MY SISTER-IN-LAW AND I
On arrival at their mansion they officially welcomed her, gave her gifts and showered her with love. They prayed for the newest arrival in their home.
They allowed her a week to enjoy herself as a newlywed with her husband. She was beginning to get comfortable and hoping that the all her wrong doings would be forgiven and forgotten.
But to her surprise everything was fresh in their minds and they intended to collect their pound of flesh. The sister in-law’s told her the holiday was over and it was time she took over her chores as the wife of the house.
She swept the compound, cooked, cleaned and made sure everything was in order. It wasn’t a big deal at first because she was used to it. But she felt humiliated and wished she didn’t hurt them in the first place. Because right now it looked like revenge was their only agenda. She knew them to be kind hearted. She doesn’t know why they changed in the blink of an eye.
It was just the beginning of her woes because they made her life, a living hell. She wasn’t ready to endure any hardship in marriage. She called her mum to tell her of what was happening so early in her marriage and her mum urged her to be patient.
But patience was far from halima. She resorted to hurling more insults at her in-laws they in turn saddled her with more responsibilities. They made sure she didn’t get a moment’s rest.
She wasn’t allowed to use any electrical appliance at home. She was made to do everything manually, no washing machines, blenders, microwaves, and all other gadgets. She flaunted so many orders and didn’t care for the repercussion. In her own case she made all the meals in the house including her hubby’s own but there was no joy in doing it as her hubby barely ate the food even when he was home.
She couldn’t stand her in-laws she reported to her husband and mother each time she was upset. But her parents already told her hubby to let his sister’s and mother teach her manners untill she was remorseful . That he wouldn’t enjoy his marriage no matter how much he professed love to her or how much she claimed to love him. He however obliged after much thought, who doesn’t want a peaceful home.
Exactly 8 weeks after the marriage, she packed her things and left for her parents. She told them she was done with the marriage that the humiliation and work load was much that she wasn’t a maid but a housewife that untill she gets such recognitions she was staying put at her parents.
On getting home she met her mum cooking, she broke down and cried her heart out. That her in-laws hated her for no reason, They frustrated her at any given opportunity. They made her do so much, when she wasn’t even in the mood to. She cooked, cleaned and took care of everyone. But right now she is done with the marriage come what may she wasn’t going back there. Even her hubby that was supposed to defend her was on his family’s side so there was no point staying with him.
He doesn’t buy her good gifts, he gets her clothes, and gifts that were long Abandoned in shopping malls . He buys his sister’s expensive one’s at her own detriment. He hurts her more than anyone on the planet as he neglects her and her needs.
She also complained that he hasn’t taken her out nor even looked at her twice. He doesn’t have me time with her. All she does is cook, clean and do laundry, when she was supposed to be resting and having the time of her life. The sister’s were more annoying than her hubby. They seemed to think the world revolved around them but she will deal with them in due course.
Her mother listened keenly to all her complaints and laughed out loud. She asked if that was all and she said this was a summary, if she was to narrate half of what she went through no one would believe her.
Her mom asked her if all she said sounded familiar, She said no. she asked her to think deeply and ensure she really goes down memory lane and find out if she had seen such acts meted on someone before. She closed her eyes and came up with nothing.
Her mom reminded her of all her misdeeds towards salamatu, how she couldn’t let her breath, eat or drink anything in the house except she approved. How she almost beat her up, how she threatened and starved her of the basic foods a growing woman needed, How she ordered her to do chores at odd times, how she ordered her to do their laundry amidst insults and threats?
She listened quietly while her mum listed her misdeeds. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when you lied she had another man, caused her divorce and deprived her of staying in her husband’s house all through her pregnancy knowing that she was innocent. Making her husband miss out on his children’s birth and almost growth if not for the timely intervention of his older brother’s who beat some sense into him. She would probably be at her parents still nursing a broken heart.
Having told her a little of the atrocities she committed, she sat down and thought a little about all she had done. She was remorseful but still didn’t want to admit it due to her stubborness. Her mum asked her if anyone asked her to leave her home and she she said no. She told her she couldn’t endure half of it what she did to salamatu.Yet she ran away from home and came complaining of the same things she dished out to someone’s daughter. You would go back to your husband’s house because no one sent you packing. you would go back home and keep enduring the marriage like every other person out there. If salamatu could endure what she endured while with you, then am sure you also could. You couldn’t stand a dose of the same bitter medicine you served.
She stood up reluctantly and went back home. They taunted her for days and she didn’t react instead she apologised at every given opportunity. They called her parents and informed them of the changes in halima. She now greets them early in the morning. Does her chores and more without complaining, she asked for forgiveness from her in-laws and promised to change her saucy behaviors. They all saw the changes in her and appologised too that her parents asked them to put up a show so they could teach her a lesson. In reality they were nice people but had to make her see the truth and change her ways. She was ashamed and promised to seek for forgiveness from her parents, her brother’s, his wife salamatu and her children as she never held them nor even looked at them.
She tried to pin point a reason why she actually hated salamatu but she couldn’t come up with anything. Tried as she might nothing could justify the way she treated her brother’s wife. She thought of the bad things she did to her and she covered her face in shame. Indeed she couldn’t be as patient as salamatu because it hurts, it hurts so bad to treated as if you don’t count. She did that and more to salamatu.
How I wish she would accept my appology and forgive me for making her married life unbearable and a mockery. I would try and visit her and see if she is as accommodating and forgiving as she looks or should I ask my mum to accompany me? She seem to adore my mum. But i just have to face my demons alone as I wreaked havoc on my own and have to make amends myself without interference. Do you think I should be forgiven??
©️ HUSNA MUHAMMAD YUNUS.
Semi final .