“How far guy, be like say S.O.P meeting dey today o!” One of the two who threatened Fatimah and her friends informed the others about a meeting that was going to take place.
“Why na? Wetin happen? Abi kasala don burst?” One of them questioned.
Their class was also deserted of teachers. They had been having a meeting since the close of the morning assembly. God knew why things were uniform in all the schools in the complex – something important must be lurking!.
“Na Principo call the meeting because of them those Wahab guys. Be like say their own don dey too much” the former explained to his friend.
Another guy who had sat on the desk, catching views through the window he sat close to – came along.
“Wetin you say dey happen?” He asked.
“I talk say S.O.P meeting dey today. Principo na him call the meeting!”
The guy’s mouth twitched as though he would utter something that would get the two in front of him angry. He went out of their presence and sat on the desk he was before.
He looked out of the window and saw some few birds displaying their skills – acrobatics and forming some shape, in which, if one should look closely or one was related to the birds, one could read meaning into it. But he didn’t watch them for long as his mind took him off some events back.
He had been going to the bus-stop when someone bumped into him.
“Guy, you no see road? See as you jam me like that” he tried to stable himself from the stagger but he fell. He dusted his trousers that had got stained.
“God wan punish you? Abi you dey mad ni? You no dey look face?” Flew out his offender’s mouth.
“Na God go punish you. You jam me and you dey curse me on top. God go punish who you be!” He traded back.
The guy pushed him away soon as he cursed and he staggered some few steps backward before he regained his fitness. The guy followed swiftly with two blows (punches) to his chest. “Iya eh! Na thunder go fire you. Abi ori iya yi ni?”
He had traded words with a tout. Though, he was on the right but the tout didn’t see anything wrong in what he had done. Such touts often look for troubles even when they were far away from him.
He guided some few punches the guy threw at him but some found his face, his ears, jaw and nose. He was already sprawling on the ground bleeding when some people, about 5 other guys ran towards the scene to save him from passing out, due to the continuous punches his assailant was ready to launch at him.
“Hey hey hey! Fi’le now! You wan kill am ni” they shouted running towards the scene but his assailant took to his heels.
“Bros abeg help me. I no do anything for the guy. Him , him, him na him,…….” He pleaded already sober but was cut short by throaty sob.
“No worry. Sorry ehn! Wetin you do am?” One of the guys asked.
“Forget wetin the guy do that guy. Him no suppose beat am like this. Look how him dey vomit blood. Look him nose!” Principo which he hadn’t at that time, knew his name spoke, prepping his head up a bit, so as to stop the nose from bleeding.
One of 4 removed his handkerchief to clean the blood and held his nose.
“No worry. We know the guy, we go surely catch am” they had assured him.
He had not really suspected their assurance and didn’t know who they were. Though it happened to be his school mates but they were his seniors.
It had been when they started pressing him till he was invited to a party – which turned out to be a meeting of the S.O.P.
He became surprised the guy that had bumped into him was among those who camped round the fire. He wanted to launch at him but was restrained by the person who stood beside him.
“Guy, cool yourself down o. As you see so, you don come our midst and we go give you power!” Principo who was the head of the gathering said.
“We don dey watch you and as you be fine boy, we like you that’s why we wan help you. You go be strong man, no body go fit enter you the way Ukpaka enter you”
“We go make you fearless. No teacher go fit touch you. No student go even near your side. We go dey protect you wherever you like go – if you go join us”
He wasn’t sure of what this one was getting at but it meant something to him. Once he heard Principo uttered a long Salute of S. O. P and the gathering answered in an obscure way, he figured out what the gathering was.
He had sworn never to join anything cult and his mother had warned him sternly against it. He wasn’t going to join this people for anything, he said in his mind. Yet, remembering how he was beaten by Ukpaka, his mind swayed.
“Now make you show for middle.” Second in command said.
He walked wearily to the middle, very close to the fire and was instructed to kneel down, which he succumbed.
That was how he had been initiated into the S.O.P but now he regretted ever joining as tears strolled down his face – which brought him back to reality.
He looked towards the two others still discussing in the class and wiped his tears. He braced himself up, he was a man and a man, a real man shouldn’t be seen doing that – he consoled himself.
“Which time be the meeting?” his voice was bitter sweet. His face had changed mood. He was determined now.
“May be after school hour for School 2. But e fit be evening sha.” One of the two replied him.
“That mean say, we go wait till 5 be that o?”
“No choice brother! Principo say e important because of that David guy.”
“Ok, we go dey see as e go be” he concluded.
To Be Continued….