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gorgeous young black woman with afro hair

There is a common saying in town that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. For Chinenye, it was a different story all together. She grew up alongside her two brothers. She wasn’t just beautiful but well adored by all. Being the last born and only daughter of her parents added aesthetics to her beauty. Her brothers protected her like a mother hen protects her chicks, never letting anyone hover more than necessary around her. She was treated like a princess and grew up feeling like one. Even though from a middle class family, her parents, especially her dad, never let her lack a thing- she was his pet!

She soon got into the University and insisted on going from home as her elder brothers were already done with school, complaining that she didn’t want to live in a place where she knew no one. After weeks of shuttling, her dad decided to gift her with his second car to make things easier for her. An act, that to his surprise didn’t raise dust amongst her elder siblings. Chinenye drove the car with pride, limiting her group of friends to “the rich and beautiful”. She wasn’t just beautiful but regarded as the most beautiful in her class. Guys flocked around her both in and outside campus like flies flock around stool.

Chinenye had grown, being always referred to as “beautiful”. Maintaining her beauty had been a calculated effort, one she had gotten used to, one she didn’t have to think about, something she does without burning a flicker of energy. One could liken it to “the act of drinking water”, it was already part of her everyday life. All she knew how to do, she learnt from no one in particular, her mum had always been that carrier woman that was rarely at home, having no time to spend with and teach her daughter some basic things she needed.

five women laughing
Chinenye and her friends

Everyone who knew her well, at one point or another had found themselves complimenting her creativity. Her father referred to her as “the best thing that ever happened to him, of course, after her mother!”. She was known to be versatile, there was barely a discussion that sprang up without her making an input- the reason her siblings included her in the planning of the family business they were currently building. Different people had different reasons for developing such a deep “likeness” for Chinenye but she always believed her beauty was the force propelling the admiration on her person.

She had just had a happy Sunday evening with her friends and was on her way home when her car had a head-on collision with an incoming vehicle. Asked what happened and she couldn’t tell a thing, she couldn’t remember, it had all happened in a flash! All she could remember was that she was on her way back from a beautiful Sunday evening outing with her friends. She had been so happy as she drove home…. The next thing she remembered was waking up on a hospital bed with her mum by her bedside.

“mum, can I go home, I feel fine” she said, after carefully surveying the hospital room where she was alongside other numerous patients. She only had to put two and two together to realize she was in the emergency room. The hospital wasn’t her favorite place. Worst of all, the emergency room was the last place she wanted to be. The view of acutely ill-looking patients made her feel so sick. If she could have her way, she would just sneak out of the hospital if that was what it would take to leave this place stacked with sick people. The sight of a man who seemingly was involved in a ghasty motor accident made her develop nausea. The man had patches of superficial wounds with fresh blood oozing out of them. She couldn’t understand how others could cope with looking at him not to mention attending to him- the single reason she considered every doctor a demi-god.

wistful black woman with eyes closed touching face in thoughts

The scream from Nenye as she got back from the hospital was loud enough to alert the entire neighborhood. The shock on her face as she starred at herself in the mirror was eminent. She couldn’t believe it was the same Nenye she knew that starred right back at her. She didn’t only look like a ghost of her formal self but also had a huge plaster on her face! The pain she felt there was enough to tell her of just how big a scar it would leave behind. She felt her world crumble right before her eyes. She felt like the only good thing she had had just been wickedly snatched from her.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months yet, Nenye refused to talk to anyone. Even her friends in school couldn’t get around her. She sought homage on facemasks and dark googles to mask her nightmare. She deserted her friends like she never knew them, revolving her solitary life around academics, house chores, locking herself up in her room… Crying had become the order of the day. Every attempt to convince her that her best qualities were still intact fell on deaf ears.

As she sat under a tree in campus one afternoon, lost in thoughts, a phrase she was quiet used to but didn’t expect to hear caught her attention. At first, she waved it aside, not giving in to the prank her head was beginning to play on her but then, it came again…she was sure she heard something. “Hey beautiful, how are you doing?” she was forced to look up. At first, she thought the guy was going to run away the moment he saw her scar. She had gotten tired of masking it and had accepted her fate though always wallowing in self pity.

woman sitting on bench in park

She was proved wrong when the young man was just not only comfortable around her but also ready to see more of her. Months went by yet, the guy kept coming closer. Nenye, even though housing the thought that it was all a game and would soon come to an end, decided to go on with whatever it was they had going on. She had missed her friends and was so thrilled to have someone to talk to.

She was soon rehabilitated back to her usual self. Even though she wasn’t now so interested in her old friends, she still played aquintance to not just them but to everyone else in her class. Her family was most excited to have their only daughter back. The day Eddy popped the big question was the day the scale fell off Nenye’s eyes. She had gotten so close to and fond of him but never did it cross her mind that Eddy liked her enough to want to get married to her. She didn’t think any man would want an ugly woman with a scar on her face. It was then it dawned on her, the most important people in her life hadn’t loved her because of her beauty, they had done so because of who she was!

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  1. Amuche

    March 6, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Real love don’t only depend on physical out fit but internal person

  2. Paschal Madueke

    March 9, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Our minds play a lot of roles in our love life..nice one

  3. ViKtorsobe

    March 11, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    The holy book will describe Sarah’s beauty to be obedience to his husband purposely leaving out how beautiful a woman she is physically.

    Beauty indeed is in the eyes of the beholder

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woman standing near window in balcony

As Lydia hid behind the giant art work just behind the closed door, voyalge of thoughts ran through her head. Misconceptions after misconceptions. She couldn’t believe she let herself get so belittled! The perfect plan she had in her head was the exact opposite of what the world seemed to have in stock for her. The moment she heard the sound of the car as its driver drove out of the compound, she hurriedly picked up her stuff and dashed out of the house. Derrick’s voice, in all its sweetness could not stop her. She couldn’t let it. Her brain went from memory to memory, revoking every single time they had spent together to the detriment of her mental health. She couldn’t believe it had been a lie all along! How could Derrick do this to her, to her of all people!

The annoying sound from the forcefully closed door as Lydia made her way into her little sized self contain room alerted Zara, her roommate and long time best friend. The anger that sprout out her system, one she was ready to unleash on the intruder demystified as quickly as it had formed the moment Zara sighted her roommate. No words needed to be spoken, Lydia’s face said it all.

“Babe, what happened? Is something wrong with Derrick?” She asked the moment Lydia managed to take her seat.

The reply she got wasn’t encouraging. Lydia couldn’t talk. Tears poured down her eyes like a fresh downpour from a secluded spring. More tears found their way down her cheeks each time she opened her mouth to talk. Her heart was beginning to beat fast as she was beginning to choke as she drowned herself in her own tears. Zara’s heart was beginning to skip some beats, she was elated. Only one thing was capable of making a lady cry this way over a man. How she wished her guess was wrong. She knew how much her friend loved her fiance. She could still remember how brightly her eyes glittered the day Derrick had proposed.

Memories upon Memories flooded Lydia’s mind. She couldn’t get herself to understand how an already married man with a kid could lead another lady on, promising her heaven on Earth and even go to the extent of engaging her. To what end? How much more callous can a man be? She was caught in the midst of piercing emotions yet, no clue as at what to do. She pulled out the engagement ring off her finger and flung it to one corner of the room screaming: it is over!

Zara’s guess was confirmed, the worst of her fears… She was still yet to understand what could have led to the severance of a perfectly endowed relationship.

As though reading Zara’s thoughts, Lydia screamed :”can you believe that the idiot is married? His wife visited his house today. He had no idea she was coming. I’m sure if he did, he would have found a way of meeting me outside the house. Zara’s palms hugged tightly to her open mouth. The shock on her face was palpable. She didn’t see it coming. None of them did. It was the last thing she expected from Derrick.

Lydia stared in confusion, her brain turning like a wave under the influence of a multidirectional wind. Amidst the chaos going on in her head, one thing was clear, the only way out of this mess. She needed to move on, she needed to let go. Then comes the big question: can she? How would she embark on that journey of picking up what was left of the pieces??

As she wept, the realization began to creep through her system, the presence of her saviour. She felt His strongholds supporting her weak body. She felt relived knowing that the Lord was with her, the only thing standing between her and and life!

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portrait photo of woman

The loud voices from the other side of the house woke Kathy from sleep. It was another round of argument and name calling. Her parents were at it again. She had hoped that they will one day resolve whatever the clash of interest was but it didn’t look like that day will ever come. She covered her ears with her hands as the voices rose the more, trying however she could to wedge the words from stabbing her as she could literarily feel the words pierce through her system.

It was barely dawn when she changed into her gym outfit, grabbed her headset and made for her usual early morning jogging. It was the way she knew how to keep herself away from the tension that has long built up at home. The only way she could clear her head. Situations like this made her wish she was still in the University. How she missed hostel life now, even though she wasn’t a fan of it while it lasted. To her, anything was better than staying at home. The most annoying part was the fact that her parents have never told her exactly what the problem was.

Kathy strolled into the house lost in thoughts, the sweet Melody from Michael Jackson’s hit “you are not alone” caressing her ears with much inuendo. She was halfway up the stairs when she heard the shrill cry of her mum. She dragged the headset off her head with immediate effect and rushed down the stairs with so much energy for someone who had just drained herself working out. She traced the voice to the kitchen but it was no longer her mum crying, it was the other way round: her mum lay motionless on the floor while tears poured down her dad’s eyes.

Kathy was shocked. She stood staring, her mouth ajar with her two palms cupping a greater part of its opening. She stared from her dad to her mum, back to her dad. As she was finally able to focus on the blood that oozed out of her mother’s head, tears surged down her cheeks. Her mother’s cracked skull stared back at her.

It took her a few minutes to realize she actually had nothing to say to her dad. Nothing! Nothing, yet. She turned with immediate effect, rushed to her room, packed a few of her things and rushed out of the house. She was long gone before her dad realized that he was home alone.

Kathy made her way to the nearest bus stop and joined the first bus at sight. She was fighting to keep her sanity intact. She had her headset on with lucky Dube’s Crazy world blaring at the highest volume. She wanted to escape. She craved for the foul engrave of the memory to dabble away.

It took the shred voice of the bus driver to bring Kathy back to the present. He had obviously repeated himself over and over again and was beginning to loose his cool. The reason was evident: Kathy looked around but there was no one else in the bus. It was at that moment that she realized that she has no idea where she was.

“We have reached out last bus stop madam, please come down” he said again, staring at Kathy as though if she spent another minute in his bus she would contaminate it.

“Please where are we?” Kathy asked as she made her way down.

The driver gave her an even more horrifying look before muttering “Akwa-Ibom” state. “You have not paid me my money o” he added, his voice high this time.

Kathy stared at him for a while. She felt lost and confused. She couldn’t understand how she could move from Anambra state to Akwa-Ibom state within such a short period. She had been so lost in thoughts during the drive that she didn’t notice how long it had taken. Scribbling some naira notes from her purse, she handed them over to the driver and made her way down the street.

It was her first time in Uyo. She had always known it to be not just the capital of Akwa-Ibom but also a nice place to reside. As she kept walking, all she saw was the dark cloud hovering over her. Everywhere she looked, there it was. Even with the street lights radiating from all angles, she still couldn’t appreciate the beauty of the town. She neither knew anyone in Uyo nor had any idea where she was headed. She couldn’t remember passing any Hotel nor did she know the nearest place to get one.

It was the most grueling moment of her life. She could feel her world collapsing right before her. A grain of tear found its way down her cheeks and she wiped it off, determined to encapsulate the tears and mask her grief.

The sight of a restaurant was like a grey of Hope in her misery packed journey. She barely touched the food she was served when the news from the television stole what was left of her appetite.

“The sudden death of Mrs Regina Offordile, the wife of the millionaire business tycon, Chief Uzodinma Offordile who was found dead in her kitchen earlier in the day in a suspected home accident is under investigation. Her husband, Chief Offordile, the only witness to the scene is too traumatized to speak to us. The ware abouts of Kathy, their only child is unknown. A picture of her will be made available soon. Anyone who helps us locate her will be handsomely rewarded. Once again, we sympathize with the family.”

Kathy kept staring at the television. She couldn’t believe her ears. How could her dad do this to them, how could he do this to her? Even though she wasn’t there when the accident happened, she knew her dad propelled it. How dare he pretend to know nothing, making it look like she was on the run out of guilt? Now the police was looking for her like she was the culprit. In a matter of days now, her picture will be all over the place and her dad would have just succeeded in stealing away her freedom, the only thing she had left!

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grayscale photography of woman

Laura woke up perplexed. The last thing she remembered was getting drunk in a restaurant on a bid to escape the fraustration that sorged her system. Everything was unusual about this strange environment. Ranging from the sweet fragerance of fresh roses to the elegantly decorated bedroom with magnificent pieces of furniture lying at strategic positions.

The size of the bedroom alone surpassed her entire house put together. She was lost in awe as she starred from furniture to furnish, almost drooling. The sound of someone clearing his throat alerted her. She turned briskly to the direction of the voice and froze. She wasn’t sure but something about this young man sitting comfortably by her bedside looked familiar.

“Who are you and what am I doing here?” She asked, guarding herself on the bed, ready for the worst. The guy said nothing but only pointed at a shirt hung at a corner of the room. Laura looked from the guy to the shirt, back to the guy. It wasn’t clicking. She couldn’t tell what was going on.

“Use your words mister!” She screamed at him, rolling her eyes.

The young man cast a quizzical glance at her. For a moment he was silent. When he finally spoke, he pointed at the shirt again. “Doesn’t that shirt strike a cord?” He asked, calmly at first before raising his voice when Laura just starred at him without saying a word.

“That was the shirt I wore last night and I doubt if I would ever wear it again, no thanks to ill mannered simpletons like yourself!”, he yelled.

Laura was shocked and scared as the memory of the awful encounter flashed through her mind. She quickly covered her mouth with her hands, expecting the worst.

A knock on the door by Raph, the young man’s driver and personal assistant took Laura off the hook. She immediately took a deep breath and retracted further from the young man.

“Boss, the witch is here!” Raph announced the moment he entered the room. The young boss whom Laura got to know was called Leo, jumped to his feet, agitated.

“Is there a problem?”, Laura asked when she noticed the sudden focus on her.

“Mrs Gladstone is here. I know you don’t know her but the summary is that she is Boss Leo’s biggest business partner and she is trouble. Boss Leo is forcefuly engaged to her grand daughter Lucy, even though he has no interest in her. It’s the only reason their business relationship still waxes stronger. She is equally boss Leo’s mother’s closest friend. They have the same character. I know you are from a poor family. Let’s just say that if she singles you out, you are as good as dead!”. Raph explained.

Laura’s mouth was wide open. She wasn’t sure what to say. “Hey, is that hereditary?”, she said after the pause, looking at Leo who cast her a warning glance, then looked away.

Mrs Gladstone walked into the room with her head high. She always carried herself like a queen. “Who is she?”, She asked without even a response to their greetings. Leo immediately cooked up some lies about Laura’s background. Laura was terrified. She had been scared at first but seeing how Mrs Gladstone kept every other person on their toes terrified her. She couldn’t wait to run away from this oven called home!

Laura ran off the moment she got the chance. She never stopped running until she got to the bus stop where she boarded a bus. As expected, her mum and her younger brother were already parambulating around, walking to and fro their little compound wearing the typical hopeless countenance.

“Where did you sleep last night? Do you know how worried we were? Your father even had to go to work late all in the name of waiting for you to return. We haven’t even gotten any edible ready for your grandmother who informed us that she will be paying us a visit today simply because we were worried about you!”, her mum sighed. Laura didn’t need a suite Sayer to inform her that her mother’s bag of questions were rhetorical.

“Did you say grandmother, what grandmother?” She queried, turning to look at her mother.

“Which other grandmother do you have if not mine, or are you ready to resurrect your paternal grandmother from her grave?”

“Mum, that is not funny at all. The point is, I have never seen your mother!” She complained and made her way into the house.

“Well, you will see her today. It’s about time” her mum said to the already closed door.

The sound of the approaching vehicle alerted everyone in the house. “Your grandmother is around” screamed Laura’s mother.

Laura was shocked to see the same woman she had seen earlier that day. “Mrs Gladstone!”, She screamed before she realized it.

“Yes, that’s your grandmother. I’m sure you are taken aback by the fact that she looks almost my age. She had me when she was sixteen, that’s why.” Laura’s mum explained.

Laura was speechless. She had no idea what to say. Lots of questions to be asked. How could a woman as rich and accomplished as Mrs Gladstone be her grandmother yet, they have lived in abject poverty for as long as she could remember.

One thing was certain, Mrs Gladstone wasn’t exactly an easy person to deal with but that notwithstanding, her mum had a lot of explaining to do.

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