Friday, January 17, 2014

Playing by Her Rules by Sifa Asani Gowon - Novel Excerpt

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Kay was furious, cursing his bad luck and more convinced than ever that he was being punished for something. This time the instrument of his torture was some random lunatic woman who couldn’t drive. He had seen the shock on her face when he had come out of the car, feeling a slight pang of shame at the fear in her expression as he took a step toward her. What did she think: that he was going to attack her? As he approached he noticed that she looked unwell, her face pale with the sheen of sweat as she swayed lightly on her feet.

Just as he reached her he heard her murmur an apology before slumping. Instinct made him reach out and grab her before she collapsed to the ground and injured herself.

Then he stood in confusion, holding a total stranger in his arms, looking around and wondering what to do. He slowly lowered her to the ground and checked her pulse. Her skin was hot to the touch, probably with fever.  He pulled his hand back as he heard voices and turned to see Emeka and Minka walking fast toward him, concern etched on their faces as a security guard followed closely behind. He looked around and noticed that a few people had stopped, staring with open curiosity. He lowered his head, looking at the woman again, his hand still cradling her head. Her eyelids fluttered a little as she made a slight moaning sound in her throat.

She was pretty, with smooth skin and appealing features: attractive enough to warrant a second look under normal circumstances. He saw shadows over them and turned to see Minka looking at him in shock.

“Kay, what did you do to her?”

“What did I do?” Kay grew indignant at the accusation her perceived in her tone. “I just stopped her from bashing her head to pieces as she fell, is all. When she wakes up why don’t you ask her what she did to my car?” He stood up, leaving Minka to bend down and take a look at the lady, still out cold.

“Oh, poor girl. She’s sick. Kay, get some water please,” Minka said, reaching into her bag and getting a wet wipe to dab at Tari’s face; simultaneously trying to fan her with a limp piece of paper. Emeka scratched his head as Kay went to his car to get a bottle of water. He looked around and saw that there was a small but growing group of onlookers, some pointing at him. He cursed under his breath. So much for slipping into Abuja incognito.

 He turned to see a man walking toward them, dressed in a lightweight shirt and tie, his trousers with a knife-like crease pressed in denoting that he was probably some sort of professional.  Kay felt his defences begin to rise: the last thing he wanted or needed was an encounter or inquiry. The quicker he could step away from the mess the better.

As the man approached he spoke, directing his question at Kay, his voice clear of any negativity. “Good afternoon. I was told by one of the security guards that there may be an injured person here?” His formal speech was concise, his no-nonsense manner noted. Kay turned and indicated toward the woman on the ground with a nod.

“She’s all yours.”

 Without a word the man went and knelt by her side where Minka still wiped her face down, fanning intermittently.

Emeka shuffled over to Kay and spoke under his breath. “So…how do you want to handle this?”
Kay kissed his teeth, shaking his head. “Just call the dealer and have it taken back and repaired. I hope they can fix it up.”

“And her?” Emeka asked, indicating at the woman on the ground. Kay looked at her forlornly and sighed.

“Well…I can’t very well leave her like that, can I? And the last thing I need is someone suing me. Just...uhm...find out who she is, what hospital she’ll be taken to and I’ll take care of the bill before she wakes up and accuses me of trying to kill her,” he said dismissively as he turned to walk toward the hotel entrance. Then he stopped, turned back to Emeka and added, “Oh, and I think it’s best to have her car fixed up too so we can all just forget about this. I think I’ve had all the contact with her that I want.”

Links to the book and address of the bookshop where you can buy the book:


2) Salamander Cafe, 5 Bujumbara Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja


  1. I'm hooked. Now I need the book.

  2. This looks interesting! Kudos SIfu.

  3. Please, where in Lagos can we buy this book. A lot of my friends and I would love to buy most of the books put up on your blog, but we don't know book stores selling these books. You can mail me the book store address. My email addy is

  4. @Ejeoc- I'm working on having the book available in Lagos by next week. As soon as that happens I'll email you. Alternatively, you can order via Amazon. Thank you!

    S.A Gowon


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