“Wow! That’s terrifying”, Idera said.
“So how did you cope after you saw all that with Rashad that night? Was your life not in danger or any sort of thing?” She asked.
“Hmmmm! I sighed. It wasn’t all cool after that. In fact, I couldn’t go back to sleep again, I just sat on the bed pondering over my experience.
It was about 5 o’clock in the morning when I packed all my belongings, leaving no trace of me at all. I left that day with the intention to never look back.
I knew it was going to be hard seems we’re still in the same school but Rashad was going to graduate that year seems we were in our second semester, that was somehow relieving”.
“Rashad calls me everyday, in fact he leaves me a message all the time but I don’t get to reply”, I added.
I was on my way to the cafeteria when a black camry car double crossed me. I knew it was Rashad but I feigned ignorance. I moved to the other side trying to avoid him but he was fast as he wind down his window and said;
“come inside the car”
I wasn’t going to listen, until his voice deepened and he said;
“get into the car now”. I entered the car reluctantly and he drove of in a high speed.
I was beginning to get scared but I didn’t want fear to show in my voice when I asked where he was taking me to.
He didn’t reply as he kept on driving.
We soon got to the riverine area of my school and fear was eating me up.
“Ha! Blue lake?” Idera asked with shock written all over her face.
“Yes, Blue lake!” I replied.
“Why did he take you there? To initiate you?” She asked in fear.
I didn’t know the reason for sure at that time but it wasn’t for that reason at all
“Why are we here?” I asked.
“Just come down”, he said to me.
I obyed him and I followed quietly behind him
We got to the rocky area of the river which I never knew existed and he asked me to sit on the rock
He brought out his cigarettes and he began to smoke
He puffed the smoke in the air and looked right at me while he was doing that.
“Olakunle! I know you’re a good guy and good guys shouldn’t associate with bad guys like me. The plot twist is, every bad guy was once a good guy. Circumstances changed them to whatever they are”.
He said while I looked at him quietly trying to make sense of what he was saying.
“You know what”, he asked, this time he was sober.
“We grew up doing things we said we’d never do. In fact, no good parents ever prays for their child to become a nonentity but when circumstances occur, a boy will grow up and might have to become a man and in that process he might do things he said he’d never do” he continued in sad tone
“Does that explain why I saw you with a gun and a bloody T-shirt”, I asked.
“No, it doesn’t” he said .
“When things happen, we’re allowed to choose our paths. This was the path I chose. The right path wasn’t cutting it for me, so I had to choose the wrong path.
The good thing Is that I know what I’m doing is wrong and I’m willing to change but now isn’t the time for change”, he said still determined.
“But why?” I asked.
“Look Olakunle, I didn’t want to end up this way but life messed me up. I lost my daddy at a very tender age and my mum had to be the only one fending for I and my siblings.
It was all good until the family came to take what’s left of my daddy’s proprieties and wealth. It got tough and Mummy had to do some embarrassing jobs.
I couldn’t stand it. I’m the first son, so I felt the need to take up responsibilities at home. I started with petty pick pocket when I met some guys at the slum. From there, I graduated to this and life has been good since then” he said sounding remorseful.
“Wow! So you’re an armed robber”, I asked in surprise.
“Yes I am”
“So why was there blood on your T-shirt”.
“I had to take care of some other gang that was trying to spill our secrets”.
“Are fresh and Ajanaku involved”, I asked.
“Yes we all are and I’ve been their leader since I was in 100 level seems I was the one who introduced them to the business” he said
“Look we’re all just group of broken guys who wants to make the best out life anyway we can” he added.
I was zoned out trying to take in all I’ve heard tonight
I couldn’t say a word, so I just kept on looking at him
“Look Olayinka, come what may, I don’t want you to ever get your hands dirty. Don’t follow the wrong path because it comes with difficulty also.
There’s no peace of mind in the wrong path. Everyday I sleep with fear in my heart” he said looking sad.
“Why are you telling me all these? Isn’t that dangerous for you” I asked.
“Don’t you think I’ll spill your secrets”
“Will you?” He asked.
“I was dumbfounded…”
“Yes I figured you wouldn’t and I trust you. I love you like my brother. You’re the brother I never had. Since that day I saw you standing up for yourself , you reminded me of myself. The Version of me that I could never be” he said smiling.
“I’d be leaving for America immediately after the exam. I want to start a new life. I hope God keeps me safe till then” he said calmly.
“You can’t tell anyone, okay!” He said
“Okay”, I said.
He gave me a brotherly hug while he asked that we leave the river
We drove back to his apartment and the drive there was quiet.
The semester came to an end in no time. I made a good result as usual same as Rashad and the rest of the boys. That happened with my help of course.
Anyway, life with Rashad and the boys was still the same as I acted like I didn’t know anything about their business even though Rashad always fills me in whenever they’re having an operation.
I wonder why he does that. Rashad travelled to America at the end of the semester.
But before he left, he paid the house rent in full for the rest of the years I’d be spending in school and he gave me one hundred thousand naira to sort myself while he’s away till he’d be able to send more money. I love him like my brother too. He’s the elder brother I never had.
I was working on my assignment when Kiitan called me informing me that daddy had an accident and he was been rushed to the hospital. I left the school that day with the amount left of the one hundred thousand that Rashad gave me.
I got to Lagos 3 hours later and I rushed down to where my daddy was. He was at the emergency unit with oxygen attached to him for easy breathing.
I looked at my sisters and I couldn’t ask God for anything other than sparing my daddy’s life. If he dies, there’s no way I’d be able to do it all alone.
His little okada business was helping to take care of the girls but If anything happens, how will I fend for them? Rashad is no more around.
He’s the one that gives me more money when I help with his school work. Fresh and Ajanaku are graduating this session which means I’d have to look for other business to do once they’re gone.
God please help me I prayed quietly. I was thinking of all these when a beautiful female doctor walked to the reception where I and my sisters were seated.
“Ermm who’s the eldest among you?” she asked.
My two sisters pointed to me and my heart skipped a beat
I stood up perplexed and walked closer to the doctor
“Is anything the problem?” I asked trembling.
“ If it’s money, I already dropped all I have with the cashier as deposit. Just go on with the treatment, I’ll go and get more money please”, I said with tears almost running down my eyes.
She looked at me with something that almost looked like pity but I didn’t want to see that. I was so scared and I continued to say rubbish
“Is there any other person I can talk to aside you?” she asked.
“No there isn’t”, Kiitan shouted from behind.
“My daddy doesn’t have any other family aside the three of us. If something is wrong then you need to tell us”, she said sternly.
I don’t know how Kiitan does it but she’s always so strong in times of trouble
I was already tearing up when the doctor said;
“if that’s the case, I think you’re in the best position to hear me out”, she said to Kiitan.
I knew the worse was coming when I heard that and my heart began to pound.
“We did all we could”, the doctor said.
“And ?” Kiitan asked in anger.
“And we tried our best but we lost your daddy”, the doctor said.
Shindara was the first to scream as she yelled noooooo and immediately fell flat on the floor
I was lost for about 10 minutes as I couldn’t bring myself to take in what the doctor said.
Kiitan just said “thank you” to the doctor and she asked what was the next thing to do with her voice not breaking at all as if she didn’t just hear that we’ve just lost our dad.
I stood there looking at little Shindara crying and rolling on the floor but I couldn’t help her because it felt like I was dreaming
Kiitan followed the doctor to her office to ask about what we needed to do while I stood there like a tree, Shindara walked to me some minutes after and said; “what’s left in life for us?”
That question brought tears to my face as I pulled her in for a tight hug while we both cried.
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