Bolade was beginning to feel a slight throb by his right temple; a sure sign of a terrible headache to come. He had been sitting with Tolulope for almost two hours at the snack bar situated under the Oduduwa lecture theatre; he had explained everything that happened earlier in the day but Tolulope kept saying Tunde wasn’t that kind of guy. Bolade was tired of hearing those words. He was tired of the events of the day. He checked his swatch, 7:37PM.
‘You know what.’ Bolade started. ‘The issue right now is I got an indirect death threat which seem to be directly linked to my new relationship with you, whether it emanates from Tunde is another issue – which I intend to pursue and find out – but for now, I think we should take a step back to clear this up.’
‘What do you mean we should take a step back?’ Tolulope had a frown on her face.
‘Well.’ Bolade paused. ‘I know it’s too early for this but given the unusual and precarious situation, I think it’s in our, rather my best interest for us to take a break at this moment so I could deal with whatever this is. I will find out who is behind the threat, resolve, and then we can move on.’
Tolulope didn’t look pleased, she couldn’t think of any argument against Bolade’s logic and plan, so she nodded her head slowly.
‘Ok then. Could you at least drop me off in my room?’
Pause here. Read. If you missed the third episode, stop right now and follow this link to episode three (https://www.360nobs.com/2010/05/bolade-you-are-episode-iii/). As you would have deduced from the above paragraphs, Bolade decided to go for option #1 (as determined by the number of votes in the previous episode) which is “Take a break from the new relationship and try to sort out the Tunde issue.” This story continues…
He dropped Tolulope off, stopped over at the Bukateria to get something for dinner. By the time he got home, the headache had set in on full blast, like a thousand demons were preparing a pounded yam feast for the hordes of hell. He was too weak to eat so he dropped the food pack on the refrigerator, popped some tablets of aspirin and crashed heavily on his bed. He fell asleep two minutes after.
He was having a bizarre dream about snakes when his phone rang, pulling him out of his slumber. He checked the Caller ID, it was Tolulope.
‘Tolulope?’ He mumbled into the phone.
‘Hey sweetheart, it’s just 10PM, were you sleeping?’
‘Yeah, I was having a terrible headache so I took some aspirin and dozed off. What’s up?’
‘Pele dear, I’m sorry for waking you up.’
There was a pause.
‘So, what’s up?’ Bolade asked again.
‘I just spoke with Tunde, I told him everything and he denied having anything to do with the snake threat and all. He said he was drunk the other night he confronted you in Buka.’
‘You did what?’ Bolade was livid. ‘You spoke with him about it?’
‘Not like I called him now. He came over to my room then the conversation got around to you, I couldn’t help but ask him why he was harassing you when I made it clear that I would rather be with you. I also told him we are still together and there is nothing anyone can do about it. He looked genuinely lost when I brought up the snake thing, he has nothing to do with the snake thing; I know him that much.’
‘You know him that much. No wonder.’ Bolade mumbled.
‘What did you say?’
‘Nothing, I just feel you should have allowed me to handle this my way. Like I told you earlier, I’ll find out whoever it is behind this but we need not to be seen together for a couple of weeks. I promise I’ll get this sorted, ok?’
‘Hmmm, ok oh. But I don’t think its Tunde sha.’
‘Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard you.’ Bolade sounded irked. He had grown weary of hearing those words. ‘I need to go back to sleep now, dear, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.’
‘Alright then, have a goodnight rest.’
Bolade put his phone on vibrate, set his alarm and tossed it under the pillow. The headache had subsided; he shut his eyes tight and started thinking.
I could forget about Tolulope now and save myself a whole truckload of trouble. I know I have strong feelings for her and all but this is spinning out of control. I’ll be out of school in less than a year, is she really worth this much distraction right now? But if I pull out now because of a couple of random threats, what kind of man would I be, going down without a fight.
He sighed deeply.
Ok, Tunde threatened me at the Bukateria to back off from Tolulope, IK confirmed Tunde is not one who should be messed with, but Tolulope claims he isn’t that kind of guy. Of course, Tunde wouldn’t allow Tolulope to see that side of him; he would convincingly explain and deny everything away. The cobra…now that is sick. Would Tunde be that desperate about Tolulope? If he is really into such things then it will be a shame for me to free Tolulope for him. What to do?
I can’t take this to the Student Union without any proof; he could deny everything easily making me look like a lovesick fool. Am I? I can’t confront him either, nah, that is definitely out of it. To what intent and purpose would that be? Best thing I can do right now is to lay low and wait for his next move. Is he going to continue pestering Tolulope when we are on ‘this break’? Are the threats going to continue till I finally back out?
I could also do some bit of shadowing to see if I would get anything on him. Who knows what I can find out. That is the least I could do right now, at least better than waiting with folded arms while I put Tolulope on hold, no girl wants to be with a coward and she won’t wait for long. Ok, I guess I’ll do the Sherlock Holmes thing in a passive way while I wait for Tunde, or whoever the Cobra King is to make the next move.
He suddenly realized the dull ache in his stomach was due to the fact that the only food he had all day was a sausage roll and a bottle of coke. He then remembered the food on the fridge, he got up, got it in the microwave in not time.
An hour later, after dinner and a failed attempt to go over his class notes for the day, he went back to bed. Sleep took over in no time.
He went about school work as usual for the next few days, he never saw Tolulope but they spent a lot of time on the phone. It was as ridiculous as it gets. He spent some time snooping around to get more information on Tunde, he discovered Tunde was an above average final year student in the department of Management and Accounting. He drives a grey Honda Accord, everybody seem to know Tunde from afar but Bolade couldn’t get anyone close enough to tell him more. They all described him as an easy going guy who was on everyone’s good books, he learnt Tunde has a lot of cash which he is quite generous with. Tunde wasn’t affiliated to any club on campus but no party goes by on campus without him getting an IV.
The random bits of gist Bolade was getting about Tunde did not in any way depict the character that would drop a dead snake in front of someone’s house to scare him off a girl. The character doesn’t match the one of a dude with any connection to any cult group on campus.
But then, Tunde thought. They are never the obvious ones.
After a week of carefully shadowing Tunde from a distance, mostly in the nighttime, Bolade never discovered any suspicious nocturnal movement, Tunde’s weekly schedule was almost predictable. Baring any random interruption, he studies at the Admin faculty till 11PM then goes to the Bukateria, gets some food and heads out of campus, to his house in town. Nothing out of place, it even looked too rigid to be real, Bolade noted.
By the next Tuesday, Bolade was getting frustrated. He couldn’t get anything on Tunde and he was beginning to feel the strain in phone conversations with Tolulope. He only saw her once on campus since they took the ‘forced break’. They barely stopped to say hi to each other. He just couldn’t go on like this. He was on his way to the Bukateria to get dinner before heading home for the night when he got a call from IK.
‘Guy, what’s up?’
‘I’m good, man.’ Bolade replied. ‘What’s happening?’
‘Nothing much, I just need to have some words with you. Where’re you at?’
‘Oh. Ok, I’m on my way to Appetite right now to get something to chow, if you can make it within the next half hour you would meet me. Hope nothing serious?’
‘Not at all, I’ll see you in a few.’ IK said, ending the call.
Fifteen minutes later, Bolade was sitting in Appetite with IK; waiting for his order to be served. IK asked about Tolulope and Bolade told him about his decision for a temporary break till he figures out whether Tunde is actually responsible for the second threat, he didn’t mention the fact he has been doing some sleuthing.
‘So you will just take a break, sit back and allow this dude to win your girlfriend over?’ IK asked.
‘What?’ Bolade was taken aback by the question. ‘But you were the one convincing me earlier about how dangerous this guy is and why I shouldn’t be involved in any feud with him, that no girl is…’
‘Yeah, I know what I said.’ IK cut in. ‘But seeing the way you feel about this girl and after thinking about it, there might be a way to beat Tunde in his own intimidating game.’
‘But how can we be so sure it is Tunde?’
‘Really? Is there any reason to think of anyone else?’
‘Hmmm, not really.’ Bolade said after some thought. ‘So what do you have in mind?’
‘I spoke with some guys and we can definitely treat this guy’s fuck-up once and for all.’ IK paused. ‘But you can’t talk to anyone about this, not Tolulope, not even Emeka; you know he has a big mouth.’
Bolade’s stomach tightened in a cold knot. Some odd seconds of silence then he found his voice.
‘Wow. This sounds serious already. What do you mean by treating his fuck-up?’
‘Just leave that one to me; I can get them to make him leave you and Tolulope alone. No more death threats and all. The only thing I need for you is to give me a go ahead with these guys.’
Bolade swallowed hard as the words sunk in.
Hell. This is not child’s play.
i) Tell IK to go ahead and get the ‘guys’ to treat Tunde’s ‘fuck-up’.
ii) Ask for more time to find out who really is behind the cobra threat before action.
iii) Decline the offer and let IK know he will handle the situation by himself.
What do you think Bolade should do? (YOU CAN THINK OUTSIDE THE 3 OPTIONS GIVEN)