48 comments

Sep 14, 2020

Drama Funny Kids

"Why. Are. We. Staring?" Jọ́jọ́ pinched her mother again. Her eyes were already watering.

"This child, I've told you countless times; there is someone moving into that house across the road and it is custom and only sensible to bore into them with our eyes until they feel uncomfortable and therefore respect us, "

She almost fell over the edge. Must she? It's not like they were going to respect her. She was only eight years old!

Then she looked around and met all the other residents doing the same; killing the poor newcomers with their ghastly stares.

"Okay, so are we done now?" She whined.

"Jọ́miloju," her mother snapped, "just be quiet and stare at these people like they killed your father,"

She blinked, "you killed my father, with that hard cassava you're always making. So inedible,"

She got a smack behind her head for that.

"Shut up," 

They kept glaring at every creature that stepped out of that Honda Jeep and began to move into the cream duplex. Everyone was glaring. Jọ́jọ́ could feel discomfort for them.

"Hm! God forbid! They are so mysterious. We need to be keeping an eye on these people," her mom clapped her hands silently.

Jọ́jọ́ couldn't understand what was mysterious in unpacking luggage and boxes from a car trunk and setting up their house. Or maybe she was missing something.

"Mummy, I'm tired, can I go back?" She slapped her leg and killed a mosquito, a tiny splotch of blood stained her sock.

"No. We have to do this together," she grabbed her hand.

Do what? Disturb a peaceful family?

"Just look. What is that they're bringing out? Oh my God, they're going to kill all of us," her mother mused.

Jọ́jọ́ sighed and decided to look. They were done offloading miniscule furniture and home decor, now pulling out all manner of gadgets, machines and equipment.

She was intrigued now. She wriggled out of her mother's grasp and clutched the fence, trying to get a closer look. 

Everyone was moving closer, the amebo was just too sweet. There was no such possible thing as 'mind your business's where she grew up. In fact, there was no such possible thing as that in the entire country. Your business was every freaking person's business.

"Wow," Jọ́jọ́ said when she saw the boy pull out something like a coin machine. She immediately embraced the idea of sneaking into their house.

She knew she would get a good beating and a ton of Yoruba yelled at her but it would be worth it.

The family finally shut the trunk and closed the front doors, signalling the end of the stunt show. Everyone immediately began their gossip; some stayed outside and others found it so interesting as to go inside and gossip on glasses of Malta.

She was still staring at the compound when her mom dragged her.

"Jọ́mị come let's go to Ma Ayooba's house" she said enthusiastically, as if her happiness would quench if they did not.

Jọ́jọ́ reluctantly let go of the fence.

Ma Ayooba was the chief amebo on their entire street. Her busy body and gossip were second to none; and her fake news was just so palatable. Most of the women used to gather at her house to listen to her real and unreal stories that weren't any of their business. Her house was rarely ever empty.

Jọ́jọ́'s mother dragged her arm and ran out of the gate to Ma Ayooba's house next door. She passed the gates and walked straight into the house. Ma Ayooba never locked her front door. It wasn't good for business.

"I'm telling you, those people are here to install that mast that will hypnotize all if us and make us puppets to the foreign government!" Ma Ayooba was already entertaining a neighbor in her living room.

"God forbid!" Mrs. Effiong placed her hands on her head.

"I said it," Jọ́jọ́'s mother loud whispered, taking a seat on the adjacent couch. Jọ́jọ́ sat too, vividly annoyed.

"Oh, you don't know?" Ma Ayooba turned to Jọ́jọ́'s mother now, who shook her head in anticipation.

"They want to make us slaves all over again!" Ma Ayooba shouted.

Her mother clapped, "Impossible!" 

Mrs.Effiong looked like she wanted to faint.

Jọ́jọ́ was startled a little but wanted to tell Ma Ayooba that this was probably not that serious. 

I mean, all the equipment looked like toys!

"Their plans shall not work!" Mrs. Effiong shouted again, and another neighbour came scurrying in with her "Amen!" 

Jọ́jọ́ wanted to go home and sleep. Or better still; start to devise her plan to sneak out and return to the least degree possible beating and the lowest possible tempo of loud Yoruba.

"I told you people that we're done for. I should've relocated years ago," Ma Ayooba grimaced.

Mrs. Effiong's hands were still over her head and the woman who'd just entered, Mummy Agaba, was speechless.

"I'm not doing any manual work for anyone o!" Mummy Agaba finally spoke.

Jọ́jọ́'s mom hissed. 

"Does that have to do with anybody? Whether or not they're enslaving us you are a lazy woman and that's that," she batted her eyelashes.

Mummy Agaba looked like she wanted to kill her mother.

"You better shut up you-" 

"Hmm. It is well o," Mrs. Effiong shifted and let out a loud sigh so as to prevent the incoming rows of insults that would engage the two women.

Ma Ayooba was shaking her fat leg and saying, "hm....hm," at intervals.

Jọ́jọ́ decided to look at it from their point of view and wondered how they were going to stop them from being enslaved by brooding over it in Ma Ayooba's house.

"Mummy," she whined.

Her mother ignored her.

"In fact, I'm going to be the first one to go and visit then, lemme go now. Oluwa will not allow them to go ahead with this," she snapped.

Mrs. Effiong, Mummy Agaba and Ma Ayooba chorused the "Amen".

And with that, she up and dragged Jọ́jọ́, who was relieved that she didn't have to sneak out after all.

"Jọ́mịloju. Jọ́mịloju. Jọ́mịloju," her mother dragged her ear, "how many times did I call you?" 

Jọ́jọ́ scratched her head and violently pulled her cornrows, "three times," she said, irritated.

"Respect yourself in that house. Respect yourself oh! I don't want you moving to anywhere, just stay by me, ṣe o ti gbo?" 

"Yes mummy," she mumbled, knowing full well that it was a big lie.

They stood on the porch of the cream colored duplex and pressed the doorbell, while her mother whispered binding and casting prayers directed to the ginger cat nestled in a basket-like bed beside the cane chair.

Jọ́jọ́ suffocated the urge to break free of her mom and play with it.

"Ah, neighbours," an auburn haired slim woman greeted Jọ́jọ́'s mom.

"Come in, come in," she stepped aside, smiling.

Jojo's mom walked in, slowly, guiding Jọ́jọ́ each step as if she couldn't walk. She stooped as if to brace the both of them for an incoming avalanche; her large bosom grazing the top of Jọ́jọ́'s head.

The woman looked at them weirdly.

"Uh, you can have a seat," she directed her hand to a couch opposite a fireplace they would not need. They'd probably forgotten that they were now north of the equator.

"My name is Kaitlyn, what's yours?" she smiled, taking a seat.

"Mojisọ́la. I live opposite you," Jọ́jọ́'s mom forced a smile.

"Oh, is it the brown house? That's lovely. Welp, I just moved in with my husband and little guy, we work around here now," she said, pouring herself a cup of Brandy.

"You care?" She stretched her hand to the other to pour.

"No oh, I'm good," her mom smiled, shifting on the couch. Jọ́jọ́ was already dying of boredom.

"I don't take alcohol," her mom said again.

"Oops," Kaitlyn chuckled, "would you like water then?" She offered.

"No. I'm okay," Jọ́jọ́'s mom nodded.

Jọ́jọ́ sunk her back on the seat of the couch, patiently waiting for her mom's smack.

"Oh, she's so cute. Darling sit up, is that your daughter?" Kaitlyn mused.

"Yes," Jọ́jọ́'s mom said, suppressing the urge to smack her.

"What's your name honey?"

She sat up from her position if defiance.

"Jọ́jọ́," she smiled.

"Her name is Jọ́mịloju, but we call her Jọ́jọ́ for short," her mom said.

Kaitlyn gasped.

"Goodness, my son's name is JoJo," she giggled.

"Are you serious?" 

"Yeah, but you know, the intonation is quite different. Here, let me call him. JoJo!" 

Jọ́mịloju prayed with all her might that her son would be her age so they could ditch these two and go play to their heart's content.

The dusty haired boy came skipping down the stairs, a transformer toy in hand.

"This is my son, JoJo. JoJo this is Jọ́jọ́, say hello," 

"Hello," he mumbled. Jọ́jọ́ didn't blame him.

"Hello," she grinned at him, he seemed to significantly lighten up after that.

"You guys can go have fun," Kaitlyn said, smiling, obviously happy that her son already had a play mate.

Jọ́jọ́ could feel the curly hairs on her mother's neck stand on one end.

She slid down from the couch slowly, her eyes intent on her mom's face.

"Come on," JoJo said enthusiastically.

Jọ́jọ́ finally got off fully and jogged to him, giggling.

They both ran downstairs, JoJo in the lead.

He took her to the basement.

"Dad! Dad!" JoJo called out.

He pushed the door open and they both entered.

"JoJo...who's this?" His dad asked, wiping sweat off his forehead.

"Dad, this is my new friend, Jọ́jọ́," 

Jọ́jọ́ didn't even notice the introduction, she was too busy scanning the entire basement, mesmerised. It looked like something she'd seen in cartoons before. PlayStations and spinny things and noisy buttons and joysticks and ticket booths. 

"Oh, hello Jọ́jọ́," he chuckled, "welcome to our arcade."

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48 comments

Aisha Olanrewaju
11:12 Oct 13, 2020

Hello 👋! This is probably spamming 😁. First of, I honestly enjoyed this short story, it was truly evident of the Yoruba nature of the mothers whenever someone new enters their particular compound and how they're always suspicious. This is truly bravo! Anyway, I actually contacted you because I thought you or a couple of friends of yours that are native to Nigeria would love to participate in this competition, if you're free that is. https://fallowamber.wordpress.com/writing-contests/ Either way, I would love to get a feedback ...

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21:09 Nov 06, 2020

First, thank you SO MUCH, and I'm glad you liked it! Second, I would absolutely LOVE to be apart of the competition, I hope I'm not too late, ahhhh...

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Aisha Olanrewaju
13:40 Nov 10, 2020

Not at all! 😊 The competition occurs fortnightly, so it has been renewed. Although, there are just about 6 days until this fortnight's prompts end. Then it'd be renewed again. The link is still the same. Good luck! 😁🌟

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20:43 Nov 13, 2020

Thank You!!😀

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Aisha Olanrewaju
10:45 Nov 16, 2020

You're welcome sis! 😀

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Jonathan Blaauw
16:47 Sep 16, 2020

👍🐧🥥👾❗➕🤑🙂🙄🙄🐊🐊🤔🤬😵🤢🇬🇧🧐😉☔🐴🍭😃🤣🇬🇧☹️➕🙀🤖👽👻 Since you speak fluent emoji, I thought I'd comment in it as well. I know you know what I just said, but I'll translate it anyway. This story is hilarious! You've got such incredible style and flair as a writer, very impressive. We know you're a little crazy, but beneath the hilarity is excellent writing technique that makes your story come alive. At one point, Kaitlyn starts a sentence with 'Welp' I'm sure that's just a typo and you meant "Well." Otherwise, it's brilliant. The beginning especiall...

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Deidra Lovegren
22:25 Sep 14, 2020

That's it. I'm learning Yoruba. Ẹ kú ọjọ́ mẹ́ta <-- not sure what that means. Hopefully not an insult? You write about slices of life so elegantly, such a fresh happy voice! Your writing is like cotton candy. The mom is hilarious (and violent.) I loved this (and fixed a little punctuation): She blinked, "You killed my father with that hard cassava you're always making. So inedible!" She got a smack behind her head for that.

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22:34 Sep 14, 2020

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣Dei- I know you didn't mean it- I'm rolling🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂 You said, "You died three days ago,"🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 thanks for FINALLY making me burst in front of my mom, I nearly CHOKED!🤣😂🤣 Anyways..😂😂 Im sooooooo soooo sooooo HAPPY you loved my story!!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️😍 THANK YOU SO MUCH👑👑👑👑 I actually have another story before this one if you would like to read. In the meantime, Thanks AGAIN🤧🤧💚💙💚 That's for liking my story and for attempting to speak Yoruba🤣😂🤣😂I'm with you all the way😂😂 you should try Igbo too😂

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Deidra Lovegren
22:42 Sep 14, 2020

Gbaghara m - I'm sure my Igbo will be as good as my Yoruba.

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Deidra Lovegren
22:42 Sep 14, 2020

Ọkụ! Ọkụ na-agba!

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Deidra Lovegren
22:42 Sep 14, 2020

Azụ juputara n'ụgbọ ikuku m

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22:55 Sep 14, 2020

Ah, hand me a few then won't you matey? I think my fish supply is running low🐟🐟🐟🐟

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22:46 Sep 14, 2020

🤣🤣🤣WHAT?? Where is the fire🤣🤣🤣😂🤣😂😂🤣😂🤣 You just said, "Fire! Fire is burning!"😂😂😂

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Deidra Lovegren
22:51 Sep 14, 2020

🔥

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22:45 Sep 14, 2020

Ah, this one is correct, thankfully😂😂. I forgive you, no worries✌️🤧😂

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22:58 Sep 14, 2020

Go ahead an try all of em!😂 I can list a couple hundred for you📖📕📔📓📗📘📙📙📒📃📄📰📰📜

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22:56 Sep 14, 2020

ACTUALLY eku ojo meta is a very popular Yoruba greeting also (things can have two meanings apparently😁) so you are SO not wrong. That's good innit?✌️✌️😁

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Doubra Akika
22:03 Sep 14, 2020

Chi Chi! This was amazing as always. Like something straight out of the Gossiping Housewives of ... (insert name of the street)😂😂 it’s funny how Nigerian men aren’t involved in this. Oh well, they don’t know what they’re missing. The humour in this way funnier because I can so picture the meeting they had in my head. Everyone tying rapper gossiping😂. For someone who has lived in this country this long and is yet to experience this, I am very sorry for myself 😂. But I know I’ve experience something similar in the past so hurray for that. ...

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22:13 Sep 14, 2020

😂😂😂 Thanks AGAIN DOUB!!! And yes, Amebo is too sweet abeg, abegee. Chai,🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 All the things that does not conscine you in any way, you must hear it🤣🤣 Especially here, where I live currently, there's a lot of spare time, not all the hustle and bustle like Lagos anymore, so gossiping is #1!!! I even coined that Ma Ayooba's name from the chief gossip in my street!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 That woman eh (*Reties wrappa unnecessarily*) I'm yet to even fund the name of the street sef... And oh! I'll go make those corrections, and cane chair is actually ...

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Doubra Akika
22:37 Sep 14, 2020

🤣🤣🤣🤣 Ohh okay! Happy I could help! That re-tying wrappa🤣. Thanks so much!

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Sisss

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Hello, but how do you say Jojo? Confused.

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🄼🄹 🅂
00:44 Feb 17, 2021

This was a great story, can't wait to see what else you come up with! -Mj P.S. Could you check out my new story "Death Is History Too" if you have a chance?

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09:49 Mar 21, 2021

Thank you! And sure I will!

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09:49 Mar 21, 2021

Thank you! And sure I will!

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20:46 Oct 08, 2020

Oh so you're Nigerian! Whooooa, that's amazing! I liked how you built up a little bit of suspense throughout the story, and then you gave us a Lil reveals that IT'S AN ARCADE! Jojo's (I don't have any accent mark buttons on my laptop sorry) mom reminds me SO much of my mom its kinda scary... Very funny story, I loved it, it fit the prompt very well, Oh and you used "welp" correctly in the story as well. Take it from someone with an entire friend group of preppy white girls, you're portraying "American" lingo and whatever perfectly.

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21:08 Nov 06, 2020

THANK YOUUUUu!! Gosh! I'm SO glad you enjoyed it and could relateeee😀😀😂. And yes, I'm Nigerian, very😂 I'm so glad you loved it once again!!!😅😅

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Princemark Okibe
09:36 Oct 03, 2020

Natural and very entertaining. Really enjoyed it as you took me to see the world through the eyes of a carefree eight year old. I liked the way you used 'welp'. Being Nigerian I understand.

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21:04 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it!😊😊

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Amany Sayed
02:10 Oct 02, 2020

THIS IS AMAZING AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH! That beginning....Just UGH I love it.

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21:03 Nov 06, 2020

THANK YOUUUuuUUUUUuU!!!🤧🤧🤧💜💜💜

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Amany Sayed
04:09 Nov 07, 2020

WELCOMEEEE

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Maya Zauberman
23:06 Sep 23, 2020

Positives- I definitely got a sense of character out of this. Jojo especially seems well-rounded and interesting, with her conflicted stance with her mother. Negatives- There’s a big lack of motive here. Why are these characters so suspicious of others? I think it could help expand your story if you go into character motives for Jojo’s mom/community. Questions for the author- Is this a part of a larger work? If not, you should definitely expand it—this is definitely novel material!

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23:32 Sep 24, 2020

Thank you! I'll see what I can do about that!

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01:14 Sep 23, 2020

Amazing story! This is one of the most creative stories I have seen! I loved the Nigerian culture mix into the story - well done! The mother is hilarious and - actually, let me rephrase: the whole freaking thing is so freaking entertaining! 🤣😂🤣😂🤣 Some errors: "This child, I've told you countless times; there is someone moving into that house across the road and it is custom and only sensible to bore into them with our eyes until they feel uncomfortable and therefore respect us, " ~ It should end with a period, not a comma. Side note: This...

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23:27 Sep 24, 2020

Thank you so MUCHHHHHHHHHh😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭💜💜💜💜💜 I LOOOOOOoVEEE this commentttttt😂 Gosh I'm so glad it made you happyyyyy🤧🤧🤧 Thanks for those corrections!!! 😂😂😂And I can imagine that perfectly🤣🤣🤣so perfectly. The tatafwo, amebo, busy body and none-minding-of-business is drastic up to a HUNDRED DEGREES here🤣🤣🤣. But its also good lots of the time cos they're there in a flash when you need help or are in trouble🙃 All I can say is, the community is THRIVING🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣💀💀 Its basically just a result of culture-crash 😂😂 You see something new, you wan...

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23:31 Sep 24, 2020

Wait, you've been to Africa? What part?🙃 (P.s I'm also IN LOVE with Hunger games AND Divergent and anything that has to DO with movies like that🤧💜)

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23:33 Sep 24, 2020

No, not actually to Africa! I mean, I went to my African AMERICAN friends' homes lol 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

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23:34 Sep 24, 2020

I -oh! Me too! Those are such good series!

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13:43 Sep 27, 2020

YESSSS!😌

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13:42 Sep 27, 2020

OHHHHH!🤣🤣😂😂😂😂 Silly meeeeeeee Welp, I probably don't have any experience in that case although it's probably not too different 😂😂😂😂 My bad, so sorry🤣

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03:44 Sep 28, 2020

No, it's alright! LOL 😂🤣😂🤣😂

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Zea Bowman
01:53 Sep 21, 2020

Wow! I really enjoyed reading this story! It was so full of great description, and I loved the way you pieced it together. Could you please come check out some of my stories?

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11:18 Sep 21, 2020

Thank you so much!!!! I'm SO glad you liked it😊 And of course I'll read your stories!!! :D

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Meggy House
22:13 Sep 15, 2020

Wow! This was so great! I really love how innocently you wrote Jojo (I'm sorry, I don't know how to do the accents on my computer). She was so sweet and curious, and her mother was hilarious! I always like reading about realistic, spunky, violent-but-not-in-a-dangerous-way-unless-you-cross-her mothers and her characterization was brilliant. I love how you wrote from the perspective of the suspicious neighborhood, which is a unique take on the prompt. I also really love the reveal of the arcade, how everybody's so suspicious of the machines b...

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09:12 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you SO much Meggy!!!!🐒🐒 I so loveeeeee this comment!❣️ Just wrapped up the entire story! I'm so glad you liked it😊😊😊 Your comment really warms my heart. And yes, very true, we learn not to judge people by face value or in this case, what gadgets they pull out from their trunk😬 And yeahhhh, im totally in love with Jọ́jọ́ and JoJo❣️ Considering making a part two about them and the arcade🤗 (I said considering😬) Again, THANKS!!!!

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Meggy House
12:02 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you! Anything you write will be lovely :)

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18:36 Sep 16, 2020

:D

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