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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Officer's Woman (1)

Harry broke the news to her on his return from work that evening.

She was in the small kitchen of their apartment when he came in. Dropping his briefcase in the living room, he tip toed in and grabbed her from behind.

"Harry! You scared me!" she exclaimed as she dropped the spoon she had been using to stir the pot of soup on the cooker.

Turning round, she noted the look of excitement on his face and waited expectantly.
Harry always had that look whenever he had something important to announce or an exciting news to break.

"What has happened?" she asked as he took her hand and led her to the parlour.

 She did not have long to wait.

 After he sat her down on the couch, he stood stiffly in front of her, as if he was on the parade ground at the barracks. Then he said:

 "Meet the latest Captain in the Nigerian Army!"

 Ene jumped up from the seat, exclaiming excitedly:

 "My God! Harry, you got promoted!"

 He laughed, as he embraced her tightly.
 "Yes, dear! The list came out today and my name was on it. Can you imagine? Me, a Captain?" he said happily.

 She looked up at him, smiling broadly.

 "I'm so happy for you, Harry! I told you to be patient, that one day, it will be your turn. See, your patience has paid off," stated Ene.

 "You are right, sweetheart. Now, it's time to celebrate! What drinks do we have in the fridge?" he said, as he headed towards the kitchen...

   ***
 Later that night, Harry passed out on the couch, sleeping off the effect of all the booze he had taken. He had gone out earlier, returning with a large amount of drinks and edibles which they had consumed to 'wash' his promotion as he put it.

 Ene had not taken too many drinks so was still sober. She sat watching a movie on the TV, occasionally casting a fond look at Harry.

 At a point, he turned and was almost falling off the couch and she quickly went up to him, making him more comfortable. She sat by him, watching him sleep, his mouth slightly open, snoring a little.

 Besides her joy at the promotion, Ene felt a sense of relief as well. Harry had been overlooked in previous promotions and he was beginning to feel demoralized about it.

 "Most of my classmates at the NDA* have all moved up, some with double promotions. Why's my own different?" he often grumbled.

 Ene would reassure him that his turn would come, that he should be patient.

 "Patient? Till when? When my mates are Generals?" he would retort, his mouth twisted in disgust.

 Now, with the promotion, everything would be different. For one, they could now get married as he had often promised.

 "Once I get promoted, we will go and meet your people to perform the marriage rites," he had stated.

 'About time', Ene thought, getting up from the seat.

 They had been together for nearly four years and in all that time, she had always been there for him, supporting, loving and encouraging him. 

 Now, it was time for him to fulfil his promise. 

 To make her his bride. 

 'A Captain's wife' she muttered to herself, smiling happily as she cleared the table of empty bottles, glasses and plates, her mind already thinking ahead, envisaging what she would look like on her wedding day, in her bridal gown with Harry in full ceremonial military attire, holding her hand and walking down the aisle...

 Later that night, Ene woke up to see Harry crawling into bed besides her. She had left him in the parlour as he was sleeping so soundly, she did not want to disturb him.

 "Why didn't you wake me?" he said, cuddling up to her on the wide bed.

 "Didn't want to disturb your sleep," she said.
 "You should have as we haven't finished the celebration," he noted. He drew her closer to him, his hand slipping inside her nightie to caress her body.

 "What else is there?" she wondered.

 "This," he said, his head on her chest, kissing, sucking, teasing.

 "I love you, Ene. I'll never stop loving you, babe. You mean the world to me," he said as he kissed her on the mouth.

 "Love you too, Harry! You're my everything" Ene intoned, drawing his head closer to her...


  The story continues tomorrow. Don't fail to log in!

 Note: *NDA is the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, the only military institution that trains the officer corps of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force.

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Story Preview




 From Friday, we will start serialising our new story 'The Officer's Woman'. It's a tale of heartbreak, obsession, regret, etc.

 Don't miss it!


   Excerpts

 Ene was in the kitchen when Harry's phone rang. It was on a side stool in the parlour and as it continued to ring and Harry was no where in sight, Ene picked it up.

"Baby, where are you? I've been waiting over an hour and I'm..." a lady's voice said.

 Ene frowned.

 "Who's this?" she asked. Who was calling her Harry in such a manner?

 "This is Tilda. What are you doing with my Bae's phone. Put him on at once! I need to speak with him," she ordered.

 What impudence, Ene thought. She was about ending the call when Harry walked in through the front door.

 "Ene, did you see my phone?" he queried as soon as he stepped into the room.

 Then, seeing her with it, he rushed and snatched it from her.

 "How many times have I told you to stop picking my calls?" he said angrily. Then in a much softer tone, he said on the phone as he walked towards the door:

 "Yes, Tilda. I stepped out for a while. Yes, I'm on my way. Will soon be with you...

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Web of Love (3) family over flowers


I raised up my hands, in a placatory manner, as if in surrender, suing through my eyes, words and stance for peace, forgiveness, whatever.

"Vinny, calm down please. I'm really sorry. Let's talk this over. I..." I began to say.

But he was having none of it.

He landed a powerful punch on me that sent me flying across the room, barely missing the wardrobe.
  
"You call yourself my brother, yet stab me painfully in the back!" he screamed at me. "I have the mind to kill you here and now! You don't deserve to live!" he threatened, a menacing look on his face, his eyes shooting daggers at me.

I rubbed my face where the blow had landed, noting the blood on my hand, oozing out of a cut on my cheek.

 My injuries were the least of my worries. Vinny scared the shit out of me, with the crazy look in his eyes as if he really wanted to carry out his threat of killing me. Our parents had gone out and apart from Jossy, our youngest sister, who was downstairs watching TV, we were alone in the house.

 Vinny was not naturally violent but who knew what a man could do who had been double crossed in love as I had done to him.

 I had stolen his fiancé afterall! What man would take that lying down?

 But I was not ready to go down without a fight. I was too young to join my ancestors yet so I chose the path of negotiation, appealing to his brotherly love and affection for me.

 I knelt down and in a supplicating manner, said:

 "Vinny, don't do this! Remember I'm your only brother! I'm sorry for what I did to you, taking Ibiere from you but please consider our parents, our mother! What'll happen to them all if you kill me?" 

 The menacing look was still there on his face, his mouth twisted in an angry manner, his right hand fisted up as if ready to throw another Mike Tyson-like punch at me that would send me to the great beyond...

 Then his face relaxed and to my shock, he burst out laughing. He threw his head back, laughing uproariously.

 Then pointing a finger at me, he stated, amidst laughter:

 "My God! Do you know how ridiculous you look right now, Val! Ha ha ha!" he said, shaking with laughter. "You remind me of when we were children and we've done something bad and Daddy's about to flog us! Ha ha! Too funny! I thought you were a great lover boy, irresistible to the ladies! But you are nothing but a frightened little punk! A little threat from me and you are almost peeing in your pants! Where's my phone? I need to take a picture and post it on Facebook! Ha ha!"

 I looked at him warily, wondering what was going on. One minute, he was about to kill me in anger, the next he was almost rolling on the ground with laughter.

 What's he up to now, I thought, confused.
  Then he walked up to me, offered his hand and raised me to my feet.

  He punched me playfully on the shoulder and said, an amused look in his eyes:

 "Relax, man! Stop looking so scared and guilty! Did you really think I would kill you? My own brother? Am I crazy or what?" he said.

 I shook my head.
 "Seriously, Vinny, I don't really know what to think. You looked so angry, I was really scared for my life!" I said, feeling a bit relieved that my life was safe, at least for now.
 "I'm no maniac. So, why would I spill my own brother's blood over a woman, no matter how much I loved her? No way!" he explained. "Come, let's sit down and talk like men!"

  ***
 We talked and what Vinny said increased my regard and love for him a hundredfold.

 He knew I was attracted to Ibiere right from the beginning, he said. But he thought it was just lustful desire of a young man for a desirable woman.

 "Later," he stated, "I noticed it was more than that, that you were genuinely in love with her. Worse, Ibiere seemed to have fallen for you. That was when I knew the game was up. For much as I loved Ibiere, wanted her as my bride, I could not go ahead with the wedding knowing she was in love with you. It would cause problems in future. Wait, let me finish," he said when I was about saying something.

 "So I waited. For both of you to pick up the courage and confess to me. But you preferred playing funny games behind my back. I knew about some of your dates including the recent one at the resort. That was in fact, the decider. I decided to confront you with it and give you the go ahead. To be with Ibiere," he said.

 I looked at him in amazement. Was this for real? Vinny letting go of Ibiere for me?

 He smiled a little.

 "I see you're surprised, shocked even. But it's the truth. You're my kid brother; your happiness means more to me than anything including a woman. Ok. Ibiere is special, like a blooming flower. But flowers come and go. They bloom, wither and fade away. But family remains for ever like a mountain. So, why would I choose a flower that's transient, over you, my family?" he asked rhetorically.

 I felt really touched and for a moment, I could not speak.

 "Vinny, I don't know what to say. This is...just too much," I said.
 "Then say nothing. Just thank me for stepping aside for you, so you can be happy!" he noted, with a smile.

 I simply grabbed and hugged him tightly, overcome with emotion, at his selflessness and sacrifice.

 Later, something came to my mind.

 "Why the beating then? And the threats?" I asked him.

  "Ha! Did you think I would let go so easily without a fight?" he scoffed. "Besides, I wanted to scare you a bit and teach you a lesson. Anytime you see that mark on your face, it will act as a reminder and the need to stay off other people's property in future!" he added jocularly.

 "You were so believable! You could act for a living, you know," I said.
 "Yeah. Nollywood should watch out for the next big thing!" he cracked.

 We both laughed.

 "But Vinny, I was just respecting you o, as my older brother. And the fact that I felt guilty for what I did to you. That was the reason I did not fight back. Did you really think you can defeat me in a fair fight?" I queried.

 He jumped from the bed then.
 "Look at this silly boy! You still have the guts to challenge me? Oya, bring it on! Let's see who will cry first," he said. And he began to shadow box me, making deft moves on his feet like amateur boxers in the ring.

 I did the same and we played and fooled around for a while till we collapsed laughing on the floor... 

   Two weeks later...
  Sometime after my arrival at the airport, my flight was announced. I picked up my bag and joined the queue to board the plane.
 My phone rang just then. 

 It was Ibiere and she sounded upset.

 "Val! Where are you? You can't do this to me! You can't leave me and go away like that. Please, baby, wait for me so we can sort things out..."

 It was too late for that. My mind was made up. 

 "I'm sorry, Ibiere. I've to go. Bye." And I switched off my phone.

 As the plane taxied down the runway, preparatory to take off, I felt as if I was leaving a very vital part of me behind.

 Ibiere.

 For just as my brother, Vinny had made the sacrifice by letting her go for my sake, I had to do the same. 

 I could not remain with her, knowing there could be problems between Vinny and I in the future. Ok, he had given his consent for us to be together. But what about the future? 

 The future was so unpredictable...

 I could not face her. My resolve could weaken if I saw her one on one.

 So, I sent her a mail that we could not be together. For the sake of my family peace, unity and cohesion, I had to make that sacrifice of letting her go, much as I loved her and being separated from her was like death itself.

It was just before I arrived at the airport to take the flight to Nairobi where I was going to spend my annual vacation with Abel, my cousin who worked with an international organisation there.

 I needed the space and time to clear my head and get over her. I don't know how long it will take me to do that. But I have to try. Meeting and loving Ibiere was one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

 But it was a love that was not meant to be.
 It was very painful but I had to extricate myself from the web of love she had woven round me. And round Vinny as well. Vinny was the first to let go. 

 Now, it was my turn.

 For the family's sake. 

 For us, it was family over flowers.
 Now and always...


The End!

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Web of Love (3) Preview




  ***
 Vinny was screaming at me.

 "You call yourself my brother, yet stab me painfully in the back! I have a mind to kill you here and now!" he threatened, a menacing look on his face, his eyes shooting daggers at me.

 I rubbed my face where the blow had landed, noting the blood on my hand, oozing out of a cut on my cheek.

 My injuries were the least of my worries. Vinny scared the shit out of me, with the crazy look in his eyes as if he really wanted to carry out his threat of killing me. Our parents had gone out and apart from Jossy, our youngest sister, who was downsides watching TV, we were alone in the house.

 Vinny was not naturally violent but who knew what a man could do who had been double crossed in love as I had done to him.

 I had stolen his fiancé afterall! What man would take that lying down?

 But I was not ready to go down without a fight. I was too young to join my ancestors yet so I chose the path of negotiation, appealing to his brotherly love and affection for me.

 I knelt down and in a supplicating manner, said:

 "Vinny, don't do this! Remember I'm your only brother! I'm sorry for what I did to you, taking Ibiere from you but please consider our parents, our mother! What'll happen to them all if you kill me?" 

 The menacing look was still there on his face, his mouth twisted in an angry manner, his right hand fisted up as if ready to throw another Mike Tyson-like punch at me that would send me to the great beyond...

 Watch out for the rest of the story @ 5.30 pm today! Don't miss it!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Web of Love (2)

She placed a light kiss on my mouth, then her thumb replaced her lips, tracing the outline of my mouth with a light, feathery touch.

I held her hand tightly to me, our eyes locked on each other, unwillingly to let go, momentarily forgetting that she was my brother's fiancé, that she belonged to someone else...

Then Flora coughed and the spell was broken.

"What's this? A love triangle? With you Ibiere in the middle of two brothers? Can you cope with both of them?" she asked teasingly.

Ibiere laughed and taking my hand led me outside to the balcony of the flat. It was on the third floor of the apartment block.

We stood gazing at the garden below where two children were playing on the slides there.

"I wish I had met you before him," she stated, turning to me.

I looked at her, puzzled. "Meaning?"

"Then we won't be in this mess. You like me and I like you too. We want to be together. What are we going to do about it, Val?" she asked plaintively.

Frankly, I did not know. All I knew was that I wanted her like I had never wanted any lady in my life; to be with her, love and be loved by her, spend my days with her...

We sat and she told me how she met Vinny.

"We were on the same flight from Calabar," she stated. "I had gone for the wedding of Nse, my old school mate in secondary school. We got chatting and when we landed in Lagos, we took a cab and he dropped me at home.

"That was how we became friends before it developed further. I won't lie. I like your brother, but I don't love him."

"Then why the engagement?" I queried.

"Opportunity," she replied promptly. "I'm not getting younger and most of my friends and school mates are settling down. Why should I be different? Besides, Flora had explicitly told my parents she was not ready for marriage, to be 'caged' and tied down to one man yet. So, the pressure has shifted to me, to get a husband before I turned 30 in a few years time.

When Vinny said he loved me and wanted me as his wife, I saw it as the chance to get married this year.

"Though, I have other suitors, none is as suitable as your brother. Now, I regret accepting his proposal. Perhaps, If I had just waited a little bit, I might have met you and..." she stated, pausing.

She was silent for a while, then said:

"Maybe, I should break it off?"
"What?" I asked.

"The engagement. I can't go ahead with this, feeling the way I do about you," she said firmly.

My first instinct was to encourage her to go ahead with the plan. If she left my brother, I reasoned, then she would be all mine. 

On the other hand, my brother loved her so much, such a move would leave him devastated. And cause bad blood and a fight between us. Did I want to be the cause of that? 

My brother and I had always been close, growing up the only males among five girls. We have always looked out for each other, throughout our childhood and young adult life as university students in the same school.

We had never fought over a girl as our tastes in women were quite different. That was until Ibiere came on the scene. 

Now both of us loved her, wanted her. 
What were we going to do?

Six weeks later...
It was a nice day for a visit to the resort on the outskirts of the city. Being a Saturday, traffic was light and we arrived the place shortly before noon.

Ibiere and I were at the resort to spend the Easter break together. It was not planned, just something we decided to do some days before.

"Let's leave town, to get away from all the stress here," she had stated. I had not argued with her as it was also what I wanted- to be alone with her, have her to myself. 

Luckily, we were able to get a reservation at such short notice considering it was a holiday period.

After checking into our room, we took a stroll down to the beach nearby.

Standing under the tall coconut trees, the breeze from the ocean whistling through them, the sun beating down warmly and above all, Ibiere standing besides me, her hand in mine, taking in the awesome scenery of the place, made me feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

We were in a little world of our own, cut off from the outside world and all its trials and tribulations, of loving each other but unable to be together...

"He wants us to fix a date for the wedding," Ibiere announced, bringing me back to reality.

I turned to gaze at her.

"So soon? And what did you tell him?" I asked.

She shrugged.

"Nothing much. I said any day he picks is fine with me," she said. Then drawing me down on the sand, she said:

"We have to tell him, Val! How long shall we keep up this charade? It's killing me! I can't continue to pretend any longer! Let's confess, so we can be free to be together instead of all this sneaking around behind his back. I can't do this anymore!" she said hotly, a small frown creasing her brow.

We had been on this issue for the past few weeks; she wanting Vinny to know how we felt about each other and me pleading patience.

"Let's don't rush things. We'll tell him when the time's right," I usually told her. But she was getting impatient recently, leading to arguments between us.

I turned her face to me and said:

"Baby, you know I love you and want to be with you more than anything in this world," I said, adding," But we need to handle this situation with care. My brother's the one involved here, remember? Any other guy and I won't think twice about taking you away from him. But Vinny? It's different."

"So, you want me to go ahead and marry him?" she asked, looking sad suddenly.

"No!" I quickly said. "You can't do that! I can't live without you!" I told her.

She smiled slowly, her eyes lightening up, chasing away the sadness in them.

"Me too, Val. You are my life now," she said, drawing my head to hers. We laid on the sand, my jacket placed on the ground under her head for protection.

I gazed fondly at her then I kissed her soft mouth, luxuriating in the feel of her in my arms, the soft sand like nature's own bed.

"I've never done it with him," she whispered against my mouth.
  
"Done what?"

"Slept with Vinny. He wanted to but I told him we should wait. Till after we married. Perhaps, I was waiting for you," she said softly.

I kissed her again, a warm feeling washing over me as her hands caressed my shoulders, then slipped under my shirt.

I got up and taking her by the hand, we walked towards our room...

  ***
 Some days later, Vinny came over to the house. It was shortly after I had returned from work.

  "You look relaxed and happy. Your Easter break must have been great," he said sometime later in my room.

 I walked over to the wardrobe to hang my work clothes.

 "It wasn't bad. Some friends and I went to the beach," I told him. It was a lie of course. I was with Ibiere all the time. And it was the most wonderful weekend of my life. 

 "Some friends?" he said in a sarcastic manner. "When did Ibiere become 'some friends'?" he asked.

 I looked at him quickly, noting the anger and look of betrayal in his eyes and my heart sank.

 "How could you Val? You, my own brother sleeping with my bride-to-be? What kind of evil brother are you?" he demanded angrily. As he spoke, he walked menacingly towards me, his right hand raised and balled up in a tight fist...


What happened between Val and Vinny that night? Watch out for the rest of the series coming out soon!

To Be Continued...

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Web of Love (1)


The first time I saw Ibiere, I remember thinking 'Wow! So fine!'

She was very beautiful with bright, sparkling eyes, sensuous lips and naturally long dark hair which flowed over her shoulders in waves. Her figure too was 'hot' with big, firm boobs set off by a slim waist I wanted to wind my arms round when I first set eyes on her.

I could not do that though, because my elder brother's hand was already circling that same waist. You see, Ibiere was my brother, Vinny's girlfriend or fiancé as he introduced her to the family.

Over the years, as we grew up into adults, I had seen Vinny with different ladies; some he had dated, others he simply had flings with. But Ibiere was the first woman I saw him look at in a way that showed he was madly in love.

"Nice to meet you. Your brother has told me so much about you," she had stated back then when Vinny introduced us. She gave me a smile so bright, it was enough to make the sun jealous with its radiance.

I could feel my heart beat increase and a warm feeling wash over me. I knew what that meant: I was turned on! By my brother's fiancé!

'Guy, chill it. This one's taken,' I admonished myself silently. 

"Good things I hope," I stated, shaking the proffered hand. Her palm was silky soft as if she had never done a day's work in her life. The handshake felt as if an electric current was passing through me and I quickly dropped her hand. 

"Have you ever done any good thing in your life?" my brother quipped, eliciting laughter from everyone around including our parents.

Then my mother took her hand and led her to the kitchen, "to help me with serving the food before these hungry men starve to death!" as she put it.

 For the two days, Vinny and his fiancé stayed with us, I was very much aware of Ibiere. In fact, I found it difficult tearing my eyes away from her anytime she was around.

 My brother must have noticed the way I was staring for on their last evening with us, he had stated:

 "Val, is Ibiere the first beautiful woman you've ever seen that you can't keep your eyes off her? Well, keep off because she's mine. Stop looking at her like a hungry dog!" 

 He said it in a jocular manner as my brother trusted me explicitly. He knew I would never mess around with his woman. 

 What he failed to understand was that Ibiere was different and if given half a chance, I would be all over her like a bad rash!

 Anyway, I kept my emotions and hands in check till they eventually left for my brother's home in another part of the city.

 Then two weeks after their departure, I got a call from Ibiere. She was planning a surprise birthday party for Vinny, she said and wanted me to be involved.

 "It's our secret. Hope you can keep secrets," she stated.
  I assured her, her plans were safe with me.

 "We have just two weeks to plan it. We need to meet up to make the arrangements. His house is out of it as he might get suspicious. Can you meet me at my place?" she said. She lived with an older sister and as she gave me the address to the place, I knew it was a big risk seeing her considering the way I felt about her.

 'But her sister would be there, so we won't be alone,' I assured myself silently.

 The following weekend, I drove down to the house at Maryland. Her sister, Flora let me into the house when I arrived.

 "She just returned from an outing and is freshening up. She'll soon join you," she said, offering me a seat and a drink. The sisters looked very much and could pass for twins except that Flora was lighter skinned than Ibiere and slightly taller.

 Shortly after, Ibiere entered the sitting room where I patiently waited. Her phone was clamped to her ear and she was talking earnestly to someone.

 "Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long, Val," she stated, coming over to where I sat to hug me.

 She smelt fresh and sweet and I wished the hug had lasted longer than it did. She was dressed in shorts that showed off her slim legs and a small top which barely covered her ample chest and left her waist bare.

 Remembering what had brought me all the way to her house, I dragged my eyes away from that enticing waist to her face and said:

 "So, what plans do you have in mind for the surprise party?"

 ***
We sat at the dining table for nearly an hour working out the details for the party. She wanted something small and intimate.

 "Just a few friends and family. You know your brother doesn't like crowds," she said.

 "What about the venue?" I enquired, jotting done something on a notepad.
 "We can use his place or here. Which do you prefer?" she asked. I did not answer immediately as my eyes were fixed on her breasts which were nearly popping out of the skimpy top. Being so close, I noticed she was not wearing a bra and could see the outline of her nipples through the fabric.

 I suddenly felt pressed and excusing myself made for the restroom. I was there for sometime, to calm my nerves and fast beating heart.

 I stared at my image in the mirror silently cursing myself for feeling the way I did, for lusting after Ibiere.

 "She's your brother's wife-to-be. You shouldn't be feeling this way about her. Control yourself," I said silently to myself.

 Finally, I took a deep breath and exited the room to rejoin Ibiere in the parlour.

 Her sister, who had stepped out for a while was back. She was placing an assortment of drinks on the centre table with some glasses.

 Then turning to us, she stated:

 "Enough of all this planning. Time to chill out!"

  I wanted to leave but they both prevailed on me to stay for a while.

 "What's the rush? It's the weekend! No work so relax and have some fun!" stated Flora.

 So I sat down against my better judgement and Ibiere poured some beer into a glass for me.

 "Thanks," I said and drank thirstily.
 Flora had put on some music and soon PSquare's 'Do me I do you' was blaring from the speakers.

 "Come on, Val! Dance with me," Ibiere said, drawing me up to her. She was a good dancer, her body swaying to the rhythm in a slick, sensuous way that looked enticing.
 I later danced with the sister then back to Ibiere. This time, it was a slow number; her arms wound round my neck, making me draw close to her.

 My hands seem to have a life of their own for they were soon holding her waist, drawing her closer, her body pressed to mine. 

 "How does it feel?" she whispered in my ears. "Being in your arms?"

  It felt wonderful, like I was in a dream, which I did not want to wake up from. This was the woman that had haunted my thoughts, had been on my mind all this while and here I was, so close to her, her chest pressed against mine doing havoc to my mind and body...

 "Feels great!" I said. Something occurred to me. "How did you know? How I feel about you?"
  She raised her head from my shoulder and looked straight into my eyes.

 "Your eyes. They were practically undressing me at your parents place the last time I was there!" she said, a little smile curving her lips.

 As we gazed at each other, I could not believe what I saw in her large, soulful eyes. Desire. Longing. Did she feel something for me as well? 
 I got my answer shortly as the gap between us closed up, her face pressed against mine, her mouth seeking mine...

 To be continued tomorrow. Don't miss it!

To Be Continued...

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Web of Love (Promo)

            
Hi,

Feedback from our last series 'My Husband's Tenant' show many readers aren't happy with what happened to Aloy in the end- that he was a victim of Crystal's  actions.

 'She's the one that should have died not Aloy who was the innocent victim. It's not fair!'' said an angry contributor who sounded really pissed.

 Well, that's life for you- it's not always fair and bad things often happen to good people while the evil doers seem to prosper.

 Anyway, we have a fresh new series starting tomorrow: 'Web of Love'. It's a tale of forbidden love, a love that shouldn't have happened but was simply impossible to prevent...


 Keep a date with us for this series and more in the future!

 Enjoy the rest of your day!


Patience


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Husband's Tenant (5) Finale


"Madam, you need to take it easy. We tried our best but...," stated the doctor, pausing.

I looked at the doctor, apprehension gripping me suddenly.

"What's it, doctor? What's wrong with my husband?" I demanded.

He sighed before speaking.
  
"His injuries were just too severe. We did our best but...I'm sorry, we lost him."

"Lost what, Doctor? I don't understand! What happened to my husband? I want to see him! Take me to him. I want to see Aloy!" I collapsed on the ground and began to scream in anguish with my younger sister, Clara holding and trying to raise me up from the floor...

 ***
That evening at the hospital was the culmination of the nightmare which began with the phone call from a colleague of Aloy.

 The man had informed me that my husband had been coming home that day and had been involved in an accident.

 "You need to come to the hospital quickly," he had stated then.

 On arriving at the hospital, I learnt he had been taken to the theatre for operation. My sister and I had waited anxiously before the horrible news that Aloy had died!

 How could this have happened? A man that left home healthy and alive barely a month ago now dead?

 And why was he returning home? He was not due for his onshore break yet. There was so much confusion but the only thing that was clear was that Aloy was gone, I had lost my husband and I was heartbroken, inconsolable...

 ***
My sorrow over Aloy's death increased considerably when I found out from his friend Syl why he had been coming home that day.

 Syl said Aloy had found out I was planning to divorce him and was coming to see me.

 "He confided in me, about your intentions. He had looked shocked, stating both of you did not have any major issues so he could not understand why you wanted to leave him," he said.

 In a way, that made me feel guilty, that it was because of me he left his base to travel and got involved in the accident.

 Maybe, if I did not plan to leave him, he would still be alive, not stone dead in the morgue. Whatever had happened, though I was in love with another man, he was still my husband, the father of my child. There was a bond between us that made me feel sorrowful and weep tears of anguish.

 During this period of grief, of mourning, Benji was very supportive. He often came to the house just like many of the other sympathisers and would stay till quite late.

 I wanted to lean more on him but I had to be discreet about our affair especially with members of Aloy's family around.

 My mother did not want him around, even blaming him for contributing to Aloy's death.

 "Why can't he stay away?" she asked hotly one evening after he had left for home and we were upstairs in my bedroom. "Has he no shame? Your husband has not even been buried and he's already hanging around you! Why can't he leave you alone?"

 "Mum, let him be! He came just like other sympathisers. What's wrong in that?" I asked her. 
 "You might not see anything wrong but it's not right," she replied. "A man who made you lose all sense of reasoning, lured you away from your husband. Tell him to keep off or the next time, he shows his face here, there will be trouble!" she warned, wagging a finger at me.

 Trouble was also brewing from another direction. After Aloy's burial, while still in his village, some of his kinsmen had come to the house early one morning.

 What they came for left me upset and confused.

 "Woman," the head of the family began. "You'll have to prove that you had no hand in your husband's death. To do that, you'll swear at our family shrine to prove your innocence, that you did not kill him either through witchcraft, poison or adultery. You are aware of our tradition concerning adultery- it's forbidden for a married woman to have extra-marital affairs because of the consequences. It can affect her family negatively- either the husband or the children can even die.

 "If you're innocent, nothing will happen to you. But you know the consequences if you are guilty. So, search yourself carefully before you take the oath in two days."

 With that they were gone.

  I did not know what to do so I turned to my mother who advised me not to take the oath. 

 "You know you've been having an affair, committing adultery with that man. So, there's no way you can escape the repercussions of your deeds. I warned you, didn't I but you refused to listen!" she said.

 Based on her advise, I sneaked out of the village with Blessing and went back to the city. My husband's family members were not happy that I refused to take the oath, saying all kinds of things, mostly bad, would happen to me or my daughter.

  I have decided to ignore them and get on with my life. I have my daughter to take care of. There's also Benji.

 I'm not proud of myself, cheating on my husband. I know I'm a bad person who has done something I should not have done. But it was my husband's neglect that pushed me to it.

 I hope Aloy's spirit will forgive me so his soul will rest in peace...

  
 The End!

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Story Promo




     ***

  Hi everyone,

 I have received numerous messages from readers wondering why I've not posted the concluding part of My Husband's Tenant.

 Thing is, I was away on a personal engagement in Warri over the weekend and just returned yesterday.

 It will be posted this afternoon so watch out. And so sorry for the delay in posting.

 Hope you all have a great day!

 Patience
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Husband's Tenant (4) lover or husband?

 My mother stared at me as if I was mad.

"Crystal, have you been drinking or what? What did I just hear you say?" she asked sharply. 

 She had come visiting from her home in the Woji area of town. We were in my small sitting room upstairs where I had my sewing machine and other stuff I used for my sewing. After I left school, I had learnt fashion designing and I did a little sewing once in a while to keep busy and not for money.

 I placed the blouse I was sewing for her on the table and turned to her.

 "Mum, you heard me. I'm filing for divorce from Aloy," I repeated patiently as if talking to a child.

 "A divorce? On what grounds? What has your husband done to you that you want to leave him?" she demanded.

 I sighed before stating:

 "That's the problem, Mum. He doesn't do anything! He's hardly around in the name of work. I've endured it for over six years and that's many years of my life wasted on an 'empty' marriage," I explained.

 My mother shook her head, looking at me in a pitying manner.

 "I can't believe this is coming from you. You want a divorce because your husband is hardly around because of his work? Are you crazy or what? Are you the only one in such a situation? What about the many women around whose husbands live and work abroad while they remain in Nigeria? Have they all filed for divorce from their husbands?" she demanded, her voice becoming angrier by the minute.

 I did not care if she was mad at me or not. It was my life, my happiness at stake here. Whatever she felt about the matter would not dissuade me from what I intended doing about my situation. It was a choice I had to make between my husband or my lover.

 It was obvious that my marriage to Aloy had grown stale, caused mostly by his long absences from home. Ok. He made a lot of money which enabled us to live a certain lifestyle. But was money everything? What about love, companionship, commitment- vital ingredients in a marriage all of which were lacking in mine?

It was my affair with Benji that opened my eyes to what had been missing in my marriage. Before Benji, it was like I was just existing, just going through the motions of living. He opened a whole new world to me which I would be crazy not to hold on to...

 "Look, Crystal," my mother was now saying. "I don't know who's putting these silly ideas in your head, making you think of leaving your husband. The person is just deceiving you! He doesn't wish you well!  
 "How can you talk of leaving a man like Aloy, who has been so good to you and our family? Have you forgotten so soon the assistance he rendered to us after your father's death? Who trained your younger brothers up to the university level? Who's still supporting us till today? The same man you want to divorce! You should stop whatever you're drinking so you can come back to your senses! 
 "You want a divorce! Go divorce him let me see! Silly child!" she fumed. And picking up her 
hang bag matched towards the door.

 "Mum, wait! Your blouse is almost ready..." I stated.

  She ignored me and left, banging the door angrily after her...

  ***
 I tapped my feet to the poignant notes of the guitar as Benji strummed and played for me. It was one of his favourite songs.

 We were at his friend Ken's place where we often met when we did not go to the guest house. Ken was a music producer/promoter who had all kinds of musical instruments in his house.

 I did not know Benji could play any instrument until our first day at the house. He had picked up a guitar and played me a touching song he had even composed 'especially for you,' he had stated.

 He had chosen Coldplay's The Scientist to play for me that evening.

 'Nobody said it was easy
 No one ever said it would be this hard
 Oh, take me back to the start'

 "What a sad song. It's like he lost somebody," I stated softly when he stopped playing.
 He placed the guitar by his side and said:

 "Relationship troubles, more like." He paused then said:

  "Such as we would have if your mother has her way."

  He was right. About a month after our argument at the house, my mother, having found out about Benji had explicitly told me, no, ordered me to end the relationship before, 'Aloy finds out!'

  "Whatever you have with that man must stop!" she had stated vociferously on the phone. "What has come over you, Crystal? You used to be the reasonable and level headed one among my children. Now this! Dating another man, one who happens to be your husband's tenant? What do you think your husband will say or do if he finds out? You better stop the affair before its too late! Don't say I didn't warn you!"

 "She doesn't want me to see you any more," I now said.

 "And what do you want?" he enquired, gazing at me.
 I drew his head close, resting it on my chest.

 "You. I want you, sweetheart. All of you," I told him.
 "That's good to hear. Because I want you too," he said, cuddling close to me on the settee, his had slipping inside my top...

  ***
I refused to listen to my mother and continued to see Benji. I was in love with him and not ready to let go no matter the opposition. In fact the more opposition we faced, the more I stuck with him.

 It reached a stage where I decided to start the divorce proceedings so I got a lawyer. My intention was to inform Aloy about it the next time he was home for his break from work. Once I was free, the plan was for Benji and I to leave the country and start a new life together.

 Things were going well until one evening when I got a phone call from a strange man who asked:

 "Are you Crystal, Mr Aloy's wife?"

What's the mystery phone call all about?
The concluding part of this series will be published soon. Don't miss it!


To Be Continued...

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My Husband's Tenant (4) lover or husband?  (Preview)



 ***

  "Crystal, have you been drinking or what? What did I just hear you say?" asked my mother sharply. 

 We were in my small sitting room upstairs where I had my sewing machine and other stuff I used for my sewing. After I left school, I had learnt fashion designing and I did a little sewing once in a while to keep busy and not for money.

 I placed the blouse I was sewing for her on the table and turned to her.

 "Mum, you heard me. I'm filing for divorce from Aloy," I repeated patiently as if talking to a child.

 "A divorce? On what grounds? What has your husband done to you that you want to leave him?" she demanded.

 I sighed before stating:

 "That's the problem, Mum. He doesn't do anything! He's hardly around in the name of work. I've endured it for over six years and that's many years of my life wasted on an 'empty' marriage," I explained.

 My mother shook her head, looking at me in a pitying manner.

 "I can't believe this is coming from you. You want a divorce because your husband is hardly around because of his work? Are you crazy or what? Are you the only one in such a situation? What about the many women around whose husbands live and work abroad while they remain in Nigeria? Have they all filed for divorce from their husbands?" she stated hotly, her voice becoming angrier by the minute.

 I did not care if she was mad at me or not. It was my life, my happiness at stake here. Whatever she felt about the matter would not dissuade me from what I intended doing about my situation. It was a matter of choice: to remain with Aloy or go for my lover...

 It was obvious that my marriage to Aloy had grown stale, caused mostly by his long absences from home. Ok. He made a lot of money which enabled us to live a certain lifestyle. But was money everything? What about love, companionship, commitment- vital ingredients in a marriage all of which were lacking in mine?

It was my affair with Benji that opened my eyes to what had been missing in my marriage. Before Benji, it was like I was just existing, just going through the motions of living. He opened a whole new world to me which I would be crazy not to hold on to...

 
 Watch out for the rest of this story later tonight. A happy Sunday to you all!


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nigeria's self styled open marriages


A traditional marriage ceremony (Nigeria)
A man’s wife is his possession. She is part of his investment. He believes that by the virtue of anointing her as his wife, he has elevated her status amongst her peers and accorded her a respectable position in society.

No matter how he treats her, it is around her that he builds his empire and nurtures his desires and hopes for the future. The fruits of his labour are expended on his wife and the fruits of their loins, with the belief that they will be the joys of his old age

 No matter the circumstances or situation of their relationship, whether good or bad, this oftentimes does not erode her value or undermine her position in his home and life. For as long as she remains the chosen one, she is expected to be out of reach for other men. Being a Mrs is no mean tag. 

An exalted position such as wife, must also come with its demands and responsibilities and one of them, if not top on the list, is fidelity: the resolve to preserve one’s self and body to the service of another. 

 Though this is supposed to be mutually binding on the two, man and wife, African culture, tradition and the assumed and accepted polygamous nature of the male specie, make this more binding on the woman, than the man.
  In fact, the Holy books seem to affirm this position. The Bible admonishes women to submit to their husbands while the Qur’an counsels that they guard their husbands’ secrets. Even moral and societal values, and health considerations compel it upon the woman, that she stays faithful to her husband. 

 Women found wanting in this regard, no matter their social status and rating, usually fall from grace to grass. Men consider it a slight on their manhood and a short change on their investment. Most find it difficult to forgive such women and the consequences are sometimes grievous or even deadly. 

 However, this position now appears to have changed over time. It is now almost a daily occurrence to hear chilling confessions of various shades of infidelity from and about married women. 

Many of these stories leave one’s mouth gaping and mind confused. There is the tale of a woman with five children in Oke Ira, Ogba, Lagos State, Nigeria who ended up confessing that only two of them belong to her husband. One being for the husband’s younger brother and two for her lovers. 

 The cat was let out of the bag when the lover insisted on taking custody of his two children. Refusing all pleas from the woman, he went straight to her husband and divulged the sordid details. A similar scenario played out in Meiran area of Alagbado, on the borders of Lagos and Ogun states. 

Olusho, spiritual leader of a white garment church, in one single blow lost his wife and two children to one of his rich patrons. His wife on being caught in her web of lies, decided there was no point denying herself and two children of the luxury their biological father could provide for them any longer. 

So, rather than plead with Olusho to cover her misdeed and shame, she simply organised a haulage vehicle and with the support of her rich lover, moved out same day despite the intervention of neighbours and elders around. Olusho’s spiritual ministry came to an abrupt end. 

In another case, a young man narrowly escaped being convicted of child trafficking and perjury by the American immigration authorities. On the graduation of his first child from high school in the UK, he figured that he could work out a cheaper deal with his college expenses since he is an American citizen and the boy also holds an American Passport. 

So, he filed all the necessary papers. 

 Everything was perfect until a DNA test to prove paternity revealed he was not the biological father of the boy. To save his neck, he was forced to reveal that his marriage to the boy’s mother ended when he discovered she was carrying a pregnancy that was not his. 

 Without a sense of remorse, she confessed that the pregnancy was for her boss at the office and moved out of her matrimonial home, relocating to London. 

 A few years after, the first of the other three children was discovered not to belong to her husband as well. The teenage boy also turned out to be the biological child of the same man, her boss who fathered the last child. 

 However, more intriguing in this drama of infidelity are the men who are privy to the shenanigans of their wives and turn a blind eye to them.   

 Every time, I come across such stories, I marvel at the level of depravation and immorality that must have gone into such an alliance. Several reasons have been postulated for such developments which to my understanding bothers majorly on finance and material gains and self centeredness. 

 Few have to do with saving public image. For, what is left to be salvaged in the public image of a man whose wife’s sexual escapades with other men is no secret?

  Is he protecting his wife or his children, or simply pushing off the day of his eventual spiritual and physical death? Stories of men who connive with their wives to conceive children by other men and claim ownership of such children also beat my imagination. 

 For me, this is the height of self deceit and should the cookie crumble, the man still remains the ultimate loser. 

 The children, no matter their level of disappointment, will still know their mother as such. One of such stories that springs up in my mind is that of a man who after becoming a “born again” Christian decided to seek restitution. (Whatever that meant to him!) He allegedly woke up one day and summoned his wife of over 30 years of marriage and their three children to a meeting where he spilled the beans.

The three children, the last, an undergraduate and another, already married, were not his. They were arranged by his wife for him to cover his shame and inability to father a child, many years ago. 

Now that he had been set free of all burdens and shame by his heavenly father, he no longer felt a sense of compulsion to keep such a thing secret anymore and so, wanted to set the records straight with the truth. His wife should tell him and the children who fathered them. 

 Thereafter, he would seek forgiveness and permission from the man to continue to play his fatherly role on the children. Naturally, the children took sides with their mother and denounced their father’s actions, even the church was not on his side, for his queer manner of restitution. 

Such an arrangement to my understanding is a no brainer on the part of such a man, and a win-win situation for the woman who got an unlimited access to jump into bed with any man of her choice, conceive pregnancies outside of the matrimony and openly raise them with another man’s sweat. 

 Even then, emerging trends point to the fact that Nigeria is gradually catching up with the West in what is termed as open marriage. An open marriage is a union where the partners are permitted to have sexual relationships with other partners. 

 The terms of what is permissible for the two is often spelt out and the partners adhere to these rules. The plus side of this arrangement is that the partners get to enjoy the benefits of two worlds. 

 First is the respect and social status that marriage provides and the other is the freedom to explore their sexuality without actually rocking the boat. While this may not actually be a common or detailed trend in Nigeria, what is true and now gaining ground is a practice where the husbands pretend not to know about their wives extra-marital affairs but bask in the benefit that such relationships offer. 

 A distraught married woman whose husband was deeply and openly involved with another married woman sought audience with the woman’s husband with the hope of resolving what had now become an embarrassing situation for her. 

 The man patiently heard her out but his response almost knocked her off her feet. He trusts his wife completely and has no problems with her relationship with a man he considers a great mentor in their lives, he insisted. 

 If she has problems with her husband, she should go and address it and not drag him into her war. All her evidences and plea to help save her marriage were discarded by the woman’s husband. 

 Many men who have identified where their breads are being buttered, courtesy of their wives generosity have learnt to look the other way, if only to sustain the lifestyle they have or to remain in their imaginary social status. 

 It is no longer an abomination to know that your wife is unfaithful. If the benefits or proceeds from the relationship are worthwhile enough, knowing the man can only be icing on the cake as the guy can also get something on the side for himself if he plays his cards well. 

 Another category of open marriage in the Nigeria of our time is one where the wife is not into the affair for material or monetary gains, but for personal emotional fulfillment. 

 These couples are usually rich or powerful members of the society and have an image to protect. Many reasons may be attributed to this, such as the sexual inadequacies of the man which tend to result in extra-marital affair(s) by the woman. 

 In a situation where the wife is discreet enough about it, and the family name, business and connections are not affected in any way, some of these men willingly look the other way these days. 

 More so when the men are no saints themselves. Once, in a conversation with a male colleague who is in his second marriage, he informed me that he could never divorce his wife on the basis of infidelity since he is guilty of same. 

 According to him, should he walk in on her and her lover, he would excuse himself and walk away, focusing more on her good sides. He insists this was a mistake he made with his first marriage and has vowed not to allow such a little thing ruin his happy home ever again, now that he is wiser. (Hmmm! Aren’t some of us just lucky?)


   -Courtesy Vanguard Media

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