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Chapter Sixteen:The Fifth And The Last Child

Their matriculation was near, Nina didn’t know what to expect. She was still playing around with Dennis, she had no idea of how universities can be, and all she knew was that she was in school. She thought it’s the same as secondary school, nothing serious. She didn’t get any advice from anyone, her elderly cousin that was in school would talk about girls and cars he sees in school, she and her elder ones except Antonia attended at the same time and Tonia on the other hand was working and schooling at the same time (she hardly had the time to advice any of them). Her Dad just had a diploma and her step-mum wasn’t educated, she was a secondary school dropout so they both had no idea. Besides her step-mum wasn’t always good to them even if she was educated.
Nina was always spending time with Dennis because at that point she felt like he was the only one that matters to her. Growing up, she felt like she wasn’t loved, three years after she was born her parents separated and even with the other woman her father didn’t appreciate her compared to her siblings. He loved Antonia and provided her with everything until their step-mum started poisoning his mind against her and then Sarah -she was his favorite. He didn’t let her do anything in the house and it made her lazy and fragile that she broke all the plates in the house yet he didn’t beat her. But instead asked Nina to do them, Nina was doing almost everything that Sarah should be doing. She washed the bathrooms, plates, her Dad’s clothes and cooks sometimes.
Although their dad loved his wife’s food that he didn’t want his daughters to cook for him but after some years, they learnt how to cook from their step-mum that sometimes they would cook a meal their dad would eat and he wouldn’t know the difference.
Because Nina was a very stubborn person (i think she got that from her mom), she fights with her brothers and she loved to argue that whenever she’s arguing with her older sibling, they’ll all surround her and start beating her, the only one that could save her was her cousin Daniel. That’s why she really loved him because she felt like he was the only one she could talk too and understands what she goes through. Sometimes she felt like the outcast, she felt like she was the reason her parents separated, especially when her stepmother calls her a witch and her dad says she want to know more than her age.
So when she got into the university and met Dennis, he treats her the way no one has, she hasn’t been in a real relationship before. With Dennis she felt save and was happy that someone could actually love her, he was like everything she’s got so she didn’t care where she was at that time but who she was with.
The matriculation day was here, Sarah, Nathan and her cousin Michael came…….
Sarah: Babbi (that’s what she calls Nina), how are you?
Nina: I’m fine, you came. Nathan hi, how is school?
Nathan: fine, so this is the school?
Nina: yeah, a very small school.
Michael: (laughing) at least people are here.
Nina: mike, how is uncle and aunty?
Michael: they are good.
Nina: what of Zinny and the others?
Michael: they are fine.
Nina: okay.
They all sat down and watched other people at the matriculation. Nathan and Sarah had a good matriculation, at least their father, uncle and aunt attended; they had some food and drinks. But in Richard and Nina’s case, none of their parent attended, just their siblings, no food no drinks…
Richard: let me get you guys something.
Sarah: come on Richard, don’t worry. I can buy myself a drink.
Richard: I insist.
Sarah: don’t worry.
Richard: if you not accepting, I’ll buy for Michael and Nathan.
Nathan: Richie, don’t worry. I’ll buy for you guys.
Richard: Michael, don’t mind them, have a drink.
Michael: (takes the bottle from Richard) thanks man.
Richard: you’re welcome. Nina, do you want anything.
Nina: no, I’m good thanks.
Richard: okay.
A girl from pre-science saw Nina and wanted to take a picture with her. Then she saw Sarah and thought Sarah was Nina so she decided to take a picture with both of them. Nina was looking for Dennis but she couldn’t find him and she didn’t have a phone to call. Dennis on the other hand didn’t seem to be looking for her if not he would have found her. They stayed at one spot for some time before Nathan decided to take a stroll with Michael and Richard.  Finally Dennis locates her…..
Dennis: hey!
Nina: hi! Meet my sister, Sarah.
Dennis: wow, she looks like you. Hi, Sarah!
Nina: how?
Sarah: hi, nice to meet you.
Dennis: you too. Baby let’s take some pictures.
Nina: okay. Where is your family?
Dennis: they didn’t come, besides matriculation is for children.
Nina: yeah, right.
Dennis: I’ve to go meet Tony and the others.
Nina: I would have followed you but I can’t leave my sister.
Dennis: yeah, I know. I’ll see you later.
Nina: okay.

Dennis: okay, Sarah are you still going to be around?
Sarah: um no, we are leaving today.
Dennis: we?
Nina: yeah, my brother and cousin.
Dennis: Aww, I didn’t get to meet them. Maybe some other time.
Nina: okay.
Dennis: Sarah nice meeting you again (leaves).
Sarah: you too, bye.  He’s the Dennis?
Nina: yeah.
Sarah: okay.
Nina: okay?
Sarah: nothing, I, maybe I was expecting more, don’t mind me.
Nina: something more? What do you mean?
Sarah: {smiling} it’s just the way you were going on and on about him, that’s all.
Nina: whatever!
Sarah: your school is not so bad.
Nina: because you don’t get to spend four years here.
Sarah: oh well, you‘ll be fine. It’ll be over before you know it.
Nina: yeah I guess.
After some few hours with each other, it was time for Sarah, Nathan and Michael to leave so they left. Nina sees some people from her pre-science and starts taking pictures with them; she even took pictures with Richard’s girlfriend and Onome her former hostel mate. After some few more hours, the event was over and Nina headed back to Evelyn’s and Agbani’s lodge (you would think it’s a self-contained or an apartment or even a motel but it’s just a room). Meanwhile Dennis was getting his groove on with his friends and their girlfriends. Most of his friends were ahead of him, the least was a year.  He became very used to his friends that he didn’t really have much time for his girlfriend; he partied in their lounge until he got drunk and fell asleep.
The next day was a Sunday but Nina didn’t feel like going out of the lodge or going to see him. She was sort of upset that it didn’t border Dennis that they didn’t hookup after the ceremony…..
Nina: Evelyn, what of Agbani? She didn’t come back last night.
Evelyn: she spent it with her boyfriend of course. I wasn’t even expecting you to come back last night.
Nina: come on, you know I’m not like that. At least I’ll tell you first (smiling).
Evelyn: whether you tell me or not, it’s expected. Besides where were you, I was looking for you all over.
Nina: I was at the love garden in school, I even saw Onome.
Evelyn: I saw Onome as well; she told me she saw you at the field. When I got there, I didn’t see you again, I wanted us to take pictures together.
Nina: yeah, me too but we’ve e already submitted our matriculation gown.
Evelyn: no worries, most of the photographers have extra gowns.
Nina: really! They have that too?
Evelyn: there is nothing they don’t have. You need to do something about your phone so one can reach you.
Nina: I will, is just this money issue. You know I still have to pay for hostel.I asked some people but they were saying there isn’t any space. I don’t know what I’ll do.
Evelyn: I heard people squat.
Nina: yeah, but who? Besides how do they share that very little bunk?
Evelyn: some share their mattress while some sell out their space.
Nina: I think I like the space type. I love my space.
Evelyn: is not really easy, especially when everyone is getting settled but we hope to find one.
Nina: yeah, I hope so.
Evelyn :( phone rings) hello?
Dennis: hi, Evelyn how are you doing? It’s Dennis.
Evelyn: oh, hi Dennis! I’m good, Nina is here.
Dennis: okay, let me talk to her.
Evelyn: here ( passing the phone), Dennis.
Dennis: hi babe!
Nina: hi
Dennis: are you coming over?
Nina: I don’t think so.
Dennis: why?
Nina: I don’t feel like it.
Dennis: you don’t feel like seeing me?
Nina: it’s not that, I just don’t feel like going out.
Dennis: okay, I guess we’ll see tomorrow in school.
Nina: yeah, I guess.
Dennis: okay, take care. Bye
Nina: bye. Thanks Evelyn.
Evelyn: is it because of me you don’t want to go out?
Nina: no, I not just up for it.
Evelyn: are you okay?
Nina: I’m fine.
Evelyn: is it Dennis?
Nina: no, it’s just… We didn’t spent enough time together during the ceremony.
Evelyn: but you saw each other?
Nina: yes, just took pictures and he disappeared again.
Evelyn: school was really crowded yesterday you know? Maybe when he got back he couldn’t find you again, coupled with your phone troubles.
Nina: maybe.
Evelyn: okay, let’s prepare some lunch.
Nina: yeah.
Nina was not happy with Dennis behavior, she wanted him to make up for yesterday, by calling, apologizing, visiting her the next day and begging her to go home with him but he didn’t.

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