I could not remember which came first: the noise, the gunshots, the stampede of shoes kiting in different directions, shrills of female members cutting the air, the piercing response of anguish of those shot, those who fell, their inevitable thud as they hit the ground.
No one saw their faces or remembered their exact number, but one thing was sure—death had visited us in the company of his kinsmen. I advanced toward a transparent glass and watched my reflection rush towards me before I rammed into the glass and it shattered. I felt no pain, just a pricking desire to live, just a gnawing resolve to amble towards safety; my feet quickened towards the wrought iron partition that separated Awolowo Hall from the steeply-bent road that led down to Mozambique Hall. My feet shot up from the ground, unperturbed by the inertia of jumping down.
Then I remembered Ify.
The sun was reluctant to set. The darkening clouds washed over it at a hurried pace, but the brown sun would emerge at the end of the clouds, victorious, vindictive, like Evi.
I looked at him, imploringly, pleadingly; my eyes bent low to meet his gaze only halfway, my mien that of a favour-seeking cat but he remained resolute, lips thinned out, as he paid his glass of Chapman his utmost attention.
“Look, Ify. You can make faces all you like. You are not attending that gyration. There is no way you will become a kegite and remain my girlfriend. You have to make a choice. It is either palmwine or I…”
“But Evie, how can you ask me to pick between you or Palmwine? Do we always have to come to the point? Do I always have to make a compromise? You asked me to severe my ties with Dayo. I did. Now you don’t want me to join Kegites. And you are not been reasonable about it. You didn’t even ask me what I want with them.”
“What exactly are you saying, Ify? You are a medical student in 100 level, always remember that and always remember that you met me in this school. I was like you five years ago, thanks to ASUU. Fresh out of secondary school. A bloody Jambito interested in everything. I wanted to play drums for CASOR. I wanted to sing Tenor in a secular Acapella group. I wanted to recite poetry at Pit Theatre. I wanted to have the best result in CHM 101. I wanted to join Alpha Club. I nearly failed CHM. I had a 50 Pass in Chemistry. 50. I was this close to failure. This”, Evi inched his thumb and forefinger towards each other, leaving just a slit of gap to drive home his point.
“I am not you o!”
“Yes you are not. But you have heard my final word on this matter.”
Evi was quiet but his legs trembled. He brought out a white hankie and wiped sweat off his forehead. He wiped his glasses with the moistened hankie till he was satisfied. Then he put on his glasses, downed his drink in one gulp and left.
I sat on the concrete seat in Rotunda bar; tears filled my eyes as I watched him walk out of my life again.