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Sunday, 18 March 2018

STORY, SHOWERS OF MERCY CHAPTER 9

'Who are you and what are you doing here?' a short man with big eye glasses, who appeared to be the leader (pastor) of the people asked him. Setufe remained silent as he neither understood the language, nor know how to respond. The man kept asking different questions, and only what Setufe did was nod his head signifying he didn't understand them. He kept on staring at the people, taking a mental note of their number. He realized if he didn't communicate with them fast, they could tag him a burglar and descend on him. From what he had seen in Ghana, he would be lucky to leave that place with few slaps and punches, as lynching could be the main act, just as most African societies, where jungle justice was the popular act i.e. Kill first, ask questions later.
Setufe thought fast and decided to get their sympathy. He stood up and started crying, blowing his nose at intervals, and wiping his tears with the back of his palms. He was however surprised, when he realised his plan wasn't working. The people were unmoved by his actions and he didn't know what to do. He finally decided to talk, however, as he could not speak in English properly, he decided to introduce himself in French, hoping he would be lucky to have someone who understood French in their midst.
'Je m'appelle Setufe, Je suis Ghanaian'
On hearing that, the church members withdrew a little. Although, little Setufe looked hagard and unkempt, they still didn't believe his story, they thought he was a spy. Few months before then, a female beggar had come into the church for shelter and they had accommodated her. That proved to be a fatal error for them, as she killed their head pastor. The female beggar was a member of the dreaded Boko Haram group. Her plan was to kill the whole congregation, but somehow, only the head pastor died. So since then, the church members had been more careful about strangers.
The senior pastor on studying the look on the faces of other members, took a church bell and charged towards Setufe. The poor boy dodged him and ran out of the church premises, with the church members running after him. After a while, they stopped chasing him and headed back. On getting out of sight, Setufe vowed never to set his feet in such a place again. He had hoped that he would have at least, gotten shelter in the church, instead, he almost lost his life there.
He resumed his roaming about till he got to a place where some tough looking guys were seated and having a discussion. Setufe was scared, but somehow, the leader of the guys took pity on him and decided to help him. He saw a young and helpless boy in Setufe, and decided to make him smile again. That was how a group of cultists accommodated Setufe, took care of him and sent him to school. Setufe knew they all lived by the day, yet, he faced his academics squarely, and excelled.
They later named him Sete, as that was easier and faster to call, than Setufe While We're was narrating his ordeal to Ashi, Ashi couldn't help but shed one or two tears for him. Life was indeed cruel. He however, marvelled at how Sete's cult-family took care of him. Sete had the best clothes, nice shoes, and one wouldn't know he was a hustler. Sete didn't believe in God or His doctrines. He did think about it too; a God who 'took' his parents and watch him suffer in the hands of his aunts? A God whose children rejected him and almost killed him when he did nothing wrong, and only needed help? Sete felt he was better off without the god.
Ashi told him about his ordeals at his former school, and his quest for vengeance. Ashi indirectly asked to join cultism!
Sete told him he belonged to the Blue Serpents, and he was ready to help him become one. Ashi knew the Blue Serpents, they were Blade's worst enemy and in fact, they took his life while he was trying to rescue his friends from them. He would never join them, Never! However, he understood Sete, and would not blame him. A man's food is another's poison.
Ashi thought about it deeply again before he declined Sete's offer. He was not interested in becoming a Blue Serpent, he wanted something distinct, something purposeful. 'Well, I get boys wey be Vipers, you like that one?' Sete asked. 'Viper me? Baba no o, I nor want', Ashi replied. Ashi knew the Vipers were always blood seeking, thus, he wasn't interested.
'Wetin you con want gangan, boyscout?' Sete questioned, irritatingly.
'Baba, I bin want a parole wey go dey on code, wey no go dey involve bloodshed at all...' Ashi replied, gesturing with his hands, making Sete give out a mocking laughter.
'For this life abi another one? See Ashi, na boyscout abi Man 'O' War you fit join wey go pay you', Sete replied mockingly.
Ashi accepted his fate of not being able to get the fraternity which suited his mission and decided not to join those Sete listed. While he turned around dejectedly, trying to open the door of the room, he had a voice. 'Ashi wait', Sete said. 'I think I know what you want, but I'm scared. Promise me you would never sell me out', Sete said fearfully.
Ashi turned back to see a visibly shaken Sete. He was surprised. How can Sete be this disturbed? What was he hiding?
'I promise NEVER to sell you out Sete, I've taken you as my brother, and that you would continue to be. You should promise never to sell me out too', Ashi said.
'Well, I promise', Sete replied. 'There's this parole in campus, we don't know them by face, we only feel their hits whenever it happens. We've never seen them fight, and some people think they are just club boys, however, men like us know they aren't. What we know is, they attend their classes regularly, have the best girls in campus, have the best rides, throw the best parties, and also, have the best result. I learnt to be a member, you must be handsome, brilliant and intelligent, three qualities you possess already. The problem is, we fear them, as we don't know how many they are, and how they operate. We only know 'THE FINE BOYS' like we call them exist', Sete concluded still looking scared.
'How do I join them?' Ashi asked looking straight into Sete's eyes.

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