Bolade watched the silhouette of the guy in his room move around for around three minutes after he called Shina, the intruder switched on Bolade’s room light briefly for what might have been four seconds and then exited the room, Bolade was considering dashing over with the club in his hand when he noticed there was an accomplice waiting outside. That was when he thanked his stars he decided to call Shina and wait instead.
By the time Shina and three other boys from campus got to his house the intruders were long gone.
The Student Union van pulled up in front of the main house and the boys jumped out before the engine was turned off, it was like a Black-Ops scene of a cheap action movie in the eerie darkness of the night. Sule walked out of the shadows to meet them, explained what he saw and let them know they were too late, the intruders left over fifteen minutes ago.
Bolade didn’t know what state to expect to find his room but when the light came on, nothing seemed to be out of place.
Nothing, except the two black snakes on his bed.
Pause here. Read. If you missed the previous episode, stop right here and follow this link (https://www.360nobs.com/2010/07/bolade-you-are-episode-vi/) to catch up on the events (and collective 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 option one like you all suggested; He called Shina and waited for help to come from the Student Union Executives. The story unravels:
Bolade knew he would never be able to bring himself to sleep on the bed ever again, he knew he won’t be sleeping in the room till the culprits behind the threats are found and brought to book. It was obvious the boys with Shina were slightly shaken by the sight of the two dead snakes on the bed. There was an accompanying note with the lifeless reptiles.
“NEXT, YOU SLEEP WITH THE SNAKES, FOREVER”.
There was nothing else to show the room was broken into, not even the locks. It was a neat job. Bolade felt the same mixed emotion he had become familiar with in the past few days: rage plus fear. The anger was gradually overshadowing his trepidation.
Who the heck do they think they are?
He watched as Shina and his boys turned the room over and out but found nothing else. One of them mentioned the use of dead snakes as threats is associated with the Ejola sect but he doubts whether they had any strong base on the OAU campus. Apart from that, it wasn’t the kind of confraternity someone like Tunde would belong to.
A crass bunch they are, the Student Union dude concluded.
They went on making suggestions and deductions but Bolade’s mind wandered off, lost in thoughts. He just wanted to get out of the room that once provided warmth and comfort after long tiring days on campus. The room felt cold and menacing but he cared less, he was done being scared. The foremost thing on his mind was how to settle scores. Nothing else mattered; Tolulope did not even come to mind.
How did I end up here?
The Student Union boys left at the first sign of light, signaling the break of dawn. Bolade spent the next hour packing his school books, basic necessities, and some clothes. He knew he wouldn’t be sleeping in the room for a long time to come as he firmly locked the door behind him. He checked into a cheap motel in town, got himself some bottles of liquor and forgot about classes for the rest of the day. He switched off his phone.
I need a clear head. No distractions.
He woke up late in the evening with a headache; he shook his head when he saw the empty bottle of liquor on the lamp stand by the bed. He switched on his phone to see 24 missed calls and 5 text messages. One of the messages and five of the missed calls and were from Emeka and the rest from Tolulope.
He was about calling Tolulope back when Emeka’s call came in.
‘Dude, what the flip is wrong with you?’ Emeka sounded exasperated.
Three minutes later, after Bolade explained what happened overnight at his place, Emeka’s tone took a sharp dive.
‘Wow! But you could have called me, man. So where are you now?’
‘I’m chilling at one motel in town; I just need time to myself to clear my head. I’ll buzz you tomorrow to come pick up today’s note, aight?’
‘Cool.’ Emeka said. ‘Talking about school, I got your test scripts.’
‘How did I do?’
‘Uhm. Not so good bro, I think you have to take some time off this whole Tolulope issue, mid-semester exam is in two weeks, and…’
‘I get you, man. Thanks. I’ll holla tomorrow.’
After that, he called Tolulope, apologized and explained the events of the previous night. She was near tears when he finished, obviously shaken. He tried to get her not to get too worked up and told her he will see her later at night.
The weekend was quite uneventful, he tried to study but a herculean task would have been easier. He lazed around in the motel room, flipping channels and drinking. He decided to check up with Shina on Sunday morning, he hadn’t heard anything from him since they parted ways in his room in quarters on Friday morning.
He got to Shina’s place just early enough, he was just locking up the door to his room.
‘Hey Bolade, kilo n shele?’
‘Nothing much, Energy, where’re you heading to?’
‘There is an All Campus Fellowship convention this morning, the president was to address the gathering but he won’t be able to make it so I’m filling in for him. How have you been?’
‘I just dey, my guy. Have your people heard anything about Tunde? Is he back in town?’
‘Yes, I heard he got back to school last night. We have our ears to the ground but no significant chatter to connect anything with the event in your room on Friday. So where have you been staying? Anything new?’
Bolade suddenly had an idea.
‘I’ve been in a motel in town, I must confess I don’t even feel safe over there talk less of attempting to go back to my room in quarters.’ Bolade lowered his voice. ‘I even think someone has been following me.’
‘Ha! So why haven’t you called me about this?’ Shina looked bothered.
‘I just thought I’ve troubled you enough. I drink myself to sleep at night when I get too agitated though.’
‘Bolade, this is serious. You can’t go on like this. What can I do to help?’
Bolade was waiting for that.
‘Uhm, I don’t know. I feel if I have something to protect myself with, I’ll feel safer and I’ll be able to focus on other stuffs.’
‘Something like what?’
‘Uhm, I heard you guys – Student Union Execs I mean – have some weapons, I was just wondering whether you could arrange a gun for me. It doesn’t need to come with bullets; I just need something to feel safe, just psychological.’
Shina stared hard at Bolade for some uncomfortable seconds.
‘Bolade, for real?’
‘Yes, if you can help.’
‘Hmmm. You know what? I’m running late, text me your address in town; I’ll see you later in the evening. Be safe.’
As Bolade expected, Shina came over to this motel room in the evening with a small handgun; a .45 colt.
‘I hope you don’t get to fire this under any circumstance, it’s just for self protection. You are the only person I’ll do this for, please don’t make me regret it.’
That was all Shina said when he dropped off the gun and showed Bolade how to handle the safety. He said goodbye and left five minutes later.
Bolade checked the time. 7:48PM. He dropped the gun on the bed, opened his bag to pull out a bottle of Hennessey, got some ice in the refrigerator and poured himself a generous shot. He smirked as the liquor hit the insides of his belly. Warm feeling all over, he was getting used to it.
He strolled back to the bedside and picked up the .45. It felt good in his hands; he felt an invisible surge of power course through his body from the cold feel of the metal. There was only one train of thought running in his mind.
I sort this tonight with that bastard Tunde. I refuse to be bullied any longer, the intimidation ends tonight when I put the fear of God in his heart.
Bolade released the safety catch from the gun. The click sounded comforting. He slid it back and poured himself another shot of the Hennessey.
Sucker is getting what he deserves.
He gulped down more drink.
Even if he isn’t the one behind the threats, he started it in the Bukateria the other night. At least I’ll scare the truth out of him tonight.
More drink. More random thoughts.
i) Go ahead with the plan to confront Tunde that night.
ii) Drink himself to sleep and confront Tunde when he is sober.
iii) Call Tolulope to end the relationship right there and then.
What do you think Bolade should do?