Previously on LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT…

Commitment-phobic Tunde finally makes a connection with Dele, the hunk with the beautiful eyes and brother to his colleague, Kola.

And now, for today’s episode…

*

Dele watched as Tunde walked towards the gate to his house. He turned to wave one last time before disappearing through it. Dele gave a heavy sigh and placed his head on the headrest of the car. Their date had been wonderful as usual and it was all Dele could do to not grab today and crush him in an embrace whenever he smiled or unintentionally touched him.

Dele had been in love before. More accurately, he thought he’d been in love. With Angie. He was still fighting his sexuality then, and he had found Angie beautiful and wonderful to be with, up to the point that they dated for many years. But as Dele slowly started accepting his sexuality, whatever unconscious vibes he gave seemed to fuel Angie’s determination to make him put a ring on it. She hinted subtly at first, before going at it almost head-on, getting into fights with him over the issue. Then, one day, he blurted out that he couldn’t marry her because he liked men. It was in that moment he started crying, because it was the first time ever he had said it out loud, and it was such a relief. Angie was disappointed. Five years with him had just gone down the drain. But in spite of her disappointment, their connection remained strong. She consoled him and held him until he fell asleep that night. They remained friends after that night. Presently, she was seeing someone else, and things were looking good for them. She hardly complained about her beau, but she apparently still loved Dele very much, even though it’d been three years since they ended their relationship.

The feeling Dele however now had for Tunde was different. It felt whole, unadulterated. He felt complete whenever he was around him, like he’d been in a haze that didn’t completely clear until he met Tunde. He’d spend most of the day thinking of him and most of the night wishing he was there in his bed to hold him and breathe him in. Tonight he wanted to ask Tunde if he could spend the night with him, just to hold him. Nothing more. Sex was something Dele could do without. He hadn’t been with a guy very often, and right now Tunde was the only person he wanted to be with.

Dele laughed at himself as he started the car. He had always scoffed at the girls in secondary school for reading romance novels and thought the few he’d struggled through were too cliché. But here he was, thinking in clichés. He guessed it sometimes took an experience to realise some things were true.

And then, he pulled back into the road, driving home to meet his nosey brother.

***

After Tunde locked his door he turned his back and rested on it, heaved a sigh before sliding to the ground and crouching there, smiling sheepishly to himself. He replayed the kiss he’d just shared with Dele in the car, and the smile got wider. When they pulled apart, Tunde had looked into Dele’s eyes and the longing that was there was so powerful he felt drawn to it and almost asked Dele if he wanted to take things inside. But as usual, his brain and tongue decided not to work together on that request. It was there at the tip of his tongue, but he just couldn’t say it.

This was getting ridiculous and childish, he thought. Even his cousin, Ope had said so when he told him how far their relationship was going.

“And you haven’t had sex?!” Ope had said incredulously over the phone.

“No,” Tunde had replied.

“Why? Wasn’t he able to get it up?” Ope said. “Fine boys sometimes tend to have issues. I’ve run into a couple of people who were very handsome, but to get it up was a real hassle…”

Tunde rolled his eyes as he listened to Ope retell some of his sexcapades. “Dele can get it up,” he interrupted, “and from what I’ve felt, he’s carrying something nice.”

“Ashawo,” Ope giggled.

“Then what are you? Mother slut,” Tunde sniggered back.

“If all is well down there, then why haven’t you been serviced? Or he wants to be serviced by you? Which one are you again sef – Vers, abi?”

Tunde ignored the last question and said, “It’s not him o. It’s me. I dunno. Something is just stopping me sha… I’m scared.”

“Of what?” Ope was back to being incredulous.

“I like him a lot and… I dunno… What if all he wants is sex?”

Ope started to laugh hysterically over the phone, and Tunde had to draw his phone away from his ear before his eardrum would burst from the sound.

“It’s not funny joor,” he said, a bit pissed and embarrassed.

“Sorry, Madam Mills and Boon,” Ope said while catching his breath. “Look, how will you know it’s not the sex he wants until you finally have sex with him? Besides, I don’t think he wants just sex. A guy wouldn’t go through that much trouble just to get to your ass, especially if he’s hot and probably has like a million boys and girls wanting a piece of him.”

There were still a lot of ‘what ifs’ in Tunde’s mind. What if Dele was some sort of trophy keeper? What if this wasn’t going anywhere? What if this started going somewhere but Dele got bored and did away with him? What if, what if, what if…

But as Tunde sat there on the floor, smiling sheepishly to himself, he allowed himself to ask, “What if everything turned out right?”

It was like an epiphany, and Tunde realised that he didn’t want to sleep alone that night. He wanted to be in the arms of the person he loved and he wasn’t going to wait any longer just because he’d had a few bad relationships that had left him broken in the past. Life was too short.

He grabbed his car keys and in minutes, he was driving down the highway to Dele’s house. He smiled as he imagined the look of surprise Dele would have on when he knocked on his door and he opened it. It wasn’t that late. He was sure he’d be welcomed.

He was still thinking of the look of surprise and smiling when he ran a red traffic light. The smile was jerked from his face when his whole body shuddered with the car, as another much heavier vehicle rammed into it. He felt the world lose all form of sense as up became down and down became up and he was cruelly jerked around. He felt pain in his head as he was flung out of the tumbling vehicle.

And then, he lay there on the road. His body was racked with pain. Oddly, it was a distant sort of pain and he felt himself slipping away as his blood seeped out onto the road. He felt himself slipping away, like he was descending slowly into a weird sort of dreamless abyss. As he descended, he saw a pair of remarkable eyes beckoning him – Dele’s eyes. He would go meet those eyes, and forever both he and the person who owned them would become one. After all, life as he knew it was too short to not be happy.

Written by James

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