It was getting dark; 7:35 PM to be exact. The half moon shone brightly in the clear sky, giving light to the earth. Electricity, as usual, was out. Everyone resorted to torch lights or rechargeable lamps.
Alice sat in front of her hostel. Both hands were clasped as her feet tapped the ground restlessly. She had a very bad day, starting with the news of the dead boy and the arrest of his brother. Going to the police station to give her statement turned into accusation. Inspector Efete interrogated her like she was a suspect too.
"Been with two brothers in one day isn't a coincidence." She had accused. "I believe you only helped Alabi to the hospital and then got his so called brother to finish him off." she added.
Finish him off indeed. Alice grimaced. Heck! She didn't even know what his name was until it was mentioned. If she really wanted Alabi dead, why then did she help him? Besides, she wasn't a cultist neither was she a thug. Why then would she want someone dead?
School was no fun after all the accusations leveled against her at the station. She tried to cope in class, to follow the lecturer's explanation, but she couldn't. Her mind constantly wondered off to the day before and the events at the police station.
"Alice!" Bruno's voice cut into her thoughts. She raised her head and saw him hurrying toward her. He looked good in his red, fitted t-shirt and blue jeans trouser. His feet were covered in blue snickers. Over his shoulder, a black school bag hung. Alice wondered why he couldn't stop carrying the bag around.
"What? Don't you know better than to be around a murder suspect?" She asked with raised brows as he came to stand in front of her.
"Alice! You need to hide." He said, ignoring her joke.
"Why will I hide? I haven't done anything wrong."
"Well, I'm the only one who believes you."
"What do you mean...? She was interrupted by sirens blaring from a distance.
"We have to run, now." Bruno swallowed.
Not waiting to think things through, the duo ran into the nearby bush. From there they parted tall grasses and peeped through. A police van stopped in front of the hostel and two uniformed men emerged from it. Within seconds, the men entered the building.
"Christ! Why will anyone think I'm a killer?" Alice asked.
"Because someone released a tape." Bruno whispered. "The tape has you in it as the last person in the dead guy's room before he was found dead."
"That is ridiculous! I left his brother in the room. How can any..." she was interrupted as the policemen emerged from the hostel.
"She's not in." One of them said.
"Then find her!" The chief inspector commanded. She was the same woman who interrogated Alice at the police station, earlier. Right from the start she had suspected Alice and now, she had every reason to believe her hunch was right. "Check every room in the hostel. Someone maybe hiding her. If she's not in, comb through the surroundings. She could be in the bush."
"We have to leave this place." Bruno said.
"Where will we go?" Alice asked, her heart almost giving way. The problems were becoming too much. Was it a crime to help people? She thought.
"Don't worry, I know a place." Bruno took her hand and led her away, through the bush, to the main road. It was very dark already. A good thing because, no one could easily recognize them. They crossed the dark road to the bike park at the other side.
"Where una dey go?" The bike men asked randomly, as they all wanted to get the passengers for themselves.
"Campus one." Bruno replied one of them.
"Oya enter. Two of una na 100 naira."
The next fifteen minutes met them at Campus one gate. Bruno paid off the bike man before taking Alice by the hand and leading her to the department of mass communication.
"This is your department." She said as they went in.
"Yes." Bruno agreed. "And since I am the student president here, I have the keys. He opened the door to the studio and stepped in with her. "Nobody will ever know you are here."
"They will know when morning comes." Alice grimaced.
"When your course mates come for classes tomorrow, they will find me here."
"What are you talking about?" He chuckled. "There is public holiday tomorrow and next. Nobody will find you here."
"Thanks," She sighed and looked away. The next day was a public holiday, it was even announced in class. She wondered why she let it escape her.
"Alice." Bruno said, taking both her hands in his. "You will be fine. We will sort this out."
"But how? Everyone thinks I'm a killer."
"You are not a killer."
"You should be running so that you don't get mixed up in this. Why do you trust me so much? Why are you even helping me?"
"You mean you don't know? Even till now?"
The room was dark, so she didn't see him move. But she felt it. Seconds later his lips descended on hers. They were gentle and passionate. Shocked at the new development, she pulled back from him.
"What is this?" She demanded
"I'm sorry." Bruno apologized while running his fingers over his head. "I thought you knew how I felt about you."
"Feel? Bruno, I barely know you. We've been nothing more than two neighbors who are friends."
"Well until two weeks ago."
"Why? Because we attended the same party?"
"Yes. And because we danced together, drank together, joked and laughed together. Above all we slept in each other's arms that night."
"Bruno we were drunk!"
"So when I kissed you then and you kissed me back, was it because we were drunk too?"
"Yes. Look, I'm sorry Bruno. But you're not my type. Since that party I have tried to be nice to you. And really, I enjoy your company. But that's all there is."
"Hmmmm..." He sighed, and then started to pace the length of the small room. "I thought we were going somewhere Alice." The chuckled, wickedly. "I thought that helping you escape from the police will make me even more appealing to you. I thought that..."
"Stop the thoughts, Bruno. You are my friend, that's all."
"Oh, that's not all Alice. I didn't bring you here tonight just so you can turn me down."
"Ok. Let me get this straight. You brought me here, all in the name of keeping me safe, just so you can have sex with me?"
"Not sex, my darling." He said, coming to stand in front of her. "Love. I want to make love to you. I want you to feel my strength between those lovely legs of yours. I want you to cry out with extreme pleasure as I take you to different heights."
"Well you had better think again about what you want; because nothing of what you have imagined will happen."
"Says..." That was all she said before he went for her throat. "Bru..." She coughed, not being able to talk well.
To be continued....
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