The Campus Jungle 3.

5
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Femi woke up feeling refreshed. He had slept through most of the day undisturbed until his roommate got back.  He checked through his phone for any important message he could have missed. There were two credit alerts for payment of a service he made to a professor last week. The old man’s son had got himself in trouble with the police and he needed to be bailed out without the man showing face. He was on the line to be the next dean of his faculty. His face couldn’t be associated with such things. He called his class rep to get an update of what happened throughout today in school. He missed a few classes, but his attendance was marked present. He asked about the materials and notes he was to get and the rep forwarded everything. After all that, he opened his bank app and sent #5000 to the rep. The money was for marking attendances, insider information about coming tests, and everything that it could cover. Initially, Femi started doing it as a way of appreciating the class rep, but over time, it was almost as if it was a payroll affair. Femi didn’t mind though. His kind of work and lifestyle needed it.

Femi took a long shower then made a couple calls to his business partners. He needed to keep in touch constantly. He wasn’t a big boss that would need such a tight control of his business, but he liked being aware of everyone’s progress. In fact, in some of these endeavours, he was merely the errand boy. Sometimes even a driver. He still kept himself on top of everything though. It was good to know as much as he was able to as long as it didn’t seem like he was prying.

By the time he was done, it was 7pm. He wanted to read an little and catch up on school work, but he didn’t feel like reading. He decided to visit his cousin in her hostel instead. It had been a while since he last saw her. He called her to make sure she was around, and then left for her place. He didn’t stay long with her though. It was supposed to be a basic check in. see how she was doing in school, see if she had any issues with any lecturer or any other person on campus. Ask about her grades, her parents, her finances etc. It was all just regular stuff.  Refusing to eat, he left her place exactly half an hour after he got there, not wanting to discomfort her roommate. He sent some money to her account on his way out. She called him to acknowledge it and say thanks, but he did not pick it. A phone call was unnecessary if a text or WhatsApp message would be fine.

He decided to go to the bar next. His own bar that he frequented, not the ones he supplied or did whatever business with. He was an ordinary customer here and he liked it like that. It also helped that they made the best catfish peppersoup in Ilorin. It wasn’t the same as the ones he had in Lagos in the cracks and crevices of his neighbourhood, but it was good. He was there till around 9pm, just chilling and enjoying the Pasuma playing through the speakers. Loud enough to hear the lyrics and dance to it, but not loud enough to cause a headache. He was okay with just one bottle of Goldberg. He didn’t want to be too full for when he had to work. He called his okada man to meet him at the small bar. He paid his bill and left. Making sure to specially greet the woman that made the peppersoup. They took off and started making their way around the town. One club after the other. Shaking hands with managers and winking at bartenders. Sampling drinks and talking business. Making expansion plans in some places and downsizing in others. He wasn’t supplying alcohol to all these clubs and bars though.

He was supplying complimentary soaps to a particular hotel, he was selling fire extinguishers one of the newer clubs. To another one, he was in charge of the heating in their pools. Not that he knew anything about pools or how to heat them up, but he got the job, and he got it done. There was another club where he didn’t even supply them anything. He was just friends with the manager because he had been influential in their attempt to purchase the land they built on. He only went there to check on things and check out which kind of needs they might have that he would be able to supply. He would do anything and everything that paid the bills.

Eventually, they made their way to Club 64, the club that Femi had the biggest stake in. immediately they got there, Femi paid the okada man off. He didn’t want the man knowing too much about his business and try and bring someone else in to replace him or try and do some kind of damage. Plus he planned on leaving the club sometime during and still keep an alibi at the club. Having the okada man around would definitely not be good for him.

Getting in to the club, he didn’t go up straight to the manager’s office. It was already well past 11pm, so whatever party that was happening at the club was well underway. He stood at the entrance, trying to look around for any weird or unusual. He rounded the compound and made a mental note of cars in the parking lot. It wasn’t paranoia, it was being careful. He had walked into a club innocently once upon a time and he didn’t know that there was beef between cult groups and the bar as the chosen battleground. He barely made it out alive. He knew some people personally that hadn’t.

When he got into the club, the sounds was deafening. He knew the song that was playing, but the volume and the way the dj was mixing it didn’t let him keep up with it. Not that he wanted to anyway, he wasn’t here to party. The blinking lights were a bit too much for him, but he adjusted. The smell of alcohol was what bothered him, but he couldn’t really complain.

He went to the manager’s office, but a bouncer blocked him. He didn’t send him away though, he just asked him to hold on a little because there was someone in the office with him. Almost immediately, a lady emerged wearing a skin tight body suit that revealed everything there was to reveal. Her curves, her piercings, and her lack of underwear or anything resembling it. She winked at him before the flicked her blond hair and walked away.

He entered the office and met the manager bare chested, standing in front of his mini fridge and gulping down a can of Red Bull like he had just run a marathon around the country. Or maybe he actually had.

Based on the deal Femi had with the manager, he would receive a cheque from the company, and pay the manager his share at the point of collection of the cheque. Now that they were together, Femi decided he didn’t want a cheque. He wanted a transfer of his money. Something that could be done and verified with both parties in attendance. The manager could cash the cheque. That was fine by him. If anything went down, it was his face that would show on the bank cameras. It was an unusual arrangement, but for the scale of business he was running for them, he couldn’t take the risk of getting to the bank and getting a bounced cheque. Or a cancelled cheque. If such happened, he would be forced to pay his own people with his own money and have to resort to methods that would be uncomfortable for both parties so he could get his money, and he would have to stop doing business with them. That would mean that he would lose a big business channel.

The manager agreed and everything was settled.

Femi went downstairs and sat there for about twenty minutes. Talking to the bartender nearest him. Exchanging jokes and experiences in clubs. Talking about her pink hair and making references to other hairs on her body. Then he took an excuse to use the toilet and he left to sneak out of the club into a Golf that was waiting for him for about five minutes now. It was him and the person in the car that would go back to where the alcohol truck had broken down so they could pick up the last few crates in it and drag the truck into the city.

It was a long ride, but they got there eventually. They packed the remaining bottles into the backseat of the car to cushion it, and they attached the small truck to their car. They were almost done when the gy he brought along noticed lights in the bush across from them. Who was doing what at this time of the night, 1:22am??

Their first reaction was to run away, but Femi figured that whoever was out here was tring to hide something. They should try and see what. So they moved closer to the place.

The closer they got, the louder the shovelling sounds became. Someone was trying to dig a hole for something.

They went closer and closer till they were staring eye to eye with the person digging.

It was King. And it was Sade’s corpse in the poorly made ditch.

The cigarette in Femi’s mouth fell.

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