I have a good story to tell, but sorry it is not your usual sad tales. Mine is a happy one.
Ok, it’s about me and my father- in -law.
The man is a retired civil servant. He is one of those men who do everything meticulously. You know, from what I gathered from my wife, who is his second daughter, he was a man who couldn’t achieve his dreams early on in life because his father died early, leaving him, as the first born son to cater for his siblings and his mum. He felt responsible enough to leave school while in form three and start work as a clerical officer to enable his three other siblings go to school.
I learned he underwent a lot of training abroad, though. You know back in the day, civil servants were opportuned to be trained by government, so he went through several trainings abroad and even though he didn’t complete secondary school at that time, he was considered very educated.
He was an inspection officer at some point too; years after, he also taught students preparing for Waec, though at that time, I learned he hadn’t even done waec. You can imagine; he taught himself to that level to deliver lessons to others! They paid for these lessons, this and other means of income revenue helped him send his siblings to the university.
He delayed marriage because he also wanted to go to a higher institution, so after training his siblings sat for his waec and of course, the man cleared it straight then went on to do a correspondence degree course afterwards. By then, he was in his late 20s, had built a house for his mother and was planning to settle down.
So basically, the man is one of those people I admire. So why all these eulogies about my father-in-law?
I have been married to his daughter for 7years now. Good girl, my wife is. Dutiful, fine, she’s got what I want…but boys will be boys ni! Especially after the birth of our twin boys. My wife stopped being fun! We argued, we fought, I felt neglected. I’m not saying she didn’t try to make up with me but the twins leave her exhausted and man mi…well. I began to hit town Friday nights.
Night clubs, strip joints, what it takes to take the stress of living in Lagos, off!
So, this night we chose this strip joint that I often frequent, somewhere off Allen. We got in there at about 11.30pm with my friends. You know the lights are colorful and always dim. There were people there, of course, strippers dancing by the pole, some lap dancing in the private booths, some out in the open…you know the works if you’ve been to a strip joint!
My guys and I bounced in that night. I was just looking around to find us a cozy spot so we could invite the usual babes that dance for us…abi what else do you go to do in a strip club?
Well, there we were and who did I see, with a naked girl perched on his lap and massaging his crotch…it was my father-in-law!
But I thought maybe the lights were playing tricks on me. You know its always dim with coloured lights, no, o. It was him alright, he was guffawing at something the small naked girl on his lap was whispering to him.
My first thought was, ‘guy, run, don’t let daddy see you, o.’ But the second thought came immediately, guy, what is that small naked girl’s hand doing on dad’s crotch?’
So, I drew nearer, daddy looked up, saw me…I saw his face change, then settled into a grin
I said, “good evening sir.”
The man replied, ‘Pele Olu, so you come here too?’
I just swaggered to find my friends and my babe for the evening. Yes o!
There is no case here. No one is going to rat on anyone. Mba! It won’t happen. We both went ahead and enjoyed the night.
This won’t stop me from loving or providing for my wife and family, no and this won’t diminish my father- in- law in my eyes, instead, he just went a notch up higher. He had never pretended to be a saint, neither have I.
Since then, when we meet at family events or at home, we would nod at each other at family events. We share drinks together and when he is cracking a joke, he would signal to me, ‘Olu, you know, don’t you?’ I would nod.
Because you see, we have met off Allen many other times, yes and we will keep our secrets safe.
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)