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Monday, March 26, 2018

Love Beyond Reason (1)

Ikemefuna sat on the couch in his living room, arms folded on his chest, eyes clouded with anger, lips stretched thin, and watched the hand of the clock move towards 9pm for the umpteenth time. He was fuming with anger but anyone looking at him would just see a handsome, well-built man, watching TV, with an impatient stretch to his lips. On closer inspection though, the anger in his eyes could not be missed.

He stared at the game showing on the TV. His favorite English club, Arsenal were playing against their arch nemesis, Chelsea and it seems Chelsea is going to get the glory once more. He watched the screen, at the same time listening for when the door will open to admit Ugochi, his girlfriend, whom he had been waiting for impatiently for the past two hours.

Why is this woman late? What does she take me for? How can she leave me here and go about frolicking with every Dick and Harry in the city? She’ll have a lot of explaining to do when she gets back here. These were the thoughts flowing through his mind as he sat, alternately watching the clock and the screen, grinding his teeth in an obvious sign of frustration.

Meanwhile, Ugochi was having a great time with her girlfriends at the birthday party of one of the gang. She laughed at something Dawn, the birthday girl said and gave Ijeoma a wink. The three girls had been rolling together since they were at the University, they were popularly known as the three musketeers back then. Now, all of them were settled into their respective careers but they still found time to get together once in a while.

It was Dawn’s birthday and they had opted for a quiet dinner together at the birthday girl’s favorite restaurant instead of the usual all-out party she threw every year. It had taken a lot of convincing on the part of Ugochi and Ijeoma before Dawn agreed to have a small party with just the girls. She was enjoying herself although she would never admit it to her friends.

Turning twenty-five should be a lot of fun.

The women had a lot in common. Apart from been the same ages, they also graduated from the same department in the University. They all studied Microbiology, and each of them had their view of the course and how they wanted to use it to make the world a better place. Ugochi had opted for Food Microbiology and presently worked with Fan Ice in Ibadan. Ijeoma, fondly called Ijay by her friends, had bent towards health presently working as a laboratory scientist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. Dawn had decided on pursuing the beauty angle and currently owned a beauty spa in New Bodija, Ibadan.

Ugochi was the only one in a serious relationship of the three of them. She had been with Ikem for the past three years. Dawn prefered to play the field, she had like a dozen guys at her disposal, which was not surprising as she was the most beautiful of them. Ijeoma, on the other hand, was on a break in between relationships; her last run hadn’t been so enjoyable.

“Guys, remember that time we all failed Professor Odi’s class? He insisted we wait after everyone had gone home for the holidays, study for a week and rewrite the test. I couldn’t believe it when he said it.” Ijay reminisced

“Yeah, yeah. It was the worst week of my life,” Dawn muttered.
“You were just pissed because all your boyfriends were not available,” Ijay teased.
“Yeah, well what’s a girl to do when all her useful guys were not available,” she grumbled.

“At least you still had Dave. The guy was so in love with you, he didn’t mind staying back for a whole week even when you didn’t acknowledge his existence,” Ugochi chipped in.
Dawn covered her face with her hands. “Oh please don’t remind me of that guy.”

Ijay laughed. “But Dawn, you were so hard on the guy.”
“I just couldn’t see myself with him. He was so needy, you know. I could never be with a guy like that.”
“Yeah. We all know you like them tough,” Ugochi teased.

She laughed. “You got that right, baby.”
Ugochi checked her wristwatch, noted the time. “Girls, I’m sorry to break this up but I really must get going.”
“Hmmm, we understand girl. That hunk of yours must be waiting for you.” Dawn winked. “Lucky girl,” she sighed wistfully.

“How is Ikem?” Ijay asked
Ugochi beamed. “He’s fine o.”
“Hmm, that your man is a real eye candy. I wish he were mine.” Dawn winked again.

“Keep your thoughts away from my man, abeg.” Ugochi laughed. “Don’t you have your hands full already?”
“You can never have enough now.”

Ugochi was about to answer when her phone beeped signaling an incoming call. She checked the caller ID and saw it was a video call from Ikem.
“Speak of the devil,” Ugochi gestured. “I need to take this.” She stepped out of the restaurant to give herself some privacy.

“Hi babe.” She smiled at Ikem’s face on her screen.
He didn’t return her smile. “Do you know what time it is?”
Ugochi shrugged. “No. what’s up?”

“I want you to start coming home immediately,” he snapped
“I was about to.”
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
“Okay, see you soon.”

He cut the call without saying goodbye.
Ugochi frowned at her phone and shrugged again. He’s probably in one of his shitty moods again, she thought.

She didn’t care for the many mood swings, she never knew how he was going to react when he gets into those stints. She had better do as he wanted before it got too bad.
Ugochi went back into the restaurant. “Girls, I have to go; my man needs me.”
“Don’t sweat it.” Ijay waved. “We are ready to call it a night too.”

“Thanks for a wonderful birthday, girls. I actually enjoyed myself. Who would have thought, huh?”
“We knew you were going to love it. That was why we insisted.”
Ugochi bent to grab her bag off the floor as the other girls stood. They walked out together.

“So, I’ll see you guys soon, yeah?” Ugochi asked
“Sure.” The other ladies answered simultaneously.
“I still have a private party tonight. You get my meaning?”
“We know you now, no be you?''
They all laughed and shared a group hug before going their separate ways.

 To be continued

 By Maggie Smart courtesy

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tomorrow Never Ends ( Book Excerpts ) 6

   As expected, the house was empty when Oma opened the front door and let herself in with the key Daniel had given her. He was not back from work and Mama Rukevwe, his cook and housekeeper had closed for the day.

 Glancing at the clock on the wall, she saw it was past nine o'clock, the usual time he returned from work unless he went somewhere else after leaving the office. She got a drink from the kitchen and sat down in the living room to wait for him. Oma smiled, imagining the look on his face when he saw her in his home.

Though she had been at the house several times, she had never slept over despite Daniel's pleading. 

"Why, Oma? If you love me, you'll want to be with me. What's the problem?" he asked in an exasperated tone. This was about a month after their return from Ibeshe Sea Beach Village. They had been seeing regularly since then and had grown very close.

   For the first time in years, Oma was in love; her feelings for Daniel had become so strong that there were times she was afraid of the intensity. It was something out of her control, made her feel helpless and vulnerable and she hated that. 

She worried about many things including the future. What if things did not work out between them? Could she trust Daniel with her heart? What if he broke her heart, hurt her; could she handle the pain of heartbreak, of rejection? What if...?

Especially with the somewhat 'playa' reputation he had in the city's social circles where he was well known according to some of the stuff she had read up about him in gossip magazines. 

He had been linked with some society ladies in town including a very popular Nollywood actress who had a penchant for dating mostly wealthy businessmen and top people in society. 

Oma had asked him about the actress, if they had been in a relationship but he had denied it.

"She needed a sponsor for a movie she wanted to produce and someone introduced us," he had revealed. "We had dinner a couple of times to discuss the production and the society magazines, gossip rag sheets and bloggers went gaga over us with screaming headlines such as "Sexy Nollywood actress in sizzling romance with Lagos Big Boy!" he added, laughing.

"If you believe everything you read in these papers then you'll believe anything." Despite his explanation, she still nursed the fear that what was happening to them, their feelings and love for each other could all go wrong anytime.

Like what had happened in her past relationship. It was this fear that prevented her from committing fully to him as he desired.
 Daniel had assured her, her fears were unnecessary.

 "You worry too much, Oma! I love you and will never do anything to hurt you." He had said it so many times since their relationship started that she began to believe him.

  So, here she was, in his home. She was about to spring a surprise on him as he was not aware she was coming.

 Her lips curved in a smile as she thought of his reaction on seeing her. But where was he, she wondered as she went into the kitchen to get a glass of water.
  She was about calling him to find out his whereabouts when she heard the sound of the key in the door.

 She dropped the glass and quickly walked to the living room, only to stop dead in her tracks at the sight before her.

 Entering through the door was Daniel, closing followed by a lady. It was not his sister Gina whom she had met a couple of times in the house.
So who was she, this strange lady who was holding onto Daniel's arm as if she owned him?

 A surprised look came on Daniel's face on seeing her.

"Oma! What a surprise! When did you arrive? I had no idea you were coming," he said as he moved quickly to stand by her. She gazed at the lady then up at him.

"I can see that," she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. The young lady, who had dropped her bag on the couch, walked up to them, giving Daniel a curious look. "Danny, who's she?"

He did the introductions. "Letty, this is Oma, my girlfriend, the lady I told you about. Oma, this is Letty, a friend."

A friend, he said. What kind of female friend barges into a man's home at nine o'clock at night? Must be a girlfriend, she thought. And here she was ready and willing to commit fully to him! How could he do this to her, she thought with some bitterness, as her eyes examined Letty.

She was of average height, slim with a nice trim figure which she showed off in snug fitting leggings and a tight top.

 Her hair was in long braids which framed her pretty face. Oma turned to go in search of her bag and leave as she was beginning to feel like an intruder.

 But Daniel held her hand and led her down the corridor towards his den.

 "I need to go."

"What's the rush?" he queried. "You came to see me and here I am! So, why do you want to rush off now?" Then drawing closer to her, he added, his mouth twisted in a little smile: "Is it because of Letty? Don't tell me you're jealous! Ha ha! Women and jealousy!" There was an amused tone in his voice.

Oma was not amused. "What has jealousy got to do with it?" she retorted. "I come to your house to surprise you, you show up with a lady and you expect me to be happy? Someone you claim is a friend but is acting otherwise!"                                                 
"Ok, ok! Calm down, babe! We don't have to fight over this," said Daniel placatingly. He sat on the edge of his desk and held her hands, drawing her close.

"Alright," she conceded grudgingly. "You say she's a friend but the vibes from her show otherwise. Daniel, who's she?" She wanted the truth and nothing more.

"Actually, Letty and I dated for a while some years back. But we broke up two years ago and we stayed friends. She's even engaged to someone else now," he explained.

"So what's she doing here, in your home by this hour?"

"She arrived Lagos a few days ago for a visit from her base in Calabar and came over to the office to see him earlier in the day. She wanted us to chat, catch up on old times, so followed me home," he said.

"Well, I need to leave then, so you can do all the catching up you want!" she said in a sarcastic manner.

"Wait, Oma!" he implored as she turned towards the door. "Don't go! I want you to stay. Please! Give me a minute ok? Will be back soon."

Oma was admiring a painting on the wall, of a group of fishermen casting their nets in the water when he returned sometime later.

He stood behind her, his hands on her shoulders. "You like it?" he asked, gazing at the painting.

"It reminds me of somewhere..."

"Ibeshe. The scene looks similar to that at the village when the fishermen are out at sea," he noted. She turned round and looked at him keenly.

 "What about your guest? Aren't you neglecting her?"
He had showered and changed from his work clothes into more casual wear- shorts and a T shirt.

 "Letty? She's gone."

"Oh!" she said, feeling pleased at the news.

"Hope my presence didn't chase her away," she said, moving away to stand at the window that overlooked the garden at the backyard of the house.

"Well, as they say, there can't be two captains in a boat or it will sink."

"So, I'm now a captain?" she queried.
She could feel him close at her back, then his hands held her by the waist and drew her to him.

 She closed her eyes and inhaled the slightly musky scent of his perfume, the warmth of his body making her feel relaxed.

 Leaning against him, she held his hands to her body. "Of course, my darling," he said as his lips nuzzled her ear and his mouth moved down her neck, leaving light kisses along the way.

 "You're the captain, the one rocking my heart right now, baby!"

He turned her round and they stood for an intense moment, gazing at each other. His eyes, Oma noted spoke what was in his heart; love, longing, desire. She raised her hand to touch his face, his cheek then lips. 

He held her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, all the while holding her gaze, a languorous look in his eyes that she found strangely arousing.

She wound her arms round his neck and drawing his head close to hers, began to kiss him. The feel of him in her arms, his scent and the touch of his hands on her body as he caressed her made her long for more of him.

 As the kiss deepened in intensity, his hands began to play havoc on her body. She could feel them slipping inside her blouse, his fingers touching her belly and hip, then moving upwards to her back.

With a swift movement, her bra was unhooked...

  To read the rest of the book, please log on to:   

We've even upgraded, by changing the cover for a refreshingly new look. And don't forget to leave a review of the book on the website, tell us what you think so we can improve on our stories.

Watch out for Book 2 titled 'The Prince's Bride' in April 2018.  Happy reading!


Friday, March 09, 2018

Tomorrow Never Ends ( Book Excerpts) 5

Later, after dinner, Oma stood by the verandah of the house. She could hear the sounds of music coming some distance away to her left. 

It was from the guest house which had a live band that entertained guests from the city regularly especially at weekends. 

The music however, could not drown the sounds of the sea, some meters away from the verandah. The soft light of the moon, which hung over the earth like a bloated ball, shone over the waves in their steady, eternal movement to the shore.

Their endless motion, ancient and timeless, had a music of their own that was beguiling.

 A few steps saw Oma standing by the water's edge, so close, water lapped at her bare feet. She stood on the deserted beach, looking at the immense sea, feeling as if she was alone in the world.

 Oma softly inhaled the salty sea breeze, which left her feeling calm and clear- headed.

Then remembering something from her childhood, she picked some pebbles at her feet and began to toss them into the sea. 

These created little ripples which were soon swallowed up by the hungry waves.

 "Calming," a voice said close to her. She turned quickly to see Daniel standing by her. She wondered how long he had been standing there as she had not heard him walk up.

"Yes," she agreed. It was more than calming; it was magical. She wished she could stay there for a long time to rest from the hassles of work and city life which could be overwhelming at times.

"There're days I feel like letting go. Work, commitments, the business, everything. Leave it all behind and move here," said Daniel.

She gazed up at him, his face inscrutable from the dark shadows cast by the moonlight. "So, what's stopping you?"

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Tomorrow Never Ends (Book Excerpts) 4

A few steps and he was standing in front of her. She waited for him to speak. 

"I'm not sorry, if that's what you are expecting me to say," he finally said. 

"You had no right to do that. You crossed the line," she said accusingly.

"Yes. But it's something I've wanted to do for some time now," he rejoined. "And I'll do it again if the opportunity comes."

 Oma shook her head.

"Don't hold your breath. It won't happen again," she responded sharply. He smiled then, his mouth curved in an amused manner

"Don't be too sure about that, ok?" His face lowered, so close to hers that she took a step back.

"I feel tired. I want to go home," she said.
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