I was in a good mood. It had been a while I woke up in the morning with a smile on my face. It is not like something exactly was making me smile but for a moment everything seemed alright.
While Maxwell and I smoked last night two quite interesting things had happened.
Firstly my course rep had out of the blues sent me a text message containing details of my last semester result and to my greatest surprise, I had passed considerably well with two distinctions and four credits. For an examination I did not read much and did not exactly cheat in, that was pretty impressive right?
Secondly I was feeling really confident after seeing the result, like one kind of super smart – super cool bad arse guy. And Maxwell had resumed his role as my Chief Adviser in Women Affairs.
“You for like call Tonia now oh, girls dey like all this kain thing,” he said as he poured a little quantity of the codeine into the 10mm measuring cup that usually comes with a new pack. You see, codeine is quite expensive, not exactly on coke or crack standard but close enough. We both did not trust ourselves well enough to sip straight from the bottle and since we long knew a bottle came with enough content to fill the 10mm measuring cup about nine times, we did the maths and knew exactly how many millimetres each of us was entitled to. The system walked flawlessly.
As he said this, I was already pretty much wasted so I forgot my number one rule; if you are drunk, high or tipsy and the time is after midnight do not do anything your mind tells you without proper consultation from other people.
“Call am now? Asin you know say time na almost three shey?” I asked to make sure we were both on the same page.
He downed the contents of the measuring cup and made sure he used his tongue to lick every single drop.
“Let me explain something to you,” he started to say after he passed me the bottle, “The female mind is very easy to manipulate. They judge with their fore sense, asin the judge based on what they see and hear. So you have to make sure you show them the things you want them to see and tell them what they want to hear.” He concluded.
“What does this have to do with calling her by this kain time? You wake make she think say I be winch?” I was sincerely not getting his point.
“Ode!” he cursed playfully, “the girl likes you already so you calling her by this time would be perceived as romantic. There are like a million things you can tell her if she asks why you are not asleep by this time. You can say it is because you were thinking about her or you had a dream or whatever… just used your head na.”
He had won me over, “You sure this is a good idea?” I deflated.
“Nigga, have I ever given you bad advice? He asked me.
I took a sip from the bottle before I dialled Tonia’s number.
She did not pick on the first attempt and of course, Maxwell urged me to try again which I reluctantly did on the condition that I would not attempt again. Two missed calls can easily be explained, at least more than three, I thought.
“Please don’t pick… please don’t pick,” I murmured consistently as I listened to the continuous mechanic pooon pooon sound.
“Hello,” a voice suddenly said from the other end of the call thus interrupting the mechanic sound.
It was the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.
L-O-U-D S-P-E-A-K-E-R Maxwell mouthed to me as he saw my shock.
I clicked on a button just in time for the second “Hello, who’s this?”
A-N-S-W-E-R Maxwell mouthed again. I had forgotten everything I was supposed to say.
“Hello…” I said.
“Who is this please?” the person asked again.
“It’s me, Henry,” I replied just exactly as Maxwell had mouthed to me.
“Yea, this is Tonia right?”
“Yup, which Henry please?”
I nearly fainted at this point. Here I was already thinking she was my soulmate and she did not even know who I was. I wanted to hang up and just go to bed to sleep or maybe cry but Maxwell quickly took control of the situation. He mouthed some instructions to me.
“Henry na, the guy who most recently fell for your trap,” I replied starring at Maxwell for approval, he nodded.
“My trap? Please I don’t know what you are talking about and I don’t know who this is,” she said and hung up immediately.
This time I did not need any tutoring, I immediately redialed her number.
“It’s three am in the morning, I’m not in the mood for games so better tell me who you are right away!” she instructed as she picked on the first ring.
“You’re sure one very angry fire house o,” I teased to ease up the tension, “It’s me, Henry, the guy you recently ran from the police.” I figured there’s no way she must have ran from the police recently with anyone but me.
“Shit!” she said as she realized who I was. “I’m so so sorry Henry, I didn’t know it was you, I’m sorry I was so rude,” she apologized.
Accepting the apology was very easy but keeping the conversation going as I waited for her to ask me the why-are-you-still-awake question was a big problem. I found myself asking her how her the previous day was for her… by 3am! Can you imagine?
Finally she too go bored of the convo and asked the long anticipated question.
“This one you finally decided to call me and chose this kind of time, hope I’m safe?”
“I was asleep but I had a horrible dream which involved you which woke me up and I just had to call you so here I am,” I said.
“Me? Horrible dream? God forbid! What happened in the dream?” she said in quick successions.
“You don’t want to know, trust me,” I replied.
“Tell me jhur,” she urged me.
“Well if you must know, the dream involved a white gown, a black suit, a church and a reverend,” I said bluntly.
There was a brief pause as she thought about what I had just said before suddenly bursted out in laughter, “You are not serious,” she said while laughing.
I noticed Maxwell chuckle too, he seemed impressed.
“I am very serious o. It’s like getting married was what made the dream horrible but the fact that when the reverend asked for anyone who thought we should not be together, Jessica and Maxwell, my roommate stood up but before they could speak I woke up screaming, I just called to tell you that you should be careful of Jessica and I’ll be careful over here. There are people who don’t want us to be happy.”
Y-O-U-R F-A-D-A Maxwell mouthed at me. I just smiled.
“Henry you are a clown” she could not stop herself from laughing.
“I’ve warned you o,” I said, “so can I ask you a question?”
“You know we need to talk right?”
“So when next will I see you?” I figured fixing a date would be a good idea.
“When do you want to see me?”
“I dunno, let’s go out tomorrow,” I foolishly said knowing fully well my account was red.
“I’ve told you I dunno, I’ll call you tomorrow morning when I’ve figured it out.”
“Aright. So this is why you really called me by this time? To ask me out on a date.”
“Maybe,” I fed her from her cup, “I know you need to go back to bed cause a beautiful lady as you surly needs her beauty sleep.”
“Stop flattering me please.”
“I’m not flattering you, I’ll call you tomorrow, sleep tight,” I said before I hung up.
It’s not every girl that you could call at such time and successfully have such conversation with. Just as Maxwell had said, the girl had to like you for it to happen. I was glad the feelings I had for Tonia might just be mutual. But I intended on finding out for sure the next day.
The news of Agbaya death had spread like wild fire. School was slowly building a low level of chaos as everyone was tensed. Just a day after he was killed right before my eyes and he was already on the news, can you imagine? Just one fucking day!
He was the dean of Social Sciences so the staffs of his faculty immediately decided to take matters in their hands and shut down all academic activities by going on an impromptu and indefinite strike, or well until the culprits were brought to justice. Although the students of the faculty are cool with this at first it’s expected that over time they might get pissed and take certain strategies to counter the strike.
Other faculties and departments still went along with their normal school activities, the only lectures they missed where those that were borrowed from Social Sciences. But even though the police do not seem to have any solid clue as to what happened, they did announce that some people with valuable info had stepped forward and this extremely bothered me.
I had cried all through the night and littered tissue paper all over my house, I could not even sleep or eat as images of Agbaya head rolling over to Henry’s feet kept flashing in my head. I had never such fucked up sight my entire life… my entire thought was totally in shambles.
Somewhere in-between tears sleep came my way just a few hours shy of the hour of five-am and I was glad because by the time I woke up I felt a bit better. I woke up with the mentality and believe that what had happened has happened, since I cannot kill myself in guilt, I have to move on but the fact that I just watched the news and the case was already being publicize to a larger audience did not seem like good news at all.
I needed to talk to someone, I thought, as I sat on the closed toilet seat. This meant that I needed to get rid of Mary-Anne who still sat in my room so I could talk freely. I stood up from the seat immediately and went straight to the room with that in my mind.
“Anne, I need to go out like right now,” I said as I walked into the room.
“Going far?” she asked.
“Yea, kinda. My boyfriend just called,” I said out of the blues. I needed her to leave by all means.
“Oh! Okay. Boys always win at the end,” she said before leaving rather reluctantly.
I locked up the door and leaning my back on the wall I dialed Henry’s number.
After such great night I expected a better morning to follow but I was wrong.
Maxwell advised I did something really nice for Tonia as this was our first date and further recommended I took her to see a movie. I immediately bought into the idea because I knew the total cost of the outing would roughly cost ten thousand naira and I believed I could spare exactly that much.
“Taking you to the movies today. I’ll pick you up at your place by five, the movie starts by six so don’t be late and don’t dress too sexy please ;)” I texted her and got a reply almost immediately, “okay dear.”
Did you notice the ‘dear’? I was sure going to smile for the rest of the day.
I stood up from bed around nine-am and decided I had missed enough lectures already so I decided to go to school.
An hour later I was already at the main school gate and noticed a small crowd was gathering around there. They were not looking so happy and I overheard some of them instructing the security guards to lock up the school gate. I assumed it was just some random school issue, maybe the school increment matter or something so I ignored them and boarded a cab to Ibitemi Hall where I was to have my lecture.
I spotted Maxwell in the hall as his department just finished using it and were stepping out for ours so we exchange pleasantries and a few jokes but as expected he had to leave as he was the course rep and had another lecture almost immediately. This course rep thing is something I knew I just could not do.
The lecture happened to be very nice as for the first time in a long while I actually got to learn something new and that’s something that excites me about school. Right before the lecture ended I decided I could not wait to see Tonia and decided to push up the outing.
“Hello, where are you?” I sent her on WhatsApp as the lecturer started talking something about blue and red wires.
I watched the double grey ticks turn blue to indicate she had read the message before a reply shortly popped in my phone, “School gate oh, trying to get in but some students have blocked movement”
“Okay, wait there, I’m coming.” I replied and left the hall immediately the lecture left the hall which was not too long. I was pretty confident no one could stop me from passing through the gates.
As I sat in the back seat of one of the school shuttle which drove me to the gate, I got like three phone calls from Amaka but her voice never came with good news so I ignored her call, I was not going to let her spoil me fun.
I got to the gate all ready to cause trouble if they did not allow me to pass but fortunately for them, they had developed a pattern which involved letting people leave the school but not allowing people to enter. The idea was to empty the school.
I walked through the gates and spotting Tonia was easy as she wore the brightest colour of shirt she had in her wardrobe… who wears such shouty orange?
“I see you are trying to compete with the sun?” I teased her as I hugged her. I wanted to kiss her but was not sure if that was a nice idea.
“What do mean by that?” she asked sounding all serious.
“Nothing o,” I quickly said. “Let’s go out now since you clearly aren’t going to have any lecture today.”
“Which Cinema are we going to??”
“Film House at the mall, we could eat and do a little window shopping before the movie starts,” I said feeling like I had it all mapped out in my head.
“Good, I’m badly in need for a new black jean, one of all those ripped types,” she said with a grin.
“I said window shopping o, not actual shop….” I was about to say when the screeching sound of A Toyota Sienna and a Hilux interrupted me as they pulled up to a halt right at our front.
Two uniformed men jump out of the Sienna and walked briskly towards me.
Fuck! I murmured.
TO BE CONTINUED