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Chapter 8

Love should not be unconditional; Love should be a mutual concession.

Fridays are usually fun, most people have less classes. In Paula's case it was a half-day and she was done with her classes before 12pm. As soon as classes closed, she started looking for Tutu. There she was again, flirting with a boy. What's his name again? Rhema or Remi? She couldn't really place the name. "Heyy girl why you so jumpy?" Tutu asked before she could say anything. "Uh, I'll see you later Tuts" The boy said as he took his leave. Paula raised her eyebrows and Tutu shook her head; meaning not now. They walked out of class together. Obafemi Awolowo University campus is one of the most beautiful campuses in Africa. The buildings might seem to be old fashioned now, but they were futuristic back in those days when they were constructed. The lawns are always properly mowed. Flowers on the walkways, Trees lining the tarred roads, traffic lights, stop signs and directional boards in the appropriate places. There is even a map of the entire University at the Student Union Building, to prevent one from getting lost. Not that it really helps, most people don't know it's there or maybe they just forget to use it. One would hardly believe that the school was constructed in the mid 20th century.

The girls decided to get some snacks and ice-cream before heading home. "So you're Tuts now huh? Who's that guy? I've seen him before" Paula couldn't keep her mouth shut as they stepped into a cafe. "He's just a guy I'm actually starting to like" Tutu replied. "Come off it! When did you start to like anyone else apart from me?" Paula said. "Girl shut it, who says I even like you?" Tutu jokingly replied. "I know you don't like me, you love me" Paula countered. They got their snacks and decided to take a seat. They picked a table furthest from the group of guys that had been ogling them since they stepped into the cafe.

"FM called, he wants to go out on a date with me today" Paula blurted before they had even properly settled in their seats. Tutu squealed and drew some disapproving glances from people in the cafe. "No jokes P, don't play with me. What are you wearing?" Tutu asked. "I don't know babes, I'm still thinking about it" Paula replied. "What are you waiting for then, let's go find something" Tutu said. The girls finished their snacks and headed home.

What's the first thing about dates? Each party tries to look as if they hadn't thought much about it. Keep it simple and casual. Well that's what sane and sensible people try to do anyways.

FM was picking Paula up at her place by 5pm. He already made some calls and asked around for a low-key restaurant that would suit his needs. He wanted to impress, but at the same time, not seem to be trying too hard. Sign of maturity? He doesn't think she would care that much though.

The skies were dark and stormy, it was definitely going to rain. If he played his cards right, he just might score tonight. The CLA 250's Bi-Turbo V8 AMG growled as he fired it to life. That was his golden chariot and he would be Paula's fairy godmother for the evening.

The date went absolutely well, Paula hadn't had that much fun in her entire life. She couldn't help but laugh when he started talking about his childhood. She didn't think she would ever meet someone so mature and childish at the same time. She almost didn't want the night to end and was tempted to follow him back to his place. But she knew what the outcome of that was going to be and decided against it as Tutu had adviced her. As she and FM stepped out of the restaurant, it started to drizzle. Even the blind could tell at this point that it was going to rain. The atmosphere felt like it was at a tipping point. She walked towards the vehicle, waiting for FM to beep her in. Paula?? Not that voice again. She would recognize it anywhere she heard it. Was he following her? What was Nife doing here again? "Paula please reason with me, let me just explain myself, there has been a lot going on lately" Nife said as he came into her peripheral vision. "Paula is this guy bothering you?" FM said as he came around. "No not at all, I don't know what he wants" Paula replied. "Young man, let the lady be she obviously isn't interested in what you have to say". FM beeped the car open and put it into gear as the rain suddenly started to pour in droves. Paula looked on through the side mirror as Nife was left standing dumbfounded in the rain.

"I want tabs on that Nife of a boy. If he sneezes, I want to know about it" Ghost said as he assigned a detail of boys to track and oversee everything Nife was doing. This war for supremacy between the different factions have been for a while and this young boy might just be the key to unravel and bring their cold war to the forefront. Ghost never really much liked his job, but he loved the satisfaction of when a plan seems to be going just right. He was going to restructure alright but first, he had to know who the enemy was.

The boys packed their bags light. Egbon stressed the urgency and importance of the trip they were embarking on. If only they could decipher that it wasn't just physical. It was a trip that was going to change them forever.

They were taken to an undisclosed location. The initiation ceremony was grueling and hard. It was going to be worth it, Egbon told them. No one could touch them now. They signed up for protection and they were going to get it.

Paula asked FM to drop her off; Nife's appearance at the restaurant posed a choice to her. She had to choose whether she liked it or not. But she had to be sure that she is making the right choice. As she sunk into her bed, she started her comparison.

Nife on the other hand so far has had no choice what so ever. It had been his life or the next thing at each point. Now he couldn't even choose if he wanted to be a cultist or not. He had to do it or die. Burdened with the task that Ghost had given him, which, with the inclusion of the group he now runs with involves betrayal; He is at crossroads. Not knowing where to turn to.

The boys that were assigned to Nife went back to report to Ghost. He was now a Viking. Ghost had him right were he wanted him. Now he knew the enemy, they had taken the first few shots. It was his turn to retaliate.

Author: Mr Jiggy✨(NifeWrites)

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