MY EXPERIENCE WITH A DIRTY LANDLORD
by Susan Johnson
Mummy’s girl that I was, I knew travelling back home immediately after NYSC camp was going to cost me. Invariably I was right; it did cost me big time. Not only were all the good houses taken before I returned, I had to settle for the unwanted houses. Nevertheless, I chose a small room and parlour boy’s quarters, which stood apart from its main house. At least, it guaranteed me privacy if anything I thought.
The first month was not too terrible, but for the frequent lack of water in the compound and little arguments about bathroom and environmental sweeping. The female tenants most of whom were married began to notice me and on learning that I had just moved in, the sighs and incessant head shaking began. I really didn’t understand the constant murmurs of
“Ah Corper!Wetin you find come here na?” or
“Sisi you for just manage una barracks o”.
However, I began to see the light when my landlord’s wife came to bang on my door one early Saturday morning. I’d never seen her because she lived in another of her husband’s houses, unlike her husband who stayed more often in the main block of flats in my compound. She raved and ranted for no good reason, ending her tirade with
“Let me not just catch you in those rubbish bum shorts you girls of today like to wear”.
In the following days as though set off by his wife’s actions, my landlord began to appear constantly around my flat. If it was not to enjoy the cool breeze in front of my window, it was to check the cleanliness of my veranda. He graduated to asking me
“Corper wetin you cook?”
“Susan Susan, you get food for house?”
His beady little eyes were careful to ogle my body without being too obvious. As if deaf to my relentless “No Sirs”, my fifty-year-old landlord refused to let me be. His disgusting antics proved to be a common occurrence in the neighbourhood and he was reputed to have chased every skirt wearing human being in the compound, married or not.
His madness however came to a head one hot afternoon when I returned from my station at a nearby primary school to find him sitting down outside and innocently reading a newspaper. Sticky and sweaty from running around during the P E class earlier, I opted to take a long cold shower. I was going about my bathroom business when I heard screaming and shouting outside. I quickly rinsed off and rushed outside to find Mama Comfort and the Landlord amidst the commotion. My appearance in a towel further prompted shouts of “Rubbish!” among the other tenants.
“Dirty old man”.
I was lost until Mama Comfort pointed to a table and a chair stacked directly under my bathroom window. I had never felt so molested and repulsed by a human being as I did that day. Needless to say, I immediately sacked my landlord!
– SUSAN JOHNSON.
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