Short stories

Complicated- 15

As Claire walked away, she felt really good with herself, “I will show that woman yet. . .” she thought.


When she got home, Ken and Susan were still seated in the living room; you could cut through the tension in the room with a Knife. Claire stood in the door way and took a moment to savour the uncomfortable silence in the room then she raised her head high up and walked across the living room into her bedroom. In her room she shut the door behind her and leaned back against it; her back to the door, she could feel her heart pounding hard in her chest, she was exhilarated, she did not know why but she felt like she had achieved a personal victory against Susan.


In the living room, Ken shot Susan an angry look, she saw it and re-directed her gaze at the television set. She decided at that moment that the relationship she had with Ken could not work as it was and that she would have to find a way to get him to actually marry her. It was the only way to firmly assert herself as a member of this family and not always feel like an outsider when decisions had to be taken regarding that girl. She would bide her time but she would get it done. Claire’s door opened once again and Susan could not help but look in the direction of the room. Ken was already looking in that direction and continued looking until Claire walked right into the middle of the living room and announced

My friends are coming for a visit next week” it was not a request, it was a statement yet she stood staring at her dad until he said “Okay

Claire was making Ken uncomfortable, he did not know why but he blamed himself for what Susan had said earlier, not because he believed that his daughter was “socially retarded”, no he did not believe she was, it was more because he had brought Susan into their home and she had called his daughter socially retarded to her hearing. “Claire is not socially retarded!” he told himself fiercely, “maybe a bit shy or a bit socially awkward but not socially retarded” he stared at his daughter’s retreating back and as she stepped into her room, he shot Susan another dirty look.


In her room, Claire shut the door behind herself once again and this time rushed to sit on her bed before her legs gave way. Her heart was beating so fast that she had to place her hand over her chest. She had no idea what had possessed her to make such an announcement. “Friends?” they had barely even said five sentences to each other, and suddenly they were her friends? Maybe she was getting good at introducing herself to people but inviting people over? That was a totally different thing. As the novelty of the moment began to wear off, she began to see the flaws in her action. What if she didn’t see the twins before next week? What if they turned her down? Would she even be bold enough to ask? Her exhilaration began to turn into panic. She should have just stopped when she walked with her head high into her room the first time. Now it looked like Susan was going to come out on top when no friends showed up next week. Her jaws clenched into a firm line she was a just a thirteen year old girl no doubt but she was a determined thirteen year old and there was no way she was going to let Susan win this.

What happened?” Tai was not taunting, he was really just curious

Oh you’ve never fallen before?” Kenny asked

No not to you, to grandmaster Bob.

I don’t get you

Why did he take off like that when he saw Claire?

He didn’t, he said hi

Just hi, after all the mouth he has made about knowing everything about girls?

He didn’t want to snatch your girlfriend that’s why” Kenny was beginning to sound irritated again

Snatch how? he was afraid to talk to the girl abeg

Oh so she is your girlfriend right?

No she’s not and you know it

They were back home and in their room, Kenny went back to his phone and after staring at him for some time, Tai lay back on his bed and started fiddling with his phone as well.


What was that about?

Teniola was finally back and she had spent hours picking out what to wear and making sure her makeup was perfect. She couldn’t wait to go see Ade but she wanted everything to be just right when she did see him and it was really tiresome business for Julia. Twice she had said “I’m set let’s go” and then at the door she had said “Just a minute” and walked back into the apartment; the first time to add another coat of lipstick, the 2nd time to clean off the lipstick and apply a totally different colour. Finally they made it to Ade’s place. Teniola could barely keep still as she knocked on the door, and as Ade opened the door, she jumped on him and they fell in a heap right in the door way. She planted kisses all over his face and when she finally stopped and drew back to look at his face, he asked why she was crying.


No I’m not crying” she said as her hands flew to her face. They come off wet, she screamed “Oh my make-up” flew to her feet and ran into the apartment. When she eventually came out of the bathroom, she was beaming and dabbing at her face with a tissue. Ade was leaning against his reading table, a huge smile on his face. He had forgotten how boisterous Teniola was and how she always brought cheer with her wherever she went.

Where’s Julia?” she asked


Julia my cousin

She’s not here” he responded a worried frown crossing his face.

She was right behind me at the door

No she wasn’t

“Yes she was”

All I saw when I opened the door was you flying in my face, I didn’t see Julia


She went to the door, opened it and called out Julia’s name, when she got no response, she shut the door 
behind her.

She’s probably gone to get something” she said

I’m sure she’ll be back soon.

Stay tuned for Episode 16 next week Friday.

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