Her Knight by Hannah Onoguwe


The streets had decongested as the day drew to a close and became more of a joy to drive through. It was a typical balmy night in Ibadan, but Eniola didn’t feel any of it as the air conditioning in the car licked over her skin. The air outside was undoubtedly warmer, and right now she was glad it was out there- beyond the cocoon she currently inhabited which smelled of fairly new rich leather and a combination of car deodorizers. The odor was a bit too overwhelming in delivery, she mused, but to each his own. The present company wasn’t much, either, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. At least the evening would soon come to an end. And she wouldn’t be too sorry, either.
When the Benz drew to a stop for no apparent reason, Eniola was surprised but not unduly alarmed. Giving Uncle Edwin an inquisitive look, she asked what the matter was. She hadn’t heard any strange noises and they were still a considerable distance from her house. Maybe he wanted to answer the call of nature- a call men seemed to answer wherever and whenever.
He had half-turned in his seat to face her, his square face relaxed in a smile. “Nothing. I just thought we could talk a bit.”
She tucked a strand of braided hair behind one ear. “We’ve been talking for a major part of the evening,” she said slowly.
“Yes, but there are one or two issues we’re yet to touch.”
Eniola’s heart sank. Did Nigerian men have to be so predictable?
“What issues?”
“Come on, Eniola. You’re not a child. You should know that I like you… I like you very much.”
Actually, she’d been hoping the interest she’d witnessed in his gaze on occasion had been a trick of the light. “So…what exactly are you saying?”


“Ah-ah.” Uncle Edwin looked hard at her as if disappointed at her insistence that he spell it out. “I want to be close to you. I want us to be intimate friends, Eniola…very intimate.” His large hands moved expressively as he spoke.
She just stared at him for a second or two, willing herself to be calm. She could handle this. “The last I heard, you were married with children.”
“Just one of those things. The children are grown and my wife and I have been separated for years.”
Yeah, right. “It’s not ‘just one of those things’. What would Geraldine think of you if she heard the proposition you’re making to me now?”
“Geraldine? Well…just between you and me, she isn’t really my niece, if you catch my meaning.” He winked slyly, flashing a wide smile.
Eniola felt sick to her stomach. She’d come to think of Geraldine as a friend as well as a co-worker at the insurance company, and had met “Uncle’ Edwin through her. Obviously, the other girl had lied about her relationship to him, but thinking of Geraldine’s innocent appearance, it was difficult to accept that she’d been…intimate with this man, as he was insinuating.
She took in a breath and let it out carefully. “Anyway, regardless of the situation, I have to say I’m not interested.”
“Why?” he demanded. “Are you engaged?”
“No…”
“Then what is it?” Edwin leaned toward her with a predatory gleam in his eye that made her shrink back against the passenger door. “Look, Eniola, let’s not mince words here. I really like you. I’m a wealthy man and I can take care of you in the highest and classiest way possible. There’s nothing you need that you won’t get.”
“No, thank you.”
“Why?” He seemed genuinely baffled.
“Because I don’t do affairs or flings or whatever it is they’re called now. I’m not that kind of girl.”
He laughed, his hot gaze moving over her incredulously. “D’you want to tell me that at your age, you’ve never been-”
Eniola didn’t let him finish. “I don’t want to tell you anything. I want to go home.” She flicked a glance at her watch. “It’s almost ten and my family will be expecting me.” Her brother, who she lived with, had traveled with his wife for the weekend, but ‘Uncle’ Edwin didn’t know that.
He made to touch her and when she avoided his outstretched hand, he let it drop to his lap. “What’s your problem?”
She didn’t think pointing out that she wasn’t the one with the problem would be a wise thing to say and said gently instead, “I don’t have one, really. I just need to get home.” She suddenly longed for her cool, welcoming sheets.
“Eniola…”
“If you’d rather not drop me off, I can walk home.”
When he didn’t reply, she turned to fumble for the door handle. As the area was a G.R.A., it would take a miracle to get a bike at this time of night. Walking the largely deserted streets alone would be a little unsettling, but she would do it; home, after all, wasn’t too far away. It took only moments for her to realize the door had been locked from the central mechanism, and she turned back to face him, eyes narrowed. He had made no move to stop her.
“I want to go home, Uncle Edwin.”
“Relax, Eniola, I’ll take you home.”
Relax? Her heart rate had doubled and despite the air-conditioning, she was beginning to sweat. Relax?!
“I need to go now.”
“There’s no hurry. You know, I’m surprised you’re behaving like this. You’re not a child; you’re a woman- a beautiful one at that. You don’t have to…” As he spoke, he was moving towards her, his hand going to her waist.
Eniola shoved him back. “Leave me alone.”
It was obvious from the way Edwin’s eyes kindled with annoyance that he was unaccustomed to being turned down. “Why are you being stubborn?”
“I’m not being stubborn. I’m-”
Before she could finish, he had hauled her across the space between the two seats with his brute strength so that she was half-sitting on his lap, her hip pressed uncomfortably against the gear shaft. Feeling his wet mouth against her cheek and his hand on her chest, she panicked, struggling fiercely to free herself. Pushing against his face with one hand, she finally got loose, the force of the movement causing her to bump her elbow hard on the passenger window as she crashed against the door. She ignored the agony that spread through her arm like wildfire as she did the tears of pain that sprang to her eyes and warned, “Don’t touch me!” Was the man mad?
“You’re a wildcat, aren’t you.” This time he came to her, pressing her against the door with his broad midriff. She twisted her head this way and that to avoid his hot breath, her blows having little effect. Grateful that she was wearing trousers, she was working on kneeing him in the groin when an insistent sound got their attention.
As they both stilled, Eniola seized the opportunity to push Edwin away as her eyes simultaneously sought the source of the welcome sound. She nearly sagged with relief as she saw that it was someone knocking on Edwin’s window. Was it a policeman? She began her plan to escape once Edwin began speaking with him. The person stepped away from the car and Eniola almost wept in disappointment until she realized he was coming to her window. He knocked on it and mouthed something to her. He seemed angry, and as recognition dawned, so did mortification: what must he be thinking of her?
“A friend of yours?” Edwin queried, his frustration evident.
“Yes! Open the door!” she said desperately, wanting to be long gone from this hell. His eyes slid over her in something akin to regret before he released the central lock and, grabbing her bag, Eniola all but tumbled into the younger man’s arms.
“What are you doing here? Did he force you into his car?”
“Yes…no…” She shook her head, struggling to settle her muddled thoughts. “He was supposed to take me home, and then he pulled over…”
His eyes flashing fire, he began to set her aside. “I’ve a good mind to-”
She flattened her palms against his broad chest to stop him. “Leave it. Just let him go.”
As if on cue, the car engine roared to life and Edwin drove off with a squeal of tires. Releasing a shaky breath, she looked up at the good-looking man before her, his face illuminated by the streetlight nearby. His eyes studying her intently, he said, “You shouldn’t be running into that lecher for a long time.”
“I should hope never.”
“Didn’t your mother teach you not to accept lifts from strange men?” he asked mildly.
“Well…he wasn’t exactly a stranger.”
She launched into an explanation of how Edwin- who she’d met a couple of times before tonight- had taken her and Geraldine, his supposed niece, out to dinner. After receiving a phone call, Geraldine had said there was an emergency and she had to leave, assuring her that Uncle Edwin would drop her off.
“Sounds like a set-up to me.” As Eniola looked at him sharply, he shrugged. “Don’t you think? You should be more careful about the company you keep…and don’t be so trusting.”
On some other occasion, she might have replied with a sharp retort, but now she could only shake her head. Besides, he was right. She began to tremble as her mind relived the incident.
“Are you all right?”
Her eyes seemed huge in the semi-darkness. If he hadn’t come by, what might have happened? Her knees went weak at the thought.
Seeming to read her mind, he pulled her gently into a comforting embrace and, shutting her eyes, she held on to him tightly until she had calmed. Even then, she was reluctant to leave the warmth of his arms and the subtle but enticing hint of some musky aftershave, but pulled back slowly. His concerned gaze caught hers and held it as his fingers came up to brush her cheek.
“You okay?”
She nodded, staring back as if mesmerized, the world around them seeming to recede. Her heart began to thump again, but not from panic. From a delicious, elusive emotion that made her breath short. Then they both spoke at the same time.
“What’s your name?”
And both smiled.
“I’m Eniola.”
“Tony.”
Eniola nodded. They lived on the same street but beyond the odd greeting, hadn’t spoken to each other before now. “Tony, thanks for coming to my rescue. What were you doing around?”
“Taking a walk… I do that a lot.”
He’d noticed some movement in the car that had been partly lit by the glow of the streetlights, and had averted his gaze after a moment. He’d been irritated: yes, the street was solitary, but if they really had to do it- which he doubted- couldn’t they go somewhere more private? Then a thud had made him look back and on witnessing the struggle, he had acted on impulse. It had been a risk, he realized now; he could very well have been told to mind his own business. But the fear on her face had said it all, and he’d been doubly enraged when he discovered it was her…the young woman he caught a glimpse of every now and then but who he hadn’t been fortunate to meet- until now. He noticed her rubbing her elbow with a faint grimace on her face and asked what was wrong.
“I hit my elbow during the, um…struggle.”
“That must be what I heard,” he said after a while. As she gave him a smile that was both wry and grateful, Tony caught his breath, struck afresh by her beauty. He realized he was in danger of just standing there and gawking like a schoolboy. “Come on, I’ll walk you home.”
She shot him another grateful look. “Thanks.”
They talked along the way but fell silent as they neared her house. He was ruminating over recent events; that middle-aged baboon could have raped her if he’d put his mind to it! Tony was filled with an impotent rage. He should have broken his neck.
Eniola’s gaze searched his face nervously as they stood at her gate. There was a dangerous glint in his eye. “You’re angry.”
“No,” he denied smoothly. “I’m livid.”
Her eyes fell from his and she twisted the leather strap of her bag nervously. “I was pretty stupid, wasn’t I?”
He wouldn’t argue that, but his gaze gentled. “I’m not angry with you, Eniola.”
Looking relieved, she managed a small smile. “Well, I’ll definitely be less gullible in the future.”
He nodded, his eyes drinking in her features. “Could I check up on you tomorrow evening…if you don’t mind?”
Their gazes clung for a moment. “I don’t mind at all.”
Eniola let herself into the darkened house and shut the door behind her, locking it soundly. Leaning against it with a huge sigh, she groped for the light switch and when the room was illuminated, ran her eyes over the room suddenly made more dear by its familiarity. The dark brown and cream of the furniture, burgundy carpeting, gold and red curtains. The vase of silk flowers on the low centre table which had been her sister-in-law’s wedding bouquet.
What a night. She winged a prayer of thanksgiving upward and contained a shudder. And not one she wanted to repeat. Ever. Although…if it would guarantee her meeting Tony, the man she’d been all but drooling over from a distance for quite some time, she just might- might!- endure all that again. Her eyes drifted closed for a moment, her lips curving in a contented smile.
_____________

Did you like this story? The writer, Hannah Onoguwe has entered the social writing contest, America's Next Author, and needs all the votes she can get! Please go to eBookmall.com to read another short story from her and vote for her to be nominated. It would  also be great if you could sign up and write a review there. Please let others know about it so they can check it out and vote as well.

Thank you, and do have a romantic weekend :)

Happy December and World AIDS Day


Today, December 1, is the start of the last month of the year, the countdown to Christmas and also World AIDS Day. I want to congratulate everyone for coming this far, I can't believe the year is almost gone, I am very thankful too for health, and family, and love. And in the spirit of all that, I want to also commemorate the AIDS day by sharing some ways to help limit the spread of the virus.

1. Be Faithful, Abstain or Use Protection

For those who have a regular sex life, being faithful to one person if you're both HIV-. If you're not with someone you trust implicitly, please abstain from sex. If you must, condoms are still the only means to protect against HIV, STDs, and pregnancy. There are now female condoms as well as the male, so more options for everybody.

2. Get Tested and Know your Status

Back in Nigeria, some say AIDS no dey show for face, but that is because it is HIV first, with little to no symptons. It takes a while for the symptoms of the virus to show, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested. There are many free and/or voluntary counselling and testing centers around. Take the test, get your results and try to live a more responsible life - positive or negative.

3. Find out more Information on HIV/AIDS

Sometimes, when we fear or don't like something, we fail to educate ourselves about it. This is dangerous with regard to AIDS because the only way to prevent HIV is to know how and how not to get it. There are tons of misconceptions including those who think you can't get it outside of sex. If you're reading this, you can click over to the AIDS wiki page and upgrade your memory.

4. Share your Knowledge with Others

If you are a health care provider, nurse or generally interested in your health and of those around you, share a post about HIV/AIDS today on your blog, or just talk to someone. Facebook status messages and tweets also count.

Recently, I read Jude Dibia's Work-in-progress Bistro, Tea and Biscuits, which features a man living with HIV. It seems very apt for this post. Enjoy...

It was in 2007, precisely five years ago, that Abazu discovered he was HIV positive. He was in London at the time, on holiday. He had not planned to have himself tested, but it so happened that he went club-hopping with a couple of friends, got excessively drunk and in a game of Truth or Dare he chose ‘Dare’ and was challenged, on a whim, to take the HIV test at a free screening centre close by to the club they were partying in on Old Compton Street, Soho district.

Abazu accepted the dare and the party of four stumbled out of the club, and like the blind leading the blind, each of them supported each other against toppling onto the bare ground. They made it to the clinic and after the mandatory counseling Abazu subjected himself to having his blood drawn. He was told to return after five days for the result and was given a card with a number on it. He returned to the club with his friends, each of them praising him for his bravado, none of them recognizing that he had sobered up after taking the test.

When he got the news of the result of the test, he was stunned. For a long time he sat in the tiny Health Counselor’s office surrounded by posters encouraging people to know their status and stop the spread of AIDS; posters with the red ribbon of awareness. He believed he would be dead before the year was over. He also thought of every time he had had unprotected sex, especially in the last few days. He was angry. He was afraid. He was confused. He agonized on whom to tell? Should he tell his sexual partners? And then he wondered which of his partners could have infected him. Someone did this to him. It was someone else’s fault.

That was all five years ago. Abazu was still very much alive, and looking much healthier than he did five years earlier. Dilibe always wondered why Abazu had confided in him about his status. He was one of the few people Abazu told the story of how he got drunk in London, took a dare and had himself tested for HIV. For what it was worth, Dilibe felt grateful that Abazu trusted him enough to confide in him and has since become even closer friends. Apart from feeling protective of him, Dilibe felt he could tell Abazu anything. Read all...

In conclusion, let's spread the facts and awareness and not the virus or fear.

Is This For Real? Journey to the Altar Series


Hello everyone, I'm starting a new series titled Journey to the Altar. Some of the brides and would-be brides, will share with us a brief snapshot of their journey to the altar. Our first contributor wants to remain anonymous, but that does not detract from her funny and heart warming story. Enjoy...

How did you meet your fiance?

Hmmm...I went to spend the weekend with my sister in school because I was so bored at home. She and a couple of her friends happened to be organizing a send forth for a friend of theirs so I tagged along. That evening, I got my hair done, did my nails...needless to say I was feeling like a fine girl. Being that I wear glasses, I dumped them for my contacts. Unfortunately, one lens dropped and I couldn't find it so I was left with just one 'working' eye because I refused to wear my glasses. Lol.

After getting ready we headed to Swé bar (only if my parents knew my whereabouts that night). Anyways we got there, I was having a very good time; I was high on power horse, I was very happy. In our group we were just generally enjoying ourselves and being a mess, next thing this guy comes to ask me to dance...I'm like err ok, when the guy was beginning to get in my space I practically ran away. *covers face*.

So I was sitting down, on bag duty (i.e. Looking after peoples bags cos I wasn't dancing). Then this other 'broda' comes along and asks me to dance; in my mind I was like ooohhh who is dis one again? I looked at him with my functioning eye and I'm like ok so I got up n danced with him. After a while I excused my self and went back to my sister and her friends. Since I had taken a few drinks, the bathroom was calling my name, so I dragged my sister along.

On our way back, I met said broda at the stairs and he's like excuse me, can I talk to you? I'm like sure...that is how my sister left me (she left me with a strange man) I was just there smiling like a mumu while he was talking...probably didn't hear half of what he was saying... And being theat I couldn't see properly I was trying not to squint too much. Anyways he asked for my number...I gave it to him...the next day he called me...we talked and talked and talked...those conversations were long sha. And we have been together ever since. :D

How did he propose?

We were going to see his parents one afternoon so he came over to mine to pick me. He got to my house and was like mehn I'm hungry so I quickly made him something to eat. Next thing he said he wanted dessert. I'm like where do you think you are abeg let's go jor. So on our way I started craving ice cream and I'm like please can we stop by at Oh La La to get some ice cream. Normally he would have said Oh La La ko Oh La La ni and reminded me that I'm lactose intolerant. But he was like, sure no problem. I was doing cartwheels in my mind.

We got there, the place was rather empty. But what was my own...ice cream on my mind, I placed my order, took a seat and we waited. The girl brought our orders, in between me admiring the ice cream and making fun of them on Tinsel, I saw him looking for something in his pocket. I didn't pay any attention because I thought he was searching for his phone, so all attention went back on my ice cream (p.s. Its not that I like food like dat o, ehen).

I turned back to him to see if he had found what he was looking for and I saw him on one knee, box in hand. In my mind I was like what's going on here? Why is he on the floor, I looked away for a few seconds, loaded... then it dawned on me, I'm like ehn? Is this for real? He opens the box and I see this lovely ring and he says "will you marry me?" I screamed yes, yes...:D and the rest, well...

I really had no clue cos most people will say their guys kept telling them of how much he loved them etc before the proposal so I had conditioned my mind that's oh, thats how it went. So I wasn't expecting it, cos broda wasn't even confessing any love in advance...lol.

What are you looking forward to about being married to your fiance?

I think it'll be getting to see my best friend everyday and always having someone to talk to.

What do you think is the “key” to a successful relationship?

Communication and Respect. I think these are very important.

When is the wedding?

The wedding is in May 2013 yay \o/

How are you planning the wedding?

Myself, My sisters, My sister in law and loads of help from my wedding planner Rubies and Emerald Events. I feel that it is extremely important to have a wedding planner/ coordinator. When I think about the vendors I have been exposed before my planner, I know she has and still brrn SAVING ME MONEY AND TIME! She has a good relationship with vendors and venues since they work on many weddings not just one, so they can give you economies of scale. They can also help you put together a realistic budget. In the end the money and time saved might be greater than the cost of the planner who knows exactly what she is doing.

___________

Journey to the Altar series is presented by Rubies n' Emerald Events. These stories are from brides and would-be brides who have worked with, or are working with the wedding planner .Rubies N Emerald Events is an innovative events consulting, planning and managing firm. Their creative team focuses attention on every little detail about your event. 08136884717, Pin: 2A7992D3, http://www.facebook.com/rubiesandemerald?ref=hl


The Rollercoasters of Life


I remember as a child and my biggest test of my endurance would be writing my exams and waiting the couple of weeks or so for the results to come out. After a while, it wasn't even that nail-biting. After coming in the first ten most of primary school, you kind of begin to take it for granted that you will always excel.

And somehow, that has been true in most cases for me. I got one of the top scores in the common entrance exams and got admited to the best school in town, I got the highest score in my state to get into science school for my senior secondary, I was among the top three results in WAEC in my school and I got admission the same year. I was also the best graduating student from my department in university.

It wasn't all rosy though. Yes, I passed JAMB, but I didn't make the cut-off for my first choice which was to study medicine. I may have passed top of my class to graduate university, but I did not make First Class. It took me four years after graduating - after waiting for a scholarship that never came - to get a "good job". And another two years before I could begin my master's programme.

All these taught me endurance, faith, hope, finding joy in the little things, and contentment, and I learned.

Nothing however prepares you for the depths that the roller-coaster of life can get to sometimes. When you think you've seen it all, you find that you can go lower. At this point, I have chosen not to get lost in the depths of my failed infertility treatments, but to learn from them.

Going in, I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only to be met with this reality. The health care providers try to be cheerful and positive, they really do, but sometimes the doctor is busy and comes across as treating everyone like cars an assembly line. There are those days the nurses don't call when they should, or keep you on hold for 30 mins when they do. You visit the doctor and come back with unanswered questions. After reading the resulting websites that you search on Google, you are even more confused.

And then the bad news start coming one after the other. And they are not anyone's fault, so the ground is swept out from under your feet and you're looking into the chasm.

They take you by surprise, the bad news, punching you so hard in the tummy that you can't help but curl into a ball and wrap your arms tightly around yourself. The only thing you can do is to take your time and rock with the pain until it passes.

But the pain passes, thank God. And before you know it, you find that you can flex the endurance muscles you've been building most of your life, and you've actually added some new ones. So you get up slowly, and you brush the pity party off your shoulder.

Atala has this saying that helps me. He says that happiness is reality minus expectation. What he means is, by how much is what you get different from what you expected? I tend to remind myself of the worst that could happen when I really want something and it is not in my control. And once I know what that is, I begin early to prepare my mind for it.

And the knowledge is also there that as long as life remains, so does hope, faith, contentment, and other blessings to take joy in.


Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank



If you've watched more than a couple of horror movies, you've probably seen the ghost/possessed/evil little girl, and most times she's wearing a white gown, has wild hair and a doll. What if you see her in real life, all by yourself, in a mirrored elevator? Bottom-line, what would you do if you see a ghost?

That was the basis of this prank by a Brazilian show, and everyone was going scaredy-crazy.

I could laugh because I'm watching it on my laptop, I know I wouldn't want to be in that situation. A malfunctioning elevator is scary enough, add a ghost and I'll probably have a heart attack!

9 Ways to Know When You're in Love


This is a question I have to consider for my characters in each romance novel I write, and one I had asked myself several times in the past after meeting one or two people. There are some people you meet and you just know they’re a fantasy or fancy which will fade even the next day. And there are those that tug at your heart and you begin to wonder, could they be THE ONE?

The truth is that if we’re not sure about this, whether deciding to allow a friendship develop into something more or taking the decision to get married, we could be making the mistake of a lifetime. These are some of the pointers I came up with to recognize that special person. They are by no means comprehensive and I will not presume to speak for everyone.

1. They’re in your future: This means that when you visualize your future, say 10 to 20 years ahead, you can actually see yourself with this person. They can fit into or support your long term personal as well as professional goals. You also share the same core values that will make living together enjoyable.

2. They become number one in your priorities: We all have our priorities in life, even though these might change with time and situation. Love usually happens at different times for most of us depending on our seasons and when we are ready. So when you fall in love, that person comes at the top of your to-do list and you cannot get them off it.

3. You welcome compromise: Love is a feeling of togetherness and mostly leads to two people spending lots of time in close proximity. You find that with love, a relationship has less disagreements because each person is happy to give in during times of disagreement; and even when you do find yourselves on completely opposing sides, you make up easily afterwards. The beauty of love is that it allows you to see the minuses and overlook them, because what you see at the end of the day is the person you love and not their quirks. Remember love should be for better or for worse.

4. You want to spend time together and they make you feel good: You’re happy and feel high, songs and books begin to make sense, the world is more beautiful. So you want to spend moments together, you talk, go out – to eat, to movies, plays, etc. Being in love makes these periods an enjoyable one for both people, something to look forward to. You also enjoy quiet times together, because there will be down times when none of you is in the mood to go partying and the like.

5. The pain of the past is healed: Love heals and when you do fall in love, there is the tendency that you begin to forget any pains you may have in the past, either from childhood or any failed relationships. It may just be that the person you’re in love with is happy to hear you speak about such pain, or you can be your real self around them, or they give you the support you need to seek adequate help.

6. You worry about their well-being, you want to know all about them: When you fall in love, the object of your affection burrows into your heart. You find that you begin to care about their welfare. Have they eaten, is their car running well, do they have their finances sorted? You ask more questions, you are happy to squeeze time out of your hectic schedule to meet their friends, family and co-workers. You ask the mum their first words, at what age they walked, you name it.

7. There is chemistry: Of course! LOL…Maybe I should have said this one first? Chemistry is a big part of love because we’re all sexual beings and being able to express ourselves through love-making is one of the glues that hold relationships together. However, you have to realize that sex has to be within the context of marriage. There should be no issue of one person coercing or forcing the other into something they’re not ready or willing to do. You should not change your values to satisfy the other person.

8. They can affect you deeply in their actions: Who doesn’t know this? There’s the saying that those you love are the ones with the power to hurt you the most. Yes, and this is why some of us are so scared and afraid of falling in love. Not because we’ve been hurt before, but because we do not want to open ourselves to future pain. So love is a decision, a choice you make to take that risk.

9. You can be yourself with no pretense: If you cannot do this, your love might not be able to last or sustain itself. Most of us wear masks on a daily basis, at work, school, church, with strangers and outsiders. When you fall in love, you want to make a space where you can come home and feel calm and relaxed without worrying about pretending to be what you’re not. At the same time, you find that you are willing to change for the better to please them, so you upgrade your wardrobe, improve your hygiene, party less so as to spend more time, etc.

Finally, these are just some of the ways to recognize love, many more abound. Also, love is personal and for each individual, there may be a different experience. However, love is also universal, so if you see that your love is very different and in a way that negates what others experience, like various forms of abuse, control, etc, then it may not be love. I hope no one finds themselves in this situation and have the support to help them get out if they do.

True love is beautiful and no matter what happens, remains the thing we all search for. May we all find and experience true love.

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch - $50 Giveaway

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?


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"Sam continues to weave his magic as a storyteller. I always find myself anxious to find out what will happen next and what kind of twist will befall the adventurers. It helps to be familiar with the places that the heroines go, which adds to the story."
~Labdaddy, Texas

"I've had a few very unproductive but enjoyable days thanks to Samuel Ben White. If you haven't read Sam's books you have been missing a treat. These were funny, suspenseful, spiritual and kept you turning the pages."
~Karen S.

"Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your books. I have a Kindle and I have purchased all of the Garison Fitch novels. I am in Saudi Arabia and your books have really helped take me away from here."
~Scott, Saudi Arabia


Also Part of the Series:


Saving Time

Two years ago Garison Fitch traveled through time and rewrote history. An accident in the eighteenth century created a whole new world, and even gave Garison a wife he had never met before. Now, he’s got a daughter and he’s coming to enjoy this world he created. Until he’s attacked by men masquerading as Indians, and a funeral procession from out of the past enlists his help, and a tree grows from sappling to full-grown in a matter of minutes, threatening his daughter’s very life. Time itself is unraveling and Garison’s trips through time seem to be the cause. Garison must go back in time once again and keep himself from making the original trip that started the problem. But he can’t use his time machine to go back. How does one sew up a rip in time?

Lost Time

Jason Kerrigan and Brownwyn Dalmouth are pilots with the Republic of Texas Army Air Corps. A world war is going on and bombs have just brought an end to Crockett Air Field in south Texas. Jason and Bronwyn, though, are called away from the battle to be test pilots for a new aircraft that-they're told-will bring the war to an end. The experimental craft lives up to expectations in early tests, but then it lands them somewhere it never should have sent them. Another place? Another time? Another dimension? Somehow, they've taken a trip to the future and changed the past. Or did they? The answer to their change of reality may be known to a Justice of the Peace in Colorado named Garison Fitch. To figure it out, though, Garison may have to team up with his least favorite person: Bat Garrett.




Purchase

Author Samuel Ben White


Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.







Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash | Ends 12/16/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Sam then you can leave the others blank.

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Pictures of Some Foods I Cook

Sometimes I cook. I usually cook enough to last a couple of meals or more. Sometimes I remember to take pictures, but usually at the end of everything. And having thought about blogging about home cooking, I have found that I may never like to take pictures step by step. I don't think I'll make a good tutorial blogger, but I'm working on better camera skills to back up recipe posts, coming your way soon. Below are some so-so pictures of food I cook. The bigger images are below these small ones:)






Egusi Soup with Beef and Okporoko





Lentils with Spinach



Fried Beef in Tomato Sauce



Simple Jollof Rice



So now that I have an android device, one of the apps I decided to join up to is Instagram and sometimes, I share pictures. Not too much though. If you're on there, click to follow me @Mynewhitman

By the way, who knows how to take better food pictures, any tips?


Do the two hearts look anything alike?


So Atala and I got into a funny debate last night. We were discussing where the seat of emotions were and how though most of them are fired in the brain, they end up the signals in some muscle somewhere. For some they feel their love like butterflies in the tummy, and for others a racing heart is the sympton of their love. And then we went on to the fictional representation of the heart and whether it looked anything like the real heart.

This is where you guys come in. And there's a lot riding on your answers o. So in your opinion, is the fictional heart a good representation of the real one?



I don't want to bias you guys by stating who was on which side, cos I know Atala has some strong supporters here, ehen. LOL...

Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop


With winter upon us, let's warm up by sharing some of our favorite beach/summer reads! Be it a book that takes place at the beach, or just one that has a great summer setting - share the warmth with the Dreaming of Summer Blog Hop from November 27th to December 2nd.

I will be giving away a book of the winner's choice, up to $5. This giveaway is open internationally (as long as The Book Depository delivers to your area or you can receive ebook gifts from Amazon Kindle).

To enter, fill in the rafflecopter below. The winner will be announced in the rafflecopter and also receive an email within 72 hrs of the close of the giveaway. They have same amount of time to respond or another person will be selected. Goodluck!


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The Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Me, My Shelf and I. Check out the other blogs participating in this hop below.



Dear Myne - Is She Just Toying With Me?


I had a short but passionate relationship for 2 months with a girl that in the third month started to get distant so I got annoyed and broke it up suddenly. Well, I am really in love so I went back with my tail btw my legs and started courting her again. Its been a month of a toaster life. I txt her, email her, once sent her flowers on a special occasion. She gets back to me, we talk daily, but not with the frequency and passion we had at the beginning. I initiate it most of the time.

This is currently a long distance relationship. I stand on a fine thread where I might get tired of toasting with no clear sign from her and eventually get bitter at her. I am happy to be a toaster as I like romance and winning back a heart even if it makes me vulnerable. I am going to give it another month or so of persistence regardless of her poor feedback then I am done.

Its funny because, even if I am in love, you still get bitter in a way, and at time feel like once I win her back I will dump her to get back at her for making me so clueless for so long. Unless she explains it all to me and it make sense. For now, I am going to be persistent and consistent.

My confusion is caused by the fact that, even though I expressed my feelings more or less clearly to her, she has not done the same so it keeps you wondering. What I don't understand is if she likes my attention to boost her pride or genuinely wants to be won back?

Music Video - Timi Dakolo's Great Nation



The romance in this video is the one between a man and his country. Timi Dakolo's music really impresses me and I love this song a lot. But as I listen, I also sigh and wish and wish and sigh. I am older and I have been wishing and sighing for a long time, from the time I could vote but the military were in power, or when the small politics I took part in at university department level had its own K-leg. And then I had to ask myself why I was worrying about those at state and national levels?

Hmmm...I still hope though. Nigeria WILL get there. Someday.

Date Night Movie Review - Flight


Atala - The trailer for this movie pointed a movie which seemed morally ambiguous. Should I, the viewer, be rooting for a character who was such a skilled pilot that he was able to save the majority of the passengers when the plane they were flying on suffered a serious malfunction? Or should I condemn him because it turned out that he had been drinking alcohol on the flight?

With these questions buzzing in my mind, we went to watch the movie. And I should say that the first thirty minutes or so were some of the most dramatic scenes that I have watched in a long while. All I can say is that if you have a fear of flying, you probably won't want to watch them. But after that drama was over, the movie settled into a slower pace, and the what the movie really was about - an alcoholic pilot in denial - came to the fore.

Denzel Washington, who played the lead role, did a great job here. I found myself alternately willing him to slay his addiction demons and mentally washing my hands off him as he relapsed again and again in the movie, especially as the consequences of continuing on his course of destruction would be pretty dire.

The ending of the movie builds towards the climactic scene where he is brought before a National Transportation Safety Board panel to explain what happened on the flight, and it was a fitting and emotional climax.

So I definitely recommend the movie, although I'll probably won't think the same way about flying in an airplane for a while.

Myne - We saw this movie just before my mum travelled back to Nigeria and I asked her if she wanted to see it with us. When she asked me what it was about, and then declined at the mention of plane crash, I realized I should have thought of that. So if you are scared of flying, or prefer not to save scary scenarios in your mind, you may want to keep away from this movie.

Otherwise, flight is a movie about redemption, or not, for those caught in the chains of substance abuse. Those who have gone through therapy may recognise the steps the main character had to go through to get to where he was by the end of the movie. The movie definitely makes you think - of stubborness, of human genius and fallibility, and of moral high grounds. It made me think of some personality traits I may have, and how these affects my relationships with others.

Now to the performances. I won't be surprised if Denzel Washington is nominated or wins an Oscar for best actor. He was like a bright falling star, you couldn't keep your eyes off him. He was in almost all the scenes in the movie, and in each, he steals the show. The writing of the movie was not bad, but he made the writers shine even more.

The other stand out actors were John Goodman and Don Cheadle. They were opposites of each other and where they both appeared together, the comparison was hilarious if not for the seriousness of the movie. Without doubt, they were both great foils for Denzel's character and it showed that they gave it their all.

I also highly recommend this movie but for adults. There is nudity and substance abuse.

Library of Congress, Washington DC - Weekend Pictures


As winter knocks on the door over here, bringing cold temperatures, ice pellets, rain and more rain, I look back with fondness to this summer and our brief time in Virginia and DC. I remember back then though when we landed at the airport, it was over 100 degrees and I felt like I would either fry like an egg in a pan, or melt and steam away. Now I want some of that heat to magically be transferred to Seattle. I wonder how warm or cold it is there, right now.

Anyway, we took the train to our hotel in Alexandria, rested in the air-conditioned confines of our room and by the evening, I was feeling more adjusted. We went out for dinner, settled for Chinese takeaway, and while they were getting it ready, we took a stroll around the area.





We found a historic site - house that belonged to Robert E. Lee and his family. Also spent some restful minutes at Founder's Park, right on the shores of a lake.


The next day, we set off for the Library of Congress. Had a great time there, the outside architecture was great, but the interior design was even more of a masterpiece. And not to forget the artifacts and stories contained within those walls.













We spent most of the day at the Library, and then we popped over to the Capitol where we had been booked to watch a congress committee in session. Those pictures will have to wait for another day.

I'm still trying to rest after the major eating over thanksgiving. Have a great weekend,Mwah!

Arranged Marriage Versus Personal Choice


A lot of couples these days find love through their own personal choice, by meeting people with shared interests, beliefs, and values either at work, at school, or at play. Along the line, they date, court and then decide if they are right for each other and if they can agree to live together and maybe get married.

Arranged marriage on the other hand involves the parents and relatives of those involved. Most times, there's marriage on the cards from the get go and it often happens within a short time after meeting. I want to think that these days, arranged marriages may involve some coercion and pressure but not force.

I have found that younger people are more gung-ho about making their own personal choice, but the older a man or a woman gets, especially if they have made the rounds of their social and dating circle with no luck, the more likely they are to be open to an arrangement by their parents or older relatives to meet new people and get married quickly.

What do you think? Which has more pros in your opinion?

Joseph Benjamin on his Marriage and Separation


If you ask me, I'll say separation, while it is not encouraged, is not uncommon in Nigeria. Scores of people I know live separate lives with their spouses mostly in different homes and sometimes even in different countries. A few times, they even live in the same house and still do their own business. What is more frowned upon is going the legal route of getting a divorce, I put this down to our religious and traditional backgrounds.

On my part, I'll never support marriage for marriage sake, but only when it is healthy and beneficial to the couple and any children they have. Recently, Joseph Benjamin - Nigerian actor and presenter - got the full weight of public disapproval when it came to light that he was separated from his ex-wife and mother of his two children. There were other rumors surrounding the announcement some of which he has addressed in this press release below.

“I was married for 8 years. It was a rather odd situation at that time. She got pregnant and I didn’t want to have a child out of wedlock and so I married her so we could build a home together for the unborn child. Things weren’t rosy then, but I believed it was the right thing to do for the sake of the child.

I overlooked my own personal desires, I just wanted to do right. Our second child came and I stood by my family like I always have; but no one is perfect, we had our issues – the crisis persisted but we stayed because of the kids. But you never make that kind of decision because if the parents are not happy together then the children suffer.

I’ll also like to correct a misconception – she is not older than me, and she wasn’t taking care of my financial needs as people have insinuated. We were both starting off in life on the same grounds – no one was exploited.”

“I’ve been separated for a year now but we still keep a good relationship, and our separation was a mutual agreement. She is a good woman but I could not go on with the union anymore seeing the foundation it was built on was untrue.

I have two wonderful children – a ten year old daughter and a seven year old son. They are an integral part of my life; their mum and I have a very good arrangement on how to balance their lives and make sure that psychologically they are stable and unaffected by our separation.”

Source - Bellanaija.com

No matter the reasons any one goes into marriage for, I doubt they pray for separation or divorce for themselves. However, at the end of the day you have to do what works best for you and your family. I wish Joseph Benjamin the wisdom required as he and his family goes through this period.


How to Have a Lasting Online Romance


This is another Search #1 keyword that bring people to this blog. I personally met Atala online and we made it thus far, and I know of several other success stories. The major advantage of online romance is the privacy, and safety it provides. You don’t need to expose everything about you immediately.

Stuff like your telephone number, address, where you work and family details can and should be kept under wraps for a while. It is only when you trust the other person more that you can decide how open to be.

Online romance gives you the control, you can decide when and how to reveal any type of information. You can also completely back off at any time, if you feel like something is going wrong or the other person is not who they say they are. Changing your email addresses, or blocking a chat buddy or access to your FB or twitter profile, is much easier than keeping someone out of your physical space.


That said; there are some things to be aware of with online romance. The advantage of privacy in meeting someone online first could become a double-edged sword. This is because it makes it easier to be dishonest online. The person you are chatting with could be 12 years old, or married, or 42 instead of 22, or a man instead of a woman and vice versa.

It is so easy to develop a different persona online, be whoever you want, say whatever and become an overnight superstar. The anonymity and privacy of the internet thereby becomes a tool for deception. A waiter becomes a doctor, 5’1 becomes six feet and CUNY becomes Harvard or Yale. Remember that this cuts both ways. Are you being your real honest self while looking for love online?

When you have passed this initial meeting stage and you are thinking of defining the relationship with someone you met online, it is time to think of the tough questions I came across in another wonderful article on the subject excerpted below...

... in a long distance relationship with an individual, the same qualities that are essential to any relationship will be necessary, plus more. The number one component to any relationship, long distance or not, is trust. You cannot be in a relationship with someone you do not trust. Trust is the foundation to all good relationships. There is a saying that goes, “when mistrust comes in, loves goes out.” So make sure you have faith in the person you are with.

With the topic of trust, comes the topic of lies—trust’s, number one enemy. Lies are the quickest way to end a relationship. Avoid them at all cost, especially in long distance relationships when you are unable to keep an eye on the person you are with. Having a spy or friend who keeps you up to date may just come back to bite you in your bottom and then that’s when problems escalate to he said/ she said drama.

Another key component to a long distance relationship is communication. Obviously, face-to-face conversations will be somewhat limited, but with technology these days, that shouldn’t be a problem. Take your pick. You can have a regular phone conversation, text, email, skype, oovoo, or choose from one of several social media websites like the ever-popular facebook, twitter, or tumblr.

Now, let’s talk about the most important factor of all—love. How much do you love the person you are with? Is the person worth all the anxiety that comes with a long distance relationship? This is a question, only you can answer for yourself, but if you can truthfully answer yes to all of the above, then you have the potential to carry out a healthy, loving, long distance relationship. Source

All said and done, there are some things to beware of with online romance. You can read more - Safety Tips for Online Dating and Social Networking

What Comes After Saying I am Sorry


I think it is part of us as humans to have a sense of fairness and to want justice so if we are forced to apologize against our will, it can be very difficult. Also, if the so-called offender thinks the apology will demean their self-pride, they might shirk from doing the right thing.

When I used to be a school teacher - my mum runs a private school and that was also my first job after NYSC - I got to interact with little kids a lot and learnt a lot from the experience too. One of the things common with a lot of children is that though they are easily offended, they are also quick to forgive.

First though is that they like to report. If you're the only adult or the favorite one in a place with loads of kids, the complaints will be coming thick and fast. "Aunty, B stepped on my foot!" "Aunty, X pinched me!" Aunty, E called me a bad name!" And so on, lol. It's left to you to make the peace as quickly as you can. Most times, this involved calling on the offender to say “I’m sorry.”

In a few of the cases, the offender will say his mind, that the offendee had already done something to him to deserve whatever he did to him along the lines of "He pinched me first!" Then you have to explain why tit-for-tat is not a good idea and the necessity of an apology, maybe a mutual apology.

It's so cute when the belligerent child/ren back down, and one after the other they apologize to each other and make up. If they are close friends before the altercation and one was crying, it is not strange to see the other help them wipe their tears. Before long, they will be playing together and sharing food and toys. The quarel has become a thing of the past and they'll hardly remember it if asked the next day.

Sometimes, we need to be like these children in our relationships. Nobody finds it easy to apologize. We regard it as taking the blame, or accepting responsiblity for the cause of a disagreement, or of accepting everything your partner is putting on you, but this is not sometimes the case. Maybe we need to look at it this way. "I am sorry" is a way to say "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, I still care for you." And this is true, then it should make it easier to say. Not easy, just easier.

However, there is a way romantic relationships often differ from children's friendships. Sometimes, our disagreements are deeper. There are issues. And so "I'm Sorry" is not enough in those situations. If there is no follow up, the apology will simply be a band-aid that might not last for long.

So where an apology will buy you some truce time, it is only a full and honest conversation about any underlying issues that will grant long-lasting peace. I'll be lying if I said having such conversations come easy. No. While it takes love and humility to apologize, you need courage and trust to tackle deeper issues. You have to put your self-pride to the back burner.

One of the early lessons of marriage for me was realizing this, that sometimes an apology - while totally imperative - was not enough. It may work for co-workers and acquaintances, but not for close friends, lovers, and definitely not for a spouse. I had to open myself up even further and discuss why what happened was such a big deal. And it was usually about me, my expectations, and how I felt more than about him or what he did.

With time I discovered that this works wonders. An apology gets me a hug and a kiss, being open and talking about stuff gives us an even deeper bond.

Related Posts

- What is your definition of Trust?

- The Part Where You Apologize

- How to Fight Fair

Dear Myne - I have Commitment Issues


I love your blog and I do not know if you could oblige me by posting my 'issue' up there. How can one overcome the fear of commitment? I have been dating a wonderful man for three years and the fear of even getting a proposal scares me that I break out in cold sweats. I broke off the relationship twice and got back again. I am afraid he may not be the one. I'd really appreciate some good advice.

We met during NYSC programme and started dating few months afterwards. We have the same values and principles on salient issues and he is very committed to God like I am. He has a sense of duty and commitment and my folks like him though we are from different tribes. He knows how to care for me, even though we quarrel we try to sort things up as soon as possible.

We had a did long distance relationship lfor about a year but he lives closer in Ogun State and I in Lagos so we visit each other every two weeks most cases. All in all, he is someone I would like to marry though I get upset with him when he doesn't call me often cos he is busy or tired from work (he's into marketing) and we can get into huge fights. I attribute that to distance issues.

I started praying asking God if I should go ahead and marry him and I had nasty dreams concerning him. I spoke to some (wo)men of God and some said proceed, others said no if you go ahead your life will be all messed up. It's on these reasons that I broke up with him twice and the first time he begged me back but the second time he didn't even bother and just walked away.

He didn't take my calls for weeks on end and I was in a morose state. I tried to tell myself I am fine but it wasn't working. Like having withdrawal symptoms so I did the begging and we got back together after three months. I didn't even have to beg so much before he hugged me.

I am not bothered that I cannot find another guy (I'm 26 years old) I am just worried that if I go ahead I am making a mistake based on the dreams I've had and prophecies or I should not bother about them and go ahead. We ought to have been married this year but I gave an excuse of we need to save up more money and he agreed.

Now he is saying next year and I am like I have heard but I am so dreading 2013.

I feel I have wasted his time and I feel bad because it's wicked. I have issues making up my mind on things though. I'd research and research till someone makes up my mind for me or I take the plunge.

*exhaling loudly*

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