Jimmy was in the kitchen cooking, he was singing while cooking. Jimmy had a bad voice and his singing didn’t often attract people, but this time it attracted his landlord. The landlord got up to see the person who was disturbing his sleep with that crooked voice, but he aroma of the food Jimmy was cooking directed him, like the way the star directed the three wise men, to the kitchen.

Jimmy was in his room to take his plate. The aroma of the food tempted the landlord but being a good Christian, he tried to overcome this temptation. The temptation became bigger, so he couldn’t fight it anymore. The landlord went to the stove and opened the lid of the pot Jimmy was cooking.

“Jesus Christ,” the landlord shouted, when his eyes saw the amount of meat in Jimmy’s plate. “So this guy can afford all this meat but he can’t pay his light bills,” the landlord said to himself. He heard footsteps approaching and tried to put the lid back, but unfortunately the bowl with the food fell on the ground.

The landlord turned and saw Jimmy boiling with anger.

The landlord tried to explain but before he opened his mouth, Jimmy had him by the neck. He was hanging in the air, the way young people hold their phones when they want to take a selfie. Jimmy gave the landlord two dirty blows that could even send Mayweather to his grave. The landlord was unconscious. Jimmy shouted for help and the other tenants came to the scene with a bucket of water and poured it on the landlord. That didn’t wake him. One of the tenants suggested they should take him to the hospital.

After treatment the landlord got well and came back home as a man of peace. He no longer went to the kitchen and opened Jimmy’s pots.

For months that followed Jimmy was broke. He had nothing in his pockets save for his lotto tickets that he spent all his money on. He could not pay his bills and rent for several months. He had been successfully playing hide and seek with the landlord, avoiding to pay rent.

The next month, the ninth of him not being able to pay, the landlord was fed up with Jimmy’s silly excuses and hide and seek games. So the landlord thought of a plan. He decided to prevent Jimmy from entering his room. Later that night, as Jimmy was sneaking into the house, as he usually did, he found his door with three padlocks. He laughed when he saw it because he knew only the landlord could do this.

Jimmy sat in front of his room thinking about how to get inside. He thought of where he could get help and suddenly Efo’s name came to mind. Efo was Jimmy’s friend and a carpenter. Jimmy left his house and went to Efo’s house. Outside Efo’s house, he could hear Efo snoring like he was blowing the trumpet. Jimmy knocked and knocked but Efo slept like the dead. Jimmy was desperate, so he started throwing stones at Efo’s door to try to wake him up.

“Thief! Thief!’” Efo shouted when he heard the noise. He took his hammer and chisel and was ready to fight the thieves. Efo heard his phone ringing. He thought of switching it off; he didn’t want the thieves to know he even had a phone.

When he saw Jimmy’s name on his phone’s screen, he picked the call.

“Hello Efo, I’m in front of your house. Can you come outside?”

“Jimmy? Didn’t you see the thieves?” Efo asked in a whisper.

“I’m the only one here there are no thieves around,”

“So were you the one throwing stones?”

“Yes it was me, I did it because you didn’t hear my knocks,”

“Heh! I never knew you were a fool like that. So, since when did stone throwing become part of knocking?” Efo cut the call and went out to see Jimmy. Jimmy told Efo everything about the three padlocks. Efo went to his room and took his tools. They went to Jimmy’s house.

When they got to Jimmy’s house he saw three huge padlocks on Jimmy’s door.

“So your landlord bought these expensive padlocks because of you?” Efo asked Jimmy. “Even our police stations lack such expensive padlocks,”

Whiles Efo was trying his luck on the padlocks, Jimmy was in a prayerful mood. He prayed for divine keys to unlock the padlocks. He started singing Open the floodgates, but this time, it was his gate that needed to be opened.

Efo had been able to break two of the padlocks. And now he looked tired like he had just finished the marathon. The sweat on his body made him look like he was being baptised. Efo sat for a while, thinking about how to break the last padlock. Jimmy now changed his prayer topic from ‘divine keys’ to ‘divine energy’ for Efo. Efo got up and tried his luck again. He used all his carpentry wits but the last padlocked didn’t open. He nearly gave up but his instincts told him to try one more time. He tried again and this time it opened.

When Jimmy saw that the last padlock had been opened, he rushed into his room leaving Efo outside. Jimmy was happy when he saw that his landlord hadn’t taken anything. Efo spent the night at Jimmy’s place and he resumed his snoring which disturbed Jimmy’s sleep. Later that morning, the landlord got up to check on the padlocks on Jimmy’s door, but to his surprise there were no padlocks.

“So this guy has been able to destroy expensive padlocks,” the landlord said to himself. “I will make sure he pays tonight.”

After seeing what Jimmy had done to the three padlocks, he moved on to another plan; a plan that could cause Jimmy’s death. A plan that can make Jimmy pay all his bills with immediate action. The landlord didn’t want this plan to fail, so he took his time with this plan, he even consulted the wisest man in his community to help him make this plan a successful one.

While the landlord was finding ways to collect his money from Jimmy, Jimmy was celebrating his victory over the landlord’s plan last night with Efo. They talked about how foolish the landlord was by wasting his money on buying such expensive padlocks. Efo decided to spend his night at Jimmy’s place to see what the landlord would do next.

When night came, the landlord had already finished with the plan. He was patiently waiting for the results. Efo was tired due to the day’s work and decided not to spend the night at Jimmy’s place.

When Jimmy got home, he tried unlocking his door but noticed it was already unlocked. He thought maybe he forgot to lock it when he left. Jimmy entered the room and switched on the light. He was greeted with slaps by four macho men; four of Ghana’s strongest. The slaps came like thunder bolts and bruised Jimmy’s cheeks. Whiles Jimmy was being beaten, the landlord was dancing to the tunes of Jimmy’s cries for mercy.

The landlord was happy that this plan didn’t fail him. He told the macho men to stop beating Jimmy. He gave Jimmy two days to pay his rent. Jimmy, who was crying like a new born baby, agreed to pay all his rent the next day. Jimmy called Efo and told him about the incident. Efo was happy he didn’t spend his night at Jimmy’s place. He would have been used as a cane to whip Jimmy. Efo quickly came to Jimmy’s place with a bucket of hot water and ointment; Jimmy told him he needed a serious massage.

The next day found Jimmy in a wheel chair, he had bandages all over his body. Anytime he looked at himself, he cursed the macho men who put him in that situation. He had to find a way to pay the landlord before the day ended. He decided to ask Efo for money. He knew very well that Efo wouldn’t do such a thing, but he had no choice.

“Efo, I need your help,” Jimmy said with a sad face. Efo was silent for a while because he knew the only help Jimmy needed was money. Efo thought of a plan.

“Jimmy, I know you need money to pay your rent,” Efo said, “but I don’t have any.” Jimmy started shaking when he heard Efo saying that, because Efo was his last hope. “Jimmy, I think we should go and beg your landlord for more time,” Efo said.

Jimmy became sick; he knew the landlord would never accept his apologies. Later he agreed because he thought something good might come out from Nazareth. Efo pushed Jimmy on his wheel chair to where the landlord’s room was. When the landlord saw Jimmy through his window, he thought he had brought his money. So he quickly went outside, he gave them water to drink and told them to come inside.

“I hope you have come with my money?” The landlord asked Jimmy.

“La… La… La…” Jimmy started stammering but luckily Efo cut in and told the Landlord why they were there. The landlord started tapping his legs on the floor as a way of controlling his temper. He bit his lower lip when he remembered what Jimmy did to him the other time in the kitchen.

The landlord was not willing to forgive but his mind flashed back to the sermon his pastor preached last Sunday. ‘And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’

The landlord was trying hard to avoid this quotation but he couldn’t. He forgave Jimmy and told him to leave his house because his daughter would be coming from America and she would occupy Jimmy’s room. Efo was happy the landlord had forgiven Jimmy, he was happy the landlord told Jimmy not to worry about the rent he owed anymore. But he became sad when the landlord told Jimmy to leave his house because now Jimmy would have to move in with him. Who knew how long it would take him to get back on his feet again.

The End