I lie on my bed, swaddled in bedclothes, one thought in mind. One thought only, and that is of Bemalu. I can’t explain it, and unlike a 90s love movie, I can sleep at night but can’t sleep peacefully because all I want to do is see him. Yes, I will admit, he stirs the lust in me. But right now, what I feel has gone beyond the point where I want a sexual experience. It has passed the point where I’m fevered by the thought of our bodies meshing together, skin against skin, his breath on mine, his member going inside me.
My longing has reached the point where my body and mind crave intimacy. It has come to a point where I just want him around, want him to laugh with me and only me, want him to find me interesting, want him to open up to me and reveal his darkest secrets. I just want to hold him and have him hold me. I want him to crave me the way that I crave him. I wish he would at least feel the way that I do.
I remember it like it was yesterday. We were alone together in the room, arguing, our passions crescendoing from words to a struggle. We were wrestling, the sort of caper meant for children.
I remember how fast my heart beat with every forceful contact our bodies made; his arm in a choke-hold on my neck, my hand hefting his thigh, our laughter rising and mingling in the coolness of the room. I remember my startle at this disguised intimacy, my yearning for it to get tender, loving. I pinned him down and our chests were heaving with laughter, reckless joy. I looked into his eyes and noticed how lovely they are, chocolate brown with tiny flecks of gold. I gazed upon his lips and wondered how they would taste if I touch them with mine.
I remember the thoughts that raced through my mind in those brief breathless seconds; the thought that I could lean forward and taste my desire of him, and have him taste back, kiss me back, a prelude to a heady and passionate romance. Or have him dislodge my body from his with a punch to my gut, his eyes flashing, a snarl on his face.
But then, those brief breathless seconds passed, and he was overpowering me, tackling me to my back, his legs straddling my torso. My heart was beating even faster and my throat had dried up at the nearness of his south side, and the heady musk that reaching out from there, overwhelming my senses. I wondered how he could not feel the way I feel, how he could not feel the sexual tension.
And then, suddenly falling, a slave to my desire, I put my hand forward, on his crotch so close to me. Without thinking, I reached for the object of my lust.
The joy of the contact lasted only fleetingly, quenched by the menacing growl that came from him: “Remove your hand before I wound you.”
I instantly withdrew, my hand from his crotch, and my participation from our caper. I felt my heart sink one rung with the realization that my desires would never reach fruition, nor my fantasies become reality.
I am lying on my bed, swaddled in bedclothes, one thought in mind. One thought only, and that is of Bemalu, and how he may never want me like I want him. I remember the time we had the talk, the one where I was on the road to vulnerability, to opening myself up to him, to admitting to him that I am gay. And his response was a brief narration of a fleeting gay experience he’d once had. And before my heart to lift and hope take flight, he began to cry, begging me not to be gay. Hope dropped to a crashing tumble as I stared at the man I desire so much, who did not want me to be me.
Our relationship took an awkward turn after that day. There was that Sunday morning when he came back from class, knackered and obviously needing sleep. He got in around 5.30am, and as I observed him look around the room, it became quickly apparent that the only place he could lie down was on the bed beside me. I moved on the bed to make some space, inviting him to join me.
He didn’t. He slumped into a chair and I felt a dart find a mark in my heart at his stubborn distance. I stared silently at him and he glared resolutely back. I watched the emotions play on his face: there was a kind of pain there, the kind of pain that comes from your determination to refuse an indulgence, the kind of pain made ugly by disgust aimed at me with my plague of homosexuality.
I felt my own pain, beautiful in its rich misery, burrow inside me. I couldn’t stand to watch him look at me like that. So I got up from the bed with the intention of starting my day, early though the morning was. He watched me warily as I got up. He asked if I was done sleeping. I said yes. And he moved to occupy the bed I’d just vacated, an action that twisted the pain in my heart like a spade shoveling dirt up from moist earth.
I lie on my bed, swaddled in bedclothes, one thought in mind. One thought only, and that is of Bemalu, and my incomprehension over my feelings for him. I do not know why I have feelings for him. I cannot understand why these emotions of tenderness for him are raging in my head, possessing my mind. In light of his distance from me, I constantly pray these feelings away.
Aside from the fact that I know that there is no future for me and him, I have looked beyond my feelings and seen Bemalu for who he is. And I know that even if it suddenly became an option, I would not want to spend the rest of my life with him.
And still, in spite of this realization, I cannot get him off my mind. I have told myself that he doesn’t love me, or any guy for that matter. I have even taken to telling myself repeatedly that he has a girl in his life, that he loves and belongs to Nneka. And yet, I still want him close to me, still want to feel his breath fanning my cheeks. I rage at myself, wondering what the matter with me is, needing to understand this inner conflict between emotion and logic, between desire and reality, between my heart and my head. I find myself wondering why I cannot get my heart to reconcile with the truth, this truth that he’s just not into me.
Written by Omiete