Yemisi, my landlord’s daughter…….. Ezeala Kingsley Chukwuebuka (kingsceze)
Saturdays have got many things in common, but Saturday 13th May, 2017 distinguished itself among equals. I moved in, to the new apartment I rented in a reserved area of Mile 12, Lagos. If any soothsayer had told me I would rent such an apartment, I wouldn’t have believed. It’s a ‘face-me, I face-you’ apartment with over thirty-two rooms. Its environs are what I can’t describe. A drop of rain fall, rain-boot would be the only option to get to the other side of Mile 12 where there’ll be bike or Napep. If one must go about the daily routine early, one has to be awake by 4:00am so as to be the first on the queue. Else, you’ll be tempted to leave the house without bath. Any further delay would be a story for another day!
I have never enjoyed anything about this compound but only for my landlord’s daughter, Yemisi who turned 22, same day I moved into the compound. She has been the reason why I found my stay here a little rewarding. I’ve always prayed for the day both of us would travel to Jerusalem. It’s true I’ve admired her from the very first time I set my eyes on her (about a year and three months ago, when I visited a friend) but haven’t got the morale to let her know about my feelings for her, even now I’ve moved to the compound. But, I believe the lucky day would soon smile at me………
YESTERDAY morning, I woke up when the florescent light at the backyard was beginning to win its battle with the darkness. The rustic sound of my landlord’s I-pass-my-neighbour generator was the only sound I could hear from a distance. It’s an obvious reason that Baba Ijebu paid him huge the previous day! This is the only way I have not been happy over someone else’s progress. Whenever he wins any game, it prevents his children especially his daughters from coming to my room to charge their gadgets. (And only a few of the guys would understand how painful this is.) It was actually my alarm clock that woke me from my snoring at 4:35am. I hurried to say my usual morning devotion and joined the queue. It was always two different queues; the toilet and the bathroom respectively. This morning….as at that moment, I belonged to the former. Luckily, I was number seven on the queue. Our thirty two rooms could boast of two blocks, a toilet and a bathroom.
This is no issue of big boy or girl. You must queue. As I opened my door and made for the queue, rowdiness mounted high at the backyard as my fellow inmates who had joined the queue before me continuously rained insults on the person in the rest room.
‘E nor go better for you’, a voice insulted.
‘How many hours you wan spend there?’ another shouted.
‘See as the shit de smell, abi you chop dead rat ni?’ the third voice giggled.
Within me, I thought all the insults belonged to one Mister, lai that in the compound who’s a drunk. I believed he could be the only one to produce such that could change the sweet fragrance of the early morning’s scent. When the door was opened, I saw my crush coming out of the rest room….and immediately headed to the bathroom. She tied a towel that barely covered her laps. One could see the shape of her butt. Seeing the structures could lure any son of Adam into eating the forbidden fruit, the second time.
‘So Yemisi, na you de spoil the air since? Na wah o’ I murmured to myself. So many thoughts crashed through my mind, I began to imagine how she would taste if I kissed her. After a few more minutes, I watched her walk passed me shaking her buttock vigorously in a way I got erect. And my eyes followed her butt until she disappeared from my sight.
“You see, no matter the kind of odour emanating from this temple, in it must I worship someday.” I concluded.
“Kings, e be like say you nor wan enter?” a voice called my attention. Then I quickly carried my bucket of water and entered the toilet…..then entered the bathroom whose door had an opening….and covered the little opening with my Chelsea towel. I had a quick bath. One could imagine if I only poured water on my body. “Since today is Thursday, I’ll leave the house later than usual .The road is usually free because of the accustomed Environmnetal in Lagos. I will wait and go together with Yemisi. I should tell her about my feelings this morning,” I thought as I dressed in my corporate attire. I ensured I tucked the white long sleeve in the black plain trouser. I didn’t also forget to wear an Explore smart perfume. The way I carved my beards gave it a perfect match with my afro. I looked myself in the mirror that hung on the wall at the verandah and nodded positively. As I was still admiring the handwork of my creator, a soft voice said to me.
“Hi Uncle Kings, what’s the name of this your perfume again?”
I turned to her and smiled, “Explore!” and frowned immediately. I looked so despondent that she needed to ask if I was okay. I forced a smile in pretense I was fine, but I felt like changing the whole things.
I hate it when a prospecting babe refers to me as Uncle. It really gets me thinking…..
“Yes. That’s it! It’s the same perfume my older brother bought for me but mine finished days ago.” She smiled, trying to explain when no one has asked for explanation.
“Me, I nor kuku like make e finish patapata before I go replace am,” I added in pigin.
“Arh, that’s good! That’s what I would be doing oo. I would always notify him on time…when it’s about to finish” she was still smiling. This time, she showed she’s got dimples.
“Him?” I enquired. “Your boyfriend” I couldn’t control my jealousy.
“Arh-ah, Uncle” She tapped me on the body. “I am talking about my older brother.”
“Oh, I see. That’ll be great!” I affirmed.
“Please, lemme just use small” she said and stretched her hand.
“Arh! No problem. You can have it. I bought another one yesterday” I said, handing the perfume to her.
“You mean, eem…..you dash me this one?
“Yes, you can keep it.”
“Thank you” she said and made for the gate.
“…but, can’t we go together?” I appealed.
“why not,” she said in defence.
I quickly twisted my door handler and dragged the keys out and ran towards the gate, regardless of my corporate attire. This was in a quest to cultivate on the farmland! “Time to worship in this adorable temple is near” I murmured as I rubbed my lips with my tongue.
I stole a glance at my wrist watch. 8:27hr. In the BRT, we sat on the second to last row from the Busman’s side. She was busy pressing her Samsung Galaxy J7 prime that she barely noticed me. I severally bent my face to see what got her attention that much. Whenever she notices I tried looking into her phone, she pressed the side button to lock the screen. After a few minutes, she drew the pattern to unlock the phone. And she quickly replied whatsapp and facebook messages. I wondered why she should be so addicted to social media instead of focusing on her Education. I took a quick look at her and tapped her on the laps.
She lends me a look and smiled in a way I should do more of that. I envied her smile and tried to force out a few words from my mouth but all to no avail.
I concentrated on the Television screen in the BRT showing Mark Angel comedy ‘My Daddy’ and smiled over little Emmanuella’s excellence.
“Kings, you called me?” her eyes straight to mine. I swallowed hard and nodded like an Agama-lizard.
“What’s your Jamb score again?” I tried not to disappoint the MAN in me.
“Two thirty three!”
“Let me see how jamb will not give me admission this year”, she added, concentrated more with the chats on her phone.
I smiled, “I hope so”
‘Next stop…….Anthony,’ the BRT beeped.
I stood from the seat and she stared into my eyes in a way she wanted to alight same stop with me.
“See you when I get back from work,” I assured her.
Jumping outta BRT, I was somewhat fulfilled that my mission in the compound of ‘face me, I face you’ was about to be accomplished.
At work. 11:06hr. Nothing about the day’s activity interests me. I was so eager to go home and meet Yemisi but when I remembered she would still be at the mom’s shop, I allowed the whispering idea to disappear.
14:49hr. My mobile phone rang. I placed my right hand in my trouser front pocket, brought the phone. It was an unknown number. I quickly pressed the receiver’s button expecting to hear Yemisi’s voice.
“Hello?” I voiced out.
“Hello!” the caller said and the line went dead.
I waited for about three minutes. When it seemed the caller won’t call again, I dialed the number on my phone.
“Hello, hellooo…..helloooo,” I shouted. As if that would fix what seemed to be a network problem.
“But wait o, that voice wasn’t Yemisi’s. I swallowed hard…..in disappointment.
I was not happy with myself. I should have collected her number in the morning. That’s the problem. Loss of morale to express myself!
Nature finally put a smile on my face when the sun set. Work was over for the day. I didn’t shut down the computer properly because I thought that would delay me from having a good long time with Yemisi. It dawned on me at Anthony/Town planning stop when I got down from Keke, that I didn’t thumb-print before leaving office.
“Oh my goodness!” how on planet earth will they know I stayed till close of day? Should I go back and sign out for the day? Won’t that have anything to do with my salary? I asked myself many questions I left unanswered. I stood for a few minutes, looking at the road back to the office and nodded helplessly. “shebi na just to slash my salary? That one nor be problem. Yemisi dey important now pass!” I concluded and climbed the Anthony-bridge.
Standing at the BRT terminal point, it looked like all the buses were on strike as commuters queued up with no hope of getting home on time. Many impatient ones jumped onto damfo.
“Later bro, a friend I had met at the bus stop told me as the damfo zoomed off.
Thirty minutes gone. No sign of BRT. Forty minutes, fifty minutes and a bus parked. The busman gave a sign that it’s only for those enroute Ikorodu. Having known that, I gave deaf ears to that since the bus will definitely pass mile 12. I struggled with the Ikorodu passengers to find my way to the bus but as fate decided, the bus filled before my turn. I stood back. Brought out my phone and dialed the same number that called me earlier. ‘the number you’re trying to call is currently switched off, please try again later. Thank you’ I wore an ugly look. And the countenance became exactly like those Juventus fans at Cardiff during the Champions league finals.
One thing was on my mind, how to run my package with Yemisi.
An hour gone. I tried to re-sell the ticket but all my efforts yielded no fruit. People began throwing their tickets away to enter Danfo bus. I couldn’t join the trend. I had used the last money on me to purchase the ticket. Getting home depends solely on whenever ‘all-route-BRT’ or that of Mile 12 comes.
Fortune or what seemed to be luck smiled at me after about an hour plus three minutes stand on the BRT queue, bus halted right in front of me. It was 18:45hr.
One thing I like about Primero BRT, it beats hold ups. And the second is the AC. These are reasons many people prefer it to others. But the former sufficed…..at least for today! Within a twinkling of an eye, we got to under bridge mile 12 and I immediately recovered the smile I lost. When I got home, i tidied up the room…especially my bed. I peeped through the window severally to know if I would see Yemisi but all to no avail.
“Joseph!” I called our neighbour’s son.
“Uncle, good evening” the lil boy greeted.
“Have you seen our landlord today?” I queried.
“No. I saw him with big-big bag yesterday. I think he traveled.” Joe explained. I know that already. If only Joe could, he would have known the reason behind the question.
“And Yemisi? Have you not seen her this evening?” I hit the nail on the head.
“I don’t think she’s back” Joe added.
“It’s alright. Thank you. I wanted to give them money for NEPA bill. Shebi this NEPA people nor come today?” I changed the topic.
Just like a fawning dog, I shuffled my feet back to my room and opened the door and window, should Yemisi comes back. I lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. The appetite for food was gone on exile. I struggled with the nature as my eyes became drowsy… I couldn’t let the nature defeat me as I occasionally poured water on my face but I eventually succumbed.
To be continued………