Since Alhaji Kazeem chased his pretty Fulani wife from the house nothing seemed to be the same with him anymore. He became really hysteric at odd times and could be unusually cold. His wife’s departure made me realise he was an empty vessel without her.
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The two loud gunshots that emanated from Alhaji Kazeem’s flat gave tenants present in the compound that Saturday morning a huge scare. Virtually everyone ran out of their flats to ascertain where the gunshots were fired and the cause of the disturbance.
Ekene and I had to knock heavily on Alhaji Kazeem’s door before he managed to open the door to his apartment
“I’m sorry, did I cause a stir?” He was holding the revolver when he opened up to attend to us. I was frightened a bit on sighting the revolver in his hands while Ekene tried to peep into his living room to find out exactly what was going on.
“Off course you did,” Ekene responded.
“Alhaji what is going on o!” The vociferous single mother in our compound bellowed.
“Alhaji are you the only person in the house?” Ekene inquired.
“Does it look like I have company?” Alhaji countered.
“I only asked a question Alhaji”
“Look Ekene it’s too early for this. If you don’t mind, I have some unfinished business to attend to in the house,” Alhaji banged the door on our faces.
“Una dey fear to enter the house ni” Miss Nancy, the single mother thundered.
“He said he’s the only person in the house,” Ekene said agonizingly
“And you believed him?“Miss Nancy retorted.
“Actually he didn’t say that, he didn’t directly answer your question Ekene,” I added.
“So una go leave am?” Miss Nancy wouldn’t budge on her stance.
“What would you have us do?” Ekene asked.
“What if he has killed someone in his house?” Miss Nancy queried.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” Ekene responded.
“So the gunshot is for what? Moreover how did he even get a gun?”
“Madam, Alhaji is an ex-force man,” I lent my voice to the question and answer session.
“Oh, so his flat is now a firing range ba, or is he firing at himself?”
“What do you mean firing at himself?” I tried to understand her insinuations
“I mean probably he’s trying to commit suicide or something”
“Was his body covered in blood when you saw him open the door?” Ekene was growing impatient
“How am I suppose to know, you guys were covering him?”
“Madam I’m not sure someone is in that house with him,” I answered.
“Then who or what the heck is he firing at?”
“Probably you should go in and ask him yourself. Me am off to my flat.” Ekene turned away to head back to his flat having had enough of Miss Nancy’s interrogations.
I’m not sure I ever told you about Miss Nancy; Miss Nancy was the 38 years old single pretty mother in our compound who still acted like a teenager. Her son was half Sotonye’s age. She must have had him when she was 26.
Though she was a very attractive lady albeit that seemed like all there was to her. Her sauciness and knack for gossip made her company non-desirable. Miss Nancy was an attention seeker and always made a statement with her appearance. One peculiar thing about her was that you would never catch her without make-up
“You! Is your daddy at home?” Miss Nancy noticed Sotonye in her bandage styled tube dress for the first time.
“No!” Sotonye answered like she knew what the petty lady was driving at.
“No wonder!” Miss Nancy replied cynically.
“No wonder what?” Sotonye was having known of her pettiness.
“You are blind abi? You can’t see what you are wearing…You think you can seduce all the men in this compound with your pepeye body shey?” Miss Nancy continued.
“Whatever…What I wear outside my house is none of your business”
“And the one you wear inside your house…is that one my business, err, rude girl. You be forming good girl when your dad is around but the moment he leaves the house you will suddenly transform to a stripper”
“I beg your pardon ma! You have no right whatsoever to talk to me that way, you are not my mother!” Sotonye fumed.
“Dey there dey speak fone…You had better give yourself brain. All these hawks that call themselves men will just chop you and clean mouth like nothing happened. Na small pikin dey worry you. Be there and be forming sexy, it will over you soon.” Miss Nancy sashayed past her as she headed back to her apartment.
“Busy body!” Sotonye voiced.
“Your mother busy body,” Miss Nancy cursed.
“What’s up with you and that lady?” I said immediately Miss Nancy went out of earshot
“Hey, hold it there! All the while she was insulting me,you didn’t even utter a word”
“What was I suppose to say? I honestly didn’t know what was going on and why she picked on you like that.” It appeared you guys had a prior misunderstanding”
“More reason you should have come to my defense but you chose that time to display your tendency to be deaf and dumb”
“So I’m now to blame for what happened?”
“I didn’t say that, I only expected that you would at least have my back”
“Okay I’m sorry. I know I should have at least said something. Please forgive me”
“It’s fine. She is the one with the problem. Ever since I told her point blank to stop chasing my dad, she has developed an unusual hatred for me”
As we spoke, the gate to the compound opened widely as Mr. Lasetta drove recklessly into the compound in his characteristic manner. “Oh shit! My dad is back. He mustn’t see me dressed this way,” Sotonye tried to shield herself from her dad.
“But he has seen you already, there is no point hiding from him”
“Oh so you know your dad won’t approve of what you are wearing?“For reasons best known to her, Miss Nancy had returned to the spot she left us.
“Keep shut please!” Sotonye barked.
“Huh!Me, Nancy? I should keep shut?” Miss Nancy was shocked at Sotonye’s rude remarks.
“What is going on here?” Mr. Lasetta asked as he alighted from his range rover.
“Your rude daughter just told me to shut my mouth because I frowned at her dressing”
“Daddy welcome” Sotonye was now acting all nice.
“Sotonye!” Mr. Lasetta was alarmed on sighting what his precious daughter had on.
“Sir!” Sotonye feigned ignorance
“Why are you outside dressed like this?”
“We heard a gunshot in the compound so out of fear I ran out of the house”
“A gunshot?” Mr. Lasetta was still alarmed but this time for an entirely different course
“Ehhhh! This your daughter can lie oh! She didn’t run out of your house when Alhaji fired those shots o!, she actually ran out of his house,” Miss Nancy said, pointing in my direction
“Sotonye I won’t raise a whore for a daughter,” Mr. Lasetta said dissappointedly
“Don’t Daddy me and get inside! Don’t you think it’s too early for this? This is a Saturday morning for crying out loud”
“I’m sorry daddy,”she ran into their flat almost in tears
“And you… are you sleeping with my daughter now?” Mr. Lasetta turned his searchlights on me
“…Because if you are I will ensure I take you down six feet beneath. I don’t care if your old man is the landlord. I understand you seem to be a good lad but I don’t bloody joke with my girls,” he headed straight for his flat,totally ignoring Miss Nancy but stopped on his tracks midway. He seemed to remember something as he turned to me.
“Lest I forget, I think you should go find out what’s going on in your dad’s property at Amosun street. I saw your mum and brother having a heated argument with one other man. I couldn’t stop to find out what the matter was because I was in a hurry”
“Really? Okay, thank you sir for the information”
“Wait, did you guys say something about hearing gunshots in the compound?”
Just as Miss Nancy was going to answer him, we heard yet another thunderous sound emanate from Alhaji Kazeem’s flat.“Something is definitely going on in that flat. That is the third time he’s firing those shots,” Miss Nancy voiced her fears just as Ekene ran out to join us.
“And what have you all done about it?” Mr. Lasetta asked. Mr. Lasetta, Ekene, Miss Nancy and myself marched to the front of Alhaji Kazeem’s flat as we banged on his door. “Alhaji!!!”
He opened up to us even before we could bang on his door a second time. “Finally!” he said excitedly and at the same time stared at us painstakingly.“Alhaji, What is going on here?” Mr. Lasetta inquired.
“There!” Alhaji Kazeem pointed to a corner of his living room as our eyes followed his lead. From where we stood, we could see smoke emanating from his television. He must have fired a shot at the electronic box but what really caught our eyes was the hapless rodent that laid on the floor in a pool of his blood.
It was a huge thing that could have passed for a bush rat!
“That must be the rat they’ve been looking for in Aso Rock,” he said sarcastically
Bad Market Continues Next Week…
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