Three weeks had passed and Bolade had never felt more at peace with himself since his penultimate semester on campus started. Some things were still to get back to normal; he was yet to summon up enough courage to spend full nights in his room. Most times he hung out at Emeka’s room or stay on campus studying till the early hours of the day to retire to his room just before the day breaks for some few hours of sleep. But things were gradually getting back to normal.
Once in a while, his mind would drift back to the fateful night that marked the turning point in the outcome of the recent events in his life.
Things could have turned ugly if he hadn’t – paradoxically – gotten himself so drunk. He remember he had his mind set to step out and harass Tunde a bit, with the gun given to him by Shina, but he reckoned he needed to get himself drunk enough to pull it off.
He woke the next morning on the floor of the hotel room, to remember he had called up Tolulope instead – in his inebriation – to call the relationship quits. The text messages on his phone from her confirmed his action of the previous night. He called her when he got over his hangover and after a lengthy exchange of words; they decided it was best they ended the relationship.
Life, without Tolulope was beginning to make sense once again.
Pause here. Read. If you missed the previous episode, stop right here and follow this link (https://www.360nobs.com/2010/08/bolade-you-are-episode-vii/) 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 three like you all suggested; He called Tolulope to end the relationship. Continue to see how it goes from there:
Bolade’s mid-semester results weren’t the typical excellent ones he was used to but he knew with extra effort in his final exams he could still ace all his papers and maintain his strong first-class CGPA. Every other thing in school took the back seat as he studied furiously like he had never before, since his first year on campus.
It was a Friday night and he was in his favorite corner in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering department library when he got a call from Emeka informing and inviting him of a major show on campus. He declined but Emeka pressed on.
‘Dude, It’s gonna be fire!’ Emeka insisted. ‘M.I and NaetoC are already in school, and I heard from a reliable source that TerryG is gonna show up this time around. You need to come and get your ginjah on!’
‘Men, this is enticing but I gotta wrap this topic up tonight, I really appreciate the invite.’
‘Haha! You never jam. I already bought a ticket for you with two other keles, I’ll come pick you at the department library in the next thirty minutes.’
Bolade knew better than to argue with Emeka at that stage, the idea of hanging out with a new chic wasn’t such a bad one. He couldn’t concentrate on the textbook in front of him after he ended the call. Twenty five minutes later, Emeka showed up.
The show was better than he expected, although TerryG didn’t show up, NaetoC and M.I electrified the crowd and the smaller acts interspersed in between the two Nigerian hip-hop icons held their own, impressing the audience too. Bolade also found the company of the two girls refreshing; he couldn’t remember the last time he enjoyed himself this much. It was obvious Emeka was going home with one of them, so Bolade suggested walking the other one to her hostel room after the show, it was less than a fifteen minute stroll and Bolade planned to go back to the library after. Her name was Tinuke, a third year law student and a very good looking one.
She linked hands with him as they walked slowly towards her hostel, Bolade kept the conversation going, and she giggled at his jokes. He smiled in the dark, he found her really attractive but his mind was somewhere else. They got to the front of her hostel in no time; Bolade exchanged numbers with her and promised to call just to be polite. He knew he wasn’t going to keep in touch; he wanted as little distraction as he could manage.
They hugged, and she said goodnight. Bolade didn’t miss the exaggerated swing of her hips as she walked away.
He recognized the voice before he turned to face her. She was wearing a green top on brown shorts flaunting her long shapely legs, she had some books under her left arm and a bag hung on her right shoulder, Bolade guessed she must have been reading at the café close to the hostel. She looked tired but still as cute as ever, he got rid of the swelling lump in his throat.
‘Hey Tolulope, how are you?’
‘I’m fine dear, what are you doing here at this time of the night?’
‘Oh.’ He started. ‘I just escorted a friend here; we went for the show at amphi-theatre together with Emeka. You must have seen her.’
‘Yes, and I saw you ogling as she left you. How have you been?’
‘Not bad, buried in my books at the moment. What about you?’
‘Yeah, I’m trying too, as you can see.’ She nodded towards her books and then sighed. ‘But I miss you, Bolade. Do you miss me too?’
‘Uhm.’ He was caught off guard by the directness of her question. ‘Yes, of course I miss you too.’
‘But no calls, no text messages, that’s rather harsh now.’
‘I just felt it would be easier for you that way, to let you be.’
‘I guess, but I felt we could have handled it better. It’s all good sha, I’ll be fine.’
Bolade detected a slight tremor in her voice as she said those words, she didn’t sound like she would be fine anytime soon. He felt helpless and guilty for causing her pain but he believed he made the right decision. He suddenly felt like holding her in his arms and telling her everything would be OK and they would soon get back together but he knew better than that. No distractions. He reminded himself again.
‘So where are you off to now?’ She broke his thoughts.
‘The library, I’ll see whether I can still study before I head home.’
‘Aight, let me walk you off a bit.’
The walk off took more than an hour, they spoke generally and caught up on events since they last spoke when they broke the relationship up. By the time she was leaving, Bolade just wanted to keep talking but he kept his feelings in check. She hugged him tight and Bolade held tighter, she parted with a kiss on his cheek and walked off into the night, back to her hostel.
Bolade went upstairs to the library, packed his books and left the building. He knew better than to attempt to study. It was going to be a long miserable night.
A couple of days went by, Bolade still found it hard to get the depressed image of Tolulope out of his mind. He desisted from calling her because that would only make it worse so he buried himself in his studies more, spending longer hours in the library.
Bolade was descending down the stairs of the departmental building Tuesday evening when he saw Tunde leaning on his car, parked right next to Bolade’s BMW. He thought about turning back but a cursory look around revealed Tunde was alone so he continued walking towards the car park.
He clenched his fist as he approached the car.
‘Hey Bolade, can I have a word?’
‘What the fuck do you want?’ He unclenched his fists and slid them in his pockets.
‘Nothing, I just felt there are a couple of things you should know.’
‘Shoot!’ The word left Bolade’s mouth with such venom that if words could kill, Tunde would be long dead and gone.
‘Okay, I’ll make it quick.’ Tunde started. ‘To start with, the only time I ever threatened you was at the Bukateria the other night and I was a lil’ bit drunk, it was an empty one and there was no follow up to it. I love Tolulope as much as you do but I’ll never descend so low as to strong-arm a guy off a babe, I think that is pretty cowardly.’
‘So what’s the point of all this?’ Bolade sneered.
‘Oh well, I’ve come to realize, though a bit late, that Tolulope has stronger feelings for you and she’ll never date me even if you back out for one reason or the other.’ Tunde continued coolly. ‘The threats Tolulope told me about were quite puzzling so I decided to do some investigating of mine and this is what I found.’
Tunde opened his car, brought out an A4 sheet and handed to Bolade.
Bolade still had his hands in his pockets; he refused to bring them out.
‘Take a look and tell me what you make of this. It’s for your own good.’
‘Okay, let me have ‘em.’
Bolade reluctantly took the paper, he didn’t know what to expect but what he saw froze his mind momentarily.
There were three pictures printed on the paper. The first one was a shot of three guys outside by a car crouched around something. The second one was clearer, it was the same environment with one of them was holding two long black snakes on two sticks; the other guy was opening the trunk while the third guy looked on. The third picture was another clear shot of the three guys in the car, about to move.
What shocked Bolade was not the familiar sight of the two dead black snakes, he was sure they were the same snakes left on his bed with the threatening note. What shocked Bolade was one of the guys in the picture, the one who looked to be in charge, the one who was behind the car wheel in the last picture.
There was no mistaking IK in the picture, even if the dude in the picture was an eerie lookalike; there was no mistaking IK’s CLK as the car in the picture. The paper dropped from Bolade’s hand as if in slow motion.
He cussed out loud.
‘Where did you get the pictures from?’
‘Does it matter? I know some people that know some other people, and one of the people I know just happened to be at the right place at the right time to capture this. You should know nothing is what it seems and you should be wary of the ones closest to you. The threats you’ve been receiving have nothing to do with you dating or not dating Tolulope.’
Bolade suppressed a sigh.
‘So what are you suggesting now?’
‘Nothing’ Tunde replied. ‘But if I were you, I’ll let Shina see these pictures and allow the Student Union people handle this.’
‘Yeah, I know Shina and some other things. I’ve been keeping tabs on you too.’ He added. ‘Get back with Tolulope, she really loves you.’
With that, Tunde entered his car, started the engine and drove off leaving Bolade with his mouth half agape.
i) Give Shina the picture and let the Student Union interrogate IK.
ii) Snoop around a bit to find out more about IK’s involvement.
iii) Ignore the picture and Tunde’s advice and move on with his life.
What do you think Bolade should do?