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Olawritesfiction

My writing journey, updates, publications and work in progress.

Ilusions of Hope – Excerpt from the Wiping Halima’s Tears Anthology

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She had known Pat since they were in Form One. They had gone their separate ways afterwards but ended up working in the same school. The first time she saw her again she had marvelled at how Patricia, whose body used to be tattooed with eczema had now metamorphosed into this sophisticated beauty. She wore the latest clothes and had a rich Banker boyfriend who according to him, was unhappily married, with two children.

She had asked whether his wife minded.

Pat had just laughed. “How long have you been living in Lagos?”

“About six months.”

“Stick around. You will soon understand what life is about.

Click here to get the Anthology

An Excerpt from An acceptable Wife – Published in Brittle Paper

african-woman-and-babyafricalife

You see — as soon as I saw you approaching the house carrying all your load on your back like a tortoise, I knew that you had disgraced us in your husband’s house. Did I not train you to be an acceptable wife? The fire under plantains should not be too high, as it will turn black like charcoal. This is how to cook Moi Moi. This is how to put the pureed black-eyed peas into leaves and fold them into a pot so the steam can cook them into fluffy cakes.

Click here for the rest of the story

A Very Serious Matter

black-red-rose-flowers-34869888-758-635A Very Serious Matter

 

 

 

“Maybe you need to sit down, Ma?”

 

I stare at the tall young policeman. He has two big tribal marks that run down his face like big black tears but his voice is gentle. I think he is new in this job.

I am sinking. The room is spinning around me. The policeman tries to calm me down, as I prostrate myself across the blackened tiles of the police station’s floor, hands on my head as I begin to rock back and forward silently like someone in mourning. People are staring at me but I do not care.

Later on when they seat me in a chair I let myself think of you.

You were such a beautiful baby. A contented child and intelligent student. Such a loving, obedient and God-fearing daughter.

 

Yesterday, I had dreams of becoming the proud mother of a Doctor and saturating myself in the glory of having given birth to a child of such supreme intelligence. Voices would lower in respect when I approached. That is Mama Doctor. People would mention their ailments to me at parties and I would tell them not to worry as you would diagnose what their problem was.

Today my dream died.

The accident on the Lagos – Ibadan expressway, had caused a terrible Go – slow. It stretched along like a road, in a multicoloured collection of different vehicles, for hours.

My fingers clench tightly around the clasp of my handbag until they ache. The pain does not help. The Policeman said that the car was unrecognisable. That you both had to be pulled out from it. “Madam, there was blood everywhere.”

The car was headed for Lagos, two suitcases in the boot. They show me your pink overnight bag and point to another much larger one. Smooth black leather with the initials T W. It is the kind of suitcase that a man would carry.

He has been taken to the hospital too.

Security men in black suits are around and they lead us to a room. They ask us questions we cannot answer. They are joined by another man. A big man whose large drooping belly, strains against a jacket, weighed down by medals and commendations. He keeps shaking his head at us, as if we know more than we are telling him. The security men leave and are replaced by a policeman.

“An important man has been shot and is fighting for his life. Your daughter is found lying besides him in the car. I find out that she recently purchased a jeep with his card. His bank book was found in her bag with a drivers licence.”

I stare at the superintendents heavy jowls. They are shaking now, along with his head as he pounds the desk. I am shaking too, with disbelief.

You don’t even know how to drive.

He turns to your father. “Mr Oni. I am sure you understand the seriousness of this matter. I need you to co-operate and tell me everything you know.”

Your father sighs. “We have brought our child up as a studious, hard working God fearing young lady. I am perplexed myself as to what has happened here. She came home a few weeks ago. He puts his head in his hands. “I don’t know. I just don’t understand.”

The Superintendent points upstairs. “My boss, the Oga pata pata at the top, and the secret service people want me to send you people to Alagbon CID, pending further enquiries. This is a matter of national security. What do you want me to tell him?”

Your father throws his hands up in defeat, showing his palms. “Our hands are clean. We know nothing. We are just ordinary folk.”

The Superintendent signals to his sergeant, a small man whose uniform is several sizes too big for him. “Sergeant Innocent! Go and bring the case.”

Sergeant Innocent whose duty is to uphold the law and treat all suspects fairly until proven, to be not so innocent, has already judged and sentenced you. I can see it in the twist of his lips as he scurries to his boss’s side like an obedient child.

“Yes Sah! Which case Sah?”

His boss seems to glow from within. His eyes bulge out of his head. “The case that your mother brought here! What kind of a question is that? The case of the suspect of course.”

“Sorry Sah.” Innocent bows himself out of the room. Silence swallows us up and as we wait I hear steps echoing on the hard concrete floor.

He comes back with your pink travelling bag, which he presents with a dramatic flourish and opens it slowly, like a magician with a box of wonders and tricks, ready to tempt the imagination.

“Open it.” The Superintendent is waiting, eyes on our faces as if they would reveal the information our mouths refuse to deliver.

Innocent opens the bag, and brings out a red bra covered in black lace and matching panties with most of the area that was supposed to cover a woman’s decency, missing. It was like a rat had chewed at it and any hope I have – that this is a nightmare – that will end, the minute I wake up, dies a quick and brutal death. I remember the story I learnt in my secondary school days about a woman called Pandora who against advice, opened a box that brought calamity upon the world.

Innocence runs his hands over the clean neatly folded skinny jeans, which I brought for you last time I travelled to New York. They linger over the silk of a short red dress.

The quiet in the room is deafening.

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The Guest – A short story by Ola Awonubi

The Guest

lagos_broad_street

Moisture covered everything – and just like the little beads of water running down the walls of the front room and the mildew forming dark spots on the carpet; it ran down my face into my mouth making me want to spit. My linen sleeveless blouse and jeans offered little protection and stuck against my skin

The door opened.

He wore a clean white vest and Sokoto; loose trousers made out of traditional cotton print. My father walked slowly now and was much thinner, his hair totally white but his eyes remained the same in that canvas stretched tight by living, his eyes youthful pools of light, searched mine for answers.

Your mother was dying…why didn’t you come?

“You look just like your mum.” He lowered himself onto a chair.

I had to swallow back another chunk of the past and felt it slide from my tongue into the pit of my stomach and I winced like a child after it had swallowed bitter medicine.

I knelt to greet him.   “Good afternoon, Father.”

“Welcome. How is your brother?” he held out a hand and I took it noting that his hands were hot and he was shaking as if he had a fever. Aunt Lizzy pressed a cool glass of water into my hands. We chatted about my work as a lawyer. We touched on the weather and the current state of the British Monarchy, which I knew he had keen interest in since his days as a student in England. Then I stopped, having run out of any more words to fill in the gap that years apart had widened.

I could hear the last words I had with him. Words oozed out of me like poison from a festering boil. He stood there with his new bride and told me to shut up but I had carried my mother’s burden for too long and now – all that needed to be said – had to be said and when I had finished, the room was silent except for my mother’s tears.

Click here to read the rest of story

Pests and Bookworms – An excerpt from my book ‘Love’s Persuasion’

She kept on typing hoping he would take the hint but he just stood there, rubbing his chin.

“Ada, Ada, why are you franking your face, eh? Is it a crime for a man to like a woman?”

You no dey shame. I am an employee here and you are a married man.” She shook her head.

He laughed at that. “That’s what I like about you. You are not the kind of girl that makes things easy for a man. You want me to really chase you and shower you with gifts.” He scratched his head. “I know you Nigerian girls – suppose I get you a nice gold necklace?”

Lola ignored him and kept on working.

He cocked his head to one side. “You just want to suffer eh? I heard you are trying to pay for your university course. I can pay that, one time. Put you up in a nice flat. Get you a little car?”

“I heard you are trying to pay for your university course. I can pay that one time. Put you up in a nice flat. Get you a little Ada stopped typing. “Please try and respect yourself, Mr Obi. You are old enough to be my dad. Let this be the first and the last of this kind of harassment – if not, I will have to report it to management.”

He shook his head and laughed and laughed, doubling over.

“Every woman has her price,” he said when he’d finally stopped laughing. He leaned over the desk and touched her face; she reared back – swatting his finger away. “Give me time. When I discover yours, I will get you,” he snapped a finger. “Just like that.”

Ada smelt the alcohol mixed with cigarette that clung to the man like a second skin and her stomach instinctively tightened in nausea. Then she felt her heart beat accelerate when she realised that she was alone in the office with a lecherous man who had been drinking. He had motive and now he had opportunity.

She was amazed at her how firm her voice sounded. “In your dreams.”

His eyes mocked hers. “ Eh? You have bewitched me Ada. Dreams can become true you know. Don’t make me go and see a Juju man to get you o.”

She heard him laugh once again and leave the room a bit unsteadily. When he left she shook her head and felt her heartbeats begin to return to normal.

He was now threatening her with Juju. It was a good job she didn’t believe in all that, but his words had certainly unnerved her. Maybe she should consider talking to somebody in Human Resources?

Then, the door opened again and all her irritation and anger erupted.

“Just go away and leave me alone!”

“Ada?” The voice was confused, a bit hesitant.

She turned round and saw it was Tony Okoli. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it.

Her heart was in her mouth. The last person she had expected to see. What had he seen? What had he heard?

“What was all that about?”

“I – I thought you were someone else,” she said, suddenly embarrassed.

He looked at her. “There is hardly anyone about.”

Mr Obi must have been quicker on his feet than she gave him credit for as he seemed to have disappeared. She tried to focus on the screen in front of her. “I’m fine.”

“I understand. Colleagues do that to you sometimes. I’ve worked with a few in the past, harbouring those kind of sentiments, sometimes.”

Ada found herself relaxing a bit and managed a smile. “Don’t mind me. I guess it’s been a long day.”

He looked at his watch. “Do you usually work this late?”

She nodded. “Sometimes.”

“Why is that?”

“I leave work early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to make classes at University. So I clock out late to make up the time.”

He nodded. “Yes. I remember you told me you were studying for a degree part time at Unilag. Business and Finance Management – wasn’t it?”

“Yes”. Ada was surprised that he had remembered their conversation. He must have spoken to hundreds of people last Friday.

“That’s one of the things I would like to change around here – get more people working part time so they can improve themselves professionally. I know there are a few in the Personnel Department studying for their Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management Exam.”

“That would be really good.”

“I’m glad you think so.” He smiled then, looking down at her and Ada felt a bit self-conscious, then realised that he was looking at a book on her desk.

“You have great taste.”

She followed his gaze and picked up her copy of Half of a yellow Sun by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie.

“You started reading it yet ?”

“I’ve read it twice.”

Ada nodded. “I think it is brilliant but then some might say we are biased. It is our story. I just love the attention to historical detail, the way she uses words, the characters and stories. It reminds me of all the stuff my parents told me about Biafra.”

He looked at her. “My parents hardly talk about it.”

She shrugged. “It’s always been controversial. People see it different ways – for some it was a part of history we are supposed to have moved on from.”

“I went searching for my history. It didn’t come looking for me.”

Want to know what happens to these two bookworms –  click on link below to find out!

Get your copy here

Love's persuasion        lagos_broad_street

The Kings Wife

african woman

Tonight again I find myself walking to your house. The moon hanging in the sky lights the way as I run through the bushes along the back paths, my feet heavy, beneath ground dampened by the night rain.  I wrap my cloth tighter around my head as I watch as the sun creep up out the morning’s mist, and knock on your door.

Your mouth drops open as you rub your eyes. “I wasn’t expecting you.”

I smile. “When did I need an invitation to visit?”

You blink. Twice. Like you are seeing a spirit. “Yesterday ……..”

“Yesterday when you saw me in the market I was tired from sleepless nights from feeding our son.”

You smile but your eyes are hard like black stones, just like your heart. “He is our son now eh?  This morning he was the Kings son.”

I smile. “I have thought about it. I am not an unreasonable person.  The King is old and as you said why choose an old bent tree to lean on when a new one full of sap and energy is much better.”  I smile back. “I have made my choice.

I watch the muscles standing like rocks tighten in your neck as you face me, smiling sheepishly.

“I really wasn’t going to tell the King about ……..”

I push my body close to you, feel you tremble. “I know you will never tell the King.”

My Journey to Publication

On Dec 15th my first book was published. The dream I have had since I was about four years old came to pass.

I grew up reading those quaint Peter and Jane Ladybird books – where I looked for a child who looked like me in vain.

I hold up this book and I thank God for bringing me this far, for friends and family, for love and for those who believed in me when it was just a dream.

I present Love’s Persuasion. Elements of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ remind me of the characters here – of love lost and second chances. It is never too late to love, to love again, to take a chance, to write a book, go back to school or chase after that dream. Friends please don’t wait till its too late to go after your dream, your passion and that thing you know you were called to do.

I created Tony Okoli because he reminded me of the kind of guy that we fall in love with. We want the world and he is just a normal regular guy with his faults.

I created Ada because she reminded me of the kind of woman that we need to be. Strong, determined but not so tough that she has forgotten what it is like to be a woman – to love, to forgive and to learn to live again.

Thanks everyone who has supported me on this page and for your patience in this journey of discovery and manifestation. Love’Love's persuasions Persuasion by Ola Awonubi on www.ankarapress.com. Please get your copy.

LOVE’S PERSUASION NOW AVALIABLE ON www.ankarapress.com

Things are changing for the staff of Lagos firm City Finance, and not necessarily for the best. But for Ada Okafor, a bright, dedicated and beautiful trainee accountant, the only change worth noticing is the dashing, British-trained new assistant managing director Tony Okoli. Ambitious and determined, Ada ignores her feelings for Tony and focuses on juggling her work in accounts with completing her degree in business and finance. But their love of books draws them closer together and soon they embark on a secret but passionate affair. They soon discover that the course of love does not run smooth and a host of obstacles – from Tony’s disapproving family to jealous colleagues – litter their path. Their passion for each other is truly tested as they fight to persuade themselves and the world that love, in the end, trumps social status. –

click here to buy – http://www.ankarapress.com/products/love-s-persuasion?variant=727334547lagos_broad_streetloves persuasion for ola n

Excerpt from Love’s Persuasion – OUT TODAY on www.ankarapress.com

Olawritesfiction

It all started with a kiss….

Tony arrived to pick her up at 8pm. She came out wearing a simple sleeveless knee-length dress made of brown African print material patterned with green leaves. A green belt and matching heels gave her some added height. Her braids were plaited high on her forehead which gave her eyes a slanted mysterious look and large gold hoop earrings drooped from her ears.

I like. Very much, he thought to himself. Maybe too much.

“Good evening, Ada,” he said as she got into the car. “You look nice. “That wasn’t what he wanted to say, though.

Ada, you look drop dead gorgeous. Actually quite, alluring.

His eyes lingered on her for a minute more. Was her waist really that tiny? He couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to see if he could put his hands around her to find out.

Then he…

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