As time progressed, during Obiora’s second year in the university as the best student among the overall 200 Level students of Petroleum Engineering department, he vowed to sustain his current Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) which was 4.75, with the aim of making his lovely parents proud just as he promised at the beginning of the journey. He continued with the tempo until he ran into Anayo, one of the students in the Business faculty. Anayo was a very notorious guy on the campus; it was only a new or academic minded student like Obiora that was yet to hear of him.
The former who was a final year student of Business Management department was a member of one of the most dreaded secret confraternities in Spectrum University – the Red Vulture, and he happened to be one of the leaders of the cult; it seemed his eyes had been on the latter from the moment he was recognized as one of the best students in his faculty.
That fateful day after lecture period – in the evening precisely – having been exhausted, Obiora thought it wise to chill himself with a bottle of cold soft drink and a snack in the university café. He wanted something that would sustain him till he got to his lodge where he could prepare a meal for himself, unknowingly to his person that someone had been spying on him all along.
The moment he entered the café, the kingpin followed suit after a few minutes and sat directly opposite him at the white plastic table he was making use of. On his part, Anayo requested for a plate of fried rice and a soft drink as well.
That was the first time he would be taking a meal with soft drink rather than beer, his usual brand; perhaps he never wanted his incoming prey to realize he was actually sharing a table with a nonentity or a party to a riffraff – a deceptive countenance indeed.
“Hi guy!” Anayo cheerfully greeted as he began to devour the meal. He was dressed in black three-quarter jeans, blue Tshirt, black face cap and white canvases. He seemed to be in his late twenties. “Hello.” responded the unsuspecting prey that was clad in blue jeans, green and white double-coloured shirt and a pair of black plain shoes. “Are you in this school?” He enquired in false pretences. “Yes, of course.” replied Obiora. “You must be a new student, I guess?” “Why do you think so?”
“Because you look so fresh.” the fair in complexion and innocently- looking kingpin who was plump and about 5.4-foot tall remarked. Obiora smiled broadly. “You must be kidding.” said the slim, about 5.6-foot tall and chocolateskinned young man who was in his early twenties, amidst the grin. “Honestly,” Anayo added.
“I am not joking.” “Okay, thank you.” “You are welcome.” quoth Anayo, paused. “I mean, always.” “So, what do I call you?” Obiora inquisitively enquired. “Anayo.” he replied, placing his heavy right arm on his guilty chest. “But they call me Whiskey.” “They?” “Ya, my friends.”
Anayo cleared the air. “Alright.” “And you?” “Okay,” Obiora said. “I am Obiora.” “That makes us brothers then.” “How?” “We are both Igbos, of course.” “Oh,” said Obiora. “You are absolutely right.” In spite of his dangerous nature, Anayo was undoubtedly a gifted clown. He had all it takes to win the heart of anyone that came on his way, and Obiora wasn’t exceptional.
Obiora was yet to make a close friend since he found himself at the four walls of univer-sity. And coming across Anayo whom he saw as a saint, gave him an opportunity to mingle with someone he could address as his confidant on the campus. After their stay at the café having exchanged all the needed pleasantries as well as contacts, they departed for their respective residents. Within a few days of their first meeting, they became best of friends. Those who knew Obiora too well especially his course mates became overwhelmingly astonished over his abrupt relationship with a dude who was regarded by all and sundry on the campus as a ‘monster’. They couldn’t believe their sight; initially they were of the view that they were daydreaming till the friendship metamorphosed into a more obvious and inseparable union. While these scenes were unfolding, Obiora started declining in his academic performances due to the reluctant attention he was giving to his studies, which was totally contrary to his real self.
In regard to this, his class adviser who had witnessed the drastic drop in his commitments confronted him in his office but Obiora lied that he had been sick and promised to improve soonest. After one month of coming across Anayo after severe and several persuasions, he made up his mind to join the Red Vulture confraternity. At this point, Obiora became a completely different creature socially, mentally, and otherwise.
Little did his parents know that their cherished and only son had been transformed into something else. Unfortunately, or fortunately for him, the first armed robbery operation he embarked on in the company of the gang landed him into a big mess. The intended criminal outing, which took place at night, was aborted by the police on their way to the proposed destination. Subsequently, they were charged to court while in the police net.
On receiving the information, they were all expelled from the university. Obiora’s parents couldn’t believe their fate. The rough end was the least they could imagine ab initio. After one month of the ordeal, Chief Okeke fell stroke in which he remained in coma for the first six consecutive weeks. The rest is history, please.
- Nwaozor – novelist, playwright and poet, is Chief Executive Director, Centre for Counselling, Research & Career Development – Owerri
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