Hidden Diamonds Episode 16 – 20
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I had finished having dinner with my prince. We went in and we washed up together just like old times. I was so happy to have him back. I told him all that had happened in Brian’s family while he was away. He felt really bad. He promised me he’d take care of Jamille as best as he could. We were on our way to the bedroom when he turned to me.
“My heartbeat is still as fresh as ever.”
“Only for you my prince.” I replied.
He smiled pulling me towards the bedroom.
“Not so fast baby, I’ve gotta check on my girls.”
He groaned before letting go of my hand. I didn’t expect Jamille to be in her room so I went further to Kara’s. I peeped through the door and saw them all sleeping.
I watched them for about five minutes. I didn’t know when the tears started falling. I guess I stayed too long and Liam came to get me.
“Why the tears baby?” He asked.
“Oh it’s nothing.” I said while wiping the tears from my face.
“Don’t tell me that baby,something’s up.”
“I just wish they were all mine. I wish they came out from my own body dear. I’d do anything to make them mine.”
He led me my the hand to our room before he spoke up.
“Who said they aren’t yours dear? They may not have proceeded from your body but they belong to you. Everybody knows that three of them love you to the moon and back. They’d give anything to make you happy.”
I sniffed and he got up to fetch a handkerchief for me.
“We’ve been through this before Liz. I don’t want your depression issues to come up again please. You promised to get Jamille through her problems. You can’t do that if you’re not okay.”
“So, are you gonna smile for me or do I have to make you do it.”
I gave him a fake smile.
“Well,you know as well as I do that the smile was a fake one. So you leave me with no choice.”
I knew he was about to tickle me. I got up from the bed and began moving backwards.
“No no,come to papa.”
He followed me gently while I continued moving backwards until I hit the wall.
“I’ve got you just where I wanted babe.”
Liam tickled me till tears dropped from my eyes.
“Baby,no,please. We’re too old for this please.”
“Who is old? You’re only 49 and I’m 52. That’s not old age darl.” He said as he tickled me further.
“Alright, alright I’m smiling now.”
“Now,that’s better.” He carried me to the bed and planted a soft kiss on my lips. He was about to go further when I held his hands.
“These white lights are too bright. Let’s use the blue ones.”
“As you wish,your highness.” He did as I told him within seconds and was on the bed before I could blink. The rest, they say is history.
I woke up the next day with a contented smile. I went straight to the bathroom to have a shower. Liam was still sleeping. He woke just when I was about to crawl out of the room.
“Where are you creeping to princess?”
“To make you breakfast dear. Good morning.”
“Good morning baby. I’ll be down soon to help.”
“Alright dear.” I left the room.
I checked the girls’ room and they were all wrapped together on the bed. I chuckled and headed to my kitchen.
I decided to make fried yam with native sauce for the house that morning.
I brought out the tubers of yam to peel them.
“Good morning ma”
I turned to see Philip standing at the door.
“Good morning sir” He smiled.
“How was your night?”
“Went well ma,your girls almost destroyed my ears with their chats. I was glad when they slept off. I’m sure they’re still sleeping because they slept awful late.”
“Yeah,they’re in bed. Sorry about the noise. They just had a chance to interact with their cousin for the first time.”
“Oh, I see. The tall and slim girl right?”
“Good morning mum.”
“That’s Kara I guess.”
“Yes mum, you got it right as always.”
“Where are the rest?”
“They’re hiding behind the fridge.”
“Kara,that’s evil of you na.” Rachel whined.
“Good morning mum.” She said at last.
“Good morning aunt.” Jamille was right on her heels.
“Good morning babies. Come give mum a big hug.”
They came all at once and almost pushed me to the floor.
“Jamille, won’t you prefer calling me mum?”
“I’ve been dying to hear you say that mum.”
She laughed and came for another hug.
“I want to introduce you to Philip. Philip meet my daughter, Jamille and Jamille,this is Philip.”
They shook hands and said their good mornings.
“Philip, is that a twinkle I see in your eyes?” Rachel asked in a mocking tone.
“Iyammi! Rachel disappear from my kitchen with the speed of light.”
She took to her heels while Kara laughed her heart out.
I laughed till I could take it no longer. I clutched my sides as they ached from laughter. Rachel has always been a funny being.
“Mille baby,don’t mind her.” Mum told Mille.
Mille just gave mum her usual smile. She had this small smile that stayed at the corner of her lips. It only widened when she was ready to laugh well.
“What’s going on here?” Dad asked as he entered the kitchen and stepped over me as I lay sprawled on the kitchen floor.
“Nothing dad.” Rachel was back in the kitchen again. Mum gave her the ‘behave yourself’ look.
“So, why is Philip displaying his dentition like a roasted goat?”
There was silence as everyone turned to look at Philip who had shut his mouth tight. Everyone except him broke into an uncontrollable laughter that seemed timed.
“Oya, enough is enough. All of you comot for my kitchen kia kia.” Mummy announced while clapping her hands.
“Did you guys hear that? My wife wants you all out this minute.” Daddy picked a broom and pursued us. We screamed the typical girlish scream as we scattered to different directions.
“Girls,let’s go freshen up. Apparently,mum doesn’t need our help.” I said.
“Yeah right. Freedom for the masses.” Rachel screamed as she raced up the stairs pulling Jamille.
“Kara?” Philip called.
“Yeah,any problem?” I answered curtly.
I hissed and raced upstairs. Philip was good looking and nice but he had the magic words to piss me off at anytime. We hated ourselves more than anything in the world.
“Yeah,mum’s sponsoring his education. Kara and I don’t give a damn about what he’s studying.” I walked in to hear Rachel telling Mille about Philip.
“Must you guys talk about that ‘roasted goat’ in my room?”
Rachel laughed and said. “Oh I forgot to add that Kara hates the dude a lot. At least, I act really friendly with him even if he’s annoying sometimes.”
“Mille, you haven’t said a word. Please don’t tell me you’ve fallen into Philip’s spell.” I asked Jamille.
“For heaven’s sake Kara. I told you I have no time for such crap right now. Besides,his smiles are too sheepish.”
We all burst into laughter.
“You always have the perfect description Mille.” I said.
I was about stepping into the bathroom when Rachel brought up a silly idea.
“You guys,let’s do a bathing competition.” She squealed in delight like a child riding a horse for the first time.
I rolled my eyes. “Oh Kara,let’s hear her out.” Jamille spoke up.
“Jamille, I pray your kindness doesn’t lead you into a snare. Miss drama,let’s hear this idea of yours.” I said.
She planned a silly bathing competition while we watched her with folded arms. I didn’t listen to half of what she said. She and Jamille went out of the room and came back with their bathing robes on. She asked us all to come out to the corridor which was equidistant from our rooms. She made us all run into our rooms when she clapped her hands.
It looked childish but I had to admit it was fun. Rachel won the competition while Jamille came in second place.
I came out last to meet their mocking faces on my bed.
“I know, I’m the loser.” I raised my hands in surrender.
“There must be a reason why you were last. So tell me what happened.” Jamille said.
I stared at her,surprised at the direction her thoughts travelled.
“Kara? Did I say something wrong?” She asked.
“Oh no, I’m perfectly OK.”
She looked at me as if unsure of my reply.
“Ok, here’s what happened. I fell down twice in the bathroom because I was rushing. Luckily, I didn’t sustain any injuries.”
Before any of them could laugh,we heard mum’s voice.
“Girls! Five minutes to come down here.”
“I better go downstairs. You guys are coming for breakfast right?” Jamille asked.
“Sure, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Rachel responded.
“Alright,catch ya downstairs and Kara,sorry.”
“For?” I asked.
“Your fall in the bathroom.” She replied.
She left the room and shut the door behind her.
Rachel got up from the bed and stood right in front of me.
“So,do we go ahead with the plan?” She asked.
“Jamille love,come have breakfast. Leave those ones for me to handle.” I spoke softly to her as she descended the stairs.
“Alright aunt. Uncle,you’re the one grinning now o.”
Liam and I laughed. We continued with our little chat while Jamille sat down to eat.
“Where are these girls for heavens sake?” Liam asked.
“I don’t know what you’re worrying yourself about o. Them sabi me na.” I replied.
“You’ll deal with them later. I’ll go up and call them again.” He replied.
“You have time,go ahead.” I murmured getting angry already.
“No Rachel. We’ll leave her alone,she’s so gentle and lovable.” I answered Rachel who had been waiting for a reply for over two minutes.
“Good then, you’re right. I actually like her.” She replied.
The door flung open and dad walked in with his signature “you’re dead” look.
Rachel scurried away. I smiled and cat-walked out of the room undaunted by his look.
“You might as well drop your medicine and study modelling.” He said as he walked past me down the stairs.
I ignored his comment and made myself comfortable on the dining table.
“Welcome girls.” Mum said smiling.
I knew we had officially landed in boiling afang soup.
“Mum,you can go ahead and state our punishment.” Rachel said without a tinge of remorse.
“Rachel, I won’t condone your mouth this morning. Put a lid on it.” Dad said almost in a whisper.
“You’re both grounded for today.” Mum stated.
“Mum! Does it have to be today? I promised Julie a visit. You know I hate breaking my promises.”
“Unfortunately,you’ll learn how to do that today. You have a phone right? Call her and inform her about it.” Mum said with a tone of finality.
Philip decided to come in at that moment.
“My tutorial was cancelled. I’ll be here at home today.” He announced like he was announcing his wedding. I rolled my eyes and hissed.
“Hon,what did dad say about hissing?” Daddy asked me.
“It doesn’t portray Kara as a real lady.” I recited as he made me do each time I hissed before him.
“Good.” He turned back to Philip who was already seated and reaching for the fruit salad.
“It’s alright by us. Feel at home.” Dad told him.
I rolled my eyes.
“Did somebody get a punishment this morning?” Philip asked,referring to me.
I dropped my fork noisily.
“I’m OK mum. Thanks. I’m off to my room girls.”
“Kara,so you’re leaving the plates for who?”mum queried.
Jamille cut in. “I’ll wash the plates mum.”
I mouthed a thank you to Jamille and she nodded.
“I heard that people who hate each other end up falling in love at the end of the day.” Daddy put in.
I halted on the stairs for a minute before continuing to my room.
Rachel, mum and dad had the fun of the moment laughing. I knew they were referring to Philip and I.
As I reached my room, I looked up and said “Dear Lord,don’t let that kind of thing happen. Please have mercy and prove them all wrong.”
Philip and I were the only ones not laughing on the table. I stood up and started packing the plates. Rachel joined me. We washed up together.
“So tell me,did anything happen between Philip and Kara before?” I asked to satisfy my curiosity.
“Nope, not at all. Kara just believes there’s something evil about him. No be sey I like am o but Kara own pass my own. My own be sey the guy chaff die.”
I laughed. “You’re fond of switching to pidgin. You’re more comfortable with that at home abi?”
“Oh yes. You gerrit dear. You done with rinsing yet?” She asked
“Well, let’s go meet Kara upstairs. She’ll be sulking up there. She hates being grounded. For me,it makes no difference. Mum still doesn’t know the appropriate punishment for me.” She laughed as she talked on our way to Kara’s room.
We got to her room.
“Kara,you never cease to amaze me. What’s this?!” Rachel said.
“What have I done baby sis?” Kara asked in return.
“So, because you are grounded,you want to bury yourself inside book abi” she paused and laughed.
“If you think mum will lift the punishment because you’re reading three heavy medical books at a blow,I pity you. I will make sure you don’t fool her because I know there’s either a phone or tab under those books. You’re even lying on the floor. Na wa for you.”
Kara glared at her. “Rachel,why do you enjoy ruining my plans?”
“Me?! No o. I’m a good girl and you know it. Forget this trick and let’s enjoy the day at home mbok.” She said and sat on Kara’s back.
“Get off me before I dissolve.”
The door bell rang and mum yelled from her room “Jamille, please get the door.”
“Alright.” I yelled back and went downstairs. I had to thread cautiously because I wasn’t used to the curve of the stairs yet. I wouldn’t want to be the next victim of Rachel’s teasing.
Philip was already at the door questioning the visitor. I moved towards the door.
“Jay! Is that you?” I exclaimed.
“Now if you’ll excuse me sir,my damsel is here.” Jay managed to say before I pushed Philip aside and hugged him.
“I’m so excited Jay”
“I’m better than excited Mille.”
“Let’s go in.” I pulled him in.
“Mum, Jay’s here.” I yelled.
“I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to see you in church . I just had to come today.”
I hugged him again. “I’ve missed you bro.”
“Missed you too.” He was stroking my hair,then he whispered “Who’s the beauty peeping?”
I turned back to see Kara’s head popped out.
“Kara,come meet my brother,Jason. Where’s Rachel?”
” Whoa! I actually thought he was your boyfriend.” Philip spoke for the first time.
“Don’t disgrace yourself slowpoke.” Kara said to Philip as she came down.
“Hi Jason. I’m Kara,welcome to our home.”
“Thank you, I’m honoured. I….”
“Wow! You must be Jason.” Rachel exclaimed as she raced down the stairs.
“I’m Rachel,your best cousin so far.”
He laughed. “Well,good to meet you dear.” He stretched his hand out for a handshake.
“Nah, I only do bear hugs.” She hugged him and they both giggled.
“Don’t mind my sis,she could be so dramatic.” Kara said.
“It’s no bother. I actually enjoy her drama.”
“You see! Everybody loves Rachel!” She exclaimed,proud of herself.
“Jason baby,come give aunt a hug.” Aunt was down already.
“Good morning aunt.”
She hugged him while she asked him the normal ‘how is this and that’.
“I sure am growing old if that’s Jason looking so tall and handsome.” Uncle said.
“Uncle! You’re back.”
“Of course son, I heard you wanted to steal my wife so I ran back.” We all laughed.
“I’ll be in my room guys” Philip said.
“You could have gone quietly,it’s not like anybody cares.” Kara replied.
“Wow Kara,that was quite a finishing.” Jason joked and she laughed.
“Let’s sit na. All these standing is for wetin? Me no be police o.” Rachel complained. Mum was holding Jason’s hand and she sat beside him. Rachel would have none of it so she squeezed herself between them. Jason smiled,clearly amused by her actions.
Jason stayed for the whole day. Rachel clung to him like a second skin all through. A small wave of jealousy swept over me but I quickly shook it off. I wasn’t used to sharing Jason’s full attention with anybody. Philip dropped him home around 9pm.
He got my phone number and promised to call often. The next day was Sunday so I got to see him again. I saw dad too. He seemed happy to see me. I didn’t really know how to read him accurately because we spent limited time together. He looked like he had lost a few kilograms.
Service went normally. I had a tradition of entering the car immediately after service. I didn’t enjoy interacting with people at all. Jason was the complete opposite. He came to stay with me inside the car for the first time. We chatted till it was time to leave.
The weeks rolled by quickly and it was time for Kara and Rachel to leave for school. We all shed tears that day. Mum named us the ‘fantastic three.’
We had done everything together over the last one month. We ran mum’s supermarket together and she was excited. It’s really fun having sisters.
The admission list came out barely two weeks after Kara and Rachel left for school. Mum was a bit sad because I would be leaving her alone. Daddy Liam had travelled again. He was a sales representative.
The house was too far from Uniuyo town campus so mum got an apartment for me off-campus. She gave me a bucketful of lectures. She made me promise that I would be coming home every weekend. Jason had gotten admission in University of Benin. He was no longer around and for the first time in my life, I felt truly lonely.
I knew I’d get on fine within a few weeks.
The registration process and settling down to a new environment were the worst experiences of my life. I never wanted to recall them.
Rachel was sympathetic for the first time since I knew her when I briefed her and Kara about everything that happened.
School life was OK. My life revolved around the lecture halls and my house. I lived my introvert life perfectly and I was enjoying it.
I was sitting in the lecture hall one day when I heard the tiniest voice I have ever heard.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?”she asked.
“Of course not.” I replied
“Thank you, I had to leave my seat behind you. Those guys can distract.”
“Well,sorry about that.”
The lecturer ended the class that minute and I was thankful. It was my last lecture for the day.
“I didn’t tell you my name, I’m Gloria and you are?”
“What?! Jamille as in Jason’s sister.”
“Uhm yeah.” I replied,surprised she knew me and my brother.
“I knew I’d seen the face before. We attend the same church girl.”
“Oh! Now I look well, I think I’ve seen you before.” I replied.
“Yeah, I guess you don’t really know people much since you’re always inside your car.” She smiled.
“I’m sorry about that.”
“Nah,it’s no bother.” She replied with a wave of her hand. Her phone rang and she picked it. I packed my things and mouthed “I’m leaving”. She shook her head and held my hand. She ended the call with “Alright,I’m coming out now.”
“You should meet my big brother. He’s waiting to pick me home outside and he comes to our church too.” She said as we walked out of the class.
“I’d rather not. I’m terrible at interacting with people.” I replied.
“Nonsense! I insist.”
We got to the car park and she threw herself on her brother. I smiled, knowing I would do same if Jason appeared that moment. She got out of the hug and turned to me.
“Jamille, meet my brother, Jathniel.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” His deep voice came as a surprise to me.
“Nice to meet you too.”
“She’s Jason’s twin sis.” Gloria put in.
“I can see the resemblance,maybe you could help my sis here with…”he was cut off by Gloria who covered his mouth with her hands.
I laughed at the scene before me. Gloria looked like a 5’5 and she was on her toes trying to cover the mouth of a guy that I assumed was no less than 6ft tall.
“Don’t mind him,he’s crazy” she said,finally letting go of him.
“Let me drop you off at home.” He offered.
“Thanks, but no thanks. My apartment is just a stone throw from here. I’ll be fine on my own.”
“Alright Jamille, it was a pleasure meeting you. Little madam hop in.” He said
Gloria hugged me before entering the car. “Bye Jamille.”
“Bye” I waved as they drove off.
“Making new friends isn’t that awful.” I thought to myself.
I walked home quietly. As I stepped into the house, Rachel’s call came in.
As soon as I told her I made two new friends,she squealed in delight. We switched to video call at her request. I downloaded the events of the day to her and Kara.
When I was done, Rachel turned to Kara.
“What do you think Kara?”
Kara smiled ” I think somebody has gotten a surprise prince charming.”
They both laughed.
“You girls are so unbelievable.” I yelled at them. It didn’t make anything better as they continued laughing till I ended the call.
Gloria and I became really good friends. I got to discover we were born on the same day and year. It felt really wonderful to know that. Rachel and Kara knew her already but at a distance. She joined our gang and mum changed our name to ‘The Four Pearls’
We always laughed at the name because we thought it awkward but mum didn’t care how much we laughed.
Gloria had issues with studying so I volunteered to help her. Among the four of us, I was the next in command after Kara in the art of ‘book-wormism’. Gloria improved as we studied together and I was glad I helped her.
Jathniel turned out to be a great friend. He was Gloria’s confidant and was gradually becoming mine too. I considered him my favourite confidant after mum.
My dad continued with his busy schedule, barely having time to ask of my well-being. Daddy Liam was out as usual. He promised to come back for Christmas as did Jason.
Christmas seemed to take longer to arrive but I waited patiently. Luckily, Kara,Rachel,Jason, Gloria and I had our holidays at the same time. So, it turned out to be a grand homecoming. We all returned home two weeks to Christmas and mum was delighted.
Jason and Gloria came to stay with us. The house was so much fun. The only person who suffered a bit was mum. She talked and yelled at us from dawn till dusk. We always did silly things in the house just for fun.
One evening,when mum went for a friend’s birthday party,we decided to have our own mini party. She told us to behave ourselves because she was bringing a surprise back home for us. She told us she would be back late so we shouldn’t wait up for her. We agreed but when she left,we turned the sit-out to our party hall.
Gloria and Kara handled the decorations, Rachel and Jason went to buy drinks while I was in charge of food.
By 7pm, everything was ready. We dressed up like we were going for a real party. The music was booming from the speakers. Our closest neighbours were about 50m away so we had no problems with the music.
After about an hour of dancing, we settled down to eat.
“Well, that reminds me,where’s Philip?” Jason asked.
“Oh Kara’s love,he travelled to meet his family in Port Harcourt.” Rachel replied.
“Rachel, if I reach you there,you’ll know yourself.” Kara retorted.
“I really wanna meet this Philip o. You all seem to dislike him.” Gloria put in.
“You guys should tell this young lady that she won’t like what will come out of seeing him.” I replied and we all laughed.
“You guys eh” Gloria said. She was sitting opposite Jason on the table.
“Guys, I have an announcement.” Gloria announced.
“Can you make a sentence without the word ‘guys’?” Kara said.
I laughed and soon,every other person joined me. Kara laughed her signature laugh and spilled her drink on Gloria who was seated beside her.
“Ah ah! You guys have seen what Kara has done because of her laugh.” Gloria whined.
“You don talk the ‘guys’ thing again.” Rachel said.
Gloria’s hands flew to her mouth immediately causing Kara’s laugh to go further.
“Alright guys,let’s allow her make her announcement.” Jason came to Gloria’s rescue.
It was Gloria’s turn to laugh. She laughed while pointing a finger at Jason.
We all looked at her,wondering what had come over her.
“I actually didn’t have what to say, I was only looking for attention.” She managed to say,still laughing.
“My God! If I comot this shoe, na your head e go land.” Jason said as he pretended to remove his shoe.
“Sorry jare.” Gloria apologised.
“Just imagine mum just comes back this moment.”
Kara scoffed.” That’s impossible. She’s staying out late.”
Just then,we heard a knock on the gate.
We looked at each other’s faces and Kara whispered ” Run for your lives everyone.”
That was all we needed to hear. We all broke into a run. Each person heading towards a different direction.
To Be Continued