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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

STORY, SHOWERS OF MERCY CHAPTER 11

The weekend seemed to drag slowly, and Ashi was too anxious for it to end already. He couldn't wait to get the initiation rites done as soon as possible. Finally Monday came, and Ashi left his room as early as 6am for Mr. Chinedu's place. Sete didn't bother to stop him, as he was too tired from the overnight romp he had with Fiona, his new babe. He simply nodded and went back to sleep cuddling Fiona.
By 6:30am, Ashi was at Chinedu's gate. Having been informed by Ken about Ashi's impending visit, Mr. Chinedu had already prepared to meet him, however surprisingly, Ashi came earlier than expected. Mr. Chinedu at that point became suspicious of Ashi and immediately put a call through to Ken, asking if it wasn't a set-up by opposition frats. Ken told him to calm down, and attend to Ashi accordingly.
After some minutes, Mr Chinedu went to the gate and let Ashi in. 'Good morning sir', Ashi greeted.
'Good morning bro, how may I be of help to you this early Monday morning?' Mr Chinedu replied calmly. Mr Chinedu was a fair, handsome, well built man in his mid forties, but he looked like a guy of 28 years. He further glanced at his wristwatch and then to Ashi's face, hoping Ashi would get the message that it was too early.
Ashi didn't look disturbed, rather he smiled and apologized for coming that early.
'Bros, I'm Ashi, and bros Ken directed me to Mr Chinedu. I'm here for the registration', Ashi said the last part rather nervously.
'Well, I'm who you seek, but I don't understand the registration you are talking about. Course registration? SIM registration? Or what registration are you referring to exactly?' Mr Chinedu asked teasingly.
Ashi reasoned they were all fond of teasing intending members, as Ken did similar things to him earlier. 'Fine boys registration sir', Ashi answered shyly, hoping that would be the end of the tease.
'Fine boys? I still don't understand you sir', Mr Chinedu answered.
That was it, Ashi had had enough. He thought he went to a wrong place and brought out his phone to call Ken. Unfortunately for him, Ken only collected his number without giving him his'.
When Mr Chinedu saw the confusion on Ashi's face, he laughed and patted his shoulder.
'Come with me boy, but you would have to wait till 8am, that's the opening hour' he said.
Ashi followed Mr Chinedu into the building which looked like a flat. They entered a room which served as the reception/office and Mr Chinedu switched on the light. Ashi looked round and he saw a beautifully designed banner with the inscription 'ANGELS OF LIGHT' on it. The symbol was a white angel holding a lantern on its left hand, and a sword on its right hand. Below the symbol was written 'May The Angel That Shines Light Unto Your Paths Fight For You'. Ashi memorized those words and sat on a leather chair, on the instruction of Mr Chinedu. The room was designed and painted white; from the wallpapers to the floor tiles, everything was white. Ashi became uneasy, he was convinced he was at the wrong place. The plan was to join the 'Fine Boys' and not an official structured club, like the one he was in their office at that moment.
Mr Chinedu searched Ashi thoroughly and then collected his IDcard and also warned him against taking pictures of the place. He told Ashi to relax and wait till 8am.
At exactly 8:05am, Mr Chinedu walked into the room with fifteen other boys of Ashi's age. Ashi realised they were there for the same reason as him, he smiled inwardly.
Mr Chinedu gave everyone a form to fill (in order of arrival). Written boldly on the form was 'ANGELS OF LIGHT', and there were two parts to be filled in the form. The first was the biodata section and the other was the intent section.
Ashi looked lost and had to speak out. 'Excuse me sir, I think I have the wrong form. I am applying to join the Fine Boys, not Angels of Light', he said.
'Are you sure Kennedy directed you to me?' Mr Chinedu asked Ashi.
'Yes he did', Ashi replied.
'Then do as I say and fill the form. Also fill this'. He said and gave them all another form which entailed the association's bank account details. After the computer based exam, successful applicants were to take the forms to the association's bank and pay for the form they filled, called Expression of Interest form.
Ashi was confused more and he took out his phone to call Sete. He called Sete twice without Sete picking up and he became more frustrated. Just then, a strange number called him and he thought it was Sete calling back.
'Hello Sete, na puna make una ditch my calls bah?' He asked furiously.
'Hello Ashi, this is Ken', the cool, calm voice Ashi heard, said.
'Good morning bro, sorry I thought it was Sete calling', Ashi tried to apologize.
'Never mind man, it's nothing', Ken answered.
'Bro Ken, thank God you called, I've been thinking of how to reach you. It seems I'm at a wrong place o, no sign of fine boys here, just Angels of Light. Abeg I no wan miswaka', Ashi said sadly.
Ken couldn't help but bust into a loud laughter. 'Do what Mr Chinedu asks you to do accordingly, you are at the right place, comport yourself. I never told you our name is 'Fine Boys' na, outsiders like you gave us that name. Who no come no go know who we be na. Angels of Light are who you wanna join, is that clear?' Ken explained.
'Ookay sir' Ashi felt relieved.
'Meet me at Fresh Fish Bar by 4pm today, ask for inner room 2, you would be directed to where I would be. By the way, stop calling me sir, call me Ken, just Ken. Also know your initiation comes up later this week, remind me to tell you more when we meet', Ken said and ended the call.
Ashi filled the forms and went for the test. It was a tough test as it tested his brain thoroughly. At the end, Ashi and 7 other boys passed, while the remaining boys who failed were told to contact their 'sponsors'.
Ashi then proceeded to the bank to make the payment. Immediately he entered the banking hall, he showed his teller to a security man, who then directed him to the office on the last floor to meet Mr Josh.
Mr Josh collected the teller and accompanying form from Ashi, stamped and entered his details on his computer. He directed Ashi to pay at the counter and come back for his printout. After paying, Ashi went back to Mr Josh who handed him his copy of the teller and a receipt.
'Welcome to the organisation brother, may the angel that shines light unto your paths fight for you, rugged fine boy', Mr Josh said and smiled.
Ashi was surprised, he was surprised that a campus frat could be as organized as that, he was surprised big men and career guys belong too. He was grateful to Sete for making him see the light.
********************************************************
Ashi got to Fresh Fish Bar before 4pm, he didn't want anything to affect his desire. Maybe the timing was a test, he thought, and as far as he was concerned, he had passed. He took a seat at a corner and ordered for a chilled bottle of Heineken. Since he started moving with Sete, they had added all their monies together, and in truth, Ashi had more than enough money to spend, so he wasn't feeling the impact of the money he was spending. He knew they had more left, so no cause for alarm.
At exactly 4pm, Ashi asked for Inner Room 2, where he met Ken seated alone, looking serious. Ken spotted a white Polo Ralph Lauren T-shirt, with some faintly crafted yellow design on it. Ashi felt the urge to ask if the fraternity's color was white, but he overlooked it.
'Omo, you don dey step up your game o, na you dey drink Heineken without being shy?' Ken asked, as Ashi sat beside him.
'Barman, abeg refill my table abeg, give me two bottles of Kasaprenko and 4 bottles of Heineken. Also bring two plates of catfish pepper soup, just the way I like it', Ken ordered, flashing his trademark killer smile.
'I hope Mr Chinedu attended to you well?' Ken asked.
'Yes he did, although at some points, I thought it was a wrong parole', Ashi replied, gulping his drink.
'Ashi, we operate as a formal organisation, in fact, we are registered with CAC, we no be bread and fish confra o. However, we aren't a boys scout group, we are a serious fraternity', Ken said boastfully.
'Oh I see, everything just dey make sense now. I just can't wait for the initiation', Ashi replied.
'Don't worry, you go soon belong. That reminds me, the initiation comes up in few days, so be prepared'. Ken said, looking at Ashi's body language.
'So soon?' Ashi said nervously.
'Yes o, mammy water never pick date yet, but e go be this week. Abi you don dey fear already?' Ken asked jokingly.
'Fear Kwa? I no fear bros, nothing fit shake me. In fact, I wish it were now, like right now. I just can't wait', Ashi replied eagerly.
Ken had stopped laughing and was looking at Ashi. He saw a young Blade in him. Blade was also nervous, clumsy and impatient when he was younger. Ashi was just like a reincarnated Blade. He only prayed neither of them would die untimely, like Blade did.
'Ashi, when you get to your room, tell Sete to help you pack for initiation, he knows what to do. Whatever he misses, I would get for you. Call me immediately you are done packing, I would come pick you up, you would be with me till the end of the initiation', Ken concluded just as the pepper soup and drinks were brought.
'Bro why that fast?' Ashi asked.
'Do you think you are about to join the boys scout? Alaye, this isn't a child's play, you must be prepared well for the initiation, else mammy water fit carry you go. I would personally have to see to your preparation, and also give you the required orientation. Never mind, you are safe with me. Just make sure you learn everything by heart. Also, I would make arrangements for you to be dropped off for your lectures and be picked up afterwards, so don't be scared. Do you understand?' Ken asked with a mean voice.
'Sure, I do. Thanks bro, I'm grateful. I owe you one', Ashi replied.
'I'm sure you do', Ken replied and started devouring his pepper soup, while Ashi did the same. They had fun for few more minutes before they departed, with Ken dropping Ashi at his hostel to get prepared.

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