When I came here a year ago to rent this room, I and my agent met the wife of the landlord. She asked the agent, “Are you sure you’re in the right place? Who told you there’s an empty room here?” My agent answered; “Your husband called me a week ago that he was ready to rent out the last room in the basement. I’m here today with someone who is interested.” The woman picked up her phone and called her husband. The conversation was short. “I thought you said you won’t rent the room out, so why have you changed your mind?” I didn’t hear the answer but a few minutes later, the lady gave us the keys and we went to inspect the place.
I told her, “I like it. I would love to pay for it.”
The following day when we returned, the man of the house was there. I was anticipating a different kind of man, maybe a man in his fifties but this man I saw wasn’t any of that. He looked thirty and even appeared younger than his wife. I wasn’t there to measure looks and age so I went ahead and paid for the room. He took me inside the room again. He said, “It wasn’t my intention to rent this place out. It’s visitors’ room but as time goes on, I’ve come to realize that visitors are usually few and they don’t come often so what’s the need to reserve a place for them?” I understood the wonderings of his wife and if I had a question about why he needed to rent the place out, I had my answer from him.
A month later I moved in. Throughout the packing and arrangements of the place, the landlord was with me, helping out with the load and advising where to place what. On my second day there, I heard a knock on my door. It was him. He said, “My wife has cooked something. You’re invited.” I was surprised at first and then got shy to accept the invitation. I was about to give an excuse when he said, “In this house, we don’t say no, especially when it comes to sharing of food. You need to come and dine with us.” I was hungry. In fact, very hungry so I put on something and went up with him.
We had a very good meal. The conversation was good and we ended up building this sort of connection that felt like I can reach out to him at any point in time and he’ll be there to help. There was safety around him and his wife also smiled a lot. She was as kind as her husband.
From that day, everything went on smoothly around the house. When they are going out, they’ll tap on my window and say good morning to me. Apart from them, I didn’t see the other tenants often. They were mostly inside and I was not introduced to any of them so I could barely make them out. The food invites from the landlord didn’t stop. The smiles from his wife also never faded.
One evening, I heard a series of quick steps descending the staircase. A few seconds later, I heard a tap on my window, followed by the voice of the landlord. He asked, “Edward, are you in there?” I answered, “Yeah I’m here!” There was anxiety in his voice. He rushed quickly back. I came out of the room to look at what was happening. A few seconds later, he quickly descended the stairs with a lady. Immediately they got to where I was, he nudged the lady in my direction. Just before I could say a word, his wife appeared from the outside of the house.
He winked at me and started talking, “Oh that’s fine. Nice seeing you. I hope I’ll see you often? He smiled sheepishly while the lady nodded with a shy smile. My landlord said, “Eddie…Eddieee. Your friend is really nice.” I was as lost as lost can be. If his wife looked at me very well, she might have noticed that something was wrong. My actions didn’t support my facial expressions. Same with the lady. She couldn’t even look up. Her face was on the floor throughout. They climbed up while I was standing there with the lady not knowing what to do. A couple of minutes later, my landlord called. He said, “Tell her to wait for me.” I told her and she nodded.
I felt leaving her outside wouldn’t be ideal so I invited her in and gave her a seat. She was still looking at her toes while seated in my room. She was too shy to even look at her own shadow. Several minutes later, the landlord wasn’t back. The lady lifted her head for the first time and asked, “Do you have an iPhone charger?” I didn’t have it so I stepped out to get some for her. She was grateful. She smiled for the first time. I had questions but I didn’t know if it was right to ask. She asked me, “Are you his brother?” I answered, “No, I’m a tenant but he treats me like a brother.” I asked, “What about you and what was all that about?” She smiled. She was regaining her confidence back. She said, “I’m a distant family he’s helping through school. His wife doesn’t like families around so he usually hides us.” I said, “Oh really? But his wife looks like a kind person ooo.” She answered, “Maybe to some people but definitely not us.”
The conversation kept going until she picked up her phone and started talking. The line of the conversation sounded like she was talking with the landlord. She later handed me the phone. My landlord’s voice came through. He said, “Give her GHC200, I’ll give it to you when I come down.” I didn’t have physical cash so I asked for the girl’s number and sent it to her through MoMo. I walked her through the door and she left. She was receptive and smooth. Apart from that, she was a beautiful person. I kept her number; “Who knows? We can be friends along the line and see how it goes.”
I saw the landlord the following day when I returned from work. He came to thank me and later gave me back my money. He didn’t say anything about the incident so I thought it wasn’t anything worth talking about. Days later, I sent the girl a message. I followed it up with a call, later our conversation became often. One thing she told me right from the start was, “I’m not coming back to that house again so if you want to see me, we have to meet outside.” I visited her on campus. The vibe was there. We met outside campus, and the connection was great. One day, I proposed. She said, “You think your landlord will be happy to see us together?” I answered, “He knows I’m a good boy so he wouldn’t mind. I only have to continue being a good person.” She said, “You won’t say anything to him about us until I give you the go-ahead. He’s helping me through school. I don’t want him to stop.”
We’ve been dating for about five months now. Everything had been great until recently when our story turned around. I realized anytime we had a conversation and I brought in my landlord’s name, her mood changed. I didn’t think much of it because I already knew the story. One evening, I was in front of her hostel with her when out of nowhere the landlord appeared. If we saw him coming, we would have dispersed or pretended we didn’t know each other. We didn’t get the time to act fast. He appeared on us.
“Hey Eddie, what are you doing here? Why are you with her?”
The fear I saw on my girlfriend’s face wasn’t an ordinary fear. She was deeply terrified. I tried to save the situation but it didn’t work. The landlord got angry and left. She said, “Eish, I’m dead. Eddie, You’ve ended my life. I’m finished. Everything I did to calm her down didn’t work until I left her presence. I came home to meet an angry landlord. He said, “Watch something for me and you’ve taken it for keeps? Is that how you are? I thought you were a good man? Why take what’s mine? Is that how you do things?” I apologized to him, thinking I’ll calm him down and make our relationship official to him. He screamed, “Are you out of your mind? What did she tell you the day I left her with you? What do you take me for? A fool?”
His rants were going overboard. It led me to questions I should have asked right from the beginning. I asked the landlord, “Is she not your family?” He screamed, “Why would I hide a family from my wife? Are you this childish?”.
I got the message. I’d been lied to. The girl stopped picking up my calls. I went there and she wasn’t willing to see me. I had to ambush her to get her to talk. She avoided my questions. She acted aloof but I got the message clearly. She was dating my landlord but lied to me about it. I asked, “So why did you lie about it? Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked me, “Can I go now?”
I’d come to love her but at that moment, I recognized the mess I was in. I decided to cut my losses and walk out. The problem now is my landlord. He wants me out of the house. He came to throw my rent balance on me and gave me one month to move out of his house. I understand his pain but I feel we should be able to thrash things out amicably without getting to this end. I love this place and don’t want to leave here. He keeps coming around asking me when I intend to move. We both got played but I don’t know why he wants to incriminate me. Now I’m thinking of using his wife to get him off my neck. As in telling him to stop worrying me or else I’ll involve his wife.