It was two weeks after the break-up with Tunde and I was still reeling from the shock and the betrayal. “Look, jummy.Please try and forget this idiot of a man. He is not worth a thought from you. I’ve wished leprosy and all sort of illness on him every morning and he will have them before he died. He will die a very slow and painful death, I’m assuring you.”Ruth was telling me with passionate feelings that morning and I find myself laughing, despite everything. She has been very supportive and had been a real friend since I gave a blow by blow report of everything that happened that unfaithful weekend. I was forever grateful she was wise enough not to tell me “I told you so”, despite the fact that she did tell me not to get my hopes up and she had been trying to get me involved in her weekend activities. Every morning I got to work, looking pale and shedding weight, she would be ready with new foul names to call him that would have me reeling with laughter before I know it.

It was the third Monday and my manager was starting her annual leave that day which means a new manager from one of our branches for a one month. “Who do you think will replace Christy for one month, Ruth?”I asked worriedly as I put finished touches to my make-up. “You didn’t read your mail on Friday? Who else but Mr Hunk?”Ruth said with obvious disbelieve and my jaw dropped in amazement. Deji Adedokun is one of the best –liked managers in my company, not because the company valued him but he was very friendly, lenient, charming and on top of it all: very good-looking! Almost all the lady in the company is half in love with him as he was often discussed in the rest room but I have never worked with him in closely and I based my judgment on what I heard others said about him. “I think there is a little problem with an account he was handling and the management is planning to move him back to the office.”Ruth continued as we moved into the kitchenette to make our morning tea. “Really? I thought he is very good or so I heard.”I asked in a doubtful voice. “You know how it is with all these corporate account. One moment, you are the best to handle their account but once you make a little mistake, they start picking on your fault.”Ruth shrugged as she stirred milk and sugar into her tea and I stared in mine thoughtfully.

“Good morning, ladies.”The object of our discussion breezed into the kitchenette with a smile and I nearly dropped my tea-spoon. “Good morning.”We chorused and exchanged glances. “You are jumoke, right? We would be working together.”He turned to me with a smile and I nodded with an answering smile. “Good. I’m looking forward to working with a pretty woman like you and I learnt you are quite a genius professionally too. Christy is very proud of you.”He was sure generous with his praise and I practically blushed. “Thank you.”I looked out of the window to hide my pleasure. “Ladies, see you later.”He picked up his tea-cup and strolled out of the kitchenette. “Oh! It is a pity that he is married. I would have moved heaven and earth to hook him permanently.”Ruth said dreamily and I laughed at the expression on his face. “He is married and case is closed.”I told her and we went back to work.

It was a real pleasure working with Deji Adedokun and he took me out to lunch two days later. “What is wrong with you, jummy? You seem distress.”He asked in concern over our meal. “Am I doing badly at work?’I asked, immediately distressed and he laughed at the stricken look on my face. “I’m not disappointed in you, jummy but I have the ability to read people and I’m getting the impression that you are not at your best. Am I wrong?”He said seriously and I released my breath in a whoosh. “You are right.”I stared down into my plate and didn’t see the food. “Talk to me.”He invited and I find myself talking about my sodden relationship. “We, men can be real jerks at times and insufferable idiots.”He said with a rueful smile and I shrugged with an answering grin. We chatted about other things and eventually returned to the office.

Before I knew what was happening, we started getting close and spending our evenings together, especially on Saturday nights. He told me about his wife and his only daughter that was four year old and a whole lot of things I didn’t expect to hear from him. He called regularly after working hour and started getting involved in my day to day activities. I started asking myself what I’m doing with a married man, however charming and caring he is when I realized he is occupying my thoughts day and night. My rule number one about relationship ever since I was old enough to have one was not to date a man that is not legally available!

However affairs came to an end one Friday night. It was the fourth week since he resumed at the head office and Christy would be resuming in the office the following Monday. “Christy will resume on Monday. Are you staying behind at the head office?”I asked casually as I nursed a can of chilled Smirnoff ice and watched those dancing to the Wande Cole’s “Bumper to bumper” blaring from the D.J’s box. “I will, for the main time but it won’t be for long before I would be whisk out again.”He sat straight from his slouching position and looked at him. “Do you know I would have married you if I’m not already married?”He said quietly, soberly and I grinned, even though I knew he wasn’t drunk yet because he had been nursing just a glass of beer since we got there. “You have told me that before, Deji and a married man cannot fall in love with a single lady. It is not allowed and it is not possible.”I told him with a smile but he didn’t smile back. “It might not be allowed but it is not impossible and I’m serious. Do you have international passport?”He asked casually and I blinked at him in confusion.  “I have. What does it have to do with what we are discussing?”I asked in a puzzled voice. “Easter break two days public holiday is next week and I’m thinking of travelling to Dubai or Accra to spend it. What do you think?”He looked at him as he sipped his drink. “It is cool and I envy you such but what does my passport has to do with your travel plan?”I asked still in obvious confusion. “I want you come with me. I want to spend more time with you and get to know you better in an environment where we could just be jummy and Deji with no string attached. What do you think about that?”He asked seriously, leaning towards me eagerly. My first instinct was to scream an excited “yes” and that frightened me more than anything else. The fact that I could consider putting aside my long-held principle of never dating married men and flying out of the country with a man that has a wife and a kid gave me the jitters. “I won’t ask you about your family because it is obvious you have everything under control but what do you hope to gain by getting us out of the country?”I asked quietly as I tried to sort through my feeling about this whole thing.Oh! How easy and tempting it is to forget about the future and just enjoy the moment with this charming man, I thought longingly. Have I fallen so easily again for a married man or am I on the rebound? Should I follow my heart or my head?

Maybe you will find DIARY OF OLAJUMOKE DAVIES: THE BOOT! quite fascinating.