A LANDLORD LIKE A FATHER
by Opeoluwa Odunlami
I just gained admission into the university in a city that is very far away from the one I grew up with my mother. Trust African mothers to always have hind eyes to watch over their wards. In school, my mother handed me over to the landlord of my hostel pleading to him to handle and treat me as his child…. On a fateful Friday evening, myself and some friends went to the river to swim. It was already late and dark before we returned. The walk back home was quite long and tiring that I just managed to get myself on the bed and slept off, unconscious of my room windows and door that were all left open.
Few minutes into my sleep, it started to rain heavily but I didn’t know; I was fast asleep. It’s now midnight and the weather really cold, I woke up to some rheumatic pains. I was wailing miserably that I didn’t notice anybody walk towards me, I just felt some parts of my body were being touched. It’s the landlord, his room is directly opposite mine, the wail and open door must have attracted and brought him to my room… as if he already knew what I needed at the moment, perhaps my mother already told him I suffer sickle-cell anaemia during one of their usual phone conversations, he immediately shut all the windows; after which he got a balm to massage my body in toto, then he reached for a blanket to wrap me up. He then left and returned in no time with a bowl of hot noodles and boiled egg in his hands, my hands were now really cold and frail so he fed me. Few minutes later, he persuaded me to take my medications; how on earth he was able to find them still amazes me because I’ve not for once remembered to take any of them since I resumed to school and so was unsure of their location myself. He tucked me back in bed. I was able to sleep, albeit short, but I doubt if he was able to catch a bout of sleep before day break.
The succeeding day, before sunset, I was already recuperating. He called me to his room and engaged me in a father-to-son conversation. We discussed life at random while he laid much emphasis on good health as a prerequisite to achieving any feat, he further advised me to steer clear of acts that can hamper my health. I thanked him greatly and prostrated to show my sincere gratitude. He made me feel really good that I concluded within myself that no matter how long I live, that his act of kindness will forever remain evergreen in my memory.
– Opeoluwa Odunlami Eniola
You can also read other stories in this competition by clicking HERE.