Friday, January 3, 2014

Stepping Stones~ A Short Story By Unoma Nwankwor

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“Excuse me, excuse me coming through” I raced through the airport, the announcer had called the final boarding call for my flight. I was about to miss my flight due to all the prayers my family insisted on having which if you ask me where excessive. Missing this flight was not an option I was willing to entertain; I had to get out of this country and fast.

Oh no.I thought as I approached the escalator; there was an out-of-order sign positioned right in front of it. Only in Murtala Mohammed airport would there be such a shiny escalator that almost never worked. Only in ‘Naija’ and the funny thing was that no one seemed to complain, or raise an eyebrow but as usual we all adjusted to not having a working escalator at the airport. I am still proudly Nigerian but the reality is that we still got work to do!

Speaking of reality, it was my reality that the man I gave my everything to was really moving on. My mind flashed back to the day I walked into the Domino’s Pizza in Ikoyi to pick up my mouth-watering pizza, I just happened to buy the latest gossip magazine from the vendor standing by the door. My eyes widened when there, plastered on the front page was Nedu; he was getting married.  My mind went back to that day a year ago that my world came crashing down.

I wanted to keep it a secret and sometimes wish I did, but I loved him too much not to tell him. My bible also said that whatever was done in the secret will surely come out to the light. On that fateful, beautiful evening he whipped out the ring I had been waiting on for a while. I remember he went on bended knees about to give what I thought would have been the most unforgettable proposal there was.  Right before he spoke, I had to open my big mouth. I told him the truth I had known all along; one of my tubes was blocked making the possibility of me having a child slim to none.

Just like that a relationship that spanned six years was gone down the drain. He suddenly was very busy at the office, then he gradually stopped picking my calls or replying my text or bbms. All the signs where there,  he had changed somehow, he was no longer my Nedu. I wasn’t going to go down like that.  Gathering up the nerve I decided to go visit him. I was confident we could talk this out, after all there were other options available.  I called and he said he wasn’t back from Abuja.  Since I had a key, I quickly packed an overnight bag and headed to his house. I was going to surprise him.  I intended to spoil him; cook clean and tidy up for him. He would get a feel of what he was missing when he arrived tomorrow afternoon.

The air was sucked out of my lungs when I arrived and his car was parked in the covered parking space.

Wishing for the best while making a thousand excuses for him in just a matter of seconds, I approached the house and could hear laughter. Ringing the bell, Iwaited and then the door opened. The opened door brought me face to face with Toyin. “Honey who is it” questioned the voice I had become so used to hearing; Nedu
Our eyes were glued to one another. Both expressions clearly different, hers had a hint of guilt but somewhere in there was a smirk; mine was filled with despair and shock.

My worst fears were confirmed when he appeared, wearing a white T-shirt and his lounging pants. He was no longer mine. He was oozing of nervous  energy, he couldn’t be that nervous as he didn’t waste time locating Toyin’s waist. When he wrapped his arms around her waist, I felt like I was punched in the gut. My best friend and my man. How wicked could the world be? She was the one I cried to, laid out all my problems to. Too much the bear, the last thing I heard was” Amaka, wait I can explain”

That was a year ago; it was time to turn over a new leaf. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and get busy. I had goals, dreams, and visions for my life. I was not going to pine away anymore, if God gave me a husband in the process, glory be to His name. Now on my way to the USA , I  could see new possibilities and was grateful. My godparents were gracious enough to send for me when my parents had complained about my inability to get over my heartbreak.

My dad had been a faithful driver to the Omojola’s. During those years an unlikely friendship had blossomed.  They were bonded together by the fact that both men married the love of their lives. These women were their soul mates and they loved them  but the unions were still  childless even after five years of marriage. After ten solid years, God blessed my parents with a child; me. Since his employers still didn’t have one of their own my parents decided to share and that how they became my godparents. They had been blessed with riches but didn’t have the one thing they wanted; children.  The Irony of life.

I got to the gate just in time, I scurried to my seat in the plane, securing my hand luggage in the overhead compartment, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was determined not to blow it, my life may not be where I thought it should be but it is not over. U S of A, here I come.

Six Years Later……….
“Sir are you still here? I asked you to let me reschedule for you for another time” the secretary said as she came out of the office belonging to her boss.

“What kind of question is that? Of course I’m still here.  I had a 2pm appointment and I have to see  him today” Looking at his watch and taking note of the time; 430pm. He was frustrated.  If only he could finally get to see him, it would be his big break. He has been trying for what seemed like ages to get an appointment. He finally did and now this.

A friend had referred him here; the man had relocated from America a year ago and was fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the literary arena. If anyone could get a book sold; Dr. Igwebuike could. His wife was quickly losing patience in his inability to breakthrough as a writer; something he promised her he would do when he stopped working two years ago. They had run out of their savings and he needed a miracle.

The secretary was about to respond when her attention shifted to the door, following her direction, he saw a women trying to break up a squabble between two kids, it didn’t take him long to see they were twins.
“Welcome madam,” the secretary said genuflecting even when the woman had yet to lift her head to acknowledge her.

“Thank you dear,” the woman said lifting her head as she had managed to get the kids to quiet down.  With each kid on her side she approached.

They made eye contact; he stood up and walked towards her.

“Amaka?” he aked in shock.

“Nedu?” She asked equally shocked.

“What are you doing here?” He asked.

“This is my husband’s office,” she answered, just then the door behind them opened and   a man who had a close resemblance to the American actor Boris Kodjoe , standing  at about six-foot four walked through. He was dressed in well starched native attire and before Nedu knew it, the kids flew out of Amaka’s hands and ran to him shouting “Daaaaaaaddy”. He picked them up and twirled them around. As he approached, Nedu was blinded by the glow of love between both of them. He planted a wet kiss on her lips as if no one else was in the room. Releasing her he said “Hey honey ready to go?”

“Oh I’m sorry Mr. Okam” the man said turning to him. “I was tied up that’s why I told my secretary to give you another appointment.” he explained.

“Please make another appointment and we will see what we can do,” the man said. With one child one each arm, and his wife’s arm around his waist, Dr. Igwbuike turned around and left. When they got to the elevator Nnamdi looked down at his wife with all the love in his heart, she was his heartbeat and he knew without a doubt he was hers. Then he asked “Honey, you two know each other?”

“Yeah babes, he was one of stepping-stones that brought me  closer to you,” she smiled as the elevator opened.


“Failure/disappointment is another stepping stone to greatness”

(c) 2013 Unoma Nwankwor


  1. This is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. Beautiful story.

    BUT... ruined by the annoying audio clip that starts whenever one visits your blog. Please stop it. It is obtrusive and distracting. Your visitors may be on mobile devices (precious bandwidth) or be in offices or quiet places. If I want to listen to a clip, I should click on play myself.

    1. Hello Anon, Sorry for the inconvenience, but the audio is not automatic from this end. Maybe others can add their own experience, and I'll see how it can be fixed. Cheers.

  3. Nice story although quite predictable.

  4. Such an encouraging story for the new year, thank you.

  5. Nice post... i love the background music that plays on your site. Very cool
    Can you please add me to you blog list.. Pllllllllllllllllllease. this is my blog url

  6. OH!!!! I almost shrieked in surprise when I heard that background loud...Please, like someone else already said, if you can do something about it, please do.

    Very lovely story. Happy New Year Myne

  7. i have never encountered any background music on here Myne

  8. Very beautiful piece Unoma. But it makes me wonder, how many men would stand by a woman after hearing such testimony? Would I stay if my intended tells me that the chances of him getting me pregnant are slim to none? Would I willingly step into a life of possible childlessness when I know one of my greatest desires is to feel the weight of life growing in me? Yet, with God, I know nothing is impossible.

    Please visit my blog

    1. Thanks! You make a very valid point. I will stop by your blog. Also please check out mine

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. An encouraging tale. I also have the audio clip playing automatically once I open your page. Happy new year, btw.

  11. Myne, beautiful story. Please where can I get the novel 'the Christmas Ultimatum' ?

    1. Thank you Ejoec for the compliment. The Christmas Ultimatum is available on Amazon along with my other novel An Unexpected Blessing. Here is the link on Amazon where you can find the book.
      Thanks again!

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