She heard the roar of laughter and took a deep breath before she opened the door and walked into the living room.

Her parents and siblings were chatting and laughing and didn’t seem to notice her. The rush of envy overwhelmed her, but she pushed it aside and walked up the stairs.

Trisha was sixteen years old and the baby of the house. Not that she was treated like the baby. She dropped her books and bag on her reading table and moved over to her bed to relax on it, slipping on her ear plugs as she prepared to read the book she had borrowed from the library.

The library was her hideout when she wanted to be alone and to think. Today, she had stayed longer than usual because of something interesting that had happened to her.

She shifted on the bed and looked at the door when someone knocked on it.

“Come in.” She sat upright and let out a sigh because she suspected it was her older sister.

She was the only one who cared about her in the family.

“Hey, Trish, aren’t you going to watch the movie with us?” Brenda asked as she walked in.

“What did you say?” Trisha removed her ear plugs.

“Nothing important. Just wanted to see if you are all right.” There was a small frown on Brenda’s face now.

“As you can see everything’s cool.” Trisha replied, closed the book she had been trying to read and kept it beside her pillow.

Brenda nodded and gave the room a quick glance. This was the room she had wanted for herself, but their mother had assigned it to Trisha. It was no different from her room furnishing wise, but it had a great view from the window.

She turned from the window where soft howls of wind filtered through. “Yes, everything looks cool, but you don’t. What is wrong?” Her Little sister was the brooding sort.

“Nothing. I don’t feel like talking, so please leave me alone.”

Brenda thought of pressing her but she had turned her face to the wall, so she decided to let her be. “Okay. No problem. Just remember we are having a family dinner later.”

“I’m not hungry. You can tell everyone that.”

“Mum won’t accept that excuse and you know it, so forget it.” Brenda said and with a grumble of impatience, left the room.

Trisha waited until she could hear her footsteps no more before standing up from the bed and moving to her wardrobe. She brought out her night wear and put it on. Then moved over to her reading table, took her diary and pen and went back to bed.

Dear Diary,

Today I made new friends at the library, Margaret and Alice. I like them. They were very friendly and liked to read like I do. But I’m scared Mum will find out and order me to break all ties with them.

Oh, it sucks sometimes to be a Minister’s daughter.

I wish Mum would listen to us sometimes, especially to me. I wish she wouldn’t always force her decisions on us and…

The hard knock on the door startled her and Trisha hastily slipped the diary underneath her pillow, turned out the light and covered herself with a blanket, pretending to sleep.

“Trisha, open the door at once. It’s me.”

Of course, she knew it was her mother. She was the only one who would knock in such a violent manner on anyone’s door. Since the room wasn’t locked, Trisha stayed in her position and waited for her to open it.

She did, after another loud knock, and switched on the light as soon as she came inside.

“Trisha?”

Felicia Ogbonna stared at her daughter curled up on the bed. She was a tall woman with a heavy set body and a stern face that was wearing a frown now. She knew very well her daughter was only pretending to sleep. Her face might be calm and expressionless, but she wasn’t deceived.

“Trisha?” She called her again.

But she didn’t respond. She moved to shake her and then stopped herself. She should let her be. For this evening, she would let her be. So, she turned, switched off the light and left the room.

Trisha opened her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. She had expected her to forcefully wake her up. She must be in a good mood to have left her alone. Breathing another sigh, she clicked the light switch by her bed, took out her diary and continued making her entry.

***

© MARIE-ANTOINETTE OTOBO

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This is my niece’s story. One, she wrote in 2015 when she was still fourteen. She wants to share it with you guys and hopes you enjoy it.