#LifeInUnilag: Episode 6! – ‘If Love Is A Crime’ by Mannie

Previously On ‘IF LOVE IS A CRIME’…..

Click here for episode 1

Click here for episode 2

Click here for episode 3

Click here for episode 4

Click here for episode 5

If you’ve been following the story, The intrigue continues…..


Episode 6

It didn’t take long after she heard two of her school mates discussing a robbery she had partaken in with her boyfriend for Elena to dash all the way from the locker hall to the art room.

She was panting hard and sweating nervously when she carelessly threw the wooden door open and slammed it behind her.

Standing shocked in front of her was Ryan; her boyfriend in a hoodie, with a paintbrush in his hand, the stool, easel and everything else could be seen behind him. He appeared to be escaping the supposed-to-be boring SS3 Outgoing Conference.

“We robbed our school mate!, Elena yelled
“Sorry what!?
“I heard these two girls mistakenly, I was hiding behind them, I mean behind the lockers, then they said something, garage something
It was clear to Ryan in that moment that his girlfriend wasn’t making any sense – so he immediately interrupted and begged her to calm down and explain herself

“Cos; I don’t understand a word you just spoke, He added

Once she was settled on the stool and was now breathing relatively normal, he said “Okay now, you were saying?”

Elena paused, took a deep breath and then continued “I was heading into the hall for the seminar when I heard two girls talking and one of them said her boyfriend – I think she said his name was Cane, or was it Brad?

Ryan, immediately realising who she was talking about, asked “Clyde, as in Clyde BELLO?”

Apparently, everyone in West Lagos High, except Elena knew who Clyde Bello was.

“Yes!, She answered “She said his father was shot in the chest by two robbers in his garage and has fallen into a comma..

These words were like sharpened arrows darted into Ryan’s conscience, but he didn’t want to show this, so he uttered a very confident:

“What do you mean so?, the paranoid girl snapped “I just told you the person we robbed happens to go to the same school as us and all you can say is ‘SO?’

“Shush!, Ryan exclaimed, grabbing his girlfriend’s wrists, his gaze falling at her red devil tattoo

Suddenly, like a lightening of realisation hit her, Elena added “You knew didn’t you? You knew we were robbing our classmate! And you let us go along with it”

“And what if I did? Ryan said back
“I can’t believe you – you do realise that they’ve involved the police now, right?

Once Elena said this, Ryan walked up to her, holding his paintbrush even firmer now.

Elena was breathing heavily.

“And they won’t know anything if you just keep your head down and your mouth shut instead of acting like some fearful little b****, alright?

“Clyde –

“Seriously, I mean what’s with all the self-righteous bullshit. Don’t tell me you’re now feeling bad! We’ve done it! There’s no going back so you might as well get on board”

Ryan was right. Elena; the moment she realised the person who’s life they had probably ruined for items not even up to N2,000 was a fellow student in the exact same school – began to feel really guilty.

Ryan continued “And if you can’t do that, he took a look at the paint brush and then at her “I can find other ways…
Shocked, she interjected “Ryan, it’s me you’re talking to like this?

Ryan didn’t even care to reply his girlfriend’s words anymore; he turned his attention back to his painting, threw his hoodie back on and said softly

“Now where was I?

Elena left the room slowly but eventually, wondering how her boyfriend had turned into such a monster. They’d gone from harmless thieving and robbery to shooting defenceless men in front of their children in zero seconds.

Once she was out of the art room, she headed towards the seminar hall only for her to make a dramatic U-Turn to the school exit.

She had other plans.


A whole day had passed since Mr. Bello was declared comatose, and Clyde was still on the man’s hospital bed, his hands interlocked with that of the individual connected to a couple machines – all making steady beeping noises, his eyes red and puffy, and his mind travelling down endless roads.

The eighteen year old was never one for prayers, he didn’t even know if he believed in God, but on this day – he was willing to do anything to get his father back, so still holding on to the old man’s hands, he knelt and started

“Dear God, it’s me – Clyde.  Yeah, I know it’s been a long time. But I really need you right now. What am I saying? I bet you already knew that. As you can see my dad isn’t exactly doing great and I can’t help but feel partly responsible for this”

Immediately this came out of Clyde’s mouth, so did the tears; from his eyes.

There was another old woman, who’s hospital bed was just a few feet away from Clydes dads’, a paralysed patient, she couldn’t feel anything or even open her mouth to speak, but she could still feel the pain as Clyde spoke.

He continued “I mean, if I had just cooperated with those robbers and given them what they want instead of being the stubborn goat I am, dad probably wouldn’t be laying here on the verge of death.  Please Lord, if anybody should die – at least let it be me. I’m not sure I can live with myself if anything happens to him. And if me dying is not what you want then I promise I’ll quit pursuing being a mechanic and go straight to the University. No gap year. Nothing!”

Clyde said this and opened his tearful eyes to look at his father.

“You hear that dad?, I’m gonna stop all that talk about mechanics and go straight to the University. Please just wake up! Pleeeeaaase!”

He held his father’s hands even tighter now; his head buried deep in the hospital bed. Unfortunately, this emotional moment didn’t last long, because just then, in that moment – he heard the ward door make a creaking sound, and turned back – his eyes still pink and swollen, only to see her.

She had on a long black gown, her hair was coloured green and black and her makeup was literally made in Hogwartz; but she had such an infectious smile that it almost made devastated Clyde think about smiling.
“Oh My God, I’m so sorry, she said “I just came to see my grandmother.

She pointed at the old woman in the bed.

“Oh!, Clyde answered, wiping his tears away.

She walked closer to him “Is that your dad?

“Yeah, Clyde replied

“I’m so sorry, she added again

“Well, sorry won’t get him off the coma!, Clyde unintentionally snapped. He covered his mouth with his hands once he said this “Wow! I didn’t mean that”

She smiled “It’s okay, I’ve been there before!”

“Seriously? Clyde interjected “You’ve had a parent that fell into a coma before?”

“Well, not exactly – my mom was diagnosed with skin cancer last year. she died a few months later. And my dad – well let’s just say he wasn’t exactly himself after that!”

“Oh Wow! So your grandmothers’ been the one taking care of you?, Clyde asked

“Sure, she replied nonchalantly  “You got a mom?

“She’s dead too, Clyde replied assertively as if to show this girl that she was not alone in the struggle of losing a mother.

She felt even worse for Clyde after hearing this.

“Don’t feel bad for me, the young boy added smiling “I deserve it; the way I’ve been behaving these days. Making bad choices, Throwing tantrums, sending my girlfriend away –

“Every teenager goes through that phase of their life joor, she interrupted “It doesn’t mean they deserve to have their only alive parent ripped away from them”

“I guess you’re right, Clyde replied, the smile on his face was wider now “What’s your name by the way?

“Its –

Just as the girl was about to answer, the door swung open for the second time and a nurse came in with a trolley with a tray full of medicines on it.

The girl was suddenly rendered speechless.

“Sorry only one visitor at a time!, said the nurse as she faced the girl

“It’s okay Nurse Titi, Clyde naively informed “She’s that old woman’s granddaughter!”

Nurse Titi stared at Clyde, and then the girl, and then at the old woman (who was just staring) in the hospital bed , and then back at Clyde.

“Granddaughter ke, Mummy Sodiende has no family members oh!  Or at least that we know if in this hospital.” She turned to face the girl who now looked extra scared, Clyde joined her to look at the girl suspiciously “Young girl, who are you?”

Elena was backed into a corner; she dropped her head and began to think of the best lie to conjure; one that would save her from this wahala she had managed to suck herself into..



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