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Oke finished her food in silence. Her mum had just returned from work, exhausted as usual. Oke mumbled her greetings but her mum didn't reply. She quietly walked past bobby to the kitchen. It was eating happily, wagging its tail. She was in no mood to wash the dirty dishes that seemed to clutter everywhere. Her step-mum walked into the kitchen as soon as she left.
“Oke! Where is that silly girl? Who did you leave those dirty dishes for eh? Oke! Are you not in this house? Oke!”
Oke remained silent for a while and then slowly retraced her steps back to the kitchen. She stopped by the door and posed with her right hand on her hip. “Yes? What is it? Can't someone have peace in this house?”
 “What? You dare talk back at me like that? Look at this small rat o. When did you finish secondary school? silly e-diot! Now, before I lose my temper, get into this kitchen right and tidy it up! Dirty pig! Like mother, like daughter.”
“Zainab how dare you? You this old witch! How dare you insinuate that we are pigs? I'm asking you!”
Ofure was tying a short towel across her chest. She must have hurriedly run down the stairs when she heard the loud ranting of her rival. Oke didn’t know when her mum descended the stairs but she was glad she did. She was excited. It was show time.
Madam Zainab was taken aback a bit. Her eyes revealed pain—pain she had had to deal with over and over again. She couldn't quite understand why this oil-soup-eating-woman and her daughter wouldn't accord her the respect that was due her as the senior wife and mother of the home.
“I don't blame you. I blame my husband for picking you up from the streets. Imagine a no-body like you, sleeping with the same man as I am. What a shame!”
“See who's talking!” Ofure gave a short dry laugh and clapped her hands one on-top the other a couple of times. “Why do you like having me remind you of how Tony, my husband, rescued you and your wretched family from deep poverty? Was he not the one who put a decent roof over your parents' heads? Sheltering them from the rain and sun alike? Answer me! Yet you are here bragging emptily. Not giving one a moment's rest in this house, just because he got tired of your sagging body and married me! Glorified house wife! Too bad he didn't kick you out!” Bobby had since stopped eating. It was watching the scene quietly.
Madam Zainab’s voice was broken when she replied. “I warned Tony when he hired you to be his manager but he wouldn't listen to me. Only Allah knows how you turned from a humble, hardworking manager to his second wife. I knew you were trouble from the onset. Now you and your b**t**d daughter can look me in the face and insult me at will, in my own home! Ah! This is so unfair.” She sniffed back the tears as she slowly climbed up the stairs to her room.
Ofure sized her up from head to toe and gave a rather long hiss. Their quarrels often ended this way.
She turned to face her daughter. “And you, why didn't you wash the dishes and clean up eh?” She asked in anger. She wasn't expecting any reply. She didn't get any.
“I don't bring up lazy children! Do you hear me? Stop dragging me into silly arguments. I've told you before, stay out of that woman's way. She doesn't wish us well.”
Oke stared at the floor beneath her. She felt sick to her stomach.
“By the way how was the JAMB lesson today?”
No response.
“Oke! I'm talking to you! Or didn't you go for the lesson today?”
She looked up. “Em…..I…. sorry, what did you say?”
“Oghene! What's wrong with this girl? What are you thinking of eh? What's bothering you? Tell me, I'm your mother for Christ's sake....”
“Are you?”
Ofure blinked several times rapidly. She couldn't believe her ears.
Oke quickly took some steps backward. Over time she had come to understand her mum and read her well. Torrents of slaps came in quick successions when she blinked like that.
“Are you mad? Is something wrong with your head? Are you having brain-touch or something?” She gestured with her hands as she spoke.
No response.
She quickly reached out her hand to hit her head and Oke didn't escape it. “Are you silly? Answer me!” She shouted, re-tying her towel.
 Oke retreated, holding her head with both hands as she fought back tears. She raised her eyes to meet her mother's. They were angry and glistening.
“Never ever hit me like that again!”
“What? Oke are you high or something? Have you started doing drugs? It's me your mother.”  Her voice was a pitch lower this time. She was afraid.
“And again I ask you, are you?” Oke was crying now and screaming at the top of her voice. “You don't ever have time for me! It's always work, work, work, and more work! You don't even know what's going on with me; why I failed in the last JAMB examinations! And that's because you just don't care. Yet you claim to be my mother…” her expression changed dramatically. Her mother was puzzled. Oke grabbed her waist with both hands and knelt down. “I…I...”
                           To be continued…

Whaooo !
Good story writer !
a job well-done !
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Chris Head Mod.
The amazing thing about ur writing is how realistic you make the story sound... description of gestures and all that. Patiently waiting for part 2 :D
Thanks so much Chris. I'll dutifully post the part two shortly.
Driving straight to main points in scenes a little bit too fast, put a little suspense, it's seemingly hurried, apart from that, this is the real deal.

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