Chapter 9 The Lodge's owner

Gabrielle and her friend entered the room and were very scared. 

"Agatha, I would have waited for Brian. Coming here was your idea." 

"Relax, Gabby, probably someone reported what they did to you to a relevant authority. Calm down!" Agatha said. Gabrielle sat on her bed and waited impatiently. 

She was panic-stricken when she heard the man's voice moving closer to her room. She eavesdropped and found out he was shouting at the girls in room four. Probably, he is the owner of the lodge. She began to relax and laugh. 

"I think he is the lodge owner," Gabrielle murmured. Agatha smiled. 

"You can ask him to refund you now. He is rich, he can do it." 

"Brian, the guy I told you about said he has about ten agents that would help me and get a decent lodge. I'm going to move into a new lodge today," Gabrielle grinned and danced for joy. 

A soft knock came on her door. She opened the door slowly. The quinquagenarian and the caretaker stood there with a register. The man looked at her and looked up at the number written above her room. 

"Room five," he said and Gabrielle nodded. 

"Then you are Grace Johnson, right?" The man said. 

"Hmm...who?" Gabrielle asked. She felt a tap on his feet. The caretaker was trying to pass a piece of information, probably, to bear a name that is not hers. 

"Are you deaf? Is your name not Grace Johnson?" He asked again. Gabrielle nodded immediately and waited for his next sentence. 

"Well, your house rent expired on the 31st of July...." 

"What??? Gabrielle interrupted him and he looked up at her with a frown face. The caretaker stepped on her again. This time, it was very painful. 

"Didn't you hear what I just said? Your house rent expired on the 31st of July, please pay before this week runs out. If I come here again, I will throw you out of my house. Do you understand?" He asked. 

Gabrielle nodded sheepishly. The man walked past the caretaker. The caretaker turned and gave her an appreciative wink. She frowned and ran back to her room. She could not wait to ask him the meaning of that short skit. 

The lodge owner walked around the lodge and called the attention of all the people who were owning him. He drove away with his security men. 

The caretaker went to Gabrielle's room immediately the landlord drove out. He swung the door without knocking. 

"I've come to say thank you," the caretaker smiled.

"Thank you that I will be thrown out next week?" 

"Common, Gabriel, he comes here once a year. He doesn't know who comes in and who goes out. I will add extra two months for you once your rent expires," the caretaker smirked. 

"I need my money back. I want to move out, please." 

"Gabriel, that is not possible Nah. Uzo's school mandates all the students in senior high to live in the dormitory so they would concentrate on their books and pass their final exams in flying colors," the caretaker smiled again. 

"What do you want me to do? The boys of this lodge are ruthless and the girls are aiding them. I can't live here."

"Gabriel, I know, this is why I got you a boyfriend," the caretaker said. 

"A boyfriend?" Agatha tilted her brows. 

"Fake boyfriend," Gabrielle responded. 

"Fake or not, I trust Manga. He would deal with them. Please don't tell anyone that I found him for you. Unless you want them to kill me," the caretaker said. 

"This is not what I'm talking about, Pa Uzo, please I need my money. I want to move to a more comfortable lodge." 

"Well, let's see how next week will be. Just exercise a little patience, I will raise the money and give it to you. Cheer up, Gabriel. Manga is doing a nice job and I trust him. He doesn't do women!" The caretaker said and walked out of the room to avoid further questions. Gabrielle and Agatha exchanged glances. 

"He is gay?" Agatha asked. Gabrielle looked surprised. 

"I think he is gay. He said naked women don't move him. He doesn't have a girlfriend either. Pa Uzo really knows him very well." 

"Well, at least you are safe in his hands. He won't think of forcing himself on you as your sick neighbor tried. Just be careful, you don't know him that much." 

"Everything ends next week. Once he gives me the money, I will move out and say bye-bye to my gay friend," Gabrielle said jokingly and they giggled. 

They quickly cooked some spaghetti, ate some and were ready for evening sports with Mike's volleyball team. Agatha stood and watched while she bathed and she did the same for her. 

Soon they were in the field. Agatha sat under a Dogo Yaro tree and watched as they played. Mike was a good player. He continued saving his team until his team won the game. He folded his arms around Gabrielle's waist as they rejoiced. 

They joined Agatha under the tree and chatted for some time. The cool evening breeze was quite therapeutic. Gabrielle relaxed and made up her mind to always go there after school every day.

It was time for home, Mike dragged the girls up. Agatha, who lived within the school premises bid them farewell and headed in the direction of her hostel. Mike and Gabrielle walked towards the gate. 

It was almost 7:PM. Brian sat on one of the chairs in the eatery, waiting patiently for her. 

"Mike, see you tomorrow evening, I want to see a friend here," Gabrielle said. 

"You mean Manga is your friend?" Mike asked. 

"Yes," she responded. Mike licked his lips and looked away. 

"He is very dangerous." 

"You know him?" Gabrielle asked. 

"Who doesn't know Mangasi on this campus? He is a fighter, a smoker, a low-life illiterate. He can't even spell his name. What are you doing with him, Gabrielle?" 

"I'll tell you tomorrow evening after the games." 

"Oh, okay, see you tomorrow then," Mike said and waved at her. Gabrielle waved back. 

She walked into the eatery and looked around. Brian, whose gaze and mind were on the television that was mounted on the wall, did not notice her presence. She tapped him gently on the shoulder and he turned. Gabrielle smiled and was expecting him to do the same. He looked away after staring at her. 

"Sit down, or are you in a hurry to go home?" he said. Gabrielle did not respond to him and he didn't care. 

"You haven't changed your clothes, why?" Gabrielle asked. 

"I washed it at the site." 

"Well, you didn't wash it well. It's smelling." 

Brian lifted his shirt close to his nose, but could not perceive anything. He looked at her and fixed his gaze back on the television. 

"You have a house?" 


"Would you mind changing that?" Gabrielle asked. 

"No problem." 

"I was at the lodge this afternoon and I got the highest shock today." 

"Brian sat upright and fixed his gaze on her with anger clearly written on his face. 

"Emmanco, right?" He asked. Gabrielle shook her head. 

"The caretaker! He did not give the house owner my rent. He gave me one week to move out of the lodge." 

"That's what he does." 

"What? You mean I'm not the first?" 

"The names on his list are the names of old occupants of the lodge. You are lucky you were not forced to take up a strange name," Offor smirked and fixed his gaze back on the television. 

"I asked him about my money, he said he has used the money but she would raise another for me......" 

"Next week," Brian interrupted. 

"Oh, he told you at the site?" Gabrielle asked. 

"We are not working on the same site. I haven't set my eyes on him since yesterday." 

"Who told you he said next week?" Gabrielle asked. Brian kept quiet and would not respond to her. "Okay...I think I understand what you are trying to say. He should not try that with me!" Gabrielle said a bit loudly. No, I won't take it!" 

"It's a forgotten story, focus on a new one." 

"Are you serious right now?" Gabrielle asked. 

"Dead serious." 

"Oh, my God, I'm finished! What would I tell my sister? She warned me about this lodge," Gabrielle buried her head on her palm and wept. Brian focused his attention on the football he was watching. 

"Are you following me to my house?" he asked.

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