The first time I moved away from home to start living on my own, I really looked forward to it. I had just been posted to Ogun state for
NYSC but it was actually Lagos.
I was in between Ibafo and Berger. Infact, my weekly CDS was at Redemption Camp every Friday and I always went home from there. Mr Banji would be waiting at the gate to pick me.
As I was saying, I needed a place to live. I was house hunting. In the meantime, maternal uncle lodged me at a guesthouse in Ibafo, close to his office. I went to work from there and returned in the evening. I stayed there for two weeks. Bills were on him.
So I got this very fine house at Opic Estate, Warewa, just after Arepo. It was a self con which I got for 100k. Trust me it was a really beautiful, serene and quiet estate. I enjoyed my evening walks back to the estate when returning from work. I had to walk past so many fine houses. My house was the extreme last on the street. My apartment was very new. I had only one neighbor beside me. The main building belonged to the landlord who also lived there.
Of course, I got strange looks from some co-workers who felt like “how can a corper be living so large?”. Most people didn’t even know where I lived within the estate. I was just this mysterious lady who left very early and came back late in the evening. When I eventually left this cocoa company where I served and moved to work at Compass with Jonathan Eze, I never told him I was living alone. Until we met again in Abuja.
I had only my laptop and blackberry phone to keep me company. I had a camp gas in my kitchen. Mum and dad followed me to the house the first day I moved in. That year in that house was the best time of my life.
My apartment in that estate was alone, built with that of my neighbor.
I moved to Abuja and the first house I lived at a certain Federal Housing Area, was built separately too. It was close to the gate and I might not even see my neighbors except they deliberately knock my door or I peep through the window or I hear their voices. I lived like a recluse. Like a social misfit.
On a certain day in March of that year, my mom had sent me a token for my birthday. I had some leftover cash from dad too. So I marched to Apo ShopRite and got an LG flat screen TV, a fridge and DVD all in one day or within a week( I can’t recall vividly now). But I remember going into the Fouani brothers store and pricing a fridge and TV. Then, I got a car to take me home. Then, I offloaded everything and walked in as if nothing happened. I was not even working yet. I was looking forward to resuming at this office where Jonathan Eze happens to be the COO presently. See how funny life can be.
That small apartment was my comfort zone, my safe place, where I could hide from the world. My friend who’s in Canada now, visited me once.
But by then, plans were already in gear for me to move again. I moved to a totally unknown territory. It was just a random selection among options.
I was sorry to leave FHA. There was this small bakery, Food&More(if that’s the right name) where I used to buy bread, snacks, moin moin, ice cream and my favorite chocolate. It was very close to my house, so, I enjoyed the evening walks. I had only one friend on the street. I used to help her sell drinks/recharge card by the roadside. I was jobless then.
There was my kind neighbor whom we drove everywhere together. Whew!!! We drove to the salon, market, even church. Church was at city gate. House on the rock. We sometimes went to eat at biobak kitchen with her husband after church. It was a pretty good life. I was sorry I had to leave that life behind. Abruptly.
So I moved away.
My new area was dusty. It looked unfriendly. The house was a separate building as well. It was standing alone. This was my third ‘alone’ house. I lived there for a year. Then, I moved out and got a more decent apartment within the same area. A very beautiful house.
However, it was my fourth ‘alone’ house. The building is separated from the rest. It is my present house. I have lived like a hermit in this house for four years. I have lived like a mysterious human being, going to work, coming back and locking my door.
My dad has visited me in all the houses I ever lived all the way from Lagos but this my house was the last house he knew. It was here that I got the news of his death at 2am. And the house became haunted. And I only picked my cloth and ran away. The day I finally came back to sleep, I put a torch and a lamp by my pillow and my light was on. But I was still afraid to close my eyes.
I have had a lot of good news and good times here and also wept bitterly many times. Only the wall of my room would bear me witness. I’m sure this wall is going to miss me.
Now I’m moving away from here.
Remember I said I got a beautiful house close to a police area command and a high court.
Well, I lost the house. Because it’s still not ready.
So I spent the entire days of last week hunting for another house again. I got one. But to my chagrin, it’s a lone apartment again. Dem use am swear for me?😁😁💋
I went to see the house out of curiosity. Its within a quarters. The apartment is the only one within the compound. Infact, no neighbor except I come out of the gate. I have a fence and a gate. So I’m the garrison commander of an entire apartment where I have to lock the gate when going out.
No more neighbour.
No more payment for water. Now, it’s water board. Pipeborne water. I will be paying bills to water board like once in three months or thereabout. It is close to Dominos pizza too 🙈🙈 but strangely, I’m still not excited.
However, I find the whole thing creepy. I’m just kind of not excited. For the first time in my life, I’m scared of moving. The place is nice. I even have a space at the back where I can plant vegetables.
If you know my father’s house, it’s built on two plots of land. Or three? And as at then, it was the only house in the entire compound. I lived alone in that compound for two weeks. You can read up that story somewhere on the blog. I wrote the best stories of my life in that house within that period. I was mandated to stay because of the goats and chickens which I had to feed.
I have not told anyone about this new house. They would definitely shout, ask me if I’m an ogbanje. Pray, how can someone live without neighbors? It’s as if I’m starting life all over again. A different route to work, different market, different street. And it’s not funny.
But I will be fine. Eventually. I have to move this month.
****happy new month. Today is the international day of the first born. Who’s going to take this first born out?
This is my birthday month as well. You can ask for my akkant number, thank you.