Zara - S01 E01 (Story Episode)

1 year ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 1

“Chizara Kelechi Okonkwo! Come out this minute! The school bus is almost here!” Zara
rolled her eyes at her mum’s exasperated tone.

Her mum only called her full name when she wanted to instil fear.

The ploy hardly worked anymore because she knew
deep down that her mother wasn’t wicked.


Her delay wasn’t due to not being ready and she was sure her mum knew that.

At her full age of thirteen, she detested having to ride
the school bus with primary schoolers.

Having failed to successfully convince her parents to
let her go to the boarding school, she knew
she was resigned to taking the bus for the
next two years.


“Chiz-“ “I’m coming, mum.” Zara interrupted with a shout. Closing the door to her room,
she half ran to the living room where she knew her mother would be waiting with
hands on her hips.


A smile softened Mrs Okonkwo’s glare as her daughter came into view.

She knew her
daughter wasn’t happy about being a day student but there was no way she would allow
her only daughter and child be exposed to the dangers of boarding school where she
wouldn’t be able to see if anything was wrong
with her.

As Zara walked out of the house to the school
bus, she spotted her father at his usual morning spot, under the hood of the car her
grandfather had left them.

A Volkswagen Beetle that didn’t work, not that her father
would agree.

Whenever Zara questioned him
about his incessant tinkering with a car she felt would never work, he would told her that
giving up was not an option.


The school bus drove off as Zara returned her
mother’s wave.

As soon as the house was out
if sight, she brought out the novel that had
made her stay back in her room. It was a book
about a young girl like her who was stuck in
an attic during the Holocaust.

The story once again captivated her but not so
much that she didn’t notice her bus veer off its usual route. Where on earth was the bus
going to?


She looked at the houses that lined the streets.

They were the kind of houses that she usually saw in Ikoyi when they visited her
mum’s friend who lived there. She had no idea that this community existed just ten
minutes away from hers.


Seconds after the bus stopped, Zara spotted a very fair complexioned girl who she guessed would be the same age as she walking to the
bus accompanied by her father.

It wasn’t a face she knew and with the extra seconds the
father spent with the chaperone that accompanied the school bus, she guessed that the girl was a new student.


Gingerly, the girl climbed into the bus and walked through looking for a seat.

Zara immediately knew that she would have to remove her school bag for the girl to seat.


Being that she was the only one who had an empty seat by her.


As soon as the girl sat, the bus moved but not before Zara saw something.

The new girl was holding something, the same book she was reading- The Diary of Anne Frank.


It would seem that the girl spotted Zara’s book
also for in a second their eyes met and in that same second, a friendship that would span
fourteen years was born.

“ Ima ooo” Zara called. “Ima, we’ll be late ooo.” From where Zara stood in her living
room, she could hear Ima chuckle some seconds before coming out.


“Na wa ooo. The way you are rushing one would think you have a date.” Ima said with a
laugh in her voice eliciting a shocked look from Zara.

She did have a date for the
graduation dinner but didn’t want her mum to know about it.

Although, even as she
thought it, she knew there was no way her mum didn’t already guess it especially with
the fuss she had made over her dress being perfect.


“Ima! Shhhhhh” She replied with her index finger over her lips. Ima stifled her laughter.


“Sorry.” She said with a whisper trying and failing to look repentant.

Handing Ima’s clutch to her, she led the way out of the
house to the chauffeured 2014 Toyota Rav 4
her parents had gotten to take them to school
for the dinner.


They stepped out of the house in their
identical print dresses styled differently by
Ima’s mum’s high profile designer. After
posing for pictures Ima’s mum insisted on
taking for posterity sake.

As they walked hand in hand, Zara marvelled
at how two years had flown by. With their
WAEC exams completed and Universities
already selected, Zara felt very good about the
future, their futures.

Their friendship had
blossomed from that day in the school bus to
the point where they had been nominated for
best friends in their graduating class for
obvious reasons.

They were both sole children
of their parents with a need to belong.


While their friendship was so thick it couldn’t
be cut with even King Arthur’s mythical
sword, the two, now, young, ladies couldn’t
be more different. The only similarity shared
was their height and love for fiction.

Their
heads levelled at the same 5 ft. and 6 inches.


While Zara had the sanguine personality, Ima
was considered to be the deep thinker.

Their
complexions contrasted with Zara being dark
complexioned and Ima’s skin bordering on
being white.

That being said, they were both
beautiful girls who enjoyed their fair share of
attention from the guys.

Zara drove into the compound that housed
their apartment in Ogudu, GRA. As usual, the
sound of palm fronds gently caressing each
other in the Friday evening breeze calmed
her. The building housed two three-bedroom
apartments, with a detached Bungalow at the
back of the house.

The detached bungalow
had its own entrance and as such, Zara
hadn’t met the occupant after the one time
when she and Ima first moved in. Her work at
the advertising agency didn’t afford her the
time.


Turning off the engine, she let her mind drift
to her conversation at Mrs Obi’s office.

The distraught look on Ima’s mother’s face had
given Zara some hope that her misgivings
would be taken seriously.

From the tone of
her voice Zara could tell that Mrs Obi was
giving it all had because after almost five
days, the silence, despite the Facebook
activity being seen on Ima’s account, was
really loud.

In the comfort and privacy of her 2006 Nissan
Sentra, Zara picked up her phone and dialled
a number. She desperately needed to hear his
voice, to tell him what was happening. She
needed to hear him say it would be okay
because at this point it couldn’t be argued or
ignored anymore, Imaobong Obi, her closest,
dearest, best friend was missing.

Next Episode

Zara - S01 E02 (Story Episode)

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