We all heard the car horn at the same time. We rushed out to see whose. Nobody in our compound drives a car nor related to a car owner. We screamed when we saw aunty Nne alighting from a black clean beautiful car. I saw the name Peugeot but don’t know what make it is or year. It was clean and the color is so shiny, so it must be new.
Aunty Nne has done it. She always tell us that women do not need men to do anything for themselves. She always tell us we should be strong and independent. And not become like our mothers who will never cook or pay bills until our daddy returned from work.
I heard the girls laughing and saw Laila on her butt. It had rained last night and the ground was still muddy and slippery. Laila had ran out with us without her slippers on and had landed on her butt out of excitement.
Our compound is a two-storey building. Already dilapidating, still the landlord has refused to fix it. I’ve once heard him complain that his tenants don’t pay, so he’d leave the house like that until it collapses one day and kill us all. I wonder what kind of man wait until his own building collapses and I wonder the kind of people that fail to vacate such premises waiting for the worst to happen.
I envy Aunty Nne, she’s now the only car owner in that compound. All the other girls kept screaming and hailing her but all I could wonder is where she got the car from.
She has no regular job, no parent, no formal education, no families, no friends, no husband. She sometimes stay home all day or go away for some days and return days after.
I’ve heard some of the neighbors say she sleeps around and get paid for it. But then she told us never to collect money from men, she’d tell us women are meant to independent, fearless and no-nonsense.
All the other girls look up to her, except me. She doesn’t like me because I once asked her who the man I saw sneaking out of her room one night was.
I was going to pee in the gut outside when I saw her carefully guiding the man out and she had begged me not to tell the other girls but I couldn’t keep it to myself and I had asked one day after her usual sermon on how we should be independent as women.
She had hated me ever since but I cared less. The other girls thought I was being mischievous but the silent hate had grew between us was like a fire on a dry forest. I still hung around her as I had no where else to play at and she’s always filled with wonders.
Our eyes locked and I could swear I saw her hissed at me with her eyes, don’t ask me how.
We’ve lived with her for 6years now. I’m the eldest of the girls at 16. Nene who is 14, has swore never to get married because men are trash. Lola, who I’m just a few months older than, is a good disciple of Aunty Nne, she said she would never respect her husband if she ever decide to marry. Even Agnes, Peculiar and Fati too were not left out, these ones believe a woman must have her own money otherwise she’d be a slave to a man.
Only I, have refused to be brainwashed by this lunatic of an aunty. Our parents cared less where we are or what we believe. They all see Aunty Nne as some sort of goddess who has her life figured out, her room has all the latest modern machine as my mom calls it, and she’s now a car owner, but they all wonder why she’s still unmarried at 36. That doesn’t make them stop us from associating with her, after all we eat all sort of English meal at her house, saving them less mouth to feed.
That night, we were still in her room up till 01:10am. She told us she’d take us all to the cinema in the morning and we were thrilled. I couldn’t help but give Nene a high five. That would be our first time at the cinema. The thoughts of popcorn and ice cream was already creating paradise in our head when we heard a loud bang on the door.
It was a man with a deep throated voice. He was shouting Aunty Nne’s name and saying he will shoot at the door if we do not open. Aunty Nne gave us a sign to lay still.
But as the trouble maker I am, I rushed to open the door out of fear and the man raced in like a pursued thief brandishing a gun at almost everyone of us and no one, asking for his money and car keys Aunty Nne has stolen!
We all screamed “Ha.”
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