We launched our publishing arm (Coral Publishing) with Simi’s Return. This is a story about betrayal, hope, and finding oneself. It is the story of Simi and Lucas (and Simi’s adorable Grandma, Mama Rose).
The book was published on Amazon‘s kindle store in digital format. Read the first chapter below:
Simi loaded the last of her stuff into her vehicle and prepared to make the long distance drive from Port Harcourt to Jos. She stood back and tried not to think about the fact that she hadn’t been back in over five years. She didn’t have much to show for her long absence, in terms of luggage. She had learnt to travel light. Still, she did not feel quite ready to return to Jos just yet, even though she did not have a choice. Her grandmother needed her, and Simi would do anything for the old woman.
With a sigh of resignation, she shut the trunk and walked back to the apartment she shared with Josh. She felt a little regret at the thought of her lover. He was an oil worker so she had known from the start that the nature of their relationship was transient. It’s just that they had both thought he would be the one to leave. As it was, she knew for sure that returning to Jos was the end of their relationship. If they had been more committed, it would have been a different matter. They lived together, but she had always felt like her heart had not bonded with his, not like it had been with Lucas.
Simi stopped mid-step and closing her eyes, she took a deep, cleansing breath. She did not wish to think about Lucas. Not now, not ever. Pushing the thought firmly to the darkest corner of her mind, she opened her eyes and kept walking towards the apartment. Seeing Josh standing by the door, she paused and crossed her arms defensively around her waist. His stony face brought back all the harsh words that had been said the night before.
“You’re really going to do this?” He asked, his displeasure evident in his voice.
She sighed again but refused to break eye contact. The American accent, which had so enthralled her a couple of years back had lost its appeal.
“I told you I have to go, Josh, and I’m not interested in going over this with you again.” She tried to be firm and keep her voice steady, but she was weary from insufficient sleep and she couldn’t mask the slight waver in her voice.
“If you think I’m going to beg you to stay, you’re out of your mind. As soon as you drive off, there are ten babes, each one hotter than the last, waiting to take your place!”
Wow, why was he sounding so harsh? Simi gazed at him in disgust. So because he did not get his way, he was throwing a tantrum. That was typical Josh, spoilt and too used to getting his way.
She realized that his words should have hurt, they had been living together for several months, but she didn’t feel anything except annoyance. And that worried her. She must have been more broken than she’d thought. She looked up and saw that daylight was slowly creeping in. She was standing here exchanging words with this male bimbo when she really had to be on her way. The drive from Port Harcourt to Jos was no less than ten hours and every minute counted.
She stared at Josh, looking at him critically, and wondered what she’d seen in him in the first place. Then she ran her gaze over his built body covered only in a pair of boxers and remembered. Damn! The guy had the body of a god. Too bad he was so immature.
“Dude, I don’t know how else to make you understand so I’ll say it in pidgin, see ehn, if you like carry all the ten chicas, put them inside your house, that one na your problem. As for me, I don wakka. Now, comot for road before I jam you.” She was getting really pissed now and tired of all the back and forth.
Josh stared at her slight frame and surprised her by yelling, “You dey craze!”
The sharp sound of his voice so early in the morning make them stop. They stared at each other and as the ridiculousness of the situation hit them, they both began to laugh. Suddenly Simi remembered why she’d stayed with him for two years, even though she’d known he’d been cheating on her almost right from the start. He could always make her laugh, and by the time they’d met, she had forgotten how to do that.
“I need to get going, Josh.”
He stared at her and now there was enough daylight that she could see the piercing green in his eyes. They looked sad. “I’ll miss you.”
“I know you will, but you won’t miss me for too long. Handsome guy like you…” they were standing close enough now that she could run her hand over his pecs admiringly. “The girls are all queuing up to keep you company,” she said with a light laugh then sobered up, “Come visit me in Jos?”
He drew her close in a tight hug, “I’ll try and find time between the ten chicks to come see you.”
Simi chuckled and hugged him back before stepping away. It was already seven a.m., and she had a long drive ahead of her. She’d thought of breaking it half-way in Otukpo and continuing the drive the next day, but she just wanted to get home.
Home. She thought about that as she backed the car out of the driveway and took the turning that led to Aba road, which was the main highway that led out of the city. Simi thought about Jos and her heart felt lighter. She really loved that place, yet she had so many bad memories there that made returning tough. But she had changed. She was no longer the insecure young girl who ran away from her problems. She could do this. She had to, her grandmother needed her.