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Home  ›  Romance  ›  Something New
Something New
by Kemka Ezinwo   (Author)
Read First Three Chapters

CHAPTER ONE

Athena couldn’t quite disguise her eagerness to see Desmond, her high school crush. With smoky eyes like Kate Moss’ she spiralled down the stairs to meet him. Desmond appraised her; she wore a cobalt-blue polo shirt by Abercrombie, ruffle mini-skirt paired with bright pink skate shoes. His expression moved from surprise to disgust to concern in less than a minute, but she was too excited to notice.
“Wow, you’re all dressed up though!”
“I know right?” Athena grinned sheepishly.
He looked at her blankly.
“Well...I’m ready where are we going? You never said –”
“Sorry, I’m a bit lost here. Were we going somewhere?”
Athena was now the one wearing a blank stare, which gradually turned into a look of confusion.
“Well, if you dressed up for me, then you’ve wasted your time. I wasn’t asking for a date.”
“But...”
“But what?”
“Des–”
“It was a dare, all right? A dare! I can’t go on a date with you!” He hissed.
“Wh-what?”
“I couldn’t risk tossing £5000 to any of my friends, nor would you in my position?” he asked matter-of-factly.
Athena’s world started spinning; she staggered back and forth trying to regain her balance.
“Excuse me.” He pressed the buzzer to let himself out.
She sat on one of the stairs, and watched him walk away. She shut her eyes, trying to block, or possibly erase what had just happened. Her inhaler was out of reach so she tried to steady her breath. A few minutes later, a call came through her Nokia 6600. She ignored it.
She only checked her phone when the ringtone she had set for messages from Nadine came on.
She read it quickly, and her heart hit the floor; she was going to be the new buzz on campus. Brenda Swanson, the president of Communication Society, advised her to stay off campus for a few weeks, or until there was another sensational news for the university magazine – the girl was paying a debt she owed Athena for helping her prepare for an exam.
As the reality of the event began to sink in, she started to tug her hair, oblivious to the pain from the hairpins piercing her skin. The cool spring wind sweeping through the window did nothing to dissipate her anger. She didn’t realise she had been crying until she tasted salt. She ignored everyone who asked her if she was all right while they were climbing the stairs. Others gave varied looks from pity and sympathy to irritation and anger. She clasped her hand over her mouth and sobbed aloud.
Exhausted, she wiped her eyes and looked down. She saw a rubber band. She yawned, picked it up, and used it to pull her hair into a pony tail then yawned again. She rested her chin on the ball of her palm, then glanced at the door and sighed; the murkiness of the night sky outside was how she felt inside. A student came in, and put a wedge to prop the door - he probably lost his keys. She felt a sudden pang when she heard laughter nearby and curled up into a ball. Gradually she calmed down when she realised it was coming from some drunken student party.
She must have been there a long time because it became very quiet. Irritated at her irregular breathing, she tried to steady her breath. She opened her palms and saw they were red. Frowning, she smelled her hands; they were bleeding. Expressionless, she stared at it for a while, then wiped her hand on her skirt as she made a personal declaration: she wasn’t only going to get a first class, she was going to be the best student, then she was going to frustrate Desmond Stones emotionally and ruin his chances of graduating with a first class - she knew he was pilfering the question papers.
She got up slowly, and started climbing the stairs when she heard Nadine’s voice.
“Ol’girl o! Guess who I saw at that restaurant em...Venezia Italian, this morning?”
Andrew, of course.
“Guess nawh!”
Athena gave a nonchalant look, and shrugged.
“Desmond,” Nadine said, drooling.
“Okay,” Athena retorted, suddenly overcome with weariness.
“What’s up? I thought you’d be glad.”
Athena gave her a wry smile.
“Hey! Wetin hapun? Sorry, what happened? You’re dressed up and gloomy. So that stupid girl didn’t make your hair again. Come, let’s go and collect the money back. I knew we should have gone to the salon. I’m so sorry. Come nawh!” Nadine knew something was wrong when she tried to grab Athena’s hand, and Athena had shrunk back. “Wetin hapun? What is it?” she asked with concern.
“Nothing.”
“Nothing? You expect me to swallow that abi?” Nadine chortled.
“Nothing,” Athena confirmed in irritation. Before Nadine could respond she added, “Please don’t ask, and leave it at that.”
“Hhm.” Nadine sighed thoughtfully and they climbed the stairs to their floor in silence.
Athena never told Nadine what happened that night, and with time Nadine’s eagerness to know waned.
Temitope loved the winter season only when she was stuck in the house. She grumbled nonstop, trudging through the snow, from the make shift car park to the reception to find out the venue for the PTA meeting. She was late again. The other women’s eyes were stuck on her like bees chasing an intruder, and it didn’t help that her shoes squeaked. She had gotten thick skinned after their constant badgering of the head teacher for accepting two more black children against their quota of non-white British intakes.
Unlike Temitope, who sometimes came off as rude for her brute bluntness, they cowered behind each other. They couldn’t outwardly condemn the head teacher because it would imply that they were racist. The Head teacher of the all girls’ school was no different; she just needed money to keep the school up and running.
Temitope’s mind drifted back to a few years ago when her daughters were first introduced to the English education. It was unusual to admit more than one coloured child per unit of ten pupils. She saw the opportunity when she discovered that the school was impecunious. After much beguiling Olamide succumbed to the wishes of his wife. The Head Teacher, Mrs. Olsen, the all prim and proper American, didn’t take kindly to it, but she didn’t have a choice. One day, Temitope stumbled upon an advert, at a groceries store and saw the opportunity as an escape from boredom. She became the nanny to an autistic child, named David who happened to be the Head Teacher’s child.
It was a cold, rainy spring day and everyone remained inside despite the fact the PTA meeting had ended thirty minutes earlier. The Head Teacher’s ‘associates’ - better known by other parents as the ‘gossip committee’ – were huddled in a corner, arguing in hushed tones. The ‘associates’ were pioneer members of the school’s board which included Portia. Portia was daughter of a former Mayor of Birmingham, whose curiosity knew no bounds, and whose tongue was as elite and ferocious as a boomslang.
Temitope wore a mischievous smile, gleefully rubbed her palms together and walked to the group. Then she ‘accidentally’ dropped a picture in their midst, making it a curious part of their discussion. Mrs. Olsen, the mockingly rich, ugly and holier than thou dame, had a child out of wedlock? A child not even her husband knew of. Mrs. Olsen turned as red as strawberry, when it got to be her turn to hold the picture. Temitope had to admit the little boy was rather handsome and more than genius for his age.
Temitope noticed Mrs. Olsen retreating and went to stand behind her, causing Mrs Olsen to bump into her. The woman gave her a wry smile, but Temitope never missed an opportunity, so she cashed in on it; her children would be staying on.
Olamide was almost sure he was roasting like the goat used for thanksgiving lunch two months ago to celebrate the new millennium. He slackened the knot of his tie.
His mouth was dry and saliva seemed scarce - he had already downed close to two litres of water. He didn’t have the courage to remove his jacket, because he wasn’t wearing a singlet under his Pierre Cardin Shirt.
He felt an uncomfortable sensation crawl down his spine, his handkerchief was already sodden. Then, the cloudless blue was suddenly covered in fluffy grey and it began to rain. By the time they got to where the containers were, the parched ground was sopping. He looked down but couldn’t find his feet; his blue trousers were now red and clogged with mud and his handmade Italian shoes had lost the allure. He grumbled.
When they arrived at the container he was supposed to clear, there was no one to meet him. Bored of waiting after only two minutes, he walked down to a customs officer who seemed to be doing some checks. Olamide, rather curious, beckoned the officer who reluctantly came towards him. He asked the officer questions and when he was not forthcoming with answers Olamide brought out a wad of N1, 000 notes.
The officer licked his lips and a second after money had exchanged hands, information started rolling out of his tongue like waterfall. At the end of the leak, the officer frowned and moved his mouth though no words came out, then squinted with one eye and shrugged before removing the money from his pocket and tucking it into his battered shoes.
The news unsettled Olamide - the containers in question were owned by a prominent businessman with whom he had entered a contract involving all his savings and more. The man was now under investigation. From what he got they were reliably informed that he had contraband which they were sure included hard drugs. Olamide asked about wiggling out of it, but the reply was that the man was to be used as scapegoat - to serve as a deterrent to further abusers. The walk to his car felt endless: he knew his feet touch the ground but felt like he was in someone else’s body.
“Oga, your wife called you, Sir.” Olamide’s driver muttered as he climbed down to opened the car door for his boss.
He didn’t respond.
The driver repeated the question and shrugged when he got no response.
Olamide walked into the car slowly like a woman nearing her time. He sat at the edge the chair, his knees locked together as he tried to hug himself while staring blankly at the back of the passenger seat. He didn’t take notice of the door being shut or the rest of the journey home. His driver knew something was wrong when the man who usually cracked sultry jokes about any woman they passed, looked out of the window through the tinted glass with solemnly.
When he got home, he practically dragged his limbs up the stairs. Stella, the housekeeper handed him a letter marked ‘urgent’. He refused to accept it because he knew it was from the bank: his loan was already two weeks overdue. The landline started to ring. Stella answered the call and quickly brought the cordless phone to him with outstretched arms, “It’s your wife Sir.”
“Tell her I can’t talk to her right now,” he said in an uneven tone.
“Sir, I have never seen you like this,” she said and trailed after him until they got to his room. He entered his room before she could say anything else and shut the door behind him. She was tempted to go in after him, but she heard the lock turn. Stella stomped her feet in frustration, which was infused with irritation and further infuriated by his wife’s phone call. She was the only who called his Econet number at that time of the day. She stared at the phone, sulking and with undisguised displeasure. She had spent most of the day in the salon and he didn’t notice.
Moses tipped the ginger beer bottle and tapped it on the glass to catch the last few drops while he flicked the pen in his other hand. He wondered why he decided to go on to do his Masters when his friends went back to Nigeria after their first degree, except those whose parents were wealthy. Bored with studying, he decided to browse the internet. He had received a message from a friend.
He double clicked the title. When he tried to refresh the page, it went off completely. He was curious to know if the ‘Ola Wizzy’ he saw was the same person he knew back in his university days back home. Sighing, he checked his wallet hopefully, and retrieved only one penny.
The phone began to ring, but he ignored it until the third ring. He picked it up, pretending to be someone else and was relieved when he found out it was just a marketer. He barely replaced the receiver when someone knocked on his door.
He yanked it open. Irritated he asked, “Hello! How may I help you?”
“Chill out okay? I have a letter for you,” she said, dancing on the same spot like someone who desperately needed to use the toilet, but it was to emphasize her large breasts.
Moses arched his brow, trying not to look down at them.
She eyed him and said, “Someone must have mistaken my room for yours.”
Mh-huh! Because we’re bearing the same name abi? “I see!” Moses said. He nodded slowly and squinted. Then he leaned on the door post, cocked his head and folded his arms in front of him as he waited for her next move. He knew she had been intercepting his letters. She wore a red tube blouse that barely covered her breasts and a black micro mini leather skirt, but he wasn’t interested in her, not when he had an eye for the lady in the flat next to hers.
“This came for you,” she said.
“Thank you!” He smiled sweetly.
“I...” She cleared her throat. “I’m organising a small dinner today for close friends and, well, some have called... and well... I was hoping you’ll come and -”
“I’ll think about it.”
Well think fast! She smiled unrepentantly, waiting for an idea to pop into her head then she reluctantly slinked back to her flat.
He watched her open the door to her room and disappears. He didn’t want any relationship that would require maintenance and was even more interested in the flat after hers. Every man in the building had a keen interest in winning her affection. She had all of the features of a plus-size super model, independent and most importantly, rich. She moved in there three months ago.
He only got to know her as Cora last week when he went into the Tesco. He saw her first, but feigned ignorance of her presence until she smiled at him. He smiled back and busied himself with the label on the ginger beer bottle as she waltzed pass him dispersing a sweet fragrance.
He turned slightly and saw her sweep a few strands of hair behind her ear. He walked slowly to the till but she was already there disposing of all of the copper coins from her burnt orange purse to a tin for a charity. He was surprised at how angry he was that the copper coins were not being handed to him.
He pulled the curtain open so hard it fell, and when he couldn’t find the brackets to replace it, he wrapped it up and tossed it to the foot of his bed. As he opened the window the smell of food from the Indian takeaway downstairs assaulted him, making his stomach rumble in recognition. It was frustrating to sniff the delightful smell of curry nonetheless he couldn’t help sniffing some more. When he couldn’t take the torture anymore he rifled through the things Kelechi had left behind for him. He had finished his foodstuff and was glad when he saw two tins of tuna and half a packet of spaghetti.
He looked around his room as he got up. He thrust his hands in the back pockets of his now undersized track suit bottoms. He tucked his dirty clothes into a knapsack and hurried to Kelechi’s apartment – she still had two months tenure. She had packed everything except for the electric iron, kettle, washing machine and fridge which he frequently used. She was supposed to give him money to help her move them to storage, but his account was overdrawn. She still sent the money after he had warned her. The clincher was that he also needed to move some of his things at the same time.
He came back to his room, while his clothes were in the washing machine at Kelechi’s apartment.
He felt stupid when he noticed that the scantily clad room was like a dump, and to make matters worse, he had a rat’s nest under his bed. An hour later he finished packing the rubbish into the bin bag, he was carrying the last set when he found a letter near the door. He scowled as he picked it up, then stretched his hand to drop the letter on the reading desk.
Taking the remaining dirty clothes, he went back to his friend’s flat to take his shower; the heating in his house had been cut off. While he was drying himself, he saw Cora cross the road. He quickly put on a set of laundered clothes, not realising that the apple green t-shirt now had blue patchworks. He struggled to adjust the jeans because there were uncomfortable between his thighs while packing the rest of his clothes, then dashed out, heading for his room. He took off his shirt as soon as he entered his room, hating the fact that he couldn’t even afford an ordinary fan.
He looked out again. She was coming out of a delicatessen in an adjacent building. He watched her stop to drop something in the bin. Her silvery blonde hair glistened in the imposing sun.
Someone whistled. It was coming from the window opposite Kelechi’s own. A red-haired boy was ogling him. He glared at the boy and went back to tidying his laundry then ironed shirts. He was hanging the final piece of cloth in the wardrobe when he heard a rapid knock. The door opened before he signalled anyone in.
“Hi!” Cora said, slowly.
“H-hi!” he stuttered.
“I’m sorry to come in like this, but...”
He ushered her in. She waited for him to shut the door and trotted alongside him. He pulled out the chair by the reading desk for her and sat on the edge of his bed with his hands in his pocket so she couldn’t see them shaking. She started rubbing her palm and clasped her hands together in front of her, and said, “I’m not used to this, but I need your help...”
Moses opened his mouth and closed it.
“I...” she cleared her throat. She took two steps towards the bed before sitting beside him.
Moses’ heart skipped a beat and increased rhythm.
“You see....” she purred, and gliding her fingers lightly down his arm. He stiffened, not sure which path to take even though fighting was not an option in his mind. One look at her and all his resistance melted.
He lowered his head to give her a kiss and her phone rang. He had never seen an expensive phone so up close and personal. He gave her a peck until blurted into the phone, “Because you’re my husband doesn’t mean you have the right to order me around. Fine. I’ll be there.”
All of the excitement died. Moses swallowed quickly and choked: husband!

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Product Details
Author: Kemka Ezinwo
Publication date: 2013
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 389 x 596
More About This eBook
Overview
Two women are hauled together by their husbands’ partnership but that’s not all they have in common.
After five years of being married to Moses without any children to show for it, Athena is at a crossroad which is further exasperated by an obnoxious mother-in-law who brings in another woman to help the process; to top it off her husband is cheating on her.
Temitope has been married to Olamide for ten years. Although she has two daughters she desperately needs to give birth to a male child that will inherit her husband’s empire and secure her marriage. She is worried that a mistake she had made is costing her the opportunity of doing so and will do anything to ensure no other woman takes her place.
One thing is certain they’ll do anything to keep their marriage… but will they succeed? Meanwhile, Moses starts a liaison with Cynthia who is in a contract marriage with Olamide and now she is pregnant…
Editorial Reviews
About Author
KEMKA EZINWO is an undergraduate with The University of Buckingham, United Kingdom. She hails from Rivers State in Nigeria. She had always wanted to write but was reluctant to do so until a friend dumped a creative writing book on her. She entered a few competitions which boosted her confidence to write a book on a plot she had come up with a few years ago. Her first book Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage was published in 2013 and has received 5star reviews on amazon websites.
Her second novel Something New was highly commended in the 2013 Winchester Writing competition.
We hope to see more of her books very soon.
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