The Arch Angel mansion was filled to the brim with mean looking people, mostly of boys with a couple of girls, they were all in green outfits. Some were sitted while most of them were on their feet, they all looked fierce and dangerous as some were clinging to different types of ammunitions, some were holding on to lethal weapons like Axe, dagger and many more. They were all busy whispering to each other but suddenly the murmurs stopped as Host entered into the compound closely followed by Slimmy who was also holding a shotgun.
“On the bad news department, the tigers have stepped on my toes, they have kicked the storm in my face but this disgrace and embarrassment is not meant for me alone, if I as your Capon is being disgraced then it simply means that we have all been disgraced, it simply means we are not living up to our names. We are not just called The Arch Angels for no reason, it’s because we are supreme” Host paused to stare around to see if they were all following his pep talk keenly, after screening all their faces briefly he continued. “Now on the good news department, I am glad to tell you that it’s time for us to show them who is in charge of this deck, it’s time to show them who the why we are called the Arch Angels, it’s time for you to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy to be a member of this fraternity” He paused again as cheers and noises rocked the house, he was happy that the pep talk was raising their morale as they all cheered and roared loudly.
“But we have to be extra careful” He continued “They know we are coming, they are waiting for us to strike but let’s show them that we are facing them head on, that even if they are waiting for us to come attack them, they won’t still believe what’s about to hit them.. Let’s Show them that we are the Arch Angels…” He walked inside the immediately he finished talking and left all of the members cheering loudly outside in the compound. After a long session of cheering, Slimmy signalled for them to be quiet which they all obliged.
“We will launch our attack in the early hours of tomorrow and we will be attacking in the 2 to 1 formation, I repeat 2 to 1. Henceforth none of you should walk alone, don’t for one minute be anywhere without at least a fellow member being there with you. Secondly, for now we will start with annihilating their junior members, attack and kill any junior member of the White Tigers, let’s send fears down the spine of their superior members before we start slaying them also” he looked down into the piece of paper he was reading out the instructions from, to see if he hadn’t missed any of the points he wrote down. “Please let us try all our possible best to stay away from innocent students” Slimmy said stressing the please and innocent “I know that there will be casualties for sure but let’s keep it the minimum and One last thing, if you die in the cause of this war then you have failed us so make sure you survive this I beg of you, nobody dies” he concluded and dismissed them.
Rough, Rough” Gentle called out as he went after Rofiat who was about entering her car.
“Gentle, how far na” She asked after turning around to see that it was Gentle that was calling onto her.
“I dey, I hope your sisters are out of school already”
“I tried talking sense into them but they refused to leave without me”
“That means they are staying”
“That’s not a good idea, please endeavour to get them out of this vicinity as soon as possible”
“I will try my best” Rofiat replied cheerfully and then drove off.
After several hours, she was beginning to get weary of trying to make Hadijat and Halimat see reasons why they should leave without her, they remained adamant on not going anywhere without her, she had used the sympathising method, the authoritative method but none could get the girls to change their minds, she knew they were gonna be her liability if they refused to leave the school before the attacks begin tomorrow and she also knew she won’t be able to look after them all by herself if the white tigers attack her apartment. She was still devising another plan to try and lure them away when they heard a knock on the door, immediately they heard the knock, both Halimat and Hadijat ran behind the couch to hide, Rofiat brought out her revolver from her purse and made for the door, she hid behind the door and announced for the person knocking at the door to come in, she waited for the two people who were at the door to come in before she stomped out and pointed the revolver at them.
“Impressive” Slimmy said as he walked inside and picked up a bottle of peanut which Hadijat was eating before the knock on the door sent her into hiding, Gentle also settled on one of the beautifully arranged sofa.
Slimmy, Gentle” Rofiat called out surprisingly.
“Wetin, abi u no wan make I chop your groundnut ni” Slimmy teased.
“No, it’s not that, it’s just that you have never been to my house”
“That should tell you that it’s important” Gentle cut in.
“What could be so important”
“You are to embark on a secret mission out of town as regards the attacks that are about to begin” Slimmy replied as he picked up a banana lying beside the peanut bottle.
“Haa boss, that will be difficult oo”
“And why will it be difficult” Slimmy asked now frowning his face. After listening to their conversations for a while, both Hadijat and Halimat decided to come out of their hiding. On seeing them coming out of their hiding like some seven year girls that are running from their parents, Slimmy couldn’t hold back his laughter as he started laughing with his banana and peanut filled mouth. Then both of them felt a little ashamed as Gentle and Slimmy kept on laughing at them.
“They are the reason I can’t go on the trip, I can’t leave them all alone here” Rofiat said after the laughing session.
“I thought you said they would leave school for now” Gentle asked.
“They refused to leave without me” Rofiat replied.
Slimmy was now on his feet as he made for the door closely followed by Gentle.
“Rough you are going on that mission and that’s an order” Slimmy announced as he opened the door but turned around to see the look on Hadijat and Halimat’s faces “Your sisters can come and stay at the mansion until you come back” Slimmy and Gentle walked out immediately
“I think we should go home now,” Halimat said shakily, clinging to the throw pillow like a frightened child.
“No,” Hadijat vehemently opposed. “How do we explain at home why we are back without Rough.”
“But she’s a final year student now, we can always find an excuse for her,” Halimat maintained her stance.
“Do you think your Dad would agree to that? Won’t he try to find out from other final year students? And what happens if he finds out that the rest have gone home?” Hadijat retorted. “Besides, I’m not ready to return home now.”
“I don’t want to return home too but staying in the Arch Angel’s mansion shouldn’t be an option. Let’s stay here, we can store up foodstuffs and every other thing we need, so that we can always stay indoor.”
Rough was folding her arms and staring in silence at her sisters as they argued to make a decision. She had tried to convince them on leaving but since they remained adamant about staying, she only hoped that they’ll take Slimmy’s offer or better still reconsider and go home, now that they were arguing about it.
“You guys can’t stay here? It’s too dangerous for you” Rough cut in. “It doesn’t matter how much you try to stay indoor, you can always be located by anyone who wants to locate you.”
“This place is not really frequented by those guys, so no one can notice that we’re around, especially if we can discipline ourselves to remain inside the house.” Halimat tried to argue.
“Oh! Shut up,” Rough slammed. “Didn’t you hear about the murder of Host’s girlfriend? Is Denril Crescent not a more hidden place and quieter than this area? And it was still possible for them to locate her”
Hadijat was on the quiet side for the moment, watching to see where Rough and Halimat’s argument would lead to. She knew that Rough was not very comfortable with Slimmy’s offer for them to stay in the Arch Angel’s mansion, but she was sure that Rough would still prefer the option to them staying alone in the house. She hoped that Halimat would reason like her and agree to take Slimmy’s offer. For Hadijat, it was a wonderful proposal as it will offer her the opportunity to see Slimmy more often and probably get closer to him.
But that was Host’s girlfriend, the White Tigers knew that she meant something to the Arch Angels, that’s why they searched for her but we don’t matter to anybody in this campus, they have no business with us.”
Rough shook her head slowly and bit her lips as she stared at Halimat in disgust at her words. “Did you hear Slimmy mentioned that I was going to be sent on a special errand?” She shouted at Halimat. “What if the Tigers come here looking for me?” She raised her eyebrows in a threatening manner and stared into her sisters’ eyes as she got up from the seat. “They won’t spare both of you if they meet you here,” with that she bounced out of the living room.
Hadijat and Halimat remained in silence, each one given away to her own thoughts. Hadijat was thinking of the possible pleasure and danger that may be involved in them staying at the Arch Angels mansion. Just like Rofiat had said, if the Tigers came looking for her at home, they wouldn’t spare them if they were found. But what if the White Tigers also attacked the Arch Angels mansion, would they be spared? Or was the mansion a safe haven for them?
Halimat didn’t want to go home also, she didn’t want to face her father’s constant sessions of moral and religious lectures neither did she want to be caged by her mother’s grievous rules, to her the rules were grievous. She and her sister, Rough had parents who were highly religious. Their mother was an Alhaja while the father an Alhaji, that was the status bestowed on them after they returned from their religious visit to Mecca. But not only had they just gone to Mecca to get the titles alone, they both practised the religion effectively and even compelled their children to also do the same.
Unfortunately for them, their kids were not religious like the parents. They couldn’t get them to be. They were not successfully in trying to help the children balance their religious life with their social life. The error was made from their nursery school to secondary school choice for the kids. They enrolled the children in a nursery and primary school of high status and pupils from other rich homes like theirs, the kids began to fall in love with the lifestyle of the other children they met at school, soon their parents’ pattern became boring and old fashioned to them. The secondary school choice of a boarding school had even made it worse. That was where the children totally discarded the ways and ideas of their parents. They were not really extremely bad girls but weren’t good girls also. Both Rofiat and Halimat were deflowered in their Junior secondary school. But they still managed to put up a good act for their parents, as they always dressed in hijabs and long cover skirts when they were at home during the holidays. Things got worse in their senior secondary school, Rofiat who was the eldest and in two classes ahead of Halimat got involved with very terrible people. Her tomboy attitude and manner of life in school attracted the bad gangs to her. She took her first wrap of weed in SS2 but that was the saving grace for Halimat.
Like they say, a child cannot be so stubborn to the point of not learning at least a lesson from the parents. That was the case of Rofiat. She discovered that she had gone the bad way already and tried to protect her kid sister from going the same way. She was a bit successful at it. Halimat as lucky to have someone who could guide her and stop her from making costly mistakes.
After secondary school, Rough tried to quit her bad ways but instead she got deeper until her parents began to notice her. They later changed their decision to send her to a University in America as they were afraid she would learn more bad habits there. That explains the reason Rough and her sister found themselves in a Nigerian government owned University, their parents tried to correct the error they had made from the scratch.
Hadijat on the other hand was brought up by a single father, a multi millionaire who was several times richer than but not as strict and religious as Hadijat and Rofiat’s father, his brother. Although he was also an Alhaji too but he didn’t take the religion the same way his elder brother did. He wasn’t a bad father. No, nor was he a pagan who was hiding himself under the covers of religion, he was a good man who tried to pray at least three out of the five times daily and also give alms to the poor.
After Hadijat mother died, he refused to remarry as he claimed that no one else could love him like his late wife did. Hadijat remained the number one source of remembrance of the mother to him, he cherished her and spoilt her beyond measure, ignoring the advice and warnings from his brother and several other people to take it easy on how he pampers her.
The only reason that the spoilt brat, Hadijat had for not wanting to go home was that she won’t have her sisters to party and club with anymore and her father may begin to act over protective of her like he always did.
TO BE CONTINUED。
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