This time I didn’t screamed aloud the what! but it had resounded in my head like a loud, wild echo.
“Daniella?” Trying not to think the worst. No it can’t be… this must be polite interest.
“Yes, Daniella,” Kunle continued smiling. “in SS 2A, she’s your sister right?’
Heh, he knew her class too? “Daniella is my stepsister.” I made sure I stressed the stepsister. I didn’t know what he was up to, but that girl was not and would never be my sister. Period!
Kunle laughed. “It’s the same thing, abi?”
Is this boy mental? I wondered. “No it’s not.” I replied firmly. “And that is why the English language has the word step attached to it, to help clarify things.” All this Science students they think they know everything, but they are just olodos. Maybe I overrated this boy sef. “Anyway, are you here to see Daniella or to see me?” I asked impatiently.
“Sorry please, I’m here to see you.” Kunle was instantly apologetic.
That’s more like it. “Good. Then let’s talk about why you are here. You did say something about a dilemma, right?” I encouraged with a smile.
“Yes, Adaeze. I have a really big problem. I don’t really know how to express it… I mean I don’t know how to tell you about my feelings…” he stuttered, twisting his hands nervously now.
Ha, at last, he’s here to tell me about his feelings. “Kunle, you shouldn’t be afraid to express yourself to me.” I admonished him. “I mean you are even my senior. Be bold and tell me what’s on your mind.”
Kunle looked around, very much ill at ease. “I don’t know how to begin. The feelings I have… I’m having… I tried to tell… but I couldn’t…” His voice trailed off.
“Go on Kunle.” I urged. Say it, my beloved and let this love affair begin. “Say what is in your heart.”
Or should I tell him first? Maybe that will give him courage? No, no. I am the girl, the lady. A boy should say it first.
“Ah, Ada… I am in love with…” He fumbled with something in his pocket, drew out a slightly crumpled envelope. “I wrote it all down here. Maybe you can help me give it to her? I think that would be better.”
“Her?” Was I hearing right? I snatched the letter from his quivering hands. Daniella Onuorah was boldly written at the back of the envelope.
I forgot to mention that she’d also changed her surname after the wedding. Yes, the snatcher also snatched my father’s name. I heard some tale about her not knowing her own father. Like that was surprising. Mtcheew!
Anyway back to that horrible day, when I had my first heartbreak and lost my first love, all because of Daniella.
I felt my heart begin to thud, my ears seemed to be ringing and worst of it all my vision was becoming all blurry and hazy. Was I going to faint?
From what appeared to be a very far distance I heard Kunle’s voice. “I love Daniella and would like her to be my girlfriend. Can you help me talk to her?”
To this day, I still don’t know how I didn’t faint or how I managed to stagger back into the house. But I just know that somehow I managed to push Kunle aside and literally staggered like a drunk back to the house, shouting hoarsely at Adamu to lock the gate.
Somehow I managed to keep a smile on my face as I passed Nmaa and the treacherous Daniella in the sitting room. Somehow I managed to get into my room, lie on my bed, grab the pillow and covered my head before screaming my lungs out in anger, frustration and pain.
He was in love with Daniella! The boy I wanted… so wanted for my boyfriend, wants Daniella to be his girlfriend? And he wants me to talk to her for him?
I think that that was the day the deep-seethed hatred I would forever feel for Daniella was born. All along I had just resented her, disliked her, even envied her but from that moment on, I hated her.
She had sneaked her way into my life and was obviously determined to steal everything from me.
That day, it became clear to me, that the enemy I needed to fight was not Mummy, she and her precious son could have and keep daddy. But the enemy I needed to be wary of was Daniella.
I had to wake up from my girlish slumber and stand guard over all that I owned and wanted against this enemy or she will steal them all away from me.
That day I remembered what the Bible said about the enemy within. And I recalled what it said about the heart of man being desperately wicked. I remembered how Abel wanted to disgrace Cain before God. And how Jacob stole Esau’s birthright. I remembered how same Jacob had twelve sons and favoured one above the others. I even remembered that Judas and Peter had Jesus but Jesus chose to forgive Peter and left Judas to commit suicide.
I remembered all these things and it became clear to me that even from the beginning of the world sneaky people like Daniella have been trying to dupe rightful owners like us.
The kingdom of God suffereth violence and I, Adaeze Onuorah, shall take it by force!
I swore that to myself after I had cried and cried.
This was the real beginning of how I ended up in here I guess, a prisoner in my own home. All because of Daniella… my arch-enemy.