Excerpt

 

When Ada got into the office first thing on Monday morning, she headed for reception and took her seat. Nike, one of her colleagues from accounts, was talking to Agatha.

“Did you see him last Friday?”

Ada who had woken up with a headache, a result of staying up most of the night before trying to study her resource management module was not in the mood for chit-chat. “See who?”

“The new Oga. He looked a bit like Michael Majid. Just darker.” said Agatha, who was staring into space. “I saw him this morning when the MD was showing him around. He smiled at me.”

“Really?”

Nike shook her head. “The bobo is handsome sha. I saw him at the buffet afterwards but he was deep in conversation with the other directors, and there were so many people wanting to talk to him that I gave up in the end. The food was nice, but talking to him would have been nicer.”

“The man sound like oyibo. You no hear am?” Agatha sighed.

Ada picked up her headphones and pressed the flashing green button for the next caller. It was a good that her interaction with the object of their fantasies had gone unnoticed. Gossip was the last thing she needed. Unlike Agatha she wasn’t in awe of the rich and famous.

“I wish I could meet someone like that. He would marry me and we would travel the world together,” Agatha said sighing.

Ada finished her call and looked at her colleague. “Agatha you’ve been watching too many romantic comedies.”

“He is such a gentleman. He opened the door for me this morning, you know,” Agatha continued, ignoring Ada’s comment. “Imagine a Naija man opening a door for me…London is good o.”

Ada closed her ears and pulled out a file. That was Agatha for you. She was always falling for some fine Bobo, and it always got her into trouble.

So he was fine. Na fine I go chop? She asked herself.

She was so tired of listening to the way some of her women friends kept going on about men – it was like they were waiting for some male to come along before they started living. Yet as soon as they got married, Mother-In-Law would start demanding grandchildren, and the minute those arrived, that was the end of their careers. The degree they had spent years studying for would be framed and stuck on the sitting room wall, like a portrait in a museum. The husband of such a woman would pound his chest in pride.

“See my wife, she has a B.A, M.A and PhD and yet she is content to be a housewife and look after all these children I have given her!” Such men would humour their wives with occasional trips abroad and might even open a shop for them. People would bow and call her “Madam”. Nobody would care that she was entirely reliant on her husband for everything, that she did not possess one kobo of her own.

No, she had sworn that would never happen to her. She wasn’t going to end up like some of her friends relying on their rich boyfriends or sugar daddies to survive. That was why she was working so hard, to make sure that she could take care of herself. In her former employment, her manager had only wanted one thing and her refusal to give it had meant that she was further down in her professional life than she would have liked. But while she might not have a fantastic flat, the latest car or pretty clothes to wear, she had her self-respect.

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