IN HIS OWN SKIN

IN HIS OWN SKIN

David was the first friend I made in my first year in school. I’d resumed later than others due to difficulties in gathering my clearance documents. The first class I attended saw me sit next to him – a tall, sexy young man with really beautiful eyes, an infectious smile and quite a large derriere for a guy. I was 20 then, still navigating my path through a complicated web of confused feelings. I already had a girlfriend, but still struggled to understand why I often found myself admiring boys.

By the end of class that day, David had smiled at me and told me I looked like a nerd and he liked his friends being above average intelligence. And so, our journey to what was to become a good friendship began.

David stayed off campus while I stayed in the school’s hostel. He had on numerous occasions encouraged me to come live with him, even insisting that I wouldn’t have to pay. But I didn’t acquiesce, partly due to my feelings for him, which was dangerously edging towards the romantic by the day.

Eventually he stopped bothering me. Occasionally, though, I’d visit after Friday classes, spend the weekend and return to the hostel on Sunday for church service. Those nights, sleeping next to this straight crush of mine, were terrible. Heck, I didn’t even know what being gay meant other than me wanting to kiss my best friend.

And then finally, one night, the last I vowed to spend at his place, the Devil had his way.

We’d had some friends over at his place. There was cake and lots of drinks. By the end of the visit, we’d all drunk up a nice buzz. Our friends left, and David and I retired to bed. I was slightly tipsy but still very self-aware, and as we lay, facing each other, his eyes closed in repose and his thin, alcohol-drenched breath warming my face, I reached out and placed my arm on his chest.

He didn’t move, and so I began the slow slide down his stomach and to his crotch, where I idly fondled with his flaccid penis. Then he shivered. It was slight and could have been easily missed, but the gradual rise of his penis sold him out. I knew he was awake then, but he didn’t stop me. And with this new confidence, I drew closer and kissed him. He pulled back then, but my inexperienced self wasn’t having it. I drew forward and kissed him again. This time, his mouth opened in a warm welcome.

After about a minute of reckless kissing and dry humping, David recoiled and looked me in the eyes, before turning to sleep in an upside-down position. In that moment, I felt sick, cheap and terrible.

In the morning, we barely talked to each other. I just picked up the leftover cake and left for campus. We didn’t speak for about two days, and then I saw a message from him on WhatsApp.

It read without any preamble: Tee, what happened three nights ago?

I read and reread the message, lost for what to reply. Eventually, I responded, saying I was drunk, after which I apologised. After that experience, it took a while but we got back to being great friends. However, I never stayed the night at his place again, always coming up with different excuses why I couldn’t.

Fast forward four years and I had finally realized what it meant to be homosexual and bisexual. I had after a difficult struggle come to full acceptance of myself. And I was ready to face others. First, I came out to my best female friend. I did so because she had come out to me first as a lesbian and I felt she needed my assurance, not just as a friend but as a fellow denizen of the community. She didn’t believe me at first, perhaps because she thought I only said what I said as an indication of my acceptance. But then I showed her a picture of me and my boyfriend kissing – a photo locked away in my Cabinet, an app in my phone.

David and I were still very good friends. He even had the password to my Cabinet, even though he didn’t know the app existed. And then, one evening, when he borrowed my phone to text his mum, he stumbled on a text from my boyfriend.

The text read: What’s up, babe? Been trying to reach you since last night, but your line’s been switched off. Thought you guys had light now. I miss you! I love you! Can’t wait till the weekend.

I always archived his messages but had obviously forgotten this one.

From where I was studying at my laptop, trying to put finishing touches to my questionnaire, I saw the puzzled expression on his face. I Instantly knew something was off and he confirmed it when he asked, “Tee, who the fuck is Leo?”

I shut my eyes briefly as I cussed silently at my forgetfulness. I had always planned on coming out to my best friend someday, but not under this circumstance where I wasn’t even prepared.

Shutting the laptop, I gently took the phone back from him, checked the screen, heaved a loud sigh and said simply, “My boyfriend.”

The response I was expecting didn’t come. The shock didn’t seem to register, so I furthered, just in case he didn’t get it: “Leo is my boy-lover. I’m into guys, man!”

He didn’t say anything still, his face still inscrutable. And I found myself wondering if it was that easy. Then he chuckled. He chuckled again. He wasn’t mad. He had a lot of questions and I answered them all. I told him little things about the community. How it felt, being attracted to both sexes. My sexual experiences. And even my initial crush on him.

As expected, he wanted me to pray to God. He said he felt I could stop the feelings. Then he said something bizarre. He said something about how he was able to stop his. I wanted to ask what he meant, but I didn’t. I wanted him to digest what he’d just learned about me. Soon, we segued into other topics and talked some more before he left.

After a few weeks, David started acting strange. He’d get too critical and seemingly possessive each time he saw me in any sort of close relations with another guy, even clearly straight guys. Once he made an odd remark about how he felt I must have something irresistible “down there”, seeing as my boyfriend and the girls I got with were all really good looking.

He’s also recently started asking me to come spend time at his place, a place I’d vowed never to sleep in again.

I don’t know if it’s me. Am I just being overly sensitive? Or is my best friend struggling with self-acceptance? What do I do to get answers without ruining our friendship?

Written by T-Man

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14 Comments

  1. Kelvin
    July 02, 07:58 Reply

    I recently came out to my straight friend too, nigga has been supportive all this while even bashing those who are homophobic anytime an issue regarding lgbt arises in my lodge at school, I initially had a crush on him but he is damn straight. The way we are very close to each other gives rise to speculation that we are in relationship, and he doesn’t care what people think.

  2. Beau
    July 02, 09:46 Reply

    I think ur frnd also has a crush on u but has difficulty accepting himself due to religious righteousness and society. I think u both need to sit ur asses down nd talk things thru properly. Also, go to his house and see what he has in store, u neva know, that’s one way to find out what’s really eating him.

  3. Black Dynasty
    July 02, 09:46 Reply

    “I don’t know if it’s me. Am I just being overly sensitive? Or is my best friend struggling with self-acceptance? What do I do to get answers without ruining our friendship?”

    He’s definitely struggling with self acceptance, he’s likely repressed his feelings for guy but there’s only so much one can repress.

    I’d say remain friends and let him come to you if he needs your help, assuming he decides to accept himself of course. Some folks stay in denial for decades…..

    • Audrey
      July 03, 21:30 Reply

      You sound so sure and confident about him struggling with self acceptance.Do you know that by such statement you are indirectly selling ideas to this dude and by so doing fueling whatever it is that he feels for his best friend.

      Can we be objective when reeling out advices to persons in need of them here so we don’t in our quest to sound smart lead one of our own into avoidable Kito situations.

  4. Beau
    July 02, 09:50 Reply

    Being queer is not something he can pray off as he said, he is just ignoring it but for how long can he kip it up. Pple think they can pray the gay away (even though i battled with it b4 finally realizing it). The guy likes u but is too scared to give into his feelings, that kiss confirmed it. Just go to his house and see how tins turn out since he is insisting u come over.

  5. Keeva
    July 02, 13:39 Reply

    I think you should go to his house,spend the night, & see what happens. *be cautious as you still have a boyfriend tho*.
    I believe we only live once,and if he is someone you plan on remaining close to,this issue has to be trashed & settled once & for all.

  6. Malik
    July 02, 15:48 Reply

    Meet up somewhere that’s NOT his house, private but not too private, and encourage him to talk about what exactly he’s feeling. If the conclusion is that he has a crush on you, then explain to him why you both can’t be a thing at the moment (your relationship). Help him understand his sexuality, what it is and more importantly, that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And if he’s infact queer, gift him this blog.

  7. Sinnex
    July 02, 15:48 Reply

    You can go to his house, but don’t make a move. In fact, if he makes a move, just tell him that you have a boyfriend and you want to remain friends.

  8. Tman
    July 02, 16:40 Reply

    Thanks for your responses guys, really appreciate them.

  9. Rex
    July 03, 00:05 Reply

    this isn’t the best situation to be in but I think you need to find a conducive environment to get him to relax with beer or something and you can raise the topic and know exactly where he stands on the matter. If he can be friends with benefits fine but if not don’t push it.

  10. Jeancabrez
    July 03, 14:16 Reply

    This is just my story, reading it felt like reading my own experiences

  11. ken
    July 03, 18:01 Reply

    Do not spend the night or sleep with him, thats if u value your friendship. He doesnt need a lover at this stage of his internal turmoil, what he needs is a friend who understands and is accepting. Besides, you have a boyfriend so not need to set yourself up to cheat

  12. David Kamdili
    July 06, 23:40 Reply

    I think you’re in an awkward relationship. Your best friend is in love with you but at the same time struggling with self-acceptance. You guys need to sit down and talk. It largely depends on what you both want- friendship or relationship. So find out which of the both is your end game, and which is his

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