As an immigrant, Adaeze is down with all the perks of being a Canadian. Dating non-Nigerians, however, is a step too far, especially since her mother objects. When an unexpected romance with a white man blossoms, Adaeze risks losing her mother and must choose between love and fulfilling a deathbed promise to honor her culture.
My boss mispronounces my name for the third time, and I smolder with resentment.
His Western intonation and random inclusion of the letter S strip my name of its meaning and the Nigerian rhythm that adds a distinct flair.
“Ada-ease.” And here he goes again. “Do you understand the assignment?”
“Yes, Mr. Castellano.” My voice is a small, pitiful thing compared to his tone that’s always stern and indifferent. “I understand. Except…” You’re saying my name all wrong, damn it.
“Except what?” A deep blush sneaks up his cheeks, staining his white skin, conveying his annoyance.
“Um…well…” Shit. What am I doing?
My colleagues’ attention shifts to me. All twelve of them, seated around the table in the meeting room, are gawking. So is my boss. His eyes are firm and callous. If looks could seal fates, no doubt, I would ignite to cinders.
When he scowls, like he’s doing right now, he looks older than he actually is. Sometimes, when I stare through the glass walls that confine him in his office, I catch a fresh, stoic face––beard stubble neatly framing a strong but relaxed jaw, flawless ivory skin gleaming with sun flavor rather than irritation, pink lips that rest neutral, not downward, compelling eyes with an infinite supply of blues––and I guess he’s about thirty. He’s young. Too damn young to be giving some cranky-old-man-yelling-at-the-neighborhood-kids vibe. And I’m twenty-five––too damn grown to be nearly pissing my pants because of him.