Chioma couldn’t wait for Ngozi to let the cat out of the bag. So she drew closer in anticipation saying, “What happened?” She had been with Ngozi for sometimes knowing every character she exhibits but the recent one got her confuse thereby making her to be more curious and inquisitive.
“I was on my own passingby when Chidi called me” Ngozi began. “You know the normal song men usually sing when they call a girl. He began to sing for me oh”
“Is that all?” Chioma smiled. “I hope you like the song”
“Like which song?” Ngozi frowned and became stable. “Do you think I’m the kind of girl that can be deceived by mere sweet talks? I’m above that especially when it comes from some jobless village boys like Chidi” she moved closer to Chioma and lowered her voice. “That’s not even the worst part of what happened”
“I’m all ears” Chioma leaned forward.
“Can you believe that as Chidi was singing those songs to me, his friend, Obinna, came and dragged him inside their house like a child that was about to be beaten by his father”
“Ewooh!” Chioma exclaimed.
“This is not a matter of ewooh. You should have witnessed the scene. It was more like where a teenage girl was caught by her mother kissing a boy by the roadside” Ngozi laughed.
“This is serious oh. There must be a reason why Obinna acted that way”
“Yes oh, and I’m suspecting them even the other two boys called Kachi and Ebuka”
“I don’t understand” Chioma took a seat thereby motivating Ngozi to speak the more. Of course she must speak, so she prostrated before Chioma and lowered her voice again.
“Baby girl, open your eyes oh. Why is it that these four boys are always seen together, eat together and live together, yet, none of them is related to one another. I think..” she looked around lowering her voice the more. “..i think they are the criminals causing havoc in this village”
“Chim oh!” Chioma covered her mouth in amazement. “Ngozi, you talk a lot. In fact, start going home before you put us into trouble”
“Your father is a grammarian. You should have understood that I’m not sure of what i said. I only suspected them based on what i observed. Scientists call it ‘ hypothesis’ Ngozi clarified.
“I don’t want to know. If a leaf wrapped on a soup stays long, it becomes soup itself. Until the rotten tooth is pulled out, the mouth must chew with caution. Let us wait and see when they will be caught by the vigilante group before concluding”
“I never concluded anything, i only suspected. Anyways” Ngozi looked around again and asked about Dike which Chioma told her he wasn’t around. That motivated her to bring up another topic again.
“There something i have been meaning to ask u oh” she scratched her head, then Chioma stared at her with twisted mouth.
“What is it again, Amibo?”
“Why calling me Amibo?”
“Isn’t it obvious? You too like gossip”
“That one na for your pocket. If the mouth that speaks is cut off, the ears that listen will be held responsible too. If a donkey kicks u and u kick back, u are both monkeys”
“Fastest legs do not know that they are seen by the fastest eyes. Even the walls have ears. Anyways, let the cat out of the bag” Chioma demanded.
“Listen, Chioma” Ngozi began. “Forget the fact that we are friends, I’ll always speak my mind and tell u the truth. There is a rumor going round the village that your father is the cause of the criminality going on in this land. I overheard my father and Mr Adaka discussing it”
“It’s a lie, my father cannot do such a thing. It’s just a rumor” Chioma frowned.
“Remember, in every rumor there is an atom of truth”
“Not on this one”
“Chioma, don’t trust your father so much”
“It’s enough!” Chioma stood up angrily. “Start going” she commanded but Ngozi hesitated boldly.
“I won’t go until i finish saying what’s in my mind”
“I’m beginning to understand that u came all the way from your house to make trouble with me”
“My dear friend, it’s not like that. Come to think of it, why has your father not been robbed by those criminals knowing that he’s also rich in his own way?”
Chioma spaced out giving what her friend said a serious thought, but she suddenly shook her head. “I don’t want to believe what u are saying” she uttered calmly.
“Neither do i want to believe it. The same way i suspected Chidi and his friends, that’s the way I’m suspecting your father. Anyways, it’s just a rumor. I have to be on my way now” Ngozi walked out.
The time eventually came when the boys would move. As Ubiji la!d happily in his bed thinking on how he would utilize his money, so as Adaku was shedding tears in the kitchen remembering her past love life. Just then, her mother came in.
On the other hand, Chioma stood before her father, Dike, in the living room to ask him questions based on what Ngozi broadcasted to her. Though, she had not said anything but her legs began to quiver..
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