MY LANDLORD’S STRANGE BURIAL RITES
by Maureen Alikor
One day, my landlord came knocking, he had just lost his mother and was dressed in an all black attire.
He had a solemn look on his face and I couldn’t place what it was, but I had heard stories of how landlords extorted money from their tenants for the sake of burial and I prayed this was not to be the case.
I had also heard of landlords who went to meet their tenants asking them to give them or lend them a particular amount of money which would be calculated as rent for the years to come, I thought that was what he was about to say but I was shocked.
He told me about the burial of his mother which would take place the following month. He went ahead to tell me that so many relatives would be in attendance from both far and near and that they didn’t have enough room in the house to accommodate all of them. He pleaded that I vacate my room for seven days to enable him house some relatives for the duration of the burial. I grudgingly agreed.
I had planned a trip to go see my family and spend sometime with them and thought this would be a perfect time, besides my landlord had been a wonderful person for the duration of time that I had spent in the compound.
When it was time for the burial rites to begin, I rearranged my room, looked the boxes that housed my clothes and bag that had my important documents in them and locked them in the wardrobe. I packed what I needed for my trip, gave my house key to my landlord and travelled. I was to be away for a week but ended up staying for two weeks.
Upon my arrival, I collected my key from the woman who answered the door when I knocked on my landlord’s door.
As she handed me the key, she gave me a certain look I didn’t understand.
I got into my room and saw how scattered it was, I checked my wardrobe and every other thing to confirm their safety.
I began rearranging my furniture, putting everything in their right positions.
Thirty minutes later, I heard a knock. It was the woman who just gave me my key.
She told me, she was my landlord’s fiancée and that she noticed something shocking during the burial. She told me that the woman who died was buried in my room, and that it was part of the customs and tradition of their people. She told me the dead woman was the former occupant of my room when she was alive and that it was her health that made them move her to the main building.
I didn’t let her continue. I thanked her, two days later, I got a truck and moved out of the house leaving my three months rent with them. Thank God, I had not renewed.
– Maureen Alikor