When I was younger, I wanted to be many things. I wanted to be a lawyer, a tennis player, a newscaster and so on. I loved writing stories in primary school. My mum always encouraged my writing and printed out the first few chapters of a book I wrote when I was younger. My dad found the diaries I used to write interesting.
When I was in undergrad, I started writing about something that randomly came into my head about a woman whose husband was murdered. She moves to the UK and on the anniversary of his death, she takes her grown children back to Nigeria where they find out a lot of secrets.
I started writing but I abandoned it years ago. Here’s what I’ve written so far. I have been debating with myself over whether I should put it up or not but when I see others like Tomi Olugbemi and I thought “Why not?”. Here’s an excerpt of untitled.
Akunna lay awake staring at the ceiling, his head slightly elevated by his arm. He had a lot on his mind and had tried to sleep, however, it had proved to be futile. His troubles were not the only thing keeping him from sleeping. Chioma, his wife, was using him as a human football. It was bad enough that she was already a restless sleeper but she was nearly three months pregnant. They hadn’t told anyone but he had a feeling his father knew from the funny looks he and Chioma has been receiving. She hardly had morning sickness with her first two pregnancies but the third one was the complete opposite. His father, Chigozie, was not buying the excuse of fever.
He turned to look at his wife. When sleeping, Chioma looked like an angel but sometimes his wife could be one of the most annoying people he ever come across. She was stubborn beyond belief, proud and would rather do things by herself. It had taken him a while to get her to allow him to take care of her. She always offered to do things for him and everyone else but when it came to people doing things for her, she would always refuse. It frustrated him when others would try to take advantage of her kindness though he didn’t need to worry as those who took her for a fool would always be surprised when she showed them what she was made of.
They had met at her sister, Akudo’s wedding. His attendance was a last minute decision. Rather he was forced. His younger sister, Osinachi, was a friend of a friend of a friend and has somehow managed to get an invitation. With no one else to take her, he was her only option. The wedding had been a lovely experience and as soon as they had gotten to the reception, she had ditched him for a random guy she had just met. Not wanting to cause a scene or have his sister decapitate him, he decided to watch from a distance whilst drinking his beer. Any sign of distress and he would be there within seconds.
“Could you please move.” He turned to look at the owner of the voice and met the most piercing eyes he had ever seen in his life. Chioma was a vision of beauty in her floor length cream dress and for the first time in a long time, he had been rendered speechless.
“You are standing on my dress!”
He had failed to recognise that while he had been staring at Chioma like he had never seen another human being in his life, she had been scowling and pointing at her feet.
“I am so sorry…” He began to apologise as he shifted his foot but she had already turned away from him. He looked again at Osinachi. She threw her head back in laughter at something the guy had said. It didn’t take long for his attention to be drawn back to Chioma.
“Harry, have you met my niece Chioma?” A short and stocky woman, dressed to the nines in her traditional wear, had a man’s arm in her grip. The man directed the widest grin his face could muster at Chioma who failed to return it. Chioma chose instead to watch her sister dance happily with her new husband.
“She is a law graduate. Graduated top of her class. Isn’t she pretty?”
“Of course she is…” The man started before being interrupted.
“Chioma, this is Harry Ohakim” Her aunt continued.
“Chioma, it is nice to meet…” Harry continued.
“He has just finished studying his Masters in…” She paused having blatantly forgotten the information she had crammed earlier.
“Engineering…” Harry reminded her. “I just got back…”
“He will be working in his father’s company. Isn’t that great?”
Chioma looked at Harry. He was ok looking but she did not care. It was so obvious that her Aunty Ngozi was not interested in him and was shoving him down her throat so she could “finally” get married.
At 24, she didn’t feel the need to rush rather others felt the need to tell her how she would not stay young forever. She glanced slightly at the stranger who has stepped on her dress. She had noticed how he had been staring at a young and beautiful girl across the room and was, without shame, now listening in on their conversation.
Once again Chioma had been lost in her own thoughts. Her attention returned to her Aunty Ngozi and Harry. She opened her mouth but before words could open her mouth, her dad spoke.
“Ngozi. Your sister is looking for you. She has not seen much of you all day.”
Ngozi laughed. “Let me go and find her. Chioma, we still have to talk oh!” She shuffled off in search of her sister.
Olisa smiled at his daughter. “Chioma. I think your sister would like some help.”
Chioma smiled faintly at her dad and walked off. She picked up a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and drank half of it quickly.
“Do you need another glass?” Akunna offered. Chioma looked up to see that once again she was standing by the eavesdropper.
“Were you not taught to mind your manners?” Chioma countered.
“Yes, I was but I cannot block my ears when your aunt is so loud. She might as well put you up for auction.” She laughed at his response.
“That was quite an interesting operation your father just executed.”
“What operation?” Chioma feigned ignorance. She could tell it was not working.
“Operation Save-my-daughter. I saw you look at your dad as if you were in distress.”
“I was not in distress. I wanted him to do something before I caused a scene. I can speak for myself.”
“That you can.” Akunna smiled into his champagne before he took a sip.
Two years and seven months later they were married. It took persistence on his part and divine intervention but he won her over in the end. Her Aunt Ngozi had practically fainted when she had learnt that she was marrying someone who was from an average background.
“His father owns a farm?!”
Till next time.