Frankly, I never had anyone in mind when I wrote the first office romance. A darling friend of mine has accused me of using him… and his sweetie as a case study. Hope you too aren’t giving me a skeptical look? You are! Oh boy, you hurt my feelings real bad! So you actually believed I had someone in mind? I want to swear that I didn’t. Honestly, if I had anybody in mind when I wrote office romance, let me bath naked. Let me continue to use baby cusson soap to bath and may our tap never runs dry when its time for my bath. Amen! Thank God that we’ve finally cleared the air. Phew! To tell you the truth, if my friend had not started such yarn, I’d never believe that he engages in office romance. So cool he is, like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. And all these while, he was…Ah life! One never really knows! I had always thought he was having a colleague thing with the babe in question, guess I was wrong. Office romance really opened a can of worms. You ought to see the dagger and glowering looks some people in my office threw at me these days. Thank God that looks can’t kill. I don’t need to consult an oracle to tell me that they too are heavily into it..

My last write up was not meant to condemn any one, abeg O! It’s just my yeye opinion. Doesn’t worth a penny. After all, body no be fire wood! You can’t believe it; even me that sounded like a sanctimonious bitch almost fell into the office romance trap. My interest was really ignited by a guy in my office. I had only to see his smiles and my foolish heart goes into a makosa gyration. I thought we could actually tango, if you know what I mean. But before I knew it, I heard from the office Radio Broadcasters that the guy has done several evil things to my well-hidden fortress! This is a guy that had not so much as kissed me. Not that I would have demurred. I tell you folks, I couldn’t withstand such ocean of gossip. With my tails between my legs like a defeated dog, I drew a cover on that chapter of my life.

Anyway, the truth was that the guy told me I didn’t do anything to his heartbeat.. Ouch! That hurts! Left when I saw a goddess of a damsel was waiting in the wing for him. You are not interested in this bullshit of course. You want me to drive straight into Ngozi’s story. Too bad, pal! Like it or not, you have to stomach the rubbish I have to say. Yea, a lot of people said I painted terrible picture of love affairs that go on in offices. I really don’t think so. It’s not in my nature to criticize, for you never know, one could fall prey to such behavior someday. My pal, Nnamdi gave me hell. Said church; office and where you lived are places one could possibly find their missing ribs. Hum, don’t know. How come, I haven’t found mine? I go to church, go to office and certainly do not live under a bridge. Oh, God, not again! Don’t tell me that you find it hard to swallow that even I go church? I do sweetheart. I am not a hypocrite. This search for tenth rib is becoming worrisome especially from the home front. Perhaps, I’ll just go to see the commissioner of police and tell him that I am searching for my missing rib. If most of the policemen were mobilized to be on the look out, I’m sure before months, they would have found him lurking somewhere. Nnamdi revealed to me that he met his darling beautiful wife in the office and it was not as sordid as I painted it. Said they had worked for close to three years before he told her how his heart always went soft at the sight of her. An affair started, ended in marriage. Kenny told me that the best way to carry out office romance was to act as if you aren’t interested in the lady, while after office hours, you meet in celebration of bedmatics. In a conspiratorial tone, he said if anyone asked if you’re dating the babe, you simply reply, “Ah, no! She’s from the same village with me. She’s my sister.” Talk of kissing brothers and sisters. A laugh! Such sisterhood and brotherhood are apparently blown when the incriminating sight of pregnancy begins to show. Don’t think I can play such game. If I am dating you, take it from me my brother, the whole office would have to know about it, if not the whole world! Yes! Why hide it? You’re either for me or not. Don’t have time for monkey business.

The guy could probably be screwing another babe in that same office and keeps saying, “Darling we mustn’t flaunt it! You know that Oga wants you, he could terminate my appointment.” Liar! Nothing is worse like a lover who is ashamed of being seen with you. If you can’t be seen with me, or show concern for me because it’s office affair, forget it! Look here, such men or babes are probably into other relationships and are fooling around with you. Better shine your eyes sister dear, before he impregnates and denies you. Are you sure he doesn’t have a wife and a brood of children in his village? Another friend, who agrees with Nnamdi, said most office relationships fail because the babe might be double-dating in the same company. It’s possible. Office affairs are as old as time it. It’s also rampant because Nigeria, being a capitalist society, makes the worker spend more time in the office than at home. So office romances thrive and will continue to. If Julie likes it or not, let her write until her ink runs dry, it doesn’t concern you. You’re already planning to nail Bukky come next week. I can see your eyes dancing with an anticipatory gleam. My anger is that most people, especially guys, go into this just for the fun of it.

They even take a bet on a particular girl who has proven difficult to nail. Is there anyone here, who does not know that most ladies like listening to sweet nonsense like, “I love you more than my mother…If you don’t say yes, I’ll never love again… insomnia has become my lot since I met you. Please say yes, or I will die.” Die indeed! Men could really be theatrical. You wouldn’t believe it that there are guys and even babes that make it their ambition to sleep with all the babes and guys in their company. Believe me, shit happens! There was this babe in a company in Lagos, she was not just beautiful but had what I called, ‘class.’ She knew men turn to jelly at the sight of her sexy body and exploits it to the fullest. She had only to see a handsome dude and before you say Jack Robinson, she’d cane the guy. She never failed. Whenever she comes to office, she’d look as cool as a cucumber. Funny enough, she told her best pal to take a bet with her that she was going to screw a guy and like magic, she’d impaled him

What I hate most about office romance is the pretext of carrying on if the relationship turns sour. How do you go on, especially if you truly love him or her? Are you sure, you can stand his starting another relationship in that same office? What would you do if he walks with his new babe into the office, holding her tightly on the hip and declaring in a loud voice; “this is my fiancée!? Come on darling, talk to me. I am here to listen and perhaps help you. Has it happened to you? For Pete’s sake open up! Talk to me… What about your brother? Can you turn blind eyes when a guy cruises in with his Benz to drop her off, after she dropped you like a leprosy patient? You wouldn’t be hurt? Swear it. Men! Always like putting on the macho image. Even macho men are vulnerable and get hurt too. Yes, yes Ngozi’s concluding story, I’m on it… She hatched a deadly plan that needed a fall guy. A love-struck guy fell like a ton of brick for her. She quickly spread her thighs and he poured his seed. Few weeks later, she stormed into his home screaming that she was pregnant and wouldn’t abort. Mr. Lovina accepted it without questions.

Like one determined to teach men a lesson in life, she showed Lovina pepper. Made him quarrel with every member of his family. Fought with most of his pals and found pleasure indulging all her whims and caprices. Worse still, she started having affairs with men even in her pregnant state. She made Lovina cry everyday.

Finally baby arrived. Pretty girl. Talk was that she looked like Lovina. Bullshit! Whenever she heard the statement, Ngozi cackles with pleasure. Affairs after affairs followed until even Lovina balked. Furious, Ngozi who said she had only been managing him disappeared one early one morning with the baby.

Came back months later minus baby, moved her things out of his house and told all who cared to listen that the girl was the exact replica of his father, who was a manager in her former place of work! She called Lovina a fool for not asking questions when she gave birth to a healthy babe in less than nine months. Stunned, Lovina had tears streaming down his eyes while friends told him that they knew all along. Last we heard, she was living with another guy while the baby stays in the village. With who? Don’t know. Honestly, life is a gamble. You win some and sometimes you lose some. So another’s sad experience. It isn’t enough not to try out your luck.