Koya’s Choice – e-Book

koyas-choiceKoya’s Choice

Description

Koya took a risk on love when she was in college, and the man she gave her heart broke it, sending her a terrible letter that left her broken.  Eight years later, Koya has shut out the idea of love, and focuses on building her business and a comfortable life, never once entertaining the idea of love.  Until the day her best friend tells her that the man who broke her heart is back in town.  Anger brews, and the urge to scratch Charlie’s eyes out, when Koya finally meets him again, is hard to ignore.

Charlie Dhali has loved Koya as long as he can remember.  When he returns to Nairobi after eight years, he discovers a new world.  One without Koya’s love, and his best friend might have taken his place at her side.

Can these two lost souls find their way back to each other, under the hot Nairobi sun?

Download it Here:

koyas-choice.                     Barnes & Noble                                 Smashwords

Enjoy.

Koya’s Choice – A 117 Days later

Koya’s Choice and A Writing Challenge

A lot can happen in a hundred days.  The original intention of writing the hundred days challenge was to post on the blog daily.  Midway through the challenge, the purpose of this challenge morphed into finishing Koya’s Choice as a story.  When I say challenge, I truly mean that.  It’s not easy taking time out to write in a world where you work and have people looking to you for support.  Thanks to my Sis and the messages I got constantly calling me out on the progress of this work. (@Maremma! Thanks) Glad to say that this writing process has achieved 35,000 words, and a beautiful cover.  There is nothing quite like finishing a story.  So, proud to say that Koya’s Choice will be an e-book, available to my readers this week.

 A finished story to boast about! Yeah!

Koya’s Choice gains a Cover!

The 100 Days Writing Challenge was not easy, it actually went over to 117 days, and boy was it sobering.  What I learned from this challenge is the need to recognize the fact that while real life issues like work, responsibilities, and such are important, shutting them out for a few hours a day is also imperative.  To write, to get it done and come out with a product you can touch, you gotta carve out the time.  You gotta make an appointment to make it happen.

100 days Writing Adventure

 

Cheers to a worthy challenge.

Happy December! 

Longing to Heal the Earth – Day 13

Longing to Heal the Earth 

People don’t realize the earth is…alive, her grandmother would say.

events_crystalitas_gaia_mother_earth_healing_meditation_elementars_180x120Before…when her grandmother was young, the world was lush green.  Thick trees grew tall, so tall, one couldn’t see the highest branch.  Green grass in fields, vast and wide, as far as the eye could see.  Her grandmother would run down the hill, to the valley where the fresh spring flowed.  The water sweet, cool and clear.  So clear, the rocks in the riverbed were visible.

Those days, her grandmother would say that all she needed to do was scoop water in her hand and take a sip, drink a gulp, dunk her face in the fresh spring water and drink her fill.

There was no need for machines to clean water.

Not like now, Mira thought, her gaze on the clear glass of water on the table.

All her water came in bottles sold at the supermarket.  She was thirty and had yet to see a clear spring or river, one safe for her to dunk her head into the precious water and drink her fill.  Mira gagged at the thought of dunking her head into the Nairobi River for a drink.  The river was sick with muck, garbage, waste….God knew what else…one sip and she’d end up in the hospital with poisoning.

Her grandmother’s stories sometimes sounded like lies.  Yet she knew, her grandmother would never lie to her.  Mira believed her when she spoke of lush green fields and tall trees.

On days like this, she wanted a taste of the water in a clear fresh spring.  Mira took the glass and drank deep.  It was hot outside, and she still needed to go to the market.

Letting a sigh escape, she got up, wore her hat and took her purse and a light bag she used for shopping.  She stopped at her door to wear the nose mask that had turned essential in the past year, then left her apartment.

The sun was hot.  Scorching hot.  Mira walked along Ngong rd heading to the junction mall.  Pedestrians she passed wore similar nose masks, their heads covered with hats and dark eyeglasses.

The masks were for the dust.  In a frenzy of progress, the country had lost eighty percent of its tree cover.  Forests, fields of green and lush valleys replaced with forests of sky scrapers, apartment buildings and factory buildings.  The rivers had turned to muck-filled waters thanks to the factories dumping at will without regulation.  The streets became filled with trash, as the population increased and no garbage regulations were imposed.  Garbage, muck, chemicals in the air…no trees, the air changed, the soil changed…the earth started dying and so did the people.

She was lucky.

Mira worked in one of the factories that manufactured portable home-water cleansers for those who could afford them.  Water was an essential commodity.  One that the entire nation needed to live.  The water cleansers brought in enough revenue to keep the factory going.  It was a good job, a secure one.

Her job allowed her to afford an apartment that provided clean water, air conditioning to escape the relentless heat and sealed doors to keep out those who couldn’t afford it.

Her people were killing the planet with progress.  The reduction of trees had led to a drastic rise in temperatures.  Summer weather turned deadly, those living in the semi-arid areas suffered first.  The heat spread through the nation like wildfire, it dried the rivers and lakes.  By the time the government started responding to the crisis, essentials like water had turned into a precious commodity peddled by opportunists.  Water was the new Oil.  Oxygen, the second highest money-making commodity.

Air conditioned houses were an essential now.  No living soul could withstand the heat at midday.  Unfortunate souls caught in the daily heat wave met their deaths within the hour if they couldn’t find air conditioned shelters.  It wasn’t easy as the government commissioned shelters got overcrowded.  This daily scramble to get into these shelters was even more deadly.

Mira shivered.  She made a conscious effort never to be outside at midday.  Once, the newspapers were filled with stories on politics, now they were filled with the death toll numbers from the daily heat wave, the severity of water shortages, and what to do to escape the heat.

Mira reached the supermarket.  She stowed away her nose mask, just as she saw customers running to the vegetable stands.  Vegetables were a rare commodity.  She caught a glimpse of leafy greens and found her self running too.  Slipping in to the throng of struggling bodies, she slipped under a thin man’s arm and reached out her hand to the shelf.  Her fingers searching, searching, then they closed over a bunch.  She gripped it tight and fought hard to pull out of the human scramble. 

When her hand was free, she hugged her bundle tight against her chest in case an opportunist tried to take it away from her.  She kept walking and didn’t stop until she was in the canned food section.

A smile escaped when she saw the bunch of fresh green spinach in her hand.  She hadn’t seen one of this in three months.  The price on it was high.  One thousand shillings.  More expensive than chocolate.  Lord knew how long it would take until she could get her hands on another one like this.

Fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by.  Mira headed to the water aisle and got a ten bottles which she put in her cart for the week.  She took one bottle and stared at the label.  The ice-caped mountain, with flowing streams and green trees on it’s hills seemed surreal.  She doubted anyone in her generation had ever seen anything so beautiful.

No wonder her grandmother insisted that the earth was alive.

If we had only stopped killing the trees, stopped abusing the earth by dumping garbage, pumping gases into the sky at will…my dear Mira, you might have seen how clear a spring can be,’ her grandmother would say.  ‘I miss that sweet water I tasted, my girl.  Nothing like this garbage you drink.’

Mira sighed and placed the bottle into her cart.

She too wished for that sweet spring in her grandmother’s past.  If only she could heal the earth…

***

Thanks for reading!

100 days Writing AdventureDays go on, this week a prompt on writing for the earth.  Collect the garbage, don’t cut your trees, and ride a bicycle or walk to the bus stop.  Love the Earth as she’s alive.

 

Other Stories:

  1. Oran – Child of Destiny

The Hyena’s Marriage – Day 12

Prompt: Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…

The Hyena’s Marriage

spotted-hyenaThree children sit on a log near a stream eating sweet ripe mangoes from their grandmother’s garden.  Mango juice runs down their chins, none of them stopping to wipe it away, to eager to savor the taste.  The sweet delicious feast oddly exciting, as they had to climb the tree to get the mangoes.

After their grandmother explicitly told them not to climb the tree.

The fact that they had not listened to her, and had then gone to climb that mango tree, with the threat of her finding out, made the mangoes all the more sweeter.

Now, one of them looked up at the sky, and saw an old hawk fly by in a hurry.

“Where do you think Kito is going?” the boy asked.

“To cause trouble no doubt.  Why?” the girl in the middle asked.

The boy wiped his chin on his sleeve and stared at the mangled mango seed in his hand.

“Kito carried a sweet potato vine in his beak.  Where do you suppose he is taking it?”

“You’re seeing things, Munya.  Why would a hawk carry a vine?”

“I don’t know.”  Munya shrugged, licking on the mango juice escaping between his fingers.  “Aren’t you curious, Lena?”

“No.

Munya sighed.  He was the curious one.  Everyone in his home knew it.  He asked too many questions, and got into trouble because of his curiosity.  Once, he asked his mother if being curious was a bad thing, but she’d smiled and said it was the best way to learn.

Oh well, Munya threw the mango seed and stood.  He went to the edge of the stream to wash his hands, otherwise he would be sticky all day.  Besides, their grandmother would take one look at their sticky fingers and know they stole her precious mangoes.

“Lena, Karua, don’t forget to wash your hands,” Munya said.  “Grandmother might really beat us with that cooking stick she waves this time.”

“Yesterday, she wanted to hit me with it when I forgot to close the chicken house,” Lena said with a giggle as she rushed to his side.

Karua moved slower, he was the youngest in the family and often followed Munya and Lena on their adventures.  Munya worried about Karua more than Lena, because Karua was slower.  He didn’t like running as much as Lena did.  Lena was a tomboy, or so their mother said.  Whatever that meant.

“I want to know where Kito was going,” Munya said, looking above the trees near the stream.

The small forest near the stream bordered their family’s farm.  Their mother and grandmother often sent them to collect firewood.  That was how they met Kito, the old hawk that lived deep inside the forest.

“Let’s take Karua home first,” Lena said, watching their youngest brother splash water at the stream.

“That will take too long,” Munya complained.  “Kito moves too fast.  Please, I’ll look out for him.”

“You said that last time, and I ended up falling behind taking care of Karua.”

“Lena, I promise I won’t leave you alone,” Munya said.  To convince her, Munya went to Karua, took his left hand and led him toward the forest.  “See, he’ll walk with me.  Let’s go, Kito is surely going to cause trouble.  I want to know.”

“You’re going to get us in trouble,” Lena complained even as she followed them.

Munya ignored her and with determined footsteps, led them into the forest.  Sunrays from the sun shone in intervals, breaking through the tall, tall trees with leaves that sang when the wind blew.  Soon, Munya noticed they weren’t the only ones in the forest heading in the direction Kito had gone.  Rabbits raced by, each carrying a gift in its mouth.  Monkeys laughed overhead, swinging from tree to tree.  More birds flew by, the great big elephant who sometimes came by the stream for water stomped by.

Each animal carried a small gift, and Munya wondered if he’d been wrong about Kito going to make trouble.  They soon came to a clearing and Munya clutched Karua’s hand tight when he started tripping over a stone.  Lena took Karua’s left hand and together they steadied him.  They looked up to find the animals waiting in a circle in the clearing.

The silence was unusual, even the chattering monkeys sat in silence on the edge of the circle.  Munya glanced above and saw Kito resting on a low branch on the tree next to them.

“Old Kito,” Munya said, his voice in a loud whisper.

“Shh…” Kito answered, not looking at him.

“But…” Munya started only for Kito to fly off his branch to land on Kito’s right shoulder.

“Stop making noise,” Kito said, dropping his sweet potato vine.

Munya caught it before it touched the ground.

“What is going on?  Why have the animals in the forest gathered?” Munya asked, trying to keep his voice low.

“You’ll see,” Kito answered.  “Here it comes.  Look to the sky, my noisy friend.”

Munya and his siblings all looked up in time to see the sunrays dance into the middle of the clearing.  Bright and pretty, they were golden yellow and almost blinding.  Munya gaped when he saw two hyenas walk into the clearing from opposite sides.  They moved slow, and only stopped when they met in the middle of the clearing.

Before Munya could ask what the hyenas were doing staring at each other in the middle of the clearing, a light rain started and all the animals cheered.

“Munya,” Lena said, her tone amazed.  “Look, it is raining and it is sunny at the same time.”

“Yes,” Kito answered, his voice too pleased.  “The Hyenas are getting married.”

Munya smiled in wonder as each animal walked up to the two hyenas in the middle and left an offering close to them.  Munya lifted the sweet potato vine he held, looking at the old hawk.

“Why did you bring a sweet potato vine for the hyenas?”

“So they may have a prosperous and long life together,” Kito answered.

Munya gave the sweet potato vine to the hawk and watched him take it to the new family.  The animals then included them in celebration and Munya and his siblings had a fun and exciting afternoon celebrating the hyena’s marriage.

***

100 days Writing AdventureThis post is part of the East Africa Friday Feature entry.  Still going with the writing challenge.  I went out last week and it started raining while the sun was out and I remembered this story my grandmother used to tell us.

 

Read Other Stories from Participating Bloggers

The Other Woman – Olufunke Kolapo

Alien Abduction

 

Koya’s Choice – 19 – Day 11

19 – The truth comes when you least expect it.

Mean.  Horrible.  Heart breaker.  These words described the woman who had written the letter sitting on the desk.  Koya scowled.  She didn’t have her own letter to  prove her innocence.  Kim was the only who had read the letter Charlie had sent her. 

Anger. Astonished.  Bitter.  Downright annoyed. 

That was her after Charlie walked out of her office looking justified.

Bastard.

He wasn’t the only one who had a broken heart.  Her heart was broken too. Staring at the letter on her desk, she wondered at her luck.  Why did this have to go this way?  She’d never written a letter to Charlie.  Which meant, the letter she’d read…she stared at the letter on her desk.  That letter that  had broken her…

Koya got to her feet and grabbed her cell phone to call Kim. Her finger hovered over the dial button, but she couldn’t call.  She was someone who had been kissing Kim last night.  Did it make sense to call him now to complain about her ex? 

Was that fair?

Koya scowled. 

She started pacing, looking for Ashi’s number.  Her finger, once again, stopped short of pressing the dial button.  Ashi had spent fifteen minutes earlier in a parking lot railing at her over her indecision with Kim. If she called now about a bloody letter that was eight years old, Koya groaned and stopped pacing.

Hana was next.

She dialed Hana’s number, but it went unanswered.  One glance at the time, it was two o’clock.  Hana was probably busy with work.

Great, she needed a bigger circle of friends.

Grabbing the worn letter from her desk, she took her car keys and left her office, not even stopping to give Linda an explanation.

The red haze that clouded her mind didn’t clear until she was driving along Ndwaru road leading to the Dhali Estate. She stopped her car before the imposing gate she had once pounded on for answers.  The black gate, high and imposing.  There was the pillar where Kim chewed on sugarcane and dropped the bits while she cried her heart out. The pain that day had never left her.  Rejection, so coldly delivered.  How could she have hoped to forgive Charlie after reading that letter she got?  How could she have imagined he received a similar letter from her?

She slammed her palm on the car horn.  The sound splintered the relative calm in the neighborhood.

The guard appeared at the small entrance on the side of the gate.  Giving her car a once over, he decided she was worthy of entering the estate, and went to open the large gates.  She didn’t wait for him to ask questions. Koya drove up the driveway determined to face Ashley Dhali.

***

To be continued…Thank you for reading!

100 days Writing AdventureDay 11 – Ashley, the boogey Mama is looming in the horizon.  I suddenly wonder if she’s going to manage to play her games this time.  The days continue…

Koya’s Choice – 18 – Day 10

18 – A Letter

You were in my heart, but now I see how very wrong you are for me.  Since you’ve decided to leave, go and forget me as I will forget you.  That’s what is best for us, Charlie.  Your world and mine can never meet.  You’re a spoiled brat who only does what his mother tells him to do.  How can we ever make a life together without her meddling?  I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore.  Don’t look for me.  We’re over. – Koya.

Charlie watched Koya read the letter he’d memorized, each word engraved in his heart.  Her cold words stung, especially when he thought of the heart-felt letter he’d written her, asking her for forgiveness, and begging her to wait for him.  He’d thought they were stronger than anything his mother would throw at them.  When he received this letter from her, he’d been angry.  Angry enough to leave without seeking her out to get answers.  If she couldn’t even look past his mother’s devious plot, he’d thought then, perhaps they weren’t meant to be.  Still, he wondered why she had let him go so easily.  Why she’d taken his words at Ashi’s house to heart, and refused to give him the benefit of doubt.

So many questions…watching her now, he wanted answers and she wasn’t giving them.  She simply stared at the letter, frozen.

“I guess you think the letter was enough, but I have wondered, Koya.  Wondered for years, why you dared say you cared.”

Charlie scoffed.

“You probably think I’m crazy for having kept this letter so long.  You brushed me away eight years ago.  I come back to find you and Kim living it up.  I’m clearly the idiot who can’t forget you.  But you know what, Koya, I needed to know if you ever cared at all.  Can you answer that question?  Did you care?”

Koya kept her gaze on the letter, never raising her head.  Minutes passed in silence, and Charlie stepped back from her desk.  He looked around her elegant offices, acknowledging that she had indeed moved on.  She’d built a business, made a life without him.  She looked happy in the photos on the walls.  So, clearly, she didn’t need him.

“Guess silence is golden,” Charlie said with a bitter laugh.  “Know this, Koya.  I’m going to make sure you see my face as often as possible.  That quiet life  you wanted away from me, I’m going to make it impossible.  Have a wonderful afternoon, my dear.”

With that, he left her office in quick strides, slamming the door behind him.  He stopped to stare at the soap stone leopard in the corner of her office.  A small smile tilting his lips, he winked at Linda and left the building whistling in excitement.  The ball was now in Koya’s court.  He’d see what she’d do with it.

***

To be continued…thank you for reading! ^_^

100 days Writing AdventureThe challenge continues, offline, online…day 10, Charlie throws it down, can’t wait to see what Koya does with this little surprise.

 

 

Koya’s Choice – 17 – Day 9

17 – Surprises come in the form of a well-worn note

Back at her office, Koya stopped in the reception area when Linda met her at the door.

“Another package, Miss Kalahari.”

Linda pointed to a large box in the corner.letters

Koya stared at the large box.

“What is it now?”

“The box was delivered ten minutes ago,” Linda said.  “I haven’t had a chance to open it.”

“Who is doing this?” Koya gave the box a skeptical look.

“How is the tree doing?” Linda asked, handing Koya a pair of scissors.

“I had it planted in the yard behind my house.”

Koya started undoing the package.

“This gets more exciting with each package,” Linda said.

Koya took a step back with her minutes later, and they stared at the five foot tall soapstone sculpture of a leopard perched on a rock.

“A leopard sculpture.  What does that mean?” Linda asked.

Koya shook her head, a bit concerned by how expensive the gift looked.

“Did the delivery guys have you sign anything?”

“No.  They dropped off the package like last time.”

“Whoever is doing this has a lot of cash to burn.”   Koya moved to touch the leopard’s muzzle.  The stone cool to the touch.  “The leopard is gorgeous.’

“Where will you keep it?” Linda asked, moving to take a closer look.

“Take it home,” Koya said.

She stepped away from the statue and picked up the documents Linda had placed in a neat pile on her desk.

“Call the same guys who picked up the tree.”

“Yes Madam,” Linda reached for her phone.  “By the way, you have a visitor in your office.  He insisted on waiting for you.”

“Thanks.”

Koya walked into her office, her attention on the documents she held.

“I’m sorry I’m late.  You didn’t wait too long, I hope.”

“I don’t mind waiting for you.”

Koya’s head jerked up in surprise at the sound of Charlie’s familiar voice.  She stopped, staring at the man seated on her couch.

“Hi,” he grinned.  “I hope lunch was good.”

The documents she was holding fell to the floor.

“What are you doing here?”

“Those words are getting too familiar.”  Charlie got off the couch, unfolding his height in one elegant move.  He came over and picked up the files.  “It’s customary to say, ‘Hi, good to see you.’”

“Is there something you need?” Koya asked, trying to breathe through her panic.

Charlie stood too close.  He smiled and held out the documents.  She took them fast and hurried to her desk, needing to put distance between them.  His cologne filled her nostrils, crawling through her system, devious man.

Charlie chuckled at her retreat and she glared at him.  He chose to sit in one of the armchairs across her desk, resting his right ankle on his left knee.  He looked way too relaxed.

“I’ve told you before, I only want to talk to you, Koya.  I miss that.  We used to talk about everything, remember?”

“If you are not here on a business matter, I don’t know what you’re doing in my office.”

Koya folded her arms against her chest, and tried to ignore the fact that Charlie looked too handsome.  He had shaved clean.  His dark t-shirt clung to him, showing off a toned body.  His long legs in blue jeans, black converse shoes on his feet.  He looked like a rich, playboy, nerd.  Or Will Smith in his Men in Black days…the older movie…jeez what was she thinking.

She needed to get this guy out of her office.

“I have urgent matters—

“You are free for the rest of the afternoon,” Charlie cut in.  “I checked your calendar.  Your assistant is not very discrete.  The only reason you’re here is those documents she handed you.”

“Excuse me?”

Charlie placed a card on top of her desk.

“I own Mahali Travel Agency.  I’m here for an update on the ad campaign we wanted.”

“You’re what?” Koya picked up the card and stared at Charlie’s name printed on expensive  paper.  “You own Mahali Travel?”

“The documents you received will answer any questions you might have.  As of today, I’ll handle the campaign, personally.”

Koya felt her knees go weak.  She reached behind her for the chair and sank into it.  Her gaze never once leaving Charlie’s card.  Her business and Dhal, Dhal and her precious business…she shook her head in denial.

“The contract you sent—,” She stopped and glanced at Charlie.  “Your name was not on any of those documents.”

“I have employees working at Mahali.”  Charlie flashed a small smile.  “They handle paperwork.  I’m very interested in what your campaign will do for Mahali.”

“You’re really going to be working with us?” Koya placed Charlie’s card on her desk and cursed her decision to sign the five year contract with Mahali.  She should have trusted her gut.

“Closely,” Charlie said with a triumphant smile.

“Alright then,” she said.  “I’ll inform Hana.  She’s in charge of your account.  She’ll make sure to give you constant reports.”

Koya returned Charlie’s smile with a smug one of her own.

“Hana is currently in Diani though.  She’s visiting the locations your agency gave us.  As soon as she’s back, I’ll give her your number.”

“You’re not working on the ad?”

“Like you, I have people who are better at the job.”  Koya sat back.  “If that’s all, Mr. Dhali.  Please have a good afternoon.”

Charlie scoffed.

“You’ve gotten meaner.”

“Have I?” Koya shrugged.  “You taught me, Charlie.”

Charlie got up then.

Koya thought he was leaving, instead he reached into his pocket and produced a well-worn paper.  He placed it on her desk.

“I rather thought you taught me,” Charlie said, his gaze narrowed.  “Your parting note eight years ago certainly didn’t mince words.  Koya, why would you break my heart so brutally?”

Koya gasped, staring at the old letter on her desk.

***

To be continued….Thanks so much for reading *_*

Previous Chapter

100 days Writing AdventureDay 9 – Trudging along, clocking the word count.  Around Nine hundred words, that is a blessing as always.  Today was good.  Have a wonderful Friday tomorrow!