Bolade failed to find his appetite after the brief conversation with IK; who left immediately Bolade declined his offer to help handle the Tunde situation. Bolade got his food in a take-away pack and dragged himself towards the Bukateria car park. He was weak and starving. No appetite.
It was hard to make sense of things at the moment but he still gave it a shot.
Ever since that night we were accosted here in the Bukateria by Tunde and his pals, IK had maintained Tunde was not to be messed with and after the cobra incident he even tried to convince me that no girl was worth the trouble. But now, he’s telling me to stand up to Tunde and give him the go ahead and get some guys to ‘treat Tunde’s fuck up.’ It doesn’t add up right now, what could have motivated IK’s sudden change of mind?
Why is IK so bothered right now to go out of his way to clash with Tunde who he labeled – indirectly – as very dangerous? The way he spoke about Tunde the other night, it was almost as if he was certain Tunde was a member of a particular secret sect, although the actual words were never voiced.
Why the abrupt change of mind and eagerness to act (supposedly) on my behalf?
He almost missed his parking spot, lost in thoughts. A minute later, he was on his way home, driving slowly. His hands weren’t steady on the wheel and he wondered why. Fatigue? Hunger? Trepidation? He tried to shake it off but only worsened the slight jitters.
Pause here. Read. If you missed the previous episode, stop right here and follow this link (https://www.360nobs.com/2010/06/bolade-you-are-episode-iv/) to catch up on the events (and decisions) that led up to this point in Bolade’s story. As you would have realized (if you have been following the story), Bolade went for the third option like you all suggested; he declined IK’s offer and told him he would handle the situation by himself. By the way, I offer my sincere apologies to the readers for the delay in writing this 5th episode. I promise it won’t happen again. I will do all humanly possible to return to posting one episode in two weeks and complete the story on the tenth one. Please continue paying attention as the story unfolds:
Bolade was less than a quarter of a mile from his house when his phone vibrated twice in his jeans’ pocket. Seconds later it started ringing. The tone was Tolulope’s. He wasn’t in the mood to talk to her at the moment so he allowed the phone ring on. By the time he was pulling up in front of his house, she had called three times.
Strange, He thought. Of recent, she calls once and if I don’t pick, she sends an SMS. What now?
The thought had hardly completed in his mind when his phone beeped once; a short message service notification. It read:
‘Bolade, howdy? Pls call me ASAP. Tolulope’
He turned off the car radio and dialed her number. She picked the call after the first tone.
‘Haba! Bolade, why now?’ She started. ‘I’ve been calling you for a while, you…’
Bolade cut in.
‘I’m so sorry; I just saw your missed calls. I had quite a long day and I’m just getting home.’ He paused, and then continued. ‘So how was your day? What’s up?’
Uncomfortable seconds of silence.
‘Tolulope, are you still there?’
‘So what’s up?’ Bolade was trying not to sound irked at this point.
‘Bolade, we need to talk.’
‘Ok, I’m all ears.’
‘No, it’s not something I want to discuss on the phone. I’m in my room, please come.’
At this point, Bolade knew better than to say no or attempt to argue. He slid the gear into reverse and got back on the road to the campus. Strangely enough, after ending the call, his frayed nerves went back to an almost steady state.
At the time of the night, he knew it would be next to impossible to find a free space in the parking lot of Tolulope’s hostel so he parked by the roadside, a two-minute walk to her room.
I wonder what it is she can’t say on the phone. What could be so urgent?
His mind tried to work the puzzling thought out as he walked towards the hall.
He was jostled out of his semi-trance by the sharpness of the familiar call, directly behind him.
He turned around to confront a huge dark figure with a big grin on his face.
‘Hey, Energy!’ Bolade exclaimed. ‘How you dey?’
‘Ol’ boy, I’ve been screaming your name for a while now. What’s up?’
They did a fist bump.
It was Shina Akindele-Johnson, popularly known as Energy; they were course mates till their second year when Shina transferred to the Sociology department. Not that Shina had problems with Engineering but he was getting more politically inclined and it came as no surprise to anyone when he contested for the office of the secretary general of the student union government in his third year. He held the post for a year then re-contested for the position of the vice president which he currently holds.
‘Man mi, I’ve been good. How are things at the student union level?’
‘Very good, we are in firm control of the major issues at the moment and we never had a better relationship with the school authority. We thank God.’ Shina paused, staring quizzically at Bolade. ‘Sup buddy, you don’t look too good. You aight?’
‘Uhm, not exactly. But I’ll be fine.’
‘Ok man, if you say so. You have my number; please feel free to call if there is anything I can do.’
‘No wahala.’ Bolade thought for a few seconds. ‘Actually, you might be hearing from me sooner than you think.’
‘It will be my pleasure to help an old pal.’
They were already in front of the hall; so they shook hands, bumped fists again and parted ways.
Bolade quickened his steps as he made towards the H-block; an idea was beginning to form in his mind. A wry smile flickered across his face as he wondered why he hadn’t thought of that all along. He felt like kicking himself.
His knock on H-205 was promptly answered. Tolulope was already dressed up, she closed the door behind her and they hugged.
‘Can we go outside to talk?’ She asked.
‘Sure, I parked not so far away. Let’s go.’
They were still on the corridor of the H-block when they ran into Tunde. He moved closer to give Tolulope a side hug. Bolade could feel the sudden rush of blood to his head, small beads of sweat started forming on the tip of his nose; a telltale sign of anger.
He thought he heard Tunde say hello to him, but he ignored and walked away.
Less than a minute later, Tolulope joined him.
‘What does he want?’
‘Nothing.’ Tolulope answered. ‘He said he just dropped by to check up on me. His visits have been frequent since you haven’t been showing up around here.’
Bolade cursed under his breath, he struggled hard not to lose his rising temper as they walked towards his car. His blinked twice as his face twitched. No words were said till they got to the car, he opened the door and they got in, he then switched on the engine and turned the air conditioner on.
‘So, what’s up?’
‘I’m seriously fed up with this whole…whatever it is we have. It’s so ridiculous now; this dude comes to my room almost every night pestering me to give in to him – even after I’ve told him I’m not interested, while you believe he threatened you to keep away from me. He has denied ever planting a dead snake in front of your room, not once, not twice. The last straw was when he called you a coward a couple of days ago.’ Tolulope continued. ‘I can’t do this anymore. Honestly, I don’t think I can date Tunde but then, I can’t be with you like this. I don’t see how you intend to resolve this by avoiding me while you give him all the time in the world to spend with me.’
Bolade kept quiet as he took in her words. He was expecting something close to this, so he wasn’t shocked.
The motherf****r called me a coward!
‘I don’t want anything to happen to you, so if you want to let go and continue without me, I will totally understand and we could still be friends. But I won’t keep deceiving myself that I have a boyfriend who I can’t see. I need to settle this tonight so I can move on.’
‘Bolade! Are you listening to me?’
‘Yeah. Are you done?’
‘Yes. So what do you want?’
i) Play safe, end the relationship and move on with his life without Tolulope.
ii) Tell Tolulope to let Tunde know she can’t date him, so he could leave them alone.
iii) Say ‘screw Tunde and his threats’ and get back to his normal relationship with Tolulope.
What do you think Bolade should do?