"Nneka, why don't you listen to your parents?" Mr. Obuneme, Nneka dad's friend asked.
Nneka pouted her lips and looked away, having her arms akimbo. She was very rude and the older of the two girls her parents had.
Mr. Obuneme waited for a response, but she chuckled dryly, mumbling words he couldn't hear.
"Can't you talk, or---"
"Hold it there," she cut in, turning to him. "What's your problem? Do I look like your stupid daughter, Chioma, who you can talk to?" she hissed.
"Ehn?!" Mr. Obuneme's eyes widened in shock as he got up. "Nneka?! My God! Nneka?!" He tipped his head forward, staring into her eyes.
"What?" She moved away. "You stink, your mouth smells. Please, leave right now, or I do something you won't like."
Words failed Mr. Obuneme, he was yet to be out of the shock that enveloped him. He removed his red cap and dusted it in anger.
"No problem, I've just seen what you're like. Idiot," he said, walking away.
"Papa Tonye," Nneka's mother, who was picking beans called Mr. Obuneme, as he walked past her without saying goodbye.
Mama Nneka knew her daughter must have gotten him upset. She walked inside to meet her.
"Nneka! What did you do to Papa Tonye?"
"Why didn't you ask him when you saw him? Please, don't disturb my peace, mama," she said, walking past her.
"Nneka, I've been saying my own to you. This dirty attitude will put you in trouble, and no one will support you."
Nneka never stopped talking back at people, she was famed by her stubborn resistance and hauteur attitude.
"Hey woman, I want to buy pepper. Come here," she said to Mrs. Chineye, a pepper seller, who was discussing with her two friends, Mama Chibuzor and Mama Kelechi.
"You can't even greet first?" said Mama Chibuzor.
"I didn't come here for that, okay? Mind your business."
"It will soon be ah...ah." she made a prolonged hiss sound.
Nneka never knew the children of the women were behind the shop.
"Are you mad? How dare you talk to our mothers that way?!" Chibuzor asked her.
"Just imagine. You Chibuzor confronting me? Eh, Kelechi? You dirty boys whose parents have no brain---"
"Ehn? Our parents?" they chorused appallingly.
Chibuzor slapped her, Kelechi bit her back. Passersby gathered and refused to settle them.
"Beat her well," many said. "She is too rude."
Nneka cried, running home with a swollen face. Her parents knew she had been beaten, but uttered no word. Tears refused to stop all day, her body ached.
She knelt down before her parents that night, pleading she'd change for good. They didn't answer her until an hour later when Mr. Obuneme was present with Mama Chibuzor and others.
Fresher tears streamed down Nneka's face. She lowered her gaze, asking for forgiveness. Everyone forgave her. Since then, she became a respectful girl that was loved by many.