Must Read: A Simple Life On Paper... Part 1

My life was basically in a boring routine. I had
recently been employed into the federal civil
service as an architect and for a young guy at
twenty-six; I had lost all flare in my life.
My steady job and occasional private gigs were all
a means of saving funds towards my intended
proposal to my girlfriend of two
years. I had only three hundred thousand naira left
for me to reach my two million naira savings goal
when I got tagged on some
pictures of my girlfriend’s wedding by her cousin
on Facebook.
I fell into a serious depression for months. My
colleagues and bosses kept their distance at work
and my friends avoided bringing up her name
whenever I was around. It took two months for me
to decide whether I
should end my life or start living again. I decided to
My daily routine revolved around work and home.
I leave for work by seven in the morning and in
most cases come back by six in the evening. I had
no problem with those hours because I was
always able to avoid the hold
ups in the morning and make it to work before
eight and I eat dinner out before I head home…still
avoiding hold-ups.
I live in a one bedroom apartment (that means it
has a living room, dining area, kitchen, bedroom
etc) in the outskirts of town. The apartment is part
of a semidetached building and there are 7 of such
buildings in the compound. I had initially paid only
a year’s rent
but since I got the job I was comfortable with I had
decided to meet with the landlord and pay up for
another five years.
I was surprised that the man came and knocked
on my door in person. He is one of the big wigs in
his state that you will definitely see on national TV
at least once a month so when I sent a text to one
of the listed numbers
on my lease, I thought I would get a call from a
caretaker…not him.
I ushered him in and he jovially explained how he
had spent a year or two without coming to the
estate so when his caretaker asked if he would
like to issue a five-year lease; he decided to take
the opportunity check up on the
premises personally.
He came in my apartment around six in the
evening on Sunday. His driver came in with him
and I offered them drinks. “Sorry I came in
without warning, I was just in the neighbourhood
for an event and decided to ask you some
questions before I decide whether to give you the
lease you are looking for or not” he started. For an
elderly guy, I knew he was still sharp so I decided
to be
on the alert. He could have an ulterior motive.
“Why do you want to commit to a lease this long?”
he asked. I explained my situation to him as he
nodded in understanding. He was concerned that
people who took long leases often don’t know how
to maintain the premises the lease. He ended his
speech by asking if I
could maintain the apartment in the same
condition as I had met it. I was taken aback by the
question. Not because I felt I could maintain it but
because I had to renovate it before I moved in!
I took my time to explain to him the steps I took to
inform the caretaker in writing of my desire to
renovate the apartment and also the pictures I had
attached of areas I hoped to have fixed. I went into
my room and brought out my copy of the received
letter and presented both it and the approval letter
I had gotten two days
later. The pictures of the apartment were also on
display from my laptop and the surprise that was
on my face was transferred to his face.
After he regained his composure, he agreed to
allow me the lease.”As soon as you can make the
payment, I will send the driver with the receipt”. A
thought came over me. If I pay him
directly, I would be able to avoid the agent/
caretaker commissions. “Sir, can I effect the
transfer right now to your account?” I asked. That
question led to me presenting a lecture on
the efficacy of mobile banking and its numerous
applications. He was skeptical until his phone rang
and he saw a notification
confirming the transaction.
The driver was sent to the car to get the required
documents and stamp. Thirty minutes later, my
landlord left me with a new five-year lease and a
smile on my face. That visit saved me a couple
grand…who wouldn’t be happy?
I went on with my life in the usual manner. I would
often go visit my friends, but the fact that Peter
and Gabriel were always in the midst of one new
university girl or the other. I hate feeling like the
third wheel (although some of the girls seem like
they wouldn’t mind a three-way with me) so I
make my visits brief. Mark was a gamer like me.
So we could spend hours at his apartment playing
Xbox. The only problem is…his girlfriend looks at
me like I am cheating her of her time with her guy.


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