‘’So how about I arrange a girl to cheer you up?’’ Kelvin suddenly suggested, putting a tempting offer before me. I quickly shook my head.
‘’I just buried my father. No I don’t need a woman now’’ I breathed with a frown.
‘’that’s cool, but you should learn how to put aside your grief and move on with life’’ he advised softly. I sipped my drink, kept quiet for a while before throwing him a very curious look.
‘’my father was murdered. Do you have any idea who could be responsible?’’ I asked, leaving him extremely surprised with my question. At first he looked quite shocked but quickly composed himself.
‘’actually I have no idea of what exactly led to your father’s death but supposing I have something about that, I won’t tell you because you are in no position to do anything about it. You have to first relax, face your life, survive before asking questions unless you wish to die at a young age’’ he answered guardedly , leaving me shrugging with resignation.
‘’I really want you to join my line of business. That’s the only way you can survive, make enough money to pay your bills and live a much fulfilled life. You see I run a string of networks that cut across multimillion Naira scams, forgery, gambling and so on. I have been doing it for years and yes I currently have everything I want in life. I shouldn’t be telling you all these but I think it’s my responsibility to open a good road for you. Your dad helped me when everyone turned against me. I have to reciprocate that gesture but I don’t know how strong you are’’ he breathed as we headed home minutes later.
I threw him a quick look, unable to say a word. Of course crime is something that always sends a chill through an innocent man’s heart. I felt suddenly cold.
‘’apart from the car your dad left behind, how much money do you have left?’’ he asked. I shrugged and breathed deeply.
‘’it’s not much. It won’t even last up to five months’’ I answered. He smiled.
‘’I easily could pay your school fees and support your education but after that what next?. Having a university education is no longer a guarantee of getting a good job. Most graduates now end up working at factories and workshops of school drop outs like me. Believe me, if you can be a part of my network, you will have a company of your own within four years’’ he said seriously.
‘’but why are you telling me all these bro?. You know we are not that close for you to be opening up to me this way?’’ I asked curiously. He smiled.
‘’yes I know but I always follow my heart and this time it led me to you’’ he answered.
‘’but what truly are the chances of being caught?’’ I asked.
‘’hmmm well I sincerely can’t say because no one in my network has ever been caught. We don’t pull any deal without first making sure it’s safe. We have people in every key country and bank. You have nothing to fear bro’’ he answered, leaving me totally convinced. I breathed deeply and nodded.
‘’fine I’m good to go” I breathed, leaving a very big smile on his face.
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I ended up spending three weeks at his house and what a hectic three weeks it was. I learnt a lot. I learnt that social networks just weren’t there for chatting alone, but also a very good fishing ground for scam victims.
I learnt the act of fishing, profiling, packaging and presentation.
I learnt to assume many identities. I even learnt some foreign ways of communicating. I learnt a whole lot with Kelvin who used the first three weeks I spent with him to teach me the secret behind online scamming. At the end of three weeks I returned to my hostel to see if I could continue with my university education from where I abandoned it months earlier. I returned to school a different person. I returned to school with a different mindset.
My hostel mates all rushed into my room the moment they learnt I was back to pay their condolences. I had lots of questions to answer and no matter how hard I tried to be free with them; they all noticed that I was changed. One after the other they soon left, finally leaving Tracy and I alone in my room.
Tracy was my course mate and someone very dear to me. She really helped me a lot in my first year and equally was very helpful in my second year. I had to move over to my current hostel earlier in the year just to be closer to her. But my feelings for her were simply pure and harmless. I saw her as a very innocent girl who never deserved to be harmed and I never for once had any strange or bad ideas for her. Even when I had sharp quickies with other girls, I made sure she never got to know about it. She was the only girl that understood me. But for the first time in my life, I was very uncomfortable being alone with her.
‘’you lost your dad and you never invited anyone to his burial, including me. I only got to hear about it from a course mate. And now you are acting so strange and different. What’s really is going on?. You can still confide in me’’ she demanded, drawing close to hold my hand. I looked away, avoiding her gaze for no just reason. Her presence made me feel totally uncomfortable.
‘’I lost my dad. He was killed. I have no one else. I’m all alone in a country that is still a bit foreign to me. I have bills to pay. My school fees, hostel rent, test book, feeding and everything. Why won’t I look different with such problems bugging me?’’ I asked breathlessly.
‘’I understand. That’s why you should always confide in me. I’m not from a poor family. We can always find a way out, just like we did in our first year. ‘’ she said tightening her grip on me. I quickly broke free from her, stood up and breathed deeply.
‘’never mind, I already have found a way out. I have a new means of taking care of myself’’ I said without thinking, leaving her staring at me with great astonishment.
‘’what in the world are you talking about. Can you put me through please?’’ she demanded like a caring wife, leaving speechless as I instantly searched for a lie to cover my outburst but couldn’t find any. I really liked Tracy but I had to keep some things from her to retain her respect.
To be continued