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Sexy Times with Nnenna Marcia: We all fall down: Part I

Abby

I felt as if I passed the whole week the same way; sleep, wake up, bathe, eat, sleep. All the while I was aware of my mother’s presence hovering just outside the corner of my eye. I was reassured and irritated by her watch. I didn’t want to talk. I knew I must, at some point. It didn’t have to be now.

Belinda’s wedding came and passed. Or did it? I didn’t know and I couldn’t care. All I thought about was my job, whether I had one, what I could have done differently, whether this all was karma or if I truly stank at project managment. But even as the thought formed, I shook it away. I was good at my job dammit, which left just karma. And oh, boy was she a bitch.

Every time I woke up, I checked my phone for missed calls and the date of the hotel’s launch grew closer, hour by passing hour. The clocks in the house seemed too loud. The fires no longer burned on TV and all the mobile policemen had gone but the community was still restless. I was surprised to get the general email summoning us all to site. I was grateful, pathetically so, to be included. Now something was happening at last. It felt good.

I missed Greg. I missed my friend badly, terribly. I had got so used to having him around again that I felt his absence keenly. I kept playing back snippets of our conversation, trying to glean what his advice for my current situation would be from past dialogues. Maybe it was harder this time because I felt he was judging me and it hurt, or maybe it was because he was the one who left not me, on my way to London. He was the one who had abandoned our friendship maybe for good. But what could I do? He was not taking my calls. I didn’t have answers only more questions and a string of theories.

And there was evening and there was morning and I avoided my mother.

***

There was a buzz in the air when I got to the site that morning, a barely suppressed hum of excitement.  Todd looked red and angry under the sun, like the head of a pimple.

“I tell you, I did not call any meeting,” he shouted. Then he heard the bang of my car door and turned. He asked loud enough for someone from the neighbouring village to hear; “What the hell is the secretary doing here?”

“Good morning, Todd,” I said. I felt lighter than air. It was as if I had just returned from vacation. My white shirt filled with fresh air and billowed as a breeze started up, trying to break free of where I had tucked it into the band of my trousers. “You look like shit. I take it starting community wars takes it toll?”

“Somebody get her off my site, please.”

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I am still employed by this company. I was asked to be here, same as the others.” I felt as if I was getting my old self back. It was as if I had sloughed off old skin. It was madness to think I could avoid my family forever but for now I was not going to think about it. And for once I didn’t give a damn what anyone thought.

The next car to pull into the parking lot was Orji’s. He grinned and waved when he saw me. Todd’s scowl deepened.

“Right, I am going to get to the bottom of this,” he said marching off towards one of the chalets.

“What is his problem?” Orji said by way of greeting.

“I don’t know. Maybe something crawled up his bum and died true-true. How are you?” Orji hugged me lightly. In that gesture I could tell he was as glad to be back as I was.

“I can’t wait to see what is going on. We’re here for a reason….” he broke off as another vehicle pulled into the compound.

“I believe we just found out who wants us here,” I said. The air filled with an orchestra, like you hear in Hollywood films. It was like angels singing; ‘Ahhhh-ahhhhhh-ahhhhhhh’. I seemed to be the only one hearing it if the smile on my face was anything to go by.

As she stepped out, her hair gleamed more than I remembered, it was a new copper coin straight from the mint, the sun seemed to shine more brightly, eager to claim back some of the glory from her gorgeous red locks.

“Hi, Sarah-Jane,” I said brightly. My heart beat faster.

“Hello, Abby,” she said without as much as a glance at me. My heart sank.

“Welcome, Madam. You are well?” asked Orji.

Sarah-Jane smiled at him. “Orji,” she responded simply. “Somebody get me that nincompoop,” she said to no one in particular. She didn’t say anyone’s name either but someone broke free of the crowd and went in the same direction as Todd had gone. The hum in the air took on a feverish edge. It was as if I could hear it in my head, in my blood, in my bones. I could barely stand still. When I moved again, Sarah-Jane raised her eyebrow without turning her head. I soon realised I wasn’t the only one shuffling. A lot of us were doing it. I stopped.

Todd hurried from the chalet, looking angry. As soon as he saw Sarah-Jane, the majority of his crease lines vanished from his forehead. You could still see that he was annoyed though. The muscles of his jaw clenched and unclenched and when he did smile it did not reach his eyes.

“Sarah-Jane, glad to see you back. I hear you’ve been poorly? Perhaps you should get out of this heat. I don’t know how the locals stand it.”

“I’m from South Africa,” Sarah-Jane deadpanned.

“Right, right, but still. It’s a much more civilised place than here,” said Todd. “Nigeria certainly had potential in the seventies I am told. Now it’s all chaos. Everyone wants a bribe and no one wants to work. You habe to whip them into shape.”

“Oh?” said Sarah-Jane. “Is that what you’ve done then?” She did not wait for his answer. She nodded and the girl behind her who I had not seen until that moment came forward. She handed an envelope to Todd.

“What’s this?” he said taking it from her hand. The blood rushed to his face, making it redder and angrier. If he was a boil, he would be at lancing point. “Hey, what the hell…?”

“Tickets, back to London, tonight,” said Sarah-Jane.

“Now look here, I was given this project fair and square. It’s not my fault you women cannot organise shit to save yourselves. And you,” he pointed with the tickets at her. “Had to go off with some women’s issue no doubt. I stepped in and did what needed to be done.”

“You stepped in and caused a full-scale uprising,” said Sarah-Jane. I had gasped when Todd said ‘Women’s issue’. Sarah-Jane did not flinch. “This is what people like you do. You have to try and be macho and feed your ego. Why crack an egg with a hammer? It’s pointless.”

“People like me?” The veins in Todd’s head popped. “I got the job done when your glorified secretary could not! I got rid of that one,” he pointed at Orji, “For working with the villagers against us. You women sure do stick together don’t you? What about her? What about her part in all this?” He made a disdainful gesture towards me. “I…”

“You forget your place,” said Sarah-Jane. “I am still one of your bosses, a partner with the company. If I bother you so much quit. Otherwise,” she took a step forward. “Get off my land.”

***

“The company is selling,” said Sarah-Jane by way of starting the meeting. There was a collective gasp, but she ploughed through regardless. “We would like to thank you for doing your jobs and remaining steadfast during this time. You will all be paid your salary this month and Christmas bonuses to compensate you for any trouble you might have faced.” She flipped through the papers in front of her on the table. “Certain other medical bills have been paid,” she nodded at Orji.

“Thank you, Ma,” he said.

I was too shocked to move. I felt my hands grow steadily colder and colder until they were blocks of ice. I rubbed them together to warm them, but it was futile. I shook my head. I wanted to stand up and howl but Sarah-Jane’s frosty look made me keep my seat and my cool.

“We will be writing reference letters for those who need it of course. No need to lose out on other jobs just because this one didn’t happen,” Sarah-Jane was still flipping through the papers. At the silence she looked up, eyes cutting through the throng. “Of course you may mention that you worked on this project on your CV but with it going belly-up, it might not be a good idea.” She attempted a smile.

A hand shot up into the air. “Yes?” said Sarah-Jane.

“How long will we have to get leave?” asked a smallish woman who worked in accounts. Gloria, her name was. “I mean, when is it going to be sold? What’s the time frame?”

“As soon as we can find a buyer, Gloria,” said Sarah-Jane turning on one of her rare smiles. Gloria beamed back, thrilled at having her boss remember her name.

“Any other questions?” asked Sarah-Jane, looking around. Nobody moved. “That will be all then.”

I made to leave, feeling as though my head was going to split in two. I had failed again. ‘I am worthless. Everyone is right. I will never be more,’ I thought to myself. My feet throbbed as if they were expanses of pure pulse. As I reached the door, I heard Sarah-Jane call my name.

“Abby? A word?” she said. She waited until the last person had gone before she fixed me in her green-eyed gaze. “Sit down,” she said. “And tell me why my trust in you has not been misplaced. And yes,” she crossed her legs. “This is an interview; an interview to save your job.”

***

 

Sarah Amuah was sitting with my mother, laughing when I walked in. She looked so at home that I made to walk past the sitting room and go upstairs for a quick shower and maybe, to hide away.

“Are you trying to sneak off?” I heard her shout in my direction.

“No,” I said, dropping my shoes from my hands. I had taken them off to move silently.

“I hope not. We heard your car outside. It would have been foolish,” she said.

“What are you doing here? Good evening mummy,” I said.

Sarah Amuah rolled her eyes and avoided the question. “How is your back?”

“Sarah-Jane is back,” I said to distract her.

“She is?” Sarah Amuah shrieked. My mother looked at the two of us, one after another and said nothing. “Why didn’t you tell me! Is that where you have been all this while?”

They are selling the…” I couldn’t get the words out. My throat clamped shut over them. “They are selling the hotel. They said it is too high risk and they have lost a lot of money on it. They are looking to sell it back to the government or to anyone ‘crazy enough to take it on’,” I made air quotes with my hands.

Sarah Amuah shrugged. “You see it all the time. Big companies hate losing money, as I am sure you know.”

“I know,” I said. “But this is my baby.” I shook my head. “It’s different when it’s your baby.” I sank into an armchair. “I was so close.”

“And you’ll be close again, Otito. Why must you always underestimate your abilities? Why do you always sell yourself short?” asked my mother.

“I should be asking you that question, mum,” I said.

“Look at the time. I should leave, maybe I can meet Sarah-Jane? Do you know what hotel she is staying in?” Sarah Amuah studied my face. “Don’t worry, I’ll find out.” She picked up your phone and pressed a button. It speed dialled a number. “All those brochures wasted,” she shook her head.

“Don’t worry you’ll be paid.”

“Of course I will be paid!” she eyed me as if I had sprouted horns and was coming at her. “Still it’s a shame you can’t get the money together and buy it yourself. That way, the brochures will still come in handy, not to mention the whole thing. I really enjoyed working there. And it is such a solid business idea…yes! Hello? I need you to help me find out where someone is saying,” she said into her telephone. She gave my mother a quick hug and peck on the cheek and was out, her heel clicking on the tiled floor. Her peplum skirt would have looked slutty on anyone else. It just made Sarah look classy.

My heart beat faster and faster and faster still as a germ of an idea took root.

“What? Otito what is it?” asked my mother, her voice raised in alarm.

“Nothing mummy, just an idea…” I started walking off, building the business plan in my head. It was a long shot but still…

“Otito, are you doing this to avoid out talk?” asked my mother. I turned to her. Something in her face, some sadness made me go back and hug her.

“No mummy, I swear. This is something I have to do, something important. We will talk, we need it. But now, I just have to do this.”

“Ok,” she said.

When I got upstairs, I shut the door and dialled the number from memory. The phone was answered on the fourth ring.

“Hello?” said the familiar voice. It brought tears to my eyes just to hear it; warm, and mature.

“Hello, Mr Big. ”

I heard his laughter in my head seconds before it came through on the line. “To what do I owe this pleasure,” he asked, exactly the way I remembered.

“Charles, listen darling. I know I am being very cheeky, but I really need your help. I wouldn’t call if I didn’t. I might need your special Mergers and Acquisitions game face on this one.”

He laughed again. “I’m listening,” he said. I started to talk.

About the Author

has written 58 stories on this site.

45 Comments
  1. AM says:

    Ghatdamb!
    (This was a juicy read)

    -Sarah is back and means business. I just liked how she handled Todd like the shit he is. These men that think that women cannot perform like them, just because of their gender need to be shown hurricane like drama.

    -Charles? Who is he? Her sugar daddy? This new addition is quite interesting, perhaps salicious? Or is it her father?

  2. SA_Girl says:

    Me starting to like Abby again, glad she’s learning to control her life & stand up for herself

  3. Nnenna says:

    Charles is not new. You can’t remember? Charles is …who can tell me? Who remembers? Let me know who’s a fan with a capital F. 😉

    • AM says:

      Do you know I had to go and search for this Charles oga. He is the multi-millionaire who paid off her morgage. All these men are at her beck and call. Her kitty must have strange powers.

  4. Nana Akosua says:

    Go Abby! I knew you will come into you own soon enough…Nnenna, where’s my Greg now?

  5. Nnenna says:

    Nana, he’s coming! wait, wait. Ok?

  6. koo says:

    Charles, am sure he is the same guy from the first sex scene. He was getting married right?

  7. Nnenna says:

    I don’t know that it’s just her pussy for them – if the banter between them is anything to go by. And I’d hate to think that there are no more nice people in the world to hear me out if I rang, I mean it’s not as if she’s been calling him all this while right?

    • AM says:

      @Nnenna,

      She got that bomb kitty it seems. But thus far, she’s been able to engage her conquests outside the bedroom. So she has quite the diverse portfolio. I ain’t mad at her. So you are going to be bringing Greg…please can you have a one on one with him before introducing him back. Tell him to put his big boy pants on, this time around.

  8. Ford says:

    Abby buys the Hotel (or goes into a partnership with Charles) employs Sarah Amuah, marries Greg and they live a happy Life. Wes divorces Belinda, and so on. Now that would be a good ending. Not that am in a hurry to see the series end.

  9. Nana Darkoa says:

    Hahaha. I like Ford’s ending. I too, do not want the series to end

  10. Nnenna says:

    Adding Ford’s name to the list beside Kofi’s! Grrrrr….

    AM, Greg has his reasons for what he does. You’ll see!

    • Ford says:

      Nnenna, am not sure why am being added on the list beside Kofi. But from the tone, it must be for preempting reasons. Can I just defend myself and say, who wouldnt want Greg and Abby marrying? They make what we would call a “perfect couple”.

  11. Saffron says:

    Nenna Marcia — “We want Greg! We want Greg! We want Greg!” 😉 What personal or professional crisis would have him MIA so long? His decision to put Abby on ‘time out’ means he’s planning something big for the both of them or he’s dealing with Abby’s rejection and reframing their relationship.

    Selling the land: you blindsided me with that one but a great opportunity for Abby. She should hire Sarah A. – Sarah A. strikes me as creative/innovative and good support system for Abby.

    I would have liked to know how Abby’s discussion with Sarah J. panned out in order to get a sense of how Abby’s character is learning (or not) to handle the curveballs life and work are throwing at her.

    I don’t see Abby ending up with Wes because she is flawed and the circumstances surrounding their affair are too complex to facilitate a happy (n)ever after.
    Abby and Greg – Greg has been represented as a lifetime loyal & faithful friend. While I would like them to end up together that would be too obvious. Abby needs someone to challenge her to be better (or address her flaws) and not in the manner Greg has done thus far – he needs to ‘alpha lion’ up or remain a friend for life. I’d like to see Greg challenged more which brings me to Greg & Wes. How does this brotherhood end or morph in light of Abby’s revelation to Greg (about her sexual trysts with Wes) and the Abby vs Belinda smackdown (which by the way was a draw)? I’d love a fight scene – gladiator style 😉 kidding about the gladiator style but I maintain my stance on the fight – pretty please. I do not see Greg and Wes remaining friends after this.

    And Wes – he’s been without agency throughout the story, controlled by sexual urges towards Abby and I have no idea what for Belinda (although I suspect power and smarts. He knows Belinda is rich, powerful and influential – however she does it, she does influence people – and he’s found a good thing).

    Kofi is missing in action in the commentary!

    Nenna I’m looking forward to the next installment.

  12. Nnenna says:

    I might have to punish you ladies now. I was going to put up the next one today as it’s already written but all your preempting might make me change a few things now just to throw you off. Why must you always do this to me eh? Patience I say! Patience! Greg’s bit is done. 😉

    Saffron, should I add your name? 😀

    (Soaking garri for energy)

  13. Saffron says:

    Nnenna Marcia — If I’m on the list do I get a yellow card like Kofi? 🙂

    ” I was going to put up the next one today as it’s already written but all your preempting might make me change a few things now just to throw you off.”
    *gasp* Nnenna it is forbidden to keep us waiting too long! Y’know we love our ‘Sexy times with Nnenna Marcia’.

  14. Saffron: I was biding my time, waiting for all the major insights – yours, especially – to be shared, then… wham! I’d swoop in, steal, borrow, cajole..

    So far, the plan is working.

    Let’s review:

    This story has been a sexier retelling of Don Quixote… as it nears its end… the parallels to Cervantes become clearer.

    A heroine pursues a destiny for reasons known mostly to her, but she manages to secure her Rocinante in the form of a pretty risky project involving dangerous caves – think the terrors that they might hold – and restive natives.

    Her side-kick, Sancho Greg, demonstrates that he is a true side-kick, loyal, if occasionally given to fits of pique.

    A cousin – an inn-keeper who would have our heroine sleep in the stables, if she could, and certainly doesn’t want her dining in the same precincts as her, especially if that buffet is in the Wes!

    So, where are we? After many enjoyable and turbulent twists and turns of plot, our knight’s bare folly has been exposed over and over again: you can’t find love in the inn-keeper’s bed, the restive natives don’t see the world the way you do, side-kicks can be pushed too far, some truths are only known by the woman who diapered you, and when in doubt, go for the sure thing, that would be Charles.

    You can expose her folly, but like all true dreamers and people who change the world, their monomania is infectious… You just can’t stop her!

    How am I doing so far, Nnenna and Saffron?

    • Nana Darkoa says:

      Hahahaa @Kofi you are hilarious

    • Saffron says:

      Kofi — only you could Quixoticize Abby’s story – so profound!

      Quick query: “This story has been a sexier retelling of Don Quixote… as it nears its end… the parallels to Cervantes become clearer.” When you refer to the parallels, do you mean Alonso Quixano (alias Don Quixote) the protagonist or Cervantes, the author?

      The analogy you provide between the characters and pursuits in Abby’s story and the Don Quixote plot are percipient. I agree with most of them although I think there are subtle difference between Sancho Greg and Sancho Panza. But that’s nitpicking.

      The Rocinante – hotel project comparison was brilliant!
      Overall good summation of the storyline.

      You left out Abby’s Dulcinea del Tobosa though – is there one?

      Nnenna Marcia is doing a great job of providing twists and turns like the Don Quixote story. In the end does Abby become a realist? or does she remain a dreamer?

      I was trying to get one up on you by developing an analogy between my current reading material and Abby’s story but I’m reading ‘Lords of Poverty’. Although, I am tempted to analyse Abby’s story using Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth”.

      PS — we are on Nnenna Marcia’s “list”. 🙂

      • Saffron,

        We got off the list! High five!

        Yes, the Cervantes v. Quixote issue resolved in favor of Quixote.

        More than subtle differences between Sancho Greg and Sancho Pancho… first, I don’t remember the latter trying to osculate the knight.

        “Overall good summation… ” I’ll take that. As I said earlier, I only skim for the good parts.. and they are enough.. Too much… and I get over-satiated.

        I nominate Sarah-Jane as our Dulcinea.. what say you?

        Abby has NO capacity for realism.. it ill-suits her.. see the new departure towards Charles.. The dream is still being pursued.

        Monomyth is all-enveloping, but am worried about the starting point of the story.. would it have started in the village, with London being the place where the heroine gets tested, and the village where she comes to dispense her boons? Or is the arc London, village, London? In which case, Nnenna, you have more work to do.

        Abby heads back to London, wiser, sexually-clarified, leads a women’s group that strengthens and heals?

        As I said, I love Nnenna and her deep, textured work…

  15. Nnenna says:

    God, I love you guys especially Kofi and Saffron for likening my work to Cervantes. That’s the kind of analysis I like, not the preempting kind! (Even though I appreciate whatever form any interest in my story takes)

    I’ll take your names off the list X1.

    I’m gonna miss you all!

  16. Nnenna says:

    Kofi, you’re on the list again for preempting my arc. Yes, she does go back to London dammit!

    • Nnenna, not my fault, she asked my opinion, she did, or induced my reflecton on Monomyth. And sometimes I don’t even know what my fingers are typing.. Honest!

      Seriously!

  17. Maceri says:

    Dear Nnenna, next instalment please!!!

  18. Nnenna Marcia says:

    Guys, I am having a little trouble as outlined on my site. My publishers want me to do something about my book and I don’t…I don’t know if I should. Can you help?

    http://www.nnennamarcia.com/2013/06/05/whats-in-a-name/

    • Ekuba says:

      suggested names: Marcia; Marcia N; Marsha; Miss Marsha; Miss M; Marcelle, Mademoiselle Noire :); Chocolate Goddess; Ebony goddess; Midnyte (don’t laugh lol). Agree with SA girl that your name depends on the genre or target audience. I selected these names because I assumed that the genre is going to be erotica/ romance because you indicated once that you write along those lines

      • Nnenna Marcia says:

        Ekuba for the thought that went into giving me these options, I promise to include your name in one of my character’s sometime. I will tell you when.

        And I promise I won’t kill you! Hahahahahhahah! You’ve made my morning.

  19. Nnenna Marcia says:

    (This is not spam. It’s a genuine predicament!)

    • AM says:

      They want you to change it to the more friendlier “Lily, Anna, Mary mother of Jesus”? Susan Boyle does not exactly fit the image of a superstarra, but guess what she’s doing big things. So, as far as your name is concerned, tell them to thank their gods, your name is not Ololodiegusifufu. Don’t change it.

      Nnnena Marcia is perfect.

  20. SA_Girl says:

    Depends on your genre and target audience…

  21. SA_Girl says:

    KWAAK!Hawu bantu,nanku umhlola! No no no no no Ekuba…LoL…she’ll sound like a she’s a lady of the night.

    • Ekuba says:

      HAHAHA oh no! @ SA Girl, I thought the names make her appear sexy & mysterious… You know we all want to read erotica from people who’s names make them appear sexy & mysterious- think Zane :)ok to be honest ilove MARSHA best 🙂

    • Nnenna Marcia says:

      Hahahahah! The image that comes to mind Ekuba is an over-bleached lady of the night, fat with cellulite and a cheap sparkly Lycra dress, a blonde nylon wig, ashy knees and elbows and red lipstick. How am I doing? D’ya think I’m sexy? 😉

  22. SA_Girl says:

    Ooh snap! Just checked out your site, I didn’t realise you’re an erotica author, then I think your name is fine its exotic and spunky but one thing to consider is your main readers’ cultural background coz that’ll determine how they translate the name.
    (Please excuse my ignorance, I’m not Nigerian/Ghanaian but how do you pronounce your name? Is it neh-nah mar-sha or neh-nah mar-see-ya?)
    For example, we call one of my grannies neh-nah (Americans also call their grans neh-nah) so ultimately for me your name translates to granny marcia (not too sexy) but I realiase that in your culture neh-nah means something else. *food for thought*

    • Nnenna Marcia says:

      Sexy granny coming through!!!

      No, it’s not really pronounced ‘Neh nah’, there is an emphasis on the N, since it is doubled. It’s ‘NNeh NNah’.
      But I take your point.

      As for Ekuba, if there is one thing I hate about black erotica authors, it’s those names you outlined. MY LORD. LOL! Besides, my publishers are very properly English. Those names will give them a fricking heart attack. LOL!

  23. SA_Girl says:

    LoL…me knows what Ekuba is gonna be in her next life…

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