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Beautiful Colors of Sin 3: Literature : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Beautiful Colors of Sin 3

By: naijarian (F) |Time : October 15, 2016, 05:58:29 PM
I woke up the second day to the drone of Cindy’s big radio. Some people huddled around the gadget like lottery players waiting to hear the results that would make them millionaires. I yawned and stretched my neck which ached due to the awkward angle I had slept. The presenter on the radio was saying something and Sandra motioned for me to listen and I did.

It was reported that seven undergraduates of University Of Lagos were murdered in cold blood in their sleep and that the dastardly attack was perpetrated by some secret cult members from outside the campus. The culprits were suspected to have come from the neighboring Lagos City Polytechnic.

At the mention of our school the other girls looked at me with something in their eyes which I couldn’t place. My mind went straight to Austin. Could that be where Austin went when he said he was traveling? I sat down dejectedly, regretting the day I met Austin at the café. The newscaster continued but my mind was somewhere else. I became afraid of telling Austin off. It would have been easy if he was just a cult member but he was the captain. Who would have thought I would end up in that position? Someone turned the radio off and Bimbo asked me what I was going to do. I told her that I will give him his keys and start avoiding him until he gets tired and forgets about me.

We dressed up and went for lectures. Austin’s friends asked me if I had seen him or if he was back. I just walked away from them before anybody would see us and link them with me. I received my lectures and went back to the hostel. I cooked and ate, though the food tasted like sawdust and sat heavily in my tummy like lead, I finished it. At least it drove the thought of Austin off my mind for a while.

The other girls joined me later and asked if Austin was back and I said no. Some other friends came to visit but I just sat at a corner and listened to their conversations. The news was all over campus that the suspected cult attack was from our school. Another girl said two of the guys were caught by the vigilante group and one of the culprits claimed that the Rector of the institution was aiding and abetting cultism on the campus.

During this gossip, a lady came in and told us to turn our radio on. She said that someone said that Austin, the Black Crow was one of the two guys arrested. My heart missed a beat. I scampered off the bed and switched on the radio only to get the last bit of the closing music. I hissed and turned the radio off. I silently hoped and prayed that it was true. I decided to catch the evening news on radio or go to the Potters’ lodge to watch it on television.

My walk to the lodge was fast and I was furious all the way there. Everybody looked at me with suspicious eyes and nudged themselves as I walked past them. I felt uneasy. The television had just been turned on when I got to the lodge and the few people there looked at me with those silly eyes. I ignored them and concentrated on the screen instead.

When I saw Austin in handcuffs, my heart leaped for joy and gladness. Now I didn’t have to face him to say anything. It was all in the open. It reduced my fear. The reporter was saying something about the Rector being arrested. The man appeared on the screen and denied the allegation of his involvement in the activities of the cult group. I got up and walked back to the hostel, more relaxed and happier. The suspicious glances, low whispers and small talks were all what I could handle with the help of my friends. I didn’t let it bother me. I knew it would soon be over and it did.

I didn’t run into any of Austin’s friends for weeks and it was like they had all disappeared. I was invited to the SAO to explain my relationship with Austin. I admitted he was my friend but I didn’t know he had anything to do with cultism. The senior student affairs officer said I knew he was a cultist but decided not to say anything.
. I was therefore given a week suspension from lectures. I showed the letter to my friends when I got to the hostel and cried my eyes out. What will I tell my aunt when I get home? What will Sean say? These were the questions on my mind.
I gathered a few clothes and walked out of the campus. My aunt was full of understanding. I told her that I had learnt my lesson and promised to be more careful. I was glad she didn’t take it too seriously. It would have been terrible for me if she had.

When I got back to the campus after one week, the first person I saw was Austin. He called me as I passed through the gate but I ignored him and went to the hostel. There was nobody in our room when I got there. I unpacked my luggage and cooked some rice, Sandra came later. She told me that her dad died the third day I left and had since been buried at Nsukka, a town in the Eastern part of the country. She said she came back from Nsukka two days ago and that her uncle threw them out of the house when her mum refused to relocate to the village as they had suggested.

Sandra told me how her dad’s family had accused her mum of witchcraft. They even said she was the one that killed her husband.
“They said she had to drink the water that was used in bathing the corpse of my father in order to prove her innocence and when she declined, they sent her packing and labeled her an outcast and a witch,” Sandra said and tears started to fall from her eyes in spite of her effort not to cry. She said her mum had since rented a small room on a street close to their former house.

I was baffled, I knew the Ibos were very traditional and crude but I was amazed that it was as bad as Sandra had described it. I went to Sandra and hugged her until she stopped crying. She pulled back and wiped her tears.
“Cindy will kill me if she sees me crying like this,” Sandra said and smiled. We joked about that for a while.

When I saw that she was in a lighter mood I asked how lectures were and what I had missed. I told Sandra my encounter with Austin and to my surprise she told me Austin was released the third day he was arrested. She said the judge had said there was no evidence strong enough to convict him as charged.

“Austin came back into school with a car, Alice. A guy arrested for murder came back into the campus with a brand new car. Can you beat that?” Sandra concluded and hissed. I asked if he had come for his key and Sandra told me he had. She said they had given it to him just two days after his release. I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t in the mood to face Austin now or ever.

Bimbo and Cindy joined us later and we gossiped till late in the night. As I lay on my bed, I remembered what Bimbo said about politicians using these guys as political thugs, sending them to do their dirty jobs while they sit in the comfort of their offices and count the money the thugs brought. It was sad that the society had degenerated to that extent. The government had let us all down but we all had our path to play. I decided to start a group where we can enlighten new students as to what and what they can do in campus to while away their time without the violence. It turned out to be a very successful group and we soon become very popular and had our share of treats and enemies.

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