When I bought my first car, should I say my first jalopy, I made no noise about it, as there was seemingly nothing to celebrate. Who would be happy for me? Some of my friends who used to struggle for ‘molue’ or public transport with me even declined a free ride. But I knew they did not want to be caught dead in my ‘tokunbo 1998 model Toyota celica.’ I enjoyed my rides alone.
On rare occasions however, most especially during the rush hours, on my way from work, I will slow down by a bus-stop and offer to lift some passengers for some company. Turning up their noses in scepticism, some will hop in, others will say something like, ‘you wan enter one chance.’ I would laugh and say to me, ‘you just missed out of your only chance to get home earlier and zoom off.I never stop to pick up a chic, even if she appears stranded. First impression matters a lot, my first car gives a bad one.
I am a youthful and virile man, and that is no exaggeration.I have abs, as in six packs, strong facial features, above average height at 6’1, na condition make crayfish bend inside jalopy. Beyond that my small modelling job that I do at the side is beginning to pay off. And that is how I came about my first car. With my 9-5 job, I could not even afford a bike. My friends are ‘beefing’ my new ride, since they could not afford one.’ It is true our salaries are in the same range, but I am a handsome young man. Don’t hate me, hate my maker!
I mean, the first day I drove my car home, my landlord was happy for me, he even prayed for me. It did not end there; I ate at dinner with his family that night. He told me keep up at what I was doing. That night, he gave me a parking space behind his bungalow which is just between his place and the BQ I am renting. It was going to be the only car in the compound at that time and I could easily park somewhere else, but I guess he wanted it to be hidden from plain sight. I understood and concurred and we continued living happily ever after.
My landlord is a pensioner, at times when I come early enough I would sit with him and his family and we would chat away into the night. He always went on and on about what pensioners go through in this country. How his father who worked in the UK many years ago continued to receive pension until he died even though he retired and returned to Nigeria. Luckily for his family, his wife had built her business well and that is their sustenance now.
He was like a father to me, and I respected him a lot, the only thing he frowned against was bringing too many male friends home. He has only daughters and they are all young, mostly teenagers and I reasoned with him and complied and that made him love me more, or so I thought until the incredible happened.
I got this fantastic billboard job for a multinational company and the pay was huge, I would not disclose it here for fear of being marked but it was in 7 digits and I decided to shut down the town. Of course I was not bringing my friends home, I rented a hall, a small one though and threw a party. I asked my landlord if his daughters could come. He said of course, but they never showed. What was even more painful, I was locked out. The gate was locked from within. I tried calling him or anyother member of his family and got no response. I had hinted him that bought a tear rubber(new) car which I would launch at the party, I was eager to come show it to him and get a pat on the back. Sadly I ended up parking the car outside the compound. I strolled down to a friends’ place, somewhere on the next street and spent the night. The next morning, I got the shocker of my life; my landlord told me I could not park my second car in the compound!
I went ballistic, was it not bad enough, that he locked me out, the night before. Here I am, the fool, thinking I had a father figure in him; a proud son coming home to show a father his new trophy, and I get a below the belt. First he told me he did not approve of my lifestyle: night crawling, womanizing, drunkenness, that he would not risk his daughters getting unwanted pregnancies. I mean I was shocked to my teeth. It was in the same house, we would sit together and chat over a bottle of stout; at times I brought him drinks at other times he served me from his treasure trove, his daughter playing waiteress. Dumbfounded, I went into my room and sulked for a while but later went to hang out with friends.
Ever since, there has been so much friction between us. I now park my new car outside.I moved my jalopy out as well to avoid any form of confrontations. No more chitchats, we just manage to say hi. His wife never said a word to me about the parking issue; she remained aloof on the matter. And his kids avoid me like a leper. He has brainwashed and turned his whole family against me. I am their only tenant. If there is a notice, bills mostly, they slip it under my door whenever I am not around for me to discover once I return. I got this notice that my rent would expire in three months and that I needed to pay in advance. I used to do that out consideration for him just so he could take care of his family. Not anymore. 90 days to go and I can finally move on to better things. If I get a new modelling job, I could rent a nice place where I would be by myself, better still, I am looking for where I can buy land in my income range. I hooked on Castle’s Magazine for the next couple of months.
Boys of nowadays, what do they know about life or delaying gratification. He made small money and he started flaunting. It is the duties of us elders in the market to ensure that a child’s head is well screwed together. Though he is not my son, he is the son I never had. If he is not cautioned he will blow his life away. Let him park his car outside, the rain will fall and wet it, the sun would shine and dry it. When the colours begin to fade he would realise his asset is depreciating and he would look for where to invest. He would be forced to think. If he is lucky enough, it would occur to him to start building his own place; a place to call his own. If he chooses to be a prodigal son and squanders his money, ‘na him know.
Come to think of it, when I was building my house, I made sacrifices. I opted for cheap land. Friends said to me, “Why would you leave the hustle and bustle of living in the city and move to a place village like Igando? That was 15 years ago, thanks to the Lagos State Government I am living in the city and my house is on major road. Today I drink stout in my own house, but I had to quit many years ago to make allowances for other things.
Should he decide to pack his things and leave, it is even better for me. I will let out the apartment to another tenant and collect house rent, commission and agreement, I am the landlord and caretaker of my property, and I will ‘chop’ alone. ‘Papa landlord never use car, na omo tenant go come pack two cars inside the compound, no be so.’’ I am a proud father; but tough enough let go of my new found son.
Does the Landlord have the right to treat his tenant in this manner?
Culled from: http://castles.com.ng/articles/park-outside-compound-pack-pangolo/