Dear blog readers, my book (co-authored with Praise Ajewole) is out as promised. I decided to share chapter one of the book to allow you have peep into the story so you can decide for yourself if you want to continue or not. But I am sure you want to know where this leads, right? winks.

Chapter 1

She zipped her duffel bag up and peeped to make sure the coast was clear before tiptoeing out the door into the night. She gave the house a glance, pulled the hood over her head and walked briskly down the street. She stopped abruptly, removed her shoes and continued walking carefully. The security guard drooled carelessly as a cat hurried past his ankles, he was snoring faintly. She could not afford to rouse him. She slid further away from the street light. Successful! She hastened her steps towards the junction, as she recognized the driver pulling up the street with the car. She slipped into the car and they drove off. In a few hours, she would be discovered missing.
“Are you fully packed?” he asked.
“Yes.” She replied                                                                                               
“And you have my pay?”
“Of course” She replied rolling her eyes. A couple of hours later, they reached the shore. She eased out of the car and he led her to the waiting boat.
She took the wad of bills from her bag and placed it in his palm.
“Wait. Let me make sure you gave me the right deal.” He said as he counted the bills. He then handed it back to her. “It’s ok. The ride is on me.”
“What?” She asked in surprise.
“Just go, quickly.”
“Uhm. Ok. Thank you.”
 He nodded and she hurriedly climbed into the boat. There was only one lighted cabin. She proceeded. Inside she met about half dozen pairs of eyes. With her, there were three males and three females.
“Welcome to the crew. You’re the last person we are waiting for.” said one of the males. He looked older than all of them.
“I’m Red Eye and this is my ship. It may be an ordinary boat to you but it is addressed as my ship. These are the other crew members or run-aways like you. This guy with brown hair is Pedro. He is half Spanish, half Nigerian, he is from Badagry. The other guy with no hair is Mark. He’s from the east. These two girls are twins. Beats my mind why they would both want to leave home. They are Temi and Kemi. They are from the southwest but I am aware they have lived up north all their lives. Where are you from?” He asked looking at her.
“I’m from the South-West.” She replied staring at him trying to figure out if his eyes were somehow red.
“Do you have a name?”
“I am Hope.”
“Hope. Hmm. Well, I hope your name influences this journey. Right now we’ll settle for a couple more hours and start out before the sun peeks out.” She scanned the faces of her fellow crew members. They all sent her piercing and questioning looks. She began to feel uneasy and almost rethinking her decision for the journey.
The twins had a determined look on their faces. Mark was a mix of fierce and composed. Pedro carried a calm demeanor. Everyone settled down on the mats spread around. She ended up beside Pedro.
“Hi.” She said with a faint smile.
“Hope. I think you need to get some rest for the long journey ahead.”
“Uhm, how long exactly?”
He gave her a questioning look. “Don’t you know?”
“I’m sorry. I do not really have detailed information.”
“Why are you here?” he asked She bit her lower lip and looked away.
“Hope?” he asked. He sat on the mat and asked her to do the same. “Tell me what made you come on this journey.”
“I don’t want to talk about it yet.” She said “But I would appreciate you telling me why you’re here and what this is all about.
He sighed. “Well, okay. I’m Pedro. My father is Spanish and my mother is Nigerian. We have lived in Badagry for about ten years now, though I spent a couple of my early years in Spain. I have a sister who got married some years back. My father’s business began to take a nose dive some years ago. My mother got sacked too, I have three younger ones, and the upkeep of the family started to choke my dad.  However, my sister sends some amount of money regularly but it did very little. My father wanted to go back to Spain but mom would have none of that. Eventually, they began fighting and the home became an oven. My younger ones would steal, fib and were occasional truants. I tried my best to help everyone see that we could get through this hard time but dad started drinking and mom went to her hometown thus abandoning us. I heard she has gone to several traditionalists for potions and is also involved in money rituals. When I left home no one even noticed. I got to know about Red Eye through Buntu. He and Red Eye are cousins. He’s a nice transporter. One day I was so frustrated. I told him what I was going through. He told me he could help me. He told me about Red Eye’s missions. He told me Red Eye discovered an island many miles from here. He’s been going there for about three years now, cultivating the land and erecting wooden structures. Some months ago, he took a number of people across. People like us who are running away, fed up of the situation they are presently in. Red Eye sells his produce to get money to buy supplies for the place. That’s where we are going- a peaceful island away from the world.”
“Buntu was the driver who dropped me off here too.” She said
“Yes! We are to start our journey at dawn and we’ll get there before sunset.”
“A whole day? That’s quite a distance. What if I get sea sick?” she asked.
“Don’t worry. Red Eye will always have a remedy.”
She sighed and tried to digest all she had heard.
“What about the others? Do you know why they are here?”
“I don’t have a clue. I met them all tonight. Are you ready to tell me why you are here?”
 “No.” she maintained
“Okay. I would not force you; whenever you are ready. I guess it is time to rest any way.” With that he passed her a blanket from a box and took one for himself. One of twins was snoring.  Others were fast asleep. Red Eye was in another cabin and he was murmuring something. She lay down and pulled the blanket to her chin. Within minutes she was fast asleep.

To be continued in the book. 
*Kindly download okadabooks app on your play store or apple store
*search for “HOPE ISLAND”
*buy at a cheap price
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