Bolade rubbed his eyes vigorously in a feeble attempt to cajole his body to wake up; it seemed like at herculean task at the moment. He usually goes to bed early on Sunday nights so as to wake up in good time for his 7AM Monday class but this last weekend was different. He had a time of his life with all the thrills and excitement that comes with a new relationship. He just couldn’t get enough of Tolulope and the feeling was mutual. Saturday went as fast as a blink, faster than they wanted and they were basically together throughout the next day.
He left her room after 10PM on Sunday just when the hall porters started ringing the bell for male visitors to exit the hostel. They said goodnight and hugged, it lasted far more than anticipated and 10 minutes later they were in the car. Bolade never enjoyed kissing much but it was different with Tolulope, the firm pressing of her warm succulent lips on his as she gently caressed the back of his head spun his senses out of control. He knew she was equally pleasured as well, given the occasional moans that escaped from her mouth with every breath break. Later, when he got to his room after 2AM, he thought back and couldn’t believe they actually made out for over an hour. Blissful thoughts floated around his mind till he finally dozed off to sleep sometime after 3AM.
After some odd minutes Bolade finally got up from the bed, as if on cue, the alarm noisily came to life. 6:36AM. He angrily tapped on the dismiss knob on the clock and there was silence again. He hurriedly grabbed the mug that contained his toothpaste and brush and headed outside his room.
Pause here. Read. If you missed the second episode, stop here and follow this link to Episode two (https://www.360nobs.com/2010/04/bolade-you-are-episode-ii/). By now, you should be familiar with how decisions are made by the readers for continuation of the story. In case you are still wondering, Bolade went for option #3 (as decided by the readers’ votes). He told Tolulope about Tunde’s threat and let her know he is treating it as an empty one. The story continues…
The cup flew off Bolade’s hand smashing into pieces against the wall, he still managed to kick the door shut as he tripped backwards, landing heavily on his left arm. He cursed out in pain, his heart thumping loudly in his chest. He was more scared of snakes than the average guy but the big black cobra lying quietly in front of his room would send shivers down the spines of anyone familiar with the lethality of this formidable snake specie. Cold beads of sweat formed instantly on Bolade’s forehead as he struggled to pull himself together. He steadied his right hand on the nearby shoe rack and pulled himself up.
He cursed bitterly again as sharp pain coursed through the side he landed on. Nothing seemed broken.
After some seconds of mental deliberation, he went back to his bedside, picked up his phone dialed Emeka’s number.
The phone rang on the other end. No response. Bolade tried again.
‘Hello Bolade, wassup?’ Emeka breathed heavily into the phone. ‘Are you on your way already? I’m just getting out of the bathroom. Please, can you…’
‘Hey dude, relax.’ Bolade cut in. ‘I don’t think I will be on my way anytime soon. I called to let you know so you could find someone else to give you a ride to school.’
‘I was just about to go freshen up for school and I found a big snake, probably cobra, just outside by my door. I’m kinda stuck in the room for now.’
‘Dang! Cobra? That doesn’t sound good, mate. So what are you going to do about it? How do you know it hasn’t left already? Can’t you open the door a bit to check if it’s still there?’
‘Screw you for that suggestion, Emeka. I will just chill till like half past seven and then call my landlord to come and check it out. There is no rush, it’s just a class.’
‘Haha, take it easy, I was only suggesting a peep. Ok, how about I get dressed and give IK a call. We should be able to come over to see wassup, I’m sure the snake would be gone by then though.’
‘Ok, cool.’ Bolade heaved a sigh, disturbing the landlord – who happens to be a university professor – early on a Monday morning was not something he was looking forward to. ‘I’ll appreciate that, see you guys soon.’
After the call ended, he sat on the edge of the bed, holding his head with both hands, elbows on his laps – his favorite thinking position. This is not even the normal season for snakes around here, he thought to himself, they were barely into the rainy season and there were no bushes around the house. What in the world could a snake be doing in front of his house early Monday morning? If he believed in black magic, he would have concluded ‘it was sent to him’.
He got up, picked up his phone again and scrolled over to the double page poetic text message he composed the previous night before falling asleep. He didn’t have to search contacts, he typed in Tolulope’s number. For the first time that morning, a smiled played in the corner of his mouth as he hit the green button on his phone to send the SMS. This would be a lovely one for her to wake up to, he thought. He felt pleased with himself.
Five minutes later, Bolade’s phone rang. It was Emeka’s number.
‘Dude, we just parked in front of the main house. We are walking towards your BQ now.’
‘I hope you guys have a stick or something to kill the snake with, in case it is still here.’
‘No worry, my grandpa na village chief hunter!’ Bolade heard IK shout in the background.
‘Don’t mind him; we both have sticks, no need to fear for us.’ Emeka said and ended the call.
Bolade took a peep outside by the side window, he could see them already. He couldn’t help but notice they were both wearing boots with thick looking jeans, he could hardly suppress the grin hovering on his face. So he wasn’t the only one scared of snakes.
‘Damnit! The snake is still there.’
Bolade jumped, startled, when he heard Emeka shout from outside. He moved further away from the door as if the snake by some mysterious means could slide through the locked door.
‘For…for real?’ Bolade’s voice was shaky. ‘Can you guys kill it? Like try throwing a stone at it from a distance.’
Before the words left his mouth, he heard a loud crash on his door. A few seconds of silence and then another crash, just by the door.
There was a burst of laughter outside, followed by a sharp knock on his door.
‘I can’t believe this.’ IK said. ‘This much trouble for a frigging dead snake, although this is the biggest cobra I’ve ever set my eyes on. Not that I’ve seen many though.’
Bolade was still tongue tied, he opened the door to see Emeka trying to balance and carry the dead cobra with two sticks; the snake was approximately 12 feet long, pitch black in color.
‘You can say that again.’ Emeka looked up at Bolade. The dead snake rolled off from the sticks landing with a heavy thud.
A small black card slid off the cobra on impact.
Bolade moved over and picked up the card, sticky like it was attached to the snake by weak glue. It had letters in red which read: Compliments from the King Cobra. Stay alive.
‘What the flip!’ Bolade read it out to Emeka and IK’s hearing.
You could have heard the proverbial pin drop in the few seconds of silence that followed. IK was the first to find his voice.
‘You gotta be kidding me. He would go this much trouble because of one babe!’
‘Dude, what the heck are you talking about?’ Emeka asked.
‘This is obviously a message from Tunde. Remember I told you he is not one to be messed with because he knows some bad guys, eh? He himself is one bad guy you don’t wanna eff wit.’ IK then turned to Bolade. ‘Emeka told me on our way that you are now dating Tunde’s babe. What were you thinking? Right now, you got a dead snake; the next one might be a live one.’
‘Oh common man, don’t be so dramatic.’ Emeka responded. ‘He can’t be this serious.’
‘Hey guys, calm down.’ Bolade’s voice was husky; a mixture of fear and anger. ‘Whoever did this is a very sick person, I don’t give a flying hoot whether it is Tunde or not. I’m not just gonna cower in…’
The loud ring on his phone cut the words off his mouth. The number was hidden but nevertheless, he accepted the call.
The voice at the other end was gruff, as if disguised.
‘Listen to me carefully, young man, this is the last warning. The gift you got is a dead one; the next one would be live and guess who will be the dead one. Break it off now and save yourself a truckload of trouble. You heard?’
‘Break what off? Who the fu…’
Click. The phone cuts off.
i) Take a break from the new relationship and try to sort out the Tunde issue.
ii) Heed the warnings and end the new relationship (not worth the looming trouble).
iii) Ignore the threat and be more careful in the nearest future.
What do you think Bolade should do?
(NOTE: At this point in the story, other suggestions are welcome)