Love is a tricky thing. It varies in intensity and in the specificity of emotions. It is sometimes the most beautiful thing in the world and, at other times, it’s the most horrid thing one will ever know. It’s odd how one thing can be the cause of so many contrary feelings – love is the only thing that can easily and comfortably encompass both good and evil, beautiful and ugly. There is, however, another kind of love, a much darker and sadder kind of love. It’s the kind of love that doesn’t signal the beginning of something beautiful, but rather the end of something that might have been beautiful, but will never amount to anything more than what it is.

I know this particular kind of feeling all too well.

Most of these mornings, when I wake up, it is with the heaviness of melancholy, a feeling usually brought on by a remnant of the night before. I reach for my phone. My IMs are dotted with words like “Please”, “Baby”, “No”, “Stop”. He is the reason I feel this way. Not again, I groan, mumbling, ‘I hate you for doing this to me.’

As an ardent Christina Aguilera fan, I always need a song to define the way I feel and augment the moment. And so, I explore my media player, open my collection of Aguilera’s music (all 5 of her albums, singles and OSTs) and decide to play Underappreciated, a song off of the Stripped album. Her sonorous vocals fill up the space around me and I am totally in a new place. At last, I find an escape route from my thoughts of Efe. Efe… He who is – what is ubiquitously referred to as – my ‘one and only’. I love him in the head-over-heels kind of way, but he became an ex sooner than I expected. He’s the reason I feel the way I do. When Kelly Rowland recorded the song, Still in Love with My Ex, for her Ms. Kelly album, I thought she’d gone cuckoo. But that was before Efe struck and I realized it is possible to identify with every line throbbing with pain from that sad love song.

How did we meet? What went wrong?

Flashback to sometime late 2010, precisely September, in my heydays of gay social networking. I’d just signed up to one of the raving gay sites then, and had no expectations. Minutes later, I was notified that I had just received a new message. Excited, I quickly opened to view its content. Nice… this stranger requested for my Skype id, mobile phone number and sent me his pictures – the person I saw was good looking and quite sexy. I checked out his profile info, his age, height, and status. Perfect! I replied, and then waited in anticipation. I didn’t have to wait long. He responded. A rendezvous was arranged and in no time, all was set.

It was a beautiful evening, the day we were supposed to see. The streetlights adorned the atmosphere and gave it such great luminescence. Abuja is a beautiful city, I mused. The El-Rufai cab sped down the Area 11 axis, and in no time we were at the 1502 Condominium. The cab drove into the complex, where I alighted. There I was wearing a white t-shirt with blue jeans (classic combo) and white kicks – le freak c’est chic. And then, after my call, he came out to receive me, waving and smiling from the other side of the street. He was this brawny, well chiselled, dark skinned fellow, even better looking than what his virtual representation offered. Right there and then, I was drenched with lust at the sight of him. A spark blew my fuses and I stood there, thinking about getting to those pouty lips, fusing mine on them, and working my way down the length of that body to whatever I shall find behind the trousers, something I was sure would please me very much. Like Ke$ha said in Dying Young, that magic in his pant was making me blush.

Ensconced in his pad, we started conversing, made dinner together and played adventure games on the PlayStation 3 console. We shared a taste in choice of music and fashion. He was very warm. And we had a great time, bonding quickly and managing to hold off on making any sexual moves, which of course I silently craved. At last it was getting late, and I suggested I should get going. He hastily vetoed that suggestion. And staying back for the night was the best thing that happened to me in my quest for love.

And then, that perfect moment, that first time, dawned on us. He had me in his bed. In his arms. Lips locked together. With the grey-slate lights on and R&B music oozing out the speakers, providing the perfect ambience for such a sweet, sweet moment.

He made love to me with a skill that took my breath away. He worked his way to my cakes and ate them, taking his time to savour the moment, eat my skittles and turn the cherry out. I could feel my insides part and my juices flow out; I whimpered. The sensation was so exquisitely pleasurable that it almost hurt. He worked his magic stick in all the right directions, spooning and straddling, thrusting and angling, having me pant for more. That night was a cosmic journey full of orgasmic interjections and rockets. It was not the kind of night you wanted to end just that one time.

It didn’t. We met often after that day, and had repeat performances of such torrid lovemaking. It wasn’t very long before he asked me to be in a relationship with him. My answer was an unhesitant and jubilant yes. Hell Yeah! We made good music, and I wanted it to last. I learned to cook, so I could satisfy him not just in bed, and I altered my partying habit to fit into the new shoes of becoming a committed lover, which was awkward at first for me, since I was the no-strings-attached kinda ‘guyrl’. Efe and I had it good and bad; there were explosions of emotion and the tender rush of bliss. I soon began not being able to imagine life without him.

Then came the intrusion of reality, when Efe’s mother began to complain about his unmarried status. As the only son, it was his duty to bring forth her grandchildren, she said. The woman was an indomitable force. Efe’s feeble excuses could not deter her in her mission to ensure the carriage of her lineage. If he Efe couldn’t find himself a wife, she declared, she would find one for him. And she did. She got him a girl and set about putting together the nuptials. My Efe was helpless to her unapologetic meddling. He simply could not defy his mother’s wishes. My heart burned and then bled as I saw the man I loved being wrenched away from me, one day at a time. All the bliss I knew started crumbling around me. But I had to understand. These weren’t my choices to make; it was Efe’s. And he seemed braced to welcome them. In a matter of months, he got married.

And I was alone like Leona Lewis in Happy, left to sink in my depression. Utopia was no more.

At first, I thought he would be done with what we had. I thought wrong; it didn’t end there for Efe and me. He reached out to me, and we reconnected again. The whole ten yards. We couldn’t go back to the way we were, but at least, I still got to have him in my arms. It mattered though that he wasn’t happy. He complained about his marriage, about his wife, about the choices he’d made. I want to soothe him from his pain, and hate him for abandoning me, and love him like his wife would never know how, and hate him some more for giving in to the pressure from his family. It became a ping-pong of emotions for me. A toxic relationship. But I couldn’t let go.

Two years down the line, and they have two kids. I’m still stuck in such a trapezium, playing the role of the other ‘woman.’ He won’t let me be. I don’t want him to. I loathe my addiction to him, but I can see no life without him. He has become my problem, and my solution.

Written by Neon

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