Just as our assembly was disarranged as everyone had to go back to completing their early morning chores which also included those that had to go back to their warm beds we began hearing a loud wail from the single bathroom that we all shared.
“Help! Help o, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper o, Somebody Help o” Ochuko wailed from the bathroom which was locked from the inside.
At first, I couldn’t understand what he was saying as his voice was muddled. “How can he be complaining of pepper in a bathroom?” I asked no one as perplexedly approached the door.
I was closest to the bathroom, so I arrived their first but soon accompanied by Akpors who tried pulling the door opened but his effort was futile as the door had a smooth exterior although it was a made out of joint planks, it had no handle for pull.
Ochuko himself was trying to unhook the door from the inside but wasn’t easy as he was blinded by the pepper but he soon felt the hook and released himself, he dashed out of the bath naked crying for help to anyone around, we all quickly rushed and took water and pour on him and after a moment, he was relieved. His brother, Osaro had come out this time and on seeing his brother crying nakedly had also gone to bring a wrapper to cover his brother’s naked but it was too late, I had seen in all even though in a rush to save a life.
“But how pepper take enter your water” Akpors asked the question that seemed to be on the mind of everyone at that moment.
Ochuko still panting hard as he sat half nakedly on the floor “I no know, but I wan confess, I swear I go confess” he said.
“Confess! Confess what” I and mama Vero simultaneously said in unison
“Na me o, Na me” He began “Abeg leave me make I confess” He snapped at his brother who pinched him in order to stop him from talking further.
“Leave him na, you dey craze?” Akpors barked at Osaro
“Na me dey steal water for this yard” He confessed
“AH!” The whole neighbors present chorused. Before bursting into mocking laughter which was triggered by Nneoma, my sister.
“See thief, shior, na weytin your eye dey find na im e don see so” Mama Vero said.
As we all mocked him with our words and Cynthia’s act to bite him and also remove the wrapper which he used to cover his nakedness, Akpors was not left out in given him a bitter back slap. Everyone was bitter as he as caused us a lot of bad things.
I was still trying to fathom how the stolen water became peppery as no one has claimed to be the master minder of the trap when we all heard our Landlord’s voice from upstairs. He probably would have been there for some minutes as we all looked up and saw him standing alongside his wife.
“That’s good, Bloody thief” he said
“Baba, we don catch the thief o” we happily announced pointing to Ochuko.
“Enh that’s good, my plan worked out very well” he announced
“Wait o, baba landlord, you mean you are the one who put pepper into his water?” Cynthia asked still in excitement.
“Yes, as you all know that the heat nowadays is very high and yesterday was not left out, so I came out here to my balcony to receive some fresh air to my body when I saw human movement downstairs, I wanted to know who it was and stood up to find this idiot (pointing downwards towards Ochuko) Sneakily taking water from Chisom’s water drum into his so after he had retired back to his room, I also sneakily came downstairs and added pepper to his water”
Wow, we all cheered him in appreciation.