Life after NaNoWriMo
Having binged on writing in November, some days writing up to 2,500 words, I downed my pen (laptop) to catch my breath. I need to pick it up again as I have a deadline to write a 10,000-word story for an Valentine’s anthology by the end of December.
Anyway I did promise to share some of the novel I wrote in my November challenge, so I’m posting an excerpt today. It is raw and unedited as I haven’t been back to it since I wrote the last word so bear with any mistakes or typos you find. I also don’t have a title for it yet.
This is the blurb;
Tired of her meddling mother’s matchmaking, Tola decides to handle her social life on her own. So when her mother tries to set her up with the suave multi-millionaire Yemi Cole, she isn’t in the least interested, that is until she meets him in the flesh.
Yemi has loved and lost and is adamant he never wants to do it again. However when he meets fiery Tola, the attraction is instant and his convictions begin to waver.
Can they both get past their individual hang-ups and take a chance on love?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!
“Omotola, if you are there, pick up the phone. It’s your mother… Ok, call me as soon as you get this message.”
Tola groaned as she hit the delete key on the answering message. Talking to her mother was the last thing she needed after the day she’d had at the office. It was ‘month end’ and the busiest time in the accounts department of the IT consultancy she worked for. As a senior chartered accountant, she was responsible for ensuring all the books were balanced. Unfortunately, some of the procedures had been ignored, leaving huge discrepancies in the accounts. She had been working late for the past week and was looking forward to the weekend to get some much-needed rest.
What does mum want now? Sorely tempted to ignore the message, she conceded that if she didn’t call back soon, her mother would keep calling and probably fly into Port Harcourt from Lagos and show up at her flat unannounced. The sooner she spoke to her mum, the sooner she could get on with the business of relaxing and enjoying the weekend.
“Omotola, I have been waiting for your call. Why are you only just calling back?”
“And how are you too, mum?” Tola rolled her eyes and shook her head at her mother’s greeting.
“Don’t be smart with me. I’ve been worried about you. I’ve been calling you all week and haven’t heard back from you. What’s going on?”
Tola exhaled. She knew her mum meant well. “Mum, it’s month end. I’ve been working late.”
“That’s all you ever do. Work, work, work! Don’t you want more from life? Work can’t keep you warm at night. Work can’t give you children o!” Her mum kissed her teeth.
“Mum, please, I’m tired and I don’t want to argue. I just called because you asked me to.” They’d had this conversation a thousand times before and Tola knew that trying to defend herself would only prolong it. It was best to distract her mother.
“Who wants to argue? Anyway, I called to tell you I sent someone to you.”
“What do you mean, mum?”
“You know my friend, Alhaja Suleiman, the one who owns that jewellery shop along Opebi Road?”
“Um-hmm. Vaguely. Why?”
“Well, her older sister’s only son, Yemi, has just been posted to Port Harcourt to set up a branch of an oil and gas company and—“
“Mum, I don’t understand what all this has to do with me.” Her mum had the tendency to ramble on if one let her. Tonight, Tola wasn’t in the mood to indulge her ramblings.
“Wait now, let me finish. Yemi lost his wife in childbirth five years ago along with the baby and he hasn’t remarried. Alhaja told me that since his wife died, he has practically become a recluse. All he does is work. She also mentioned that he doesn’t really know anyone in Port Harcourt and she was worried about him being on his own.
“So I reminded her that you are in Port Harcourt and that you would be happy to look him up—“
“Mum! I’m a grown woman. You can’t go making promises on my behalf. Who’s to say this guy will appreciate yours and his aunt’s meddling? Perhaps he really does like his own company and just wants to be left alone. Besides I’ve got my hands full at work, I don’t have time to babysit anyone.”
“Omotola, I haven’t asked you to babysit him. If you would let me finish before jumping to conclusions, then perhaps you won’t be so quick to make assumptions.”
“Ok, I’m listening.”
“I ordered some white gold jewellery sets for you from Alhaja. She picked them on her last trip to Belgium so I decided to send them to you through Yemi. Alhaja will see that they get to him before he leaves Lagos. I gave him your phone number and home address. He will call you when he gets into town. I think you will love the jewellery. Alhaja tells me they are the latest fashion—”
“Mum, how could you give my contact details to a stranger without asking me first?” Tola cut in angrily.
“I was just—“
“You were just doing what you always do – treating me like I’m still a little girl. Mum, I’m quite capable of organising my own social life. I don’t need you to keep trying to set me up with some man or the other.” She swiped at the tears which had come to her eyes. Angry at herself for letting her mother’s latest matchmaking scheme get to her so much.
“Well, you can tell Alhaja not to bother sending the jewellery to Yemi and tell him you changed your mind. I’m not doing this anymore, mum.”
“Ah ah! Omotola, don’t be angry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I only want the best for my only daughter. Is there anything wrong with a mother wanting her daughter to be happy?
“I am happy, Mum.” Tola smiled at her mother’s attempt to apologise. Her mum never said sorry outright. She would always find a roundabout way to do it.
“Ok o! Have a good weekend.”
“Thanks, mum. You too.” She disconnected the call and blew out the breath she’d been holding throughout the phone call.
Sighing, she ambled to the kitchen to grab something to eat. In spite of how troubling the conversation with her mum had been, Tola was thankful she’d got it out of the way and could go ahead and have a relaxing weekend. Just the thought of the long soak she planned to have in her bath tub was enough to lighten her mood.