By Ikumawoyi Toluwalase
There are friends who destroy each other,
But a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
“Hello…please, am I speaking with Mr Collins John…” “Oh!! He is not on sit.”
“Okay…immediately he comes around, tell him Adejola Joseph called, and it is urgent.”, Joseph said before cutting the call. Depression set in within his heart… what was he going to do?
He had left Ondo very early that morning, he certainly couldnt’t go back home, not to that devil of a father, that man had ruined his life beyond measures, or maybe not. At least he was the source of his problems…
“What should I do now?”. He took another sip from the bottle of coke he ordered for, the last money on him was just #2000, and he was not even sure if it would take him to John’s office. That seemed like the only option he had. It had been a long time he left Nigeria, and the only person through which he could contact Funmilayo told him this morning on phone, that she was traveling to her fiance’s hometown to visit his bereaved mother. What a disaster, her fiance’s father had died in a hospital the night before.
“Is this ill-luck or fate or karma?”, he thought to himself, as he stared at his phone for the fifth time in thirty minutes, he was lucky to have kept his phone in his pocket during the armed robbery attack else he would have been totally lost…. John had sent his contact to him on Facebook, after they chatted two years ago. He now he desperately needed his help.
He was without clothes, needed a shelter, and he needed a job to refund the ten thousand naira he borrowed from his neighbour whose house he slept the night before. He just couldn’t go back home anymore, he hated his mother for staying with that man all these years after all he did. He couldn’t even bring himself to call him dad again.
“Forgiveness is key, as a christian, born of God you need to forgive others effortlessly”, he remembered his last words as the bible study secretary of his fellowship on campus. Here he was, the bible was like a novel to him. Was he really saved back then? He doubted his salvation.
His phone rang “hello… Pastor John Collins, my brother from another mother…na so I see am ohh… Ehn…no qualms…am on my way…abeg guy. Okay, I will wait for you.”, the line dropped dead. He felt, relieved at least he would have a place to put his head for the night and maybe for a long time.
He quickly made his way to the door of the restaurant abandoning his drink, he had to get to Lekki Peninsula.
“Am Adejola Joseph…”, he said to the secretary. He had been directed to the chairman’s office when he asked of his friend from one of the staffs in the company, though he was shocked, his friend was a chairman of an accounting firm…. “It is a lie…”. And now the lie had become the truth when he was ushered into the biggest office he had entered all his life.
He sat down on one of the sofas, waiting for his childhood friend whom he had been told was in a meeting. Mehn!! Money is good…seriously money is good. The furniture, interior decorations, the arts on the wall, spoke a large amount of money.
Just then the door opened… “Am sorry for keeping you waiting bro”, John said as he entered, he opened his arms for a hug, and Joseph received it taking in the lovely perfume,
“So, what brought the mighty lord of the musketeers to my humble domain”, he said smiling. He missed him, it had been five or six years they had last seen each other.
“You have grown fat bro”, Joseph said, trying to be sarcastic, and avoiding an instant reply to his question. “I guess that is the answer to why you are here then, erhmm…why don’t you tell me what is up, on our way to my house. Am done for the day by the way and we could get to catch up on old times”, John finally said understanding his friend’s reluctance to open up in an official environment. He knew Joseph to be a man who had a thing for confidentiality.
“For the record, I always knew you were meant for greater things”, Joseph quickly said as they both made their way to the door, while John smiled knowing the source of the statement.
“RCF OAU, this is the moment we have been waiting for…erhmm please don’t touch him…”, announced the outgoing president of the fellowship, who doubled as the chairman of choice committee.
Standing among the newly elected executive was Joseph. He had been chosen as the bible study. Though great, that was not what he was expecting. James too was on the line. He was selected to be the Awolowo hall pastor. Joseph had laughed when he was called out, and John too…Yes John, he was not on the list yet. But why…? They do everything together.
Joseph’s mind wondered back to their first day in the university…
“Can you two just come over to Biological sciences, Micobiology department to be precise…Ask anyone naa! Okay…I will be waiting”, Joseph dropped the call, the three musketeers had planned to meet to discuss how they were going to hit it off on campus. Well, with the Joseph’s departure from Ondo, they had not been able to talk or meet, and the only little talks they had were on phone to check on each other and know if they were given admission.
James applied for law. He was doing change of institution, he wanted to be with his friends so he wrote jamb again and after many pleas, his parent allowed him to change his institution after two years in UNIBEN. John applied for accounting, it was his dream job, he always wanted to be like his father, in deeds and career, but he had to write his professional exams before going to the university. Joseph had applied for medicine, he was so passionate about the course and so interested in saving lives.
As luck or fate would have it, only Joseph didn’t get the course he applied for, he got microbiology instead. And after many pleas and counselling from his mother’s sister who also graduated from the Department, he yielded.
“What took you guys so long”, he said angrily. He had been waiting for close to thirty minutes,
“Well James here met a girl on the way and he…you know?”, John replied trying to shift the blame to James.
“James, you really haven’t changed”, he said smiling as he hugged his friends. He had missed them.
They decided to walk down to their hostel, Angola hall, after spending two hours strategizing on their reading plans and work schedules. They earned t a lot of stares on their way as the trio were clad in blue jeans and white round neck, customized with “the three musketeers… “James.. John.. Joseph”….
Their part one days up until part three had been smooth and eventful. They moved to town to live together, attended the same fellowship.
The three of them joined the bible study subgroup of the fellowship though Joseph was the most eloquent and most recognised among the three…
“If they do not select me for the vice president, the choice committee is partial”, James said, placing his hand on his chest. “You are very funny…are you the only one in the fellowship who went for school of ministry, at least John was the class rep during your set”, Joseph said amidst laughing and mocking his best friend.
“But wait, which position do you think you will be called for?”, James asked.
“Hmmmh!! President should be manageable”, Joseph said trying to form- “I don’t need a position attitude”
“President ko…Zonal coordinator ni!!…yeye boy”. James said hitting his friend on the shoulder.
“In my opinion, I think God’s will is all that will be seen today, whoever it is. They must have prayed and heard from God, so let’s quit disturbing ourselves about it”, John finally said after watching his friends debate on each of the executive positions to be occupied for the next coming session.
“Abeg, pastor John, don’t make this thing spiritual again, we are only trying to have fun ohh”, James said standing up and heading for the kitchen.
“Anyway na tonight we go know who is who, and John should be one of the hall pastors, you go dey word them for there”, Joesph said also standing up from the bed to join James who was already serving himself a plate of “conditional” rice…
“Rcf shall we rise to our feet as we welcome the pastor and President of RCF OAU 2009/2010 session. Pastor Collins Timilehin John…”. The crowd roared,
Joseph couldn’t believe his eyes.
To be continued…
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