‘Ol’ boy, am I glad this week is over or what! Thank God it’s Friday.’ Bolade said as he stepped out of the lecture room. It was a couple of minutes after 6pm, the sun had gone down, and a cool breeze was blowing almost lazily. It looked like rain.
‘You can say that again, pal.’ Emeka responded. ‘And they say the final year is the least stressful one. We weren’t even given the customary first week off to settle down and all. Men have to unwind big time tonight.’
They have been buddies since their first year in college. Roommates as freshmen and happened to be in the same department, after getting to know each other they got along quite easily; basically due to their drive for academic excellence. Bolade got along alright with a lot of folks but Emeka is the closest to what he could call a best friend on campus.
‘Fo’ shizzle hommie. Let’s just get these photocopies done at the student union building, I drop you off at home then pick u up later at eight o’clock. The Bukateria should be fun to hang out at tonight.’ Bolade said.
‘Ok, sounds like a good plan.’ Emeka had a mischievous smile playing at the corner of his mouth. ‘What about Tolulope tonight?’
Read. If you haven’t read the first episode, stop right now and follow this link to episode one (http://www.360nobs.com/2010/04/bolade-you-are-episode-1/). As mentioned in the introduction (http://www.360nobs.com/2010/04/bolade-you-are-introduction/), we will be writing this story together and from the comments after the previous episode, majority of you guys voted for option #2 which is “Ask Tolulope to hold off giving Tunde an answer and think about what she really wants.” Bolade did exactly what you suggested and with that, the story continues thus…
‘Oh yeah, one of her roomies is having a birthday party at the Bukateria tonight. I’m to hook up with her after that and then…’ Bolade’s voice trailed off to an awkward silence.
‘Goodness gracious!’ Emeka exclaimed with laughter. ‘All I need do is to bring her name up in a conversation and you turn jellyfish on me. You really got it bad, man!’
‘Oh, shut the heck up!’ There was no mirth is Bolade’s voice. He was beginning to feel the all too familiar coldness in his belly. The week hasn’t been so easy for him after asking Tolulope to give it more thought before making a decision between him and the Tunde dude. He found his mind drifting off at times in class; he gave Tolulope as much space as he could during the week, only calling once in the evening, daily, to find out how her day went and some occasional text messages. No pressure, he told himself, this has to be natural or else it won’t be worth it.
‘Ok, ok…chill. I’m sorry’ Emeka said but the teasing grin never left his face. ‘I’m sure she would make a good decision. I mean who is this Tunde dude by the way; you are the man, man.’
He gave Bolade a friendly punch on the shoulder. They were already at the Student Union building, the queue in front of the photocopying machines was not so long, although the building was rather crowded probably due to the student union election holding in two weeks time. Fifteen minutes later, they were out of the building. Ten minutes later, Bolade had dropped Emeka off and was on his way home.
He got home a little bit exhausted, not as much physically as he was mentally. He had played how the end would end over and over in his mind; the positive scenario ends with him falling asleep on his bed, the happiest man in the world, negative one ends with him sleeping off in his car in front of his house, ultra depressed.
‘Oh! What tha heck!’ he said out loud, shaking his head vigorously as if it would clear his mind. ‘What tha frigging heck!’ He poured himself a cup of soda, grabbed some leftover slices of pizza from his fridge and shoved it inside the microwave oven and headed for the bathroom. In spite of the coolness of the evening, he needed a cold shower, badly.
After his makeshift dinner and failed attempt to catch a quick nap, Bolade picked up his class notes to review the week’s lectures. Not that he was able to assimilate anything, but before he knew it his alarm went off signaling it was time to get dressed, go pick up Emeka and head to the campus Bukateria.
‘Isn’t that IK getting out of that CLK?’ Bolade asked Emeka as he pulled into the Bukateria.
‘Haha! Yeah…it’s the marafawka, mehn, I didn’t know he got a Benz now.’ Emeka said; opening the car door even before Bolade pulled the brakes.
IK is Emeka’s cousin. A man’s man. He is the guy who enters the most boring party and turns it into a rave effortlessly. It was said that if there were to be a popularity contest on campus, IK would take the first position with no runners up. People always wondered how he combines such a vibrant social life with the stress of medical school.
‘Eyin boys, wetin dey happen?’ IK was full of smiles as he fist bumped and hugged Emeka and Bolade. ‘Wow! Good to see you guys around here tonight for a change. All work and no play…no be so e suppose dey!’
The Bukateria was already full of life, lights and sound. It was as if there was a party going on already in most of the shops and bars. IK suggested not entering any of the bars so he guided them to the open space in the middle of the Bukateria where they were able to get a free table. They were on the second round of drinks, catching up on general events during the break when a tall light complexioned guy with a frail but muscular frame sauntered over to their table. He set his glass cup on their table, rudely. Two other guys were behind him, gingerly holding their beer bottles and puffing on what looked like cigarette sticks with the other hand.
‘Hey you!’ The light complexioned guy started. His voice was surprisingly mild for his attitude. ‘You must be Bolade, right?’ The last word left his mouth with a sneer.
‘And who cares to know?’ Bolade was not smiling. His heartbeat increased but his expression betrayed no emotion, but his voice was on the edge.
‘Bolade, just relax.’ IK reached out and patted Bolade’s hand in an effort to calm him down. He then looked up to the light complexioned guy with a fixed smile. ‘Hi Tunde, what can we do for you tonight?’
‘Oh!’ The light complexioned guy looked surprised. He turned back to the guys behind him. ‘IK is here. Say hi to IK.’ It was hard to determine whether that was sarcasm or not.
Bolade opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself just in time. Tunde? No. It can’t be.
‘Ok, young man. Listen carefully.’ The light complexioned guy who IK called Tunde took a more serious tone as he turned his face squarely to Bolade. ‘The girl you’ve been disturbing since you got back to campus – Tolulope – is mine, ok? So let this be my first and last warning to you. Back the f*&k off!’ With that, he turned and left with his goons, leaving his cup on their table. Emeka looked stunned. IK sat there in silence, his gaze fixed on Bolade, quizzically.
‘Tolulope? The girl you were just telling me about?’ IK asked.
‘Yes. And who the eff was that?’ Bolade’s voice trembled a bit.
‘Someone you don’t want to mess with on this campus.’ IK replied. His voice was sober. ‘If he tells you to back off, you should give it some serious thoughts. No girl should be worth the trouble.’
‘Dude, are you kidding me?’ Emeka found his voice at last, after downing the remaining content of his bottle. ‘So you mean Bolade should just forget about a girl he has been programming for the past seven months because of one baseless threat from that tout! I don’t think so.’
‘Well, I’m just saying. The guy knows some bad guys.’ IK replied. ‘I don’t know how much of a bad guy he is but he is definitely connected.’
‘Eff that ish, men.’ Bolade’s voice hardened. ‘Where are we? High school? Let’s just forget about him and enjoy the rest of the evening together. I’m seeing Tolulope in an hour’s time.’
Their conversation was never the same again between the trio. Bolade could see IK was disturbed after the encounter and he didn’t find that comforting. He tried to put on a carefree attitude till he left Emeka and IK at the table. He took off to the north side of the Bukateria where he was to meet Tolulope after her roommate’s party. His heartbeat increased steadily as he approached the venue.
Would it actually be better if I get rejected after the threat tonight?
He would definitely feel some sort of relief but the thought of losing Tolulope was too much to bear. Talk less of losing her to such a jerk. How did Tolulope allow such an asshole to get close to her? This is not good. Gosh!
‘Bloke, I have been waiting for like forever’ Tolulope’s voice broke his thoughts. He forced a smile, and thanked God he couldn’t see her face well in the poor light.
‘Hey babe, howdy? Hope you guys had fun.’ Bolade said.
‘Sure we did.’ She said. ‘Gimme a minute.’
She said goodnight to some of her friends who were packing up after the party and came back to Bolade, she was grinning mischievously. Bolade’s heart missed a beat or two.
‘So?’ The words dropped out of Bolade’s mouth before he knew it.
She laughed heartily.
‘Haba! You can’t even wait.’ She teased. ‘Yes, I will love to be your girlfriend!’
She moved closer and gave him a hug, followed by a light kiss on the cheek.
i) Hug her back, return the kiss and tell Tolulope he is the happiest man in the world.
ii) Tell Tolulope about Tunde’s threat and tell her he can’t start a relationship with her.
iii) Tell Tolulope about Tunde’s threat and let her know he is ignoring the threat.
What do you think Bolade should do?