I think it’s important to tell your story truthfully. And I think that’s a difficult thing to do; to be truly truthful, because it’s only natural to be concerned about offending people or possible consequences. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I stared at my phone for the umpteenth time as the threat of MTN blocking my line if I don’t head to their nearest office and give the customer service information I had given previously stared back at me. The sweetener of a N10, 000 worth of free calls wasn’t enough to get me to leave the work that had commanded my attention. And work continued to command my attention for several days after the day I first received the text.

Then, MTN went ahead with their threat and blocked my line.

The evening it happened saw my grouchy self at a popular hotel in the city, one that MTN was using for the verification exercise. After presenting an ID card, I was led into a big hall and directed to a table. The guy that turned to attend to me was not just oozing sex appeal; he was literally a talking, breathing sex bomb. He was fair (I’ve got this weakness for fair people) and was well proportioned. I stood no chance against his attractiveness. It helped that he looked quite matured and had the manner of a no-bullshitter. I later got to know he was 28.

Time seemed to fly past as I concluded my business there. And soon, it was time for me to leave. But I found myself reluctant to do that until I’d interacted with this guy based on anything else other than ‘What is your date of birth and local government area?’

“Hey,” I began with a small smile, “you practically know everything about me and I know nothing about you. That’s unfair, don’t you think?” He looked taken aback by my words, and before he could respond, I said, “Why don’t we start by you telling me your name?”

He eyed me for a moment, and then hurriedly looked around, no doubt to verify the whereabouts of his supervisor, before he replied, “I’m Joel. And please, sir, I have to get back to work.”

“Okay, sure, no problem. However, can I have your digits so that if I’m not reconnected when you have said I will, I can call you instead of coming back to this place?” My smile was at its most winning as I spoke.

He gave me the response I knew he’d give. “Look, Mister Nuel, I’m positive that you’ll be reconnected within 24 hours. Besides, it’s against company policy for us to give out our personal numbers. There are official channels to resolve any issues you have.” He looked behind me and then said to me, “There are people waiting to be attended to, sir. And I’ve got a mean supervisor.”

I left. But if there is something I love, it is a challenge. I wanted this guy and I was determined to have him. In that moment, my entire world was narrowed down to that want. I mentally checked out my schedule and realizing that I had nothing else pressing to attend to for the rest of the day, I went to the hotel’s bar which had a view of the hall’s entrance and ordered a bottle of beer.

An hour later, I spotted Joel exiting the hall. I hollered his name, and when he turned, I beckoned to him. He peered at me, recognized me and flashed a small smile before heading my way.

And by God, he was sexy! I felt my mouth go dry as I watched him approach. Even with the downward slope of his shoulders and weary contours on his face, he still looked desirable.

“Sit and order your drink,” I said when he got to me. “There’s no supervisor to worry about now.”

He ordered a bottle of beer and we made small talk about our jobs, the government, sports and whatnot.

And then, out of the blue, he blurted, “Nuel, I know exactly what you want. I like you but I have one rule – I’m a no-relationship guy. We hook up and then we go our separate ways until whenever next we want it. No strings attached.”

I was startled by his bluntness, and seconds later, I smiled in appreciation of his forthrightness.

Feeling a sudden tightening in my chest fro anticipation, I asked, “How about tonight?”

“That’ll be no problem,” he said.

After that, nothing much needed to be said. I paid our bill and we left the hotel bar. We got into my car and I drove to a pharmacy where he picked up lubes and condoms, before we proceeded to a hotel. That night was characterized by one of the exhaustive sex I’d ever had. He was dynamite in bed as he was with his looks. As we lapsed into sleep from satisfaction and I drew him into my arms for a cuddle, I could understand why he’d want to make it clear that he wasn’t into attachments; Joel was the kind of guy one could easily fall in love with.

When I woke up the next morning, he was gone.

Soon, I was dressed and left the hotel to begin my day. Before long, I was able to immerse my mind and body into my day and didn’t dwell much on what had happened for the first time in a long while yesterday night.

That evening, I went to pick up my girlfriend from work for a family dinner. As I kissed her cheek, in a flash, I recalled someone else who I’d recently kissed. I pulled back from her, as an image of Joel arching beneath me, crossing his legs around me, heaving himself up to meet my thrusts, rose in my subconscious. It was startling, the strength of my amorous mentation in the presence of my girlfriend. It also felt awkward to me, and I maintained a subdued countenance as I drove us away from the hospital. She commented on my unusual quietness, and I made some excuse about work stress. My mind was suddenly in turmoil over my indiscretion, inundated with juxtapositions of her and Joel, one moaning my name and the other gravely saying to me: “…You don’t ever cheat on me, not with another woman and definitely not with a man.”

I felt bad about this breach I’d engineered, even though I didn’t regret the sex with Joel. For a long while, I was tortured by the thought that I’d not only had sex with someone else, but with some guy. I also worried that I could inadvertently infect her with whatever I may have picked up from this indiscretion; I hadn’t cheated on her in a long time, so this was worry from territory I wasn’t used to. It took the second time of our trimonthly routine lab checkup to soothe my mind of my concerns.

However, in a weird way, I was grateful for what happened with Joel. As I settled back into life as the man my girlfriend could count on, I realized that the emotional upheaval that I suffered in the aftermath of that indiscretion was uppermost on my mind whenever I let my eyes graze over some stranger with desire. I never wanted to feel that emotional turmoil again, and knowing this helped me fortify my mind against the temptations that came my way.

Written by Nuel

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