“So what are you worried about?” Stella’s voice echoed in the car. 

“It’s not that I’m worried,” Violet said uncertainly. “I just feel that things are going too fast. I wanted the both of us to wait for maybe a week or more. I just didn’t…” She trailed off as she swerved to avoid a pothole. She horned an apology to the car on whose lane she had driven into.

She was heading home from work. She and Oyim had tumbled into bed together and engaged in a full night of passion when they returned from their date the previous day. Even she had forgotten all the rules she had mapped out for the both of them as they entwined within each other’s arms and played with their bodies. It had been heated. Throughout the day, she kept on thinking about it, getting distracted by the pictures that kept forming in her head. It wasn’t supposed to be a sexual reconciliation. They had always been sexually compatible, understanding each other’s intimate needs and bodies. They had been together long enough that Oyim knew how to kindle her passion, and she knew his as well. While she felt that the sex they had the last night had brought them a step closer to full reconciliation, she couldn’t help but worry that it made their relationship more intimate on the sexual level than on other levels. Once again, the only person she thought to call was Stella. She didn’t need advice from her, she assured herself. What was done was done. With what happened between her and Oyim the last night, there was no going back. Oyim wouldn’t agree. She also didn’t have in her to push the conversation especially following the pleasures she’d received. 

“Whether you wanted to wait or not, it has happened, hasn’t it?” Stella put in. “But giving him restrictions about sex can push him outside, you know that eh?” 

Violet shrugged. “I know. I was afraid of making that decision, but I needed to know how serious he was about it. I don’t want the one that after all this, he will do something like that again. I just want to be sure I made the right decision.”

“Well, that remains to be seen. It is not something you will understand in the next few days. Just focus on enjoying your marriage and your family. Isn’t Sochi about to enter secondary school, you should concentrate on her too. Ima nowadays, most women don’t really talk with their daughters. I came across this article on the internet, about how girls cannot talk with their mothers about girl issues. It should not be so. Once she goes into secondary school, who knows what information she would be getting from her classmates. Information on these things is best to come from someone who loves her and who understands them very well.”

Violet ignored the sudden change of subject and said, “I already know that, nne. I am trying to get her to open up to me. And she is growing fast. The other day, she came to the room and told me it was time for her to get a bra. Bra kwa? Her chest is growing, but it has not reached the stage of wearing a bra.”

Stella laughed. “Maybe some of her mates at school are wearing bras. You know how fast these children grow these days. I saw one girl, she was wearing a primary school uniform, but if you see her chest. I almost screamed that day.”

“It’s normal. Some of them are early bloomers like that. The problem is they don’t often get sensitized on the girl-to-woman development. I talk with them in school. It will surprise how neglectful mothers are about their daughters. Later they will complain that they don’t know their children at all. It’s not like they allowed their daughters to talk about themselves with them.”

“That’s the problem now. If only many girls had someone to talk to, they wouldn’t make some mistakes that are rampant now with girls of their age.” 

Violet had to agree with Stella. Being a counselor had taught her so much about being a parent. Sometimes, it wasn’t about providing material needs for the children. What about their mental needs? Most problems could not be solved by just dismissing it as a spiritual problem or a stage a child went through. Some things stayed with them all through their teenage age and had a big impact on the type of people they became when they were older. Why not start at an early stage to create vital connections with these children, let them understand the right path, learn to make decisions for themselves, and deal with the consequences of their decisions.

Violet sighed. “Nne, there is little one can do in this case. Every hen to her chick, that is what many people believe. I just want to bring up my children well, all of them.”

Stella clucked her tongue in agreement. “It’s true. I wanted to ask you, can Ikenna come and spend the first week of the long break with you? I don’t know what is wrong with him. He just became closed off all of a sudden. Nothing I do will make him say anything. I don’t even understand anything about boys, eh? It is at times like this that I wish his father is more present in his life. I’m scared. Maybe something happened at school. He got angry when I said I will follow him to school. Serious anger o. I’ve never seen him like that.”

Ah-ah? Just like that?” Violet frowned. She had gotten to the front of the house. She pressed the horn twice and relaxed on the driver’s seat.

“I’m telling you. It shocked me. This is Ikenna o. I’m not sure what to do. I called one of the teachers at school and she said nothing happened. So I think it’s between him and his classmates or something like that. I don’t know what else to think. Do you think you can talk to him for me? I don’t know a lot of counselors. And all these church teenage advisors, you know what I think about them.”

Sochi opened the gate and Violet drove into the compound. “I don’t know if I will succeed. I don’t have much experience. Very few of them come to my office. But let him come. Maybe the change of environment will be good for him.” Violet mentally arranged where he would stay and how she would involve him in the family activities when he came. 

“Mummy, good evening,” Sochi opened the door and poked her head into the car.

“Mmm. How was school today?” Violet briefly bade Stella good-bye and hung up the call.

“School was okay today. And you, mummy? How was school? What about the common entrance results?” She went around to the passenger’s seat to take her mother’s bag. 

Violet stifled her laughter. “It’s still too soon. Just concentrate on the one you have on Saturday. I’m sure you will do very well in all of them.”

“Okay mummy.” She walked beside her mother. 

“What of Chike and Nma? Are they sleeping?” They went into the house. It was quiet. 

Sochi nodded. “I don’t know what happened at school today but when I went to pick them from their class, Nma was angry and refused to talk to anybody. The class auntie said she started fighting in class and they had to punish her. She said you should come to school tomorrow.”

Violet sighed. What again? Nma was always getting into one problem or the other in school. But this was the first time she was starting a fight. “Did you ask Chike what happened? He always pays attention to what Nma does.”

Sochi shook her head. “I asked him, he said Nma and the girl were in the girls’ toilet. He asked Nma and she also refused to talk to him.”

Ah?” It puzzled Violet all the more. Despite the stark difference between the twins, they were closest to each other. If Nma didn’t want to tell Chike, then what was the problem?

“Okay,” she told Sochi, who’d followed her to her room. “Go back to what you were doing. When is time to prepare dinner, come downstairs and help me.”

“Yes, mummy.” Sochi left the room, shutting the door behind her. 

Violet sat on the bed, slowly taking off her earrings and necklace. She had aired the room and sprayed an air freshener in the morning before she had left for school, but she could vividly recall the smell that had filled the room after the activity that went on in the room the night before. She sighed, taking her mind off it. She had other things to dwell on, other matters to deal with. She couldn’t continue brooding on just her and Oyim. They had children to think about. Nma… she thought with a helpless sigh, a hundred possibilities running through her mind about what happened to evoke such reaction from her.