Saturday, 17 December 2016

My Neighbour


I have a neighbor. He lives right beside me. Only a wall separates my house from his.

After I moved into my apartment, it took weeks before I finally saw him. I yelped in delight “Hi, I live right next door. How are you doing?’ I said as I flashed the smile I usually reserve for job interviews. He smiled like Jungle boy and stared at some point between my ear and my shoulder.

Hmmm, he’s shy. Cute!

I let him be.

And so it was that I would leave for work and see him polishing his shoes...
I never saw him when I got back.

One thing was constant though, every morning, at a reasonable volume I have to give him that, I would hear the annoying yet endearing I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it Radiyo Lagosi, tin wa tin wa ni ti ti, and an outburst of news in Yoruba.

Wow! Humble guy, he listens to the news in Yoruba; very inspiring.

One day, it was about to rain, I was home, his clothes were outside so I did what any sensible neighbor would do, I packed his clothes. ‘Ehen’, I thought. Let me see where he’s going to keep his mouth when he asks for his clothes’. I might probably force him to look me in the eyes just to be sure he has pupils. After two days and a ruined ambush, nobody told me to take the clothes to him. I knocked. He opened the door and peeped. ‘Oh’ he said quietly. Staring at my toes, he collected the clothes, muttered a thank you and shut the door in my face! Well, nicely.

O ga ju!

Come to think of it, I didn’t see any teeth in his mouth when he spoke. Does he have teeth?

I got a water tank ‘cos I was tired of the incessant water scarcity in my area. It was a bit dusty inside so I decided to clean it.  My neighbor was sitting on the steps, polishing his shoes. I hopped on a stool and bent my torso into the tank. 5 feet 10 inches and still counting, I could only reach half the tank. I got down and tried tilting it, I couldn’t. I hopped back on the stool and tried to stretch, I almost fell into the tank. Then someone tapped me. I looked. It was my neighbor.
‘You want to turn the tank abi?’’ Yes’ I replied despondent. He shooed me aside and in one swift motion, he tilted the tank.

‘Thank you soooo much’ I told him. He nodded and went back to his shoes.

Oh well. At least he spoke more than one word. We are making progress.

And yeah, he had teeth.

I wonder what his apartment looks like. I’m thinking, all these serial killers and co, this is how they behave-evasive, keep to themselves, don’t talk much, mind their business.

 I guess I’ve been watching too much crime TV.

I had planned for the sleep I was going to sleep. It had been a busy week and I was out for revenge. Recipe was simple. Sleep till 10am, wake up and eat, watch some E! or Style Network or One Gospel and sleep again. Wake up by say 1pm? And bathe and eat and you know, practically waste the day. Only before it was 7am, I felt my walls vibrate with the sound of Cece’s sonorous voice. It was loud. ‘Mercy said no, I’m not gonna let you go…’

You must be kidding me!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Cece Winans, but 7am in the morning? I was furious. I wasn’t sure where the music was coming from; whether it was from my neighbour on the right, or the left or upstairs. I went to the kitchen and listened. Quiet. I went to the sitting room; the walls seemed to be moving. Aha! It was my neighbor. I wrapped a bed sheet around me and stormed out. I knocked. He peeped. I didn’t even say good morning, ‘Please turn the volume of your radio down’ I said politely but with a scowl nonetheless.

Oh, ok. He said and went inside.

And turned the music off.

Ha!

‘There you go terrorizing the neighborhood. Now the poor boy has kukuma offed the music’ my sister said squirming on the bed.

‘I didn’t ask him to put it off now?’

‘I can imagine’ she said sarcastically. ‘You knock on his door with your hair looking likeTHAT, wrapped in a bed sheet and bags under your eyes…’

'Aiya. Poor guy. Maybe he just bought a Tall Boy oh!' I thought out loud.

‘You are unbelievable’ She hissed and went to fix breakfast.

And there went my weekend.

It’s almost one year and I still don’t know what the inside of his apartment looks like. That’s unacceptable. So I have a plan: Knock on his door on a Saturday, tell him I came to gist with him and wedge my foot halfway through his door so he can’t close it. I’ll probably carry a transistor radio tuned to Radio Lagos. As bait.

I’ll let you know how it goes :D

©Naomi Lucas

16 comments:

Midas said...

Hmmm! U wan force am to gist? Maybe he prefers being detached from the whole friendly neighbour thing. Oh well, good luck with your plan. Funny write up btw.

Naomi Lucas said...

Lol. Detached ke? The guy is just shy jor :)

Midas said...

The god herself came down from mount olympus to converse with a mere mortal. Wow!!! Na so u̶̲̥̅̊ dey d̶̲̥̅̊o? This blog go dey sweet to comment on oh.

Naomi Lucas said...

Hahaha. Mount Olympus indeed. Happy commenting :)

Anonymous said...

You don't update your blog that frequently or is it a once a month thingy?

Naomi Lucas said...

@ Anonymous, it's not o, should post this evening sef...

Anonymous said...

Why is dis Naomi behaving like dis sef, always like to keep people in suspense, where is d part 2 of dis story? Mind urself oo btw, dis is april, na wah for u oo. How u dey? Am ur friend from CMC Connect. Guess who i am.

Naomi Lucas said...

lol. You're still waiting for Part 2? *rolls eyes*

bat man said...

And it is up to you to de-shy him abi...? wetin your eye dey find, e go see...

You are lucky it's not me...

bat man said...

Abi you eye has seen the 'tin' that your mouth can't talk...

Naomi Lucas said...

Oop. My friend from CMC. I can't guess. Help a sister out na?

Tessa Doghor said...

I am a 'mind your business' kind of girl o.
I'd have invited him to church by now though.

Visit http://www.udookonjo.com

Naomi Lucas said...

LOL @ invited him to church. Oh well...

Keduba! said...

Crayzie! I wish say na me you dey disturb...Laff wan kill me die throway!!!

Naomi Lucas said...

LOL!

CONQUISTADORE said...

This makes a good welcome for me, to your blog. Healthy curiosity I should say, but being a bit more forward should have helped.