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Category Archives: Romance

The Marriage Ultimatum

TMU EPISODES

CHAPTER SIX

 

What had he been thinking acting like a passion-dim-witted fool?

That was the question that had preoccupied Dominic’s mind all night—well, all night after he’d calmed down long enough to start using his head again.

He had wanted her, and why not? He was a man and she was quite a beautiful woman. But he hadn’t been thinking. That he knew. For if he had been, he’d have remembered that she was not exactly his type of woman. He’d have remembered she’d obviously been his brother’s type enough for them to make a baby together, and he’d have remembered that their marriage had been an impromptu act of convenience, no feelings involved.

If he had been thinking he’d have remembered all that and he’d have squashed his lustful emotions, not yielded to them. He’d have had the good sense not to try to ply her with drinks.

Good heavens! He was disgusted with himself thinking about that now.

He’d always had any woman he wanted and he’d never needed to have her inebriated first before he could do so.

He enjoyed women—a certain type of women. Innocent-looking—or pretentiously innocent-looking types like Kaine weren’t that type. Unsophisticated, style-less and a little bit too provincial weren’t his type. She was too simple, too staid—too strait-laced for his liking. In fact, given her prudishness, he was baffled as to how she fell for his Don-Juan little brother and even had a baby for him.

Naivety or accomplished mercenary?

The Marriage Ultimatum

TMU EPISODES

CHAPTER FIVE

Kaine felt like she was a helpless spectator watching a poorly written screenplay. They were at the Registry and waiting for their turn to take their vows. It seemed so surreal that she should be at a Registry waiting to exchange marriage vows with a man she’d met just two days ago.

She’d spent the entire night asking herself—and God—if she really knew what she was doing. There had been no answer, none that was satisfying. None that made her feel more at peace with what she was about to do. She’d begged God for a miracle that Dominic would call her and say he’d had a rethink and there was no need for them to marry. She’d prayed that, by some divinely prompted miracle, Anwuli would return and stop her from entering into this covenant that already felt like a noose around her neck.

But her prayers—desperate as they were—hadn’t been answered. When morning came, she’d had to face the fact that there was no choice, none other that made sense to her except to marry Dominic Kojo-Edwards and to continue to pretend that she was her sister and the mother of her sister’s son.

She’d wanted to wear black for the ceremony. It had, after all, felt like her life was over and she was going to her own funeral. But Juliet had vehemently protested and had dug out her box-pleated, just-below-the-knees, high-neckline rose-pink dress. It was the best dress in her wardrobe and ironically, it had been a last-Christmas gift from Anwuli. As were the three-inch heeled sandals Juliet had forced onto her feet.

She felt ridiculous standing at the halls of a seemingly ordinary public office wearing a girlish dress and having a rose-shaped clip fastened to her hair. The clip, like the silver choker and tiny studs on her ears were gifts from Juliet. She’d given them to her that morning and had brushed aside her protests with a jocular—it’s my big sister’s right.

It had almost made her weep, hearing her say that. Anwuli had always been her big sister, even though there was only a year’s difference between them. She had looked up to her, admired her—wished she’d had her single-minded drive, her fearlessness to pursue whatever she wanted. She’d always thought that when she finally met the man God had designed for her, the man of her dreams, and was marrying him, that it would be Anwuli standing next to her as her chief bridesmaid.

But that was not to be. She was getting married—to keep Anwuli’s baby with her—and her sister was faraway, God knows where, searching for a man who was dead.

What an irony!

The Marriage Ultimatum

TMU EPISODES

CHAPTER FOUR

I don’t know what I’m going to do!” Kaine wailed, distraught as she stared at Juliet and her husband, Udo. “My God, what can I do? What am I going to do? He says it’s either I marry him or he and his family will take me to court to get custody of Tobi. And then he threatened me with how wealthy and ruthless his family is. He was so pompous, so insolent, so annoying and so… so pompous!” She hissed as she recalled the man that had at first sight dazzled her with his great looks and then ended up infuriating her with his sheer arrogance.

“You said pompous twice.” Juliet pointed out with a smile, trying to ease the tension.

“That is because he has too much of that quality swimming inside his big head!” Kaine sprang to her feet and clasped her hands firmly together because she felt tempted to grab something and just throw it.

She could feel the anger vibrating through her. She should be home. It was almost eight p.m. and she and Tobi ought to be home, preparing for bed. But she’d come here straight after the… the pompous ass had left because she’d been desperate to confide in someone and she’d known that unless she found a solution she wouldn’t get any sleep.

Besides, the infuriating man had said he’d be back tomorrow morning for his answer.

“He said his family never loses. And I don’t doubt that they’d win if we go to court. My God, this is Nigeria and even if they are not Nigerians, they are wealthy and I am sure they have connections here and they’d know how to influence lawyers, judges… darn it, they’d know how to make people… anyone dance to their tune!” Kaine threw up her hands and then pressed them to her mouth, groaning helplessly into them.

The Marriage Ultimatum

TMU EPISODES

CHAPTER THREE

Dominic Kojo-Edwards?” Kaine stared at him in confusion.

She’d expected Tobi. He looked exactly like the man she’d seen in the pictures Anwuli had shown her. They had to be brothers—same last name and such an uncanny resemblance. But why was he here? How did he even know where they lived?

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting…” She shook her head as her voice trailed off.

“Miss Nwaolisa, I suggest you invite me inside so we can talk. I have travelled a long way and what I have to say cannot be said at the door.” His tone rang with arrogance.

Kaine found herself stiffening. She didn’t need a soothsayer to tell her that he was a man used to giving orders and having them obeyed too. But since he didn’t have any right giving her orders, she banished the nerves and jutted out her chin. “I would like to know why you are here before I let you inside my house. I was, after all, not expecting you.”

Something flickered in his eyes. Annoyance no doubt, but Kaine didn’t care. “Miss Nwaolisa, I insist that we talk inside. And I insist we do so now.”

The Marriage Ultimatum

TMU EPISODES

CHAPTER TWO

Kaine still wasn’t sure she’d heard correctly. “You are… pregnant?” She stared at Anwuli with confused eyes.

Anwuli blinked, wiped off the tears with her knuckle and nodded. “Yes, I am pregnant, Kaine. I am having a baby.” She added as if to make it clearer.

Kaine’s mouth formed a round O as she continued to gape at Anwuli. She didn’t know what to think—what to say. What was the right thing to say in these situations? How did it happen? She didn’t need to ask that. She knew how babies were made. Would the right question be—who was responsible for the pregnancy?

“Don’t judge me, Kaine.” Anwuli murmured, her voice imploring. “I know we were supposed to wait until we were married before having sex. It was how mummy counselled us. And I really wanted to. He was my first. My only.” Her tears came harder.

Overwhelmed with compassion, Kaine rose and went around the table to wrap a hand about her. “Of course, I’m not judging you, Anwi. How could you think that? You are my sister and I love you and will stand by you no matter what.”

The Marriage Ultimatum

EPISODES: Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty. Finale.

*** ~~~ ***

CHAPTER ONE

As the last of the distant relatives and not-quite-close-friends mourners drifted out of the house and through the gates, Kaine breathed more easily.

She didn’t really feel relief—or comfort. She was too aggrieved, too sad and too empty to feel relief. She was just exhausted and wanted, needed to be alone again. It had been one horrible week. One week that had changed her life forever. One minute she’d been a simple, not overly ambitious young lady of just twenty—well, not even twenty as her birthday was next month. But she’d been content and full of dreams and had had a father.

She’d had her father. And now, he was gone.

Gone in an accident that had been sudden and fatal. An inebriated truck driver, who’d also died in the accident, had crashed into her father’s car as he made his way back home from the office. That was how the Police had put it, along with other details Kaine didn’t have use of. The only worthy information was that her father was gone; taken from her by a cruel stroke of fate.

Kaine rose from the rather worn couch and trudged to the light switch to turn it off. It was early yet, just barely six-thirty p.m. and she knew the night was still too young to go to bed but she needed rest. Yet, she knew she wouldn’t get any. But a lie down would do her good. She should have some of the rice Aunty Colette had brought along.

She wasn’t really her aunt. Just a third or fourth cousin of her father’s.

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