It was now a month since Trisha left home and Felicia couldn’t believe that the stubborn girl wasn’t back home yet asking their forgiveness for acting so foolishly.

A tear dropped from her eyes and fell on the diary she had on her laps. She had found the diary three weeks ago when she’d gone through the silly girl’s bedroom to see if she could find a clue as to where she might have gone to.

But there were no clues in the diary, only sad written notes filled with complaints and mostly about her.

Such a foolish child, Felicia thought and brushed off her tears. Where could she be? The private investigator she had hired had come up with nothing. There was simply no trace of her. Only one thing was certain, she was still in this country. But where in the country, nobody knew.

The door opened and Brenda entered. “Mum?” She approached Trisha’s bed. “What are you doing in here, Mum?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” This one asked too many questions these days and it irritated her. “I’m looking for anything that might tell us where that headstrong sister of yours might have gone to.”

“And did you find anything?” Brenda was looking at the diary on her laps.

“No, nothing useful.” She closed the diary and stood up. “I’m going out. There’s a Women’s Congress meeting I have to attend.”

“Mum.” Brenda held her hand. “You still have not told me if what Trisha said is true. Is she adopted, Mum?”

“Brenda, your sister is missing and I think finding her is the most important thing, not discussing her parentage.”

“Are you saying you and Dad are not her real parents?”

“I am saying you should focus on her being found and brought back home, and not this stupid matter.” Felicia shouted, losing all patience with her daughter.

“You know what, Mum? It’s this your always shouting and shutting us down that drove Trisha out of this house.” For the first time, Brenda raised her voice at her mother. “You and Dad treat us like we are imbeciles and can’t think for ourselves. Well, let me tell you that the only reason I’ve stayed in this house after Trisha left is because I was hoping she would come home. But she hasn’t come back and maybe because she knows that there is nothing more for her here. So, since you and Dad won’t tell me what is really going on, I will also leave. I’m going to pack my bags right now and leave this house.”

“If this is supposed to be a threat, Brenda, let me tell you that it’s not working. My life is not going to end because my children have decided to be ungrateful brats and leave their home. So, do whatever you want, you hear me?” Felicia hissed and stormed out of the room.

“Fine, Mum. I will leave this house for you and Dad.” Brenda said aloud and wiped off the tears on her cheeks.

***

“Hello, Margaret.” Laura walked into the living room. “I was told you were here.”

“Yes. I tried to call you but your number was switched off, so I took the risk of coming over to check if you were at home.” Margaret explained. “How are you?”

“To be frank, I am still very sad, Margaret.” Laura admitted as she sat down. “I can’t believe Trisha is gone. Her parents have been looking for her everywhere. No one knows where she is and I have only the text message she sent me saying I will always be in her heart. Her number is always unavailable, so no one can reach her. Where can she be, Margaret?”

“Only God knows, Laura.” Margaret said sadly. “I didn’t know that things were so bad for her in their house. I know she always complained about her mum but I didn’t think it will ever come to the point of running away.”

“Well, the truth is that when you live with parents who don’t really care about you, you are always tempted to run away. If not for my mum, I too will consider running away.” Laura said.

“Please, don’t ever do it, Laura. It is very risky.” Margaret pleaded. “We don’t know where Trisha is now or what her situation is. I know it’s not easy, but patience is better because one day we will grow up and have our own homes.”

“I guess you are right, Margaret.” Laura nodded. “Anyway, how is Alice?”

“Oh, she is doing very well.” Margaret replied, smiling. “I was worried about her after we left school, but she is doing fine on her own and has even made some new friends.”

“That is wonderful. I’m glad to hear it.” Laura smiled. “Let me bring you a drink. What would you like?”

“A malt drink will be all right. Thank you.” Margaret said.

“All right. I will be right back.” Laura stood up and went to get the drink.

***

© Marie-Antoinette Otobo

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