Carol is still sulking. She is not talking. Her pettiness is now galling. For more than a week, you have not eaten at home.
However, a serendipitous opportunity presented itself the other night. Carol’s cousin is relocating to Australia. On her night of travel, it is agreed your house will act as place for farewell before proceeding to the airport since you live near JKIA.
You don’t want to attend the farewell. The house is too toxic and your absence will not be felt. But Carol’s uncle, father of the cousin, is one of your best friends. Just as you are about to pass by the local, he calls you, quite upbeat.
“My son, what kind of a man doesn’t get home early to eat with his family…” he says with his signature cheeky laughter.
“Uncle, I am on my way…”
“We are waiting for you,” he says cheerfully.
You drive home, not sure how Carol will receive you. You arrive and the folks are eating. As you get to the sitting room, Carol is facing you with murderous eyes. You walk to where she is standing and you hug her so tightly, anyone watching would think you are newlyweds.
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You greet everyone with exaggerated cheerfulness. As you sit, you turn to Carol, “I am dying, haven’t had a chance to eat since morning. Warm me some milk,” you order her. She goes to get the milk.
While chatting unnecessarily loudly, you call her even louder and ask her to warm up your food. Ordinarily, it is the house help who should, but today, you feel like Carol should do it. Her relatives need to know that she is a loving African wife.
Carol carefully avoids showing open rebellion. But the few times your eyes cross, you can see the fury. She wants to strangle you with her hands. But you are determined to annoy her.
When the time comes to get people to the airport, you ensure you ride in the same car with the cousin who is flying and their parents. You ride with the father in front and the three - mother, cousin and Carol - sit at the back.
And while in the car, you start some conversation and you talk to Carol by force. She is forced to respond to the questions you ask. At first, she is less enthusiastic, pretending to be engaging in small talk with her cousin. But you are relentless, and the uncle being chatty, it means she must talk.
On the way back before dropping the old folk, you are even more nauseating. You tell the uncle that you must visit him this weekend so that he can slaughter for you the goat he promised three Christmases back. Carol begins to protest, but the patriarchy does not take protests from nieces he is fond of.
As you go to bed, Carol is besides herself with rage.
“What the hell was that? What did you want to achieve?”
“Ain’t we a lovable and loving family and…”
“Shut up. I don’t want to talk to you!
Well, over the weekend, she will have to put up a show.
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