The bronze felt door knob shuddered and the whole class halted the frenzy. After much struggle, the door whisked open and they chorused;
“Lover B…!” They stopped in their stride when Tope appeared through the door. His massive frame almost covered the entirety of the door way and he looked on in excitement.
“Is it my birthday or something?” He asked.
“Sit down Tope.” Chloe replied disappointed while some others mumbled incoherent words.
“Close the door too.” Mohammed, a light skinned Fulani indigene added and Tope shut the door behind him.
“What’s happening?” Tope asked him.
“We want to surprise Nathaniel. Didn’t you get the bc?”
“Okay. We are screaming ‘lover boy’ when he enters, so get ready”
“Why? What did he do?”
Mohammed stared at him. A single styptic blink told Tope he shouldn’t have asked that.
“Are you not a student of this school?” Tope looked on lost. He tried to maintain his composure and maintain the eye contact but he feared he might lose it. He however was lucky. Mohammed gave up on his stare.
“He almost kissed Ronke on Saturday.” He said and switched his gaze to the door.
“Huh? Which Ronke?”
“What other Ronke do you know?” Mohammed answered without breaking his gaze. He answered before Tope could speak.
“Ronke Ogah. The same one that has been in the same course with you for four years yet you don’t know her.”
“How is th..tha..that..po..possi..possible?” Tope stammered. Blood rushed to his head and he wondered why. Ronke should be his. She is the finest girl in the school, how come he never thought of asking her out? And now, Nath wants to get in his way.
“Is he mad? How dare he?” Mohammed shook because of the sudden outbursts.
“Are you guys nuts? That small boy kissed the finest girl in the school and you want to congratulate him?”
“Ehen… how is that your business?” It was Chiamaka that spoke. Her petite frame, big eyes and geeky spectacles were a sharp contrast to Tope’s well shaped muscles and 6’2 height. He chuckled in confidence and advanced on her.
“See, if I slap you eh, you will think it’s a trailer that hit you.”
She swerved around to face the other girls and clapped her hands in typical market women fashion.
“You want to slap me? Oya slap it!” She closed up the gap between them and pushed her body against his. He felt her chest on his crotch and laughed.
“See how short you are. You are like a foot or maybe even less. I hope the weather down there is not too cold for you.” Some boys laughed at this but immediately stopped when the girls shot them bitter looks. By now, Chika, Chloe and Titi had joined the fight in favour of their fellow female and their small alliance made Tope retract a few steps.
“Oh, now you are scared.” Chiamaka said. “Why won’t you be when your IQ has a minus sign leading it.” The whole class burst into laughter and Tope bit his lower lip in anger. He had lost this battle, he thought. And he sure as hell would not beat girls. That would kill his reputation on campus.
“That’s why Ronke won’t fall for you, shey that’s why you’re flaring up. You’ve never liked people beating you to things. You are just a spoilt brat.” Chiamaka said. “And that’s why Ronke will kiss Nath a billion times before thinking about you and that is because he is more of a man than you.”
The entrance door creaked and everybody turned to see Nath standing in the doorway. With the look on his face, it was obvious he had been there for quite a while. He stood there for some seconds scanning each face in the lecture hall before finally settling on Tope’s. They maintained eye contact for about half a second before their concentration is broken by the sound of a maths set crashing against a concrete floor. Everybody turned to look in the direction of the sound and when they turned back to Nath, he was gone.
“See what you caused.” Chiamaka said to Tope. “I hope you’re happy now.
Nath staggered up the stairs, the weight of the books in the back slowing him down to sloth like speed. His mind was still focused on the happenings earlier today. He could see it now. He had seen it half a dozen times on his way back from the college building.
So the whole school knew.
That means Josh knew. His head hurt as he tried to wipe the image off his mind. He had dreaded this day; the day he would have to stand up to Josh and tell him he was crushing on the love of his life.
Which best friend in his normal senses does that?
Yes, he had a past, a very bad past but he was better now. He was ‘good’ now. Ronke however brought up the old part of him. The ‘Martian’ side of him that was dormant. He felt it the day before and it scared him.
He arrived on the fourth floor of the dormitory and dragged his weight to his room. He could hear music from his room. Adele. Josh was home. He opened the door with his key and there was Josh lying down on his bed face up.
“Hey Josh.” He said. There was no reply.
He proceeded to get rid of the load that was his bag and heard Josh speak.
“I’ve heard your gist.”
I’m sorry was all Nath could say.
“Sorry for what? I only said I’ve heard your gist.” Josh countered. “Or is there something I’m missing.” He sat up on the bed to face Nath. Nath looked away.
“Why did you do it?”
“I don’t know, I’m sorry.”
Josh stood up and walked to the book shelf in the corner. He picked up “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris and flipped through the pages while Nath stared in silence.
“You know this sorry ish is annoying? Just answer my question; why did you do it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Shut up.” Josh bawled. “Don’t tell me you don’t know. First you save her contact on your phone as Abigail so I wouldn’t know, then you tried to kiss her. Now the whole school thinks you guys are engaged and you’re telling me you don’t know.”
“I like her. I always have, but you liked her too and so I stayed away.”
The room is quiet for a while. Josh returned the book to the shelf and picked up a roll of tissue paper.
“I should have known. It was always about her, you never were my friend.”
He slid his feet into a pair of bathroom slippers and Nath watched him enter the toilet and shut the door behind him. It was then he noticed he was still carrying his bag and he dropped it on the bed. He picked up a sachet of water to drink and was about to switch on the TV when Tope stumbled in.
“Who were you arguing with?”
“Not your business.” Nath replied without looking at him.
“Alright, I’m just here to discuss about Ronke.”
“What about her?”
“I like her and I know you like her too but we can’t share her.”
“Where is this coming from?” Nath asked disinterested.
“Chill, you will soon understand.” He paused and stopped to remember his lines he crammed a few minutes ago.
“I’m putting you up to a challenge.”
That caught Nath’s attention and he swivelled round to face Tope.
Tope heard the anxiety in his voice and smiled. He got this in the bag already.
“A challenge to see who gets her first; as you know, I’m not a big fan of girls. If I wanted a girlfriend, my dad’s colleagues in the senate have beautiful daughters. All I want to do now is just sleep with Ronke.”
“Yo..You can’t do that.”
Tope grew in confidence and whispered; “oh yes, I can and I would. Talk to you later.” He winked and exited the room.
Nath sunk in his chair and puffed. This meant trouble for himself and Josh. Tope had never lost a challenge especially when it involved sleeping with girls. He was stupid all right but he knew how to put his father’s wealth to good use. Nath feared this might not be different from the others; the guy was a freaking enigma.
The toilet door swung open and Josh stepped out.
“Who was that?”
“What did he want?”
“Nothing” He couldn’t bring himself to tell him what Tope just said.
Ronke laid on her bed with her head propped against her pillow. Her eyes were fixed on the pages of Tunde Leye’s ‘Golden Sands’. She heaved the occasional sigh from time to time and gasped once.
At two, the wall clock chimed twice. Its little chimes reminiscent of a cardinal’s voice. She looked up at the clock and squinted through her reading glasses to see its hands properly. A thought popped up in her mind and she quickly dispelled it.
Why hadn’t they come back?
She had decided to stay indoors this week to avoid been seen by anybody. At least till the Nath scandal died down. Chloe and Shade should have returned by twelve. That was when classes ended on Thursday.
At ten minutes past two, the slightly dysfunctional tap in the bedroom coughed rigorously before it settled to a steady dribble of water unto the ceramic shower tray below. She listened and her ears stood up. Her brothers always teased her anytime she did that. She remembered their taunting jibes and smiled. She missed them.
She dropped the book aside and strolled to her wardrobe to get her towel. Midway through her bath, she heard a knock on the door.
Seriously… They had to come now.
“I’m coming.” She said aloud hoping the person heard her over the running tap. She hurried and was done in five minutes. When she opened the door, she wasn’t surprised to see Chloe and Nike waiting.
“I’m sorry, was bathing. What took you guys so long?” She directed the question to Chloe while Nike ‘eyed’ her and made herself comfortable on her bed. She was furiously tapping her Bold 5 keypads. as usual.
“It’s Nike o. She asked me to follow her to the bank to pay in some money.”
“Ronke” Nike said.
“Oh, you know my name. I thought we were strangers.” Ronke replied. Nike laughed albeit sarcastically.
“You have to go out with Nath.”
“You have to go out with Nath.”
“And am I permitted to ask why?”
“Because he will probably kill you if you don’t.”
Both Chloe and Ronke burst into laughter.
“Nath… kill me? That guy can’t even hurt a fly.”
“Maybe, but he was once a cultist over at Ilorin and a bad guy at that. According to gist, he was the leader and got expelled in his final year. His alias was ‘Martian’” Ronke swallowed and Nike looked up with an evil grin.
“Now, who’s laughing?”
“Be serious jor. When did Nath go to Ilorin?”
“Do you think I’ll joke about something like this? Take.” She handed her phone to Ronke.
“Read the chat messages.” Ronke found a chair to sit on and read from line to line Nike_Spice’s conversation with ‘Twister’.
“Yomi. That’s the Twister’s guy’s name. He added me on bbm on Sunday after he heard the gist about the kiss and ish. And when we started talking, he told me who Nath was before and how much of a terror he was in Unilorin. He said the whole school celebrated when he got expelled and that if you liked your life, you would go out with him.”
After six minutes of reading and two minutes in deep thoughts, Ronke spoke;
“It’s a lie jor! How do you know this guy is not bluffing?”
“Because he’s not. Open my browser and refresh the opened tab.” Ronke did so and when the page loaded, the caption header made her wince.
- UNILORIN CULT LEADER FINALLY EXPELLED
She spent the next minutes reading the story of how Nathaniel Bassey; the terror of Unilorin had terrorised all and sundry and how it took a dozen mopol officials to fish him out and boot him out of the campus in advent of his expulsion. At the bottom of the story was a picture of Nath in cuffs. His Mohawk was tainted brown with what seemed like sand and his dishevelled singlet had obviously seen better days.
“Jesus.” Ronke gasped. “My own has finished. How do I live with a murderer on mu ta…?” The words weren’t out of her mouth when Shade burst into the room.
Ronke; obviously pissed barked at her in anger. “Hello! There is a door, you know. She rolled her eyes and hissed.”
“I know…sorry.” Shade tried desperately to catch her breath. After she had achieved that to an extent, she cursed.
“What?” Ronke asked
“I just saw Josh.”
“Who is josh?”
Ronke stared at Shade in terror and stood up. She looked like she had seen a ghost.
“Are you nuts, how can you say you saw Josh?”
“I did. I was entering the school when I saw him, but when I called his name, he just disappeared in the crowd.”
“Exactly… That poor fellow did that because he was not Josh.”
Chloe just fell on her back and hummed. “Joshua Fela kor, Fela kuti ni.”
Shade shot her a look, thought about it and ignored her.
She grabbed Ronke and pulled her to herself.
“Ronke, would I lie to you?”
“Good. So I’m telling you I saw Josh and I need you to believe me.” Ronke shook her head in disbelief refusing to maintain eye contact with Shade.
“Who is this Joshua Fela?” Nike chipped in. “Is that not the same guy Nah was talking about?”
“Yes.” Both Shade and Ronke answered.
“So what is it about him that is so special that Shade cannot see him? Is he out of school?”
“Then where is he?”
“Heaven I guess.”
“Shade couldn’t have seen Joshua Fela…” Ronke said placing emphasis on ‘couldn’t’. She turned to look at Nike and back at Shade.
“…because Joshua Fela died in a car accident two years ago.”
To be continued next week Tuesday
Thanks for reading.
Do drop a comment or your views below, it will be really appreciated.
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the series, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)
Ff @damstylee on twitter
Add 269EF55B on BBM
Download “MUSIC IN SESSION”
Music in Session_JswissMusic in Session
Music in session is a mixtape by Jswiss and Nonso.
Jswiss is a talented rapper and Nonso an upcoming singer,rapper and producer.