TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 11

… continued from Part Ten.

Somewhere else, Ngozi dressed up and went to work. Her mind was on Tony, wondering if he would call, hoping he would call, knowing, from memory and a deep understanding of him, that he might not, and why. And yet, wishing that he would surprise her all the same.

Tony did not call. – He came.

All of a sudden. She looked up and there he was, standing in front of her in her office in Anthony Village, a respectable, quietly opulent area of Lagos Mainland.

A little distance behind him, leafing in through the newly and quietly opened door, was the light of day, huskily harmattan. A car drove past further in the background, then another, as they smiled at one another. Her smile was open, his shy. She was amused, he was unsure. He took a step forward and shut the door.

Finally, she stood up. They looked at one another, unsure of what to do. Then she noticed how thin he was. A sharp, audible intake of breath, a full-throated hiss, was her first reaction. Then she came to him and touched his arm.

“Tony, you’ve lost weight.”

What is the mystery of love?

“I’ve missed you,” Tony said, speaking, like he so often did, without pausing to think, without ever even having once previously felt it. Since the resolution, years ago. Yet when he saw her, he remembered her again. And missed her. And had her. And was hers.

He let out his breath, slowly, deeply, and said it again:

“Wooow… I’ve missed you like what!

“Like what?” she asked, smiling like a tease, remembering and playing along in the word-game.

“Yeah, like what.”

And they laughed, smiled, but did not embrace.

The weight of the years, somehow, lay yet upon them and between them. Memories of pain slowly arose. Tony saw it steal over her eyes like grey clouds across an open sky. He had hurt her. Deeply.

She had had her faults, some of them major pain-bringers. But in the end, it was he who had delivered the fatal blow. And she had not forgotten. It was in her eyes.

But had she forgiven?

“How did you know this place?” Ngozi asked, taking her hand off his arm and inching away almost imperceptibly and, thus, most perceptibly.
“Tony-magic,” he smiled, twirling his fingers like a trickster.

They laughed again, partly to soften a heavy moment. Somewhere at the back of both their minds was the immediate understanding that this moment and how they handled it, and how it resolved itself, with or without their participation, would determine their future. Together or apart. Or what.

The undefined what.

Maybe because Yuletide had softened everybody. Maybe because of both their yesterdays. Maybe because of the manner and mood of this re-meeting. Maybe because they had never stopped caring. But, somehow, it was as though they had never parted. This was the moment in which they would meet or part.

Characteristic of Ngozi she wanted it settled at once. And it seemed to her as though she had been waiting and preparing for it all these years.
But characteristic of Tony he wanted to post-pone it again, like he did the last time. Imperceptibly. Like he was a master at doing.

Tony smiled and looked round her office. It had the touch of beauty floating upon it, simple as it was, but he had the feeling that something was missing, without being able to place his finger on it.

There was an uncurtained window behind her seat, and, a toned contrast to the fluorescent be-lit room, again wafted in the light of day upon the tastefully designed, sturdy wooden office table, panelled-over with leather, colonised by but a tiny telephone on one side and nothing else. Tony noted that she still had that habit of being neat almost unto sparseness.

Her office was opened into by the door through which he’d just entered, behind which was a spacious business-centre.

He looked round her office again. There was a painting … he ignored it.
She waited for his eyes to quit roaming, then trapped them again. For a second she thought she’d detected panic in there, but she couldn’t be sure. His eyes, light brown and expressive, were amused and appraising as they settled on her one more time.

The moment, as though it had a will of its own, became now tender.

They embraced.

… continued in Part 12.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 10

… continued from Part Nine.

Tony was wide awake now. Faintly on his consciousness registered themselves the peripheral sounds of morning. Over the fence, the neighbour’s pestle was hitting and rolling in the mortar with a quick rhythmic thumping, smooth but noisy, legacy of innumerable generations.
Tony purred like a cat and sighed again into the bright rays of the eager morning sun. Last night’s surprise rain had tinged this morning’s harmattan with the soothing touch of sweet wet bliss.

In the backyard, or from the boys’ quarters, came the voice of the radio. Full of mixed opinions, it jumped from one topic to another like a mad and wise and, above all, delirious mind.

He listened a bit, but his interest soon slipped away from there and reluctantly focused on the issue of Ngozi. It was something he did not want to think about for the simple reason that he did not know what to think about it, how to handle it. So, yet again, like he had done the previous evening when Ada told him of her encounter with Ngozi, he rolled it carefully along the periphery of his thoughts for a few thinking seconds and then pushed it away and began to reflect instead on what 1999, only six days away now, would have to offer.

With this turn of his thoughts, suddenly he heard and perceived the sounds and smells of Yuletide again.

Christmas period in Lagos. No wonder the sun was so bright.

The radio had overcome its indecisiveness and settled down to singing Boney M Christmas songs. Songs that had accompanied him, Christmas after Christmas, from childhood into the harsh forests of adulthood. Songs of which he never tired.

There is no time like Christmas.

A knock on the door and Ada barged in, smelling of a happy, busy kitchen.

“Tah lah!” she called in a sing-song voice, half-skipping in and throwing her arms wide open the way she did almost every morning, as if to say “I’m here!”

And she said: “It’s me again!”

“I perceive that it has not yet come to your notice that my door now swings, and most precariously so indeed, on only one hinge. It would be good to wonder why.”

Ada burst out laughing.

“A mystery for Hercule Poirot,” she replied between laughs.

“Even Hercule couldn’t solve this one. Only you can – with a simple confession; or, rather, admission.”

“Confessions are for convicted felons. As a rule, one should only confess when all the evidence point irrefutably against one. As for admissions, I leave that to presidents and the like.”

“You’ve changed o, you this woman! You now talk like a ring-leader.”
She laughed again.

“Ring-leader of what?”

“Of the things that have ring-leaders. There are many of them. They are always getting caught everyday. Infact, most channels make it a point of duty, as is easy to verify, to show us arrested ring-leaders at least once every week – ”

“And to showcase the unarrested ones at least once everyday,” she added dryly.

“You can’t blame them, when they have nothing else to show.”

“Television is all about advertising –” she began, with the voice of a school-teacher.

“So they’re advertising your fellow-ringleaders. You should be rejoicing. You people have taken over the world.”

Yes, you should know. Aren’t you the one always watching T.V.?”

Now he growled and jumped out of bed. He found himself laughing although she had just digged him again on a sore spot. He raised his clenched fists and began to bounce. She raised hers too and circled him.

“Ah, do you think it’s all this silly bouncing? It’s not like that, you have to be cool. Approach, let me teach you a painful lesson.”

“I knew today would start with a morale-booster. I just never thought it would be this good – bestowing you with a swollen countenance. But let me apologise in advance –”

As he was talking she rushed forward with jabs.

“Wait wait wait – ” he ran back and began to bounce again. “Hm, I’m warning you o! What! Are you laughing at me?? Ok!

Now they began to shadow-box in earnest, but made no contact, pulling all punches just before impact, until he began to breathe harder and then leaned against a table.

A worried look immediately came into her eyes.

“How do you feel now? I thought you said –”

“Yes, I’m fine,” he sighed. “I’ve recovered, but I’m still weak physically.”

“You fall ill too often.”

“That’s my destiny.”

They looked at each other without speaking, for a while. Then,

“I’m hungry. Ọkwọ Yuletide bonus is on the culinary way.”

“Hm! Mchm!… ” She made sounds not easy to spell and started to walk out of the room. “When Yuletide comes, you can ask him for your bonus! Me, I’m making my own normal breakfast. If you don’t want to eat it, no problem … But don’t let me catch you near the kitchen!”

He knew she was teasing. Something special was on the way.

“Ah-ah. Am I surprised?” he called after her through the door she’d left customarily ajar. “What else can one truly and honestly expect of a village-apparition…”

Her laughter floated back in, and he smiled too.

… continued in Part 11.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 9

… continued from Part Eight.

Bright, exceptionally bright sunlight, shinning in through the wide open window of his bedroom mediated into Tony’s still, relaxed form an increasing warmth until, nicely and freshly toasted, he awakened, with a dazed, wondering look on his face, into a new day.

The intensity of the rays, the glare, nay, the blare of this morning’s sun startled him and, in that brief moment of attempted re-orientation, his dream receded into the depths of unconsciousness. Too late he tried to exit again his day-consciousness and retrieve the last moments of his fast-fading supra-earthly reality… to recapture, to retain, reclaim, to remember it… there was something that had just now been happening… but what?? – – It was too late. The line had broken. He had lost it. Another buried dream.

He was again on the earth.

He sighed, rolled around, and sighed again. Wistfully. Everyday the same thing.

He rolled again, again he rolled, and sighed an even deeper sigh. He couldn’t remember the dream, yet he could remember it …, how it felt. It had been a particularly strong dream, this one. Near and far.

Yet, he knew, one day it would resurrect.

They always did.

Like Ngozi.

Dreams come back.

… continued in Part Ten.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 8

… continued from Part Seven.

Those who long shall grow.

The night was young. Young again. The moon, half-full, was banking all alone in the west of heaven, and there was, though no clouds were anywhere to be seen, a distant smell of rain. Sweet night rain, to bear our dreams softly down from heaven and wash our fears away; wash the old year away too and water the seeds of a new one. But the night, for now, was young and eager, eager to look into the homes and hearts of human beings, to know again their story.

Tony sighed – a deep sigh – and turned in for the night, wondering at the destiny that had returned Ngozi into his life.

He said goodnight to Ada and retired to his bedroom.

Quietly Ada watched her brother’s back as he retreated into the bowels of the house in which they lived.

Softly the night crept into the house and touched, as it was touched by, the hearts, the hopes and the everyday history of the human race.

And deep into the night, between midnight and dawn, singing, singing, the rain fell softly down.

… continued in Part Nine.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle