Rosie was super excited when she received her offer of employment from the Ministry of Justice one month later.
“With a regular paying job, I will eventually save up the required amount of money for my university education.” She thought to herself.
Rosie’s salary from the Ministry of Justice was close to nothing but she was determined to save as much as she could and in a couple of years, she would be able to afford an education in the prestigious University of Benin.
She spent her days daydreaming about the course she would love to study. Medicine had always fascinated her. Doctors were highly respected in the society and she decided to become one. She imagined herself in a white lab coat, hanging a stethoscope on her neck. It made her feel elated.
One sunny afternoon, Rosie was sitting in her office when a messenger came in. The messenger informed her that his boss, a director in the Ministry had asked to see her.
Rosie became immediately nervous and wondered if she had gotten into some sort of trouble she wasn’t aware of because at that time, there normally was no interaction between the directors of the Ministry and junior staff in Rosie’s cadre.
“Please, God. Don’t let them fire me before I put the money for my education together.” She prayed silently.
When Rosie arrived at the office of the director, she tapped lightly on the wooden door and stepped inside. Mr. Johnson greeted her with a smile and asked her to sit on the chair facing him.
At this point, her nervousness metamorphosed into confusion. She had no idea what was going on and several thoughts raced through her mind.
“Am I about to be fired?”
“Did someone report me for something?”
“Why does he have a smile on his face?”
“Young girl, what is your name?” Mr. Johnson asked, abruptly interrupting her thoughts.
“Dubrah Marie Rosie.” She responded.
“That’s a beautiful name.” He replied.
“Thank you, sir.” She stated.
Her eyes immediately focused on the floor, counting the tiles in a bid to avoid his direct stare.
“Are you a new staff?” He asked.
“Yes. I just got employed in the Accounts department.” She replied.
“I see. I noticed you a short while ago. I was attracted to your brisk walking steps and took the time to look at you. You really are a beautiful young woman and because I value your time and mine, I’m going to go straight to the point.” He stated.
Rosie’s heart was in her mouth. Her empty rib cage pounded heavily against her chest and she clutched the handle of the chair she was sitting on. The thirty seconds Mr. Johnson took before speaking again were the longest thirty seconds of her life. She had no idea why she was so nervous.
“I’m interested in having you as my wife.” He finally spoke.
Rosie’s eyes widened.
“Wife?” She thought.
“Don’t be afraid, Rosie.” Mr. Johnson continued after noticing the shocked look on her face.
“You can take some time to think about it and come back with a response when you have one.” He concluded with a smile.
Mr. Johnson was a tall, middle aged man in his early forties with perfectly defined features. There was something about his coffee brown eyes that intrigued Rosie. They seemed wise and decisive, yet soft and appealing. His proposition was what made her look into his eyes for the first time and she loved what she saw. She had no idea what was so appealing about the coffee brown windows to his soul, but she was more than willing to find out.
“Focus, Rosie. This is an opportunity for you to achieve your goals. It’s a win – win situation here.”
“If I agree to marry you, will you pay for my education in the University of Benin?” She asked spontaneously.
Mr. Johnson looked at her in surprise.
“Beauty and brains.” He said with a smile. “Of course, my lady. If that is what makes you happy.”
“My lady! What a gentleman!” She stopped herself from smiling at the thought.
Rosie had read countless novels about the English men and how they handled relationships. Mr. Johnson acted so much like them and not like the regular Nigerian men she was used to.
“You seem a little advanced in age. Are you married?” She asked.
“You really are a smart one.” Mr. Johnson smiled. “I’m divorced. I don’t have a wife at the moment, but I have kids.”
“I see. I don’t really like divorced men. They tend to be unable to handle the pressures of marriage. If you got divorced once, what stops you from getting divorced again? That’s not what I want for myself.” She stated.
“I’m really impressed with the way you think. You should know that life isn’t always black and white. There are always grey areas. As you get older, you’ll learn that life throws unplanned events at you from time to time, and all you can do is work with the cards you’re dealt. That being said, if your fear is that I’m going to divorce you, that’s never going to happen.” The smile on his face had disappeared now, and he looked quite sober.
She could tell she had hit a raw nerve and if she wanted to be honest with herself, the man looked sincere.
“Very well then, I agree.” Rosie said, with no expression on her face.
“Um… Are you sure? You don’t have to rush your decision.” He stated.
“I’m not rushing it. I always make quick decisions.” She assured him.
“Wow. Thank you, my lady.” Mr. Johnson said, bowing his head.
His usual smile had returned to his face, lighting up his beautiful coffee brown eyes.
“Oh my goodness!” Rosie mentally screamed, walking out of Mr. Johnson’s office with quick decisive steps.
“The lord truly works in mysterious ways! I can’t believe I’m finally on my way to the prestigious University of Benin.“