“Not this again,” Nancy yelled and slammed the cup of coffee she was holding against the glass table almost breaking it. She had just got home and was preparing to wind down with her daily cup of coffee and a thrilling movie. However, her neighbours had other plans. They blasted loud hip-hop music that could be heard from a distance. Her chair vibrated and so did her head. She tried her best to stay calm as she didn’t have the energy to start a fight with them but the noise was too much.
After a few minutes, she got up and made her way to their door. Her knocks went unanswered so she went to the security and asked them to switch off her neighbour’s lights. They happily obliged since they could also hear the loud music. It went dead silent for a split second followed by a group of people yelling. The security accompanied her to warn the neighbours about the loud music and as they approached the apartment, someone opened the door.
“Now you open the door.” She said.
“Why did you turn off our lights?” the man asked in a heavy Nigerian accent.
“Great! Nigerians!” she thought to herself.
Nancy had gotten used to them since moving to Kilimani. She thought that she would get a quiet and serene apartment where she could focus on her work but barely a month after moving in, some crazy people moved next to her.
“Keep it down.” The security guard warned them before leaving.
The tall bearded man then turned his attention to Nancy.
“Are you the one who reported us?”
“No,” she answered. “I just met him on the staircase.”
“I know it was you but no problem.”
He then asked one of his guests to bring him a drink which he did promptly.
“Here. This is our peace offering.”
“I don’t drink,” Nancy answered rejecting his offer.
She drank. She just didn’t want to mingle with them. There were many stories about Nigerians that she didn’t want anything to do with them.
“Okay. Have a good night, my sister. I promise we won’t play loud music again.”
She smiled as she went to her apartment door which was a few steps away. The man looked at her until she got in and then closed his door.
“Man, that girl is fine. Why didn’t you invite her?”
“She says she doesn’t drink.”
They all laughed.
“Really? Let me go and keep her company in her house then.” One of the guys suggested.
“No. Leave her alone.” The guy commanded and they all went quiet.
True to his word, they didn’t play loud music the whole night but they still chatted and laughed loudly. Nancy could tolerate it.
Early the next day, Nancy showered, got dressed, packed her bag and headed to the office as she always does. However, she didn’t expect to bump into anyone that early let alone her neighbour. He was standing by the lift dressed fairly well.
“Hi, miss.” He said stretching his hand.
“Hi.” She was still half asleep and groggy.
“I didn’t get your name.”
‘Nancy.” She answered in a monotone again.
She didn’t reply.
“You look really lovely.”
Before she could reply, the elevator doors opened and she dashed to her car. She sat there for a few minutes hoping that he would have left then started her car. As she approached the entrance, she spotted the guy again.
“Oh my God! Is this guy a ghost?” she asked out loud.
He waved to her to slow down which she did.
“Do you need a lift?”
“I think you need company more than I need a lift.” He answered.
She smiled and unlocked the door.
The pair drove on the semi-dark, almost deserted roads chatting like old friends until she reached her office. She offered to call him an uber that would take him to his destination but he declined.
“I’m a man. I’ll figure my way there. But thank you for the ride and have a good day, Nancy.”
“You too. Thanks for the company.”
Nancy tried to concentrate on her work but she couldn’t help thinking about her neighbour. He had really worked his charm on her that no matter how hard she tried to ignore his advances she found herself smiling whenever she remembered their conversation.
“Girl, what happened yesterday?”
“You’re smiling like someone who just won the lottery.”
“Well, you remember those crazy neighbours I told you about?” she started.
“I finally met them yesterday.”
“Really? Is it a group of cute guys?”
“Yes. How did you know?”
“Why else would you be so excited to meet the neighbours who’ve bothered you for the last month?”
“Well, one of the guys is but there’s a problem. They’re Nigerians.”
They both laughed but also knew it wasn’t a joke. Many of their friends who had dated Nigerian men were all traumatized by their experiences. Some had to deal with baby mama drama while some lost their money. So as much as Nancy found her Nigerian neighbour very charming, she knew nothing would happen between them.
Later that evening, Nancy’s friend accompanied her to her apartment in hopes of meeting the crazy neighbours she had heard so much about. Once again, she bumped into him standing by the elevators.
“Welcome back.” He said.
“Thanks.” She replied with a smile.
As they walked to the apartment, Nancy informed her friend that she was one of the neighbours.
“He looks so familiar.” She mentioned.
“I don’t think you know him though. He told me he just came to the country a month ago.”
The guy knocked on Nancy’s door and invited her in to eat at his place.
“Have you ever eaten Jollof?”
“I’ve prepared some. Do you mind joining me?”
“Yes. I told you I’m full of many surprises.”
“I’m definitely coming to eat your food now.” She answered. “Can I bring my friend?”
“Yes, of course.”
They freshened up and went to the apartment. He welcomed them and gave them juice before serving them food.
“I must say, you’re very different from what we hear about Nigerians,” Nancy said.
“Yes, I know. Sometimes, I don’t even like saying I’m Nigerian.”
As the night went on and they all got more comfortable with each other, they started drinking, dancing taking pictures and having fun.
“This Nancy lied to me that she doesn’t drink. Now see her staggering all over the place.” They all burst into laughter.
Before they knew it, it was morning and the two girls went back to their apartment. Nancy’s friend freshened up and left almost immediately to meet one of her other friends.
“I had a crazy night.” She mentioned taking a sip of coffee.
“I was at a friend’s place and we ended up partying with this guy.” She said as she removed her phone and showed her friend the pictures and videos she took.
Her friend gasped.
“This is Henry.” She shouted almost in a panic. “This is the guy who stole three million from me. Where does he live? We have to go and arrest him.”
“Relax. Are you sure because my friend told me he just came into the country a month ago?”
“I’m more than sure. I know these tattoos. I even have pictures of him on my phone.” She answered and showed her friend.
The two made a plan of how they would get the guy arrested. They decided not to tell Nancy as she might warn the guy.
Within a few hours, there were around ten policemen outside Nancy’s apartment and five of them at her neighbour’s door. The caretaker unlocked the door where they found six men in the apartment. They were all arrested promptly and Nancy never heard from him again. Her friend also didn’t reveal that she was involved in the arrest. Nancy simply assumed that like many Nigerians she had heard of, he was involved in criminal activity and that the law had finally caught up to him. Little did she know that her friend had saved her from getting swindled.
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This story first appeared on this blog as Short Story: My Crazy Neighbours