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Chapter 9

Banky’s Pov: “I can’t wait for this week to end Tito; you get to meet Bukky!”

Bukky fell on her bed like she had not eaten for days, she was so tired, the ride back home was quiet and awkward, none of the girls spoke. Florence obviously had a lot on her mind, she had a lot of questions and she was going to ask Bukky the next day.

During break the next day, Florence discreetly led Bukky to the school’s music room. Florence walked awkwardly to the drum set, she took the sticks “do you play?”

“No” Bukky murmured, she looked at Florence in the eye “listen, Florence I know we are not here to talk about drums. Let’s sit down and talk” Bukky told Florence.

They both sat down on one of the stools students used for practices. Bukky told Florence everything, how she got the news that her brother had died, how it broke her, why she had to come back home, why she’s at their school, about the note she found in her brother’s backpack and her suspicions.

Florence digested all of the new information Bukky gave to her “you know that note could mean anything, right?” Florence asked her “Yes, I know but….” Bukky trailed off, suddenly, Bukky felt like a school kid found cheating on a test “I just want to put my mind to rest, they told me that he was robbed. I didn’t get any other information about his death. I don’t know who my brother was to you but Banky, the Banky I know was very responsible and friendly, he had a big future ahead of him” she cried bitterly “but someone took that away, I want to find out who and why, and so what if this note means nothing at least I did something” Bukky wiped off her tears.

“You know you would have to start looking from the police station, you could start based on their reports” Florence suggested “I thought about that, it’s a really sensitive topic in my family, I can’t bring it up and besides I’m not up to age” Bukky explained.

“That changes things” Florence realized, then she smiled “Give me some time, I will take care of that”

“What are you going to do” Bukky asked “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered” Florence smiled. “About the note?” Florence asked “Yeah, what about it?” Bukky asked

“Can I see it? maybe I could recognize the writing or something” Florence asked, Bukky searched her bag “I have it in here” Bukky gave Florence the note, Florence unfolded it and she looked at it carefully.

“So, do you know who wrote it?” Bukky asked “I have seen this handwriting before, was it last term?” Florence snapped her fingers “What? You’ve seen it?” Bukky was dying of the suspense.

“Okay, last term Mrs. Akin thought it would be fun to have us grade each other’s work in class” Florence explained “Is that allowed?” Bukky asked “I don’t know, must have been a pregnancy thing” Florence answered “anyways, I was given a classwork and this looks exactly like the handwriting” Florence explained.

“Are you sure? It’s a few months ago” Bukky asked to be sure “Yes, I’m sure, you see the ‘a’ is different, I can recognize that ‘a’ anywhere” Florence explained and Bukky had a blank stare “Okay, give me a sheet of paper and a pen please” Florence asked.

When Bukky gave Florence the pen and a paper, “You see, most people in Nigeria write their ‘a’ like this” Florence wrote the letter ‘a’ on the paper ‘but the ‘a’ here is written like this” Florence wrote down the letter ‘a’

“Oh” Bukky realized it was true, even she writes her ‘a’ as ‘a’ and the letter ‘a’ on the note was definitely written like this ‘a’ “So, whose handwriting is it?” Bukky asked

“That what’s confusing” Florence answered “I thought you knew” Bukky was getting disappointed “Yes. I know. It’s just….” Florence tailed off

“Just what?” Bukky asked “It’s Shola” Florence murmured

“Who?” Bukky asked “Shola” Florence said it more loudly

“Shola who?” Bukky asked again to be sure “Shola na, the same Shola that gave you a grand welcome with her crew” Florence explained “The same Shola?” Bukky asked again “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. That’s why it’s confusing. I don’t understand, why would she?” Florence snapped her fingers “I got it! it’s a prank note”

Bukky made a face that meant really “A prank not doesn’t have dead in capital letters Florence, anyway I still think it’s fishy. Are you sure it’s Shola?”

“Absolutely, I’m sure” Florence answered “I’m sure it’s nothing but we will know what to do when we have the police reports”

“Okay” Bukky sighed “God, I’m hungry” Florence lamented and Bukky smiled, she had only known Florence for just three days but she knew she could trust her “Yeah, let’s go eat and after that you can point me to the Counselor’s office” Bukky rolled her eyes and Florence laughed as they left the room.

“So, Florence at school with no hijab but Fatima at home with hijabs and all the clothes” Bukky commented and Florence explained why. Florence’s mother is Igbo, and she is her Father’s second wife. Florence’s father is a Fulani which explains the native Fulani look Florence had but she inherited her mother’s weight.

Florence’s mother wasn’t living with her father before so her mother raised her like a normal Igbo girl until one day when she was about ten that her Father suddenly took her to his house to leave with his first wife. And her father laid rules in his house that all of his wives and children including Florence must be covered, well dressed and must be referred to by their Muslim names.

Dami was going to her mother’s office but Tito ran up to her “Hey girl” Tito greeted her. Dami looked at him suspiciously “What did you do?” “Nothing……. yet!” Tito winked “okay, what do you want?” Dami signed “I need the rest of the day off” Tito said as innocently as he could.

“Okay, why?” Dami inquired “None of your business, all you need to do is go to your mummy’s office and talk some magic” Tito told her “No, I won’t go to my mummy’s office to do some magic” Dami rolled her eye “and by the way don’t they always let you go home whenever you wanted? And you can always cause some trouble like always do?” Dami gave him options like he had not thought of it.

Tito had already gone for his checkup yesterday, so using his health as an excuse wouldn’t work, and he already caused trouble on Monday. So it’s a bad idea to cause another so it leaves him with Dami “Dami, none of those cards will work. You have to help me here”

“I’m sorry, Tito I can’t do anything to help. Think about it, what will tell my mum you want to do? Dami asked “I didn’t think about that” Tito scratched his head “Well, genius I have a birthday party to plan” Dami left him but Tito ran to catch up with her, but he knew he shouldn’t be running “Listen, it’s really important” Tito persuaded her but it didn’t work.


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