I had just moved out of my parents house with the hope of being independent and was squatting with a friend for a few weeks till I found myself a place. She was married and I knew though we were friends, I had to move out to my own place.
Looking for a house as an individual isn’t an easy job especially in this our clime. It is expected that one has to find an agent to help with the gruesome task. As days and weeks of fruitless trying and roaming the streets of Lagos in search of a house went by, I just knew I had to find my self an agent to get a house close to Lagos Island, which was best for me since I just got a job in Lekki.
One faithful day while searching for a place to rent, I met a man who said he was an estate agent, Kingsley by name. He offered to help get a place for me. He seemed like a good guy and luckily for me he was from my tribe-Igbo. He told me there was a house available in a certain area not too far from Jakande, where a lady was to move out in a month’s time, then I could move in. I paid him the house rent, which according to him would be given to the Landlady.
By the next week, my boss discussed with me about some tasks and it seemed I was required to spend longer hours at work, so I began to think of where I could keep my belongings since I would be moving to the island soon. So I mentioned this thought to Kingsley and he said I could move the things to his house, which was in the same compound as the house I would be moving into soon. I asked all the necessary questions like if he had a girl friend or lived with parents etc. Kingsley said he had a girlfriend but she didn’t come all the time to visit him. He said he would speak his babe so there are no misunderstandings, which I was ok with.
Two days later he said I could bring my things to his house as he had some space where I could put them. Days later I came to the compound in a taxi with my luggage; two boxes containing my clothes and two other big shopping bags containing a few clothes and personal belongings. I wanted to leave with my laptop but didn’t want the hassle of carrying it around and risk it being stolen or broken, so I left it also with the rest of my things at his apartment.
A week to my moving into the new apartment I called Kingsley to inform him I was preparing to come in. He told me I couldn’t move in that month because the female tenant hadn’t moved out yet. I asked why the delay? He just callously mentioned that the occupying tenant still had some things to sort out before vacating the apartment, though her rent was due in a couple of days. However, he was optimistic it won’t be long. So I waited another week as my kind hearted self thought I could still be a little patient with the occupant. Weeks past with no word from Kingsley, so I decided to call him again.
He told me that the girl wasn’t moving out anymore as she just renewed her rent. I was troubled and surprised at the news. We argued over the phone as I was very angry and he got it from the tone of my voice and use of words; I even threatened to come to the house the following day, which I did.
I knocked at his door; his girlfriend opened and asked who I was. After introducing myself, she called out to Kingsley who let me in. We spoke about this new development and I told him I needed my money back this week; we both agreed. But due to the bridge of trust I didn’t think it wise to still leave my things at his place, so I told him I will be returning soon to pick my belongings; this I did the following day.
When I returned to his house the next day, he apologized for all the trouble with the house and said he had spoken with the landlady concerning the refund. He promised to pay the money into my account the next day or the day after depending on his schedule. I packed my bags and luggage into the trunk and seat of the taxi that brought me and left for home. When I got home, my girl friend was waiting for me, she helped carry my suitcases from the car into the room. We had lunch and were just chatting for a while until something prompted me to check the suitcases. As I opened the first suitcase to unpack my clothes, I discovered the first dress I pulled out was torn. I brought out the second and third dresses, both were also torn. I now hurriedly tossed out all my clothes from the bags to the floor and to my amazement, every dress I brought out was ripped apart.
All my handbags had holes, my trousers, skirts, tops were all ripped apart. My best clothes especially were beyond recognition. I looked at them speechlessly as tears ran down my eyes like a woman who had just miscarried her first child. I moved on to the bag which had my laptop, only to discover my laptop screen was broken, body parts damaged and some buttons missing. My laptop was destroyed as well. I screamed. Chioma my friend, shocked to her bones said ” I don’t understand, what is this? Ada, what is this”? I couldn’t find the words, tears wouldn’t stop flowing. “Who has done this to me? Kingsley? Kingsley!!!” I shouted. I then picked up my phone and dialed Kingsley’s number. I told him all that had happened. He sounded shocked and angry. I overheard him yelling out to his girlfriend in the background, he’d dropped the phone and we heard him ranting and she yelling as well. I and Chioma decided we were going back to his house. Someone must pay.
On getting there, he opened the door and began apologizing, saying he knew nothing about it. I replied “but I told you to ask if it was okay to bring my things here, and you said yes, how could you allow your girlfriend to do this to me”? What amazed me the more was the way his girlfriend behaved, she was shouting “husband snatcher, so you want to have sex with my boyfriend”? She rained insults and abuses on me that day. She was wild and crazy. She even grabbed Kingsley by the neck, smacking his head, while he pushed her away, she grabbed him tightly, landing blows on his face. I wondered how she was so powerful to take on a man like that. Chioma then thought it wise that we leave the house before things got ugly.
When we got home that night, my predicament even seemed blurred, as the action movie we had just watched clouded my memory. Chioma and I revisited the crazy girlfriend scene we had just witnessed all over and over again. This Kingsley’s girlfriend was something else oh. By midnight, the pain from the thought of my damaged clothes and laptop flooded in again, I cried and sobbed until I fell asleep. I called Kingsley up the next day, telling him he had to pay for the damages and it had to be done quickly otherwise I was taking the case to the police.
When I didn’t hear from him in two days, I paid the police station a visit, narrated my ordeal and they promised to do something about it that week. After the week’s work, I and Chioma went to visit Kingsley again to get the money at least for the damages. His girlfriend was there again, and the house looked like a mad man had been there. Items were shattered, things were moved out of place, broken items on the floor, sofa ripped. It was like a dump site. I knew somebody insane must have done such terrible destruction. If I hadn’t come to plead the cause for my items, the house didn’t feel safe to enter. Before my thoughts could go far, the girlfriend began again “boyfriend snatcher, you want to take him from me, you’re not ashamed, so you cannot find your own man, it’s my man you want.” The girl was raining insults on me as though I were truly a mistress.
Kingsley then confessed while in the heat of the argument, “I haven’t even done anything on your head, we’re not even married and you’re this insane”. He explained for the umpteenth time that he had nothing to do with me, we were just friends. How could she be so wicked and inhuman to do such a thing to a person, he questioned. That was when I spoke up again “How could you rip my clothes and then pack them back into their bags? My clothes looked like somebody had all day to sit down and use a pair of scissors to do the damage”. Kingsley’s girlfriend interrupted me again, shouting on the top of her voice. As I listened to this girl talk I knew something was off. One minute she would calm down and say “oh sorry for destroying your things, it’s this useless man, blah blah blah”, the next minute she’s saying “so is it because I’m begging you? You husband snatcher, I will kill you, so you’re one of those girls he’s doing eh, I’ll kill you”.
When she tried to come at me and was restrained by Kingsley so many times I knew something was off. This girl was a mental case. As I stood up shouting to make my point, she then ran into the house, brought a knife and charged at us. I knew I’d found the mad man I was wondering about. We took to our heels like people being chased by a bull dog. No wonder despite the noise from the house, the neighbors didn’t even bother to act like good samaritans by poke nosing. Chioma and I quickly jumped into the car and were very grateful to God that the driver was a smart man, he knew what running away meant.
I began to think to myself, “Why should mere clothes, be the cause of my death? As I thought of it, another thought came to mind, “how can somebody deliberately want to go to prison for a man”? Nawooo, big mental case.
That was the last time I went to that house. A month later Kingsley gave me some money to pay for the laptop repairs and in this week I tell my story, we’ve both agreed I take him to the place where I buy my clothes in Oshodi market. The plan is for me to take him there, make my pick, while he pays for them. We can then call it a truce, abi?
The only wahala is Kingsley is asking me to come out to meet him by 5am on Saturday morning, hmmm in this Lagos? Am I the mugu or maga?
Here’s my word of advise; in all the fun and joy of friendships please be wise and careful out there. Stay safe.
Written by Sharong