July 20, 2018

 Love’s Persuasion by Ola Awonubi

 Love’s Persuasion by Ola Awonubi

Election 3

When Ada arrived at 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.

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

“What did you think of the new Oga? He looked a bit like Majid Michel. Just darker,” said Agatha, who was staring into space. “I saw him this morning when the M.D. was showing him around. He smiled at me.”

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Nike shook her head. “The bobo is handsome sha. I saw him near 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 oyinbo. 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 thing 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. We would get married and travel the world together,” Agatha said sighing.

Ada transferred the 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 stopped listening 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.

But he is 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 a man to come along before they started living. Yet, as soon as they got married, their 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 BA, MA 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 previous job, her manager had only been interested in one thing, and her refusal to give it to him had stood in her way of being promoted. But while she might not have a fantastic flat, the latest car or expensive clothes to wear, she had her self-respect.

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