Annemarie Musawale – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Annemarie from Child of Destiny

I love her stories because they always touch on the paranormal, the other world, or just plain fun.  Her wit makes me laugh, and let’s not forget the love of Sam and Dean in Supernatural.  This October, she’s worked on her story about a man named Bulitia.  He’s a man taken from his home and thrust into a new world, this story reminds me a bit of Amistad.  Annemarie has also published a book this October.

Child of Destiny is her third book out…here’s a short glimpse.

….“Where’s your grandmother?” he asked, in a tone that strove for light curiosity but ended up sounding 9adeaa199e5a6176d119271c9da987e2e13ff309merely exasperated.

She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously; he noticed that they became almost black.

“Why?” she asked.

“Well, I’ve been here three times and haven’t really seen her. I just wondered…” he replied, managing this time to sound casual about it.

She seemed to think about his answer like she was searching for loopholes or hidden implications.

“She went to New Orleans,” she replied finally,“for the festival.”

“Festival?” he asked, intrigued.

He put down his brush and sat on the floor facing her.

“The Feast of the Dead,” she replied.

“The feast…of the dead?” he asked tentatively.

“Yes,” she replied without embellishment.

“You mean like Toussaint?” he asked, accenting it correctly in French.

“Yes,” she said in surprise that he knew that name.

“But…isn’t that like, on Halloween?” he asked, trying to get her to speak in more than one syllable.

“It is.” She replied.

He raised his eyebrows at her, and kept silence so she would be forced to fill it.

After a minute of staring, she sighed and said, “My grandpa George is buried in the family crypt in New Orleans. Every year, my grandmother and…other friends gather to celebrate the day of his death which was 17th of August, 1980. They prepare immortelles for his grave, burn candles and tell stories to remember him. It is a ceremony that starts on the day of his death and concludes on Toussaint or the All Saints Day as the Christians call it. This year is special because it’s the ten year anniversary of his death.”

This little speech brought up so many questions for him; he didn’t know where to start…

“By friends, you mean other witches?” he asked her, wondering if she would answer.

She did not generally talk about her witchyness. If it hadn’t been for The Charlotte Incident, he probably wouldn’t have believed the stories.

“Witches, warlocks, other family members…” she replied with a shrug…”

Read more of this story, get the book here: Child of Destiny

Author Profile:

Annemarie Musawale is a free spirited single mom with a passion for reading and writing stories.  She’s lived in Nairobi, Kenya for most of her life but considers herself to be a citizen of the world. She is a very cerebral person, able to exist mostly in her head which is very advantageous because the life of a writer is rather solitary. Her first story was written at some point in nursery school and her mother said, “Very Good, keep going”, so she did. But somehow she did not consider it as a career choice. She assumed writing stories is just what people do…like in their spare time. However when her son was about nine, he got a serious respiratory infection that required him to be admitted to hospital. Her job working as a pharm tech for a chemist meant she could not get any leave time to go be with her son in his time of need. That was when she considered a career change which would give her greater flexibility. Enter Academic Writing…which lead to other types of writing for money. Somehow, through that process, her first book, Child of Destiny was written and submitted to the Kwani Manuscript Project.  The rest is kind of history.

Elly in Nairobi:  You have recently published a book, Child of Destiny, tell us a bit about this book.
Annemarie:
Child of Destiny is the first book I wrote in this series (Child of Destiny series), yet it’s the last to be published. It’s about the power of love to overcome and what the magic of love can produce if you let it. It’s totally not a romantic story though. It serves too much realness for that. But because of its realness, it seems to me to be likely to happen sometime somewhere. That’s what I try to do with all my stories however outlandish; make them likely. I really enjoyed writing this one; I didn’t hold back in any area and people might go from fanning themselves in arousal to embarrassment. Hopefully it starts some conversations going. Mostly I just really want people to enjoy it.

Elly in Nairobi: What inspires you to write fiction?  What is your favorite thing about writing fiction?
Annemarie:
The thing I love about fiction is the creation of worlds and universes that both the reader and the writer can escape into when reality gets too harsh. Its also just another form of being a creative being that
God made us to be. Everyone has the gift of creation;mine is stories.

Elly in Nairobi:  What is your day like?
Annemarie:
My day begins with checking my mail and then my social media. After that, I set up my ‘office’ either on my verandah or my living room depending on the weather and my mood. Have some breakfast and get to
work. Sometimes I exercise before starting on my workday, other times I don’t. Depends on my energy levels. I write most of the day sometimes until past midnight with one or two stops for meals and lots of tea.

Elly in Nairobi:  The quirkiest thing you’ve done lately.
Annemarie:
The quirkiest thing I’ve done lately is DM Rihanna on twitter a link to my book I guess.

Elly in Nairobi: What is it like for you writing the EA Friday Feature?
  Annemarie: I enjoy the camaraderie of having five other writers collaborating with me. It’s a window to other worlds and teaches me something about how other writers are doing things. It also gives me feedback on my writing which is wonderful. I love honest feedback.

Elly in Nairobi Anything you’d like to tell your readers, and new fans.
Annemarie:
I’d like to tell my readers that I have created the Child of Destiny universe for their enjoyment and maybe also they learn something new they didn’t know. I try to base my legends and all in actual historical fact as much as possible though I don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Get her Book today:
9adeaa199e5a6176d119271c9da987e2e13ff309

Download it at Smashword

Price: $5

 

Thank you Annemarie for taking the time for this short interview.   I look forward to reading more stories from your blog.  Look forward to an interview from Vincent of Flashes of Vice

 

Maureen Wakarindi – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Maureen Wakarindi from Nepenthe

Maureen joined the EA Friday Feature group in September, and she’s blog2added a great new set of stories to our little circle.  I have especially enjoyed reading her story, Some Kind of Love.  Here’s a short glimpse:

 ….As for technology, the villagers were a simple folk. They were used to relying on what they could see with their own eyes.

Last year, Waiguru, a daughter of the tribe, had gone out to the world in search of education and come back with many new things, including a mobile phone. As was customary, she had presented it to her father as a gift and showed him how to use it to call his brother who lived in another country. The whole village had gathered to witness this strange phenomenon.

When the brother’s voice came over the speaker, Mzee Ayubu having not known what to expect, had reacted with fear. He had declared that, as the spiritual leader of the community, Ngai had told him that they were evil spirits. He also declared that the devil had decided to pitch tent in his daughter and therefore, the only way to get him out was to beat the hell out of her. That said, the next hour was spent publicly flogging his daughter while the other villagers simultaneously prayed for their souls and encouraged him to beat her harder.  To get out the devil, of course.  As if that wasn’t enough she had to watch as her precious phone was thrown into the communal fire and burnt to a crisp. Henceforth, she was known as the girl who had brought the devil to the village to feast on everyone’s souls ( the gossipers had exaggerated the story a little bit to make it more interesting). It was no wonder that when she next left the village she did not return. Neither did development….”

Read more of this amazing story at her blog.

Author Profile:

I am Maureen Wambui, God fearing, intelligent and an observer of
people. I love cars, heights and sarcasm. I can be loud, opinionated
and stubborn, but you’ll love me anyway. I am a lover of words and
nothing gives me greater pleasure than being able to use those words
in my story. I have two blogs, and I also write for the Storymoja blog
using the name Maureen Wakarindi. Please feel free to stalk my work,
and tell me what you think.

1. What has it been like to write for the EA Friday Feature?
Writing for the EA Friday Feature has been a great experience. Apart from meeting and knowing other amazing writers, it has really pushed me to write something that my readers will love and can relate to.

2. What inspires you to write fiction?   Have you always written? Do you share your work elsewhere?
I have always written fiction. I find it easier to bring out my thoughts and feelings when it’s in a hypothetical situation. I share my work on my personal blog, wakarindimaureen.wordpress.com.

3. What type of characters inspire you?  When you read books, what kind of stories leave you feeling like you’ve really changed, or been inspired?
I love characters that are real,characters that have a certain human flaw or are endearing in their very nature.When I read a book, I am drawn to the stories within the story. That is why I mostly look for series.

4. Tell us what fun thing have you done this year?  Do you think you’ll do it again?
I was an intern and blogger at Storymoja Festival this year. It gave me the opportunity to learn from and interact with many well known literary personalities and they really helped me to be better. Given a chance I would definitely do it again.

From Maureen:

When I write I use my words to paint a picture of what I want to
say. My only wish is that the reader feels and can relate to the
emotion I portray.

Thank you, Maureen for agreeing to do this short interview. Look forward to the next interview from the Super Annemarie of Child of Destiny

October Snippets – The EA Friday Feature

EAFF Sept

Beautiful October is coming to an end, and this month the EA Friday Feature writers have been letting their creative juices run wild.  The plan in October was to write without a prompt, and instead let the creative juices run.  Each participating blogger wrote 1,000 words on Friday, of an original story that fit their most favorite genre.

I love reading great stories, and these bloggers have not disappointed this month.

Next week, this blog features each of these amazing writers and their blogs.  I can’t wait to share their stories outside the EA Friday Feature.

Look forward to it.  Meanwhile, visit their blogs, read great stories.

 

E. A. Friday Feature Bloggers:

Dora from Nilichoandika

Annemarie from Child of Destiny

Vincent from Flashes of Vice

Maureen from Nepenthe

&

Elly from Love in Nairobi (that’s this blog)

 

The Girl with the Golden Smile – Final

Part 8 – On Love, Waiting & Realization

The thing with love, Nicholas thought, is that it didn’t come like in the movies.EA 2

There was no spark, no wave to wash over the heart like magic.

Love at first sight, he scoffed.  Yeah right.

He’d never subscribed to that piece of lunacy. All he knew was that love came when you least expected it. In the form of realization, and not struck down like an idiot holding a lighting rod.

He shook his head, his gaze on Nalia who’d spent the past five minutes lighting a jiko. She was coughing now, the smoke rising from the lighting charcoal all but choking her. She wiped a hand over her brow, and left a smudge of charcoal on her forehead. Her weave was covered with an old scarf, and the green apron she wore had definitely seen better days.

Nalia scowled at the rising smoke and stepped back from the jiko. She entered her bakery, using the back door and returned with a plastic lid. Nicholas sat back in his seat, watching her fan the jiko like her life depended on it. She had a cake order due in the afternoon. Her charcoal oven was unlit, and it was almost eleven o’clock. He’d asked her countless times if he could buy an electric oven for her, but she refused. Preferring the charcoal oven to the whopping electric bill…the woman was strict when it came to expenses.  Her bakery was doing well. She was the baking primary school teacher now, instead of the divorced primary school teacher.

She’d worked a year to get rid of that title.

One whole year, he sighed. One year of watching and waiting for the right moment. One year for the realization of love to come, take root and take over his life.

Nicholas visited Nalia when he could.  He sat here in the small yard outside her bakery and rental house watching her work to build a new life out of the ashes Malik had left her.  She never complained, even when her orders overwhelmed her at times. Or when she ordered sacks of flour and her supplier refused to bring it over, making her get it from the shop. Nicolas chastised her constantly when she chose not to call him for help and instead struggled with public transport.

Stubborn woman…Miss Independent…he sighed.

Yet her tenacity made her appealing. Hell, he’d probably started falling for her when she’d jumped in front of his car one rainy night. Those days, he’d not been ready to imagine he could allow a woman close to his heart.

A painful poke on his shoulder brought him back from his thoughts, and he blinked when he realized Nalia stood a few feet away.

“Your phone is driving me crazy,” she said. “Answer it.”

The ring tone penetrated his thoughts, and he grinned. Reaching for the gadget, he watched Nalia walk back to her jiko. Thankfully, there was progress and the charcoal was lit.

“Hello,” he answered his call.

“Did you find the courage yet?” Eli asked in greeting.

Nicholas sighed staring at Nalia as she carried the jiko to her charcoal oven.

“I’m afraid to talk about that right now, she’s on a tight deadline…

“Chicken,” Eli teased. “If you don’t tell her, I’ll call her and break the news to her.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Nicholas said, afraid Eli might carry out his threat.

Eli and Nalia had formed a fast friendship. He’d been jealous at first, but now he liked that Nalia had Eli to rely on too. AFter learning the truth about her submissive life with that Malik, he wanted her to have people to call on, people to trust.

“Your pitiful stalking is getting to a critical stage.” Eli sighed on the other end. “You’ve even kept the villa, Nick. Is it for her?”

“She liked that house,” Nicholas said with a sigh. “The books in the library…Oh stop rushing me, I’ll do this on my own time.”

Eli laughed. “Fine, you coward, if she calls me at all, I’m going to drop a huge hint.”

Eli ended the call before he could protest, and Nicholas got to his feet.

“Do you have to leave?” Nalia asked her hands at her hip as she turned to look at him.

“No,” he said.

“Oh good, make yourself useful.”  Nalia frowned, her gaze taking him in. “You might want to roll up your sleeves. Don’t want to ruin your handsome shirt.”

Nicholas put his cell phone into his pocket and did as asked. He neatly folded his shirtsleeves to his to his elbows.
He glanced at Nalia, and almost balked when she pointed at a sack of charcoal leaning against the wall.

“Will you put that in for me?”

Nicholas shuddered glancing at his pristine pale blue shirt. He had come straight from his office, hoping to catch Nalia and ask her out. Instead, here he was…he gave an inward groan and bravely walked to the sack of charcoal. Thanking his gym time, he carried the bag into the bakery and placed it at the spot she designated. Dumping the bag on the stand, he stepped back quickly and caught a snicker from Nalia.

Turning to look at her, he frowned when she laughed.

“I didn’t think you’d do it,” she said in between chuckles. “Nick…

“Woman,” he said inspecting his shirt.  There was a smudge on his stomach, he wiped at it with his hands and frowned when he added to the stain.

“Stop,” she said, swiping his hands away. “You’ll only make it worse. Come on, wash your hands, and take the shirt off, I’ll clean that spot for you.”

“Why would you make carry the charcoal then?” Nicholas asked as she led him to the sink and handed him soap.

Nalia leaned on the counter with a smile.

Damn that smile, the golden smile he saw in his dreams.

Nicholas stopped washing his hands and turned to her.

“I came to ask you if you’d go see the villa with me.”

Nalia met his gaze in surprise. “Are you selling it?”

Nicholas winced. “I was going to, when we first met.”

“Oh,” Nalia sighed. “I guess the new owners will have asked you to gut it and—

“I changed my mind,” he said then.

“About what?”

“Selling the villa,” he said, taking in a deep breath. “I kept the house.”

“Kept it?” Nalia stared at him. “As in you’re going to live there? Here I thought you were a simple man…what do you need all that space for—

“I was going to ask you to move in with me.”

Nalia gaped, her eyes going wide. “What?”

“I—,” Nicholas broke off and he reached out to wipe the smudge of charcoal on Nalia’s forehead. “I love you.”

“Nicholas.”

“I have thought about this for months, and—

“Months?” Nalia sighed. “When were you going to let me in on your thoughts?”

Nicholas shrugged. “When I was sure?”

Nalia stared at him and for a moment he thought he’d misread her.

She grinned.

“I’ve known for a while, you know. No man will agree to carry charcoal when dressed like you are right now.”

“I should have known you knew,” he said then, staring at the smudge on her face.

“Why?”

“No woman will stay with charcoal smudges on her face in front of a man she likes, without assurance,” he said.

“Oh you,” she pushed at his chest and he caught her arms with a laugh, pulling her into his arms as he’d wanted to for a year.

He kissed her then, and smiled when she wrapped her arms around him. It was like coming home.

“I promise to protect you,” Nicholas said when they broke apart and he hugged her. “I won’t break your trust, Nalia.”

Nalia sighed and held on tighter.

“You gave me strength when I didn’t have any. If I hadn’t met you, I’d still be married to Malik. I’d have gone back to him, thinking that I’d keep surviving. But meeting you saved me from that.”

“Nalia.”

“I’m glad that you’ve waited this long for me,” Nalia leaned up to kiss his left jaw.

“So what is your answer, girl with a golden smile?” Nicholas asked needing a clear way forward.

Nalia kissed his right jaw, and said, “Yes.”

Nicholas let out a happy sigh and wrapped her in his arms, whirling about in the middle of her bakery.

“I have a cake to bake,” she said when he held on.

“You’re spoiling the moment,” Nicholas complained.

“And I have a business to run,” Nalia said extracting herself from his arms. “You’d better go inside and get that shirt off. I have t-shirts in there…

Nicholas smiled as she moved him aside to wash her hands.

His woman, he thought as she went to whip up a cake recipe…he couldn’t wait to see what the future held for them.

***

Fin

Thank you for reading.

Previous Chapters

Girl with the Golden Smile – 7

Other EA Friday Feature Stories

Can I take your order

The Prostitute Killer

Some Kind of Love – 5

It’s A Rat Race

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 7

7 – Choices

Nalia clutched her handbag, as she waited outside the Kilimani courthouse. Her choices led her to this moment; still divorceEA 2 wasn’t an easy choice. She’d struggled with the decision. Her hand touched her jaw, and for the first time in years marveled at the lack of pain.
Men and women alike glanced her way, as they passed her. She was glad to find the overwhelming urge to keep her head down gone. Before, with Malik, she’d found it hard to look up, afraid people would guess how she’d gotten the bruises on her jaw. God, she’d hated that feeling. That helpless feeling that she couldn’t express without tears filling her eyes, and sliding down her cheeks.

Nalia let out a soft breath and glanced at the time on her phone.

Nicholas was late.

She frowned.

Nicholas.

He remained worlds away, even though they’d spent almost everyday together for the past two months. Nicholas had turned cold toward her after he found out she was married.

As if a switch had turned off inside him, Nalia’s frown deepened.

Perhaps he judged her choices harshly. She couldn’t tell. Nicholas helped her without complaint. He wasn’t her lawyer; he’d refused that job outright, and instead, had gotten a competent woman named Christine who worked with FIDA.

Christine was a godsend.  Christine had taken her through the divorce process without asking for money first. When Malik had shown up at the new one-room house Nalia was renting, Christine helped save her from a beating. Christine had used that incident to get the law on Nalia’s side. There was nothing to fight for in court. Nalia didn’t want anything Malik owned, or his money. She was afraid that money would haunt her. She thanked God everyday that they hadn’t gotten children. It made the divorce process easier.

Nalia sighed leaning on the wall.

“Are you happy?” Malik asked and she looked up in surprise to find him standing a few feet away from her.

“I asked, are you happy Nalia?” Malik asked when she didn’t answer him right away.

Malik looked tired, his suit hanging on his shoulders, his jaw unshaven. His eyes, however, still held the same anger toward her. He refused to forgive her for making the choice to leave their home.

“I’m happy,” she said now, her voice strong.

“You’ve made us into the talk of the town. Everyone knows we’re divorced. How are you going to keep working at the school? Surely parents will shun you for being a divorcee,” he sneered.

“If they don’t want me there, I can always get a transfer to another school,” Nalia said.

She had options. Christine taught her that. Refusing to leave a bad marriage was not one of those options. Christine taught her that choosing to live a free and happy life was the most important decision to make.

“You have everything figured out,” Malik said.

Far from it, Nalia thought. Holding Malik’s gaze, she straightened her shoulders.

“No, I don’t. All I know is that I don’t want you slapping me because you don’t get what you want.”

Malik scoffed and took a step closer.

Fear arced through her, irrational fear, because they were in public. There were people passing them and the sun was out. Malik wouldn’t dare hurt her here, but still the fear grew deep inside her and she had to clench her fists to keep from running.

“You’re weak,” Malik said in a hateful tone. “You’re no beauty, and you could never fit my standards. It’s good you’ve left. I’ll find a better wife now.”

Nalia bit her inner lip wishing she could ignore his words. She knew Malik wanted to hurt her, and she shouldn’t let his words matter, yet they did. They mattered because she’d loved him. Loved him enough to marry him, and try to build a life with him.

Tears stung the back of her eyes and he smirked.

“I hope you’ll be happy,” she said in a tight voice.

She locked her knees as he stared at her for a moment, before he turned away and went into the courthouse. She fell back on the wall with a sigh once he disappeared, and took in a deep breath.

Warm hands clutched her shoulders and she looked up into Nicholas’s kind eyes.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

The tears she’d held back fought their way out, her eyes filling; she blinked fast hoping to keep them at bay.

“You did well,” Nicholas said, squeezing her shoulders. “You did very well.”

She closed her eyes and the tears fell down her cheeks. Nicholas moved closer, handing her a handkerchief, he waited for her to wipe her eyes and compose herself.

“You’re late,” she said after a while, staring at his white handkerchief.

“I’m sorry.”

She met Nicholas’s gaze.  She wasn’t sure what he was sorry about, being late, or being cold toward her.

“Well, you’re here now,” she said with a small shrug. “Christine is getting paperwork done. She wanted to talk to you.”

“I know,” Nicholas said, his gaze still holding hers. “I’m—

She frowned when he broke off.

“What?” she asked.

“I thought distance was better,” Nicholas said abruptly. “I thought it would make this easier for you. Watching you stand up to him, I think I made a mistake. Nalia—

She dropped her gaze to his shirt collar. “I thought you didn’t want anything to do with me because of him and the divorce.”

“That’s not true,” Nicholas said touching her right shoulder.

Nalia met his gaze, a soft gasp escaped at the longing in his eyes.

“It’s time,” Christine interrupted coming up to them holding a pile of files. “We should go in.”

Nicholas nodded and squeezed Nalia’s right shoulder. Christine headed into the courthouse, but Nicholas stopped Nalia.

“It’s almost over,” he said.

Nalia smiled. “I feel like its just beginning.”

Nicholas took her right hand and squeezed gently.

“I’m right here,” he said. “Right here with you.”

It was hard to ignore the wave of happiness that swept through her.

****

Other Stories from the EA Friday Feature:

The Restaurant: You’re a Waiter

Some Kind of Love – 4

Unlucky 13

The Plot it Thickens

 

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 6

6 – Longing for Cupcakes

“Keep the library,” Nicholas said, surprising himself. Renovations at the Villa were underway.EA 2

“Nick, you wanted to divide the library and turn it into two bedrooms,” the contractor in charge argued,

“I’ve changed my mind,” Nicholas said sitting back in his office chair.

He couldn’t forget the sight of Nalia standing by the windows, sunlight dancing on her pretty face. She had looked like a goddess with a golden smile, designed to turn him into an idiot. Why couldn’t he stop thinking about her?

“Nick?” his contractor said, cutting through his thoughts. “What about the books? They’re not exactly the best—

“Box them,” Nicholas said. “I’ll collect them this weekend.”

He knew a man who could restore those books.

“Whatever you want,” his disgruntled contractor said. “You’re the boss.”

Nicholas sighed.

“Keep to the schedule, Tony. We’re not working on this house for six months.”

“I promised one month, Nick,” Tony said.

“Make sure you keep the promise,” Nick urged ending the call.

The trouble with renovation and construction, no matter how many deadlines the contractor had, they always went beyond those deadlines.

Nicholas stared at his phone, ignoring the pile of files on his desk. Legal papers to notarize, cases to work, requests from his bosses to fill, today, he’d be stuck in his office until midnight.  His finger slid over his phone’s screen and he tapped on a two-month-old message from Nalia.

She’d paid the five hundred shillings through Mpesa. Her accompanying message read, “Thank you, Lifesaver.”

Nicholas smiled. He should have cleared the message by now, instead…he stared at the little smiley face she’d included and wondered how she was doing.

Nicholas wanted to reply to the message, had even composed replies, close to a dozen, but he never sent any. Exiting his messages, he placed his cell phone on the desk and shook his head.

This was no time to daydream about a woman. Nicholas reached for the folder on top of his pile and got to work. He had no time, he decided, no time to worry about a woman he’d met in the dark.

****

Two days later, Nicholas stood in line at a bakery opposite City Hall buying chocolate cupcakes. The aroma was delicious, but not the same one he remembered. He dreamt about that sweet scent of chocolate cupcakes every night it seemed.

His phone buzzed and Nicholas smiled when he saw Eli’s face on the screen.

“Come to my office,” Eli said in greeting.

“That’s in Westlands, you mad man. Traffic is killing right now,” Nicholas protested.

“I have a present for you,” Eli said. “If you don’t want it, fine, I’ll just eat Nalia’s cupcakes alone.”

Nicholas gaped. “What?”

“Cupcakes, chocolate,” Eli said with a laugh. “We have them at my office—

“Whose cupcakes?” Nicholas asked.

“Oh,” Eli chuckled. “Nalia. Remember her? Two months ago—

“I’m on the way.”

Nicholas dashed out of the bakery forgetting the order he’d made. The drive to Eli’s practice took one hour and that’s with reckless driving and angry horns from innocent drivers and pedestrians.

Traffic at two o’clock was no joke.

Nicholas drove into the Medical Plaza on Waiyaki way and parked at the front parking. He dumped his sunglasses on the dashboard, and got out of the car, his gaze roaming the three-story building that housed Eli’s medical practice.
Seemed as if business was good, what with the packed parking lot, Nicholas thought as he locked his car.
Nick went into the building and hurried through the lobby to catch the elevator as the doors closed.

“Hold,” he called out and cursed when the doors closed anyway.

He sighed and started to press the button to call another one. The doors opened and he stared at the woman carrying a cake box in the elevator.

“Nalia,” he whispered.

An older woman pushed her way past him into the open elevator, and Nalia gave him a frown.

“Are you coming?” she asked, her expression blank.

Nothing there to indicate she knew him, or she’d even been thinking about him. He scowled and entered the elevator, turning to punch the number to Eli’s office. The number three was lit, already pressed. His scowl deepened and he leaned on the wall, his gaze on Nalia.

The elevator stopped on the second floor, and the old woman exited. The doors closed and Nicholas crossed his arms against his chest.

“Hi Nalia,” he said. “Are you ill?”

She graced him with her smile.

“Hi, Nicholas,” she said. “Are you ill?”

“You can’t answer a question with a question.”

“And why not?”

“Because it’s going round in circles,” Nicholas said.

“Do I look sick to you?” Nalia asked.

Nalia looked great. Fitting silk green blouse, dark slacks that hugged her hips, her feet in green flats, no excess make-up, though her lips were a pretty red.  She was pretty.

“What?” she asked, when he didn’t comment.

Nicholas cleared his throat. “You look well.”

The elevator doors opened.

Nalia led the way out, Nicholas followed amazed when she got a round of hellos from the nurses at the reception desk. She got a very warm welcome, which was surprising. He’d never gotten that reaction from Eli’s nurses.

“How long have you been coming here?” Nicholas asked as they walked to Eli’s office.

“A while,” she said with a shrug.

He frowned. “Are you really not sick?”

Why else would she visit Eli so much?

Nalia shrugged and opened the door to Eli’s office. Nicholas followed, his frown only deepening when he saw Eli grin from ear to ear at the sight of Nalia. They greeted each other like old friends. He was jealous.

“Nick,” Eli said, glancing at him. “Come on in and close the door.”

“What’s going on here?” Nicholas asked, afraid of the answer.

Eli was single after all.

Eli took out a chocolate cupcake from the white box Nalia had set on his desk. He smiled and held it up.

“I promised you cupcakes, didn’t I?”

Eli took a bite and groaned with pleasure.

“You’re magic, Nalia. These are delicious. Your customers must be going crazy.”

Nicholas stopped in the middle of the office, his gaze on Nalia who sat in an armchair, that maddening smile on her lovely face.

“You own a bakery?” Nicholas asked.

“I do now,” Nalia said. “I’m also a teacher.”

“Sit down, Nick,” Eli said holding out a cupcake to him. “Nalia and me, we have a favor to ask you.”

Nicholas took the cupcake and sat next to Nalia. To think he’d been dreaming of these cupcakes for weeks. He smiled because in truth, he’d wanted to see Nalia, wanted to know more about her.

“Nicholas, Nalia needs a lawyer,” Eli said, shocking him. “Can you help?”

Nicholas turned to look at Nalia.

“I’m divorcing my husband.”

****

Thank you for reading. ^_^

Previous Chapters

Girl with a Golden Smile – 5

Other EA Friday Feature Stories:

The Restaurant – Waiting on Tables

Some Kind of Love

Porn with Plot

The 9th Circle

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 4

Prompt:

quote

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 4

“You haven’t told me your name,” Nalia said.

She trailed behind Nicholas, watching him survey the house. She supposed he was assessing his purchase. She tugged peeling paint from the wall in the corridor, and winced when white dust fell on the floor.

“Nicholas.” He flashed a grin at her. “Nicholas Muchemi.”

She nodded.

“Nice to meet you,” she said.

“So, Nalia,” Nicholas said walking down to the next room on the second floor. “What were you running from last night?”

“Do you have to know?”

“You said I was your lifesaver.  Of course I have to know.”

Nicholas leaned on the doorjamb to what appeared to be a library. There were old books left on the shelf. Nalia entered the room, the books calling to her.

“Lifesaver or not, I don’t know you well enough to tell you,” Nalia said, stopping by the bookshelves. She read the titles on the shelves with interest.

“Do you like books?” Nicholas asked.

“Some,” Nalia said touching the old spines. “The owner of these ones didn’t take care of them. Are you going to sellOld-Books them?”

“Maybe,” Nicholas said coming to stand beside her. “I might have them restored and keep them as part of the house.”

“How often do you do this sort of thing?” she asked, pulling out a geography encyclopedia from the shelf.

“This is my third house.”

Pride colored Nicholas’s words. Of course he would take pride in his achievement. She couldn’t imagine how much money it took to restore a house like this. She’d probably never see that kind of cash in her life. Returning the encyclopedia, she sighed and walked to the windows.

“It must be nice,” she said, staring out at the overgrown flower gardens behind the house.

“It’s a challenge. I like challenges,” Nicholas answered behind her. “You’re changing the subject, Nalia.”

“I don’t want to talk about last night. Why are you making me wait for your friend?”

“He’s a doctor.”

Nalia turned to look at Nicholas. He walked along the bookshelf, reading the book titles like a connoisseur. He was tall, taller than Malik. Nicholas was lean where Malik was bulky. Nicholas moved with grace, a warm refined air clung to him. Nalia imagined it came from years of living in a world he’d mastered.

She couldn’t imagine Malik browsing a bookshelf. Her husband preferred watching the news, and reading newspapers as though they held the secrets of the world. He thought novels were a waste of time, and he only wrote when he absolutely had to.

“Nalia,” Nicholas broke into her thoughts.

She blinked and stared at him.

“What are you thinking about? You looked so far away. My friend just text me, he’s two minutes away. We should head downstairs.”

Nalia frowned. “You said he was a doctor?”

Nicholas chuckled.

“Don’t worry, Eli is a real doctor. I saw him graduate and get his certification.”

Nalia stared at him and then she laughed.

The saga of a quack doctor had taken over the local news. A man who’d pretended to be a doctor and used his position to abuse women instead. She imagined doctors were having a hard time lately, having to prove they were real doctors.

Nicholas had a sense of humor.

She liked that.

“I like your laugh,” Nicholas said studying her.

His compliment shouldn’t have excited her, but it did. Warmth burst inside her, so vibrant, she forgot all the reasons why liking him was wrong. Heat suffused her cheeks and she dropped her gaze to the floor.

“We should go,” he said then.

She nodded and followed him out of the library.

She imagined the folks living here before must have been grand to have a whole room designated as a library. All her books were stacked on a carton in her closet. She often had to fight with her clothes to get those books to sit well.

Downstairs, anxiety hit when she heard the sound of another car. She slowed down, while Nicholas seemed to increase his footsteps, hurrying to the front door. She watched him open the door with a flourish.

She stopped in the middle of the living room. Fear returned, and she realized how free she’d felt before, when it had just been her and Nicholas. This house had somehow given her solace from her life in the last twelve hours. Sitting at the kitchen table with Nicholas, prowling the house with him, laughing…she couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt so carefree.

The sound of excited male voices outside reached her and she closed her eyes. She was scared again.  Nicholas returned followed by a short light-skinned man who carried a medical bag.

“Eli, this is Nalia,” Nicholas said, leaving the front door open. “Nalia, this is my best friend, Eli. He’s a private doctor.”

Nalia could only nod, her voice lost. She tried for a smile, but even that seemed stuck.

“Nalia,” Eli said with a warm smile. “I hope Nicholas has been good to you?”

She glanced at Nicholas and her traitorous heart skipped a beat.  Guilt set in. She was married. Yet here she was…tempted.

Alas, it was true; there is no one in the world that lived without sin, was she to count her sins in the last day, she was sure to burn.

Malik would be the one to burn her, she thought with a shiver.

“Shall we find a private room?” Eli broke into her thoughts. “I’ll take a look at that bruise on your cheek, put ointment on it.”

Nicholas pointed to a door to their right. She gave him a nervous smile and led the way to the door. It opened into a study. There was an old desk and a pair of chairs before it. She chose one and let out a shaky breath when Eli produced a stethoscope.

She closed her eyes when he leaned down to study the bruise on her cheek.

“Can I ask how you got this?” Eli asked.

She’d heard the question asked many times before. Concerned friends, her mother, her neighbors…she always lied. She told them stories of falling, bumping into doors, cupboards, absurd lies…never the truth. Opening her eyes, she met a kind gaze, and suddenly she just couldn’t lie anymore. Tears filled her eyes and she found she couldn’t form the words, though she wanted to say them.

“Did someone hit you?” Eli asked then, taking a seat.

She nodded, making the tears slide down her cheeks.

“Was it your husband?” Eli asked his gaze on her left hand.

Nalia fought back the shame that welled inside her and took in a deep breath.

“Yes,” she said, feeling as though she was jumping over a huddle. “My husband hit me.”

****

Previous Chapters

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 3

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 2

The Girl with the Golden Smile -1

Read More EA Friday Feature Entries

What If – by Annemarie Musawale

A Mother’s Love – Maureen Wakarindi

EA Friday Feature – September Prompt #3

EA Friday FeatureFriday Feature1

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share posts from fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

September Prompt #3:

A Quote: There is, No One in the World, That Lives without Sin…

quote

Previous Prompt Responses:

The Red Kanga

Read the EA Friday Feature August Issue for Free.

EA Friday Feature – September Prompt #2

Friday Feature1

EA Friday Feature

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share posts from fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Sept. Prompt #2:

Mystic woods
Once again we have a picture. The Mystic Woods! What story do you see here? The due date for this prompt is: September 11, 2015.
Remember the prompt is simply a guideline…let your creative juices flow and your imagination go wild.
Last Week’s Prompt Responses:
Rosemary – Nilichoandika
The Cursed Blessing – Flashes of Vice
Stay Tuned for the next series of stories…from the EA. ^_^

EA Friday Feature – September Prompt #1

The Prompt for September:

Friday Feature1

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share the posts of fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

September Prompt #1

Risk: What is your interpretation of Risk: A gamble on something

Last Prompt Responses:
Chocolate Cupcakes