her.

“I changed my mind” she said, shrugging.

“You said you would rather kill him!” Ayo recalled, pointing at Tomiwa.

“Changed my mind about that too” she said with the widest fake smile she could muster. She didn’t really want to come, but she would rather do it than get tortured by him for disobeying his orders.

“Well, I’m glad you could make it anyway” Ayo said in his usual cheery way. Tomiwa, on the other hand, didn’t accept her reason so easily, but he kept his quiet.

The lights started to dim and the boys took their seat. The girls were backstage, and Patricia could feel the familiar feeling of anxiety in her heart. Beads of sweat started to spring up on her face and her palms. Tireni looked at her affectionately before suggesting

“Patricia, you look like you could use some water. Let me get some from your bag.”

Patricia’s mind was focused on calming her anxiety, so she didn’t respond immediately. Once she finally processed the information, she said

“I didn’t bring any—

“I found one in there” Tireni interrupted.

“Oh wow, I don’t remember putting it there. Thanks anyway.”

Patricia gulped down the water like a parched man on a desert and tossed the empty bottle in the bin.

“Take it easy there, Pattie” May quipped.

“It’s fine. I’m fine. Let’s do this!”

They all got into line as the song “Angel by the Wings” by Sia started to flow through the overhead speakers. Tireni was last in line behind Patricia, the only two in white dresses. The girls in their black dresses gracefully passed through the separating curtain in their unison poses. Patricia’s was slightly off, enough to raise worry in Tireni but she played it off to the nerves.

The routine was one they had practiced so many times before with just the inclusion of the new moves they had learnt over the past couple of days. Patricia would start with a solo routine and then Tireni before the rest of the girls joined in the coordinated routine. There was one unexpected problem though.

Patricia wouldn’t start.

Never in all her years of dance had she ever frozen on stage.

The audience waited in anticipation for something to happen. Patricia just kept moving her eyes left to right through the audience. Some of the scouts even coughed slightly to get things going, but she just stood there. The girls remained fixed in their lowered head positions, but they were all worried and confused.

“Pattie?” Tireni whispered

Her breathing quickened as she kept squinting at the audience.

“Patricia?” Tireni asked with her head still lowered.

“My eyes, Tireni…” she whispered under her breath.

“What?” Tireni raised her head in a flash.

“Don’t worry” she said, shaking her head. “I can do this without them. We can’t lose our chance” she mumbled, but Tireni heard her.

“Patricia, is everything all right?!” she said in a panic
Patricia closed her eyes and instructed the audio crew to start the music again. Then she began her solo routine.

The girls were worried but couldn’t say anything out of fear of her. The boys and the entire audience were left in so much confusion as to what had happened. Tiwa merely smirked.

“Stupid brat” she thought. “3…”

Patricia’s movements became sluggish.

“2…”

She stopped frozen in the middle of the routine.

“1…”
Patricia collapsed on the stage. All the girls ran to her in a panic and the audience rushed to the edge of the stage. Tomiwa jumped the stage and ran to hold her up.

“Patricia? Patricia?” they all called. The entire room was in chaos and they started hurrying her to the nearest hospital. Tireni picked up her phone to call the private hospital about the situation since she personally knew them. As she brought her phone to her line of sight, the first message she saw was

“Next time, teach your friend not to be rude.”

Below it was another message from the same unknown number:

“And never try running away.”

 

CHAPTER 19

In all of the confusion and chaos of last night, no one had noticed Tiwa quietly exiting the theatre except one person. However, he had had to focus on the situation on hand.

They had gotten Patricia to the hospital, luckily in time. Tireni had nearly passed out when the doctors told them that a couple more hours and she would have died. They had thought it was a simple exhaustion or dehydration issue, but the results revealed something apparently way worse than that.

So bad that the doctor had to excuse Tireni to tell Patricia the results the next evening when she had finally woken up. The other girls had gone home and it was just Tireni keeping her company in the room. Tomiwa had gone to get some of their stuff from their hotel room.

Tireni decided not to pry when she came back into the room. She just simply took her seat in the chair, rubbed Patricia’s hand, and settled in to get some rest.

A couple of seconds after Tireni had shut her eyes, Patricia asked in a pained, shaky voice,

“Why did you try to poison me, Tireni?”

Those heavy words echoed throughout the silent room. Tireni slowly opened her eyes and turned her head to Patricia.

“Wha—What? What are you talking about?”

Patricia sat up on the bed with the little strength she had left.

“I know you heard me.”

“Are you crazy, Patricia?! Did you hit your head on the wall or something? How can you say such a thing? Oh right. This must be a joke. It’s really not funny, sis.”

But the tears falling down Patricia’s cheeks and her stony look proved otherwise.

“You are serious….”

“Dead serious!” Patricia yelled.

“I didn’t poison you! Is that what the stupid doctor told you?”

“He told me someone tried to!”

“And you just assume it was me? Wow. In all the time we have spent together, never have I seen you be so foolish.”

“Do not talk to me that way.”

“I will talk to you as I want. You are not the boss of me.”

“Do you understand that you attempted murder? ON ME! Don’t act like this is some misunderstanding.”

“How can you say such a thing, Patricia? Why would I poison you?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you are jealous about my success” Tireni scoffed and turned her back on her. “Maybe it’s envy because you will never be as good as me”

“Idiot…” she whispered

“Maybe it’s because you have no one that cares about you.”

The tears that were on the brink of Tireni’s eyes finally fell and she spun around in anger

“Oh and you do?! Tell me is it the mother that’s dead or the father who couldn’t give two about you?”

Tireni regretted the words as soon as she said them. She never planned them, but they hit right into Patricia as shown by her broken expression.

“Get out.”

“Pattie, wait…”

“I said, get out!”

“No! I will not”
Patricia feebly got out of the cotton bed and barely stabilized herself on the cold tiles. She removed the IV from her arm and slowly dragged herself to push Tireni out of her room.

“Patricia…”

Something at the back of Tireni’s mind urged her to show Patricia the text message she had gotten. But showing her that meant exposing M.K. to Patricia, breaking the ultimate code of secrecy.

“Tireni, I loved you like a sister and you tried to kill me.”

“I wouldn’t do such a thing.”

“You gave me the bottle!”

Patricia finally got to where Tireni was standing, but she was breathing heavily and shaking.

“I found it in your bag!”

“So you say. I knew I carried no bottle yesterday. No wonder you wanted me to drink it.”

“You were nervous for crying out loud and I was being caring. My stupid fault.”

“Just leave.”

Patricia grabbed both of Tireni’s shoulders with her hands, but she shrugged them off too violently and Patricia fell.

“I’m so sorry, Patricia”

Patricia struggled to get up from the ground and tears fell from her eyes as her weakness and vulnerability hit her.

Tireni tried to help her up, but she refused.

A nurse walked into the room, saying

“Hey, could you guys reduce the—what’s going on here?”

She stared at the situation in shock

“She fell”

“She pushed me off. Please get her out of here.”

The nurse rushed to Patricia’s aid and directed her back to the bed.

“You have to leave, ma’am.”

“But—”

“Now please before I call the security man.”

Tireni knew she had no choice, so she went to grab her belongings in anger, clutching her phone especially tight.

“If only she could show her” she thought. But she cannot risk her family for Patricia, no matter how much it hurt her. She walked out of the room in tears and collided with Tomiwa.

“What’s wrong, Tireni? Is she alright?” he asked urgently.

She could feel the bile rising up from her stomach, irritated by his concern for her.

“She’s perfectly fine, Tomiwa” she said, angrily clenching her jaw.

She pushed him out of the way and kept running with her blurry eyes. Unfortunately, she collided with Ayo.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked, looking down at her and holding her arms gently.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing. Just let me go.”

“Come on. I’m right here to lean on. What’s wrong?”

Tireni looked at him through her blurry eyes. His caring, worried eyes pushed her over the edge of her emotional breakdown.

She broke down crying in his arms, and he rubbed her back soothingly as she wailed.

“Don’t worry, Sophia. I’m right here.”

She pushed herself off him in disgust, looked at him briefly with her pained cold eyes before walking towards the exit

“Oh wait sorry I meant Tireni” Ayo called out to her.

It was too late. She was already out the door.

 

CHAPTER 20

Tireni walked sadly through the cold, dark night, ignoring the anxious beats of her heart. She just wanted to be alone without the problems of other humans. She had no friends and her family didn’t care about her. Ayo only cared about Sophia, Tomiwa only cared about Patricia, and Patricia now thought she was a murderer.

Alex was the only one she had and that wasn’t a friendship by choice. Her body was wracked with pain and hurt as the tears streamed uncontrollably. She struggled to drag her feet as she walked. The sad part was this wasn’t even part of the top ten worst moments of her life. But that didn’t make the pain easier to handle. She felt like curling up in a ball in the sticky clay and staying there forever. She wanted to feel numb and push all her problems down like she usually did, but she couldn’t. Patricia’s words stung, and she couldn’t believe that she would ever say such about her, no matter the evidence. M.K. had gone too far with this, and the worst part was she couldn’t do anything about it.

“Ah ah fine girl, what are you doing here?” a burly voice grumbled into her ear as the owner slid a hand on Tireni’s waist.

Without thinking, she turned around and punched him square in the face. He fell to the ground, annoyed and confused. He had not expected such a reaction especially from someone looking so vulnerable. Tireni’s anxiety turned into anger with her breathing escalated and heart rate speeding. She kicked his head with her black flats and kept hitting all parts of his body. He wanted to retaliate so badly, but he could only scramble around on the ground with kicks coming in from left and right.

“Don’t touch me!” she screamed

“You have no right, you pig!” she landed a kick deep in his stomach.

“Who do you think I am?” she stomped hard on his chest. Tears clouded her vision but she just kept on hitting and hitting and hitting.

“I am a BANKOLE!”

With one final wave of anger, she kicked him hard on his back. The assailant had passed out long ago with blood dripping down the edge of his mouth. Sweat dripped from her forehead as she struggled to catch her breath with her hands on her knees. Shock hit her when she finally looked up and saw the damage she had done to him. Another bout of tears hit her and she crumpled slowly to the ground. While others may rejoice at single-handedly defeating a thug, Tireni had sworn off violence years ago after being released from the hospital. Anger was a slippery slope for her, and she hated the impulse that drove her crazy.

“Sophia please stay safe” she whispered to herself “I miss you so much”

“I wish I could be with you right now. If only you could see how much Ayo loves and cares for you. Not only him. Our family loves and cares for you. Everyone loves you and no one even remembers or thinks of me. Honestly, it wouldn’t be so bad being you for once” she thought, wiping tears from her eyes.

“I’m being stupid” Tireni whispered “You have your own problems too”

Her phone buzzed from her dirty bag that she had accidentally tossed aside during his beat down. She crawled to it slowly and pulled out the phone.

Come home, Tireni please. Alex misses you and I’m worried- Mum

Tireni ran her hand through her wet hair, contemplating her mum’s message. She knew she really wasn’t worried. Her mum just wanted her to take Alex off her hands. How a grandmother couldn’t take care of her grandson baffled Tireni, but she knew not to judge her openly. She couldn’t leave here without M.K’s permission, and she knew his answer already. Her life was so messed up, and she hated it so much. It had always been messed up and every single time, she couldn’t do anything to make things normal.

She grabbed her belongings and picked herself from the ground. Wanting to not be triggered any further, she walked as fast as she could to the nearest, safest place she knew which was the theatre they had just left. Pulling the key from her purse, she unlocked the backdoor and forgot to lock it back up. The entire theatre was pitch black, and it brought some sort of comfort to her. She carefully walked to the stage, to where it had all happened, the start and end of their friendship. She remembered it like it was yesterday.

Tireni had entered through the backdoor to come practice in the theatre as usual and she didn’t notice the girls that were practicing in a corner downstage. Her headphones blocked all their little sounds.

“Hey, you!” Patricia yelled at her from the other side of the stage.

Tireni jumped in shock and removed her headphones.

“M..Me?” Tireni asked, confused and scared

“No, the person behind you” Patricia replied sarcastically.

Tireni looked behind her ignorantly and felt even more confused.

“Of course I mean you! Are you here for the auditions?”

“Auditions? Oh no no I’m sorry. I didn’t know there was an audition here. I will leave.”

Tireni hurried to gather her belongings, but Patricia crossed the stage and grabbed her hand.

“You are a good dancer.”

“Thank you…” she murmured to the floor, drawing circles on the floor.

“Can you at least look at me when I talk to you?”

“Oh sorry sorry.”

Tireni lifted her eyes from the ground and parted her hair to look directly at Patricia.

“Would you like to join my dance team?

“I’m sorry…I can’t.”

“But you are a good dancer and we need good dancers on our team”

“Thank you for that. But I still can’t.”

Patricia paused for a moment and then asked

“What’s your name?”

“Tireni.”

“Tireni what?”

“Just Tireni.”

“Well just Tireni, I’m not going to ask you again. Join our team.”

Tireni chuckled softly to herself and lifted her bag to her shoulders.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Because for someone that wants something, you are really rude and mean about it” she said smiling.

Tireni walked past Patricia towards the exit.

“Okay fine fine.” Patricia sighed “Will you pleasseeee join our team?”

Tireni turned back and smiled. “Isn’t that much better?” she said and kept walking to the door “My answer is still no”

“I have noted you, Tireni! You are going to join the team whether you like it or not” Patricia yelled snottily

Tireni kept laughing to herself as she exited the building.

Patricia was the first person Tireni had had a conversation with in the weeks since she relocated to the area. Patricia’s attitude had somehow encouraged Tireni to toss aside her shyness. Strangely, Tireni found herself a member of the team just as Patricia had said. But she did like it. She loved it in fact. But all that was over and it crushed Tireni.

The lights were suddenly turned on and Tireni sprung from the floor, looking around for the intruder. She turned to her right and saw Ayo standing over by the light switch, panting.

“You walk really fast, Tireni”

“Were you following me, Ayo? Do you know how creepy that is!” she shouted angrily

“I saw you beat up that man.”

Worry swept over Tireni at she thought about the things she had said in her moments of anger.

“And so what? You shouldn’t have stalked me”

“I just wanted to make sure you got home safe, but you handled that situation way better than I would have.”

“Whatever…” she murmured.

“You called yourself a Bankole, Tireni” he said, sporting one of the largest smiles she had ever seen.

“What?”

“You said you are a Bankole. In fact, you yelled it.” Ayo said, his smile growing even larger.

Tireni didn’t know what to say. She could not come up with any lie at the moment.

“Sophia’s maiden name is Bankole and I know for a fact that she doesn’t have any siblings.”

Tireni was still speechless.

“What had she done?” she thought

“So either you are miraculously another person with the exact same name and face of Sophia or you are in fact Sophia Bankole.”

Tireni was on the verge of having a panic attack, regret over her actions filling her mind.

It wouldn’t be so bad being Sophia. That stupid thought crept into her mind once again. But now there was only one possible solution.

“So can you please tell me the truth and say who you really are?” Ayo asked with warmth and love in his eyes. By this time, he was standing right in front of Tireni.

“I…” she started, eyes fixed to the ground. Summoning up her courage, she made up her mind and looked right at him.

“I am…” his caramel eyes flickered with excitement

“I am Sophia…Sophia Bankole…the wife of Ayo Oloruntobi”

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