I was startled by the loud knock at the door and
inwardly I cursed. I had been sleeping for so long and while the long
conversation I had with Janet yesterday, unfurled in my dream, I winced at the realization
that we had let Oga Fredo out of our lives for good.

“Na wetin we go do now?” Janet had started
at me in question.
“Wetin we be wan do before?” I asked.
“My husband don leave na…I nor know de kain
wahala I dey so…” Janet supplied.
“You dey talk like say u nor know when im comot
abi? No be u join hand chase am comot?”
“See ya mouth as u dey throway blame. You nor
join hand pursue am?” Janet accused.
I look away, I was also a huge part in sending Oga
Fredo packing from the house. He had begged us to let him stay but we refused,
with the help of the neighbours we sent him packing.
“All the respect wey I bin get for our compound people
go soon waka…” Janet lamented.
“Oga Fredo nor be man…forget that tin…” I say in
disgust.
“Hmmm…chai Janet u don suffer ooo…”
Janet said to herself. “All the respect u dey collect don end ooo…all
dis small small boys go dey size u now ooo.”
Turning to me and placing her hand on her hips she
said
“Senorita….you nor go fit live hia again!”
“Which kain talk be dat? Where you wan make I go?”
I ask.
“Where u from come ni.” Janet answers.
“U high? I nor get wia I fit go…na race carry
me land hia…”
“If u go stay for dis house…u go pay house rent
o.”
“Ehhh…I go find work na…na hard tin?” I
said boastfully.
“Okay…if u talk am sha…me I dey pack comot.”
“Where u dey go?” I ask in astonishment.
“I dey go back to village…dis Lagos waka don
tire me abeg. na so so hustle till pesin kpai.”
“No dey talk like dat abeg…pesin nor dey know
wetin God don plan for am. Abeg nor use ya hand clean ya blessing comot. Lagos
na fine place.”
“Dis na 10 years since I waka come Lagos. I no go
lie…life sweet for hia but na for dose people wey dey touch de money. Me, I
nor did suffer anyhow. I wan go marry for village…at least I fit see pesin
wey go marry me.” Janet said in a resigned voice.
“Nor be u do wedding for village? Who go marry pesin
wife?” I ask recalling the tales she had told me about her traditional
marriage with Oga Fredo.
The look she gave me chilled me, she had had me fooled
all along and I had fallen for it.
“Na grace of God dey hold me so…if not ehn…I
for kee you for hia if to say I don chop. See as you bin dey tell me tori of ya
traditional wedding for village. You go village at all?”
” I nor go anywhia…na de lie wey me and Oga
Fredo tell we neighbours sake of say we nor get money to do party for dem. And
sake of say na fake marriage, I nor fit spend my money put for am.”
I fall to the ground in despair.
“Chei…Janet, so u fit lie like
dis…haba!”
“You nko wey lie say na by mistake u enter bus
reach here nko…or dat one na truth?”
“No compare am ooo…abeg just hold ya own.”
I warn.
“I don talk my own finish sha…I dey comot for
dis yard…I nor fit face de kain humiliation wey we neighbours go give me. I
don tell Mama Ismail make she carry my bed. She Don pay me three thousand for
am. And I don even sell my pot them…so na shikeere property remain. If u wan
stay…dt one mean say, u go pay house rent because for me ehn, I don reach
village as you dey see me so.” Janet said.
She walked towards the shanty wardrobe and pulled out
a huge bag which she with so much effort placed gingerly on her head. Turning
to face me and ignoring the shocked look on my face she said.
“You wan follow me or you wan die for
Lagos?”
“Na u go die for Lagos you hear me so…go
village make hardship kee you for dia, na dat time u go see me land with my Jet
for front of ya papa compound.”
“Senorita u nor fit make am for Lagos lai lai.
Shebi na only one year u don spend…u never see nothing yet. Goodbye.”
Janet said to me and left the room.
I didn’t bother bidding her goodbye, as long as I was
concerned, I didn’t need her anymore. Her giving up on Lagos was a huge
turn-off.
Now, as I stood up from the floor where I lay to answer
the door, no thanks to mama Ismail who hadn’t wasted any time in taking the
mattress, I yawned and complained bitterly.
“Na who be dat? Why you dey bang door like say na
ya papa get am.” I spat.
I opened the door to see Onochie smiling at me with
crooked teeth.
“Na my papa get de door na…abi na ya own?” He
said to me.
“Oh…na you…Onochie, na sleep I dey
so…”
“De hand of clock dey nine sharp already, even
fowl don wake. Anyway, I nor come hia to yarn small talk…ya rent don expire
and failure to pay before nine o clock for night…dat one go attract Kick
out!”

I open my mouth but words didn’t come out so I shut it
up again.

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