A Story By Ayodele Adeoye

Part Eleven

For weeks he was a good husband until my sister-in-law visited us. I carried the whole responsibilities of the family since he was sacked from work. His sister is very selective when it comes to meals. She doesn’t eat any draw soup, she can’t eat noodles without egg, she fries four eggs anytime she wants to eat noodles or bread. She doesn’t eat any food cooked the previous day no matter the preservation. She eats as often as she sees food. At first I wasn’t complaining because I knew her stay was temporary. I started complaining when she wasn’t helping me do anything in the house except to eat, watch movies, browse on her phone and sleep. I come back from work late to start preparing for dinner while she sits and watch movies. After awhile I stopped buying some things at home because it was now becoming difficult for me to save. I started borrowing and taking IOU from the office.

After three months it was obvious my sister-in-law had come to stay and not a visit. I tried my best to tolerate her excesses and misbehaviour but my husband made things worse for me. She does not take instructions from me except when her brother orders her. I have never heard him rebuke her for anything but he fights me almost everyday because of her. Whenever I report her to him, he will make light of it. But when she reports me to him he rebukes me sharply and sometimes in her presence. She started disrespecting me and talking to me anyhow because her brother permits that. I couldn’t fight back but to use the only weapon I had. I totally stopped buying food at home because of the emotional trauma they made me go through. During this period they could go a day without food and I began to feel it. If she’s my sister, will I allow her go hungry for a whole day because she’s misbehaving? I suggested to my husband to let her work instead of sitting at home for 24 hours. ‘What’s your business with her sitting down at home? He raised his voice at me. Did I ask you to help me take care of my sister? Since you withdrew your support for the family we have been eating. You thought we will die if you don’t buy food at home right? The God that fed Elijah by the ravens is still alive and he has been faithful. I felt bad and started to walk away so I don’t shed tears in his presence. ‘I am talking and you are walking out on me, if you cross that door I will make you learn how to respect husband since your parents did not train you well.’

As he mentioned my parents I couldn’t take it anymore. I replied him, ‘if your parents trained you and your sister well you should………’ before I finish my statement he jacked me by my neck and gave me some uncoordinated blows. I tried to fight back but his sister held my hands while he beat me to a pulp. He will give me two blows, his sister will give me one. My shout attracted our neighbours but my husband did not let them in as he instructed his sister to lock the door.

This time I have made up my mind to walk out of the marriage and report everything to the pastor. Tomorrow is Friday and it’s our prayer meeting. I will be calm until I see the pastor tomorrow. But on the second thought I thought it will be good I leave before I speak with the pastor about it. But how will I pack my things without him stopping me? While I was thinking of what to do, he just barged on me, get those clothes off, he said. Get what off? I asked rudely. ‘You want to sleep with me after molesting me physically? Except you kill me today I will not open these my two legs for you. Go and sleep with your sister or better still go and sleep with your mother in the village. On hearing his mother he pulled out his belt and started beating me again. This time I was ready for anything, I carried my hand dryer as that was the closest thing I could use to defend myself and hit it on his head. He held his head and by the time he lifted his hand from his head it was stained with blood. On seeing the blood he called on his sister to bring the turning stick from the kitchen. The fight was dirty this time, it was blood for blood. His sister knew at this stage one amongst us may die because the whole house was stained with our blood, she rushed and opened the door and the neighbours came in.
They separated us and quickly rushed us to the hospital. On our way, I insisted they drive us to the same hospital they evacuated me when I had miscarriage the last time he beat me. He said he would not follow us to that hospital and requested they drop him from the car. We almost start another fight right there but it was put under control by those taking us to the hospital. They eventually took us to a neutral hospital for treatment. I didn’t feel much pain until I woke up from the first sleep after the treatment. I tried to lift my hands but they were held down in pain. My entire body was heavier than rock.

If I am your sister what will you advice me to do? Obviously I am not thinking of divorce because I have no scriptural ground for it as at now.

Ayodele Adeoye