Due to what he had thought extensively about the other day. David had decided, it was time he stopped being the tough person he was. He had reasoned he was the only son of his parents and wouldn’t want to see them suffer. They had tried in their own little way, though, they had not brought him up through his adolescent. They still made sure he was being helped by someone related to them at the village – so he could attend a school.
Not until he had been brought to Lagos to stay with them had they ever spent their money to see to his education in their Badagry village. Now, he lived with them and they were trying all they could to make sure David at least finished his secondary school and if he could secure a job that would aid him to save for Higher Education after it, they left it for him to decide.
He had also not been idle since he came to Lagos some few weeks ago. He had been introduced to the Boat Riders’ Association Onikan. He had learnt to row and handle a boat in his years at Badagry and so, wasn’t a novice to the job.
He got tested for the first time and had passed the test. He was given license though not official as in an ID but just facial recognition and all – to commence work plying Onikan to Jetty/Tarkwa-Bay. He was to pay monthly delivery of some stipulated amount at the office of the association while the profit he made was his.
He had been successful since he started and had been of a helping hand to his parents. Although, school days were often tight for him, as he was only able to work when he came back early from school. But on days he didn’t arrived before 6pm when the boat would have closed. He had to sleep at the Onikan shore with his new tribes-men he had made friends with.
He sat with the gatemen at the Abacha Estate that was close to their school gate. He witnessed everything that happened in his class concerning Bala, the Head boy and his colleagues. He had not put mouth or intervene because of the decision he wanted to take but he seemed he was waiting for the fight.
He had made friend with Baba 70 some few weeks ago and had find him to be someone fearless as he is. Izu was also his friend yet not as close as Baba 70 was to him. He had decided he would wait around and see what would happen. He was going to make sure nothing happened to his friend.
However, he had thought it that, if Bala should involve his friends, there was bound to be something that would make him boil because he expects the fight to be just four people – two against two and no one else would be involved. He knew Baba 70 would surely beat the Head boy but he was adamant about Izu’s ability but he felt, no matter how Bala could try, Izu would surely give him some good run for his power.
“A`boki abeg, you get water?” He asked from a small kiosk that was adjoined to the gateman’s house.
He collected it from the A`boki and went to a corner. He washed his face and hands thoroughly. It seemed as though it had meaning. May be his priest had advised that he did that, no one knew but he washed his hands – as if performing some curious and lacking procedures’ ablution. After which he removed his ring from his pocket.
“After today, I no dey use this ring again or all the Jazz wey I collect for village – and no more trouble. I wan face my life as I still get many things wey I wan do than to dey use jazz. The thing fit backfire one day,” he said to no one in particular. Perhaps he were running mad little by little.
He went back to his seat and waited but when he started seeing people running back from the bus-stop. He became alert. Had the fight started already without his knowledge? But he wasn’t sure may be Izu and Baba 70 had passed this way. He wasn’t sure about Bala and his colleagues too. He looked to have took notice about those who passed by for long.
He stood up and decided he was going to ask someone but no one waited to answer him and people scampered for their dear lives. He was amused at the way people were running without even something in their pursuit.
“Why una dey run na?” Their was smile on his cheek. They hung their for a moment.
Then suddenly he saw Bala and his colleagues racing with full speed than he had seen people run on a normal day – when something was in their trail. Say when policemen were after a hoodlum! Or when mobs were after an armed-robber. Their legs were so high, it felt they ran more than the speed of sound. On a fair play, the sudden circulation of gas, diffusion.
He wanted to grab hold of Bala as he sped pass him but rescinded. He wasn’t sure now of what to do. He didn’t even know what was making people run. He thought at once about Izu and Baba 70. What about them? What if they had been harmed by these people racing away. Assuming they had, he thought, why were they running? He hoped nothing beyond what he was thinking about has occurred.
Swiftly, he opened his bag and removed a sheath from it. In the sheath was contained his knife. He caressed his ring and brought it to his mouth – then whispered some incantation in his native dialect. He threw his bags at the wall and decided he was going to face whatever was coming. He was going to know what was making people run. He needed to know where his friends were and what had happened to them.
He braced himself up and without fear, he raced towards the bus-stop.
To Be Continued….