Friday, 22 July 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Coming Home

This week on Romantic Friday Writers, the theme is Coming Home. My contribution is a new story that came to me last night.
Tonye Hume, the prodigal son, returns to his childhood home in Port Harcourt, Nigeria for the first time in fifteen years. In his case, he is back successful and wealthy. And his father is dead. Yet his return awakens so much from his past that he’s kept buried – secrets, betrayal and pain.

The scene I’ve chosen is when he sees his former youthful crush Kambili for the first time after so long. She is one of the reasons he left his home in the first place.

Word count: 400

I hope you enjoy it.

***

Not waiting for the driver to open the door, Tonye stepped out of the car. The gravel crunched beneath his designer Italian leather shoes. The massive white colonial style detached house on two levels with a terrace balcony on the first floor loomed over him. At the front was a garden, rows of blushing lilac hibiscus plants interspersed with pink dahlias. A smile tugged his lips.

His mother’s garden. It was still here and well maintained. Surprise and relief danced in his stomach. He walked towards the shrubs, bent over and inhaled deeply filling his lungs with their sweet scent. At the back of the house, there were more of the garden, trees landscaped with shrubs. Closing his eyes, he was immediately transported to his childhood, running around on the lawn, playing with his friends, hanging out with his sister.

That was another reason he was home. His sister. Somma. He hadn’t seen her in over a year. Even then it had been a brief get together while he’d been on business in New York. She should be here already. He couldn’t wait to see her again.

His nostrils picked up a different scent. The hairs on the back of his neck stood straight and he stiffened his spine. A soft gasp behind him got him turning around. His heart stopped for a moment as his eyes connected with the woman’s in front of him. He locked his knees as air whooshed out of his lungs as if he’d just been punched in the gut. His heart started beating again; this time flooding his system with rage, adrenaline and recognition. Clenching and unclenching his fists, he stood rock still.

Kambili!

Deep brown eyes ringed by a shade of caramel stared back at him. Surprise, sadness and alarm swam in their profundity. Then long dark lashes came down like a curtain, shielding them from view. It drew his attention to her cheek bones, high on flawless roasted coffee bean skin; nose, small and pert bridging the two; lips, full and heart-shaped, waiting to be...

He stopped himself when he realised he’d taken a step towards her.

What was he doing?

Lips pursed, chin raised, she lifted her lashes. Gone was the sadness and alarm. In their place was a calm boldness, a serenity that kept her apart. As if the real Kambili was no longer in residence within.

“Welcome home, Tonye.”

***

So what do you think? Are you interested? Should I write the rest of the story? Let me know your thoughts.

Remember to follow the link above to see the other submissions this week.