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.
"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.
"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.
Gabrielle stood up and walked out of the eatery. Brian followed her. "Gabby, you need to trust me, would you?" Brian asked. Gabrielle shook her head. "He used my money and rewarded me with a bodyguard. I'm going there now!" Gabrielle tried to go, Brian laughed and pulled her back. "Listen, Gabby, you must call your sister tomorrow and tell her everything. Come with me," he said. "To where?" Gabrielle asked. "My house, to change my clothes. You said I'm smelling awhile ago." Gabrielle looked around and hesitated. "Go, I'll wait here." Gabrielle walked back to the eatery and sat down. Brian shrugged his shoulders and began to walk in the direction of his house. Gabrielle came out and ran after him. He stood still and waited when he saw her coming. Gabrielle was expecting him to ask why she changed her mind. He never did. "I saw one of my lodge mates." "Oh, okay." They walked silently through a lonely path and got to his house. It was an old building. The building had
"Oh my God, Smallie, you can't live here. Give me Danielle's phone number, I need to call her right away." Mike said. "Don't worry, we are working towards that already. Thank you very much for your concern." Gabrielle gestured him to the door. Mike stood up and walked tiredly. He knew Bangkok lodge very well and what the occupants could do. He looked around the lodge when he came out of Gabrielle's room, shook his head before proceeding to the entrance. "Is he your boyfriend?" Brian asked and opened his eyes. He was surprised she was unclad. She was relaxed as though the person lying on the floor was a girl. He quickly shut his eyes back and threw his head away. Gabrielle reached for a white towel on her cloth hanger and wrapped it around her waist, ready for a bath. "He is not my boyfriend. He is just a friend. I accepted his hands of friendship yesterday and he promised not to go beyond friendship," Gabrielle explained. "He is a good guy, but you need to be careful with hi
“Smallie, your pictures are ready, are you coming for them?” Mike asked. “Where are they?” Gabrielle asked. “They are with me. Would you go with me after the game?” Mike asked. Gabrielle kept quiet for a few seconds. She needed to see her matriculation pictures but she was scared of his girlfriend. “I can come with you if you are scared of….Mike, what’s her name?” Agatha asked. “Jane,” he responded. “Honestly, I’m scared of her. Brian also warned me to beware of her,” Gabrielle said. Mike frowned his brows and looked away. He did not want the girls to notice he was mad at Brian. “Mike, why is your face like this? Did you not see the way she attacked me the other day? Well, we will go with you, but you must promise us that no one will attack us,” Gabrielle said. Mike’s lips curved with a smile. “Trust me, no one would come close to you guys,” Mike said with a grin. Soon the game began and Agatha sat under the Dogo Yaro tree as usual watching them. She wished she could p
Gabrielle switched her small induction cooker on to preheat her already cooked food. She took a bucket of water she kept beside her bedroom door, ready to have her bathe before going to bed. She stood still, looking at Brian who rested his head on the chair he was sitting in and hung his legs on the window, wondering why he hardly bathed. "Have you bathed?" Gabrielle asked. Brian nodded his head with his eyes closed. "Okay, I'll be right back. Please turn off the cooker after five minutes," Gabrielle said before leaving the room. Someone was using the only bathroom the lodge had, so she had to join the queue. She dropped her water and stood behind it. Other girls dropped theirs and sat on the pavement that was close to the bathroom. "I heard some people are faking it in this lodge just to avoid the boys," Bruno, one of the girls, smirked and looked at Gabrielle who stood like a statue of liberty. Other girls looked at her and giggled. "I even heard their fake boyfriends hav
Brian arrived at Beckwise stores later than Mike. Mike had been there for over an hour waiting for him. He was almost giving up when Brian walked in. Brian looked in different directions and saw Mike waving at him from a secluded corner. He walked towards him and sat on a chair. "What's up?" Mike asked stretching forth his hand for a handshake. Brian gave him a curt shake. "It's almost 6:PM, so you need to be snappy. Gabrielle is alone in the house." "Did she know you were coming to see me?" Mike asked. "Of course, you reminded me in her presence before leaving her house yesterday. She is aware." Brian responded. "She has told me everything and I decided I must see you. Her sister is my friend even though we did not go beyond friendship. I promise her that I will take care of Gabrielle. You are a man and I'm going to be honest with you. I love that girl and seeing you around her makes me uneasy. I want to politely ask you to stay away from her. I can protect her." "Sh
Plans to take Gabrielle out of Bangkok Brian felt a gentle tap on his back. He turned slowly and was surprised. Uka, one of the twins in room 4 was standing behind him smiling seductively. He looked around, searching for a free seat, however, all the seats were occupied. He stood up and gestured to her. Uka sat down and grinned. One of his friends who was sitting close to him created a space for him. Uka took the wrap of weed he was smoking from him. Brian rolled another weed. Placing the wrapped weed in the corner of his mouth, his long fingers then searched the pockets of his brown tweed jacket and finally emerged with a match. "Uka is Meche out of town?" Brian asked. Uka nodded with a grin. Meche, her boyfriend, had warned her to stay away from the group. He once fought the gang for giving her weed to smoke. "His mother invited him over. He is going to stay with her for a whole week," Uka said. Meche was the son of one of the University lecturers. People wondered why he k
"His name is Ernest. He owns about five oil wells in and out of the country." "I don't believe you, do you know what oil wells are?" Brian asked. "He inherited them from his late father. He is the CEO of Nexoil. Do you remember the one-year strike that took place during the David Martin administration? All schools were shut down for a year?" Gabrielle asked. Brian nodded. "I took up a job as a salesgirl in one of the shops around our house. He came around with his bodyguards and declared surplus. I served them diligently and he picked interest in me. I turned him down because I was just sixteen and marriage was the last thing I was thinking of. He stood up and walked into his car without paying for the drinks. I followed him immediately. He wound down the glass and flung a paper. I hesitated because he was there. When his driver drove him away, I picked the paper up. It was his residential address. I folded the paper and tossed it in the trash. My boss came and insisted
The nurse Jane and Mike were waiting for came later that day. Jane gave her the money. The nurse went back to the maternity home after giving Mike the second injection. "Thank you, Mike said. Jane smiled and nodded her head. "Honestly, Jane, I'm nothing without you. You are my world, my everything. Thank you for being there for me always," Mike said again. "I did it for us, Mike," Jane smirked. "If anything happens to you, I'm finished. My love for you is beyond explanation. I love you so much, Mike." "I love you too, honey," Mike said, clenching her left hand. "Please Jane, I need one more favor from you today, would you help me?" Mike asked. Jane nodded happily. "I have an assignment I wrote for one of my friends in hostel ten, would you help me deliver it to him. It will be submitted tomorrow morning, please," Mike pleaded. "Mike, I will deliver it before 6:am tomorrow. It's almost 8:30 and the second gate closes at 9." "Please, Jane, he paid for it already and would d