Alex had noticed Sandra in the campus halls a couple of times. She was beautiful and always wore a smile. She walked in the company of two other friends most of the time. They were taking different courses, so they didn’t share classes. He couldn’t find common ground between them until an opportunity presented itself, and Alex wasn’t one to squander an opportunity.
The student leaders had planned a protest. Unfortunately, the strike was blocking the route to the hostels. It got messy, and there was tear gas in the air within minutes. Many students who weren’t part of the demonstrations got caught up in the chaos. Sandra was among them. Alex spotted her and knew he could get her attention.
Sandra felt someone pulling her, leading her in a different direction. She followed him, and they took refuge in a chapel. Although she experienced the tear gas a bit, she was thankful that Alex had pulled her away and saved her from the commotion. That marked the beginning of their friendship and, subsequently, a relationship. She called him her Superman, obviously for coming to her rescue.
Over the course of time, Sandra came to appreciate Alex’s resourcefulness. He was a quick thinker and always seemed to have solutions to problems. He was the guy you called if you needed something because he always knew ‘a guy’ or a way around it. When he couldn’t find a solution, he would crack a joke, and the humour would make the situation feel less serious.
Like many campus students, a group of around seven classmates was hanging out together in one of the guy’s room in the hostels. Five of them had laptops with them, and Alex was part of the group. They decided to get drinks and invite girls. The popular guys in the group invited a few girls. Alex invited Sandra, his girlfriend.
Everyone enjoyed the evening until they ran out of alcohol, so they decided it was time to take the party to a club. After a short deliberation, they settled on the club, and they all went. Since everyone seemed a bit buzzed, it made sense for them to leave the laptops in the guy’s hostel where they had been gathered. One of them was Chris. Off they went for a night of fun.
Typical of campus nights out, some got too drunk and blacked out. Others parted ways from the ‘partner’ they had gone to the club with and found other mates. Chris belonged to the latter group. At some point in the night, he lost interest in the girl he had gone to the club with and started talking to a beautiful girl he met in the club.
Alex and Sandra went to bid goodbye to him and the few others from the group who hadn’t left already or blacked out somewhere. Chris introduced the girl to them and even mentioned she was taking a course at the same university. Everything seemed in order, so Alex and Sandra left.
The following day was drama-filled. It wasn’t the usual recap of the previous night’s events. Numerous calls woke up Alex from Chris.
“Bro, do you remember the girl I introduced you to at the club?” Chris asked, sounding desperate.
“Don’t tell me you forgot to get her number,” Alex responded jokingly.
“No, I think she drugged me and stole the laptops,” Chris responded.
“What do you mean?” Alex asked as he sat upright on the bed. This caught Sandra’s attention.
“The last thing I remember is going back to the hostel with her. When I woke up the door was slightly open,” Chris responded.
“Didn’t your roommate see anything?” Alex asked.
“He wasn’t there.”
Chris explained how six laptops, including his, were missing, and he couldn’t think of any other explanation. Sandra reminded him that he had mentioned that she was taking a course at the same university, but he couldn’t remember what course it was. The issue escalated because the five guys who had lost their laptops were angry at Chris. They asked around whether anyone had seen anything suspicious, but there was a lot of vagueness around the issue.
Some of the guys tried to pressure Chris into repaying the laptops, while others decided that it could have been any of them who had picked up the girl. Sandra felt bad for them, and they talked with Alex about the whole saga.
“Waah babe, you really can’t trust anyone,” Sandra said.
“You can’t. She didn’t look like a thief,” Alex said, looking very disturbed.
As the days went by, the story died down. A month later, Sandra started feeling like Alex was acting strange. He was getting calls from an unknown number, and she caught him trying to hide texts. She thought he was cheating on her. She couldn’t confront him without evidence, so she decided to get receipts first.
Sandra waited until Alex went to the bathroom to snoop through his phone. She couldn’t find anything. He had deleted the call logs from the unknown number and couldn’t find any suspicious messages. Then the message came in, and it was worse than she would have imagined. “Got a buyer for two. Let’s keep the rest and lay low,” read the message. She might not have immediately pieced it together had he not walked in on her and panicked.
“I can explain,” Alex said, trying to grab the phone. “I needed the money for a family emergency.”
“What?” Sandra asked, feeling her knees buckle.
“I can give you part of my share,” Alex said.
“What? But the girl…”
“You don’t want to mess around with these people Sandra,” Alex told her.
A shocked Sandra froze for a while and then started crying. Alex scared her into believing there were ‘greater forces’ at work, and it was in her best interest to keep her discovery to herself. Too scared to report, Sandra broke up with him, lied to people that he had cheated on her, and avoided Alex like the plague.
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