When I got home from the car wash, I saw madam Landlady standing on the veranda. She had obviously decided too skip Church entirely. I didn’t know about her daughter, I guessed they returned to the Church but as for madam Landlady, she was not going to see the Bishop anymore.
She had killed my dog and paid with her cat.
You see, forgiveness was such a good thing. Trust me, I loved forgiveness but when a perceived wicked person who had the record of offending people tampered with any of my happiness factors, he or she would pay as long as there was a means to pay.
Fortunately for me, there was always a solution to every given problem. I believed that the only thing without immediate solution was death which was the absolute end of every life.
I walked upstairs with my eyes covered in black glasses. Ironically, I expected her to throw another water on me from the veranda but she didn’t.
After the Church, the landlord came to my apartment. I was with my cousin when he came.
”Azubuike, I have something to beg of you. I will do everything you want if you agree to do that for me” he said and kept quiet.
I poured a glass of whiskey in a glass and sipped it with my legs crossed on the table.
”Oga, if it is about what happened near the Church today, I have apologized to madam” I said and sipped another drink.
”Yes, it has something to do with what happened. Madam had told me what happened and she cried over it. I promised her that I will tell you to look for another house. I am not forcing you out but I will have peace if you move to a new house” he said.
”Thanks for the offer Oga Landlord. I totally understand you but you know the stress of finding a new house in Lagos now. First of all, I will have to pay for two years before any landlord will listen to me. Then I will have to move my properties too, all this things cost money Sir and I don’t have cash now” I said.
”I will return two years payment to you if you agree to go. But you will take care of every other thing by yourself. I just want to rest before you people kill me in this house” he said.
I Laughed out to the amazement of my cousin.
”Ok, Oga like I said, I understand you. Women can drive people crazy. I am going to start looking for house tomorrow. Hopefully I will get one by the end of the week. I will surely move out sir as long as you keep to your promise of Refunding me my two years rent” I said.
He thanked me and left. The laughter on his face showed that he had almost won a war. Clearly Mr Landlord was suffering in his own apartment. Not that it was my business but ” a snake which refused to act like a snake will be used as a rope by women”
When he left, Zainab came out of the room and sat with us. She listened as I discussed the current situation in Igbo language with my cousin.
My cousin was panicking as if there was no other house in Lagos.
”I don’t like the way you view these whole thing. when one door is closed, another one is open. You play Bob Marley every night and you here these sayings yet you now feel as if the world has fallen on your head” I said to him.
”I am the treasurer of CYON and the secretary of Saint Anthony at the Church. I can’t just go like that” he said.
”Then lets go with their money, I am sure there must be catholic Church wherever we go from here” I said and kept quiet.
After some more drinks, I thought about the best place to relocate to in Lagos. I thought about Mafoluku in Oshodi. I figured out it would be good to live close to Mr Chukwudi but I didn’t even know his house.
I thought about Victoria Island, the houses there were probably expensive.
I thought about Surulere, it was a good place because it would give me easy access to Lagos Island and the rest of Lagos mainland.
It was time to leave the barracks area and its people.
I flashed back to how I even came to live there. It all started in 2002 when I thought I was going to marry Efuah, a Ghanaian woman I had met in Accra. I had found the place and had believed I was going to settle down as a family man. But as fate would have it, I traveled to Europe. I only returned to that place because, I didn’t want to waste more money looking for a new accommodation when I was refused another travel to Europe.
Everything that happened to me in that area was born out of natural causes which no man can ever stop.
It was true that we selected where to live but where we lived actually chose us.
When the tension had reduced, I told Zainab to get ready to return to Unilag. She had not mentioned about going back to school since morning and I didn’t know why. Maybe there was nothing important happening in school but whether there was or not, she was going.
”I will go to school in the morning baby” she had replied.
”No Zainab, you are going to school now. There is a little trouble in the house and I don’t want you to be involved in it. I will come and pick you up when every thing is calm” I had said.
She wanted to know what it was but I wasn’t interested in telling her anything.
After some minutes, she quietly went inside the room and got ready to leave. I took her downstairs and drove her to the Barracks bus stop where we waited for a cab.
I gave her N5000 and told her to pay for transport from it. She entered a cab without a word or even looking back at me. I knew she wasn’t happy, therefore I didn’t expect such privileges.
” The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us”