So, Ambradu’s plan to go bang Stephanie at home failed. What’s gonna come out of it?
“Ambradu, are you ready?”
“Yes, Mummy!” Ambradu called from his bedroom as he put his shoes on. Next to him on the bed lay his phone, with his WhatsApp open.
On his chats with Stephanie.
He had sent over a dozen messages since last night, as well as about three voice notes. All pleading for forgiveness.
As he sat there, looking at the phone, she was yet to answer any of those texts. Of course, the greater likelihood was that she wasn’t going to respond to them at all.
It was only after he got home, knowing he was safe and sound from the disgusting little vermin, that he realized he had left Stephanie to deal with the intrusion. And he didn’t need the brain of a genius to know that she would be massively upset with him. So he tried calling her to apologize.
She refused to pick.
He kept calling until she blocked his number from calling her.
Then he started with the messages. Somehow she didn’t block him there, but still refused to answer any of his messages.
Now as he dressed up for school that morning, the fright from the strange happening had subsided, but he was pretty pissed. To think that he had had the chance to do what he had been itching to do to her, only for those stupid insects to come out of nowhere and mess things up.
“F**k! I don’t know how what happened last night happened,” he grumbled to himself. “She was right there for the taking. Those sweet breasts, those legs, that fresh p***y. Mtcheww, ah! It’s so annoying.”
As he finished tying his shoelaces, he looked at his phone.
Still no response from Stephanie.
He sighed and folded his arms. “What the hell is going on, chale? Too much strange s**t is happening. It’s crazy. Weird dreams. Strange occurrences. How? What’s going on?”
Briefly taking a minute or two to ponder over the past few occurrences, a thought came to his head.
Remember that kid who said you’ll regret this? Didn’t all this madness start after that? Coz, you’ve never been in predicaments like this until now.
Ambradu shook his head and laughed. “Oh, naaa, can’t be possible. That jon little boy? Tweakai! Why, ibi juju he get or something? Kiddie like that? Oh, kai. It’s not possible. It can never be possible.”
Yep, it sounded ridiculous at that point. How would some scrawny little boy be behind all the stuff ongoing? A scrawny little boy who simply uttered some wishful words? Definitely couldn’t be the case.
But think about it. He’s not a familiar face around that area. How often have you seen him since the time you beat him up? Or even before then? And it’s not like it’s just you alone; the others have things going on too. All at the same time. Yo, this is more than coincidence, chale.
Ambradu placed his chin on his palm. Now that he thought about it, there was some form of truth to it. The three of them barely ever spoke about having nightmares or scary visions and trances. But within these past couple of days, all of them seemed to be experiencing some sort of strange misfortune.
What were the odds of he and Jake having something wrong happen on a test they were both fully prepared for? Why would the other two also suddenly be having weird dreams after his very strange one?
Suddenly, this possibility didn’t sound so stupid.
“Hmmmmm. Chale. It might be true ooo. Coz all this s**t is too weird to be just a coincidence…”
“Sorry, Mummy! I’m coming!”
Time for break.
As the students got out of their seats, ready to take full advantage of the next 30 to 45 minutes, one of them was Stephanie Owusu. Excitedly chatting with her sitting partner, she was looking forward to having a pack of the fried rice Aunty Zaida made so excellently.
Reaching the door, her partner noticed she had left her purse, so Stephanie waited as she rushed to go get it. As she waited, Ambradu approached her. He hadn’t gotten the opportunity to speak to her directly as she had come a little late that morning. But he just had to take a chance.
“Steph! Yo, Steph!” he called softly.
The glare she gave him was a fierce one. “Leave me alone,” she responded flatly.
“Stephanie, please. I’m sorry…”
“I said leave me alone!” she snapped, yanking her hand away from his. As her partner returned with her purse, she gave him another hard look, punctuated it with a crisp ‘mtcheww’, then walked away.
Ambradu stood there, ears on fire as he felt super embarrassed. That last snap of hers was pretty loud, so everyone in the class saw what happened.
“Ah, really? You make serious?” Faisal asked, looking very confused.
The Slash Kings were seated at their regular bench, with their leader in a clearly crestfallen mood. Jake had asked what happened, following the disgrace Stephanie had just dished upon his best friend, and Ambradu had proceeded to tell them about how what was supposed to be a grand night of biblically knowing Stephanie turned into the strangest and most frightening Wednesday evening he had ever experienced.
“Chale, this be one of the craziest things I ever hear for my life inside,” Jake commented, also looking as puzzled as Faisal. “Na plenty cockroaches like that diɛɛ, unless Fear Factor ooo.”
Ambradu shook his head. “Guys, I dey my bed top the whole night, I no dey understand. Up till now, I no dey understand. E check like some Goosebumps book matter bi. Like how? E no be just a number of cockroaches oo. A whole f**king army. Like some 10 or so still be someway give me, but this one, them go pass like hundred sef.”
The other two gasped. “Ei, how!” Faisal wondered out loud.
“Too weird, chale,” Jake agreed. “So that be why she bore you?”
“Yeah. You know me and my hatred for those things. I just flip wey I comot lef the house. I never tell am sey I get that phobia, so by now, she probably figure sey I be some coward or something.”
“Slowww, chale,” Faisal murmured. “After all the anticipation sey you go f**k am well well.”
“Mtcheww. Chale. Last night was the perfect opportunity. I strip the girl finish ooo, I dey come give am fire, wey chale, all this s**t happen. I still no dey get how all this happen. Still.”
Faisal and Jake gave off solemn Hmmms as they sat there.
“But chale, something else come my mind inside this morning…”
The other two looked at him curiously.
“Boys, this wana power we get over this area, inobi today we start. We dey show squad who be the bosses since last two years, wey notin ever dey happen. But chale, e come my mind inside this morning… you dey kai that kiddie we go beat for the uncompleted store inside like one and a half months ago?”
“The boy wey e diss we?” Jake asked.
“Yeah, yeah, I remember.”
“Chale, ever since we beat am, weird weird things dey happen for wana top. I know sey maybe e go be coincidence, but see oo, ibi early March wey we beat am. The next week norr, funny things start happen. I go write test wey suddenly, I black out. Jake go get some strange diarrhoea from somewhere. Some sexy daydream bi I dey do for my head inside, suddenly I dey car inside e dey go collide with tipper truck. You guys dey talk about strange recurring nightmares and s**t. Bird in the hole, choking in dreams, chale…
“I go fit be wrong. Inobi sey I’ve found the answer to our problems, but… me, I just start dey get feeling sey something dey go on behind the scenes, coz the way them dey happen… we for question things.”
Faisal was already rolling his eyes and shaking his head by the time he was done. Not the greatest of surprises. Once this had something to do with the supernatural, you already knew his opinion on it.
“Massa, massa, massa, these be pure coincidences. That be all. Hoh, this one too, you dey come attribute this to some metaphysical whatever whatever? Abeg, make we think. Blanking out be normal thing sometimes. Dreams too no be any serious eyi biaa, just wana subconscious e dey job as we dey sleep. Boss, forget all that transcendental s**t.”
Ambradu simply let out a quiet ‘Hmmmm’. He hadn’t expected anything different from this skeptic friend of his.
Jake shook his head. “Nahhhh, chale, I’d have to chalk it down to coincidences for me. Even though my reasoning be different from Faisal. Abi we know sey he no dey believe in all these things, but me, I dey believe. But I dey believe my parents dema prayers pass this. So for me, these all be random occurrences. Even if by some twist of fate, the kiddie in question get power, ma guy, power pass power! My mother ein prayers alone sef no go make e work.”
Ambradu remained quiet.
“Chale, Ambradu, forget that idea. Nothing dey go on. Ibi random occurrences kɛkɛ. nothing more than that. So life dey. Ups and downs dey inside. Inobi anything.”
He sighed. He hadn’t expected the boys to agree with him on this, and maybe it was a bit of a stretch. But… he just didn’t feel the same way they did.
It sounded far too easy to just chalk it up to chance. There had to be something more to it…
It was closing time, and he was seated with a forlorn expression on his face. One of his classmates approached him with a folded piece of paper.
Not saying a word, he nodded and took it, already guessing who it was from.
He opened it up.
I’m sorry, Ambradu, but for all your toughness, you’re really a weak boy. So you couldn’t stay and help me deal with the cockroaches? Such a disappointment. And you’re there saying you have a phobia of them. Give me a break. Please, I can’t deal with soft boys like you, so it’s over. Please stop sending me WhatsApp messages and trying to call me. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.
He sighed as he read the short but succinct break-up note from her. Shaking his head, he looked outside the classroom. His gaze was upon the path near Barnes Road.
The path where he and the others went to beat that boy. The boy who was now somehow occupying his thoughts.
Thoughts were running through his mind so hard, this breakup note would have to be processed later.
Was he just becoming paranoid and crazy, or was that boy truly behind all the madness he, Jake and Faisal had been having in bits and pieces?
Were his weak whispers that day as they walked out on him just the mere whimpers of a wounded kid, or there was more than what meets the eye?
Was all this bullying and harassment actually worth it?
I think things might start changing soon. And this is where it gets pretty intense. Second half to come in a week’s time, so stay tuned!!