Anuri returns from prison broken; a victim of betrayal, a victim of injustice. Trust was nearly obliterated from her memory. But she must move on, no matter how hard her heart was frozen. Then, Jerome comes along and threatens to upset the walls she had built to protect herself. How does she cope with the alien feelings that assail her?View More
The time was 11:00hrs N.T. Richard drove into his parents' compound in Port Harcourt, beside him was his bride to be, Nneoma. They were there for a formal introduction to his parents. The security man closed the gate as Richard drove further into the compound. He parked his vehicle neatly at the drive turning to Nneoma.'Here's our abode,' he smiled.'I can see,' she said softly, gazing at the white duplex, standing grandly in its aesthetic beauty.'Come on, let's get out.' He opened his door likewise Nneoma.Richard was attired in a green brocade mini jumper artistically embroidered. He was as usual posh and elegant. Nneoma was dressed in a shimmering dark blue lacy skirt and blouse, beautifully sown. She wore Richard's birthday gift; the gold jewelry. Her hair was beautifully twisted and a pair of black slippers graced her feet. She was as usual charming. They were still closing their doors when a lady in her early twenties came out of the house, excited,
For the next two months, Nneoma and Richard saw a lot of each other. They stayed together most weekends reluctant to part. Sometimes, they dined out but most times they were indoors, enjoying one another's company at Nneoma's residence. They shared jokes, problems and life in general.On Sunday evening, relaxed on Nneoma's settee, they exchanged jokes and funny experiences, the epitome of a happy couple.'I was very fond of having tea and bread for breakfast,' Nneoma told him, eyes alight with amusement. 'And there came a period of bread scarcity in town. Most stores were short of bread. My mother presented biscuits to me in place of bread and I refused because, I normally dunked my bread in the tea so the biscuits did not work.'Richard smiled.'I was around four years old then,' she continued. 'Chika was still a baby. That morning, my mother was busy and I wanted bread by all means. My mother gave me N 10.00 to go to the nearby store and see if they had bread.
Throughout the week Nneoma was happy. This was evident in her eyes. She laughed at the slightest provocation. Gladys whom she had told of her reconciliation with Richard was happy for her. Richard phoned her thrice that week. On the third occasion, she was resting on her divan around 20:00 N.T. She grabbed her phone eagerly.'Hello,' she cooed.'Hi,' Richard replied richly. 'How are you?''I'm fine and you?''I'm fine too. So, how was the day?''Enjoyable but I'm tired.''Have you eaten?''Yes, I have.''Why don't you take some pain relievers?''It's not that serious. It's just … it's just…' Her voice trailed off as a yawn over took her. 'I'm sorry,' she apologized chuckling. 'In a couple of few minutes I will feel fine.''You are really tired,' he noted. 'I wish I were there to soothe your nerves.'Nneoma laughed softly. 'What about you? Being at the helm of affairs in your hotel must be trying.
Nneoma arrived her office fully in control of her emotions. With struggles, she had relatively forgotten Richard. As usual, customers filed into the bank for one reason or the other. Nneoma had a busy time tackling her duties. She was working on some figures on her computer when she heard someone say.'Excuse me.'Nneoma looked up and saw a young man with a pronounced floral emblem on his shirt. She understood he was a florist.'Are you Miss Dike?' the man asked.'Yes. Nneoma Dike.''I'm from Claribel, a floricultural outfit.'Nneoma nodded, her eyes going to the beautiful bouquet of pink roses he was carrying.'Someone sent you this bouquet,' he said proffering it her.'Who?' She received the aromatic flowers.'A note accompanies it.' He pointed out to her.Quickly, she pulled out the note from the bouquet and opened it.My Dear Nneoma, I hope you have a nice time at work. Could you join me at La
Seven years gone by, Nneoma was hale and hearty. She worked as an accountant in a reputable bank in Aba, the second city listed in the world gazetteer popularly called the Enyimba city, situate in Abia State, Nigeria. Courtesy of her uncle who had introduced her to the Utos years ago and her parents, she eventually graduated with a second class upper division degree certificate.Nneoma, through a magistrate law court had for six years formally paid back Pius approximately all he spent on her. And with the approximate last kobo paid, that sad episode was finally closed.Nneoma, in her thirtieth earth year was a raving beauty. She suffered a lot of advances from men which amused, pleased, or irritated her at times. Suitors came her way but she refused them. It was as if she had sworn off men. Her parents were worried. Wouldn't she settle down? Why did she joke with marriage? She was almost thirty! They gave her sermons on the reasons why she should make the most of her
Nneoma!’ 'Aunty,' she responded quietly, unable to smile. ‘Come in, come in,' Ogechi said, taking the former's hand. She led her into her living room. Nneoma dropped her bag on the floor and sat down on one of the cushioned seats.'You look troubled, Nne. What's the problem? And how is your mother?' Ogechi gazed at her concernedly, subsiding on the adjourning seat.'She's fine, I believe but I'm not so sure.''You are not so sure? I don't understand.''Oh, aunty Oge, I ran away from them.''Ah… Nneoma?'She began tremulantly, 'Pius came home.''Your fiancé?''Yes, he came home for the Easter Holiday. When he called at our house, I was not yet back from school. When I came home, my parents said I should visit them as they desired…''Mmh.
The bus arrived the Eastern Heartland at exactly 20:45 N.T. At the ITC Park, Nneoma alighted from the vehicle. She felt very tired and weak.She gazed up the night sky. The sky was bluish black, sprinkled with myriads of brilliant stars. They told her life could be smooth rough, beautiful or ugly depending on how one played his cards. Shaking her head, she looked around for a cyclist.Minutes later, the motor cyclist arrived at Gladys' residence which was in Aladinma Layout. She dismounted and paid the cyclist. She knocked on the black gate and waited patiently. She was the epitome of a run-away soldier. Just then, the gate was opened by Gladys younger brother, about eighteen years old.''Joseph.'He was visibly surprised. 'Ah, Nneoma, good evening!''Good-evening,’ she answered with a weak smile. 'Is Gladys in?''Yes, yes, come in.' He stepped back and Nneoma entered the compound. Joseph locked the gate and moved toward their white bungalow
The door bell rang musically. Nneoma stood up to answer the call. She was at the Uto's house having arrived an hour earlier. This was her second visit to the Uto's residence. Opening the door, she saw her father in-law to be, Mr. Silas Uto.He exclaimed in joy: 'Ah, Nneoma, you're already here.''Yes sir, good morning, sir,' she greeted respectfully.'Good morning.' He patted her back as he came in. 'How are your parents?''They are fine. They sent their greetings, sir.''Good, good.'She looked curiously, towards the door. 'Where is Pius, sir?''He's coming. Pius, what are you still doing there? Nneoma is here!' Pius' father said with flourish looking at the curtained entrance.Alarm bells sounded distinctly in Nneoma's ears as Pius Uto walked in. They stared at each other, her heart beating wildly. No…no… This won't work… Nneoma felt like breaking down. He was not her type… she moaned silently. Seeing him live has
When the hour struck 15:30 N.T, Nneoma leapt from her bed. She dressed up again in her earlier clothes. She retouched her makeup and made sure she looked good. Selecting the relevant books, she left for Gladys' room. Since the latter was ready too, both of them left the hostel.'Do you know the particular class?''No but we will find him without any problem. Come on, Richard keeps to time and if you don't he leaves. That way, he teaches his friends to stick to time.' Gladys increased her pace.Moments later, they arrived at the Blue classes. Looking through the windows, they sought for Richard. In the sixth class, they found him. Nneoma felt a peculiar joy well up within her just at the mere sight of him. He had not seen them yet. He stood before a wall map looking very engrossed. At the sound of their foot steps, he turned round. Richard wore a cool black T. shirt over a deep blue jeans looking grand in casual clothes. He smiled, his eyes lighting up as they fell on
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