Jack And The Resident’s Of No 7 Cole Street
© Kayode Odusanya
Moving out of his parent’s house was long overdue, but he wished he had gotten a bigger apartment. The boys quarter behind the two duplexes at number 7, Cole street wasn’t quite what he had in mind while thinking pf his first apartment, especially when he had just gotten a job that paid him a quarter of a million Naira monthly.
Jack was a fresh graduate in his mid twenties who had gotten into the labor market almost immediately after his youth service year was over. “Why are you moving out so soon Jackie boy?” His mom had asked with a frown on her face when he told her of his intentions. After leaving by alone for a full twelve months during service year, it was just so hard settling back to the life under his parents roof. His dad on the other hand seemed to care more about the news he was listening to on his radio than what Jack had just told them.
“Don’t worry mom. I’ll come over every weekend.” He had told his mom. He hated lying, but he didn’t like the look on her face as he loaded his things into the Uber. Now, a week later, he was sitting in his quiet room on a Saturday, bored to death. There was power outage and his phone battery had run down. He had planned to get a generator set today, but the thought of walking all the way out the estate was a drag. He did carpooling with some of his colleagues at work on weekdays, and the car usually came to pick him at home, but weekends, he would be left to walk all the way to the estate gate before he could get public transportation to the mall.
He got off his bed and checked himself out in the mirror; he was bare-chested, and he looked at the packs on his chest and smiled proudly. Less than a year ago, he was called fat, now he had the kind of body that ladies couldn’t resist checking out on the street. He was tall, dark, and handsome, with a good paying job. Six days a week at the gym for 6 months had gotten him his current body. He had everything he had always dreamed of, except inside, he still felt fat and insecure. It was sort of like how Dwayne Johnson became fit in the movie, Central Intelligence, but still sometimes felt like that fat kid that people made fun of in highschool.
He heard the main gate open and headed towards the window. His room was facing the gate and he could see clearly as the black S Class Mercedes pulled into the driveway. It was the pastor and his wife, the occupants of the duplex to the left. He guessed the man was waiting for his rent to expire before moving out because Jack felt he was too rich to not have a have a self compound home.
After packing properly, Pastor Peters stepped out of the car looking sharp as usual, dressed in velvet black suit, , pristine white shirt, with shiny black shoes. He was short, slim, good looking, in his late forties but dressed like he was still in his twenties.
He didn’t open the door for his wife, but waited for her to come out and catch up with him, before they walked hand in hand into the apartment. Pastor Mrs. was a ‘Plain Jane,’ but she had a great body on her that she tried to hide in the big clothes she wore; oversize white skirt suit with big hat to match. She was considerably bigger than him in size, but the way she acted around him, it was clear she respected and feared him.
Just before she made it into the corridor, she looked his way, and he quickly moved out of sight. When he looked again, they were gone.
When he couldn’t stand the boredom anymore, he got dressed and stepped out of his apartment. He could remember seeing a bar along the road somewhere in the estate while coming back from work the day before and thought he could walk around till he located the place. “Hello!” Mrs. Salami said in her sweet sounding British accent. She was by his right, chilling in a little sitting area under their carport, just outside her duplex. There were three cane chairs there and a cane table with magazines on it.
“Good day ma.” Jack said, and the lady had a frown on her face. He knew she couldn’t have been more than three years older than him, but he was addressing her that way because of her husband.
“Hope you’re settling in well?” She inquired with a smile on her face. She had on white t shirt, and brown wool shorts. Her thick thighs were flawless, yellow with no spots and Jack had to stop himself from staring.
“Yes. Thank you” He responded and kept walking. As Aliu the gate-man came out to open the gate, the front door to the Salami’s duplex swung open, and Mr. Salami came out, obviously wondering who his wife was talking to. He was a relatively tall man in his early 50s. He kept a beard, most of which was grey, like Femi Otedola’s. Jack didn’t really know what the Salami’s did, but all he knew was that their lifestyle was a contrast to Pastor Peter’s. “Good afternoon sir.” Jack said to him with a smile.
“Hey, you are the new guy at the back, right?”
“Nice.” He said and smiled.
“We should give you a welcome treat.” Mrs. Salami said and it startled Jack. He just smiled as Aliu opened the gate.
“Yeah, we should.” Mr. Salami said and left the entrance of his house, walking over to where his wife was seated. “Are you going out?”
“You are going to walk all the way to the estate gate?” When Jack didn’t say anything, she continued with, “Bayo, you should drop him off.”
“Oh, no, you don’t have to worry. I’m not going far. I just want to…I want to get to a bar around the corner.”
“Oh, nice.” Mr. Salami said. “I would definitely love to drop you off, and maybe take a couple of bottles with you.”
“And leave me here?” His wife said with a frown on her face.
Jack was left dumbfounded. First, he didn’t believe how carefree the couple was. Secondly, he didn’t know how to get out of the situation without offending them.
“I have an idea.” Mrs. Salami said as she got off the cane chair she was sitting on. “Why don’t we all stay here and drink? It could be like a welcome party for you.”
“Umm!” Jack stood by the gate, still thinking of what to say to get out of the situation.
“We have beer, wine, vodka, champagne… I don’t know what you drink.”
“Great. Let me get the drinks.” Mr. Salami said and headed back in the house. He stopped by the entrance and turned around. “I forgot to ask what you drink.”
“Gin…Gin and juice.”
Mr. Salami looked at his wife with a smile before saying, “I like this guy already.”
To be continued