My sister’s Bestie- Preview.

Hello everyone. My sister’s Bestie is almost ready for release. Yes!

Coming soon on 26/06/2021.

Here’s a preview of the first half of chapter one.

Blurb:

From the moment his sister’s best friend landed in their lives, Ugo set his sights on the beautiful, unattainable Brenda Umeh. They are different as night and day, completely incompatible. And the dating app Cupidess agrees. They have no business being together. 

Can he convince her to give him a chance despite the odds?

Brenda has a type. Ugo Ezenna isn’t it. But after an embarrassing breakup, she finds it impossible to banish her bestie’s brother from her mind. Confused by her newfound attraction, and convinced it’s a colossal mistake, she goes on a dating spree. The more men, the merrier. So why is she only more drawn to Ugo?

Can it be that the last man she’d choose is exactly who she needs?

Chapter One

Ugo

I’m transfixed, my eyes glued to her as if they have no will of their own. It’s been that way since I first met her. Could I be any thirstier?

Not that it’s my fault. One glimpse of Brenda Umeh, and I’m convinced someone’s filched the air from my lungs. No one should be so breathtaking—her brown skin, smooth and silky as warmed dark chocolate. With her frame tall and slender, carrying just enough curves to tempt the gods, she cuts a striking figure. 

And that face, oh that face. Carved in a delicate symmetry of angles and planes, she’s like an ancient goddess brought to life. Huge doe eyes shrouded with thick lashes and a mouth with the most gorgeous pout in the world. So surreal and exotic.

Nope, I can’t be blamed. No straight man with eyes to see could be.

Even now, face contorted in anguished sobs and tears running down her cheeks to mix with the mucus from her slightly flared nostrils—and me? I still think she’s the most gorgeous woman in the world.

“How could I have been that foolish, that gullible?” she says. Her voice is soft and broken. “It’s like I dated a man who doesn’t exist.”

“Oh, Brenda, I’m so sorry,” my sister Adanna says, sliding her palm along her best friend’s shoulder. “The embarrassment. I hate to even imagine it.”

“I can still see their faces. Everyone in the bank laughing when I showed them his picture.” Brenda’s shoulders rise and fall as a heaving cry escapes. “God, I’m so foolish.”

“Brenda, it’s not your fault. He’s a professional con artist. It can happen to anyone.”

Adanna’s comforting words produce the opposite effect, and Brenda breaks down again, fresh tears spilling from her eyes. 

I shouldn’t be listening. I should leave now, give Brenda the privacy to grieve, but my legs feel made of stone, unmoving from my position on the lounger at the sitting room’s corner.

Neither my sister, nor Brenda, acknowledges my presence. As usual, they are both seated on the sofa, their favourite spot in the house, gabbing on and on as if I don’t exist. Nothing new there. Sometimes, I think they believe I’m deaf, just like I’m always silent.

Right now, I’ve got tunnel vision. My eyes are glued to Brenda. She’s sobbing so hard, my heart squeezes itself. If something causes her pain, it stings me, too. 

Yes, that’s me. A thirty-one-year-old man carrying unrequited feelings for his younger sister’s best friend. Thirsty and pathetic.

But I swear, not stalker-ish or unhinged. Okay, it may sound like it is, but it’s not. Really.

The first time Brenda showed up at our home to visit my sister, my world started spinning a little faster. I knew right then and there that I wanted to get to know her better. Date her. Even marry her.

Love at first sight? Hell no. Lust at first sight more accurately describes my reaction. But something else, too. A clear vision into the future overwhelmed me. A dream of Brenda beside me, holding a little girl—our daughter—while smiling up at me. 

I still remember exactly what our daughter wore in that flash to the future. A frilly pink-and-yellow dress with a satin bow at the side. 

Sappy much? Totally. Not proud, but that’s just how hard I fell for her. And from then on, I’ve sunk deeper and deeper. I don’t think a bulldozer could dig me out now. 

Okay, so why haven’t I stepped up since then and said anything to her? Asked her out? 

In a nutshell, I am shy. And not in an endearingly cute way. Keeping up my side of a conversation is like shovelling cow dung on a forty-degree day. It stinks to high heaven—for me and anyone in the vicinity.

I’m progressing though. I’ve graduated to where I can converse with the few family members who know me inside out. But strangers? It’s not a different ball game, it’s a different sport. On a different planet. A presently undiscovered planet. 

My classmates called me ghost. No kidding. I passed through my school years barely seen and completely unheard. An apparition floating by in the shadows.

I had no friends. And still don’t. Not even now as a mature man. I don’t think I’ve managed to socialise long enough with anyone for them to even remember my name.

Brenda, on the other hand, is just like my sister. She’s fun-loving and full of life. And words. The girl crams more words in one sentence than I utter in a day.

From the moment she swept into our home searching for my sister, I’ve been caught in the whirlwind that is Brenda Umeh. Okay, caught in the whirlwind is gross hyperbole. I swirl around the edges of her life. Close enough to reach out and touch, which I would never dare. And light years away in any meaningful sense. 

“Everything about him was a total lie. General Manager of Excel Bank, my ass. He doesn’t even work there. Or anywhere for that matter. And he’s married,” Brenda says with a soft snort. “So I let a jobless married man dupe me out of two million Naira. What is wrong with me?” 

She covers her face with her palms and shakes her head.

Adanna pulls Brenda’s hands from her face. “Nothing. There’s not one damn thing wrong with you. You have a caring heart, and he took advantage.”

“Yeah, girl, but you warned me. Told me not to keep lending him money. Oh, I’m so stupid. I’m not even sure of his real name. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t even report him to the police.” 

What the …? I hold my breath. So that idiot may get away with this?

And to think that I’ve been insanely jealous of him for months. Ndukwe Oba—if that’s even the creep’s name. Buff, handsome, and supposedly wealthy. Just the type Brenda gravitates towards.

So really, even if I could have done so, what would be the point of me summoning the boldness to ask her out? She’s not looking for someone like me. No, her type is muscle and bulk. Wealth and fame. Functioning brain cells totally optional. 

“Eight months, I went out with this guy. Eight months! When he took me to meet his mother, I thought he really cared, that he was getting serious about us … and guess what I found out today?” She lets out a sorrowful wail that echoes in my heart. “That woman was a total stranger he recruited just for his scam. He was playing me for a fool.”

“Oh, wow. How did you find all this out?” Adanna asked, almost like she’d reached into my head, pulled out my question, and spoke it for me.

“I drove back to the village home where he took me to meet her, just to verify. The poor woman confessed. Said she’d never met him until he approached her a week before and paid her to pretend.”

“Gosh, such a scumbag.” 

“True, but I should have known better. He was so charming, so slick. I got caught up in it all.” Brenda shakes her head and blows out an embarrassed chuckle. “And if I hadn’t found the pictures of his family, I still wouldn’t know he’s married with kids. I can’t believe how gullible I was.”

“Brenda, stop blaming yourself.” Adanna’s voice rings with a soothing firmness. “It’s not your fault the idiot lied to you.”

“But it’s my fault I believed him, isn’t it? The many times he told me he loved me … with that sugary tone. Men …” she says, blowing out the last word in an angry puff. “They’re all the same. Egotistical devils who think the one-eyed monster between their legs makes them God.”

I stifle the laugh that bubbles in my throat. Damn, that’s another thing I love about Brenda. Even hurt and annoyed, she manages some humour. 

xxx

Thanks for reading. Part two will be shared in 2 days.

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Amaka Azie

She explores the beauty and intricacies of the continent in her sweet and sensual love stories. Her books showcase bold and exciting female and male African main characters with compelling storylines. She was named one of the most influential authors under Forty by the Nigerian Writers Awards (NWA) for the year 2017. Apart from getting lost in creating fascinating fictional characters, Amaka enjoys reading, painting and traveling with her family. She lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and daughters where she also practices part-time as a family Doctor.

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