‘Awww!’ Hadijat gave a loud yawn as she sank into the three seater sofa and laid face flat. She buried her face into the throw pillow and began to murmur what sounded like a quick Thanksgiving prayer.
‘Halimat!’ Rofiat shouted as she flung open the door and bounced in. ‘Halimat!’ she shouted one more time.
She sat on the sofa by the left side and began to untie her shoe lace. She looked up while at it and saw Hadijat still in her prayer mood.
‘You want to start a vigil in the morning?’ She teased as she took off her shoe and relaxed back.
Hadijat sat up and let out a deep breath. ‘Thank God it’s all over’ she said, breathing into her palms.
Rofiat glanced at her and smiled. ‘You’re indeed very lucky, the Slimmy I know would not let things go like that.’
Halimat walked into the lounge from behind just as Rofiat stood up. ‘Oh! You’re back. How did it go?’ She asked, placing her hands on her waist, already switching herself to gist mode.
‘Where you go since?’ Rough answered Halimat with an irrelevant question, even when it was obvious that Halimat was coming out from her room.
‘I went to check for something in class and I returned few minutes ago’ she replied and joined Hadijat on the sofa.
‘On Saturday? I was expecting to come here and find breakfast already prepared’
‘I’ll start preparing rice now, we have stew already’ Halimat said.
‘I can’t wait’ Rofiat said. She stood up and straightened up her clothes and picked her shoes up. She began to proceed towards her room. ‘I’m going out now.’
‘It won’t take long, you know. The gas cooker heats up very fast’ Halimat tried to convince her, standing up to go to the kitchen.
‘Maybe I’ll come back early’ Rofiat said as she walked out of their sight.
She came back two minutes later, after adding more powder to her face and changing her shoes to a leather slippers. She was putting on her wristwatch and staring around the chairs, looking for something. She found it, her phone. She unlocked and swiped down to check the notifications.
‘Hadijat’ she called, still looking into the phone as she turned. ‘Why didn’t you bring my phone to me when it was ringing?’ She asked but got no response.
‘Mtcheew. It’s even this funny boy’ she muttered to herself as she deleted the notification and locked the screen. She turned back to the seat to see if anything was forgotten, none was. She turned back again and was about proceeding towards the door when she noticed that Hadijat was lost in thoughts and smiling sheepishly to herself. That explained the reason she didn’t answer Rofiat’s earlier question.
Rough walked closer and waved her hand across Hadijat’s face, startling the girl. ‘What the hell are you thinking about?’ She asked, giving her a contorted look. ‘I thought you were making Thanksgiving prayers some minutes ago.’
Halimat walked back into the lounge, drying her hands with a towel.
‘Nothing,’ Hadijat smiled and got up from her seat. She switched on the television socket and picked the remote before returning to her seat. Rough was still standing in the same position and staring at her awkwardly.
‘You better watch your sister. She might be developing fever too’ Rofiat warned Halimat playfully before walking out of the house.
‘How did it go?’ Halimat who was now seated asked, few seconds after Rough left.
‘Fine, wonderful’ Hadijat gave a quick glance at Halimat, flashing her teeth.
‘Fine, wonderful?’ Halimat repeated in a surprise tone.
‘Yes, it was wonderful’
‘Interesting… What made it so wonderful? I can’t imagine how an apology session could turn around to be wonderful’
‘They accepted our apologies’ Hadijat stared back into Halimat’s face, spreading out her hands and palms to add effects.
‘Is that all that happened?’ Hadijat raised her eyebrows.
‘Yes’ Halimat stressed and returned her gaze to the TV. She took the remote control by her side and increased the TV volume.
‘And you guys did not stop anywhere else?’ Halimat asked, half shouting now as the sound of the music video being aired now filled the air.
Hadijat picked the remote control again and reduced the volume. She stared at Halimat for her to repeat her question. ‘Did you guys visit any other place?’ Halimat repeated.
‘No, we didn’t. Why are you asking?’
‘It’s strange that you’re looking so happy’
‘Don’t you want me to look happy?’
‘No, not that. But I know you hate apologizing to guys, especially with your bad history of dishing out slaps to them. So I’m surprised that you’re happy after this.’
Hadijat hissed briefly. ‘The guys seem nice to me’ she began, narrowing her eyes. ‘Especially the slim one’
‘Yes’ Hadijat rolled her eyes and licked her lips. ‘You need to see his abs, his body perfectly defines the word sexy’
‘You’re silly’ Halimat said and got up. ‘So his abs are what makes him nice?’ She asked without waiting for a reply and walked to the kitchen.
**Three Weeks Ago**
‘Damn!’ OJ cursed and smashed the six inches block on the floor angrily. He got took out the wrap of weed from his mouth and let out a huge mold of smoke.
Two other guys were with him in the uncompleted building, each seated on the window at the perpendicular walls. Both of them also had wrap of weeds in their mouths and were dispensing huge quantities of the smoke to relief themselves of their grief.
‘The Arch Angels have really dared us and we’ve got to show them the stuff we’re made of’ OJ said as he inhaled deeply. The silence continued for some minutes until a lanky guy came joined them.
‘How far?’ OJ said. All eyes turned to the new guy, one of those seated on the windows jumped down.
‘The police have refused to release his body, not even to his parents’ the guy replied.
‘Hahaha’ OJ gave a scornful laugh. ‘Heads would roll, I swear’ he threatened with a frown on his face and puffed out some smoke again. He moved back to the wall and erected another six inches block. He sat down and took another drag.
‘Small, where were you guys when EL salam was dropped?’ OJ directed his question to the guy seated on the window opposite him
‘We were out of town to do the job for the Honorable,’ Small replied. He came down from the window, his joint had been used up already. His name was a perfect description of himself, he had a very small stature and a small bald head. Except for his face, one could take him for a young teenager judging from his body alone.
OJ was of medium height, a rigid body and a dark skin. His body clearly displayed the several benefits of using the gym. His face was rough, he was not good at smiling. Even when he tried, he always got the person he was smiling to scared.
‘You know they would not try such if we were together na,’ Small added briefly.
OJ heaved a sigh. ‘Baba would not like this at all. He’s gonna be mad when he returns,’ he said. Baba was the nick they used for the head of their cult, Screw, when conversing together. ‘What’re their names again?’
‘Slimmy, Nazaretha and Kong’ small answered him.
‘Haha, I know them. It’s okay, we shall see’
“OJ!” Screw hailed.
“Baba!” OJ hailed back, raising his fists in the air in salutation. Screw was seated on a thick leather sofa, the only one that could be seen there while OJ was standing at his front. There were leather benches arranged by the side of the walls while the sofa Screw was sitting on was in the middle. The arrangement made it obvious that the place was one of the meeting venues for the White Tigers. The walls were painted white but disfigured with several scary drawings such as skulls, skeletons, slaughtered human heads and so many others.
“I just keep getting angry when I catch a glimpse of those Arch Angel boys gallivanting everywhere” Screw said.
“Baba, you asked us to relax first and that’s what we’re doing. If not for what you said…” OJ paused and made a gesture with his hands, hitting his fists on his head softly to show that he was reading for a fight. “We should have sent those boys to hell”
“Yeah… I have a reason” Screw said calmly. With the way his face looked gentle and spoke calmly, one would never think that Screw could be the leader of the white tigers. Except for few people who were highly ranked tigers, other cult members had never seen his face, it was always veiled when he had a meeting with them. The only thing that didn’t look gentle about him was his huge muscles, his body was like that of a weight lifter, a product of constant gyming and exercise. “I know that the Arch Angels are still celebrating their stupidity and that’s what I want them to keep doing for now. My plan is not just to retaliate El Salam’s death but to teach them a strong lesson and let them know who the Boss is”
“Baba, when should we start?” OJ asked, sounding impatient to begin the bloodshed.
“We have to plan. Call Coded and ask him where he is” Screw ordered.
OJ took out his phone and did as he was told. “He’ll be here in three minutes time” he reported to Screw.
“Okay, let him come”
Coded walked into the lounge in three minutes time like he had told OJ. “Baba, your faithful boy is here” he saluted as he moved close to the Boss. He was the second in command to Baba. He was a slim guy like Slimmy of the Arch Angels but he was shorter and darker, he also had a round stern face.
“Coded” Screw hailed back. “The death that lives it’s victim’s spirit ever sorry to come across him”
“I’m loyal Baba” Coded said as gave OJ a handshake.
You guys should shift the seats closer” Screw gestured with his hand. They obeyed and sat close to him, at his front.
“It’s high time to take over this school, it’s time to let the people know who is supreme” Screw began. “The Arch Angels dropped El Salam who was a committed tiger, they came looking for our trouble first. But I saw it as something more than a trouble seeking challenge, I saw it as an insult. You know why? They don’t know who is the Boss yet, we’ve not established the fact that we are their fathers. And like I said to you both before, I’m not seeking just to revenge the death of El Salam, I want them to totally concede defeat. I want to render them helpless till they confess to the whole world that we are not their mates in this campus or anywhere else. That’s the reason why I didn’t ask you to retaliate El Salam’s death immediately, I wanted to plan. Now we would do that first, we would avenge El Salam’s death by taking one of their strongest or possibly their leader Host, that’ll announce to them what they are in for. I have my plans on how we’ll take them out one after the other, we’ll go for their top members.” Screw paused to look at their faces.
“Now I want to listen to the ideas that you people have”
Slimmy threw the face towel on the bed as he walked into his brother’s room. Gentle was lying on the bed, his knees raised and his phone placed on his chest, his eyes were wide open. Slimmy took a look at Gentle who didn’t seem to notice he had entered. He turned back to the hanger and began to search through Gentle’s clothes. He selected an Arsenal FC Jersey and shorts and dropped it on the bed, he began to take off the shirt he was putting on.
It was after Slimmy had finished changing into the Jersey that Gentle looked up. Slimmy was about to leave the room.
“Slimmy, what are you doing?” Gentle sat up looking surprised.
“What else?” Slimmy took a glance at him. “I’m borrowing my younger brother’s Jersey”
“No o Slimmy, I want to put on that Jersey on the championship finals day” Gentle objected.
“Hehe, the same finals in which they would flog you blue black?” Slimmy gave a slight chuckle. He picked the trouser he had taken off from the floor and began to fold it.
“We cannot lose that match but even if we lose, at least we got to the finals this year, you guys didn’t even qualify”
“It’s better not to qualify at all than to be disgraced at the finals” Slimmy wrapped up and began to proceed to the door.
“Slimmy you go buy another Jersey ni o” Gentle shouted as it was obvious that his brother wasn’t going to take it off.
“Wait” Slimmy paused at the door and turned back to face Gentle. “Are you not coming to play football?”
“No” Gentle answered and laid back.
“Okay, I should go?” Slimmy gestured by opening the door as if to walk out. He closed it back.
“Go now, or you need your elder brother to follow you to the field again?” Gentle teased.
Slimmy moved closer to the bed with a surprise look on his face, he couldn’t believe that Gentle was allowing him put on his new and adored Jersey to the field. “Wait, what were you thinking when I was putting on Jersey that you didn’t see me until I was done?”
“Nothing? And you allowed me put on your favorite Jersey?”
“Wait” Gentle sat up again. “Why was it even this Jersey you chose? Why didn’t you pick any of the old ones?”
“I didn’t plan to pick it, I only wanted to disturb you and get you out of bed. I thought you would stand up and hustle for the Jersey when I selected it but you didn’t even notice until I finished putting it on. Even after you noticed, you are not fighting for it like I expected you”
“Haha” Gentle laughed loudly. “So Na trouble you just wan find with the Jersey abi? You wanted me to force you to pull it?”
“Don’t divert the matter jor, what were you thinking?” Slimmy placed a foot on the bed as he stared at his brother’s face.
“Nothing” Gentle laid back again.
“Okay o, keep thinking nothing.” Slimmy shrugged and turned back to the door. “Just be assured that the Jersey would be in pieces before I return” Slimmy said before closing the door.
“Heyy! Slimmy, don’t try it o!” Gentle sat up and shouted in response to Slimmy’s threat.
He took in a deep breath as he was left alone in the room again. He laid back on the bed. He couldn’t just stop thinking about her, Hadijat. Her face had been popping into his mind all day, he wished he had taken her phone number. But there was no problem, he could always get in touch with her through Rough, her cousin.
…to be continued…
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