Publisher: Cosmopolitan Books Services (www.chosmobooks.com) 2014
Pages: 140 pages
What is the finest definition for the word freedom? Or how is it to be measured? Abigail and four of her very good friends would soon find themselves in a crossroad where this definition would become imperative. They had, all five of them been given provisional admission into a very prestigious university to study the course of their choosing. With this admission, they realized soon enough that they were now free from the usual parental guide and watchful eyes that was the hallmark of the various homes they had all come from. Capitalizing on this new found freedom and taking it as a license to explore the new world that was within the confines of a modern university campus, they had gone on rampage. However, it was in this world of theirs that they realized that with excessive freedom taken for granted comes is a price. Freedom is sweet but can leave in its wake bitter pills in the mouth if not handled with caution.
Adizah is the one that would drive the car….. Abigail is the one that would abandon Tayo, the love of her life at the party and leave without him….. Pius is the black sheep in their group of friends…. Glory is the indifferent yet scared one. Saidu is the one with intent to reveal their lethal secret….. Tayo is new to the group, is gentle and calm yet with a heart that can be described as a dark chamber of secrets.
November 5 will come upon all five of them….There is a secret that must not be revealed…..There is a Janus in their midst……..Intrigues, treachery, cover ups, lies and murder will are all that is next in line to happen…….…
“This one is a must read for every secondary school pupil in Nigeria who wants to pursue higher education in any Nigerian university”
-Cosmopolitan Book Service
By all standard of measurement, this was really black evening. So black that it seem a huge blanket with specks of holes in it had been thrown over the sky thereby revealing tiny dots of light that was the stars. Abigail rose lazily from bed and walked slowly to where her reading table and chair was in their almost crowded hostel room. She let out a mild yawn and stretched herself before sliding behind the reading table. She began to pore blankly into the books on top of her reading table. Her intention was to do some revision but she found this difficult because what she was seeing as she flipped through the pages was blank pages. The textbooks, with their beautiful fonts, chapter after chapter appeared blank to her. Eyes wide opened, she wasn’t seeing a thing. She would have gone into the campus to read like every other student in the room, but had decided the night was too cold for that. In light of all that had transpired these past days, she could not afford to further expose herself to the element on this coldest and darkest of nights. She was still in a state of trying to bring herself to doing some revision when she suddenly began to have this weird feeling of being watched. Someone was lurking around the corner and was watching her. She felt this numbness so hard that she turned her face sharply to look in the direction of the dim entrance to the room where she thought she saw someone skulking in the dark. She froze as she did that. Tayo suddenly appeared and stood in the doorway, both hands against the doorframe, his lanky frame rigid and dark eyes now locked on Abigail’s eyes. His visage now like that of a mischievous cat in the dark, he was holding an impish smile like one posing for a camera in preparation to shoot a horror movie. At first Abigail was scared to death before she realised it was a stranger with some mortal intent but Tayo.
“Tayo!” she called in a scared tone.
“So it’s you? For how long have you been hiding there watching me?” she stammered. Tayo took a step forward to where Abigail’s bed was. He didn’t say a word but picked up her Bible sitting near the pillow and began to flip through it childishly like a kid who was fascinated with a new toy.
“How did you gain entrance into the hostel Tayo? It is and this is not visiting time” she asked.
“Not to worry baby, I bribed my way in ok. The Porters are hungry old men who could use some nairas and so I capitalised on that” he replied smiling. Abigail let out an anxious smile.
“Well, if it is apologies you came here to offer, then it is accepted. Goodbye, see you some other times. Byeeeeee….I have to do some revision” she said as she softly pulls the Bible from Tayo’s hand and began to gently push him towards the door through which he had come.
“Baby listen, we have to talk ok. We really have to”
“Please Tayo, not tonight ok. I am not feeling too well ok. Don’t worry I have forgiven you since before now. Please go, I need some time on my own”
“No! I am not going anywhere till you listen to me” Tayo insisted sharply.
“We have to talk and it has to be now!” he added with a force that carried with it traces of command, his eyes narrowing into an accusing stare.
“Ok then, let’s talk. Talk” Abigail said as she retired to her bed and sat on it.
“Baby, I know your secret, all of it” Tayo let the bombshell drop. Abigail felt a cold stab of pain in her chest as if someone had stuck an icy pin into it at the mention of those words by Tayo.
“What did you just say?” Abigail asked, disbelieve written all over her as Tayo continued to star accusingly at her. Her throat suddenly became dry. A massive headache tore sharply through her head and disappeared almost immediately as if electric voltage from a live wire had just been passed through her spine.
“I know the secret you and your friends have been keeping from me” Tayo repeated.
“But, b- b- but… how did you know? Who told-” before she could stammer out those words,
“You want to dump me right? You want to dump me for Pius. That’s your dirty little secret isn’t it?” Tayo accused. Abigail let out a huge sigh. A massive relief descended on her like a huge downpour of heavy rain. Tayo’s words sent a huge wave of relief sweeping through her body. Comforted that Tayo didn’t know their secret after all, Abigail almost burst out laughing, but she restrained herself from doing so.
“Just listen to yourself Tayo. You just lost a very dear friend and look at the kind of thoughts going on in your mind.” She said to him in a soft tone that is intended to sober him. Her words achieved that aim and spot-on to her intentions sobered Tayo as if it was the very first time he was hearing of Jide’s death. He now bowed his head. Abigail drew closer to him where he was standing and took him in her hands in a loving embrace.
“Look here Tayo” she said to him
“I love you so dearly, even with your weaknesses that nothing in this whole world will be able change that” she added. Tayo sighed and kissed her passionately. They remained in each other’s loving embrace for up to two minutes, before,
“Ok, Ok. Time up. This is a hostel lover boy. Time to leave. Byeeeeee, I will pay you a visit tomorrow” she said breaking free from his embrace abruptly and pushing him, albeit lovingly, to the door for the second time. She knew for sure that, with the kind of love she has for Tayo, if he stayed a minute longer than he had already done, she would break down and tell him about November 5. And all of their secret and what happened on November 5. About the secret which It was best he left at once she decided. Ignoring Tayo’s protest, Abigail pushed him out of the hostel room. Outside the hostel room now, they both kissed each other goodbye and Tayo left. Abigail returned to the coldness of her hostel room.