“I think we should go home now,” Halimat said shakily, clinging to the throw pillow like a frightened child.
“No,” Hadijat vehemently opposed. “How do we explain at home why we are back without Rough.”
“But she’s a final year student now, we can always find an excuse for her,” Halimat maintained her stance.
“Do you think your Dad would agree to that? Won’t he try to find out from other final year students? And what happens if he finds out that the rest have gone home?” Hadijat retorted. “Besides, I’m not ready to return home now.”
“I don’t want to return home too but staying in the Arch Angel’s mansion shouldn’t be an option. Let’s stay here, we can store up foodstuffs and every other thing we need, so that we can always stay indoor.”
Rough was folding her arms and staring in silence at her sisters as they argued to make a decision. She had tried to convince them on leaving but since they remained adamant about staying, she only hoped that they’ll take Slimmy’s offer or better still reconsider and go home, now that they were arguing about it.
“You guys can’t stay here? It’s too dangerous for you” Rough cut in. “It doesn’t matter how much you try to stay indoor, you can always be located by anyone who wants to locate you.”
“This place is not really frequented by those guys, so no one can notice that we’re around, especially if we can discipline ourselves to remain inside the house.” Halimat tried to argue.
“Oh! Shut up,” Rough slammed. “Didn’t you hear about the murder of Host’s girlfriend? Is Denril Crescent not a more hidden place and quieter than this area? And it was still possible for them to locate her”
Hadijat was on the quiet side for the moment, watching to see where Rough and Halimat’s argument would lead to. She knew that Rough was not very comfortable with Slimmy’s offer for them to stay in the Arch Angel’s mansion, but she was sure that Rough would still prefer the option to them staying alone in the house. She hoped that Halimat would reason like her and agree to take Slimmy’s offer. For Hadijat, it was a wonderful proposal as it will offer her the opportunity to see Slimmy more often and probably get closer to him.
“But that was Host’s girlfriend, the White Tigers knew that she meant something to the Arch Angels, that’s why they searched for her but we don’t matter to anybody in this campus, they have no business with us.”
Rough shook her head slowly and bit her lips as she stared at Halimat in disgust at her words. “Did you hear Slimmy mentioned that I was going to be sent on a special errand?” She shouted at Halimat. “What if the Tigers come here looking for me?” She raised her eyebrows in a threatening manner and stared into her sisters’ eyes as she got up from the seat. “They won’t spare both of you if they meet you here,” with that she bounced out of the living room.
Hadijat and Halimat remained in silence, each one given away to her own thoughts. Hadijat was thinking of the possible pleasure and danger that may be involved in them staying at the Arch Angels mansion. Just like Rofiat had said, if the Tigers came looking for her at home, they wouldn’t spare them if they were found. But what if the White Tigers also attacked the Arch Angels mansion, would they be spared? Or was the mansion a safe haven for them?
Halimat didn’t want to go home also, she didn’t want to face her father’s constant sessions of moral and religious lectures neither did she want to be caged by her mother’s grievous rules, to her the rules were grievous. She and her sister, Rough had parents who were highly religious. Their mother was an Alhaja while the father an Alhaji, that was the status bestowed on them after they returned from their religious visit to Mecca. But not only had they just gone to Mecca to get the titles alone, they both practised the religion effectively and even compelled their children to also do the same.
Unfortunately for them, their kids were not religious like the parents. They couldn’t get them to be. They were not successfully in trying to help the children balance their religious life with their social life. The error was made from their nursery school to secondary school choice for the kids. They enrolled the children in a nursery and primary school of high status and pupils from other rich homes like theirs, the kids began to fall in love with the lifestyle of the other children they met at school, soon their parents’ pattern became boring and old fashioned to them. The secondary school choice of a boarding school had even made it worse. That was where the children totally discarded the ways and ideas of their parents. They were not really extremely bad girls but weren’t good girls also. Both Rofiat and Halimat were deflowered in their Junior secondary school. But they still managed to put up a good act for their parents, as they always dressed in hijabs and long cover skirts when they were at home during the holidays. Things got worse in their senior secondary school, Rofiat who was the eldest and in two classes ahead of Halimat got involved with very terrible people. Her tomboy attitude and manner of life in school attracted the bad gangs to her. She took her first wrap of weed in SS2 but that was the saving grace for Halimat.
Like they say, a child cannot be so stubborn to the point of not learning at least a lesson from the parents. That was the case of Rofiat. She discovered that she had gone the bad way already and tried to protect her kid sister from going the same way. She was a bit successful at it. Halimat as lucky to have someone who could guide her and stop her from making costly mistakes.
After secondary school, Rough tried to quit her bad ways but instead she got deeper until her parents began to notice her. They later changed their decision to send her to a University in America as they were afraid she would learn more bad habits there. That explains the reason Rough and her sister found themselves in a Nigerian government owned University, their parents tried to correct the error they had made from the scratch.
Hadijat on the other hand was brought up by a single father, a multi millionaire who was several times richer than but not as strict and religious as Hadijat and Rofiat’s father, his brother. Although he was also an Alhaji too but he didn’t take the religion the same way his elder brother did. He wasn’t a bad father. No, nor was he a pagan who was hiding himself under the covers of religion, he was a good man who tried to pray at least three out of the five times daily and also give alms to the poor.
After Hadijat mother died, he refused to remarry as he claimed that no one else could love him like his late wife did. Hadijat remained the number one source of remembrance of the mother to him, he cherished her and spoilt her beyond measure, ignoring the advice and warnings from his brother and several other people to take it easy on how he pampers her.
The only reason that the spoilt brat, Hadijat had for not wanting to go home was that she won’t have her sisters to party and club with anymore and her father may begin to act over protective of her like he always did.
… To be continued