When I woke up on that Monday morning, a week after the Sunday fiasco at Yinka’s place, I could hear Bryson in the shower. I remained lying in bed without moving, deliciously tired and content. There was a warm, wonderful glow inside me, and I didn’t want to move in case it went away.

I could see from the luminous dial of the clock perched on the nightstand that it was some minutes to 6am. And the glom of the dawn cloaked the inside of the room, not entirely hiding its unfamiliarity from me. In the two weeks since I began officially dating Bryson, last week was when I first visited him at his place, and subsequently began spending the night frequently with him, leaving for work from his bed. It was longer, more tedious commute, from Festac to Yaba, but the prospect of the passion expended on his sheets at night and the contentment that came from waking to his morning musk far outweighed the inconvenience of striving through the hectic traffic of the morning.

“You’re just in the honeymoon phase,” Yinka said when we talked on the phone on Thursday night, the third night I spent at Bryson’s place. “Everything with and about him seems so easy now, so blissful. It gives you the fortitude to simply breeze through everything else. Your parents could disown you now, and you wouldn’t mind. After all, you’ve got another daddy giving you what you truly need.”

I could imagine the impish expression on his face as he said that, and I roared with laughter at the imagination and his words.

It was now 6am. I had to get ready for work. I sat up in bed, and reached for the switch beside the bed to turn on the light. The brightness of from the fluorescent bulb spilled everywhere, throwing the cluttered lavishness of Bryson’s room into sharp relief. He lives in the Boys’ Quarters of his parents’ Festac home – one out of the two self-contained rooms. His older brother occupies the other one. The bed was queen-sized, and its beddings were plush. The floor was carpeted and the drapes were rich. There was a plasma TV hanging on the wall above a sound system, and the soft hum of the air conditioner filled the room. Then there were clothes everywhere – those hanging inside and bursting through the doors of the burnished wardrobe, those spilling out from a hamper in the corner and some others strewn here and there. Bryson boasted the ownership of too many clothes – cotton T-shirts, designer jeans, silken fabrics, worsted suits, sleek corduroys, most of them giveaways he took home from fashion shows. The ironed attire I intended to wear to work lay spread out on my overnight case in a corner, looking like the miserable, distant relative, tucked away where it was in the midst of the chaotic mess.

Just then, the shower water stopped running and I listened to the noises Bryson made in the bathroom. When he emerged, clean-shaven and dewed with a fine sheen of fresh moistness, he looked vitally handsome and strong. I sighed inwardly, as I marveled for what would be the umpteenth time at the incredible sexiness of my boyfriend.

“Good morning, boyfriend,” I greeted.

He chuckled as he made his way to the vanity table. “Good morning, you. When are you going to start calling me my name again?”

“When I’ve become used to the idea of us as a couple,” I replied with a smile.

He chuckled again. “Straight guy dating gay guy that uncommon in the – what’s that you call it, gaybourhood?”

“Make that hot straight guy, then you’ve got yourself a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon.”

“Well, you’re not so bad yourself.”

“I know, right.”

He laughed before saying, “Oya, go and take your bath. You have work, and I have a flight to catch.”

Stretching catlike, I climbed out of bed and padded to the bathroom. When I came back out minutes later, Bryson was already dressed and the air was redolent with his perfumery. There was a companionable silence as I dressed and he finished preparing. It was well past 6am by the time we piled into his car, and he ignited the engine.

“You’re not going to leave your car at the airport parking lot, are you?” I queried as we pulled out into the street. He was going to drop me at work and continue on to the airport, from whence he’d get on a flight to Ghana. He’d landed a fashion gig in Accra, and would be away for a couple of days.

“Nah, Jimi will go and pick it up later this morning.” Jimi is his younger brother, who stays in the main house with their parents.

There was light-hearted conversation in the car as we cut through the traffic which started out hectic in Mile 2, and then lightened somewhat when we dusted past Oshodi, ignoring the turn-off onto Airport Road.

“You know, you could have just dropped me back there to catch a bus to Yaba, and gone on to the airport,” I observed.

“Nah. I promised I’d drop you off.”

“I just hope you will make it back in time to catch your flight.”

“Well, you’re my guy, and you are worth the hassle.”

“Aww, that’s so sweet,” I drawled. “Could it be love,” I added, half teasing, half serious. I hadn’t intended the remark to be a question, but I hoped he’d give me an answer.

He didn’t. he simply laughed, patted my thigh and refocused on the road.

Several minutes later, he pulled up by the kerb flanking the entranceway to Fit. Plus.

“Here you are,” he announced as he pulled up, not turning off the ignition.

“Thanks,” I said, lifting my overnight bag from the backseat.

“If you were a girl now,” he said with w roguish grin, “it would have been perfectly normal for me to lean over and peck you goodbye on your lips.””

We shared a laugh at that, and I alighted. I stood for a moment, watching the car swerve back into the traffic, before turning to face –

“Kizito!” I gasped, at the same time that my heart did a small leap in my chest.

Written by Pink Panther

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