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The In-Laws

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EPISODE ONE

Before 7am in the morning, Kole sat under a dwarfish orange tree in his modern compound. He was drinking but he was not drunk. His eyes were fierce, a sign that he was inwardly boiling with anger. It was a day he would be addressing the sexual starvation he had been suffering from his new wife. In few hours time, his in-laws would arrive and all hell would break loose. The previous night, he had sat under the tree till 3am, sipping his beer and falling into sober reflection. He had remembered his late wife and had silently shaded tears. He really missed her. He felt she was the perfect woman God had created for him, and she was. 23 years earlier, he had married her as a young pretty woman. As a bachelor, he lived a promiscuous lifestyle which gave him two children from two different women. When he married her, she was 28 and he was 34. She was very naive to sexual issues and had low libido which contradicted his excessive urge for sex. But within few months of living together as husband and wife, she had consciously worked on her sexual life to keep her husband, notwithstanding, she had other qualities that Kole admired. With these, Kole loved her more, though he could not swear that he never cheated on her through out their 23 years in marriage. However, he could not count more than two times it had happened and those times, he regretted doing it afterwards. They had lived for 23 years before she died of type-2 diabetes, leaving him and all the children behind. Just like opening a can of worms, he plunged back into his promiscuous lifestyle. He would drive into the university and pick up thick girls that had large waists. With much drinking and orgy, he knew he was fully back to the game. He was in his late 50s but his sexual conquests and lecherous adventures were not much less than how it was decades ago. Two years earlier, he discovered that he needed to remarry. He met a middle aged voluptuous lady. She was very pretty but the part that drew Kole’s attention the most was her ample waist. With the staggering attraction he had for her, he quickly married her in order to be over fed in bed with those points of attraction. Not long after he married her, he discovered that his new wife was like his country. She had all natural endowments but could not use them to keep a man happy in bed. He inwardly cursed her, calling her a waste of natural endowment. This made him seek for sexual gratification outside again. He had cheated on her over 20 times. He had been very careful with his mistresses but she had managed to find out few times and this led to countless quarrels which made his wife invite her family for a serious dialogue. Kole had blamed her for everything but she seemed not to fix her lifestyle. This was festering and he was beginning to dislike her salty food. He saw her as a less concerned lady who focused on herself alone. Each time they were in for sex, she complained of how needy he was over the idea of sex and how he should always take it easy throwing her legs up and apart like a prostitute. This killed his sexual drive and he kept praying for patience to cohabit with such voluptuous but unyielding woman.
Kole was not a man of many words especially when things didn’t go his way. He only vocalized few words and took straight action. He would have dissolved their marriage even before she invited her family for his infidelities. But he had decided to allow his in-laws take a look into the cause of his infidelities before divorcing her. A car honked at the gate and Kole stood up with the can of beer in his hand. Before the gate man could open the gate, he disappeared into his house.
The gate opened wide and a car drove in. It was a red 2007 model Volkswagen gulf. Its colour had faded due to multiple scratches on the body and the left headlamp was completely smashed, probably from accidents. The car looked dirty as if it hadn’t been washed for a while. One would wonder if people sat comfortable in it. The gateman pointed at a spot and the car jerked towards the area, a clear sign that it needed thorough servicing. It was one of Kole’s old cars. A gift he had given to his in-laws when his head was still spinning for the voluptuous woman they had given to him. But since the overpriced commodity wasn’t as yielding as expected, he wouldn’t mind retrieving the car from them, allowing them to go on public transport.

The door opened and three persons scrambled out from the car.(Papa, Odili and Chizi) Papa, who was in full native attire reached for the boot of the car and carried out two kegs of palm wine. Odili and his wife Chizi, brought out the few tubers of native yams and vegetables wrapped in broad plantain leaves.
Kole’s wife, Miriam rushed out and greeted them. While they exchanged greetings with Miriam, they admired the building as if it had been rebuilt since the last time they visited. The sharp edge of the car’s door had torn the shoulder of Papa’s native wear while grappling to get out of the car, but it obviously mattered less to him. He was in his In-law’s house. An in-law who could give them a car could also provide new clothes for him if need be.

Miriam’s family sat in the living room for 20 minutes waiting for Kole. They had been told that he was in the bathroom. And within the time they waited, they had drunk more than half of one of the kegs of palm wine they came with. They had consumed plates of rice and Odili had complained of not being satisfied. Their dirty eyes scouted everywhere and they talked about everything they saw.

Kole finally walked into his living room to meet his in-laws. He was on a white pyjamas. He looked fresh and his white beards appeared neater. They exchanged boisterous pleasantries as usual and he sat down.
Papa was still grinning from the euphoria of seeing his son in-law and this act disappointed Miriam. She had expected her father to be serious with the matter at hand by going straight to talk about Kole’s infidelity, but it was yet to happen and she began to grow anxious. In the midst of the grinning and muttering of words, Kole took advantage of the moment and began the talk.
“It’s so unfortunate how the love, happiness and great relationship we have built is on the verge of collapse”. The statement resonated in every part of the room. Papa wiped the whitish residue of palm wine at the edge of his lips and readjusted. Odili and his wife who were whispering happily instantly became serious. Miriam adjusted her shoulder and kept a serious face on her husband.
” I would have taken a drastic decision long time ago, but I did not. Not because I am no longer the Lion I used to be but because age has taught me to be patient and follow things traditionally. Maybe that’s why you all are here. You all should ask Miriam your daughter, sister and whatever she is to you, the importance of this copious waist to me”. He spoke in a sharp tone pointing at Miriam’s waist. He continued, “Because I am not maximizing utility. Maybe she has a spiritual husband that she freely donates her waist to which in turn makes her less compromising to my sexual demands”. He stands to demonstrate as they all watch him in utter confusion. “She cooks in the kitchen, I tip toe to her from behind to grab her waist, she hits my hands off, telling me we are in the kitchen. Whenever we both sit here to see a movie late at night, I try to rub her calf and thighs but she gradually shrinks off. In the bedroom, whenever we are in for sex, after lots of tussles and complains of how she had been drained from house chores, she manages to open her legs. And when I hit the spot trying to turn her waist left, right, up or down, she complains of how I flip her waist up and down like a prostitute. We would spend the entire night arguing over it and out of anger, my penis would bow to the floor”.
This time Odili’s wife lowered her face in shame. But kole didn’t stop even as tension in the room began to rise.
“The most annoying of all is when she seems to be in the mood. In the middle of the act, when it’s as if the fun is growing, she would start shouting, her waist! her waist! that my penis is going far as if it wants to come out from her mouth. She would push me out and my mood would be killed. And when I go outside to meet girls, she would always monitor me like a monitoring demon, bickering of how promiscuous I am. She would quarrel with me and threaten to kill any of the girls she catches. And I am asking, and good thing you’re here, maybe you can help me get answers, what is her problem!? Because if I don’t get a reasonable answer, she would likely join you back home.
” No, no no. In-law. It hasn’t reached such extent” they all interjected.
“It has. It’s more severe than you think. Because our people do say that it’s only the penis that knows what it sees inside a vagina that makes it to vomit inside it”
Odili laughed as they all muttered words. Chizi’s face was still down in shame. They knew Kole was a very vocal man but they never knew the aging crazy man’s level of vulgarity.
Miriam glared at her husband in a mixture of dismay and surprise while Odili’s wife wondered what sort of man they were with.
Kole sat and maintained a straight face as if he wasn’t the man that had spoken and demonstrated the words that kept the room buzzing.
Papa cleared his throat and everywhere went quiet. He paused, looked at the way Odili gulped the palm wine in the glass. He shook the keg, there was little at the bottom and he nodded his head. A better way to pass the message to Odili not to touch the base of the palm wine. He could not afford to miss it, not even in the midst of a serious conversation, and everybody took notice. He cleared his throat again, then began.
“My in-law, we have heard your plight and I like it when men are men and not boys. Nothing has spoilt yet, we will fix it no matter how bad it may have gone. It’s barely two years you married our daughter but it has been like we have been in-laws for over a decade. That shows that you are a blessing to my family. See the good things you have been doing for us, the car you gave us, my old house you renovated, the allowances you have been giving us” Papa continued recounting Kole’s good deeds as Miriam lowered her face. She hated it whenever her father sounded apologetic and historic with the good things her husband did for them. She felt such statements made them appear hungry and needy. Though they were. But her father seemed to be on full throttle with Kole’s good deeds. The old man wouldn’t want to loose his “Godsent” in-law.
“Miriam!” Papa called.
“Yes dad”
“I am not your dad, call me Papa!” He shot at her with seriousness.
“Yes Papa”
“What exactly is your problem? Are all these things he recounted true?”
All eyes glared at Miriam and for the moment, she wished she evaporated.
After a long pause. She gave in and decided to speak.
“Not really. Just that he always throws me up and down on the bed as if I am a prostitute who wants to impress him. He forgets that I am his wife. Moreover, I’m not as young as those young girls who display styles as if they are always in a competition”
“Really?” Kole asked.
“Yes. You know”
” Okay” Kole nodded his head. “I will ask you some questions and I will prefer direct and honest answers”
“Go ahead” Miriam said casually in a way that showed she was ready to thwart him.
“How old are you?”
“I am 40 years” She said loud as if 40 years was a very old age.
“How old are my?”
“You are 57” she also said loud in a way that showed that they were both old, maybe they didn’t need to be sexually active like younger folks.
Chizi turned in surprise. She never knew Kole was up to 57. She had presumed he wasn’t more than 50 years.
“What’s the age difference between both of us?”
“17 years”
“Then if you are 40 and I am 57 years who should complain of old age, virility and other problems?”
Miriam paused for a while and everybody pondered.
“You are a man and I am a woman” she said defensively.
“That doesn’t answer the question. Who should complain?”
Miriam paused again, then said in a low tone.
“You”
“Good”
“But you know you are a man and I am woman. Moreover, you also know that sometimes, I do experience waist pain”
“When you first complained of waist pain, what was the first thing I did?”
“You took me to the hospital “
“And after the hospital, what did I do next?”
“Come again”
“As soon as we came back from the hospital, what did I do next? There was something I purchased.”
“You bought an Orthopedic foam”
“At how much and how long?
” I don’t know how much and how long”
“Listen everyone. As soon as we came back from the hospital, she told me she was fine. She never complained of waist pain again, not even after spending 6 hours daily, standing in her work. But as soon as we resumed our sexual life, she started complaining of it again. I had to purchase an orthopedic foam for us which cost about 150000. I also got another massaging machine for her” He increased his voice. “Miriam told me that she stands for 6 hours everyday in the micro finance bank that she works with. A bank that pays her less than 40 thousand naira as monthly salary. An amount not up to what I give her for our bi-weekly expenses. Yet she doesn’t complain of waist pain after work, but any day we would want to have sex, her waist pain issue would creep in”
Everyone glared at Miriam, mentally calculating the amount spent in the house to please her.
“Why are you breaking down the whole thing? This should be our personal matter” Miriam interrupted.

“It’s no longer our personal matter, because I need you to tell everybody here why you act the way you do. Perhaps, I will stop making it an issue” Kole shot at her.

“You are already blowing the whole thing up as if sex is the essence of our marriage” Did we marry for sex alone?”

“Then what’s the essence of marriage? Educate us all on the essence of marriage”
The heated argument made all to intermittently transfer their eyes from Kole to Miriam and vice versa. Then all rested on Miriam as Kole asked her the essence of marriage.
“Answer me. What’s the essence of marriage?
” To bear children “
“Really “
“Yes”
“And what happens to couples who can’t bear children?”
Miriam paused. She had to think it through. Kole had married her not for childbearing. Both had agreed on it together.
Kole continued.” You haven’t given birth to a child for me. Going by your statement, you are useless to me and being useless to me means you have to go”
The statement resonated in the room raising eyebrows from all.
Miriam waved her head in shock. Was this man really prepared for her? She thought. She had never known Kole as one who argued down to the most insignificant thing. She said in a low voice.
“Now you are prioritizing sex in marriage. You are making everyone see me as a Lady who is too wicked and stingy with her matrimonial duties. Sex is now the major thing right? You have forgotten the house chores, my care for you, the cooking, everything. Now it’s just sex right?”
” Did you say house chores?”
“Yes. The care. All of them. Have you forgotten? “
“Then these are the major reasons why you should go with your people. You never told me you were a house maid. Personally, I need a wife not a maid. Because if I need a maid, I know where to get lots of them who can do what you do at a cheaper price. With 20, 000 a month I can get good ones. In a year I should be spending 240,000 naira, then in two years, I should be paying the person 480,000 naira. Two years for 480,000 naira and I have lived with you for two years as a house help. That means your family should refund me about 500,000 naira cash because I spent over a million naira on your head when I was coming for you” He stood and watched the faces of his bewildered in-laws. Your family will refund me 500, 000 naira at least But if they can’t refund me due to the unavailability of the money, then they have to leave you here as a collateral. You will live in the boys quarters and work for me like a maid, after two years I will release you back to them”
Miriam sprang up. She wanted to talk but could not. Kole had thwarted her pride and ego before her family. A people that had always respected her for marrying such a jovial and well-to-do man. A marriage that had brought lots of jealousy and envy from her contemporaries. Without remorse, Kole had broken her wings before her family. She got choked by unreleased emotions. The harsh voice she had jumped to attack Kole with, transformed into an apologetic tone. The more she tried to hold herself, the more her chest heaved, then tears rolled down her cheeks.
“How much did you spend on my head that you are disgracing me in this manner? How much?!” She asked in tears.
“Good amount baby” Kole replied in a low confident tone.
Everybody watched the couple standing and dramatizing.
“How much Kole? How much that is making you feel like godzilla?!” She shouted in tears.
Kole knew he had hit her hard but he needed to taunt her more and he replied, smiling.
” Pretty good money baby. Since I met you I have been spending money on your head. If I use the money to employ house maids, I will employ about 10 well endowed house maids that will do what you do and still give me good treat in bed” His voice increased “What do you even cook for me? Is it the salty food that alters my liver function? or the house you clean that makes me wonder if I should employ more hands? What?! ” He shouted. “Perhaps you want to pay me back from your savings. Great indeed!”
He walked out leaving everyone stunned and pinned to the ground. one who tried to speak chocked on ones words as he disappeared from the sitting room. Miriam was left alone to face her family, a horror which dovoured her even when Kole was no longer in the picture. She felt withered and totally defeated. The only hormone which worked perfectly in her body was the tear gland that pumped salty waters through her swollen eyes.

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