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Monday, 19 March 2018


That week went slowly and uneventful, and Ashi had to painfully count the days, hoping the weekend came early. At last, Friday came, and Ashi woke up earlier than usual, took his bath and made breakfast. Sete had made sure Ashi was posted to his room, and had also paid off the supposed third roommate, so Ashi and Sete were the two occupants of the room. Around 4pm, just as Ashi was rounding off his last lecture for the week, he got a text from Sete, asking him to come over to their usual Friday hangout spot at exactly 4:25pm. When he got that text, Ashi felt nervous. He was about to embark on a mission which would change his life and living, forever.
They met Kennedy, popularly called Ken or K-Boy seated on a chair with some boys surrounding him. Ashi admitted to himself that the boys were fresh, in fact, freshness was an understatement. They were all gentlemanly, with cute ladies around them. From their clothes and books, Ashi realised some were Law students, some Medical students and some, political science students. He noticed Kennedy was an Agric student, judging by the way he talked about plants. The guys and ladies joked and Ashi felt relaxed.
After Sete and Ashi exchanged pleasantry with them, they sat on adjacent chairs, and soon afterwards, a pretty lady came to take their orders. While Sete asked for Alomo Bitters and Jedi, Ashi ordered for Malta Guinness. Kennedy who had been observing Ashi since he entered protested.
'Wetin happen na bros? Why you wan spoil my table? Sete where you for see this bros come?' Kennedy said jokingly.
'No mind am jere K-Boy, him see correct men, him liver cut. Make them bring one Guinness Africa for am first make him body enter factory reset', Sete replied. They all laughed and continued gisting about how hectic their week was.
When the ladies left, and Sete felt the atmosphere was good enough, he told Ken softly, 'bro na this my guy I carry come o'.
'Wetin do am?' Ken asked rather jokingly.
'Him wan fine bros, I don yarn you for phone na', Sete replied.
'Him wan fine? Him ugly before?', Ken asked, obviously enjoying the joke while also observing Ashi's body language.
'Bros him fine, but still wan add to him finess', Sete said.
'This one?' Ken asked, his eyes sizing Ashi up. 'Stand up make I see you wella', he commanded Ashi. Ashi stood up and Ken sized him up from head to toe. He was impressed with his physique.
'Wetin be your name?' Ken asked in a polished pidgin English and Ashi almost laughed out loud.
'Asiwaju Alabi', Ashi replied. '
Asiwaju Alabi Pasoma? Bros I no ask for your nickname here, na your real name I dey ask', Ken said with a pissed voice as he took a long drag of his Cuban Cigar.
'Asiwaju is my first name, Alabi is my surname', Ashi replied weakly.
'Bros, that Asiwaju na for your papa house o, no be for here. You know fit be Asiwaju for my presence, abi u wan check am?' Ken said with a relaxed voice which calmed Ashi down a bit.
'You can call me Ashi then, my friends call me that anyway', Ashi said and shrugged. He loved and adored his name, and he wasn't willing to drop it for some boys he just met.
'Bros, no worry, when time comes, your name go show, mammy water go tell us', Ken said with a tone of finality.
'I have observed you since you came in here Ashi, and I can say you don't meet up with the whole criteria for becoming one of us. You are only handsome and bold, and maybe brilliant, nothing more. You don't look fearless, in fact, you look weak. If I were to go by the rules, I would have told you to Bleep off and try other groups', Ken said looking straight into Ashi's eyes. Ashi smiled and thought to himself, only if Ken knew him, only if he knew his story.
As if Sete read Ashi's mind, he quickly replied
'Kay-Boy, no reason am o, u know say u and I don dey, no be today, despite our different ways, I still respect you and your guys. I know fit give you lamba, this guy get potential o, na because you know sabi him story, na why you dey wenk him. You hear about that Snake parole na? For that church university for the other side? You hear say one small boy fall him rank, bloody am mercilessly? Na this Ashi be the boy o'.
'Sorry, which Ashi?' Ken asked looking doubtfully at Sete.
'This same Ashi of course, you fit confirm from your guys over there', Sete responded.
Ken looked at Ashi straight in the eyes and something stirred Inside him. 'Who trained you Ashi?' Ken asked.
'I was trained by a very rugged brother, he's late now tho, he was called Blade', Ashi said proudly and sadly.
Ken looked into his eyes again and was shocked! Blade was his maternal cousin, and he had witnessed his death, in fact, Blade died in his hands, at the General Hospital. After Blade's death, Ken had gone to the herbalist they shared and told him of his intention to strike back. The herbalist consulted the oracle and told him not to retaliate, however, someone else would. He further said, Ken and the 'someone' would meet, and there would be a link, which would be Blade. Also, on the day the 'someone' would be initiated, the heavens would cry, the herbalist concluded. Ken was happy but didn't show it, if Ashi was that 'someone', then he was ready to have him under his wings. He decided to continue the way he was to Ashi.
'Ashi, I hope you know what we stand for? I hope you know we don't involve ourselves in dirty stuffs like.. ' Ken was saying before Sete cut in.
'Abeg abeg abeg, we don hear, I know say you wan wenk my parole, but all men are rugged', Sete said jokingly. Ken had been fun of Sete since they met, and if not for Sete's earlier problems in life, he could have become one of Ken's guys. Ken even talked to him about cross-carpeting, but Sete refused, he couldn't leave those who helped him when others rejected him.
However, Sete remained close to Ken and some of Ken's guys. In fact, Sete was the reason Ken had not fought with the Blue Serpents yet.
'There's filling station beside Feather Fast Food by the second gate, go there early on Monday, around 8am, ask for Mr Chinedu or Mr Chi, whichever you remember, tell him from Kay-boy, he would attend to you', Ken said.
'What's with Mr Chinedu again?', Ashi asked frustrated.
'This organisation is officially in nature, and we follow protocols. Chinedu would give you some forms to fill, administer your entrance exam and IF you pass, would tell you to pay for the expression of interest form, that would be into a bank account by the way', Ken explained calmly.
'Sete, let him meet with Chinedu on Monday because very soon, as soon as mammy water gives signal, we would have our initiation, the date and time, I don't know, just get your friend ready', Ken said to Sete, who simply noded.
'Can I meet with Mr Chinedu today?' Ashi asked desperately.
'I told you we follow protocols here, today is Friday and he has closed, I'm sure he would be in Quilox by now. We attend to people from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, so wait till Monday Mr Ashi', Ken replied, gesticulating with his hands. He loved Ashi already, he could see Blade's effect on him.
Ashi finished his drink, brought out his wallet and wanted to pay. Ken laughed heartily and called him closer.
'Ashi, save your money for more pressing needs, I've got this', he said to Ashi, who nodded, stood up, thanked him and left. He couldn't wait for Monday to come. He didn't mind missing Prof Kolapo's lecture too, the first time he would be ditching class since he began his University education. He couldn't wait to meet Mr Chinedu and get the initiation over with.

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