Kunle’s untimely demise held green hostel to an emotional ransom for days. Everything just didn’t seem right. It became obvious by the moment that none of the hostel mates were going to see him again. At first they were all about what happened between her and Margaret. Okoro made them understand but it didn’t bring any relief, it simply caused them to grieve in a wilder manner. Kunle had gone over to flirt with her for old time sakes but that happened to be a bad idea. She was on a dose of marijuana and alcohol so snapping wasn’t difficult. She called him a coward, reached for a sharp edged iron that lay idle on the floor and drove it into his neck. Margaret brought back to life by the reality of what she had done screamed for help but it was rather too late. Kunle bled out profusely and all everyone could do was run into their rooms and shut the door or make way for their respective hostels. It is an instinctive behavior that students will get dispersed at the sight of blood than consider a rescue mission.
Few hours later the continuous wailing of the police siren woke everyone in the neighborhood up. It was already daybreak and that afforded some of the students’ courage to step outside. The police escorted by the chief security officer of the university asked some of the students what they saw and the ones who had the audacity to answer all gave similar accounts: Margaret. She was nowhere to be found, definitely not in her hostel. Kunle had only been dead for three hours. His corpse was a pale version of him. The blood from his neck had created a red pool on the floor of Inn Okun hostel. The object with which he was stabbed stuck to his neck. The policed examined the corpse and surrounding for observations and evidences. Students from all around the hostel were now fully gathered; majority discussing the incident and others Kunle’s personality.
It was a chorus of unharmonious tears when his lifeless body was lifted into an ambulance. More tears followed at night when a candle light parade was organized to mourn him. Rumours travelled and new revelations set in. Kunle was the only child of his parents. It was a truth that drove a wedge into the marrow of all that knew him. It was a big loss. Another young man lost to the wrong relationship. Some of his hostel mates attended his burial. The likes of Okoro, Chucks and Prof went an extra mile to pay their condolences to his parents. Chucks’ sympathy for Kunle’s mother as she sang a lullaby to the picture of his dead son caused him to cry. They experienced firsthand the travails of motherhood. Kunle Fucker was gone beyond grasp. Their customized t-shirts had captions like, ‘gone too soon’ ‘adieu’ and ‘a rising star has fallen’.
SADIST: even the deadliest person is scared of death. It is a sudden halt to the life chosen by you. No matter how unpleasant one’s life is the option to survive and exist outweighs death. A proverbial consolation however is that “it is better a dead child than a missing child”. That is definitely not the case with Kunle’s parents. Coming from a place where I had declared the war that claimed the lives of others it was a burden on me to realize that my decision had caused a similar pain to some family. I can pull a defense by saying they knew what was at stake but that would still be an excuse. Kunle’s untimely departure made me weep for myself. I was around when his cousin came to retrieve his belongings from the hostel. Stepping inside his room rushed upon me memories of the first time we met and through how we coexisted. Though we were always at friendly war against each other he had become my brother. He was a blissful flat mate.
I am not sure of how I caught the idea but I made it a personal vendetta to fish Margaret out. I put out a strike back bounty on her but no one came back with a useful detail. I didn’t give up but my anger soon became tender. At first my goal was to end her life, it soon became locating and handing her over to the police. I concluded that Kunle’s folks might encounter some peace from getting justice. Okoro didn’t stop cursing himself. Days after the incident he explained to me the guilt he felt,
“Chucks, I can’t help but think I brought his death earlier. If I had not talked about that party maybe he wouldn’t have remembered.”
I could sense the suffering in his voice so I did my best to help him forgive himself, “what will be would be, nothing is up to man.” I had never seen Okoro make a complete statement without an infusion of Pidgin English. It was a traumatic experience for him.
“For every effect there is a cause. I talked about the party, I gave him the alcohol. Perhaps if he wasn’t drunk he would have been rational enough to stay away from the devil that almost ended his life some days earlier,” Okoro wouldn’t let the guilty feeling go so I hugged him. He cried like a baby. The accumulation of everything bestowed upon me a sense of responsibility. I saw everyone in green hostel as a member of my family and purposed in my heart to protect them by all means necessary.
Tola was strength for me. Prof couldn’t help but write a tribute to Kunle that he pasted on the hostel’s notice board. It read:
“You were unto us a brother and friend. Your departure has caused a cloud of sadness to open and a rain of sorrow to come down. We only hope that our hearts will not be drowned by the erosion your absence has caused. The men miss you, the ladies miss you more. The tales of your humble soul and gentle gestures are far spread beyond the zones of this hostel. As you always desired to conquer, we will promote your legacy and conquer all that there is to conquer, beginning with ourselves. The memories we created together will forever linger in our hearts. May the arms of giant angels guide you into the hallelujah realm. Adieu Kunle Fucker!”
Life continued, we moved on. I was soon reminded that all that is hidden isn’t forgotten. I returned from the lecture theatre on a scorching Thursday afternoon to find Loko with a gun inside Tola’s mouth.
“I am here to make a deal” he said to me after ordering me to shut the door. Tola was vibrating with sweats pouring out from her pores and eyes tightly shot.
“What do you want?” I inquired like a man without fears. With a smirk on his face he pointed to the toilet in Tola’s room. I heard someone flush then reached to open the door. It was Margaret. She pulled a gun on me and ordered me to get on my knees.
“Yes. She gets to make the deal. The way I see it the odds are against you,” said Loko.
Same time next week.