I am greatly troubled, scared that my fears will get the best part of me, swallow me and rent me to tatters.

Last Saturday, a friend – and patient – of mine was placed on observation after attempting suicide over a contention with his boyfriend. Luckily he sent me a troubled whatsapp chat which I understood, and commenced gastric lavage with intravenous fluids. I saved his life.

My fears abounds. I am afraid that someday I’m going to be fat and probably no one would want to date or marry me. I am afraid that someday no one would find me attractive. I am afraid that as I get older, younger guys would find me nasty and dirty. I am afraid that I may become inflicted with HIV someday. These fears are without basis, but they are there nonetheless. Haunting me. Plaguing me. Forever my companions.

Or perhaps they are with basis. I have only ever dated a guy once since I came of age. It was the relationship that very nigh wrecked me. I bled, not literally so. I made sacrifices. I compromised. I bent over backwards – all in a bid to make sure my relationship remained rock solid. I loved till it hurt. I loved because I was sure he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was going to propose. I had a ring. I made deeds and wills, because I wanted to reconstruct our future together.

And for a middle-aged, wealthy South African, he left me.

When I look back at the mess that was my love affair, I honestly cannot blame him for leaving. It was evident I couldn’t afford the life he wanted. I am just a freshman in my career, but he wanted more. Much more than I could give. He could only endure 18 months of what we had together, and then he was gone.

I have moved on from him. I would like to think that I have healed. The last time I came across his very-lovely looking pictures on Facebook, I did not feel the familiar wrench in my heart at the sight of him. I was happy he looked well. And I hoped he had found what he was looking for.

But the damage he wreaked in my life, on my heart remains like the haunting memories of a bad dream. They fester. They shadow. They thrive. Just beyond my reach, making it hard for me to dwell on the interest of new lovers, causing these fears to sprout and flourish inside me.

I am afraid of being alone. And yet I am afraid of letting anyone too close. I am afraid of thinking of a future with anyone. And yet, I am afraid of that future without anyone in it by my side. I am afraid of commitments. And I am afraid of promises.

I am a work in progress. Hopefully, someday, I will look at my fears in their collective faces of gloom and terror, call them out and overcome them. For now, it’s a step at a time. It’s a life of taking things gradually and making myself a better gay Nigerian.

Written by Simba

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