“My wife is taller than me o. In fact when we are fighting, I don’t go close to her, so the devil will not push her to knock me on the head.”
Nife stared out the window and tuned out the math lecturer’s pointless rambling. She had more important things to think about. She desperately needed an accommodation of her own, as, Aisha, Ayo’s friend, who she had been squatting with for the past three weeks was beginning to give her some attitude. If only she hadn’t had the clearance issue, she would have had her own hostel accommodation.
There had been an error when she was paying her fees online, and by the time it was cleared, all of the hostel accommodation was gone. The off campus accommodation at Gidan Kwano was like gold – expensive and rare. And, so far, she had searched everywhere around the Bosso campus for a self-contained apartment of 60k to no avail. The least she had been able to find was 90k, minus agent fee, and she couldn’t afford it.
“Bring the list of the students offering this course to my office.” The lecturer rounded up the class and left.
“Please can I lend your note for a minute to complete mine?” Nife asked the girl sitting next to her.
“Okay.” She answered, handing the note to Nife.
“But, hope what you missed is not much? Because, I’m kind of in a hurry.”
“No. It’s just like 5 lines.” Nife looked up from trying to locate where she stopped. “Are you staying in the hostel? I can bring it for you when I’m done.”
“No. Off Kay.”
“Oh. Okay. Where?”
“Nice.” She smiled up at the girl. “Please, do you know of any vacancy around there?”
“You’re looking for a place?” She asked. “My flat mate just moved out yesterday.”
“Wow. I’m lucky I asked o. Do you mind if I come with you to check out the place?” Nife handed her notebook to her.
“Ehm, no. but I’m not going home now.” She answered. “I have to go to the bank before they close. Let me give you my number.”
Nife handed her phone to her to type in her number.
“Just call me in the evening. I’ll be home then.”
“Thanks. What’s your name?”
“I’m Amaka.” She replied. You?”
“Hey! Amaka baby. How far na?”
Nife turned to the gate, where the voice had called from. Amaka had just picked her up at the gate of her house. She had called earlier to check if Amaka was back from the bank and for directions to the house.
“Peter peter. I dey o. Wetin dey happen?” Amaka replied.
“Nothing o. Man just dey find money.” He walked up to them. “Howfar that room for una flat? Person don dey there.”
“Ehm Yes o. Deola been assign am to this babe before she comot o.” She lied.
“ehen. Okay na, No wahala. Welcome sister. Make I dey go na. I go see you later.” He turned to head back out of the gate.
“Don’t mind him. He’s one of all these area boys forming agent.” She said to Nife. “Come, let me show you the room.”
“Uhm. How much is the rent?” Nife asked.
Granted it wasn’t the biggest room she had seen so far, it was okay for the rent. The room, painted pink and blue, was even bigger than the one she saw last week that went for 100k. There was a wardrobe fitted into the wall and two adjacent windows for proper ventilation. The adjoining restroom had a water cistern and a running shower.
“Okay. Is the landlord living in the compound too?”
“No. He’s staying in Tunga, but the caretaker lives here.” Amaka replied her. “We can go see him now if you like.”
“Okay. I don’t have the money here now sha, but let’s go and see him.”
They walked a short distance to another bungalow in the compound. A boy of about ten opened the door and confirmed his father was in. a minute later, the caretaker came out to join them.
“Amaka baby.” A broad smile covered his face. “How are you?”
“Good evening sir.” The girls chorused.
“I’m fine.” Amaka replied.
“This my friend wants to rent that empty room in our house, so I said I should bring her.”
“How are you my dear?” He turned his attention to Nife.
“I’m fine sir.”
“She have told you the price abi?”
Nife nodded. “I’ll bring the money tomorrow sir.”
“Okay. Just make sure it doesn’t pass tomorrow o, because one other girl has promised to bring the money next tomorrow. And me, I don’t use to keep house for people. I give key to the first person to pay, shikenan.”
Nife nodded and promised to bring the money the next day. She thanked Amaka and headed back to the hostel. She had just 60k budgeted for accommodation. She just had to find a way to come up with 25k by tomorrow. She had been shying away from asking Chief for money, but with the way things were going, she really didn’t have much of a choice.
She dialed his number immediately she got back to the hostel.
“Campus babe. Longest time.”
She faked a laugh, better to start on a light note.
“Good evening sir.”
“How are you dear? I hope you have settled in properly into campus life now?” He asked.
They had spoken the previous week, and she had complained about how stressful school was.
“Not yet sir. In fact, I’m still looking for accommodation.”
“Ahan. Why? Accommodation should be available and cheap in Minna na.”
“Accommodation is not cheap here o. All the house I’m seeing are 100k above.” Nife interjected.
“Ehm. That’s actually why I’m calling sef. I just saw a place that goes for 90k, and I have to pay tomorrow or lose the place, but I have just 60 thousand. I don’t know if you can help me balance it please?”
“Ahan. Of course. You should have told me about it since. Send me your account number now.” He said.
She thanked him profusely, and sent the number immediately she dropped the call. Fifteen minutes later, she got an alert for 50k. The man was really trying hard to get into her pants. Well, no matter, she wasn’t going to give him a chance.