Life was really becoming unbearable for Runo and some other tenants in 5, Otolori street Lawanson. There was always something to worry about each passing day. Runo hardly spent time in her apartment since Oga Martins left as their caretaker. Mr. Okafor was billed to come into the country from his base in America in some couple of days and Runo was looking forward to his arrival. There were many issues she needed to sort out with him.
Runo had been trying to catch up on some sleep before leaving the house. She had made up her mind to spend the night at her friend’s place in Lekki to make it in time for her photo-shoot which was billed for 7 a.m the next day. Though it was 6:02 pm already, Runo wished she could sleep for at least an hour before leaving for the Island. But the constant bickering between Nneka and Uju – the two runs girls’ in her compound made certain that sleep was no where near her. Nneka and Uju lived together yet the duo fought the most in the compound. This was another of their epic clashes. They came out full throttle on each other, displaying their foolishness and childishness in the full glare of the public.
“See am! Old cargo! No go marry, they chase small boys around. Na so you use your juju snatch Jamiu from me. If no be say that one na woman wrapper your Juju for no work” Uju bellowed.
“Na jealousy go kill you. You think say I be like you ni? Wetin go make me use juju for Jamiu? Abi which guy go see person like me no trip. See Uju, I be hot cake anyday anytime, no be mouth. Go ask the big boys for Lekki. Uju you know naa, my shape na die!”She turned around to showcase her assets before Uju. “No man can resist me, not even that your pastor wey they use format for you”
“Nneka, Amadioha strike you for there, I blame you.”
Runo scurried out of her room having had enough of her neighbours brouhaha
“Oh my God! Will you guys just take a break and let me rest or are you paid to wash your dirty linens in public? Get some decency please. Receive brain!”
“Shhhh! Who be you?” Uju hushed Runo rudely.
“Where the soldier ant crawl comot from?” Nneka added as the two girls switched their attention to Runo
“Babe you lost your nanny abi na your feeding bottle you come find outside?” Uju lashed out at Runo. Sylvanus, one of the bachelors in the compound who had stepped out to watch the ensuing confrontation laughed out loud, obviously enjoying every bit of the tongue lashing. “Yehhhh! Na person pikin dem they yap like this? Runo Aswear if na me dem stroke like that ehn…ah go just kee myself away. Ah go hang myself for the nearest mango tree”
“Sylvanus you be goat!” Uju turned the heat on her snooping neighbour.
“Why you no go kill yourself when be say the life wey you dey leave so no be your own. Na person own you borrow dey use. Your Mama don throway your original destiny inside lagoon since” Nneka lent her voice which elicited Sylvanus’s fury.
“Ehn, Nneka hol am there! Wetin bring that kind misyan naa, abi wetin concern me with the matter wey dey ground?”
“Common shattap there! Abi you think say we no know say na you go tell Jamiu say you see us for Lekki dey do runs. Snitch like you…Na Devil go judge your matter”
Runo quickly returned to her room before the ferocious girls whose mouths ran like wildfire would turn their searchlights back on her. She was fed up with the lowlifes’ she now had to share the same compound with. On getting to her room, she realized the noise and rants outside had subsided. It seemed Sylvanus also took her lead.
She heaved a sigh of relief as she slipped into her bed. Before long she was sleeping soundly.
It was 7:08 pm when the sound of creaking gates awoke Runo. She looked through her window to find out that the working class tenants in her compound were scaling the iron gates to get into the compound. “What’s going on?”
Runo darted into the bathroom to rinse her face then applied some make-up in preparation to leave the house. Hand bag in hand, before long she was ready to make the trip to Lekki. Immediately she stepped out of her apartment she noticed that Uju and Nneka had resumed their fight. “Oh God! not again.”
Runo wondered how the girls survived as room mates when they were always at daggers drawn. She walked past them in time to see Jamiu jump into the compound through the gate. He was one of the many that was held out.
“Babe you they comot?” Jamiu asked immediately he sighted Runo from his monkey-like position close to the gate
“Yes oh! Why are you guys scaling the gate? Is there a problem?”
“So you’ve been in this compound since morning and you don’t know that LAWMA sealed our gate?”
“For what naa?”
“Can’t you see the large heap of refuse in front of our house? Looks like Oga Landlord is owing them”
“LAWMA sealed our gate!”
Madam Ekaete who had just been helped into the compound by Jamiu before he made his way through joined in the conversation before gaining entrance into her apartment. “LAWMA ke? No be those people wey dey catch people wey cross express for Oshodi dem they call LAWMA? Wetin be that their name again sef…Errr….Yes! KAI”
“Jesus!” Runo is shocked at Madam Ekaete’s response.
“Madam no be KAI them they call LAWMA. LAWMA na Lagos State Waste Management Authority” Jamiu responded.
“Okay! Na him make this sisi pelebe dey scream Jesus, abi your Papa join the soldiers wey kill the man?”
‘Please don’t insult my father oh! Or is he the cause of your dumbness?” Madam Ekaete had walked into her apartment before Runo completed her sentence. Jamiu on the other hand started walking away
“Jamiu, where are you going?”
“To my flat of course”
“Haba, how am I suppose to leave this compound now when my gate is locked?”
You don start again oh! How the other tenants take enter compound?
You mean I should scale the gate of a compound I pay rent for? Hell no! Am no thief
Okay stay there now. We wey we jump gate na armed robbers we be shey?
The prolonged exchanges between Uju and Nneka came to the fore yet again. It was becoming heated this time. Uju had darted into their room and moments later came out with a bucket of dirty water. She was going to pour it on her room mate.
“Uju dem no born you well”
She poured the water just as Jamiu bent down to pick the key that had dropped from his pocket. Nneka, the intended victim had moved away just in time, however Jamui stood in the way. He was bathed in the dirty water as he rose up in anguish.
“Damn! Wetin be this rough play naa?”
“Jamiu abeg no vex” Uju pleaded
“You they mad! Make I no vex? Na me and you they quarrel abi you be handicap?” Jamiu fumed. He sniffed himself and expressed utter disgust. “Which kain water you pour me so?”
“Na water wey she use wash her undies since yesterday oh.” Nneka revealed.
“Pant and bra water?”
Jamiu could not believe what he just heard “Ahh! Baba God na look you dey look your son so? He be like say ah wan kill person pikin oh”
“Even self na toilet she been wan use am flush before the thing land for your body”
“Shut up there aproko!” Uju feared for her life as she watched Jamiu walked menacingly towards the fence of their building where an old Axe leaned against it.
“Haaa Uju! He don be for you today”
Jamiu grabbed the axe and in a flash he ran after Uju like someone gunning for an elusive 100 metres Olympic gold medal.
“Mummy!!!” Uju screamed in utter fear
“Jamiu don kill person pikin oh!” Nneka voiced alarmingly. Runo watched on in utter disbelief. Jamiu, hot on Uju’s heels held the blunt axe above his head, screaming “Sopono oooo!” at the top of his voice.
The chase that ensued threw the whole compound into a frenzy!
Oga Martins and His Kettle of Fishes continues next week…
Honestly ds once a wk tn is nt sitting well wt me,i’m enjoyn ds criously,i concur wt Lekan
Captivating, you got me engrossed. More of it please
Pls i don’t knw if you can make diz story 2 or 3 times a week. Am really enjoyin it.
Thank you sir. We will see to your suggestion.