Title: Forever There For You
Author: Chioma Nnani
When NADINE is confronted with the reality of her failing marriage, her first instinct is to work it out. She has had it drummed into her that marriage is ‘for better, for worse’. Walking out is just not an option – her faith would condemn her and her culture would make her a pariah.
The combination of Nadine’s background, education, social standing, friendships, faith, experiences and past relationships is meant to equip her to become a success. Failure is alien to her and love means forgiving at all cost.
As she tries to survive and make the most of the curves that life has thrown her, she discovers that ’success’ is a subjective term, and ‘happily ever after’ is something that you have to discover and define for yourself …
Chioma Nnani is an award-winning author, who also contributes to business, lifestyle and literary publications. One of Africa's most fearless storytellers, she is a 2016 CREATIVE AFRICAN Awards finalist in the category of “Best Fiction Writer”, and a DIVAS OF COLOUR 2016 finalist. Chioma has also been nominated twice for a UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award in the “Best Author” category. A talented ghost-writer who is known for “being able to get into your head and under your skin, before writing down exactly how you're feeling”, Chioma has been named “One of 100 Most Influential Creatives in 2016” by London-based C.Hub Magazine.
She holds a Law (LLB) from the University of Kent and a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law (De Montfort University, Leicester). She is the founder of THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD (a premium storytelling outfit based in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, where she lives), typically contributes to lifestyle and literary publications, and runs the “Memo From A Fearless Storyteller” blogazine at www.fearlessstoryteller.com for which she won the 2016 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award.
Amazon (Kindle): United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and India. It is also available on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks, and major online stores. Okadabooks is mainly for buyers in Africa.
As a paperback, Forever There For You is available from Amazon in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and India.
Nadine stood in her bathroom, staring at her comb. The amount of hair on the comb made her want to cry. She wasn’t sure why she was shedding hair, and at an alarming rate, too. Ever since she took out her braid extensions three weeks ago, she noticed that her hair was breaking and falling out. Looking at her pillow every morning nearly broke her heart – there were always some strands of hair on the pillow. Even placing her palm on her hair seemed to be all that was needed to remove some from her head. She had tried wrapping it, moisturising and oiling it as it seemed dry at first, not conditioning it because that was supposed to make her hair soft, using Vitamin E creams because she had heard that they made hair healthy, anything she could think of. But nothing she did to stem the hair loss seemed to work and she was afraid that with the way things were going, she would be bald by January.
She remembered going to many of the salons in Oxford, when she still had her braids in. Virtually none of them advertised as catering to Afro-hair, but a few of them had international reputations that she thought she would go in and see what they had to offer. At the time, she had what she initially believed was a bright idea, to dye her hair … blonde. No, she didn’t want all of it dyed blonde – black people didn’t naturally come with blonde hair – just a few streaks. And it wouldn’t have been a brassy or otherwise garish shade of blonde, either. She found the prices quoted by some of the salons to be ridiculous – like throwing money down a drain. But then, a Toni & Guy stylist, at the branch of their salon which was located on George Street, advised her not to do it. The stylist, who happened to be mixed-race, told her that if her hair were to be dyed blonde, Nadine’s colouring would ensure that her hair turned bright orange after a while. Then Nadine’s hair could – or did she say would – begin to fall off. That put Nadine off the idea immediately. Her desire for a full head of hair was greater than her dream of black hair with streaks of honey-blonde.
But now, it appeared that her hair did not need any dye-induced encouragement to fall off. It was doing that all by itself. Searching for a suitable Afro-salon in Oxford had proved to be a fruitless exercise, hence her desire to locate one in London on her trip there with Stella. She had seen some on Old Kent Road, but had not been impressed. She had been told by one of the few black girls on her course, that the places with the largest number of Afro-salons in London, were Brixton and Peckham. She didn’t have a lot of time to go to those places or anywhere else in East London, on the day – Stella was already fidgety. This was before Stella told her why she was keen to return to Oxford, on time.
By what had to be sheer providence, she had had reason to be on Cowley Road on her way back from school one day, where she spotted a shop selling products including Afro hair extensions. Not only was there a salon beside it, but there was also another Afro-salon on the opposite side of the road. But they were fully booked and couldn’t fit her in for another week and a half. At first, Nadine found it ludicrous. In Port-Harcourt and other parts of Nigeria, there were many salons where clients just walked in. Most of the services were carried out on a first come, first served basis. It was only for the more time-consuming and complicated services – like braiding – that customers were required to make appointments, sometimes well in advance. All Nadine wanted to do now was to save her hair, and she did not appreciate being informed that nearly a fortnight would elapse before she was able to do so. Then, she told herself that it didn’t matter, because she was in a better position than she had been before, at least she had found two salons. And the week and a half would pass quickly. Yet as Nadine stood before her mirror with clumps of hair on her comb, a week and a half seemed like eternity and she wondered if she or her hair, could wait that long.