Sting could not sleep even though he was bone-tired. Bear had slipped a gun into his hand when he dropped him off just in case he needed it or he was attacked. Bear was sure the Royals would have suffered enough losses that they would not contemplate an offensive but it was not granted. He had to speak with the top boss to find what to do and do it fast too.
Sting stayed for the larger part of the night wondering how it happened. He played the event in his head over and over again and realized he might as well have been killed if he had made a mistake or something close to a mistake. He had kept the gun under his mattress where his hand could easily reach and he kept the light off just in case with his ears open until he drifted away into a well deserved sleep.
He was woken up in the morning by the crowing of the chickens owned by his landlady and even at that, his hand first reached for the gun. He peeped out of his window and saw that the sun was lazily coming out of its hiding place and he was hit by the first rays of the sun. His mind went back to last night and he made himself a mental note.
“Next time Wale invites me for a party, I am not attending, I don’t care whose party it is”.
He remembered that he had classes that morning but he was not in the mood. School is where there might be reprisals and police arrests. He was not sure if the hall had security cameras and maybe he had been caught on one. This was the time he had to think faster and think well. He picked his phone to make a call and Wale answered almost immediately
”Hey Sting, how are you doing? I hope you are fine today”. His reply was not with as much energy as the question.
“I am fine I guess. Just shaken up”
“Shaken up? Did anything happen after I dropped you off?”
“No man but I am scared, the police might be on our trails and the Royals might even be planning an attack. I don’t think I can come to school today”
Wale answered with a cool voice. “It has been settled. The police are keeping this quiet as the elections are close. We contacted those flea bags Royals and told them that any attempt to even look at a Skull sideways will result in an all out war and besides, with the number of men and ammunition they lost last night, they won’t even want to try it. Go about your normal business without worry but keep the gun I gave you save and hidden”.
“Okay man, I will be in school then”.
He reluctantly went to the bathroom and took his bath. Throughout the process of preparing for school, he wondered if the event of last night would just be swept under the rug, forgotten or would there be a backlash?
He took the gun from under his mattress and hid it inside his television set.
“No one will think of looking in there” he thought and he went out his door and off to school.
As he walked the 15 minutes journey to the bus-stop, he could not help but look at the faces of everyone he met on the way and he was scared. He kept thinking someone might recognize him from the club and point him out.
He got to the bus-stop and it felt like everyone was looking at him and he felt uneasy. After waiting 10 minutes for the bus a police patrol truck passed by, Sunday almost froze on the spot as his conscience kept going off and his imagination went wild. The patrol truck stopped in front of him and he almost ran when he saw that they actually stopped to pick up some bean cake on the road side and did not him. He wished he could just travel back home until this wind blew off and he felt safe again but lectures can’t be ignored like that, he had already gone for a week and asking Tayo to do his tests and assignments for him would almost be asking too much so he sucked it in.
Finally, a bus came around and he boarded while looking at the faces of everyone in the bus to make sure he was not recognized before sitting down. He looked at the green wrist band and something told him to take it off but he did not. He saw how much respect the wrist band got him the first time he wore it and he wanted that respect again.
The bus pulled up to the school gate and everyone was told to come down by the school’s security corps as they were all searched. The guys were searched by male officers and the females by a female member. Sunday avoided eye contact with them so his eyes will not betray him and suspect that something is wrong. When they got to him, he was still wearing the wrist band. He wanted to take it off again but realised if they saw him do that suddenly, suspicions might arise and he would be in trouble. He was tapped down and his bag was thoroughly searched. They demanded for the identity cards of all of passengers and when they were satisfied, they were all told to get back in the bus and continue.
The bus pulled into the park on campus and everyone alighted, paid and went their way.
He was heading straight to his faculty when he heard someone called his name.
“Sunday how far na?”
He turned around to see two of his classmates walking towards him. They also stayed off campus.
Handshakes were exchanged and before Sunday could remember anything else, they were lost in a conversation about their crazy “fluid mechanics” lecturer and his crazy lectures. A couple of jokes too and he forgot all about the previous night.
By the time all three of them got to class, lectures had begun and they were 15 minutes late, luckily, the lecturer had not taken attendance and they quickly settled down at the back of the class.
Stories of the clash hit the school that morning as some people who attended were the first to mention it at their hostels but the picture was not clear enough. All that was known in school was that there was a clash between two fraternities at a party held at a hall outside school premises. Different accounts were circulated and no one had an exact story. Everyone was just echoing what was told by the previous person. Of course, there were people who knew the truth, the members of the Skulls were briefed about what happened before and were told to be careful around them as there might be reprisal attacks from the Royals or the police might link them to incident and start making arrests. Whatever the situation was everyone should stay calm and not do anything sudden.
The Royals who had sustained the biggest loss in men and weapons could not do anything about it. The top members had been visited immediately by the police after the fight and brought in to explain what happened. Members of the Skulls were also present and the police commissioner who was not interested in seeing a full war had appealed to both parties to let it go. The Royals did not like the idea of being tossed around but with a lot of the people dead, a war against the Skulls was not a good idea, so they took it and licked their wounds.
The school authorities were also notified and they ordered that a search be conducted on everyone before entering the school premises to prevent anyone coming in with any type of weapon. The only people excluded were the agriculture students as they would use their cutlasses in the school farm and even they had to show their identity cards and sign some forms at the gate before they were allowed to bring them in.
A police patrol truck was parked at the gate with armed uniformed police men at the gate to watch out for any break down of security in any way. The policemen there had been told not to engage in a shootout but their presence was more of a show of force there as the commissioner had already met both parties and they had promise to be good.
At least for now.
(Mynd is a final year student of Mechanical Engineering at one of Nigeria's universities. When he's not busy being a nerd he spends his time writing, playing basketball, listening to music and laughing! You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org)