Hi peeps, hope you had a good week. And that you're well rested for the coming one...i was going to write another memoir from my childhood but right now i'm feeling quite lazy so i thought i'd put up one of my short stories and you guys can let me know what you think. Hope you have a nice read.
Please don't forget to visit the blog aloted and i are cohosting if you haven't been there.
The Randy Landlord
‘Come out now and defend yourself’, I heard a distant voice behind my bedroom window. I refused to respond thinking it was Bola and his wife my next door neighbours who were constantly at each other’s throat. His wife was always accusing him of cheating on her and in return he would beat her mercilessly. I had gone to separate them while fighting on several occasions. I decided to ignore them and thought they would see reason and carry the fight to their flat.
I turned to the other side, covering my head with the pillow, then I heard loud banging on my door and decided to check the clock by my bedside, it was 12 midnight. ‘Won’t these people just leave me alone?’ I said as I decided to ignore the knock, hoping the caller would take the hint they were unwelcome and go away. It seemed the caller was hell bent on waking me because the knock became louder and more persistent. I listened, trying to grasp what the person was saying. Which of the other tenants would be calling on me at this time of the night? I concluded it could only be Bola and his wife and I got up, ready to go and give them a piece of my mind. If they could not stay married in peace then it was best they separated from each other.
As I wore my dressing gown over my night dress, I could make out the voice of my landlord, ‘useless woman, come out now and defend yourself on why you’ve been rude to my wife’. It was my landlord’s voice alright and I wondered what he was talking about. Did this man know the time was the thought in my head as I stumbled to my door, sleep still very heavy in my eyes.
I opened the door and he was standing right there, half naked, just a wrapper wrapped around his waist. I didn’t even know some men still wore that these days. ‘Good evening sir or should I say good morning? To what do I owe this honour of you waking me up at this time of the night?’
I expected him to be shouting considering what I heard before opening the door but he was all smiles, grinning like an overfed cat, his pot belly thumping up and down
‘Won’t you ask me in?’ He said revealing the gap between his teeth.
‘No sir, I will not let you in, it is the middle of the night and you should go and sleep in your house while you let me sleep.’
‘You’re being rude to me this girl’, he said, holding on to my door so I wouldn’t close it in his face.
‘It’s late sir, we can discuss whatever you need to discuss with me when day breaks’
‘No this cannot wait’, he said as he pointed to the bulge under his towel
‘God forbid! I am a respectably married woman and I will not take kindly to such things. Please leave now before I get very nasty’
‘Relax, young woman, you claim to be married, yet your husband leaves you alone in this house almost half of the year. Let me keep you warm when your husband is away. I can do that very well’
I wondered what to say to this man. I had wondered at the attention he was paying my son and I recently. He would go out and stop by our flat some evenings claiming to have a gift for him. My 4 year old son had even taken to calling him Grandpa and was growing very fond of him. It all made sense now; his sudden interest in our well being, his constant stopping by, his gifts, offering to call his mechanic when my car had a fault, everything made sense now. Wale my husband had told me to be careful with him the last time I hinted him of how nice our landlord was. I playfully told him he was being jealous since he was far away. He told me he was only protecting his family and that he had a feeling the man was not genuine. We did not conclude on what to do but I was not going to treat a nice man with disdain.
Now it all made sense. Why did Wale’s office have to station him outside the city where we live for months on end? His company only allowed him come home for a few weekends. I had complained, prayed and hoped. Now I was just accepting it and hoping our situation would change soon. If my husband was home with me, this old goat would not stand at my door asking me to let him keep me warm.
I came back to the present and shouted so other tenants would hear. ‘Please sir, leave now, my son is sleeping and I would not want you to wake him up’. What was he even thinking standing there in his loin cloth? What would other tenants think if they saw him coming from my door like that? Bisi and Angela were the house gossips; they both lived in the mini flats at the back of the house and made every other person’s business theirs. Rumour had it that Angela was the cause of the fight between Bola and his wife and she endlessly tempted the young man when his wife was not around.
I succeeded at sending our landlord away that night but for the next two months, I constantly received such knocks on my door every night. I complained to my husband who said I should be careful and make sure the door was always locked when we were around at home. He was sorry he could not come home yet, he was on a project and he could nto leave. What kind of job would make a man desert his family in time of need, I wondered. I was upset with him and we had a fight on the phone. He was neglecting me and our son, I told him in plain words. For several months, I had endured the loneliness of a married woman living as a single woman. I lashed out at him with all the frustration I felt and all he could say was how he was sorry for putting me through hell. I ended the call and told him when he had worked something out, he could call me.
Amidst all this, my landlord did not relent in his effort to get me into his bed, he constantly harassed me when other people were there shouting that I was being rude to his wife, then at midnight he would sneak to my window and beg me to open the door just that once and how he would satisfy me. He told me of how he knew I could not be enjoying life with my husband so far away.
My husband continued sending me text messages to say how sorry he was but I knew something was wrong. One of the days when I thought deeply of our situation and how much I loved my husband and was not willing to give up on our marriage, I replied him and asked what was going on. All he could say was ‘I will explain in due time but for now, bear with me, I can’t come home yet’. What was going on? Then, he stopped communicating; he had not sent money to us in the past two months. First month, I thought he was broke and overlooked it, this was the second month and he was incommunicado. I was devastated, I knew I declared the war but it was not like my husband to have both his cell phones turned off. He was not replying his emails either. I thought something bad must have happened to him, but reasoned with myself that his office would have called me. I decided to be brave and called his Lagos office. What I heard was a rude shock, ‘your husband no longer works with us’, the receptionist said in an icy voice, ‘’Do you know why’’? I asked her. Her response sounded impatient: ‘’madam, there was a fraud, your husband was involved in it, any other thing you want to find out?’’ ‘’No, thank you’’, I replied. My world came crashing down. The project he was working on now made sense. My husband was jobless and was now avoiding getting in touch with me. What did he think I would do??? .....to be continued