By Sunmola Olowookere
Her voice could be heard in the wee hours of the morning. ” My life is no longer safe in this neighbourhood. Why are people tormenting me? Although they know I am a widow, yet they keep breaking into my home and stealing my valuables. They throw stones on my roof.
Please leave me alone! What have I done to warrant all the attack that people launch at me? Whom have I offended? “
Her voice was bitter as she screamed her agony into the cold and still morning air. Some of her neighbours went out to pacify her and urged her to go back in.
They assured her that they would look into the matter and fish out the culprits.
As fate would have it, it was the last Saturday of the month and the landlord”s meeting was slated for that morning.
It usually witness a full participation because it was fixed for during the environmental sanitation.
The widow prepared to air her grievance at the meeting. She believed that many of her neighbours hated her.
To worsen matters, it was her closest neighbour whom she suspected of pouring charms in her compound that was hosting the meeting.
She sat gingerly on her chair and was watching those around her with suspicion although covertly.
If she did not have an axe to grind with residents of the neighbourhood, she definitely would never have stepped into their household. But coming there was a necessary evil which she could not avoid.
When the wife of the host was distributing the snacks prepared for entertainment of guests, she made it a point not to receive it from her hands and asked her to place it on the floor.
With recent happenings, no one can be trusted. She muttered under her breath.
She waited impatiently until the chairman called for AOB to state her concerns.
When she was granted leave to speak, she poured out all her concerns and reservations; both real and imaginary. She narrated how burglars regularly broke the lock on her door and stole her valuables.
She brought out up to five pairs of lock that had been destroyed on her door. She told of how some people threw stones on her roof and poured charms around her house.
At a point during her narration, she began to sob helplessly. It was obvious that she was at the end of her tether.
People rushed to comfort her and assure that there would be a solution. The elders at the meeting were puzzled. They wondered why Mama’s house was the target of burglars. It was uncompleted and not as good looking as many houses in the vicinity.
They also wondered if she had lost her marbles and was just spouting rubbish. They told her to be calm as they would investigate her claims. They however told her that they should have heard sometimes when stones are thrown on her roof.
The widow was somewhat pacified upon hearing the neighbourhood’s plans of seeking out the perpetrators of the attack on her house.
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