Let’s call her Bola. Bola was fifteen years old when she discovered it or rather when it dawned on her. Bola was a PK, you know, a pastor’s kid. She grew up in the faith, walked in the word; I assure you that she was not of the world. As a child, Bola had always been the happy, cheerful kind of Pastor’s kid. You know those annoying girls that won’t join you to gossip about boys but rather quoted scriptures back to back, always had a kind word for everyone, had perfect grades, never held grudges, never got into fights. She was literally an angel.

When Bola turned thirteen, her church moved her father to head a branch in Enugu. Most children would have had complaints and said they were losing friends and crushes and possibly boyfriends but not Bola. Bola had said to her father, “Where the Lord has directed you to go, I will follow.” She had not liked any of the boys that she had known and most of the girls didn’t like her because she didn’t talk much and was also so shy about anything but the word of God and she never gossiped about boys with them. The few girls she had befriended had promised to email and call her.

She started her senior secondary school in a mixed school as a day student. Her first session passed with no exceptional event, she was top of her class as usual. When she moved into her second year of senior school, her older brother went to University of Zaria and she was left home alone with her parents, not that she minded. Her mother said she would be lonely and so they moved her into the boarding house of the school. A new girl had just transferred to Bola’s school and she was moved into Bola’s class and Bola’s hostel. Her name was Diana. Bola and she became fast friends. At fifteen, she was a year older than Bola but this didn’t affect their friendship. Neither did the vast differences between them impinge on their bonding. Everyone was surprised that ever shy Bola could be caught laughing in public and letting her hair down. It was always wrapped in a scarf. She had beautiful black hair, natural all the way. Bola knew this because Diana told her.  It was rather convenient that the school did not mandate students to braid their hair. Diana sat beside her in class and at meal hours. She slept on the top bunk while Bola slept on the bottom and they would hold hands until one of them felt the pain of holding their hand in that position.

Valentine’s Day arrived and they had exchanged the gifts the boys in their class gave them. It was social night this particular Valentine. The hostel authorities let the boys and girls stay together, deciding that they might as well let young love foster for one night. The students gathered in the hall to see a movie. Of course, Bola and Diana sat together. The movie started and the lights were turned off, giving the room a cinematic feeling. The school was kind enough to give them over watered orange juice and under buttered popcorn. Bola laid her head on Diana’s shoulder and Diana put an arm around her waist. There was nothing new or special about this position, they always sat like this.

The movie approached its end and two girls kissed. Bola gasped, she had never seen such before, only heard of it in the condemnation in her Father’s sermons. Words written in Italian showed. ‘All love is right.’ Bola lifted her head and asked Diana what it meant. Diana had lived in Italy. Diana leaned down, their faces almost touching.

“It means all love is right,” Diana whispered, her breath caressing Bola’s face.

“All love is right?” Bola whispered back, hypnotized by Diana’s eyes. She decided in that moment that her new favorite color was the shade of black her eyes were.

“All love is right.” Diana whispered back as NEPA plunged them into darkness. She closed the space between them and kissed Bola on her lips.

Bola pulled away and touched a finger to her lips. She felt weird; her heart was doing very fast. A girl had just kissed her!

Diana watched horror, panic and something play across her face. “Bola…”

Bola turned back to her and tentatively placed her lips on Diana’s. It felt right, her hand lifted up to caress the side of Diana’s face as their lips moved in a sweet glorious sync. All love is right. They broke apart just as the lights came on. The students were dismissed to their rooms and the night was brought to an end. The other two people that stayed in the room with Bola and Diana were final year students who had not resumed to the hostel. Arriving in their room, they locked their door and simply stood staring at each other, trying to interpret and understand the events from earlier.

“Lights out!” The hostel mistress yelled. Ten minutes later, the lights went off and they were still there in the darkness, staring at each other. Their eyes beheld each other and the past, future and present played out as a symphony with love waxing lyrics.

No one knows who made the first move but in the flash of a second, their lips were together in a kiss that even Romeo and Juliet could not rival. There was hunger, passion and more love than lust in their kiss. Breaking apart, Bola sat on the top bunk and watched Diana take off her clothes. Unzipping her hostel gown and letting it fall to the ground, Diana unknowingly tortured Bola with her movements.  She unhooked her bra and took it off and for the life of her; Bola could not look away from Diana’s breasts. As the moonlight lit up Diana, Bola was reminded of her Greek mythology and in that moment, Diana looked every inch like the moon goddess.

Pulling a bed from the bunk to the floor, Bola took off her clothes and lay on the bed.

“Love me, please,” she said in a breath to Diana.

And love her she did. That night, Heaven and Hell were mere words to them.

***

Graduation approached and their love was still as strong as it was a year ago. They had decided to go to University of Lagos; they couldn’t bear the thoughts of being away from each other. The students went home to prepare for the graduation. That Sunday, Bola’s father preached against homosexuality with intense hatred and condemnation.

“There is no love from God for these creatures! They are sinners and they will burn in the fiery fires of hell! There will be no mercy for them. Judgment will be swift and painful. If I had a child that was one of these creatures, I will throw them out on the streets! The bible says…”

At that point, Bola had tuned out. She had never really thought of it as homosexuality. It had just been love. Pure, honest love. After that first night when they had had sex, they had never done it again and they had asked God for forgiveness and she had felt forgiven. Now her father, her Pastor was saying she was a sinner and God didn’t love her and that she would go to hell.

She lost her appetite that afternoon and all the afternoons after that. She grew drastically thin and she threw herself into prayers. She changed from that happy, cheerful person to someone who was constantly frowning and withdrew from all. Her parents noticed and asked her what was wrong, she could not possibly answer. She kept praying, seeking for forgiveness, begging God to take this love away from her, to take the feeling away.

She stopped picking Diana’s calls in that one month they were away from each other. Diana was in Lagos, so she couldn’t go and see her. She took to slitting her wrists for each time she felt a romantic feeling towards Diana. The lines became so many that she had to start wearing long sleeved dresses that hung off her thin body.

A week to her graduation, she went to see her father in his church office. She needed to know that he didn’t really mean it. She needed to know that God loves her. She needed to know that she was normal.

“Daddy, remember that Sunday that you preached about homosexuality?” She brought up the topic after some chitchat.

“Yes dear, why do you ask?”

“Oh I am doing some research for a project I saw online. I wanted to know your opinion and what you think God thinks. ”

“Like I said that day, they are sinners and monsters! They defy all natural ways. Man is meant to be woman not another man. Women are meant to be with men! They are a disgrace to humanity and be rest assured they are damned to hell.”

Bola’s hands shook as she heard her father speak.

“What if it was someone you knew? What would you say to them?” she asked, trying not to stammer.

“I would look them in their eyes and tell them they are sick, disgusting animals and that they might as well hang themselves because either way, they are going to hell. Is that all? I need to get back to work.” he said brusquely, signing some papers.

Bola nodded and left his office. She cried all the way home. When she got home, she was alone and her father’s words kept resonating in her head and she went into her room and tied a rope to the ceiling and set a chair.

Then she opened her email and composed a letter to Diana. It read:

‘My precious moon goddess, how are you? I trust you are well. I am sorry that I have not picked your calls and replied your mails. I had to cut you off, what we have is wrong. They say our love is sick and disgusting. Daddy says I am condemned to damnation, heading straight for hell. I cannot stay in a world where I cannot soak in your laughter, wipe your tears and kiss your sweet lips. They say I cannot love you and love God. They say I am the spawn of the devil. Seeing as I am damned to hell, I have the decided to speed up the process. I love you, believe me I do with all my heart and mind but not all love is right and I cannot leave another day like this. This is where I say hello and goodbye for the last time; I smiled because I am enchanted to have known and loved you. I remain your precious Sol. You’ll always be my moon.’

She could barely see the screen as her tears blurred everything. She hit send and got up. With tears in her eyes, she climbed the chair and put the noose around her neck. She grimaced as the thought about how God would never love her. With that final thought, she jumped from the chair and her neck snapped.

This is Bola’s story.

Written by iAmNotAPerv

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