Roses N Chocolates




My father rang it in my ears every single day about being mature enough to marry. So I went back to school and got a second degree. Then I went on for post graduate while I worked. With three degrees and an apt mind, I became a manager in my company before I turned thirty. My annual salary climbed to eight figures.

Being a loans officer didn’t help anything. I had to be tough. And good. And I was. Though I looked everyday my age when I first started work at twenty-three, and then somehow, my mature-look meter started to slow down, my attitude spoke volumes.

On my twenty-eighth birthday with my promotion to senior loans officer, accompanied by a car and driver, my mum called me into her room and wept. Not one single man was around me. She thought it strange. The truth unfortunately was no man had asked me out in three years. Before then, I had turned almost all of them down. The only serious relationship I had ever had ended up a disaster when my fiancé dared cheat on me.

So knowing me like this, a 5’6 pretty-faced, 32-year-old-looking-23, hard nut, cold-hearted, loans officer, what would you or anyone think? Boss lady. And a bossy one too.

My organization ran a tight ship of financial correspondence and consulting. We midwife businesses from start to success, acting as middlemen for banks and loan-sharks. My role was key.

My bosses loved me to the death because I drove a hard bargain. And in almost ten years of work, not one of my loans went bad. I was the jewel of the organization.

As part of our expansion and business development success, our CEO struck a bargain to manage tax collection for the federal government and consult for the FIRS. The contract was in billions and we had to recruit many more people, to train and send to the field to do the work. Though we had offices in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan, we needed field workers in all the thirty-six states, and regional offices in at least nine states including the FCT. Head office remained in Lagos.

Suddenly, my whole life was thrown into work and nothing but work. The HR unit worked night and day to get the recruitment schedules and timelines, beside the fact that my core duties did not change.

When the contract got awarded, we set to work. The HR manager had interviews to conduct in nine states, and we had to recruit a company to do the initial work. After that, we took over the task.

People who passed the first and second stages were sent to the head office for the final interview. As the most senior loans officer, I reported directly to the chief accountant. I had over twenty accountants working for me. Thus, I had to be on a few of the interview panels.

I prided myself as being objective, thorough and composed. But when Dino walked into the interview room on that fateful Tuesday morning, I lost it. I had never seen a man look so good.

It took everything within me to compose myself and not gape. He wore a crisp blue shirt and matching tie, over black trousers. That was all. Nothing much struck me except his face, very handsome, and his eyes, so penetrating. He had a sweet, deep voice, which captivated me.

His interview lasted longer than was fair. The other lady on the panel, Mrs. Shittu kept throwing questions at him. For me, I had my questions written out, and I hauled them at him at fair intervals. He answered well; he seemed calm and composed. I tried not to look at him, but my gaze kept drifting. Of course, I ought to assess him; body language, attitude, and so on, as part of the interview, but not with my heart pounding like this.

He was qualified, but I didn’t have a final say. Somehow, I wished he wouldn’t get the job. Though he would be a few good steps lower than me, I wondered what if— what if this crush doesn’t abate?

A guy goes after a girl his subordinate, all the time. But a woman hitting on her junior in the office? Or a junior hitting on his boss? It wasn’t the kind of scandal I wanted to be associated with. Better this Dino didn’t get the job.

I became conflicted immediately after the interviews. I tried to be objective and scored him average. If this man was taken, he would be one of my staff. I would have to work with him in the same office. I had better get rid of any infatuation.

Mrs. Shittu, senior human resource officer, tapped me after the interviews. “What is the matter? Someone upset you?”

I shrugged. “No, not at all.” I kept my hands busy by packing the interview sheets.

“That Dino boy did very well, but you were so harsh on him.”

That surprised me. “No o. I was fair.”

“Hmm mmh.” She shook her head. “Your questions were too hard…”

“But he answered them.” I stood up and turned to the other accountant on the panel, and changed the subject.

Mrs. Shittu hissed. “Fine men sha make you aggressive,” she mumbled but I heard her, and proceeded to ignore her.




As fate would have it, Dino got the job.

When I got the interview report and realized he’d been taken, my first instinct was to protest. But in all fairness, he had been good. It remained a matter of personal preference to choose between him, and another lady. Both had two years’ experience, both did well, and both spoke well.

I knew then Dino would be chosen because he looked finer than the lady. At least that was my deduction. I had heard before that good-looking people get favored so much more. Well, I wouldn’t know because I had always been judged by my work and attitude, and not looks. To me my looks did nothing to help me anyway.

The day Dino resumed, he knocked once, and walked to my office. The door being open anytime I was in gave me the advantage of seeing him the same time he arrived at my office.

“Good morning, madam. I am Dino Abraham, the new loans administrator.”

Seeing him standing in my office snapped my heart in two. He looked so nice with his near-perfect oblong face, and thin moustache. Everything about him worked together. His nose and lips and facial proportions worked well with his stature, and complexion. I panicked. This man calls me ‘madam’ and I’m sweating in my palms.

“Good morning and welcome.” I didn’t offer him a seat, and I refused to look at him. Instead, I picked files he would work on for starters, here and there.

As loans manager, I now had a secretary, Tubo, a fresh polytechnic graduate who worked well with me. “Is Tubo in her office? My secretary, that is?”

“Huh, I didn’t notice anyone in the other office.”

I stole a glance. He didn’t look awkward. He wore a crisp lilac shirt over ash trousers, and matching ties, and stared at me, very confident. The outfit looked hand-tailored for him. Ah, Theresa Oni, o d’aran, I exclaimed within me. I was in trouble. How will I cope with this guy?

“Well, go and wait for her. She has your immediate job profile with her.”

“Yes, madam.” He turned to leave.

I wish he would not call me madam. His resume placed his age a year older than me. “Take this with you.” He turned and collected two files. “If you don’t understand anything, ask me.”

He nodded, and left. That was when I knew I had been holding my breath. His cologne stuck to my office for hours. He didn’t come into the office again that day. I guess he had reason to avoid the saucy girl who also happened to be his boss.

We settled in. I focused on my job. Dino did the same. I made it a point of duty to not relate with him on anything other than work, because my heart never stopped the skip of a beat any time I saw him or he came into my office.

And this went on for months. The more I struggled with my feelings for Dino, the stronger they grew. It became so glaring I didn’t like him; I sometimes struggled to caution myself.

To give Dino credit, he did his job, and he worked well. Most of the time, he simply stared at me as I gave orders and counter-orders. Shame on me, I did this on purpose sometimes. Part of my strategy to get him out of my system was to make him detest me. Though he grew to hate me, his correspondent coldness toward me did nothing to help my infatuation.

One day Dino walked into my office and handed a ledger to me. He wore a wedding band. From the first day he resumed as a staff in my unit, I had noticed everything about him, from his cologne, to his style of dressing. I liked his fashion sense, he wore clothes that fit.

“Good morning, madam.”

I couldn’t help but notice and comment. “You got married?”

He frowned for a moment and then gasped. “No.”

“What’s with the ring?”

He looked at his hand and chuckled. I nearly died. I had never seen him so much as smile before and like everything else about him, he looked so nice. But it lasted a split second.

He shook his head. “I just wore it to ward off women.” He looked at the ledger in my hand. “This is for the toll gates in Lekki. I have analyzed it, and sent the soft copy to you.”

I dropped the document on my table. “Which women are you trying to ward off?”

He arched his eyebrows, again for a split second but I caught it. “Ur, no one in particular. I just…” He shrugged.

“If you want to wear a ring, why don’t you just marry,” I snapped. He started to speak. I picked the document he brought and dropped it back. “I’ll look at that. Thank you.”

He held my gaze for another split second and then left.

Dino removed the ring from his finger. I felt defeated somehow. Well.




Probation lasted nine months in my organization. After the first year usually, the new staff is appraised and confirmed by management. Most receive a raise in their income. Rarely, a promotion.

After nine months of working with Dino, I didn’t think I could take the heat anymore. I wasn’t infatuated with him anymore either, I was convinced I loved him. That revelation ended only across my pillow in my lonely room, in my parents’ home.


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  • reply
    Wendy Ogunsanwo

    Hello Madam,  I love your novel, Boss Lady and Battered. I am not familiar with online purchases. I see you sometimes has online specials.  Tge last price you sent me for hard copy was a much for me and i have decided to stick to soft copies purchases for now. How much is the soft copy for each of the above two books ma? ThanksWande Ogunsanwo  

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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    October 5, 2016
  • reply
    Wendy Ogunsanwo

    Dear Madam, Kindly provides me with the prices of the Soft Copies of the following books in Naira.  I see some of them are on special on Okada books website and other sites. I will like to deposit the money directly into your account.  SOFT COPY PRICES:  1. The day after that night 2. Battered  3. Scattered  4. Just like play 5. Scent of water 6. Ika 7. Serve a Kobo 8. Dumped. Kindly also provides me with your Banking details so that the money can be paid directly into your account.  Kind regardsOM Ogunsanwo 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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    October 5, 2016

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