Cass and I had always been as inseparable as glue on wood. He’d make my life so miserable only to tell me how cute a little sister I was. He had his way of getting into my head, causing chaos and then vamoose like he was never there. But I loved him anyway. The number of boys he had beat up just so that I could get first hand treatment is to numerous to even count. He’d give me every detail of every boy that liked me in school and what they said about other girls in the males hostel. I recall him getting suspended once for beating up this guy who was checking my butt out. Smh. He was the big brother any sister would wish to have.
However, things changed. Few months after he left for the University of Lagos, he stopped calling home; calling me. He didn’t even pick the calls I had managed out of my slim pocket money. Even when he did, he’d tell me he was to busy to talk, that he would call me back later, which he never did. Even when he came home, he would treat himself to a self imposed solitary confinement in his room. He hardly even came out for food, talk less of joining us our weekendly family time. Most times, some of his new friends would come over and leave with him, only to come back smelling in a way I could not understand
This was strange at first. I even tried to break my way in but that nearly caused me my life. I vowed not to try again, although it troubled me deeply. My heart squeezed in my chest each time he would pass by me and not mention that I had an exceedingly large head, or how I had envelopes for an ear or how a man would never marry a woman with so much muscles. It wringed my soul to think of a heartless and souless brother he had become suddenly. Especially one I had grown up to trust my fried plaintain with. He had lost all the things I loved most about him and then I thought it the best time to pray for him
Every night and every morning i’d pray for him, committing his endeavors into Gods hands. But he still wasn’t changing. So I decided to take a break because Gods time is always the best.
This went on for the whole of his first semester. The effect hit me harder during the summer vacation.
It had always been a family tradition to travel abroad during summer break, and we always went with cousin Chinyere. Her parents had been killed in a car robbery some years back. All their estates had been willed to her which she finally inherited last year as she clocked 18. LUcky her.
Cass and I had always loved it when she came home because her stories were numerous. Even when they weren’t so interesting she would add her own ingredients to spice it up. That was actually what ignited Cass’ passion for Unilag. He wanted to be there to witness first hand every details of cousin Chinyeres stories. Unfortunarely it looked like he had witnessed much more than he could contain.
I was shocked to find out from cousin Chinyere that my dear Cass had joined something she called a “fraternity group”, which I and most of you know as cult. I was horrified. It was a group of fraternity boys who had ambushed cousin Chinyere’s parents on their way back from Owerri. Things now made sense; the odd, offensive smell that emanated from Cass’ clothes each time he returned home from his friends place. Thats when it hit me and it hit me real hard that I could not maintain my balance. What had come over him? Impossible! We had both vowed to remain attached to God till death. He even made me promise to stay chaste till marriage, even gave me a chastity ring. Had he just been playing games with me. Definitely not! Cass was to honourable to stoop so low.
It worried me to a point that I could not sleep at night, knowing that my brother that I looked up to my whole childhood had turned against his own believes. I grew sick. Sick from fear, worry, disappointment, pain, betrayal. Knowing that no matter how hard I tried, he did not budge. I still prayed.
It was a Friday evening that the news of his death got to me, precisely Friday the 13th of June 2014. Cass was killed by a rival fraternity group. He had been caught up in one of their many fracas. He had been decapitated, his eyes gorged our and his tongue cut off. The terror of the news struck me harder than I expected. I fainted. There was no way I was going to forgive myself. Praying was not enough. I should have spoken to him. The guilt haunted me forever, nothing was done to change fate. And that was how my dearest brother turned to my frat brother and then my dead brother.