ADSactly Short Stories - The Roomies

4년 전

The Roomies

Each time someone said they liked watching the television or that they liked movies, Kene, who everyone called Ken would always ask one question: Have you ever seen a whole movie with the volume off? Understandably, the answer was always no, and each time that answer came, Ken had to resist the enormous urge to punch the air in excitement. Gotcha, he'd think. Ken liked movies above all things, and he would rather see them muted than not see them at all. With some practice, he realised that he comprehended those movies as well as the next guy that saw the movie with the volume on and this precluded seeing the movie again. Of course, just like the other story where Eki preferred to eat sour soup, it was not Ken's original intention to be seeing movies without the volume on.


In case you haven't heard the story of Eki and her longing for sour egusi soup, this is the correct version of what happened to her. She lived with her wicked aunt, Stella. Aunt Stella considered herself a disciplinarian. So each time Eki finished cooking egusi soup, which was a melon soup that many people favoured in West Africa, she would forget to open the pot of soup a crack so that the steam would escape. Keeping the soup without a freezer, with the weather was usually about thirty-five degrees Celsius. The result was the soup pot storing in heat that would enable the soup to ferment and get sour. Aunt Stella did not like that one bit, but since it was Eki's fault, Aunt Stella insisted that Eki ate the soup alone until it was finished. After a while, an adaptation set in and Eki did not like the normal version of the soup anymore. Of course, Aunt Stella was none the wiser about that development.

Ken's situation was a bit but not entirely different. Power supply from the utility was available for three or four hours on lucky days. Other days, the supply was less or non-existent. Those who knew had aptly described the nature of electric power supply from the utility as epileptic. That was another thing that Ken had to contend and deal with. Ken lived with his older cousin, Kuti who worked as an insurance underwriter. As a result, Ken was usually home alone after school until his cousin Peter was sent to the same state for his one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Peter could not afford to rent an apartment based on his little NYSC allowance. Luckily for him, his cousin Kuti could and agreed to accommodate him.

Ken and Kuti lived in a two-bedroom apartment. So when Ken heard that Kuti had agreed to take in Peter, he had a warning that it was not going to end in praise, as his Christian friend Ayo often told him. Ayo was the most optimistic person Ken knew. When faced with difficulties, no matter how impossible they seemed, Ayo would intone, "It will end in praise," and Ken supposed it often did because Ayo always went to church every Friday evening for Praise and Worship no matter how bad things got. But Ken was more of a mathematical turn of mind and having experienced sharing his room with three other corps members before Peter; he knew there was no way it was going to end well.

First, there was Uba. Uba was the first corps member that Kuti took in. Uba was not related to Kuti, not really. But he was one of those guys that became whatever they needed to be to gain whatever advantage they wanted. The first thing anyone noticed about Uba was just how healthy he was. He was tall, dark and handsome with those pink lips that announced that he was a non-smoker. Initially, when people met Uba, they could not imagine there could be anything wrong with him. Then you begin a conversation with him and, if you paid any attention at all, you would notice that his entire interest in you was on how you could be of any use to him. He was so blatant about it that Ken was often embarrassed on his behalf. He reminded Ken about a saying where he came from, When a madman goes naked, it is his relatives that get embarrassed. There was an in-house joke that if you left Uba to feed a little child, he would eat the food and smear the child's mouth with the food. Ken did not think it was a joke; he believed it.

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After Uba, there was Sammy, a lanky tired-looking bloke whose relationship with Kuti was not clear either. Sammy was a cool guy. Ken liked him instantly, and Ken did not like people easily. However, their bromance did not last very long. After sharing a room with him, Ken began to notice many things that were unbearable about the guy. He appeared cool because he was incredibly slow. He often agreed with you because the time it would take him to come up with a constructive response would be too long and you probably would not have the patience to wait for a response. The result was that he would agree with what you had said, then turn around to do the exact opposite. One of those things he agreed on and reversed in action was the speed at which to operate the ceiling fan. Granted, the weather in Northern Nigeria those days was scorching. There were jokes about the place being very close to hellfire. Ken got sick when the fan blew on him for long hours, so he often did not use the fan at all. However, since his new roommate could not do without it, he negotiated with him for them to have the fan operating at medium speed. , but as soon as Ken slept, he increased it to the highest speed. Ken would often wake up with his sinuses blocked but he decided to bear it out until the year elapsed. One day, Sammy returned home from the school where he was supposed to teach pupils as part of his service year. They had asked him to teach the poor children math. He returned home with their math text and set it down on the table in the sitting room. He soon sat to review the text. After a while, he called Ken and asked, "What is this?"

Ken was almost shocked, but he instructed himself to remain calm and be sure of what he was being asked. He bent and looked at what Sammy was pointing. "Ehhmm, you mean the division sign?" he asked looking at Sammy's face to determine if he was serious. He was.

"Oh, yeah, that's the division sign," Ken told him, wondering how someone who did not know what a division sign was could teach math. He soon found out as he had to point out the multiplication sign and others while explaining the operations. Ken was in secondary school, and he kept wondering how Sammy graduated from a University. Granted, the man studied sociology, but elementary math was not studied in the University most times. Ken spent the next year tutoring a teacher, and the teacher made it as difficult as possible.

After Sammy, John came along, and it seemed that his life mission was to turn Ken into a born-again Christian by every mean necessary. He would have had more success, Ken thought, if he did not keep drinking his coke without replacement.

Ken had three experiences sharing a room with corps members so when he heard that Peter was coming, he could not help but brace himself. Not only was he going to be sharing his room, but he was also going to sharing his life, food, kitchen and not to mentioned TV, with someone he had never met in his life. Ken did not mind sharing everything else but the TV. He lived for when he would be home from school and done with chores, then Peter came. Peter liked slow, old music, especially music by Anita Baker. He would often return home before Ken; then he would put on his old music and lie on the floor shirtless, listening to it.

"Oh, Anita Baker!" he would scream, almost moan, ecstatically. Ken could not decide what annoyed him more. Was it the fact that Peter was playing old songs or that he was so excited about it, or was it the fact that the guy laid his black hairy body shirtless on the rug, or perhaps maybe because he was using up the little time that the utility decided to grant them power for the above? Perhaps it was the combination of the whole thing because Ken was often beside himself in anger and frustration. But Ken was not one to leave problems unsolved. It took him a while, but he found a solution to the problem. One day, when there was a power cut, he removed the fuse at the consumer unit and taped it with masking tape and plugged it back in. The idea was to ensure that Peter would never arrive home and use the electronics before him since there would be nothing to power them. Whenever Ken returned, he untaped the fuse and suddenly, power was restored. Peter did not figure it out immediately. But one day, he realised that his neighbours had power, but their flat had did not. So he called a technician who uncovered the problem. Once again, by the time Ken returned from school, Peter was lying shirtless on the rug shouting "Anita Baker". That was how Ken's TV watching was relegated to night time when everyone else slept.

Kuti's apartment was a small one, and it was easy to hear the TV from either room. Kuti worked long hours, and it would be inhuman to wake him with noise from the TV. Ken did not consider himself an insensitive person, so he watched his rented films with the volume muted. Luckily for him, the utility company improved in the number of hours they supplied power. Sometimes, Ken would be in the middle of a movie he rented for a day, and the lights would go off. He would wait for the power to be restored and he would often sleep in the sitting room while waiting. Sometimes, he would pray for power to be restored for just a minute so that he could retrieve the cassette from the player. The video player was VHS back in those days.

It was perhaps because Ken spent most nights in the sitting room that Peter came up with the idea of bringing his girlfriend home for a sleepover. At first, no one, including Ken knew about it even though he prided himself of being aware of everything that happened in that flat. He, however, noticed that Peter's girlfriend, Livia was always there in the morning when they woke.

One Friday evening, Ken returned home after playing in the school football tournament. He needed to prepare a meal, so he quickly went to the local market to purchase the condiments. After cooking, he was frail so he went to sleep in his room on the bed he shared with Peter. The bed measured four four-and-half feet by six feet and was just enough for him and Peter when Ken was not kicking. Ken had slept for about two hours when he heard the door to the room creaked against the tiled floor. Ken was a heavy sleeper, so he was unable to decide whether the experience was real or dream.

It was the end of October, and the rains were giving way to the northeasterly wind of Harmattan that characterises the end of the year in most West African countries. But the Harmattan had not quite caught on, so the weather was hot from the sun and complete lack of rain for the one month before then. Ken was very tired, and he needed the sleep, so a little noise was not enough to rouse him. He continued to snore, but the whirring sound of some mosquitoes intervened. He would have slept through that if not for the sudden depression he felt in the bed just beside where he laid.

"Are you sure we won't wake him?" asked a female voice in a bit of a drawl.

"Sure," he heard Peter respond. "He sleeps like a log. He would not know we were here."

The mosquito kept whirring in Ken's ear. He slowly stretched and used his hand to cover his ear while his new bedmates argued whether or not to use prophylactics. After a while, the arguments stopped, and the bed soon began to bounce gently. Ken was struggling to maintain his normal position and feign ignorance of the activities going on in the room because the mosquitoes seemed to have changed their mind about just whirring. Ken felt one of the mosquitoes perch on his face, but he could not swat it because that would reveal that he was awake and he could not do that. Suddenly there was another mosquito on his arm, and he could no longer take it. He stood up in a very controlled, casual manner and walked out of the room without looking back. That was the last time he shared a room with Peter or anyone else. The things that happened in that room that night has never been spoken of; not by Ken or Peter.

Authored by: @churchboy

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Hahaha, @churchboy is back again and this one is a banger. Lol
First, let's start from here, why would you use my name Mr man, without my consent, Oya come here. Lol, Ken had suffered enough, it's obvious, from uba to sammy, Sammy the uneducated lol, then came John, I could sense the feelings of frustration from Ken when John arrived with his preachings and after that the worst came, Peter who wouldn't let him enjoy his television lol. Ken seems to be a very wise youth. He had played a good role of an engineer by disconnecting the wires for his own use, haha that's too wise of him but luckily it didn't last and exactly I was thinking of how you'll end the story this time around, I know you normally have a very catchy play to it. Well it ended well, I was actually expecting it but to be sincere, if I Ken, I would look back oh. Lol


Lol @lilkeszi, I didn't know whose name I was using. Hahahaha.

When you put it the way you just did, it appears that The Trials of Ken would have been appropriate. LOL

I appreciate your comment. Thanks.


You don't know Huh, well know you know, I demand some apologies, 👀 lol, bribe me


You have to decide which one you want: apologies or bribe because you can't have both. Lol. Besides, Ken did nothing really bad so he is a compliment. Hahahaha.


Wow, this is a very though decision to make. Well you know era we're in now in Nigeria, so I'll go for bribe 👀

In this story everything is possible, hahaha. I remembered with Aunt Stella an aunt who forced me to take oats day and night every day. Discipline, but without love, very evil she. Ken is a character that many things happen to him, the final part is very funny. Ken was taken out by mosquitoes and friends. The poor man had to leave his bed and room quietly without looking at the scene unfolding in his presence. I liked the story, @churchboy, very funny.


Thank you @aurodivys for taking the time to leave a comment. I think Ken was a patient guy but then he was tried to his limits.

It is good to see you here. All the best!

Hahahaha. What madness! What an embarrassing moment, @churchboy. I imagine myself in that situation and it would give me a terrible pity. One of the interesting things about this story is the way you spin the events to get to the reason why Ken watched movies without sound and ended up liking it, and the other to tell us about the experience that Ken, Peter and the woman in the room had. But what strikes me is that from the beginning the narrator introduces us to the character of Ken as a person who likes to tell the story of how he began to watch movies without sound, but in the end tells us that that experience of Ken, Peter and his girlfriend in bed was never known by men. So who told it for the first time? The girl? Everyone knew what had happened that night because Peter's girlfriend told the anecdote? Have a nice day, my friend.


Hahahahaha @nancybriti, apparently I was there, a know-it-all that I am. If I was not there, is there a way I could have known everything that happened in that flat? Lucky you, now you have a firsthand information of the events of that night, for all the good it would do you. Lol.

It is always wonderful hearing from you. You made me read the story again, to remember all the details in it. I find you amazing. All the best, my friend.

Hahahaha. I think all the men I know must have had experiences similar to what happened to Ken. When I was a college student, I had many roommates who were unbearable. I remember one time I wanted to take a girlfriend home and it was my mom who discovered her in my bed. I spent an entire week listening to prophylactics, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. I never sneaked a girlfriend home again. I liked your story, it was very entertaining and full of humor. Thank you for sharing, @churchboy


Lol @ listening to prophylactics, STDs and unwanted pregnancies. I am glad you had the time to read the story and even leave a comment. Once you have three or four people living in close quarters, being their real selves, you are guaranteed to have an interesting story from all their bad decisions. Apparently, bad decisions make for good stories. Lol

Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

I always see movie as fun and something I can use to speed up time at my leisure time. I like watching movies but I will preferred to watch movies with volume on anytime and anyday because it adds much more fun than volume off. As volume on helps you to move on also with all the actions and the expression in the movie

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Yes, we all like the volume ON. Ken liked the volume on too until the situation he found himself made it impossible for him to see the movies with the volume on.

He developed the ability to still enjoy movies without the volume.

Lmao!... In as much i as i love to watch movies at my spare or leisure time, one of the things i have never considered or thought about is watching a movie without audio.. In fact some technical things i look up for in movies are audio and picture quality, if these two things are poor, no matter how interesting that movie maybe i will never watch it... But you know everyone to there own likes and dislikes.

Lol the last part where ken had to deal with mosquitoes, Lord those creatures are very annoying, they sing some annoying tones in your ear before decoding to know if they will bite and have extreme fun with your blood. Part of things we suffer here in africa.

Could this post be one of the usuals of @churchboy? Lemme check 😁😁😁😂😂😂💯💯💯💯💯

It is him. Nice one.


Lol @bosscharlze, you have to experience life in Africa to understand what it is like to stay still and silent when mosquitoes are threatening you with their songs and therefore, impeding bites. In Ken's case, it was not just a threat, some were biting while others were singing.

I always appreciate you comment. I don't know how you manage to read these long stories but I thank you. All the best bro.

Great. I also love watching movies regarding whether the volume is in or off. As far as I can see the pictures or images rather, it is always fun. But I will always preferred to watch it with the volume on but I can also watch it if it is volume off as long as the movie have subtitled with it. That is pretty okay with me. Aubty Stella was wicked. Actually sometimes you get used to some situation you are always exposed to. So maybe she was already use to the sour soup that it has become part of her but aunty Stella was wicked and did a wicked action. Great short stories

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Oh My God! the story was really Mind Blowing.. want more. salute man!


Great story i seen ever read..really enjoy this story thanks sir @adsactly

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Hi, @adsactly!

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