Who was this man standing with the pastor at the entrance?
He has actually been a silent participant in the story from the beginning, but I was deliberately quiet about him because his role was not so prominent until now. His name was Yorma (not real name).
I met Yorma while I was at the reecption hall. You know how it is when a new student is brought to your class, and you all go stealing peeks at him/her. That was how staff members were coming to the office reception to have a peek at me under the pretence of checking out the notice board.
Yorma was one of those guys. He is dark complexioned, middle-aged and slightly on the brief side (actually very brief). He was one of the few bold enough to ask me questions about myself as I sat in the reception, and as soon as he realized I am a graduate of the university his church sponsors, his sense of solidarity hit an all-time high.
It was Yorma who helped me get on the bus, it was Yorma who silently assured me will get the place in the radio station because I was a Winner, and it was Yorma who followed me to the Secretariat to meet my friend. He was there when the strange guy arrived, and as soon as we went into the guy’s house to drop our bags, Yorma had run along to report us to the pastor, LOL.
He said, “yes sir, these are the girls. And they want to sleep in this man’s house. He claims he is a member, but I have never seen him in this Church…”
The man laughed, he replied, “sir I am a member.” he turned to Yorma, “but gentleman, you gave a testimony on sunday about…”
Yorma looked a bit taken aback, then he recovered and said, “yes I did, but..” At this point the pastor butted in. He greeted my friend and I, asked how our trip was and turned back to the stranger.
“urrm, my brother, thank you – you have done well. I believe there is a lodge for corpers in this town- I don’t know if you know where that is.”
The gentleman nodded and said, “I think I have an idea. I will take them to the place in my car.”
At this moment, it was getting to about 6pm in the evening and we still had no idea where we were going to sleep that night, or even where our peers were.
One thing was for sure, we weren’t sleeping over at that man’s beautiful duplex, and we never planned to. But Yorma had done a good job of sealing any chances we may have had if we changed our minds. From that day forth, “Boboh playfully called him my RADIO GRANDFATHER (to my face only though).
‘Boboh and I got into his car and we started driving. This was where we made proper introductions, he told us he was into the cement business (a thriving one from the looks of him, his car and his house) and bla..bla.
He suddenly said he figured we must be hungry, so why don’t we stop by a restaurant and grab some dinner before we head to the Lodge.
As for me, the darker it got, the more nervous I became. Scenes of rape, ritual killing esape and even more horrid thoughts kept flashing across my mind. ‘Boboh was like my mummy in that place, she was calm, confident and at peace. In fact, she was ready for the world – so I was not surprised she already had an engagement ring on her finger.
We arrived at this restaurant that had my belly singing The Hallelujah Rendition before we managed to approach the entrance.
It was finally our turn to order food. Me being my shy self (sometimes), I ordered simple jollof rice and chicken, with a bottle of Coca-Cola. My friend on the other hand had a field day with pounded yam and egusi, with ‘orishirishi’ meat (assorted beef). I kept staring at her secretly with big round eyeballs, but she totally ignored me. The man on the other hand kept saying, “please take whatever you want…”
At last, we got in the car and were bound for the lodge. It was pitch darkness.
At some point, he stopped the car to pick an additional friend, A MAN! My heart dropped, I said , “chei (African exclamation) the end has come”.
Actually, this man he picked up, was the one who knew the right direction to the lodge and as soon he pointed us there, he left. It was friday night, the man wanted to go and chill with his mates.
‘Boboh got out the car, followed by the man. He said he and ‘Boboh should go in and confirm if it was really the Lodge. I pinched ‘Boboh to hold her phone close, at any inkling of mishap I would scream for help, lol.
It was really the lodge anyway, and we went in – only to be squeezed with about 20 or more corpers in a bare room with perhaps 5 mattrasses on the floor. We ate what left of our take-away meal, tried to reach our peers on phone (to no avail) and finally slept off.
At about 2AM there came loud bangs and shouts, it was like pandemonium- it was. I woke in a frenzy and grabbed “Boboh, staring at the door.
To be continued….