I stepped out of the taxi brimming with fear and excitement all rolled into one as I waited for Gabriel to alight and pay the taxi driver. I had my bag in my hand as I stared at the house where I had lived for most of my life. Gabriel had insisted on accompanying me home and even though I had rejected his offer at first, I realized that he really wanted to come with me so I let him.
The taxi drove off and I took my first step towards the compound.
“Abosede.” He called out to me.
I turned to look at him.
“Calm down, take deep breaths, it’s been quite a while since you left home.” He said to me.
It was only for a few months but it seemed like an eternity. I nodded and smiled at him.
“Are you ready?” He asked me with a wide smile.
I nodded again and we both walked into the compound. The first person I saw was Sisi Eko, she was walking towards the clothes line to hang her clothes. As soon as she saw me, she opened her mouth and let out a scream. I was surprised.
“Come ooo…make una come ooo…trouble maker don return ooo….Abosede don come back ooo…” Sisi Eko screamed dropping her bucket and rushing into the building.
I felt a bit saddened by the way she’d referred to me. She’s called me the trouble maker.
“Don’t mind her…let’s go inside.” Gabriel said taking my hand in his and also taking the bag from me.
“No…you heard what she called me…I am ashamed to go inside.” I said to him.
“Okay, let’s take a minute before going inside the compound.” He said to me.
We waited for a short while before he spoke to me again.
“Are you ready to go in now?” He asked.
I nod again and we take a few steps into the house only to hear what sounded like a loud noise coming from inside the building and soon, we saw what it was. A number of tenants came out bearing objects like sticks, long spoons and the like as they chanted.
“We nor go gree ooo…we nor go gree….Abosede, you must return!”
I couldn’t believe my ears, was I such a nuisance that they wanted me gone? I stared at them, my heart pounded in my chest and my eyes darted left and right in fear.
“Lai lai…Abosede nor go return for dis we compound again. We nor care say her mama be our landlady. If her mama allow her back, we go evacuate.” A tenant said.
“We nor go gree ooo…we nor go gree…Abosede, you must return!” They chanted.
I burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it.
“Wait…you have no right to send her back, besides, this is her house too…” Gabriel defended.
“Look hia Gabriel, we nor want Abosede for we compound again. Since she comot, peace don reign for we compound. We nor want her wahala abeg.” A tenant said.
Suddenly, my mother burst through the crowd and stared at me in shock.
“Abosede! Wetin you dey do for hia?” She asked.
I felt as though my world had crumbled.
To be continued tomorrow….