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Saturday, 24 March 2018


'Who you be? Wetin be your identity?' One of the guys asked Ashi.
'I am Asiwaju Alabi', Ashi replied more calmly this time, going on his knees immediately.
'Who taught you to lower your height when speaking to senior Angels?' Another guy who was impressed asked Ashi.
'Nobody sir, I just say make I respect my ogas ni', Ashi responded.
'Ookay, so you be Asiwaju shey? Asiwaju of where? For where? And to who?' Another guy said mockingly, and others laughed.
Ashi felt embarrassed again, he wondered why people were fond of making mockery of his precious name.
'Sorry sir, you can simply call me Ashi', Ashi said.
'Thunder fire your mouth, who you be to dey give us orders?' The 'abroad' looking guy said angrily.
Ashi felt he had had enough and he got up angrily.
'I said Asiwaju is my name, what else do you want? My life?' Ashi said angrily.
For a while, there was silence in the room, and all of a sudden, Ashi felt three stinging slaps on his face. The slaps came from the back and Ashi didn't see them coming. It was when Ken hissed that Ashi knew Ken had just slapped him. Ken expected more from Ashi and was disappointed, thus, he had to slap him.
When the tension subsided a bit, ASK stood up, carrying his red cup and faced Ken.
'Mi broda, where you for carry this one come?' He asked Ken who didn't reply. AK then faced Ashi who was back on his knees.
'I be AK D Shooter, and I psycho gan. If I para small, nobody fit wait. Who you dey galiba for? I fit make you dey for 6 feet now, and nothing go happen', AK thundered at Ashi.
Ashi kept staring at AK and AK felt insulted. He charged towards Ashi but was held back by a slim guy who didn't comment throughout the whole ordeal.
'Calm down AK, you shouldn't be dragging issues with him, no de-rep yourself', the guy told AK and AK left Ashi alone.
'Do you know where you are? Guy na Angels of Light territory you dey o, and I am someone you don't want to mess with. We are honorable and respectful guys, we aren't rude like you. If you want to sail through the initiation process, you must work on your temper. If not for Ken, my good friend, I would have requested you screened out. For your information, I am Jidenna, I'm not from your school as you can see, but I can stick with you like a shadow. I won't say more than that', Jidenna concluded.
Ashi prostrated and apologized, promising never to be rude again. Ken then called in Flash and instructed him to take Ashi to where OTHERS are. Flash blindfolded Ashi immediately, and led him to a big room, where other intending members were being kept.
The scream of pain brought Ashi back to reality. It then dawned on him that the initiation had started. He was scared, but when he remembered that Sete told him to come back alive, he braced up for the worst and toughened up his spirit. He was going to be tortured for a short while, he consoled himself.
'Flash, why this guy dey come in just now? Wey porous don almost end?' Tyson, the guy torturing the intending initiated asked.
'No vex bro, them Senior Angels been dey drill am ni, and him don too collect for there', Flash replied.
Flash knew lying was a serious offence, but he had to lie, to help Ashi. He didn't want Ashi to go through the pains he went through during his own time.
'No wahala, make I touch am small sha, at all at all na him bad pass', Tyson replied.
Tyson brought out his horsewhip and gave Ashi 5 quick whip. To his suprise, Ashi didn't flinch. For a second, they all thought Ashi had died, but when then felt him breath, they realised he was alive. Tyson made a mental note of giving Ashi hell the following day.
After a while, all the intending initiated were led to the dining room, where their blindfolds were removed, and their food served. Ashi ate in silence, and refused to chat with any of the guys. He was weak already, and needed to rest his body. He finished his food, stood up and Flash took him back to Ken's room. On their way, Ashi asked Flash why he covered up for him. Flash simply looked into his eyes and told him to brace up for days ahead. Ashi shook his head and went into the room, too tired to change his clothes.
Ashi laid on Ken's bed, reminiscing on what Jidenna had said. He wouldn't have forgiven himself if he had been screened out. He decided to be humble and patient henceforth. He thought of what Sete told him about coming back alive, and with what he witnessed that day, he knew Sete knew what he was saying. What if he doesn't make it alive? What would happen to his parents and Detoun, his baby pet? He then picked up his phone and dialled Detoun's number which she picked at first ring.
'Ashi trouble, Ashi stubborn, Ashi first poo', he heard her little sister scremed into the phone with her tiny voice.
'My baby boo, my love, my little cupcake', Ashi replied smiling. Detoun was his second love, while his mom was the first.
'Na wa o, you just forgot me shebi? Because you are in the university, continue o', Detoun accused Ashi.
'No vex Toun, I'm sorry, I've been so busy with school. I had a tough time settling here. How's mom and dad?' Ashi replied.
'They are fine, thanks', his sister replied. 'See brother 'Lana, Dad is mad at you o, seriously. He received a call from your former school, informing him that your suspension was over, and you are to resume next Monday o', Detoun concluded.
'My former school? That church university? Ashi asked, sitting up.
'Yes o, what did you get yourself into there?' Detoun asked inquisitively.
'See ehn, it's a long story. But wait, I hope they didn't tell him anything else about me yet? I mean what led to the suspension?' Ashi asked, hoping she would reply negatively.
'No o, they just said your suspension was over. However, they said he should come with you on Monday, to sign some documents', Detoun replied.
'Good. So is he going?' Ashi asked, knowing fully well that he was in big trouble. His father was definitely going to kill him slowly and painfully.
'Errmm I think he is going. He is angry you kept the suspension away from him. He even said he was going not to call you till he get to know your offence', Detoun replied.
'Detoun baby, you need to help me please. Make sure he calls me tonight, so I can explain things to him. Please talk to him for me', Ashi begged his sister.
'5000 naira', his sister said.
Ashi smiled and knew there was a solution already.
'Hanhan na, shebi it's just to talk to him. I'll send you 500 airtime', Ashi replied.
'You and who? No way o, it's 1,000 or nothing', his sister said defiantly.
'Good, I'll send it tomorrow, it's late already', Ashi said.
'Alright na, no shakement. Be good and expect his call soon', his sister said and dropped the call.
Ashi was still thinking when his father's call came in. He picked up feigning sleepy.
'Good evening sir', Ashi said yawning.
'Evening', his father said coldly. I received a call from your former university earlier today, informing me of a supposed suspension. Delana, what did you get yourself into? Why on earth would you get suspended? Why did you decide to punish me like this?' His father questioned, expecting his response.
'Dad, it's not what you think. I was suspended for not attending classes and chapel. And that was because I had left the school. My fault there is that I didn't inform the registrar of my leaving, so he thought I was playing truancy.i didn't see any reason for telling the school authority because I knew I wasn't going back. I'm sorry dad', he concluded.
His father thought about what Ashi said and believed him. He saw sense in it and blamed himself for being foolish enough to blame his son without listening to his side of the story.
'And why haven't you been calling home to ask for money lately? You have a job there already?' his father questioned.
'No sir, I've just been managing the little I have, as I do not want to bother either you or mom. I know you have a lot on your hands', Ashi replied. He had just won his father over. His father's weakness was Ashiwaju showing sympathy for them.
'Eehya, I have always known God blessed me with a good son, a son who has the interest of his parents at heart. Thank you. I would tell your mom to send 50,000 Naira into your account tomorrow, make do with that for a while. I would not be going to the school again on Monday, as there's no reason for it. Also, I would be busy with work. Please, be a good boy and always remember the son of who you are', his father admonished.
'Thank you sir, I've heard', he said weakly.
'Good night son', his father concluded and ended the call.
Ashi was more than happy. It was a close one, he thought. He wondered where the lie came from, as he had not thought about it before the call. He was however grateful to his sister for telling him about the messy situation early. He grudgingly stood up, took off his clothes, took his bath and drank a shot of Jack Daniels. Off he went to sleep. What a day it had been. Tomorrow is another day, he thought.

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