After settling down temporarily, I called Maria and told her that I had returned to the place. She said she was at Ikeja and promised to come as soon as she returned.
I called Daisy and told her that I had gotten to the new place. She demanded for the address but I told her that I was upstairs and that I would find out later.
I knew the address quite alright but it was time to start drifting away from Daisy.
I was a coward for not being able to disregard the Osu culture and went for her but one cannot have them all. I knew a fight I could win alone and the ones I could not. The Osu culture was wrong and so was so many religious indoctrinations. An individual cannot fight such forces. It must be a collective effort.
All the above reasons was just excuses to pacify my cowardice but like I said, we can’t have them all.
I called Zainab. She wanted to come too.
What exactly was wrong with our school system? Why would a girl want to leave school in the middle of an ongoing semester?
Well since I didn’t attend the University, I may never know.
”Everywhere is still disorganized, don’t come” I said and cut off the phone.
I sat on the large sitting room and drank some whiskey. The Satellite cable had not been installed but I had connected the playstation. I played a war game and rested.
Some hours later Maria called. She said she had returned and wanted me to come. I took a bike to her place. She was cooking that universal food called rice as I waited for her in the sitting room.
She would come to the sitting room and stole some kisses, then went back and continued what she was doing. She also gave me a bottle of Johnny walker since I had told her earlier that I liked it.
”Its weekend, where are we going today” Maria asked.
”We are staying here today Maria, let us rest. I did some work today and need some rest. I want us to be husband and wife today and stay at home” I had said.
She laughed out loud as I expected.
”I was hoping to go to a club tonight” she said.
I didn’t respond to that. I had decided that I was not going anywhere that night.
Kola and his gang had taken my club money and it was logical that I stay at home.
Yes, the thought of Kola reminded me of my new Alaye friends. I called one of them.
I told him to come to Masha
He came with His friend and one of the four guys who had slapped me. We met at a bar and had some drinks.
The new guy, who was among my beaters recognized me and apologized for their actions. They were all the same group.
He wasn’t the one who slapped me and he wasn’t Kola.
He blamed Kola and the slapper for what happened to me and tried hard to exonerate himself. I assured him there was no problem.
”I have forgotten the thing” I had told him. He shook my hand and said that I was a man.
Yes of course, I was a man, women don’t forget slaps in a day.
After the drinks, I asked him to tell Kola and the rest of the guys that I had forgotten what happened. He promised to send my message.
I collected his number too. His name was Baba. It was apparently a nickname but who cared, Baba was enough to remember him.
After drinks and meat, I paid N3150. The total money stolen from Kola and his gang totaled N10,150.
I had no plan on how to get it back but it was only a matter of time before an idea came, even if I didn’t want to do anything, the fact that I was slapped will never depart from my brain. Patience, just have patience.
I left them and returned to Maria. She had finished cooking and had served some food on the table for me.
”I didn’t say I was hungry Maria. I am not eating” I had said.
She tried everything possible to convince me but I refused. It wasn’t about being hungry. I was too wary of Edo girls. I had heard all sorts of negative news about them in Europe. Rumours had it that they charm Igbo boys into Marrying them in Europe. I didn’t believe the rumours but I didn’t doubt it either.
If she had not eaten and wanted to eat with me, we would have done that but to have arranged food for me behind my back, no.
I told her to return the food to the pot and that we eat together later. She agreed but when she returned the food to the kitchen, she didn’t return it into the pot, she left it inside the plates. Good, we shall see.
” We all have to distrust each other to some extent, it is our only defense against betrayal”