Ikwunna and his twin brother Ikenna saw Nnenna for the very first time when they were 6 years old and when she was 10. She was a distant relative. A pretty, distant relative. In their house, she acquired many other descriptions – cook, cleaner, yam pounder, chicken feeder. A housemaid generally. The world, and their mother, was not kind to the innocent.
Despite it all, Nnenna grew. In 5 short years, she was taller than the boys’ mother, father and prettier than all the other girls in the neighborhood. She was smart, graceful and so hardworking she finished all her chores a scant 2 hours after they were given to her. In the 5 years she had lived with her aunt, she had learnt many valuable skills. She could, and did, cook, bake, sew, iron and wash. Not only for her aunt now though. Smart girl that she was, she was aware that the “benevolence” of which her guardians so constantly reminded her, was tied to the chores she did. So she worked as a servant for her aunt, and learned to lock her bedroom doors AND windows so that Ahmed, the over sexed young man in the flat next to theirs could not get in again and touch her in places she felt uncomfortable with him touching. She worked now, for anyone who could accept her fees and was willing to lie about them. At 15, she had, in lieu of any education beyond the primary school level, a business acumen far greater than those her tribesmen were famed the world over for. And an ability to lie with such credibility it was impossible not to believe her tall tales. She hated lying. So she tried to only do so in the nightly bed time stories that had become a habit that the boys, her best, and only friends, loved so much.
In time, as always in tales such as this, the boys grew out of nightly bed time stories and grew into wet dreams. But they still remained friends. Nnenna, young entrepreneur that she was, at this time, getting herself a flat/house that she could work out of and had already saved up more than enough. It was 15 days to Valentine’s day and she planned to tell her guardians and her charges, the big news on Valentine’s day.
2 days before Valentine’s day, the boys’ lesson teacher, a handsome and hypocritical young man, came to the house well before it was time, his sole intent being to seduce or, failing that, court the slim, tall, graceful young lady he’d seen the week before.