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Chapter 8

’Why do you insist on being a pain in the butt? I knew you could have saved that plate if you wanted to. What is your problem?’

Maria stared at the mess her niece made on the kitchen floor. The whole place was covered with the broken pieces of her treasured ceramic plates.

Nancy had been doing her best to be a huge pain, and Mariah was not finding it funny at all.

The other day she washed her Hollandis wrapper skirt with Omo detergent and ruined the material. That was how she had been spending her holiday. She was dedicated to making everybody feel miserable.

‘I am sorry,’ Nancy said, with her nose in the air.

Maria could see that she was anything but, and she was not letting her get away with it.

‘I have seen insults delivered with less insult than you put in that your apology. I don’t need you to apologize to me because it is not going to get my plates back for me. What I want you to do is buy me a new one. Just so you know that money is not water and it is not plucked from a tree. I have been enduring you, but I will be damned if I let you off this time.’

‘But how will I buy it? I don’t even have any money. How the hell do you expect me to….’

‘Shut your mouth! Two things for you little lady; never swear in my house or my feet are going to know your ass. And get me my plates.’

Nancy faced the plates that she was washing. She was very frustrated. She knew that she was in the wrong but she was tired of being scolded. She knew what she brought on herself but it still sucked.

‘I will get your plate. Excuse me. I want to use the toilet.’

Nancy left and went inside her room. She did not come out to pack the broken plates or the unbroken ones. She did not leave her room until in the evening when her uncle threatened to fry her hide if she did not come down to eat.

The following day, Maria brought in a psychologist to help Nancy in her anger and grieve management.

‘Are you still grieving for your parents, Nancy?’ the fair slender female psychologist asked.

Nancy looked at the shrink sitting in her chair looking all comfy, and smirked. She was not going to make it easy for her. ‘The only thing I am grieving for right now is my misfortune to end up with you today. Did anybody tell you that you are very boring?’

‘It seems you are a very nasty, sad, grieving teenager,’ the psychologist said in a cool voice.

‘At last, someone understands me!’ Nancy said scornfully. ‘I am all that and more. I am nasty, and right now, I am angry at you and my aunty. I am okay with my nastiness. I don’t need a shrink to come tell me how to properly be angry.’

The woman shook her head. ‘I am not here to tell your how to be angry. I am here to help you let out some of that anger. They are not good for your system.’

‘I don’t need you to do that. Can I listen to music and you can tell my aunty that you helped manage my anger? That would really help a lot because if we keep doing this, my anger bucket is going to overflow.’ She arched her brows. ‘Are we clear, Mrs. I-forgot-your-name?’

‘That would not be good for my profession, and we both know that. You are very selfish; you want everybody to suffer because you are suffering. I have some hard truths for you. No one cares if you frown until your face cracks it. As a matter of fact, no one will notice.’

‘Then why are you here? Do you like nose poking or do you really have a long nose?’

‘Your aunty wanted to help you,’ the woman said tolerantly. ‘You should give her credit.’

‘I used my last card to buy some very expensive ceramics plates for her. That is all the credit she will be getting from me Mrs. I-still-don’t-know-what-the-hell-your-name-is.’

‘My name is Mrs. Onu. Your aunt asked you to buy those plates because she wanted you to be responsible in your life. If she left you, you would break all the breakables in her house. She was only helping you.’

‘Who called 911? I didn’t ask for her help. If I need her help, I will not code the request. I really don’t know why I am talking to you.’ Nancy turned away from the woman and stuck her nose in the air like she did not care.

What she did not know was that Mrs. Ada Onu knew that she cared but she did not want to hurt her by pointing it out.

‘You don’t mean to answer me in that way,’ Mrs. Onu said in a pacifying tone. ‘You just want to justify your anger and explain to me so I can understand you better, but you do not know how to do it amicably. I really understand.’

‘Do you know where you stand?’ Nancy yelled, gesturing with her hand. ‘Under me, because you do not understand me and don’t even pretend that you do. You shrinks think you can read people like a textbook and conclude he is a mess. Well, not with me. You don’t know anything about me and you never will, so don’t pretend that you do!’

‘I really don’t understand you,’ the woman said slowly, her eyes fixed on the teenager. ‘But I hope to. Okay, let’s compromise. If I let you listen to that song you talked about for the rest of the session, will you let me be a friend that you can talk to?’

Nancy thought about it for a moment. ‘Does that mean that I have to do this next week? If you agree never to bore me with your expertise, I promise that you will be my best friend.’

Mrs. Onu smiled. ‘You are a very hard one to work with. I promise to do that today if you promise to write me a one-page essay on how you feel about the world right now, so I can read it at our next meeting. Do we agree on that?’

Nancy did not like the condition but anything was good then. She could agree and not write it, but she was not that kind of girl. If she said yes, then she would surely write that essay. She couldn’t win them all, she guessed.

‘Job, please call the boss for me,’ Mike told his assistant. The thing he was seeing now was so extraordinary that he needed another pair of eyes to witness it.

‘You know he does not like to be disturbed,’ Job, a young graduate, said to the man poking his albino nose in the microscope.

‘Believe me, Job, he will want to be disturbed about this one!’

Job went and called the man-in-charge of the police lab. He was a commander but he did not like to perform in the field. No one actually knew his name but he was just called him OZed. He was a very tall man with a serious-looking face that told you that he only smiled at organisms that impressed him.

‘What can I do for you, Job?’ He did not bother removing his eyes from the lenses in front of him as he spoke.

‘Sir, Mike requests that you please come. He said that you will be very interested in his discovery.’

OZed scowled at the young nervous man. It was not like Mike to call him out of his office. Maybe something was really up. He just hoped that it was worth his time. He stood up and left with Job.

‘What is it, Mike?’ he asked, standing at the doorway.

‘Sir, I think you will want to see this. It is so out of the ordinary!’

‘Whoever told you that science was ordinary? Let me see.’ OZed moved further into the room and peered into the microscope. He saw tiny particles of soil. That was all. He was about to turn to Mike and blast his ear when he noticed that the soil was moving. He picked the syringe from the table and used it to poke at the soil. That was when he saw some green stuff that looked like vine. It was so tiny that it was hard to see. The interesting thing about it was that the vine seemed to be hiding under the soil.

‘This is incredible,’ OZed exclaimed, unable to stop gazing at the soil. ‘A great discovery. Where did you get this soil, Mike?’

‘Musa and Sam brought it to my office three days ago. They collected the soil from the ground where the buildings collapsed. I thought nothing of it until I looked at it and found it was no ordinary soil. The same type of organism was seen in all the soil samples from all the locations.’

OZed raised his eyes just long enough to look at Mike before returning his attention to the soil. ‘What do you think about it then? What are your hypotheses?’

‘I don’t know yet, sir, but it is obvious that that thing there is alive. Not alive as a leave but like a real organism. I have not seen this specie anywhere so I don’t know a name for it.’

OZed lifted his head. ‘My boy, you have not seen it anywhere because it has never been anywhere. I want to see the rest of the soil. Afterwards, call Sam to take me to the place he got it. I want to know more.’ He grinned at Mike. ‘There is nothing like a new and interesting finding.’

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