I still had a few hours before I met the man who had turned my life into a mess. In those few hours I planned to end his hold on me. Jones, the guy Tade linked me with had agreed to meet me. He was a little too enthusiastic about the meeting, I wondered why. I assumed that Creep would be busy preparing to meet me he would not follow me around so I met Jones in an open place. He was already waiting when I entered the cafeteria. He was a little more laid back than he was on the phone – scared maybe.
“Thanks for meeting me Jones.” I said as I took my seat. “I was surprised that you agreed to meet without knowing who I was.”
“I know who you are.” He said.
“You do? How?” His face was somewhat familiar but I could not place it.
“We met during a lecture a couple of years ago, you probably won’t remember. So why are we here exactly? I’m curious.”
“Okay, straight to the point. I need to ask some questions about Mr Tunji.” I said. He looked up at me, surprised. “Why?”
“I heard what he did to you a while ago and he looks to be doing the same to my boyfriend.”
“Your boyfriend?” He asked.
“Yes, my boyfriend.” I answered.
He looked away for a while. I could not read his face or understand why he was quiet.
”Jones?” I called after a few seconds of waiting. He looked back at me.
“What do you want to know about Mr Tunji?”
“I hear he set you up for exam malpractice. There had to be a reason why he did, right?” He looked me and paused again.
“Okay, I’ll play along.” He finally said. “Of course there was a reason. It was a girl. He liked her, she liked me.”
”Okay, but how did you know about the girl? Did he confront you?” I asked.
“Yeah, he did. Does Mr Tunji like you?”
It was my turn to pause before answering. I doubted that Mr Tunji even knew me but then he could be acting for Creep.
“He has never approached me, so I’m guessing that he doesn’t.” I said.
“So why is he after your… your friend.” He asked.
“You mean my boyfriend? That’s what I’m trying to find out.” I said. “So how come you were found innocent?”
“Well, I was innocent.” He answered casually.
“I know, my boyfriend is innocent too, I just need to know how Mr Tunji was found out.”
“I was lucky, I guess.” He said. I knew he was hiding something. He was so enthusiastic to see me and now wasn’t talking?
“Come on Jones, I really need your help here. My boyfriend could be in a lot of trouble if I don’t figure out the issue with Mr Tunji.”
“Why do you think Mr Tunji is your problem? Have you considered if this perfect boyfriend of yours actually did it?” Jones asked.
I looked at Jones again, there was something wrong about this guy. “Do you have something against my boyfriend?”
He scoffed and looked at me. “Look, Mr Tunji is a snake. One of those lecturers that will get what they want when they want it.”
“Yet you won against him somehow. I just need to know how and don’t tell me it’s because you were innocent.”
He stood and smiled. “Like I said, I was innocent. My advice to you, look for somebody a little more connected to help you.”
“What do you mean by that – someone more connected?”
He smiled again. “Just my advice. I’m sorry I can’t help you. All the best.”
He walked out while I stared at him. I had put a lot on my meeting with Jones, now I had to meet Creep with nothing. I hurried to my hostel where I was supposed to have met Dave two hours ago. I hoped he would still be there and he was. I jumped into his open arms and cried my heart out on his shoulders. He did not say anything for a while, just rocked me.
“Where have you been?” He asked, finally. I told him all about Jones then he asked. “He might be hiding something, but why?”
“It doesn’t matter anyway.” I said and looked into his eyes. “Please leave school for a while, I need to fix this somehow.”
“No way! Where will I go? I’ll need to come back eventually and he’ll still be here.” He did not like the idea and I understood.
“This guy, Creep, is not working alone. He has someone strong backing him and it’s not Mr Tunji. I need to find who.” I said.
“And how are you going to do that?” Dave asked. “I need to be here to help you.”
“Dave, if you stay, he will get you easily.”
“And what about you? What will you do while I act the coward and hide? I’m not going anywhere.” He said and I knew it was final.
If he was refusing to leave I knew it would be a bad idea to tell him about my meeting with Creep that night. He would be livid. I looked at my watch, Creep could be calling anytime soon, I had to get rid of Dave.
“Dave, I have to sleep now, okay?”
“You want me to go?” He asked, surprised. I looked at him and my heart hurt. This is not what he bargained for when he asked me out.
“Yes Dave. I will call you later tonight or tomorrow morning.” I said and looked away from him. He shook his head and walked away.
My eyes stung with tears and I let them run free. One day, this would be over and I would make it up to him. Now that Dave was gone, I needed someone who could know my whereabouts when I went with Creep. I had only one choice: Dupe. I got to her room and found her on her bed, reading a novel. She watched me come in and turned away.
“Dupe, please I need to talk to you.” I said.
“Go and talk to your new boyfriend, you wicked backstabber.” She said and hissed.
“Dupe, I’m in trouble, I need you.”
“With all the boyfriends you have now, you still need me? Segun, Dave, Jones…you don’t need me.”
“Jones?” I asked, surprised. “You know him?”
“Oh sure I do. Fortunately I’m not dating him so you can’t use him to hurt me too.”
“Dupe,” I knelt on her bed and pulled her arm. “Stop it! I told you I’m not dating Segun! What do you want from me? An oath?”
She looked up at me and I could tell she was not angry with me, I was just an easy target. Segun was the one she wanted to scream at.
“Look, like I said, I’m in trouble. I’m meeting with Creep tonight.”
She sat up. “Why on earth will you do that? It’s dangerous.”
I explained everything that happened with Dave and the deal I made with him.
“What do you want me to do then?” She asked.
I wanted her to come with me, I needed someone else to identify Creep in case things went wrong for me.
“That’s crazy! No way, am I going to that. I could get in trouble too, why don’t you call Segun? He’s a guy, it’ll be better.” She said.
“Are you sure about that?” I asked. She nodded. I brought out my phone and dialled Segun. I did not want him anywhere near me but I had no option.
Thirty minutes later and Segun was with us.
“Hello Dupe.” He said trying to hold her arm but she walked away.
“Why am I here?” He asked me and looked at his watch.
“Why? You have a place to be at?” I asked, I could not hide my disdain.
“No,” He said. “Our last conversation did not indicate that you would ever call me again.”
“Well, I’m meeting Creep tonight.” I said. “I need you to see his face in case anything happens to me”
“That’s crazy. I don’t want to see his face and I sure don’t want him seeing my face.” He said, a tad too strongly.
“Oh, you will.” I said sternly. “For all the stupid things you have done to me and my friend, you will do this one right thing.”
“How do you even know he will show up?” He asked and took a seat beside me.
“Well, you’re here, we will find out together.” I said.
Segun waited and I waited, my body shivering with fear and anger. We waited and Creep my obsessed lover did not show up.