bookhouse prize




Fallen Angel, a Romantic Suspense genre, is a sordid tale of past sins, regret, rape and a quest to
keep true love, set in two cities; Uyo and Lagos States.
The protagonist ENO MATHEWS is a girl who was thrown into poverty when her father died
after an accident that took his legs. In a poverty alleviation scheme organized by her mother, Eno
is married off to a man who physically abuses her, even when she falls pregnant. Losing her
pregnancy and her womb in the process, a broken Eno yields to the pressure of a friend and flees
the city where she lived with her husband and becomes a top class prostitute. From a naïve
young girl, with an Ibibio accent, Eno becomes a bilingual girl with a British accent, who toyed
with men. But that was until she met Danladi, a billionaire widower, who wanted more than her
body. He loved her like no one ever did, and Eno falls hopelessly in love with him, but her past
comes calling as a rival won’t let her have the new life she craves. Eno would strive to keep her
new love, even at the cost of blood.



November, 2017 Kirikiri Maximum security prison.
It is five o’clock in the evening, and soon we would have to go for dinner, where
we would be served something that does not qualify as food, but of course life in
prison is not a luxury. Before I go, let me tell you the story of my life.
I want to tell you about the choices I made, that led me into this dungeon where I
am going to spend the rest of my life, or not. Do not judge me, until you have read
my story.

I am Eno-obong, but you can call me Eno, because everyone calls me that.
I am from Akwa-Ibom state, in the South Southern part of Nigeria. Girls from my
state are known for their extreme beauty and comeliness. We are also known for
being the best in caring for a man, and trust me this has nothing to do with our
good bed skills. In Akwa-Ibom, it is not just about our beautiful stadium, or the
aesthetic road network, but the people of Akwa-Ibom are good people. We love
strangers and we are very hospitable. It is no wonder people come to Akwa-Ibom
and never want to leave.
I was a very beautiful girl with fair, creamy skin which I maintained with an
expensive skin care regimen. I am not a tall person, but men don't care for my
height, not when I have the roundest butt, a tiny waist accentuated by curvy hips,
and a full, firm breasts pointing to the sky. Just so you know, I cannot remember
the last time I wore a bra. Girls who look like me are always stereotyped as sugar
babes, mistresses and any other derogatory name that can be culled, because our
body must bring a lot of money, if we spend so much maintaining it. Perhaps, they
are not wrong. However, do not be quick to give me a class until you know my
entire story.
I like to think of myself as a slay Queen, and every man's dream. I have
destroyed many marriages, and pushed many girls out of their relationships. I am
like a drug, and the moment you take a pill of me, you are hooked forever. I own a
house in Banana Island, bought by the only man I ever loved so deeply, who
became the cause of my ruin. I have a boutique in the heart of Lekki and one in
Uyo, which caters to Slay queens like me and the crème de’ la crème of society. To
you, I was living the dream life, but all that glitters, is not gold.
I was not always this girl you now see. I was a regular girl who just
wanted a simple life, to fall in love with a man who would treat me like a queen
and be the father of my children. I was a very good girl, who didn’t care that my
family could only afford the basic necessities of life, and I could not have fancy
things that girls my age had. Everyone in our town loved me, because I only cared
for people’s happiness, and always had a smile on my face for everyone. You could
say, I was an angel in human form, until…
Two years ago, I lived with my family in Ikot Ekpene, a town in AkwaIbom. We were extremely poor, and practically feeding from hand to mouth. I
know that many girls in my profession have used poverty as an excuse for the life
they live, but my excuse is not poverty, but betrayal.
My father was one of those mobilized by the former state governor, with
tricycles, to enable the less privileged in the state, have a means of livelihood. It
wasn’t much, but it put food on our table. My mother was a petty trader in the main
market, also provided by the governor. You see, Akwa-Ibom is blessed with
governors who care for the people, and my parents were beneficiaries of the
benevolence of the state government.
Like I said before, we didn’t have much, and most of what my parents earned,
went into food and clothing. Yet, I had the ambition to get higher education.
Everyone said I was intelligent and smart, that I would go far in life if I was given
the opportunity. So I fought to get higher educated. I always believed that if I got
within the four walls of a university, the world would be unable to contain me.
“Adiaha nmi (my first daughter), you know our condition, I don’t have the
finance to sponsor you to the University,” my father said whenever he saw me,
sitting by the kerosene lamp to read my books.
Nevertheless, I remained undaunted in my quest and enrolled for the
universities entrance examination so many times, that I lost count. You see, though
everyone said I was smart, I couldn’t get an admission into the university. After
trying the universities entrance examinations so many times without securing an
admission, I gave up hope of ever being educated, especially since my parents
were complaining that I was wasting money taking those examinations.
Education is not the only means to financial freedom; after all didn't they
say Bill Gates was a dropout? What about Zuckerberg, did he go to school?
I tried to console myself, and I moved on with my life. If I had known, I would
have kept at it until I got the admission, I would never have given up. Perhaps if I
had gone to school, my life would have turned out better. This is not to say that, a
University degree was all I needed to succeed in life, but it was an important part
of the puzzle.
Our financial situation got worse, when the recession hit, towards the end of
the year. The new government was not favourable, and businesses were collapsing.
My mother could barely make anything from her petty trading, because all the cost
of things had gone up, and people were hardly buying.
Tragedy struck one lucky day in September. My father was given a job to carry
heavy house properties to Uyo from Ikot Ekpene, with his tricycle. The distance
was not that much, but the capacity of his tricycle was not up to what was needed
for the properties it would carry. He could have rejected that job, if he had, things
would have turned out differently. However, due to the recession, he needed all the
money he could get, so he accepted all jobs. On his way to Uyo that fateful Sunday
morning, he collided with a heavy duty truck.
“Mma Eno (Eno’s mother), your husband has been rushed to the hospital.”
one of our neighbours in the tenement building we lived in, came to tell us about
our father’s predicament, accompanied by the police officer who was sent to
inform my father’s family.
“Oh my God, is he…is my husband dead?” my mother put her hands on her
head in despair and began to wail, not minding that her wrapper had gone loose,
and she was only left in her underskirt, with her fallen breasts flapping to the
movements of her body.
We rushed to the hospital along Uyo road and discovered that he did not die, but
had sustained a serious leg injury. At that time, we didn’t care about the hospital
bills, because all we cared about was having our father with us. After a while
though, we began to feel the pinch of the money going into my father’s treatment.
My mother's petty trading, barely covered our feeding and the fees of my younger
siblings in school, yet, my father's leg injury was sapping us dry. We had taken him
to different hospitals, and when we could no longer pay their exorbitant bills, we
resorted to traditional medicine. We even took him to prayer houses and churches,
but no solution was in sight. My father's legs was rotting away, and oozing odorous
The burden became too great for my mother, so I decided to do any job my
hands could find, in order to support our meagre finances. I started a salesgirl job
at a supermarket owned by an obese and over bleached woman, Madam Nkoyo.
My madam was a good person, whose personality belied her physical appearance.
She was considerate during the trying times of my father’s impairment, and kind.
"Eno, sorry about your father's condition, is he getting any better?" She
would ask, every time she came to check the books.
"No madam, he is not any better. They say we may have to cut off the leg," I
would reply.
"Oh no, I am sorry for what you are going through," she would sympathize
with me, and sometimes she would give me a thousand naira, which would be our
feeding money for days.
I never knew a kind woman such as my madam could ever be related to someone
whose heart was continually evil, but I would soon find out it was indeed so.
My mother began to lean towards the advice of people and decided that my
father's leg would never heal, and should be cut off. Who could blame her, the leg
was eating every naira that came into the house, and yet, it was not healing.
"My husband, I am sorry, but we will have to amputate the leg. You are
going through so much pain, and our meagre finances are getting swallowed up,
yet your leg is not healing." my mother brought up the subject while cleaning the
foul smelling leg one evening.
“I will not allow that to happen. What is a man without his complete body
parts?" he kicked the bucket of hot water that my mother was using to clean his
leg, and shooed her away.
You see, my father was not comfortable with staying home, while his wife became
the breadwinner. How could he assume his role as the Lord of the house, if his wife
was the one that fed him and even helped him with his bodily needs like bathing?
For a man, who had been taught from boyhood, never to give up his place, as the
head, it was indeed a bitter pill to swallow. So my father, fought against having his
leg cut off, vehemently and as a result, his relationship with my mother became
"You are a wicked woman. You want to maim me, so you can be the
husband, while I am the wife. It will not work, I remain the head of this house," he
said on many occasions.
However, when the pain became unbearable, and there was a possibility of the
bad leg affecting the other one, he succumbed to pressure and agreed to have his
leg cut off.
My father never remained the same after this. He lived his days in the beer
parlour, soaking in beer from dawn to dusk. At night he would stagger home on his
crutches, and sometimes he would not make it home, and would be found in the
gutters when it was morning. It was a trying time for our family, and the society
did not help. They mocked us at every turn, and my mother took the brunt of it. My
father was not satisfied with drowning his sorrows in green bottles, but became so
dissatisfied with life that he committed suicide.
One day, I had gone to the supermarket, while my mother had gone to the
main market as usual, to sell her wares. My four younger brothers had gone to
school, and when they came home, they found my father lying on the bed. They
didn't think anything of it and went about playing until I returned home and was
told that my father had been sleeping since they came home.
My heart skipped a bit and somehow I knew already that something had
happened to my father.



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