Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
A lot was going on in my mind as I sat at the back roll of the waiting hall of Agofure Inter-state Bus Park located at Mile 2, Lagos. I was waiting for my bus number to be announced.
Not many people can make this claim but I had stared at death in the eye balls and lived to tell the story. Just in case you don’t know how frats work, let me enlighten you a bit. Firstly you need to understand that there are hundreds of frats in Nigeria and every one of them are either allies or rivals to each other. Amongst all the rivalries, one of the worst and most fatal is that of The Supreme Vikings Confraternity (SVC) and The Buccaneers Association of Nigeria (BAN).
The littlest of things such as maybe wearing a red and black coloured wrist band can make a Bucketman go after an unsuspecting individual who may had ignorantly worn it, why? Because the colours Red and Black are associated with us Norsemen. We don’t like ourselves for any reason and the rivalry can be traced back to our origin where we, the SVC, broke out from the BAN due to issues I will rather not publicly state because of our secrecy oath.
Ebuka happened to be the Grand eye, the National Head of BAN and I was the National K2 of SVC, based on hierarchy, only one man stands above me in the whole country. So that should explain my shock when I saw Ebuka walk into Amaka room.
This little case where I still stand by my conviction that Agbaya deserved to die had now brought ever ruthless Ebuka and his boys to my door steps and it was evident that I was good as dead if I waited for a minute so I had to take off. Sadly my friend and brother, Maxwell, was left behind and killed because he was a friend of a Norseman. The friend of a Norseman is not a Norseman.
“Announcement! Please check your ticket, if you have an A ticket to Port Harcourt kindly go to the back of the park, your bus is ready for boarding,” I suddenly heard a voice announce from the speakers, snapping me back to reality.
I looked at my ticket and saw B-09 written on it, so I relaxed as that was clearly not my ride. In light of everything that had happened, I had woken up the next morning and decided to travel to Port Harcourt to lay low and wait to see what would be the outcome of the case while I plotted my next line of actions. Coincidentally, the Alpha Marine Deck of The SVC lies at the University of Port Harcourt where the SVC was established so it was basically home coming for me.
In all that was going on, Tonia was surprisingly still supportive of me. She was clearly disappointed after one of the several versions of what really went down got to her so she had sent me a very simple text message.
I heard all that is going on and I know that it might not all be true so I’m going to wait till you explain yourself to me before I make any judgement. Just know that I will forever have your back and I love you. Call me.
I could not risk getting emotional because I needed to be a hundred percent alert in light of all that had happened but calling Tonia automatically guaranteed that. I made a mental note to call her much later when I got to Port Harcourt and must have settled down.
I brought out my phone and made a phone call to someone who I believed I owed an apology.
“Hello Funmi,” I had said as she picked up the call.
“Why are you calling me?” she fired.
“I know no amount of apology can change all that has happened but I want to assure you that his death won’t go unpunished,” I said.
She was quiet for a few seconds and then said rather calmly, “Please Henry, I would appreciate if you just leave me alone and never call me.
With that, the line went dead.
I stared at my phone screen and wanted to call her back but decided to respect her wish, so I made a phone call to someone else.
“Henry?” Amaka asked in shock as she picked the call.
“Yes, it’s me,” I reply calmly.
“Henry where are you? Everybody is looking for you, the police, student, everybody!”
“I am somewhere safe. Amaka I owe you an apology for how things turned out,” I said calmly. I figured that I owed her that much because if I had been available to calm her down when she panicked, then maybe she would not have had any reason to confide in that bitch, Mary-Anne.
“It’s okay, I was the one that forced the issue into your hands,” she said.
“Where is Mary-Anne?” I asked.
“I’m not sure but I believe she’s under protective custody,” Amaka replied.
I sighed, protective custody in Nigeria is surprisingly more efficient than you imagine.
“Okay, I’ll be totally of the grid for a while but don’t worry, I’ll find a way to keep in touch,” I promised knowing I needed her to be where she was as she would be one of my ears on campus.
“Alright,” she said and there was a long pause before she added, “you know Maxwell is…?” She wanted to ask but could not bring herself to say the word ‘dead’.
“I know,” I quickly said to save her the burden of accepting the fact. “I hope you are not blaming yourself for his death because it’s definitely not your fault,” I consoled.
“I know, but it would give me great comfort to know that the people responsible go unpunished,” she said, I could literally feel the coldness of her words.
“I know, I need to go now,” I said and hung up as I heard another announcement.
“Announcement! Please check your ticket, if you have an B ticket to Port Harcourt kindly move to the back of the park, your bus is ready for boarding,” I heard the announcer say again and this time I knew that was my bus so I stood up and threw my back over my shoulder and headed for the back of the park as instructed.
It took about twenty minutes for the bus to full up but once it did, it zoomed off with me sitting at the extreme back seat, staring at the sun as it rose through the window.
The pain I feel every time in my heart when thoughts of Maxwell cross my mind is better left experienced than described but I swear on my mother’s grave that someone would pay for his death, because forgiveness is a sin.
Love is a very complicated and confusing concept. Even the people with the hardest of hearts have at one point in their lives given love a chance to grow but at the end love always disappoints us all.
I never thought I would fall for any guy, let alone for the exact kind of guy I always preach against to my unsuspecting ignorant female friends. But when love eventually paid me a visit, it crept in like a thief in the night and was embodied in Maxwell.
I had liked the guy from the first day I set my eyes on him. His curly hair and great physique were outstanding features but his swagger and confidence when he approached me that first day where he offered to help carry my box was what got my interest. Not once had a guy ever tried to talk to me when my dad was around and I frankly did not know what scared off the guys, but Maxwell clearly did not care about that.
I did not plan to fall in love that day but from that day on, a portion of my heart went to him and the portion kept on growing as we went through a few beautiful and ugly moments together.
His death felt like someone had placed my heart on a railway and allowed a train run over it. I felt so much pain that I thought about suicide several times but Ayo, who I knew would not allow that always had her eyes on me as she whispered words of comfort into my ears every night as I laid on my bed with a drip plugged into my blood stream.
I refused to eat for days so my dad had called our family doctor who advised I was given food supplements and thus the idea of the drip.
I cannot accurately describe all I went through but after about a month or thereabout, I’m not so sure, I recovered fully only after a made two resolutions in my mind.
One, love was for the weak and most importantly, only the good die young.
PS: And it is a wrap! A huge thank you to everyone that had followed this story from day one.
While I work on my next big story I would be running a few short stories on Twitter so stick around for that because I would officially announce the details here when it’s all good to go.
The book would be out soonest.