I just wanted to teach that man small sense; the man has been testing my patience for long; you also have to know that I am not the only person in that house that has been planning to beat him!
How did it happen?
Two weeks ago, my baby was sick. The boy is just two and a half years old. We suspected malaria. We did not even notice he was building up temperature until later in the evening. My wife gave him paracetamol and he seemed ok so we all went to bed around 9.30pm. but at about 11 or so, my wife woke me up to say the boy’s temperature is very high.
We took him to the bathroom, bathe him, tried to pet him to sleep but no do, o. The boy was just crying and his temperature did not go down at all. There was nothing my wife and I did not do to try and make him comfortable so that he can sleep and the rest of us too can sleep that night. We even put ice block in towel and pressed it on his head, nothing!
That was when my wife said I should go to this pharmacy at GRA, that they open all night and don’t close at all. She said that we will get medicine there for the boy.
By this time, of course, it was way past midnight about 1,30am or so. Tell me, my son is feverish, will I wait for him to start convulsing and die before I do what a father ought to do to save his little boy?
I had to go out to buy the medicine. We live here in Aromire and GRA is not too far. And the only reason to go out was because of my son. I did not even think twice about the danger, like a responsible father, I took my car keys and headed out.
Now, you see the way the house is built, it’s a four flats and my landlord’s flat is below, I live upstairs. So, when I opened the gate to drive out, behold, Baba landlord came out and asked me where I was going. I told him I was going out. It is none of his business where I go. I am a grown man, I pay my rent, I can come and go as I want. I do not have to answer to anybody.
The next thing I heard, Baba said I cannot go out.
I said, ‘What? What did you say?’
‘You cannot go out this night, it is late, don’t open my gate to thieves.’
‘To thieves! Are you the only one living in this compound? Is my own family too not here?’
‘You cannot go out!’
See this man, o. See this devil. A man that when anything spoils in the house, he will never contribute money with us tenants to replace it and yet he will use the facility. When the pumping machine got bad, when the fence fell, when…in short, the man is a real shylock.
So that night, I didn’t even answer him again and I was unlocking the gate. Every flat has a key to the gate, we have no mai guard. That was how the landlord just came and pulled the gate back that I will not go out. He said I am always going out late and he doesn’t want thieves to enter the compound.
I was angry at this time, I pushed him away and told him to respect his old age.
Then he called me a ritualist, he called me yahoo-yahoo. That was when I lost it I pushed him back and he grabbed me by my jeans. I then dealt him heavy blows on his face. Chai. I have been wanting to do that for a long time. I was frustrated. My child was sick and even me going out, I was afraid one kind, I mean, this is Lagos. I may encounter police who will take what I have on me, I may encounter robbers true, true, anything bad can happen to anyone in this Lagos and this man doesn’t want me to buy medicine for my son.
I finished him that night and still went out and thank God that I got the drugs and my son was finally able to sleep at around 3am. All of us, my wife and her sister staying with us went to sleep too.
In the morning of that day, he came with police they said I assaulted an old man. They were just shouting at me and dragging me out like a common criminal to go to the station with them for assault. They did not even let me talk, they said I must follow them to the station.
See me see wahala, o. Was I not the one who was assaulted? Was I not going my way je je when this landlord stopped me and was pulling me back?
Was I supposed to let him prevent me from going to buy medicine for my own son?
So I said oya, let us go the station after all cell is for human being. I swear, I will do it again, if the situation repeats itself, assault ko, injury ni!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories.)