Save These Juices with Tosan Tarre
The Tale of My Greedy Neighbour (1)
My new neighbor is a total asshat. He wasn’t always a neighbor, just a fellow coursemate, until circumstances happened and I had to move out from my old compound and pay for a new room at his.
During the period of the Circumstantial Happenings he was kind to me. Too kind. The Nigerian brand kindness that is peppered with too much extra.
“Do you have to continue to endure that house, T? You can always come and stay with me pending the time you get a new apartment,”
“I’m so sorry all these is happening to you in that house, T. Perhaps if you bring your things over to my house while your parents gather money for a new room for you…”
On and on he went. When we met in class. On WhatsApp. Daily phone calls. He constantly showed me how worried he was about my house situation. A my-pain-is-your-pain, you-cough-I-cough something.
Now, while I may be no hello-everybody-I-love-una kind of person, I’m no misanthrope either.
Sometimes I spared a thought for him: how caring is this person but still I was reluctant to move in with him.
Then water really passed garri and I had no choice but to consider his option. I moved myself and my things into his compound, reasoning that after all there was an available room here and while I waited for house rent, I really could stay with him.
Trouble started the next evening, the second day after I moved in, when I got back in only to find the bread from my morning breakfast that I had kept in a plate on his bucket half-eaten. It was eaten in a very hurriedly and disorder fashion that I began to panic.
Was there a rat in this room?
How big was it?
The netted door opened and my new roommate walked in, pushing the curtain aside for free entry.
“Good evening, o,” he greeted.
I noticed his eyes were shifty even as he greeted, so I asked him straightaway.
“Ehn, I thought you were not eating it so I took small out of it. So… how was your day?”
I could literally feel the steam escaping through my ears but I swallowed my anger and inwardly said three “kumbaya” to keep calm.
Unfortunately, as the days went on, I noticed that he would “think” that I was not using my own stuff and take them freely. My sugar, my groundnut, my chin-chin, leftover from the rice I had cooked in the morning… nothing edible was spared from his greedy eyes and that large mouth, ever looking for something to devour.
All these without so much as a “please, may I have it?” or a “thank you”.
Now, I may have overlooked it if he was a giver himself but I had never met anyone so stingy. He would cleverly wait until I was sound asleep before he’d cook his food. The sounds of him scraping the bottom of the pot kraa-kroo-kraa would wake me up and I would watch, unknown to him, as he greedily ate his food like there was no tomorrow. And sometimes, this was hours after he had pounced on the leftover from my lunch.
My anger grew, my frustration doubled, the hair on the back of my neck was constantly up. But in all these I did not challenge him not because I couldn’t but what if the spirit entered him and he locked me out? Say, on a cold dark windy night…
Money for house rent came five days after. As I moved my things from his room, I already knew what to do…
To be continued
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