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Chapter 8 An ordeal with the landlord

  • ❌ Do not copy or share to any platform ❌
  • The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has finally started. All candidates go to their centers daily to write the examinations.
  • A week to the end of the examinations, two invigilators walk to Joyce’s center.
  • “I want everyone to do away with any object that can implicate him or her,” one of the invigilators, Dr. Clement, said
  • “Okay sir, the candidates said.
  • “Anyone caught cheating will be penalized. No side talk,” one of the invigilators, Mr. Clemson, said.
  • “Do not start until I ask you to do so,” Dr. Clement said and distributed the question papers to the candidates.
  • “You can start now, Mr. Clemson said.
  • It was English studies. Objective questions first. The candidates attempted the questions the best way they can. Soon, the invigilators collected the candidates' papers and gave them papers for oral English. The candidates attempted the questions too.
  • “Be getting ready to submit. If I were you, I will go through my work again,” Dr. Clement said.
  • “Submit!!! Turn in your script now,” Mr. Clemson said and started collected the candidates’ papers.
  • When it was time for the theory part of English, the invigilators distributed the question papers.
  • “I want you to keep quiet as we share the question papers for the theory part of English studies,” Mr. Clement said.
  • “Okay, invigilator,” the candidates said.
  • The invigilators distributed the question papers to the candidates and everyone started.
  • “Peter, do you know the function of noun phrase in the sentence given in the comprehension passage?” Maryam said.
  • “No, Maryam,” Peter said.
  • “I am finished. Janet, can you allow me see your work?” Maryam said.
  • “This is an external examination, Maryam. I don’t want to be caught. You know the repercussions. So, do the ones you can do and leave the rest for God,” Juliet said.
  • “Do you know you are insulting, Juliet. Well, nobody is dragging first here. You are too stingy for my liking,” Maryam said angrily.
  • “You can ask someone else. As for me, count me out,” Juliet said.
  • “ Why should I put myself inside the mud by asking questions from a dullard. I believe everything you have written is gibberish,” Maryam said.
  • “As if you are better. Better face your work and stop looking for gifts from heavens, because they will not fall,” Juliet said.
  • “Joyce, my good and wonderful friend. Can you give me the answers to the comprehension questions?” Maryam said.
  • “I don’t want to be caught,” Joyce said.
  • “You won’t Dr. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” Maryam said.
  • Joyce wrote some answers in a piece of paper and gave it to Maryam. Maryam was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t know when Dr. Clemson moved to her front.
  • “Yong lady, what are you doing?” Dr. Clemson said.
  • “Nothing sir,” Maryam said in fears.
  • “Let me see the content of that piece of paper in your hand,” Dr. Clemson said.
  • Maryam tried to swallow the piece of paper, but Mr. Clemson successfully dragged the paper from her hand.
  • “Who owns this handwriting, cheat?” Dr. Clemson said.
  • “It’s my handwriting sir,” Maryam said in tears.
  • “You are a liar. This handwriting is different from yours,” Dr. Clemson said.
  • “It is my handwriting sir,” Maryam said still sobbing.
  • “It’s as if you are obstinate. Mr. Clement, please, come over,” Dr. Clemson said.
  • “What’s is going on here?” Mr. Clement said.
  • “I caught this young lady with a piece of paper. She tried to swallow the paper, but I was smarter than her. Look at the contents of the paper and compare it with her handwriting. Are they the same?” Dr. Clemson said”
  • “No, they are different. Young lady, who owns this handwriting?” Mr. Clement said.
  • “I have said hitherto that it is my handwriting,” Maryam said.
  • “You don’t want to tell us the truth?” Dr. Clemson said.
  • Dr. Clemson signed on Maryam’s paper as a sign that she was caught cheating. Joyce on the other was covered with sweats, because she was the one who wrote the answers for Maryam.
  • Soon, the WASSCE was over. All candidates hope for good grades in the examination. Joyce rushed in one evening.
  • “Mummy the WASSCE results are out!” Joyce said.
  • “Really? Has anyone checked his or her own?” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Yes, mum. Three of my friends and classmates have checked theirs. They all came out in flying colors?” Joyce said.
  • “Congratulations to them. Have you been able to check yours?” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “No mum. I haven’t seen an Android phone to check mine,” Joyce said sadly.
  • “What will you do now?” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “I can check the result in a cyber café, but I will need to pay some fees there,” Joyce said.
  • “Ok Dr. I will give you one hundred thousand naira. Will it be enough for the result checking?” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Yes mum,” Joyce said with smiles.
  • “Good. Then I will give you the money tomorrow's morning,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Okay mum. Thank you for everything you do,” Joyce said.
  • “Don’t mention Dr. Who else deserves my attention? It’s only my treasure,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “I am blushing. But mum, what of the Android phone you said you will buy for me?” Joyce said.
  • “I will buy it for you. I will buy the Android phone for you if only you make at least credit in all your registered subjects,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “I will mum. I can’t wait to have my own Android phone,” Joyce said in jubilations.
  • “Now, go and serve your food,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Okay mum. Have you eaten?” Joyce said.
  • “Trust mummy. I am off to bed,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Alright mum. I will join you after eaten my meal,” Joyce said.
  • “I shall be waiting,” Mrs. Evelyn said and walked to the bedroom.
  • “Okay mum,” Joyce said and stood up.
  • Soon, Joyce came out with a bowl of hot porridge. She consumed the food and went to join Mrs. Evelyn in the sleep afterwards.
  • The next day, Joyce wakes up before Mrs. Evelyn. She walks to the bathroom to urinate.
  • “Joyce, where are you?” Mrs. Evelyn shouted from the sitting room.
  • “I am indoors, in the bathroom,” Joyce said and walked to the sitting room.
  • “Good morning my treasure,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Good morning mum. How was your night?” Joyce said.
  • “It was fine, no nightmare. And yours?” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Same mum. Let me go and brush my teeth and start the cooking thereafter,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Okay mum. I will do the house tidying and washing after brushing my teeth,” Joyce said.
  • “That is good, Mrs. Evelyn said and walked to the bathroom.
  • Mrs. Evelyn and Joyce are so engrossed in their engagements. The landlord stands in front of Mrs. Evelyn.
  • “Good morning, Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Keep your greeting to yourself! Don’t captivate me,” Mr. Kennedy, the landlord, yelled.
  • “Why the shout? What Happened? Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “You are asking me what Happened, ingrate. It is not your fault. Have you forgotten that you are owing two months' outstanding house rent?” Mr. Kennedy said
  • “I haven’t forgotten landlord, but you should at least answer my greeting,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Whose greeting? Look here widow, I give you one week to pay up the outstanding bills,” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “You just called me a widow?” Mrs. Evelyn said with tears on her face.
  • “Mum, what is going on? Good morning landlord,” Joyce said immediately she came out.
  • “Keep your greeting to yourself. You are a beautiful girl and should be able to pay the house rent,” the landlord said.
  • “How can I do that? When I am still a student,” Joyce said.
  • “Your mates are out there using what they have to receive what they want,” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “Old man, I am different from others. I am priceless. So, you don’t expect me to be promiscuous in order to get what I need,” Joyce said.
  • “Then your sufferings just started. You turned down my proposal to be my girlfriend,” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “God punish you and your desire,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Don’t listen to your mum. She is uncivilized,” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “You have a daughter. Don’t you?” Joyce said.
  • “Yes, I do” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “She is also a grown up?” Joyce said.
  • “Yes. Why asking?” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “Don’t be senseless old man. You have a beautiful daughter. You can make her your girlfriend, we are in a civilized world you know,” Joyce said.
  • “You are crazy. Did I tell you that I am blind. You better accede to my proposal, so that you and your mummy can live in this house for free,” Mr. Kennedy said.
  • “It’s not everything that is free in Freetown. We know God will make us maneuver this odd,” Joyce said.
  • “Mr. Kennedy, you know how we were regular in the payment of our house rent when my husband was still alive,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Woman! Don’t tell me a cock and bull story. Since you and your uncultured daughter are obstinate, then I stand on my words. If I come back by next week’s time and you have not paid your house rent, I will throw you and your outdated luggage out of this house,” Mr. Kennedy said rudely.
  • “I know I serve a living God. Your threats are dead. The house you claimed to have needs renovations, yet you are standing here saying the gibberish,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Renovations? You are out of your sense. The house can collapse on you are your daughter. I will be back in a week’s time,” Mr. Kennedy said and walked away.
  • “What does this landlord thinks he is?” Joyce said.
  • “The man is nefarious-natured. Oh God, I need a miracle,” Mrs. Evelyn said in a teary voice.
  • “God will surprise us. He has promised to supply our needs according to his riches in glory,” Joyce said.
  • “You are right Dr. Now go and continue the tidying while I cook,” Mrs. Evelyn said.
  • “Okay mum,” Joyce said and walked away.