Continuation of Chapter 16 of IFY - A Romantic Thriller

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A lot of fond memories flooded my senses at once and filled me with nostalgia. I reminisced on the people who have visited me here. I tried to recollect the scenes of the best sex I had inside the room. I tried to remember those cold nights when I will be feeling so hapless, very lonely and completely lost in the world and the only sound comforting me will be that of the raindrops falling on the rooftop.

My thought went to Mama Chinwe and how nice she was to me before that Charity issue. She used to be so nice and sweet and I would never have believed things could have turned so badly between us. Anyway, that is one thing with people because people always change.

I also thought about the next person who will be occupying the room. Will it be a woman or a man? I decided I had to leave a trademark, something like a souvenir in the room for him or her so I decided I wasn’t going with the Nicki Minaj wallpaper. At least that will show the next occupant that a… an incurable perv… no, those were her words, let’s just say a bad guy like me once lived there!

I went to see the caretaker to inform him of my intended exit the next day. He expressed his surprise at the news that I was moving out and described it as being so sudden. He even joked by telling me that he was seriously hoping I was going to get married while still living in his compound so that he will be invited to the high table during my wedding. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes as he said that and I wondered if he wasn’t actually insinuating anything.

He asked me which part of Enugu I was moving to and I told him it was Independence Layout. He exclaimed his joy and told me that I am now a ‘Big Boy’ and I was now leaving them behind in the ghetto. We laughed over it and I told him that it was just for the sake of my job.

He pleaded with me not to turn my back on them and forget them completely. I told him there was no way I could forget the three happy years I have spent in that very compound with them.

The next day I went back to him to hand over the keys to him. He expressed his surprise at my shock departure once more. He wished me good luck and told me to continue to be of a good character. Of course, I knew he was referring to the fact that I have never owed him his rent and I have never defaulted in paying the electricity bills in all the months I have lived in the compound.

I thanked him and told him to extend my gratitude to his wife whose sister gave me the job in the cybercafé back then.

I finally left him after handing over the keys to him and went back to my room and called Sandra. I told her I was ready to start moving. She said she will soon be on her way.

As I sat on my mattress and waited for her arrival, my thoughts drifted to all that was happening to me. My thoughts went back again to the so many fond memories that this very room held for me. I recalled the very first day I came to that compound in search of a house and I tried to recall the very first tenant I saw on that day. Just three years ago! How time flies!

I tried to picture the faces of all those people who have ever visited me in this room. I recalled the neighbors who I met when I newly moved in and those who have since moved out since I came. Where are they now? How did life turn out for them? Are they still alive?

And then my thoughts centered once again on those things I wanted to forget. Ify. Yes, Ify. Such a sweet girl. I remembered the first day she came here and the sweet things that happened afterwards. I could see her the way she often curled up gently like a lamb beside me and purring softly like a cat while listening to me as I filled her head with some bogus and weird stories, which she seem to love so much, after we’ve just made love. Shit! What the fuck is wrong with me!

And then I remembered Mama Chinwe and all those misguided women who joined her in taunting me and the hurtful things they said about me. I grimaced.

And what about her kids? Those crazy voyeurs? I smirked at the thought and then I suddenly felt so sad. Those kids have been a very important part of my life all this while. I couldn’t leave them just like that.

I couldn’t believe I was so close to tears. I brought out my handkerchief and wiped my tears. I was so touched by the way events turned out and made us—their mother and I, look like the worst enemies because although they were kids, they still showed some signs that told me they were very much aware that things had fallen apart between their mother and me. No, I couldn’t just leave them like that.

So I called Ebuka, her eldest son, and told him that I was moving to another part of Enugu but I didn’t disclose where. He was just nine years but I could see the news made him sad. It also affected those kids who also came with him. I have always played with all of them so they knew they were going to lose a VIP—very important playmate. Of course, I couldn’t tell exactly if they were going to miss me or the PS2 the more.

I fumbled in my pockets and brought out a one thousand naira note and gave it to him. I told him to use it to buy biscuits for themselves. They thanked me and zoomed off, all cheerful once more. That’s why I love children.

I choose to concentrate on the good side of my moving out. I knew I was going to have all the privacy and space I so much craved for. I was also going to get focused very well now with little or no disturbance.
A part of me still felt that in the spirit of fairness and forgiveness, I should just swallow my pride and go to Mama Chinwe and tell her that I was moving out but my ego wouldn’t let me be.

What purpose will that serve? Let her find your absence. Don’t even let her know where you are going. Keep her guessing and wondering. That’s what she deserves for treating you that bad. My best bet was that her children will tell her that Uncle Vin has finally packed out.

I also knew I had to keep my friends guessing which was why I never mentioned anything about the rented apartment to them. I can’t help but visualize the surprise that would be on Uche’s face the first day he would visit me at my new apartment.

I was also glad that I will not need Eze’s place again. For a moment, I enjoyed the sense of freedom and independence that feeling gave me and it miraculously wiped away my melancholy in a jiffy. I was now completely on my own! Yes, I am now my own man!

A knock sounded on my door. It was Sandra. She came in looking so bright and very lively. As we exchanged greetings, I couldn’t help but notice that she had done some magic transformations on herself because she was looking so wow in the sәxy attire she wore!

I took a good look at her. I haven’t had much opportunity to do so previously. She was pretty quite alright with a heart-shaped face. Her hair was done in a very simple but artistic African braids. Again, I noticed her eyes were very sharp and alert. I guess that’s where the assertiveness comes from. She smiled as I surveyed her.

She had small perky brәasts and a narrow waist. Her long legs made her look very tall for a woman. I could see from her lithe frame and her gait that she was very energetic. And energetic women are usually good in bәd, right? Maybe I was going to forget about Ify after all. I considered myself very lucky and smiled inwardly at myself on that thought.

She told me the van was ready and the driver was waiting outside and we should get started. So we started moving my property.

It didn’t take us much time. Twenty minutes later, and we were all set. I excused myself and went back to the room. I wanted to look at it for the very last time.

It was now completely bare. Just take a look at my room looking so empty right now. A few moments ago, it was looking so full. That’s exactly how this life is. One moment, you think you have everything. The next moment, you look around you and you find out you have absolutely nothing. But that’s life for you because no matter what happens, life goes on… 

I breathed in deeply. I took a very long, deliberate and lustful look at Nicki on the wall. I took pity on her because she was going to feel very lonely up there on the wall all by herself tonight—and for so many other nights to come—until another occupant comes.

“Goodbye Nicki,” I said. She didn’t respond.

I quietly exited myself and closed the door behind me for the last time.

Then I joined the others in the van and we drove off. I didn’t say anything to anybody throughout the journey. Of course, I didn’t want my voice to give me away on how terribly sad I was feeling inside.

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