When i saw her, i heaved a sigh of relief and cos it wasn’t what i expected. I was surprised to see her cos i wasn’t mingling with any of my neighbors then, that was because i preferred my own company most times and i was still watching each of their behavior.
Secondly, i didn’t associate with any of them cos i didn’t want over-familiarity that could lead to contempt. I know how quickly most people take simplicity for stupidity. I didn’t mingle with them then cos i know say,’ na person wey you tell say you neva brush, na im go 1st tell you say your mouth dey smell’. ( where I’m from, see finish is a crime) *lol*
As per Wisdom is profitable to direct, i tried to avoid any form of closeness with them, the only time i talked to them is when we greet each other, “good morning, good afternoon or good evening, finish!”
When i’m in the lodge, i’m always indoors, either listening to music, watching movies, browsing or sleeping, and when i get tired staying inside, i’ll just go outside to sit in my passage or carry my plastic chair outside the lodge to receive fresh air or I go to Meekest’s lodge.
Some of my neighbors then, tried to extend our communication beyond greetings but i didn’t allow it. Imagine something like dis,
Neighbour: good morning.
Me: morning *smile*
Neighbor: how was your night?
Me: *thumbs up*, smile and continue with whatever i was doing. (shey you understand)
Thirdly, i discovered that some neighbors had a group they formed in the lodge, when i say group here, i mean something like cliques/teams.
You see them mostly together in the lodge gisting, eating, doing all sort of things together till after a while, they either decamp and change crew or split or beef themselves for one reason or the other.
They thought i was anti-social cos of my attitude towards them but they couldn’t understand my reason.
My ‘i-don’t-fvck-with-you’ attitude paid off and became an advantage to me on a day Dafe trailed me home, unknown to me.
What saved me was that when he came to look for my room the next day, none of my neighbors could identify me when he told them my name, when he came looking for me.
Instead, they told him that the only one that bears “Efe” in the lodge was a girl(my namesake). They told him that cos they didn’t know my name then.
Awish dem know my name before, na so dem for tey show Dafe my room, then he for just carry army or community com take me unaware. *lol*
back to the matter,
” yes, how may i help you?” i asked her.
“Please, borrow me your matches,” she requested, and I went to give her my lighter.
When Joy she left, I just wondered why she came to collect my lighter, I was like ‘which day dis one start? Cos she lived at the extreme flat while I was in the 1st flat, meaning, she walked passed 6 rooms before she got to mine.
My lodge was a 16 rooms bedsitter. It was built like a face-me i face-you with 8 rooms in a block directly opposite another 8 rooms in the next block.
I just smiled cos I realized someone was trying to famz me.
One mind told me that she got a packet of matches in her kitchen,that she just came to lend mine cos she wanted to talk to me. (see format, dat kine tin!)
I remembered those days when a friend of mine was crushing on a girl then, the girl lives in our neighborhood, in a fenced compound.
So, anytime my friend wants to see her, he will pour away water from their drinking bucket and go to the girl’s compound to fetch water cos he knew when he gets there, the girl was the one that usually opens the gate and opens the tap key for him to fetch.
The funniest part was that my friend’s compound tank will be filled oh, but just because he wanted to see the face of his crush for some minutes, he will give himself the stress of carrying water from that distance.
That is what he would complain heaven and earth for if he was sent to do so by his parents oh. (Things people do for love/crush ehn) *lol*
The tin wey dey pain me be say, if the babe Com open gate for am, he nor go talk anything o, na so he just dey sun Im teeth like goat we dem roast. Choi! (Love na one kine mumu tin o)
That was then Sha, e yaff tey-ed. *lol*
When the mix finished playing, I decided to watch a movie, I inserted the seasonal movie “Empire” to while away time.
As I was watching the movie, my brother came inside, he bought food and we ate as we watched before we heard a loud bang on the lodge gate cos the caretaker normally locked it from 10:30pm.
Our room was the 1St room in the 1st block of the lodge close to the gate. One thing I didn’t like about staying close to the gate was the noise associated with it, you have to bear all forms of noise from the gate and noise from people who can’t raise their legs from the ground ( very annoying) etc, but you gats endure.
And when the banging persisted, “Na who be dat we dey disturb the lodge so? Caretaker asked as he came out of his room.
” keto, na me Julius abeg open for us” Julius replied.
” make on a dey go back to where on a dey com from” Caretaker replied him.
“Na chairman place I Com from dis evening, he just dey warn me say I nor fit dey take care of my lodge, say dem dey observe boys we dey smoke igbo(weed) and gamble for dis lodge and I nor dey do anything about am.
See! From today go ehn, I nor Wan see the legs of those on a friends for dis lodge again o.
Ona just dey Com skul, Ona Don dey misbehave. Those boys wey ona dey carry Com the lodge so, dem nor get lodge?
Ona nor fit go their lodge go smoke? As Ona nor get sense so, abi Ona think say na to dey wear big shoes and clothes dey Waka nai be the Mata? He asked them.
“Keto which kine yannings be all those one na, wetin dey bring dis kine talk dey come now? Biggy asked from outside.
“You dey mad? Na me you dey ask Dat question so? Make thunder fire you there” Keto fired back his reply.
“Keto if you nor open the gate now ehn, you go see wet in you dey find display nite o” Julius replied, shouting and banging the gate.
“You dey mad! Small boy like you dey threaten me? Dem nor born you well!
You know me? I be confirm Lagos boy o, ajegunle boy like me Naim small rat like you dey open dat your smelling mouth dey threaten Abi? Idiiioottt!
Ona know say girls dey the lodge Ona go dey carry anyhow boys dey Com misbehave for here. Ona know who dose Ona friends be?
As dem dey follow Ona dey enta the lodge so, dem dey observe everywhere, as you dey dem so, dem dey thief Waka, den by the time we dem Don dey thief Ona smal-smal, Na Ona go 1st say caretaker nor dey do Im work.
The caretaker later opened the gate for them after much begging from some neighbors inside.
“make dis one be d 1st and last time wey anybody go com d lodge dis kine time o, cos anybody com d lodge dis time again, i swear, i nor go even com outside from my room sef” Caretaker warned as he opened the gate for them to enter.
Na only on friday nights i go take consider for time cos of people wey dey go club.
“you Julius ehn, if na d igbo(weed) wey you dey smoke dey worry you ehn, nor carry am com my side o, cos i go fvck you up, or if you think say you don join one small cult wey make body dey catch you ehn, make you warn yourself wel-wel o.
And any day wen i go catch any of ona with dose ona friends dey smoke for dis lodge again ehn, na me go personally go call those soldier men for Staff Qtrs com for ona” he added as he locked the gate before he entered room and banged the door.
The noise vex me ehn cos the caretaker(Happy) lived in the next room after mine, disrupting the movie we were watching in the process.
I almost shouted at him for disturbing but i relaxed, after all, it wasn’t my father’s compound and it was a public place. So i gats endure many tins cos if i wanted peace of mind and comfort, i for go build or buy my own lodge or alternatively pay for the rest rooms make dem quit the rest people make i know say na just me dey, no disturb! *lol* (Wait fess, no be madness be dat?)
Make me remember some kine G-boys wey go pick money finish, dem go con carry money go lodge expensive hotels for some months, den wen money dun finish, their eyes go con clear. dem go back to their rented apartment.
Nor be my money o but, make i ask you, nor be foolishness be dat? Dem nor fit use money go buy house or build their own?
Even if na self contain sef na something, then use money pimp am to standard, then use customization finish am! Even if you get bedsitter sef, your own, na your own, nobody go fit take am from you.
I dey shame for some niggas wey dey cruise cars wey worth millions and dem still dey stay rented apartment, chai! Who do dem?
Well, i understand the fact say everybody get their priorities and life goals o, but buying luxury cars while living in another man’s compound is a no-no for me.
Some guys be like, ‘ if i get money ehn, i go buy d latest G-Wagon take go shut down or club, if the money finish, another money com again” (dear sense, pls locate and fall on them for me!)
back to the matter jare, me that doesn’t like being getting unnecessary attention, i just kept my cool and pretended like i wasn’t in the lodge to calm my mind down(dat kine tin), and continued the movie till i slept off while my brother continued.
The next morning, Happy came to inform us that there would be a general meeting in the lodge.
I just nodded at him even when i knew i won’t attend. Don’t ask me why o
Meekest came to my place as happy left, “how far na, wetin dat guy dey do for here dis kine morning na, abi dem com give ona quit notice?” he asked me as he laughed and entered inside.
“yeye dey worry you o, e nor too early to dey yan nonsense?” i replied and kicked him playfully.
“oboy, Matric na next week o, how e go be na?” he asked me.
“guy, i nor know o, anyhow e wan be make e be o, infact i nor go even tell anybody about am sef, i nor want make anybody com, i wan dey on lowkey dat day” i replied him.
” you nor serious, i know say na joke you dey, oga talk better tin jare” blacky said while he threw a pillow at me.
“dey there na, when dat day reach you go know, i just feel like dey on my own dat day” i replied him while i caught the pillow in the air.
While we were talking, someone knocked on the door and when i went to check who the person was, lo and behold, it was the girl that borrowed my lighter, Chi.
“good morning, i’m sorry i couldn’t return it last night,” she said as she handed me the lighter.
“no problem” i replied as i collected it from her and entered inside to go prepare for class. (No time to check time)
When i got back inside, i met meekest by the window peeping. “omo dat babe make sense o, see goods wey only her carry, she set die!!” he said as i entered.
“yeye dey worry you dis morning o, bomb dey your head?” i asked him as i entered inside the bathroom.
” omo, link us up na, make i know say i get one client for your lodge,” he said.
” better thunder fire your mouth dia, your mate dey find client wey go bring money, na babe wen go make you spend money you dey find, dis boy you well so? Is your brain paining you?”i asked him while we laughed.
“oshare, leave am o, is it your money? I nor go just allow dis correct babe pass me by like dat o, if you like make you dey dull.
Fine babes even full ona lodge sef, you go dey com my lodge com dey follow us dey drag the small fine babes wey we get, nawa for you oh” he replied.
” nor be today i know say you no get sense, e don tey wen i know, kolo!” i said and the laughter continued.
I came out of the bathroom some minutes later, prepared and we left for school. The rest days of the week passed without significant event.
Classes didn’t hold that much. Most lecturers didn’t give lectures that week cos they held series of meetings due to the upcoming Matric.
Classes were less filled cos most people who paid for matric-gown went to the school bursary to change their bank teller to school receipt for them to be able to collect their gowns ahead of the day cos the gowns were limited and they were shared on a first-come-first-given order.
Some people carry the gown matric gown matter for head ehn, if you see d way dem dey quarrel for queue ehn, you go jus weak.
Dem go dey almost fight themselves like say the matric gown na ticket to win money.
Na for the queue you go dey hear tins like,
“i first you com o, na me dey here before o”
” i’m behind you o”
“i’m in the front of you back o”
“nor allow anybody enter your front o”
“if anybody do wayo for here, i go scatter the line o”
If i see dem, na so i go just dey laugh cos those things nor dey freak me.
Before i comot from school sef, i nor know how Matric day dey be for inside school cos i nor enta school any of the matric days.
Even the previous one wey i go dis year January sef, i nor enta school. (you go fear record!)
That week ran as if it was been chased by some hungry bulldogs without any significant event.
To be continued….