‘I offered an applicant a job and fell in love with him’

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When you undress, I see stars.

And when you kiss me, I drift away.

It all started years ago after I resigned from a high position in an oil company to establish my own business. I had saved enough money from my many years of service to the company. Besides my benefits came in millions of naira, so I was financially comfortable enough to venture into the project of starting my own business. I advertised in the newspapers to recruit fresh graduates for my company.

Most applicants I had encountered in the past lacked confidence, while some found it difficult to defend their certificates.

Some so-called graduates seemed to know little or nothing about the courses they studied because Nigeria is a country that depends so much on paper qualification. That’s why many cut corners to earn their certificates.

But Marcus was a different kind of applicant who came for interview in my company. He appeared very confident and sure of himself. His face was calm and calculating and he looked like a real gentleman in his pretty black suit. As the MD of my company, I was the Chairman of the interview panel and Marcus looked straight into my eyes as he answered every question we asked him.

He really performed well at the interview, and after the interview I asked him to wait to see me later after the other interviewees had left. I called Marcus into my office about thirty minutes to my closing time and asked him some personal questions about himself. I wanted to know his views on issues and ascertain the depth of his principles. Marcus told me all about himself and his struggles to succeed in a country like Nigeria.

He told me that he had fought hard to maintain his moral values in order not to give in to the pervasive corruption that reigns in the social and economic life of Nigerians. Marcus told me he wasn’t the type of man who would offer bribe to get a job. He said he was happy to have led an honest life and based everything he did on hardwork and merit.

Marcus made it clear to me that he didn’t want a job not based on merit. He said many of his peers were reducing their ages and making false age declarations in court in order to get good jobs, but that he had sworn not to lie about his age.
I really saw a different kind of applicant when I met Marcus that day.

I was lucky to have met a different kind of applicant that day and I thanked God for that. I fell in love with Marcus that day and employed him in my company. Though he is 34 and I am middle-aged, his love is as mature as that of a 50yr-old man.

I remember one text message he sent me. It read: “Thelma, when the night is cold and you need a man by your side, call me. I’ll be there.”

No matter your position in life, love will always find a way.

According to my own weather forecast, the weather every night is cold without Marcus. And I need him to keep me warm with his touch. Now I’m pregnant and Marcus has proposed to me. He says my coming into his life has been his greatest blessing.

I offered an applicant a job and fell in love with him in the process. To some, it might sound strange marrying a younger man and an employee in your company. But I think our love is more mature than that. We’re going to get married later this year.