Qoyum is one of my cousins. He is very good at untangling knotty calculations and very obedient too. Whatever errands I send him would he execute without murmuring; ofttimes breaking into progressive runs, proving how gay he can be with each maneuvered steep and bend. And when he delivers almost impeccably would I reward him with tidbits of goodies, sometimes from the executed errands if pertaining to delicacies or something eatable, other times from the opposites. Many a time would I reward him with showers of praises in his absence. But If there is something I consider a defect in Qoyum‘s features, it is the fact that he is a gormandizer. He has this extraordinary ability of wolfing down meals — as he is never satisfied with a meal — to pure deserts without batting an eyelid. He sees them as opponents which must be conquered anytime, anyday. So he would scoop numerous particles of the golden meal mercilessly with his iron ally, that which would be lamenting of overcrowding, and would gleefully slam their cords onto his moist tongue in insatiable victory before ferrying them to forever land. I would preach and threaten and scold, but he never would listen. It is as if the scolds only keep breeding another neoteric techniques of food-conquering.

As much as there is belly-god Qoyum, there is also Halimah. She is one of my cousins too. She is very tender and very good at smiling. She would feign dances whenever I parrot some of my lyrical poems and would signal an encore by pulling a sad face when they would have ended. She would have belonged to the creme-la-creme ‘eat and sleep hierarchy’ if not for the fact that she sparsely eats. Halimah relishes in taking beverages and sweetened drinks. She never would take something solid not to talk of something pungent with pepper. And if she finally does, it would be in the make of a coup d’etat, as she would be flogged onto a lap, robbed of both hands and legs’ gaiety, lightly slapped countlessly into submission, before finally being dethroned into taking in. Still with all these forced procedures, what she would have taken in wouldn’t be more than an ant-morsel. The residuals of course would be at the mercy of the loitering belly-god whose prayer, he knows, would certainly be answered.

I was contemplating on these contradictory traits of my cousins and making provisions of meanings to them one day, when I was told Qoyum was feeling unwell. I was surprised as he just had battled a mountain to victory which made me scorn him to hatred, mindless of what glimpse of good features he has. Qoyum was being rushed down to the nearest clinic since the illness kept suggesting it would broker into something acute if precautionary measures were not taken. Qoyum was well looked after by the men in whites and was eventually cured of his illness, except of course, he feebly eats. He is now someone to be persuaded, and begged when necessary, into taking something before being administered drugs. Many wonder how the belly-god could eventually become an Halimah. He looks pale, sad and fading, due to not eating enough; and would vomit every drug administered to him. His parents are very worried and have resorted into medicating him into his former self again; that which he would be praised for and not to be scolded again. Likewise Halimah‘s parents too. Not eating they both see as a disease which must be curbed, which must be discouraged, which certainly, must be strengthened to healthiness.


About the writer:
Aremu Adams Adebisi is on Instagram with the handle dhe_antagonist.