Dedicated

To

Nneoma Onyekwelu,

Joy Ebiem (J’dess)

And

Esther Agoziem

Acknowledgement

I remain thankful to God Almighty for making me who and what I am today. The prayers and support of my family members cannot be over emphasized. I am highly indebted to Mr. Anthony Ekwueme and Agbo Charles for squeezing out time from his busy schedule to guide and encourage me. This work would not have seen the light of the day if not for the prayers, patronage and encouragement of Nigerian children who are my inspiration and role model. I love you so much kids. I appreciate the spectacular appearance cum performance of Chizoba Animba Nneoma Onyekwelu, Joy Ebiem, Esther Agoziem in this book. I thank Obinna Francis, Chidi Onyeke, Chika Odo, Cyril Smith, all my friends and well wishers for always being there for me. I also thank all the bookshops and schools in Nigeria whose words of advice, encouragement and patronage have always been my strength. May God’s blessings always rain down on you for making out time to read this book.

One Nigeria!

Eze Nnaemeka Charles

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Chapter One

Linda, Winnie and Mercy were best of friends in the university. They lived in the same hostel but not in the same room. Winnie was in Theater Arts department while Mercy and Linda were in the same department – Mass communication. They had one thing in common: beauty. They were all very beautiful and were the centre of attraction of most young boys. Winnie was tall, dark and slim while Mercy and Linda were of average height and fair in complexion. They were always together, shared things amicably and confided in one another. Their parents knew about them because they spent weekends in one another’s house.

Linda’s parents were very rich unlike Winnie and Mercy’s who were just comfortable. But that notwithstanding, Linda never discriminated or boasted. She was down to earth and that helped in cementing their relationship.

Winnie’s dream was to become a movie star and that was her major reason for studying Theatre Arts. She was so passionate about it that everyone in her hostel and department began to call her Genevieve because of her acclaimed role model, Genevieve Nnaji.

Linda had always dreamed of becoming a model. Her beauty and smiles could melt an iron and people always told her that she would make a good model. They told her that her face was wonderful and that if it appeared on a bill board, she would be paid enough money to make her head spin. She thus began to take very good care of herself but her problem was lack of adequate finance. Her family was not that rich and could not afford all she needed to look very good all the time. But that notwithstanding, she still appeared cute and adorable most times.

Mercy was a dancer and had one of the best voices in town. She was so passionate about music and dance that she later changed her course of study from Mass Communication to Music. It was not easy for her to cope because she had to carry-over some courses that she had not done in the previous year while in Mass Communication department. But she eventually started doing very well and really enjoyed her dream course. Her department once organized a music-dance competition. She entered for the competition and her performance in the competition was so marvelous that nobody asked who was the best but who came first with what margin. Her popularity in the faculty soared beyond belief.

Winnie, Mercy and Linda

One day, some movie stars came to their school to shoot a movie and Genevieve Nnaji was among them. Winnie was in the hostel sleeping when they arrived. Linda saw them and went to call her. Meanwhile, Winnie in her sleep was dreaming of where she acted her first movie and won an award. As they were about to present her with the award, Linda woke her up.

Oh Linda, what is it? Why did you interrupt this fantasy dream that was about to come true?” she asked disappointed, in a sleepy voice.

Which dream? Get up and dress up now else, you miss this one in a million opportunity,” Linda told her firmly.

Which opportunity is more than the one you just stopped me from grabbing?” Winnie asked her again, still feeling bad for not collecting the award before her friend woke her up.

Look through the window and let’s see if the sleep in your eyes will not clear at once,” Linda urged her.

She sighed, stretched herself lazily and peeped through the window. She saw a crowd that gathered around their school field and wondered what was happening.

“Why are people gathered around there?” she asked, still trying to see something.

“The Nollywood stars are shooting a movie in our school and guess what; your idol, Genevieve is there,” Linda replied cheerfully.

“You don’t mean it! Genevieve is in my school? And I am still here dreaming when reality is at my doorstep?” she jumped down from the bed and rushed to the wardrobe. She quickly dressed up and pointedly put on the T-shirt with the inscription ‘Genevieve is my idol.’ She opened the door and ran out of the room leaving Linda behind.

“Wait for me! Won’t you lock your room?” Linda asked plodding after her.

By then, Winnie was already running down the staircase. So, Linda had no choice than to lock up the room by herself and went after her.

“She knows that it is in this series we have the highest number of thieves,” Linda murmured to herself and left.

Winnie made her way through the crowd and on seeing Genevieve; she jumped on her, almost pushing her down. Genevieve was amazed. Everyone shouted in amazement. The production assistants rushed and roughly pulled her away. They wanted to beat her up but Genevieve stopped them. She saw the inscription on Winnie’s shirt and was touched. Her amazement instantly disappeared and she asked Winnie to come close. Winnie stood still trembling in fear for her loss of control but Genevieve went and hugged her. The students shouted and started clapping.

What’s happening here?” the movie director asked on arrival at the scene.

Meet my new friend,” Genevieve told the director. He saw the picture and inscription on Winnie’s top and burst into laughter.

It’s like she is the leader of your fans in this school,” the director joked and they all laughed.

Director, you needed to see the drama she put up here. She would make a good actress I guess,” Genevieve said and turned to Winnie. “My dear, would you like to be a movie star?”

Yes aunty! That has always been my dream and I am even studying Theatre Arts to help me realize that dream,” Winnie replied smartly and Genevieve nodded her head smiling.

“I will help you out, Okay?” she promised.

Winnie was very delighted to hear that. She followed the movie crew throughout the period of the production and luckily for her, it was students’ week; so lectures were not going on. The director even gave her a minor role to play in the movie just to encourage her. She played it very well and was paid for it. Genevieve also gave her some money and her private phone number.

Feel free to call me anytime,” she told Winnie.

She also promised to help her register with the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). Winnie thus became famous in their school. She used the pictures she

posed with Genevieve and other Nollywood stars that took part in that production to decorate their room. Some students who witnessed what happened began to approach her for connections and of course, she felt on top of the world.

Winnie

Chapter Two

Linda was not happy that her friends seemed to have gone farther than her in realizing their dreams. Mercy had won an award in her department while Winnie had featured in a movie with the promises of more appearances whereas she (Linda) had not achieved any yet. It began to disturb her and her friends noticed her change in mood. She was always moody and avoided her friends’ company.

One day, they had appointment to attend a birthday party together. Mercy and Winnie prepared and came to Linda’s room to pick her but they met her unprepared. She was just lying on the bed, staring vacantly at the ceiling. She did not even act as if she knew that her friends were in her room. Winnie and Mercy looked at each other and moved to the bed where she lay like a lifeless object.

“Linda, the birthday party is by 3pm and you are not yet ready. What is the problem?” Winnie asked with concern.

“Tocci said she has been calling you to remind you of the party but you are not picking your calls. We even tried your number before coming but it was switched off. What is it that we need to know?” Mercy asked but Linda would not even look at them, let alone answer their questions.

“Linda, talk to us please! You have been acting strange and moody for some time now and no one seems to understand what the problem is. Please, talk to us no matter what it is. That is what friends are for,” Winnie said but Linda still acted as if nobody had spoken. She just refused to utter a word; she would not even look at them in the face as her friends. They became confused and distraught.

“What do we do now? It is obvious there is something wrong and she doesn’t want us to know,” Winnie told Mercy.

“Sure but we cannot force words out of her mouth. Let us go for the birthday party first, we will think of how to make her open up later,” Mercy said and they left her and went to enjoy themselves at the birthday arena.

Tocci was the only child of her parents. So, her birthday party was high class and lavish. Her parents came with some dignitaries and everybody that attended the party ate and drank to their satisfaction. Tocci had many beautiful friends. One of the men that attended the party with her parents owned a company that produced cream, lotion and different kinds of soap. The man asked the master of ceremony (MC) to organize a mini beauty pageant competition and promised to give the winner of the contest two hundred thousand naira (N200,000.00) and a contract to model for his company after graduation. Mercy immediately dragged Winnie to a corner to have a private talk with her.

“Is this not the opportunity that Linda has been waiting for? Who amongst us here is prettier than she is and now she is not here to participate in the contest,” Mercy lamented sadly.

“What an opportunity! I will contest o! Who knows if I am destined to be a model too,” Winnie said and Mercy shut her up.

“Let me hear word! Have you finished acting your movies? I think I have to go and convince Linda to rush here now. Something tells me she will make it through the competition. I have to run along now; she must overcome whatever is holding her down there,” Mercy concluded and flagged down a taxi to go and bring their friend, Linda.

She got to the hostel and met Linda in tears. Linda was an emotional person and any little thing could bring out tears from her eyes.

Linda, please, get over what it is that is bothering you and dress up,” Mercy told her. “It’s obvious devil is at work to deny you this opportunity but you must not allow him.”

She was able to convince her and Linda quickly had her bath and put on one of her best outfits.

The competition started and the girls came out one after the other to showcase their beauty, each of them in her different style and attire.

Linda and Winnie entered the hall as the girls were coming out individually and immediately Mr. Adams caught sight of Linda, her alluring smiles forced him to smile back. She was, of course, the last person to come out as a contestant and she got the highest ovation. Even before the results were called, everybody had already known that Linda would win the competition. It was really a case of last but the best. The winner was later announced and Linda claimed the prize.

Her friends were happy with her for making them proud. Mr. Adams gave her a cheque of two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000.000) and asked her to come to their office in the city during the weekend for photo sessions for their billboards. She went with Winnie and Mercy and they had fun to the fullest in the city. Linda thus became the face of Constance Cosmetics Nig. Ltd.

Pretty Linda

She cashed the cheque and gave her parents the money from where they paid her school fees and that of her siblings. Life thus became better and her pride was restored.

Meanwhile, where Linda was taking the studio shots and her friends were waiting for her, a top Nigeria music producer, Dekumzy came into the photo studio with Nani Boi. They saw Mercy and recognized her as the girl that performed in their school the day they went for a show.

“Hi, are you not the girl that performed at UNN’s show some months ago?” Dekumzy asked Mercy.

“Sure, I am the one. You are Dekumzy, right and this is Nani Boi; the writer and singer,” Mercy inquired and they nodded.

“Waow! It’s my pleasure. You guys were wonderful on stage that day. The whole school has been talking about you and wishing to see you guys again,” Mercy said joyfully.

“Thanks for the compliments or are they accolades? Hahaha! Anyway, we hope to be there again sometime in the future,” Nani Boi said.

“You too did very well, you have an amazing voice,” Dekumzy commended. “Do you have an album?” he asked.

“No, I only have one song. I don’t even know where to start but I know God will help me realize my dream some day,” Mercy said confidently.

Dekumzy promised to produce some songs for her at Mr. Nigeria studios, Enugu and she was overjoyed. He later produced three good songs for her and she also featured in Nani Boi’s songs- take me home, happy birthday and thank you. Dekumzy and Nani Boi also promised to get her a record label after her graduation. By the time they finished all these things, the weekend was over. So, the three girls went back and continued with their school programmes.

Mercy in the singing booth

Nani Boi, Mercy (J’dess) and Dekumzy

Chapter Three

Mercy, Linda and Winnie later graduated and the pursuit of their dreams began in earnest. They were posted to different states for their mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) but that never affected their friendship. They talked on phone often and still planned on how to realize their dreams after service to the nation. Of course they still created awareness in their various camps and won some merit awards during their NYSC programme. They passed out after one year and converged at the city of Enugu to continue from where they stopped.

Corper Winnie

Winnie’s parents were very rich; so she never had any problem of money. She never cared to look for job. She wanted to pursue her acting career but her parents vehemently kicked against it.

None of my children will become an actor or actress, not now, not ever!” her father said with finality.

But daddy, that was why I studied Theater Arts. Please, allow me to follow my heart and practice my profession,” Winnie pleaded with tears in her eyes.

When you were going into the department, did we not agree that you would change your course in your second year? You went there and did what you liked and now you want to bring us untold disgrace in the name of being a movie star. That cannot happen in my house,” Mr. Timothy insisted.

Papa Emeka, I do not think you are doing the right thing,” Mrs. Timothy began. “I suggest we give her chance to practice what she spent five years in the university studying. If she goes against the family’s set down rules and regulations, then we stop her from continuing.”

Stop her when she must have gone wild and uncontrollable? Never will I allow my daughter to mess around publicly in the name of shooting movies. Choose anywhere you want to work, I will use my connections to get you any job of your choice,” Mr. Timothy said with the confidence of a man worth millions.

Is it about getting a job or self-actualization? How am I going there to bring you disgrace…” she was still talking when Mr. Timothy interrupted her.

I do not want to discuss this issue any further. Dust your certificate and tell me where you want to work or better still, buy masters degree form and do M.Sc. in a better course. Case dismissed,” he said and they left him alone. Once he said ‘case dismissed’ in any matter, you dare not prolong the issue any further unless you want to incur his wrath.

Winnie felt bad and sobbed all through the night. All efforts by the mother to console her were futile.

You really have to take it easy. All hope is not yet lost. Even though your father is a very difficult man, I will still try and talk reasons into his head,” Mrs. Timothy consoled her wailing daughter.

Why does daddy hate me this much? Have I ever disappointed you people before? Why won’t he allow me pursue my dreams?” Winnie asked rhetorically, sobbing.

Stop sounding like that. Your father does not hate you at all. He only wants the best for you, just that he has this misconception about the movie industry but I will try and make him understand that most of the things we see on screen are stage-managed,” she said reasonably.

Mum, please try and do that. I don’t think I can do any other thing if I am denied this dream,” Winnie stated clearly.

The mother assured her that she would still try to convince Mr. Timothy to allow her to follow her dreams. They finally turned in.

Linda had a little delay in sealing up her deal with Constance Cosmetics Nig. Ltd. So, she had to pick up her certificate and search for jobs. The condition of her family made her desperate in searching for a job not minding the fact that the Constance Cosmetics Nig. Ltd promised her that their deal would be sealed in less than three months.

One day as she was coming out of an office, Winnie drove past and saw her looking dejected and hopeless. She pulled over and called on Linda. She walked to her shaking her head in disappointment.

What is it? Why do you look so disenchanted?” Winnie asked her friend.

My dear, life after school is something else,” she replied.

So, you never knew until now? Abeg, hop inside and let us find somewhere and relax,” Winnie told her.

Linda entered the car and they drove to Golden Toast eatery.

“Feel free to make your order. I can imagine what you have passed through recently,” Winnie said smiling.

They placed their order and were served accordingly. They began to eat and chat.

“So, where were you coming from?” Winnie asked.

“My sister, from one office like that o! In fact, today seemed to be my worst day since I started looking for job,” she replied still trying to crush the bone of the chicken she was masticating.

“Haha! What happened?” Winnie asked peering into her eyes.

“The greatest challenge I have faced in this job seeking exercise is that every office boss wants to sleep with me before giving me an appointment. Passing the interview has never been my problem. In fact, once they see me, they like me and would want to give me the job but after, they will be asking for another thing. I am just sick and tired of all this,” Linda said disappointedly.

Nawao! What a price to pay for being beautiful. Too bad! But you must learn to live with it,” Winnie exclaimed.

“That place I was coming from when you saw me, even the gate-keeper asked me to give him my number; that he likes me and can help me get the job. Chai! I have suffered!” she lamented and Winnie laughed out loud.

“Hahaha!!! Even a gate-keeper that has not helped himself. That is ridiculous! We all have our problems. Can you believe that my daddy has insisted I will not act movies?”

“What? Why? I thought you said they were very proud of you when they saw the one you shot with Genevieve and co,” Linda inquired.

“Yes and that was because I played a good role in that one. He feels that once I become a star, I will start acting amorous roles and all that. He does not just want to understand that…” she was still talking when a young and handsome boy walked into the eatery. They abruptly stopped their conversation and starred at him lustfully. The guy noticed them and gave them an alluring smile which Linda replied with a charming one too. The boy finished buying what he came to buy and sat down with them. He introduced himself and chatted with them for a while before leaving. He was very lively and jovial. When he was about to leave, he gave Linda his complimentary card. “Try and give me a call,” he said and left.

“I will, do have a nice day,” Linda replied cheerfully.

Try and give me a call…”

He left and Linda promptly put the card in her bag.

“Bring it out let us see what he does for a living,” Winnie said in an unfriendly tone.

Linda reluctantly brought it out and they discovered that Ken was the manager of C and C Nig. Plc. They had been hearing about him and now, they had met him face to face.

“This is unbelievable! So, it’s Kenneth Ekwe that we have been chatting with and we never knew? I will surely give you a call boy!” Linda said excitedly.

“Take it easy before you rush him and spoil everything,” Winnie said with a tinge of jealousy.

Winnie finally paid for what they ate and dropped Linda at her house. Her mood was never the same again after Ken gave Linda the complementary card. As she drove home, she wondered why it was Linda that Ken chose to give the card even when she seemed to give him more attention. She thus became very jealous and envious of her friend.

A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.”

-Xun Zi

Chapter Four

Linda did not call Ken as soon as Ken had expected. She waited for sometime so that it would not look as if she was desperate about the young man. Meanwhile, Ken had been expecting her call and regretted why he did not collect her phone number.

“Damn! I would have collected her phone number. See what pride has caused me now. Chai!” he blamed himself. “I just hope she has not misplaced the card because that will be the worst part of it all.”

Just then, a call came in and he rushed at his phone. He saw his sister’s name as the caller and sighed. He did not pick it but as she continued to call him, he picked it.

“Sister please, allow me to call you back later. I am thinking about something very important to me. I will speak to you later please,” he did not even allow her say why she called and he cut the call. He decided to go back to the restaurant and check if Linda could come around again. He went there severally without seeing her.

One day after waiting in vain, he angrily opened his car door to go but someone called his attention. He looked back and saw a young girl smiling at him. Immediately he noticed that she was not Linda, he sighed, entered his car and zoomed out of the place. Winnie was the one. She felt very embarrassed because people around there noticed what happened. Ken did not recognize her because she wore glasses that covered her face. She turned and left the place in shame without buying what she had come to buy.

Ken could not recognize Winnie…

She got home and threw herself on the bed in anger.

“That guy is arrogant! What an embarrassment! A whole me. I just hope Linda’s hand is not in this because I will not forgive her if she is.”

She quickly dialed Linda’s number and told her everything that happened.

“I have not even called him since then,” Linda replied on phone.

“You better not try calling him unless you want to get your own share of his insolent attitude. What does he even think he is?” Winnie asked in a loud voice.

“Take it easy! Are you even sure he recognized you? Maybe he did not, after all, we met him only once,” Linda reasoned.

“Oh, you are already defending him! Mtchueeew!” she sighed and cut the call.

Linda was confused. She could not understand why Winnie took it so personal. She decided to call Ken to find out if he was that arrogant. She brought out the card, dialed his number and he picked.

“Hello Ken, it’s Linda-the girl you gave your card at Golden Toast eatery last week,” Linda explained.

“Oh Angel, is that you? I have been expecting your call. How are you doing?” Ken asked her in obvious high spirit.

“I am fine. I have been very busy. Hope you are good,” Linda inquired.

“Yes I am. Please, how can I see you, if possible, now?”

“I am sorry I can’t come out now but we can hook up later in the evening.”

They fixed an appointment and Ken heaved a big sigh of relief. He thought he had lost the girl and might not see her again. Before the time of the appointment, Ken was already there waiting for her to come. She cat-walked to him and he welcomed her cheerfully. They got talking and Ken found out that Linda had virtually all the qualities he had been looking for in a partner. After they had gotten acquainted very well, Linda decided to ask him about the incident with Winnie.

“Why did you snub my friend earlier today?” she asked him calmly.

“Your friend? How? Where? When?” Ken asked surprised.

“The one you met her and I at Golden Toast. She said she saw you and when she wanted to greet you, you snubbed her and drove away,” Linda explained.

Ken remembered when a lady was walking up to him and he drove away angrily.

Oh oh, I remember now. She was the one? I am sorry about that. I did not recognize her. She was actually looking very different.”

“Unless that because she is really feeling bad about it,” Linda confided.

“Please, tell her that I am sorry; I did not know she was the one. I thought it was one of these gold diggers. You know what; give me her number let me call her and apologize,” he said but Linda was smart enough not to give him Winnie’s number yet.

“Don’t worry, I will make her understand. If you call her now, she might be rude to you but by the time I have talked to her, she will not,” she said.

“Okay, if you say so,” he said.

They spent time getting to know each other very well. Linda found many good qualities in Ken and vice versa. Ken spared no words in telling her how he felt. Linda really loved how he poured out his heart. After the outing, Ken dropped her at her house and went home.

The thought of Ken filled Linda’s mind all through the night. She had never really felt the way she was feeling now. She was unusually excited and her mother noticed it. While they were preparing dinner, the mother carelessly made a statement.

“Your mood today reminds me of the first time I met your father,” Mrs. Amadi said playfully.

Linda was taken aback by this statement. She pretended as if she did not hear anything and they continued with what they were doing. After a while, Mrs. Amadi threw a question at her.

“My dear, tell me why you are so excited this evening,” she said smiling.

“I don’t understand you mum,” she replied shyly.

“This feeling you are experiencing is unusual. Is there anything baby is hiding from her mum?” Mrs. Amadi asked peering into her daughter’s eye.

Linda was caught unawares by this question. She could not understand how her mum got to know about her feelings. So many things went through her mind within some seconds. She became restive.

“Mum, please, excuse me, I will join you in a jiffy,” she said and left the kitchen.

Mrs. Amadi smiled and shook her head. Linda went to her room and lay on the bed. She clutched the pillow to her chest and smiled mischievously to the ceiling.

“Could this be true love that I am feeling?” she asked herself. “How did mummy get to know about my feelings? I hope I am not over reacting to this drama.” She closed her eyes and did not even know when she slept off, still smiling. The mother waited for her and after sometime, she decided to know why she had not returned to the kitchen. She opened the door and saw her daughter sleeping and smiling. It was then that she became convinced that Linda was in love with someone.

“I just hope this feeling is for the right person,” the mother said and went to call her siblings to help her out in the kitchen.

There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

Sarah Dessen

Chapter Five

The following day, Linda visited Winnie and in the course of their discussion, she did not know when she opened up and told Winnie that she had fallen in love with Ken. Winnie did not find it funny and could not hide her feelings.

“How could you fall so cheaply for that arrogant boy?” Winnie asked in an unfriendly tone.

“Hey! Watch the words you use on someone I just told you I have feelings for,” Linda confronted.

“What words can I use on him that is worse than the public embarrassment he caused me the other day?” Winnie asked.

“But I thought we had settled this before. He said he did not recognize you and as a matter of fact, he even wanted to call you and apologize but I asked him to hold on so I could talk to you first,” Linda explained.

He can talk to the marines for all I care! I am not interested,” Winnie said and Linda flared up.

You are taking it too personal and I can’t understand why. How can you develop passionate hatred for someone you barely know? It’s suspicious!” Linda said in a confrontational voice.

I would rather we don’t talk about it again for now.” She quickly introduced another topic and Linda played along.

The relationship between Linda and Ken grew stronger. They could hardly stay without each other. Linda asked Ken to apologize to Winnie and he did; so they became friends though Winnie was still envious of Linda.

While Linda was frolicking with Ken and having the time of her life, Mercy was in Lagos in pursuit of her music career but things were just not easy as she met so many challenges there. She went for so many competitions and did very well but each time she came close to becoming the winner, some of the judges would ask her to meet them in their hotel rooms before the final competition and result. Of course she knew what that meant and always declined their requests. So in all the competitions, she would be written off simply because she refused to play the game with them.

Meanwhile, she had no means of getting income. Her parents were already looking up to her as a graduate to contribute towards the family’s upkeep but she was doing nothing to make ends meet. Her only means of subsistence was featuring in people’s songs. Because she had improved a lot; the competitions she participated in also exposed her and connected her to some people that she featured on their songs and got paid. She was almost giving up on her dreams when God sent a messiah her way.

One day, she went to perform in a wedding ceremony. While she performed, one of the guests was touched by her song titled, ‘kpakpando – shining star.’ The man later approached her and asked her about her career. Mercy told him all the challenges she faced. Adebayor was a very rich and responsible man who had spent all his years abroad and had finally come back to settle in Nigeria.

I think your star will shine now as you sang in that mind-blowing song,” Adebayor told Mercy cheerfully.

Amen o!” Mercy replied impulsively.

Adebayor went as far as meeting Mercy’s family to officially sign her to his record label. He thus transformed Mercy into a big time musician. He took her to South Africa to shoot some of her videos. He also gave her an apartment and an upfront payment of the album she was working on. That was how Mercy’s dream came to reality. She later came back to Enugu and her friends and family celebrated her success. She took Linda and Winnie out and they had fun to the fullest. Linda invited Ken to join them in celebrating Mercy’s success. Ken came with his friend, Stanley and took them to the Oakland Amusement Park, the best place to have fun in town. They really enjoyed themselves. Winnie noticed that Stanley was again taking a serious liking in Mercy and she once again, became very uncomfortable. As her discomfort mounted, she claimed that she was supposed to go to somewhere with her mother and asked their permission to leave.

“Ah ah! Why now that the fun is just getting more and more interesting?” Mercy asked and others murmured.

“I am sorry. I just remembered it now and I know she must have been trying my number but probably can’t reach me because of the poor network coverage here,” she lied.

They looked at one another and decided to go home so that their friend, Winnie could meet up with the appointment with her mum. That was how their fun was cut short. As they drove home, Winnie was the only one not talking. Mercy noticed it and was curious to know what was wrong with her.

Winnie, you have been moody since we left the park. What is the problem?” Mercy asked concerned.

“Yes, I noticed her sudden change of mood even before we left there. Baby, tell us what is bothering you; maybe we can assist,” Stanley told her.

“I am okay. I am just bothered about the appointment with my mum. I don’t want her to shout at me,” she lied again.

“Okay, if you say so!” Mercy said and they continued their journey home. They dropped her off at her house and when they wanted to leave, a thought came into her mind.

“If they drop me now, they might continue the outing and I would be left alone,” she thought. “No, I have to stop this once and for all. Mercy and Linda cannot continue to get all the good things while I die in loneliness.”

She then asked them to wait so she could trick her mum. They waited and she made a fake call to her mum telling her that she could not come back immediately. After making the fake call, she hung up and went to her friends.

“I have been able to convince my mum so I can stay with you but please, try and help me restore my mood; I just can’t continue like this,” she said and they all laughed.

“Okay dear, I will see to that. I will personally make sure you enjoy every minute of this second outing,” Stanley promised and she was happy.

They could not go back to the Oakland Amusement Park again but they still had enough fun to last them a life time.

Mercy later went back to Lagos and continued her music career. Ken and Linda’s friendship grew stronger and Winnie became more jealous than ever. All her plans to divert Ken’s attention were futile. Even Stanley that she felt she could manage was not interested in her. She booked an appointment with Stanley and to her utmost surprise; Stanley came with his girl friend. After seeing the girl friend, she developed passionate hatred for Stanley and deleted his number from her phone.

Distressed Winnie

Chapter Six

Ken’s parents had been making arrangement for him to travel abroad and continue his education there. They felt he needed it so he could manage his father’s empire very well. His travelling papers were ready and everything ready for him to travel. Meanwhile, he had never told Linda about it and they had gotten so used to each other that it would not be easy for them to stay apart.

I can’t afford to lose this girl. Something tells me Linda is not just a friend,” he thought, “I believe destiny has brought us together to be together forever. How would she take it if I tell her that I am travelling abroad without prior information?” he asked himself. “She will take it that I have not been serious with her whereas I am as serious as seriousness itself.” He thought of all this for a while and began to pace around his room; thinking of the best approach to the issue because he never wanted to hurt Linda or make her feel cheated and used.

I know what to do,” he reasoned, “I will tell mum and dad about her so I can introduce her to them before travelling. I really need to commit myself with her before travelling; else, I will lose her to all these playboys around,” he concluded and went to tell his parents about her. He met them listening to news and sat with them as if he too was interested in the news. The father looked closely at him and smiled on noticing that he was unease and absent-minded.

Ken, is there anything you want to discuss with us?” asked the father.

Yes, I think he has something to tell us because I have noticed that his mind is not here. Son, go ahead and tell us what we want to hear,” the mother urged and Ken smiled. He told them how he felt for Linda and his desire to introduce her to them before travelling.

Son,” the father began, “I really admire your courage to tell us for the first time about your love life. As a matter of fact, your mother and I discussed this issue last night. So we will be delighted to see this girl you are talking about and if possible, make a commitment with her family before your travel,” Chief Okonkwo said and Ken was ecstatic.

Haha! It has not gotten to that dad. I only want to introduce her to you people so that if you approve of her, she can be coming to see you from time to time while I am away. Then, if she convinces you that she would make a good wife, we know the next step to take because I really like this girl,” Ken said and the parents looked at each other and nodded happily.

My son, we are proud of you. Go ahead and bring her over. But I think what your father meant is that if she is okay by you and her family background is okay too, then we will make a commitment with them so you would know that someone here is waiting for you before you bring down one oyibo and tell us that she is the one you want to marry,” mama said and Ken laughed out loud.

Hahaha! Mum! Of course I will do no such thing! However, I will still try and convince her to come around so you can assess her,” he assured.

Please, do that before you do what Anthony’s son did and gave his mother heart attack,” mama said.

God forbid! I can never let you people down,” Ken promised and they also assured him of their maximum support in his endeavours.

Ken went out with Linda and told her about his intention to travel. She was disappointed that Ken had such plans and never cared to pre-inform her about it until now. So many things ran through her mind within a twinkle of an eye; whether Ken was really serious with her or was just keeping her as a friend while he waited for his travelling papers to be ready. She was speechless and somewhat absent-minded.

Soon, her eyes became red and tears flowed fast. Ken was confused and wondered what was making her feel that way.

What is the problem? Why are you crying?” he asked the cry cry baby but she would not reply. Ken tried to make her talk but she remained silent; just staring at Ken as if she was beginning to despise him.

“Talk to me! I didn’t mean to hurt you and I am sorry if I …” he was still talking when Linda stood up and ran out of the place they were staying. Her exit drew the attention of people around and Ken became ashamed. He did not know how to leave the place. One sharp girl who understood what had happened came and distracted his attention from the scene and kept him busy until people’s mind went away from him. The girl now asked him what happened and he confided in her. He told her what actually transpired between him and Linda.

I understand how she feels. I am a woman and I would have felt the same way. You would have built your preamble very well before dropping the bombshell on her. Obviously, she has gotten so used to you that she can’t even imagine staying without you. Besides, she might be feeling bad because you had not told her about it all this while you guys had been friends,” Agatha said intelligently.

But she did not even allow me to finish. It took me unawares. In fact, I had already lost hope on the travel. It came as a surprise to me and if it were possible, I would have shifted the date of my travel so as to spend more time with her,” he said broken-heartedly.

That is why I said you did not build your preamble very well. But since you said your parents approved of your bringing her home, tell her this and she would calm down. That is the only thing that will convince her that you are serious with her,” Agatha advised.

I was about telling her that before she broke into tears,” Ken said.

Still find a way of telling her. If she refuses to see you again or even pick your calls, send her text. She must read it and after sometime, she would agree to see you. Then, you talk sense into her,” she counseled.

Ken was very happy with Lisa. He thanked her very much for her concern and candid advice. They exchanged contacts before parting ways.

Linda wept all through the night. She refused telling any of her family members what was wrong with her and of course the mother knew it had to do with emotions. As an experienced person, she did not bother so much because she knew that Linda would get over it no matter what the problem was. It was just a matter of time. Ken called her severally to explain but she wound not pick his calls. He then did what Agatha advised and sent her a long text apologizing and explaining everything to her. Linda read it and as Agatha had predicted, she decided to give Ken a listening ear. They met again but this time, at another place and Ken explained everything to her.

I am really sorry for making you feel this way but it was never intended. My parents are already longing to see you,” he said and Linda also tendered apology for walking out on him and avoiding his calls. They were happy again but Linda asked him to give her more time to think about coming to see his parents.

What do you want to think about again? I thought you cared for me like I do. My wanting you to meet my parents is just for you to know how serious I am with you. Please, do not disappoint me before my parents. I already promised them that I am bringing you soon,” he pleaded.

I did not say that I won’t come and see them but give me some time. I have to be in the right frame of mind before meeting them,” she said.

Ken tried to convince her to go home with him that day but Linda maintained he should give her some time. Ken later gave up and allowed her to take her time. He however, let her know that the sooner she came, the better for them because the date of his travel was already close at hand.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

-Lao Tzu

Chapter Seven

Linda got home and was confused on whether it was the right thing going to meet Ken’s parents. She was very restive and perturbed. After a while, she decided to confide in her friend, Winnie and also seek her advice. She called her phone and asked her what she felt about it but instead of giving her an advice or suggestion, Winnie asked her to come over to her house for them to discuss it face to face.

“Yes, you have to come over so we can take our time and discuss this because this is a crucial matter,” Winnie told her confused friend.

“Okay, I am coming right away,” Linda said and cut the call.

Winnie felt like knocking her head on the wall, knowing that Ken was even as serious as taking Linda to his parents. She just found it difficult to believe it.

“So what started like a joke is now turning to reality.” she said to herself. “Okay, let her come first.”

She sat down and began to think of what she would tell Linda. She just had to dissuade her from getting close to Ken’s parents.

So what started like a joke is now turning

to reality.”

Within a short time, Linda arrived and before they could discuss anything, Winnie’s parents came back from where they went.

“Oh no! Why did these people come back now? I do not want anyone to disturb us in this discussion,” Winnie complained.

She thought for a while and smiled.

“Don’t worry, I will cook up something and tell them so they would allow me to go out with you. We need maximum privacy to discuss this issue so that my friend will not make a mistake of her life,” she told Linda and quickly left to see her parents. Shortly after, she came back smiling again.

“Let us go to comprehensive primary school and talk. I told them your mother asked me to take you to somewhere; that we were actually waiting for them to come back so we could go,” she said and Linda shrugged and they left.

They got to the primary school and Winnie asked her to repeat the same thing she told her on phone.

“Ken is due to travel out of the country anytime from now and he is insisting on introducing me to his parents before travelling,” she confided in her friend.

“Hey! Wonders shall never end. And what did you tell him?” Winnie asked her.

“I asked him to give me some time to think about it. That is why I came to you because I am very confused as I am talking to you here,” she answered.

“Think about what? Eh? What is there to think about? So, this is the kind of love he has for you. To tie you down here and be enjoying his life over there while you waste here waiting for him,” she said.

“I don’t think that is what he meant. He said he just wanted me to meet his parents so that…” Winnie cut her short.

“So that what would happen? Don’t you know what it means to meet his parents? That is to commit you with his parents so that it would look as if you are betrothed to him. Which means you will not be free again and you will be visiting his parents from time to time to wash their clothes, clean their toilets, cook for them and they will be calling you their daughter in-law,” she said and Linda’s countenance changed.

“As per what? His wife or what?” Linda asked wide-eyed.

“That is what I am saying! And the worst part is that he will eventually get married to a white woman and when he returns, he will tell you that he never engaged you not to talk of marrying you; that he only introduced you to his parents as a girl friend and never as a wife-to-be,” she said and Linda leaned on the wall of the classroom where they were. To say that she was confused would be an understatement. Winnie continued to brain-wash her until she finally poisoned her mind against going to see Ken’s parents. After she had successfully achieved her goal, she took Linda to an eatery and bought her ice cream to cool her head because it was obvious that her head was aching as a result of confusion. She eventually dropped her at her house and went home celebrating the success of her evil mission.

Linda went home and gave Winnie’s advice a serious thought. She decided to seek Mercy’s advice but her number was not connecting. Meanwhile, she had promised to give Ken an answer the following day. So, Ken was already sending her messages through her phone, pleading with her to give it a positive consideration.

The following day, Linda met with Ken and told him with a straight face that she was not coming to see his parents.

Linda please, don’t do this to me. I have already given them high hopes that you are coming and they are impatiently waiting to see you,” Ken told her.

Ken, I do not have anything against you or your parents. I just feel it is not yet time for me to see them,” she said.

What time again are you talking about? You asked me to give you time to think about it and I did. Now you want to break my heart with this. How do you think my parents will take me after convincing them that I am bringing a girl to them for the first time in my life? Linda, please, reconsider this so you don’t make a mockery of me before my people. They will never take me serious again if you disappoint me. I am taking you to them for good and not for anything bad in case your mind is telling you something else,” Ken pleaded further in a very emotional voice.

Linda briefly peered into his eyes and saw tears welling up in his eyes and her heart melted like an ice. She saw the truth in what Ken was asking for and decided to change her stance but just then, a text message came into her phone. Of course it was from Winnie. The text message wrote;

Just in case that obodo oyibo boy tries to convince you, remember what happened to Adaobi that waited for Emeka to come back from America and marry her only for him to bring home another woman that already had kids for him.

After reading the text, her mood changed instantly and she told him plainly that she would not meet his parents.

I hope someone has not been talking to you because that text seemed to change your mood,” Ken asked her.

No, no one has been talking to me. Actually, the text is from my mum. She reminded me of what she asked me to buy before coming home,” she lied.

Ken finally gave up on convincing her to go home with him and they parted ways. He actually felt very bad but that did not affect his love for Linda.

Chapter Eight

Ken eventually travelled out of the country without introducing Linda to his parents. He told them clearly that the girl was not yet ready but assured them that he would not disappoint them by bringing a white woman as his wife. Linda really missed him very much, just as Ken did. They always spoke on phone and Ken kept on assuring her that he would come back after his studies to marry her. Meanwhile, Winnie had been having series of heartbreaks. Because she was desperate in everything she did, boys always took advantage of her only to dump her in the middle of the relationship.

The last heart break she had almost cost her, her life because the young man promised to marry her and she was already visiting his house and doing all kinds of things for him, including washing his clothes but the boy’s parents did not approve of her. They felt that she was not really a good girl but was pretending to be.

Ebuka, we are your parents and we will always want the best for you. That girl is not good enough for you despite the fact that she is doing everything to impress us. Something tells me she is a lion in sheep’s clothing,” Mrs. Amadi told her son.

No mama, Winnie is a very nice girl. She is very humble and…” the father did not allow him to finish.

My son, what we see lying down, you will not see even if you climb the highest mountain. Take your time and get a responsible girl for our approval. Unless you want to get married to her against our wish,” Mr. Amadi said with finality and went inside his room. Ebuka felt very bad because he had fallen deeply in love with Winnie.

My son, there are a thousand and one girls out there that are better than that gold digger of a girl that calls herself Winnie,” Mrs. Amadi said.

Winnie is not a gold digger. Her people are very rich. She does all these things for me because she loves me and not because we are rich or something,” Ebuka defended.

What do you even know about love?” she asked and left without waiting for him to answer the question.

Ebuka was badly hurt. He did not know how to tell Winnie the latest development after promising her marriage. And he did not want to disobey his parents either. So he began to avoid Winnie. Each time Winnie booked an appointment with him, he would dodge it and give her some flimsy excuses. It became obvious to Winnie that Ebuka was avoiding her. So, she decided to pay him a surprise visit. She went to Ebuka’s house and met the greatest surprise of her life. She met his mother and expected the normal warm reception she used to receive but reverse was the case this time around.

“Good evening mama,” she greeted the woman who was busy staring at her from head to toe.

“I have been wondering what you so desperately want from my son that you wouldn’t give him some breathing space,” Ebuka’s mother spat out.

“I don’t understand you ma,” Winnie replied, surprised.

“Is marriage by force? Eh? Did your mother force herself on your father when they got married? Leave my son alone! He will never marry you,” she said to her and banged the door in her face.

Winnie felt so embarrassed that she wished the ground could open and swallow her. The worst was that the gate-keeper and his friend saw everything that happened. She felt as if her world had suddenly come to an end. Her head enlarged and contracted at the same time and she felt her legs wobbling. She quietly turned back and left. On reaching the gate, the two men there laughed and mocked her. She went home in shame and cried out her heart because she truly loved Ebuka.

Meanwhile, Ebuka was not even aware of what happened. Linda visited her and Winnie told her how she was embarrassed by Ebuka’s mother.

“Honestly, I have never been embarrassed like this all my life,” she said.

“I thought you said his people are nice and that they like you,” Linda asked.

“I felt they liked me because of the way they used to welcome me before but all of a sudden, Ebuka started acting strange and when I now received this package from the mother, it became obvious to me that something is badly wrong somewhere,” she replied in tears.

“Have you spoken with Ebuka since then?” Linda asked.

“No, he has not been picking my calls,” Winnie replied.

“I was expecting this to happen. I never liked the way you were all over that guy but when I talked, you said I was being jealous because Ken left me and travelled to the UK,” Linda said and Winnie became very angry. She did not talk again until Linda left.

“So, instead of sympathizing with me over my heavy heart, she came to mock me instead. No problem,” Winnie said to herself.

One day, Linda saw Ebuka along the street and confronted him on what he did to Winnie. Ebuka tried to explain but Linda was so angry that she was not ready to give him a listening ear. She tried to walk out on him but Ebuka pulled her back. As he held her hand, Winnie sighted them from a far and nodded her head.

“So, Linda is the one behind this. She is the one poisoning Ebuka’s mind against me. No wonder! I should have thought as much. No problems, we shall see,” she concluded and went back so that Linda and Ebuka would not see her.

Linda refused to listen to Ebuka. She finally walked out on him, assuring him that God would surely pay him back for what he did to her friend, Winnie. Little did she know that Winnie already had a misconception of the whole thing. She never confronted Linda on the matter else, Linda would have explained what happened to her. So, she continued to bear grudges against her innocent friend. She desired to have one back on Linda and her chance did not take long in coming.

Some months later, Ken had a problem with his phone and lost all the numbers stored in it. He thus lost Linda’s contact. This happened almost immediately after Linda also lost her own phone and got another number. So, Ken did not have that Linda’s new number offhand unlike the old one. It was a big blow to him and a good opportunity for Winnie to make her mischief.

They tried all they could to get each other’s contact back but to no avail. Linda felt very bad about this. She told Winnie what was happening. Winnie laughed out loud and mocked her to no end; telling her that she knew it would be like that. She said that Ken purposely changed his number probably because he had gotten married to a white girl. Linda was heartbroken. She felt so disappointed in Ken that she stopped giving men chance in her life. Winnie was very happy that she was no longer the only one being maltreated by boys.

Jealousy Is Nothing More Than The Fear Of Abandonment.”

Chapter Nine

Linda eventually got a good job in a company where she worked as one of their marketers. Men disturbed her so much for marriage and relationship but she still kept herself intact. Her experience with Ken made her feel that all men were the same. So she refused to allow anybody come into her heart.

Winnie had also given up her dream and decided to pick up a job. The father used his influence and got her a very lucrative job. She had a blackberry phone which she used to browse the Internet whenever she was free.

One day while she was on the internet (facebook), she saw Ken online and added him immediately. Ken accepted her request and they began to chat. He was very happy that finally, he had met someone who would give him Linda’s contact. She sent him her pin and they began to ping on black berry. When he asked Winnie about Linda, Winnie told him that Linda had gotten married to a military officer. Ken was heartbroken. He could not believe that Linda could do that after all their promises. Winnie even went as far as telling him that the military man impregnated her and she was forced to marry the man. Because she said that Linda’s husband was a soldier, fear did not allow Ken to ask for her number. So, he decided to accept it that way and move on with his life.

Linda and Winnie were still very close friends but Winnie did not let her know that she had been chatting, pinging and even talking with Ken because they had exchanged phone numbers. Ken soon began to like Winnie and with time, they started proclaiming their love for each other. They became so intimate on phone that Ken had to tell his parents about her. He gave them Winnie’s phone number and they invited her to their house. She visited them and they liked her. They approved of her for Ken to marry. She then began to visit them from time to time and their relationship got more cemented.

Meanwhile, Ken was already through with his program and needed to come back to his country. He had gotten so used to Winnie that Linda was no longer in his mind. Meanwhile, Linda still loved and missed him so much.

Ken came back to Nigeria and Winnie went to welcome him at the airport. They moved to Ken’s house and they were both given tight reception by Ken’s parents.

“You are welcome my son,” the father said. “Like we always told you on phone, Winnie has been coming around to take care of us and we are solidly behind your intentions to marry her,” he said and Winnie started blushing.

“Thank you dad. Actually, I had known her before I travelled but circumstances did not allow us get intimate,” Ken said.

“Wait, is she the one you wanted to introduce to us before travelling?” the mother asked.

Ken looked at Winnie and she became unease. Ken smiled to allay her fears.

“Ye.., yeesss, she is,” Ken lied to make Winnie feel relieved.

The mother stood up and hugged her warmly.

“You are welcome once again my daughter. I never knew you were the same person he told us about,” Ken’s mother expressed joyfully.

Winnie did not say anything. She just smiled impishly and kept quiet.

After that moment, Ken began to miss and think about Linda again. The blissful moments they had before he travelled to the UK ran through his mind and tears filled his eyes.

“Linda, why did you leave me to marry another man? After all we had been through together,” he lamented.

“Anyway, I just hope you are enjoying your married life and I pray and hope that my marriage with your friend, Winnie will be a blessed one,” he concluded and slept off.

Meanwhile, Winnie was already racking her brains on how she would keep her relationship with Ken away from Linda until it was sealed. She then began to avoid Linda. Each time Linda wanted to see her, she would claim to be either busy or out of town. At a point, Linda began to suspect that something had gone wrong but Winnie maintained that all was well.

One day, Ken was coming out from a shopping mall and saw Linda looking so gorgeous and beautiful. He froze and did not even know when he dropped the bag he was carrying. Linda did not even notice him at all. Ken was astounded. So many things ran through his mind. He did not know if it was right for him to approach her or not. After a short while, he made up his mind to approach her.

“At least, let her know that I am in town and that I never meant to lose her,” he said to himself and began to walk towards her. Just then, he saw a military man walking towards her and he quickly concluded the military man was her husband. He stopped and watched her enter the mall as the man walked after her.

So, it is true after all. I wonder what this military man would have done to me if he had caught me talking to his wife,” he thought and entered his car.

The following day, Ken met Winnie and told her about his encounter with Linda. Winnie was alarmed.

What? You met her? Where? How?” Winnie asked wide-eyed.

Yes I did but before I could approach her, I saw her military husband and dodged. The man was not looking friendly at all,” he replied.

Did she see you?” Winnie asked again.

No, she didn’t. She was facing the other side,” he answered and Winnie heaved a sigh of relief.

You are lucky the husband did not see you with her. Your face would have been disfigured by now,” she said.

Are you serious? Anyway, I really wanted to meet her and maybe…,” Winnie did not allow him to finish what he wanted to say.

Instead of thanking God that you did not fall victim of his military men’s beating, you are still wishing you met her,” she sighed and left him there.

You are lucky the husband did not you with her…”

Ken tried to stop her from walking away but she refused to stop. Ken was amazed; he could not understand why Winnie took it so personal that it fired his curiosity.

Something is wrong somewhere. I can’t understand why she gets very uncomfortable each time I mention Linda’s name. After all, they were supposed to best of friends,” he thought.

With this thought, he cast his mind back from the beginning of his relationship with Linda and how Winnie had been envious of it. The more he thought of this, the more convinced he was that Winnie had a skeleton in her cupboard but did not know that skeleton yet. He warned himself to go slow with her until he had done nosing around; that she may not be the woman for him after all.

It was at this point in his reflection that he remembered his friend, Stanley and decided to confide in him. He was able to trace his house and Stanley was overjoyed to see his old friend back in town. They talked and joked for a while before Stanley asked him whether Linda was aware that he was back.

How can I tell her when she had left me and married a soldier,” Ken replied broken-heartedly.

Who told you that?” Stanley asked surprised. “Linda that I saw yesterday that was complaining that she had lost contact with you and was asking whether I had your new number,” he replied, shocked by the false news of her marriage with a military man. “Linda is not married and she is still as beautiful as ever and is dying to hear from you,” Ken said with assurance.

I don’t believe you. Her friend Winnie told me that she was impregnated by a military man who was forced to marry her. In fact, I have concluded to marry Winnie as a replacement and I have even introduced her to my parents. So if you are joking, better stop it,” Ken replied angrily.

I am not joking and I will prove to you that I am right and you are wrong and that Winnie is a bad girl, a habitual liar,” he said bringing out his phone and calling Linda’s number immediately. Linda answered and he put the phone on speak-out so that Ken could hear her. He told Linda that Ken was back and that he now had Ken’s number; whether she would like to have it and call him. She shouted joyfully and asked him to text it to her without further delay. Stanley sent her Ken’s number.

Ken was shocked, surprised and amazed at the same time. Before he could recover from his reverie, his phone was already ringing and guess what, it was Linda on the line. He answered and they both lavished joyful exchanges and he asked Linda to join them immediately.

No, don’t join us, just tell us where you are and we shall pick you immediately,” Ken corrected himself. She told them where she was and they drove off to fetch her.

Meanwhile, when Winnie got home after her encounter with Ken, she was very restive. She knew that somehow, Linda would soon find out that Ken was back and was about getting married to her.

“The wind is about to blow and expose the anus of the chicken,” she said.

How do I cover this whole thing up until after the white wedding? I really have to act fast but what can I do?” she asked herself without any idea of what to do. She kept on thinking of what to do until an idea came into her mind and she smiled.

“This is definitely going to work. I will arrange for her to be kidnapped. She will remain there until everything is over. Yes, that is what I would do. But how do I go about all these? I have not done this before. Besides, if Linda is kidnapped, it will be news everywhere and Ken will certainly hear of it and begin to dig around for more news and perhaps, find out that she was not married after all. God, what have I gotten myself into?” She kept on asking herself rhetorical questions until she slept off.

Ken sighted Linda and jumped off from the car before Stanley could fully stop the car and ran to her. They both came together in a very hot embrace nearly knocking themselves down.

So you are still here for me, my wife,” Ken asked happily. “I thought I have lost you to a military man. I am, indeed, a lucky man,” he said in an ecstatic voice.

“No man can touch me except you, my husband. I am happy you kept your word and came back for me,” she said tearfully. They hugged each other passionately to the admiration of Stanley who watched in joyful amazement.

They drove to Celebrities restaurant to catch some fun. It was then that Ken told her the story and the role Winnie played and what nearly happened. A shocked Linda told him her own part of the story and everybody was shocked at the kind of evil scheming and day-devilry Winnie was up to.

Stanley suggested that the best way to stop her and pay her back was to invite her there so that she will see for herself the new turn of things. The idea was good and Ken called Winnie and asked her to join him at the Celebrities so that they could further discuss their wedding arrangements. She accepted with alacrity and quickly drove to the Celebrities.

On seeing her, Ken carried Linda unto his laps and started cuddling her affectionately. Winnie saw them and stood transfixed moping at them, wondering whether it was all a dream and not knowing what to say.

So you are this wicked,” Ken addressed her. “She was supposed to be your good friend and yet you tried to scheme her out of my life with your cheap lies. The evil that men do, live with them and no more after them. Thank God and thank Stanley that I discovered the truth. There is no rest or joy for the wicked, says the bible. You will never find joy as long as you deny it to others. I am getting married to Linda, the love of my life and not you, you wicked, schemer. Get out of here before I deal with you!” Ken snarled.

Why are you so desperate about marriage; so desperate that you want to snatch my love away from me? It is not good of you. Evil has a way of always boomeranging and you sure, know this. Take things easy and your own will surely come your way,” Linda advised in a meek voice.

Winnie fainted there and had to be rushed to the hospital to be resuscitated. When she woke up, she asked both Linda and Ken for forgiveness. She also reminded Linda of her role in her separation with Ebuka which angered her very much and she decided to take her pound of flesh. Linda explained what transpired between her and Ebuka on that day and Winnie was ashamed and again asked for forgiveness and they forgave her.

Meanwhile, Ebuka was having trouble with his conscience concerning the callous way he dumped Winnie especially after his encounter with Linda. He was often moody and hardly ate. He was always ruminating about life and how he would have felt were he to be married to Winnie. Later, he summoned courage and confronted his parents on the issue. He complained to his parents that since jilting Winnie, he had not been at peace with his conscience and nothing would restore his peace of mind except marrying her. At last, he was able convince his parents to allow him to marry Winnie.

If you truly love the girl and insist on marrying her, then go ahead and bring her over so your mother can tender apology to her for the embarrassment,” the father said.

They gave him their blessings since they discovered that he had not been himself since breaking-up with Winnie. He married Winnie one month after Linda’s marriage with Ken. All of them attended the wedding.

It was during Winnie’s marriage ceremony that Mercy announced that she was also going to marry Chief Adebayor’s son who just returned from the United States to take over his aging father’s chain of businesses. They were all very happy to hear the story and the three families continued their friendship thereafter.

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

Elbert Hubbard

All the dreams Folake saw in ‘Take Me Home’ Season One, are turning to reality. What must she do to stop them?

Find Out In Take Me Home 2.

Exercise One

  1. What was the major thing that bound the three girls together?

  2. Why was Linda not in the mood for Tocci’s birthday?

  3. What did the three girls have in common?

  4. What was Winnie’s fantasy dream all about?

  5. How are the three girls desperate?

Exercise Two

  1. What was the remote cause of the problem between Winnie and Linda?

  2. Describe the characters of Winnie, Linda and Mercy in the book.

  3. How would describe Ebuka’s character in the book

  4. In five sentences, criticize the book.

  5. What ten lessons did you learn from the book.

Glossary

Aback – to be shocked or surprised about something

Astounded – to be very surprised

Disenchanted – feeling of no interest

Distraught – extremely angry and anxious that you cannot think clearly

Ecstatic – to be overjoyed

Frolicking – playing around

Futile – useless

Incur – to bring something upon yourself

Lucrative – well-paid

Misconception – false impression about something

Obodo Oyibo – Whiteman’s land

Resuscitate –to bring back to life

Rhetorical – question asked but does not need an answer

Schemer – a person who plans secretly to do something for his/her advantage

Wobble – to move from side by side in an unsteady way

Wrath – anger

OTHER NANI BOI SERIES

  • Take Me Home

  • Daughters Of Zion

  • One and Only

  • Best Enemy

  • Sunset

  • Arrows Of Destiny

  • The problem child

  • Price of virginity

  • Save the virgin

  • Step Sisters

  • Amina, the pampered Child

  • School Angels

  • Fate of the Innocent

  • Why Me?

  • Save My Husband

  • Blood of A Virgin

  • Daddy’s Girl

  • Toby (The Local Champion)

  • The rich girl and the poor boy

  • Mummy why

  • Son of the soil

  • Daddy please

  • Young talents

  • Brother and sister

  • The rich boy and the poor girl

  • Last born

  • Teddy and Val

  • Mum and dad

  • Secret Rivals

  • Serious crisis