Apart from the bible, the only time a lot of years is counted as “just”, “some” or “little” is when people are talking about squatting in someone else’s apartment. This phenomenon truly baffles me.
I’ve been living/squatting in Raymond and Ebuka’s apartment for roughly two months and I honestly feel sick about. Not because they’re chasing me but because for some weird reason I just don’t like it, if I must say; they’re the best people I know and they really haven’t complained to me yet (at least to my face). Notwithstanding, I started looking for apartments last week. I got an agent and told him my budget was 200,000 Naira. His name is Shola, very agile young fellow, his attitude towards helping me get this apartment has been so encouraging, I think that if I was to get a cheap apartment, it would be through Shola. He is so committed to helping my little budget, and although all we saw last week was colossal crap, I’m quite positive we would find something good soon.
Speaking of this ride along, I set an alarm of 5:30am on Sunday, hoping that I would make the first service by 6:30am at Faith Tabernacle. I slept early to that effect, however, I still snoozed my alarm when it rang. I finally woke up by about 7:30am and I hurriedly got prepared so I could meet the third service at most. As I stepped out of my own estate gate, I saw this hausa lady with her two sons stepping out of their own estate, I greeted and hurriedly worked my way.
I was so excited to get to church that morning, I had just withdrawn my tithe (Paying tithe makes me so happy/relieved every time) and for some reason I don’t know; I had been anticipating this Sunday service with so much excitement. As I stood at the general maple wood estate gate waiting for a bus to take me to Ojuore Ota, a church bus (this bus takes you straight to church) came along, all the seats were full and my excitement that morning didn’t include the “stand in the bus package” so I passed.
A random transport bus heading to Sango Ota, off Ojuore (my intermediate destination) came by and I entered. I sat at the back, some woman changed her seat to my row at the back, so the good boy in me just said “Good morning”. She asked “Aren’t you the one that greeted me in front of my house?” I answered “Yes”. We started having a little chit chat; I asked of her sons because I noticed they weren’t in the bus, she said she had dropped them off at arabic school. I asked where she was headed because a little part of me felt she was muslim but obviously, Douglas shall not be rude and impose! She said she was heading to her mothers house, still wondering if she was muslim or not, I said “okay”. Then, she paid for my bus fare before I could pay and told me not to worry about it. There I was super excited about church and someone just saved me 150 Naira, Hallelujah!
I wanted to talk to her some more but I didn’t want to be that guy starts being over familiar because someone did him a favor, so I hummed a few songs and “faced my front”. After a while to my surprise she started another conversation with me, she asked me the church I was attending, I said Winners in Ota. She further asked why I didn’t take the church bus, I told her my reason. One thing led to another and I started talking about how hard it has been for me to find a house fellowship center, She replied in surprise saying they were numerous house fellowship centres our the estate, that she passes a lot of them while she jogs round the estate every Saturday with her kids (Ps: this woman is quite old), she added that she can’t exactly say where it is because she hasn’t been jogging for a while because of the long fast she just had (Aha! you’re muslim, got the information I needed), she said she lost 10pounds during the fast and she won’t be jogging until she regains her strength.
I told her that I wasn’t seriously looking for a cell centre though, that I intended to move to another location, that I currently stayed with some friends (Yes, I actually tell a lot of strangers that. Who knows? someone may have an apartment for me…lol). She inquisitively asked why I was moving, I said I recently got a job. She asked “how long?” I said roughly a month+ (it’s not even been a month since I got the job). She further asked “why do you want to move?” that wouldn’t I need to settle myself first; I said I didn’t want to impose on the people I have been staying with for the past two months, this is where the ride along truly starts.
She started out saying that one cannot really be a “bother” in a co-living space except they decide to, that as far as one makes contributions to the house they live in and is helpful, nothing should be a problem. She went on with saying that no matter how small the contribution is, it’s the effort that counts. She told me of how she lived with her aunt for a few years (THREE TO FOUR FREAKING YEARS!!!) and all she did was do her best to make a few contributions and her aunt loved her so much still. She said, “one can even live with people and when they about to go, the people they’ve lived with would beg them to stay because they would miss their presence”.
I was just sipping tea in my mind because, just two days earlier, Raymond and Ebuka kinda gave me an indefinite extension to stay at their place in order for me to take my time and plan well to get my own apartment and I occasionally make a few contributions but in my mind I grumbled thinking “Don’t they have too much money to do this already? Why should I buy this for the house?”, it was such a weird conversation because, she went over it, again and again, saying that contributing to where one lives is very vital and is not open for negotiation. At that time, we were approaching my bus stop at Ojuore, but then again, she went into family lessons; about how I should make sure I send money to my family and my parents no matter how small, that I should just do it continuously, she added that I should not be biased based on the parent that has showered more money in the past, that I should give to them equally (Only if she knew my dad was dead though, she would’ve skipped that emphasis. Lol).
The ride along was so on point that I even allowed myself to pass my bus stop at Ojuore with the intention to stop at Sango ota, mainly because I didn’t want to be rude and cut her short in our conversation and because it was basically the same distance from Ojoure to Church and from Sango to Church. When we got to Sango, we said our goodbyes and I left.
So happy I had that experience because, my giving/buying stuff grudgingly in the house has “kinda” ended. My outlook on squatting in someone’s house is still the same, but I look forward to practicing most of the advice I got from Mrs (forgive me the name was too long remember). I even felt guilty this morning when I saw dirty plates on the sink that I didn’t use, normal Douglas would NEVER do someone else’s dishes but the new Douglas did dishes he didn’t use…I’m changing, I guess. Thank God!
Ps: Service was so great on Sunday!