The scents of the holidays were all up in the air and it was only the 2nd of December; hopefulness, fresh beginnings and merrymaking.

Linda could sense them all. The evenings’ cool breeze filled her lungs as she strutted gently into the parking lot, in the company of one of her colleagues, Mr Mike Ansah.

The time was a quarter past eight. They were almost all the time, the last two people to leave the office and even though it was clear to Mike that Linda didn’t make much of this quite routine, it was one thing he looked forward to— if you liked a woman like he did Linda, any little time you got to spend with them would mean so much to you. It wouldn’t even matter that their walls seemed so high and hard to breakthrough.

She was everything any responsible man would want in a woman; poised, smart, industrious and incredibly sexy. Her always radiant smile put the sun to shame. But that hadn’t also prevented him from noticing the sadness that lingered her eyes, sometimes, even when she was beaming. And he hadn’t failed to wonder whether that sorrow was the reason she had been blinded from the liking he had for her?

Even now as they were making it to their cars and she was saying something about just getting home and going straight to bed, he wanted to interrupt and ask, if she would have dinner with him any time within the holidays—just for a change— it would be nice!

He was a thirty-five-year-old young man; smart, vibrant and of course, easy on the eyes. He had received his share of praises over the years. Six foot tall, dark-skinned and good mannered, any mother would want him as a son-in-law! What else can a brother do to be noticed!

“Did you hear me…?” the rise in Linda’s voice yanked him out of his thoughts and awkwardly, he found her eyes. They smiled at each other, “I hope I haven’t been talking to myself” Linda asked.

“No you haven’t,” he grinned, “my mind strayed a little. What did you say, I didn’t catch the last part” he asked and Linda laughed.

“I was asking what plans you have for Christmas”

They were now standing by Linda’s white Toyota Benz. They were bankers of Frontline Commercial Bank, Investment Associates. Linda joined the bank right after school and Mike was transferred to the branch two years ago. They had known each other since then and his interest in her had been growing quietly.

It wasn’t against office policy for colleagues to date—all they had to do was inform Human Resource about their decision. He had been playing his cards for about six months, hoping Lisa would agree to one of his dates. He was yet to see any success. She always had something to do or coming up! To answer her question now, he would love to say, “sit at a dinner table with me. Too much to ask?”

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