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Authors: Myne Whitman

Love's Second Chance

BOOK: Love's Second Chance
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LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE

A Love Rekindled – Vol. 2

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Myne Whitman

 

Copyright 2011 Myne Whitman.

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, without the written permission of the author ([email protected])

 

The right of the author to be identified as the owner of this work has been asserted in accordance with US copyright laws.

 

A Love Rekindled
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and all events and dialogue therein are products of the author’s imagination. References to real people, places and organizations are used fictitiously.

 

 

 

 

To Akin

 

 

I love you to have and to hold

I’ll love you till my bones are cold

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Abuja. November 19, 2009.

 

A towel around her middle, Efe picked out a light gray and beige suit which she’d added to her wardrobe at
her mother’s insistence. When she had returned to Nigeria earlier in April, h
er mum had not been impressed by the designer labels of her American outfits and nagged her to shop for more colorful clothes. Her clothes were too drab her mother said, and would discourage suitors.

Efe had said nothing. She didn’t tell her mum that she needed suitors like she needed a gun to the head. However, when
Nneka, her oldest friend, started too, she’d made it clear she wouldn’t tolerate any hassle. T
hey’d lost contact when Efe travelled to the United States in 2002, but found each other on Facebook two years ago. Nneka had announced then that she was newly married, but marriage hadn’t changed her sweet and bubbly nature, and they’d started from where they stopped as best friends in university. Since
having her first baby in May though, Nneka had refused to give Efe space about her love life, nonexistent as it were. It didn’t help matters that they both lived in the same city, less than half an hour from each other.

Efe sent a cheery morning text to her friend before she set off to work, enjoying the short drive through the well planned streets of Abuja. She’d spent most of her early life in Sapele, Warri and Benin. Those cities were small compared to some other Nigerian cities, but they were very congested and sometimes foul. Haunted by traumatic memories of the Warri riots and some even more painful personal ones, Efe was glad nothing was going to take her back to those cities again. Her parents now lived in Lagos, not that she much cared for the rowdiness of that city either. After spending the first month of her return to Nigeria there, she’d been glad to get away.

At the Hilton hotel, she parked in the employee bay and walked into the building. Leaving instructions with
the front office not to accept any visitors for her, she took the elevator to her fifth floor office.
She wanted to tackle some records and finish up an order in preparation for the busier nights the club had on Fridays.

Her assistant had not come in for the past two days, so she was behind her schedule. As the day progressed, she was interrupted a handful of times, but only by people who had previous appointments. W
hen she finally checked in some numbers around six, the order was just about ready.

About to pat herself on the back, Efe half-jumped off her seat as a man’s voice shattered the silence.


Who is Ms. Sagay? Someone at the front desk referred me to the assistant general manager. Where is she
?”

Efe sat back down as her secretary replied that it was late, and Ms.
Sagay could not see visitors. She tried to return to work, but the angry
voice tugged at her memories, prompting her
to the door. She opened it to hear him better.
The man complaining had his back to her and she took in his tall frame and wide shoulders.

He wore jeans, but his outfit was made more formal by a well-ironed and collared shirt.
Her secretary asked to help the man with his problem and Efe waited for him to speak again, but his next words
pushed thoughts of placing his voice out of her head.


I’m done dealing with secretaries. I’d like to speak to
Ms
. Sagay,” he said, placing an emphasis on the title indicating her unmarried status.

Efe
knew the ‘Ms.’ preface was not common in Nigeria but still felt annoyed at the chauvinist tone in the man’s voice. She
opened the door wider and marched into the outer office.
“I am Ms. Sagay.”

He turned towards her, and she blinked. It was the face of her nightmares. Taken by surprise, Efe took a step backwards,
tottering against a chair
as her
legs folded under her. The visitor moved to help her, and Efe had to stop herself from shrinking away. He assisted her to
a padded couch and insisted she sit.

She blinked several times before looking up, but
the face that haunted her was still there
. The visitor stared at her from the opposite armchair.


What’s wrong with you?” he asked.


I’m fine!”
she replied, with feigned strength, gooseflesh rising on her skin at the lack of
recognition in his eyes. Forcing her gaze away, she sat
up jerkily, crossing one leg over the other. Not feeling comfortable that way, she jumped to her feet.


Are you sure you’re OK?” the visitor asked, his voice still calm. “I’m a doctor.”


I’m good, just a misstep, the carpet...” Efe flicked at her nose and cursed under her breath. It wasn’t a surprise she was so rattled, but she needed to get a grip. It wasn’t Kevwe as she’d first feared.


If you’re sure.” He shook his head, his gaze flicking over her once more. “I don’t understand you independent women.”

Efe glared at him, and then ordered the hovering secretary away. When she faced him, h
is expression said she’d lost her mind. Well,
it was his fault
she felt like Alice in Wonderland, with a
buzzing noise in her ears and her heart thumping.


You say you’re a doctor?” Her mind repeated one name over and again.
He had to be Ofure, Kevwe’s twin brother.


Dr. Mukoro,
the owner of Miracle Hospital and Lab
,” he replied, stretching forward his hand. “I came to collect my long overdue business report.”

It was as she already knew.
Quivering inside, Efe accepted the handshake and asked him to follow her inside.

She remembered noting the Mukoro name on a customer file during her first month at work. His hospital regularly held seminars in the hotel’s Congress Hall, or board meetings in a smaller hall, and her office produced quarterly reports for them. She’d pushed the file to her assistant and hadn’t touched it since then, so it was not strange that they’d not met before now.

In
her office, she
studied him fully
when they were both seated
.
He was exactly like Kevwe, down to the tribal mark in the middle of his forehead. It could have been her former fiancé except
she knew it wasn’t.


I’m not happy at the delay,
and neither are m
y accountants and foreign
partners.” He paused and looked her over, “You sound as if you can understand.”

She shook her head at the American accent she worked hard, if without success, to lose when speaking to Nigerians.


Sorry for the hassle, but I can assure you that the report will soon be finished,”
she replied.


When will it be ready for me?”


Next week, for sure…”


I’m not patient,” he warned, “It better be ready, or we and our partners will never host events at this venue again.”


Oh, it won’t get to that,” Efe said.
She noted his faint accent and recalled the few times she’d spoken with him over the phone, when she’d dated Kevwe
. In the first year after moving to the States, she’d half-expected him to call her up one day and say that Kevwe had changed his mind and wanted her back.

That hope had fizzled out, and as she spoke, assuring him that
the reports would be ready as soon as possible, a part of her mind
clouded with painful memories. Efe was relieved when he got to his feet, pacified
.
She walked him out of the office, promising
to get the report ready and have someone bring it over to his office the following Friday.

With him gone, she staggered into her office and collapsed at her desk. Pushing her laptop aside, she buried her face in the sanctuary of her folded her arms, lost in memories of a time past.

 

**

 

Lagos. November 19, 2009. 6.30pm

 

Kevwe Mukoro raised a stiff arm in the air as a warm feeling crept over his skin and the hairs on his nape prickled. The technician beside him halted mid-action and looked around in confusion, but Kevwe paid him no mind. His feelings said someone needed his help and he should do something. He surveyed the factory again, but nothing stood out from the metal poles, steel girders, heavy machines, and the men who operated them. He swung to the wide double doors and the gloom outside, but no one came.

As the silence stretched, Kevwe shook his head and blinked, muttering to himself to snap out of it. Putting the strange feeling aside as something happening to Ofure, he turned to the men working the same line with him.


All right people, let’s get to work.”

Feeding a chunk of material into a machine chute, he directed someone on what to do next, deciding to call his twin later. After about an hour, he turned to the man behind him. Sunday was short and stocky and had a permanent grin on his face. Though he only had a diploma, when it came to the company, he knew more than the staff with university degrees. He was employed the longest and knew the machines like the back of his hand, whether old or new. Sunday was also skilled at design and that was why Kevwe, who wanted to focus on innovation, found him invaluable.


Old boy, I want to talk to you on this new project. Please see me in my office before you go, you hear? I want us to redesign some of our products.”


No problem, Oga. But what do you have in mind?”


Those small coolers we launched last year, you remember?” Kevwe grinned as he thought of discussing the idea bubbling in his head with Sunday. It was a new design that would speed up their production process. “I want us to do something no one has ever done. I’ll give you details when we meet in the office.”


Yessir…”

Sunday’s eyes began glittering with excitement and Kevwe knew he had been infected with enthusiasm. He left the men to their work and returned to his office in the main building. His company, Mukoro Refrigeration and Engineering Limited, had recently gained a larger customer base than most others in the country.

However, the expanded production had led to the need for additional labor to cope with increasing market demands. They had increased from twelve to eighty employees in the five years since entering the market. He had just hired twenty new technicians; they needed time to get used to the new equipment, and this contributed to the current delays.

Kevwe sat at his chair, flexing the kinks out of his right knee. He arched his back to release some tension, rolling his neck from side to side. He’d over-stretched himself, but he would take time off after the next batch of deliveries. He moved to wake his computer, but his phone beeped before the machine finished booting up.


I just thought of you.” Kevwe said when it was
his brother on the line. P
utting the
BlackBerry
on speakerphone, he studied his twin’s picture on the screen. When people saw it, they always assumed it was a picture of Kevwe.

BOOK: Love's Second Chance
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