I woke up with a start, my eyes were wide open. I lay still, my eyes moved from one corner to the other. Where was I? I heard a sound close to my foot and I held my breath, I could hear my heart pounding. The sound continued; someone was moving. I waited for the movement to stop but it didn’t. I looked around without moving, I needed something to defend myself. I felt a touch on my leg, I stiffened. It was a hand, it grabbed my leg and I kicked as hard as I could and I heard a crashing noise.
“What the hell?” A voice screamed.
Lights came on all over the room and I gasped. One of my roommates was on the floor, her back against a cupboard and plates all over her. Oh no! I was in my room.
“What is wrong with you?” Subomi, one of my roommates said as she helped Joyce to her feet. I felt so foolish.
“First, you’re always talking and tossing in your sleep, now you want to kill me?” Joyce was absolutely livid.
“I’m sorry Joyce, I had a nightmare and I didn’t realise I was…” I started to say but stopped when I saw their faces.
Creep was taking over my life. He was obsessed with me and now was I getting obsessed with him?
“I’m sorry.” I said and stood from my bed.
I left the room; I needed to escape their stares and questioning looks. I wished I could just run away or just ignore all my problems and go back to my life. But I couldn’t do that, not now. I put Dave in trouble, I had an obligation to help him. Even if I didn’t, what was to stop Creep from touching someone else? I looked forward to the day I would be free from Creep and his problems but today was not that day. I had stuff to do.
I went back to the room, got my toiletries and headed to the bathroom. One hour later, I was out of the hostel. My first call was Dave’s department. I had arranged to meet one of his colleagues who could tell me about Mr Tunji. He was waiting by the time I got there. We walked to a park and sat at a spot I knew was sufficiently hidden. There was a chance Creep would see me with the guy and figure out what I was doing, I wasn’t taking that chance.
“We were all surprised.” The guy – Tade said. “Nobody ever thought Dave could do something like that”
“That’s because he didn’t do it.” I said before I could stop myself. I had no plan to tell anymore people about Creep.
“He didn’t?” He asked.
“Never mind, just tell me about Mr Tunji. Did he have any issues with Dave before this?”
“You think it was a setup?” He raised his eyebrow.
“Do you think it could be?”
“Well, I won’t be surprised.” He said.
I sat up in my chair. “Really? Why do you think so?”
“This isn’t the first time something like this is happening with him.”
A faint smile stole across my face, maybe this was going to be easier than I thought. “Please tell me about it.”
Tade went on to tell me how Mr Tunji had caught a student in exam hall cheating. The student had denied it vehemently. Of course nobody believed the student, especially as they found some papers on him. Still he maintained his innocence.
“So, why did anybody think he was innocent?” I asked.
“Well, we didn’t think he was, but then nothing happened to him.”
“Nothing? How?” I asked.
“I don’t know for sure but there was a rumour he was found innocent and Mr Tunji had to apologise.”
I could not believe it. Lecturers did not apologise for anything, not even when they were wrong. Something was off.
“I’m confused Tade,” I said. “If the guy was innocent, where did the papers come from? Why wasn’t Mr Tunji suspended?”
“I don’t know all of that. Like I said, it was a rumour.” Tade said.
I leaned closer to him. “Tade, do you think maybe Mr Tunji is a cult member?”
Tade opened his mouth in shock and looked around. “How am I supposed to know that? Are you trying to get me into trouble?”
“I’m sorry, I just thought maybe all these he’s doing is just intimidating people for his student cult members.” I said.
“I don’t know that and I think it’s time to leave. I think I’ve said enough.” Tade said and got up to leave.
“I know you have, and I appreciate it. But I have one last question; this guy Mr Tunji accused, do you know him well?”
“Not really. The class was a general course for the whole faculty but I think I can find out who he is.” He said and brought out his phone.
He called somebody and confirmed who the guy was. His name was Jones and he got me his phone number. I thanked Tade and he left. I looked at the guy’s number; it was better I called him straightaway; there was no time to waste.
My phone rang as I reached for the dial button; it was Dr Korede. I wondered if his call had anything to do with Dave.
“Aren’t supposed to be in my office with your project?” He asked, he did not sound pleased.
“No sir, my next update is not due till the 28th.” I said.
“Oh, really? And what is today’s date?”
I hurriedly checked my phone. Today was the 28th! I had no idea.
“I’m so sorry sir, I did not realise today was… I’m so sorry sir.”
“What is wrong with you? Are you still on that boy’s case?” Now he was pissed.
“I’m sorry sir, I’ll be in your office soon.” I said.
It was a lie. I did not have anything to show him because I had not touched my project in days. He was not going to be pleased. I buried my face in my palms and stifled a scream. What was I supposed to do now? I raised my head, I had to be strong.
My phone rang again, I was afraid to look at it. I had not received any good calls recently. I sighed and looked – it was Segun. I hissed and let it ring. He called two more times before he had the sense to send a text. I opened it and gasped.
Dave had been released and was waiting for me in my hostel. I grabbed my phone and ran out of the park. Oh, thank you God!
My phone rang and I slowed down to look at it; it was Dave. I answered as fast as I could.
“Oh my God, Dave I’m on my way.”
“Hmm, did you just call Dave God?” I ground to a halt, it was Creep. “That should be blasphemy, don’t you think so?”
“What do you want?” I asked, out of breath from my running.
“That is not the ‘thank you’ I was expecting.” He answered.
“Gratitude for what? Ruining my life?”
“Didn’t you hear the news? Dave is out, I have let him go. For now anyway.”
So that was true? I sighed, I thought somehow he had gotten to Segun’s phone too. Dave had to leave the campus for now.
“So, what do you want?” I asked.
“You’re really rude, you know? Anyway, now that I let him go, do you maybe trust me a little?”
“Trust you? A stalker asking to be trusted?” I laughed.
“Don’t ever call me that again.” His said, his cold voice sent chills down my spine. “You wanted to meet me, it’s time to do that. We will meet tonight.”
I paused, my head became light and I swayed.
“I’ll come get you from the hostel.” He continued. “If you play me, remember Dave still has an active case and you won’t be safe either. I promised myself I won’t harm you but if you try to harm me, I won’t have a choice, I hope you understand that.”
“Yes, I do.” I said. My mind was blank, I had no idea what to say or do.
“So, it’s a date then. See you tonight.” He said and ended the call.
I had a few hours before I had to meet him. I needed to see Jones, I needed answers, I needed help and I needed them now!