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Today, I present to you my wonderful friends, a snippet of my WIP, The Dark Side Of Love, a romance novel which has gone through the first draft, though I am yet to write the concluding chapters. I’ve been slow in working on it due to tight official work schedules and other issues which vie for my attention. But this time I am hoping to complete the whole novel and edits.

Please give me a little of your time and humour me. Crits are welcome. Thanks a million 🙂

The Dark Side of Love

Candace has everything, beauty, charm, education and a husband who worships the very ground she walks on.  And yet she is not a happy woman.  Memories from her past threaten her very existence and near perfect relationship she has with her husband.  What is the secret that she shares with her sister?  How does her mother fit into all this intrigue? Most importantly, will her marriage survive the darkness of her past?

Long after he had talked to his wife, Kofi Wellington lay in the hotel bed thinking of her.  He missed Candace so much anytime he was away and knew that she missed him too.  It was all in her voice, the way she ached for him, but sadly Candace could not bring herself to demonstrate this love to him any further than returning his kisses.  And yet he loved her, too much, that was his problem.  But was one not supposed to love and cherish his wife? What is the marriage vow all about if not love? The Bible talks about loving your wife and honoring her and he was doing exactly that and he was damned if he would do anything other than that.  But he was human.

He had met Candace on a night when it had been raining so heavily and he had given her a lift.  Her car had broken down and she had been unable to get a taxi.  She had looked so much like a lost little girl in the rain that night and he had been afraid that she might get pneumonia or something. He had offered her his car duster to clean herself and given her his jacket to put on. The grateful smile on her face and that subtle uncertainly in her eyes had completely undone him. Even though he had wished that she would have ended up in his bed that night, it hadn’t been so. She had looked more dignified than that and even though he did not know it then, his womanizing had ended that night.

Much later, he hadn’t wanted to think that he had married a frigid woman.  He even hated that term so much, it was so derogatory.  Kofi believed that no woman was frigid.  A woman was only sexually non-responsive if her partner was also lacking in the act of lovemaking.  After all, it takes two to tango.  And he could guess at the passion that lay beneath the surface of his wife.  So what was the problem?

Mandy, Candace’ elder sister, was much more lively and a talkative actually, but despite the difference in personalities, the sisters were very close. Could he dare discuss this problem with Mandy? How would she not confide in him and tell her what was troubling her? He did not know what to do anymore. He was still awake at 4.00 am when the alarm went off.

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“Dr. Wellington, can we please have your attention?”

Kofi gave a start, surprised to realize that his mind was far from the conference room. “I am sorry but I missed your question, Steve.”

“That’s alright. I was asking how soon you could commit your government to the project.  The agreement has to be signed by the end of the month.  It is very vital.”

“I do agree to the importance of signing the documents, Steve.  But I cannot commit the government of Ghana to this project when the sector Minister has not briefed.  Parliament has to give the go ahead and this could take longer than the end of month which is about a week and three days away.  I don’t have to remind you that even though this is not a World Bank project we have to follow laid down procedures.”  Trust these people to dictate terms to you once they know that they hold the shots.  But he would not let allow them to bulldoze their way through just because they were giving his government fifty million dollars for the improvement of small-scale industries.

“I am sure you are mot implying that we are asking you to circumvent laid procedures, Dr. Wellington.” Steve Maloney had a disbelieving look on his face.

“Not at all.  All I am saying is that you give my government ample time to pass this document through the right channels.  Besides, I came over to Brussels with a clear view of studying these terms of the contract and the project and to make recommendations to my government.  The government of Ghana cannot commit itself without properly studying and analyzing all the terms and implications of the contract.  And the government of Ghana cannot effectively do that without having enough time to do that.  I don’t think I am asking too much, am I?”  Kofi was losing his cool now and it irked him that Maloney had gotten under his skin.

“Gentlemen, Please! Let’s deal with this amicably.” Rick Smith, the Director of African Affairs, Hastens Foundation, interjected smoothly. He was only too aware that Maloney could be obtuse when it comes to dealing with these Africans and he had to admit that Wellington had a point. Procedures had to be followed.  Rick Smith cleared his throat and continued “Gentlemen, with World Bank Projects, procedures are followed and that is exactly what we should do here; Steve, Hastens Foundation has its laid down procedures as well and we must follow them. Dr. Wellington is here in his capacity as a consultant to his government, and we must respect his views. We also have to respect the operations of the political, legislative as well as executive machinery of the recipient country.  Hastens Foundation chose Ghana after exhaustive search and mainly because of its stable political environment.”

“Well yes, Rick. But you know we have other countries on the waiting list with much more pressing needs”

“Yes. But those countries have questionable political climates, Steve. Let’s not belabor the point. Give Wellington time to do his homework with his government.”

“I agree with Rick and I think in this matter, our own policy should be foremost, gentlemen.” Collins Duiker said quietly. He had been following the arguments from one side of the oval conference table with interest.  He was the Financial Controller with the foundation and his opinion in such matters carried a lot of weight.  “Steve, it would not harm us if the government of Ghana is given time to study the terms and get back to us.”

“Oh, whatever you say, Collins.  But how much time are we willing to allow, gentlemen?”

“I cannot say at the moment. But I’ll let my government know of the urgency ………..”

“Dr. Wellington, please give us a more definite answer than what you’ve just intimated” Steve Maloney interrupted harshly.

Kofi was not the least amused at the turn of events.  Back home, he had cautioned the Minister of Finance against the government accepting this loan and the terms attached.  He had even pushed for more investigations into the background of Hastens Foundation, but his advice had fallen on deaf ears.  The fact was that his country was in dire need of money to make up for campaign promises.  And he had this sinking feeling that there was more to the loan than met the eye.  Steve Maloney’s attitude was suspicious enough.  It was as if Hastens Foundation was desperate to give the money away to the first caller.  It was obvious that Rick and Collins were doing everything in their power to erase that impression but Kofi was not fooled.  He was also tired and was beginning to have a headache. He had been up all night thinking of Candace and he was now in no mood for this haggle.

“Give us a month, at the least, gentlemen.” He said, weary of everything.

“At the least?” Maloney was incredulous

“That’s alright, Dr. Wellington.  We accept one month, at the least.  And now gentlemen, if there is nothing else to discuss, I take it that the meeting has ended.  The documents are ready for Dr. Wellington to take along.”  Collins was anxious to avoid any more arguments.  He did not want to arouse any suspicions; this Wellington guy was smart enough as it were.  “When are you leaving to Ghana?”

“I booked the first flight tomorrow, KLM.”

“Fine, gentlemen, can we then go in for lunch?  I believe Chef Martin has outdone himself this time.”

It had been a long session and everyone was hungry so this news was welcome to all, except Steve Maloney who felt that Wellington had got the better of them.  But he kept his counsel, mainly because he knew that any further comments from him would arouse suspicion. Besides, he sensed that his colleagues were not happy with him. The truth of the matter was that Steve disliked Wellington and could not stand his arrogant manner. The guy was just too sure of himself and it did not help matters that he was handsome and his own wife had made a pass at him when they had first met in Brussels.  That was just one of the problems with Jane, she could not resist Africans.  The divorce would soon be final and he could have his freedom.

Copyright © Celestine Nudanu
5/2/13
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