SUITS AND TIES (Part 4)

SUITS AND TIES (Part 4)

Click HERE TO READ SUITS AND TIES PART 3

*

The whole world goes on and on about love. Poets spend their lives writing about it. Everyone thinks it’s the most wonderful thing. But when you mention two guys in love, they forget all that and freak out.

Mark A. Roeder said that, and my co-workers are a classic example of a people who freak out when the contemplation of gay people becomes an issue at work. They don’t go bat-shit crazy. They simply spout lots of vitriol, most of it fed by their ignorance and blind loathing.

Sick, cursed, possessed by demonic spirits…

How can a normal person put his thing inside someone else’s ass…

Useless people, going about bribing famous people to say they’re gay…

Yes. It’s incredible, but my co-workers actually believe that part of the LGBT activism is to pay celebrities an unspecified amount of money, or cut deals with them, so that they can claim to be out and proud in order to influence the public to accept or tolerate homosexuality. One of my female colleagues claims to still be heartbroken over and disbelieving of Wentworth Miller’s coming out. To her, the Prison Break star is just too good-looking not to fancy women. Apparently, the gay movement is either highly manipulative or quite influential enough to convince ‘heterosexual’ celebrities to take on the risk of faking their gayness for our cause.

I laugh with immense scorn when I hear these ridiculous conjectures they put out. At first, I spoke up against their opinions, I tried to be corrective, to educate the ones I could on the issue of LGBT. But I quickly realized that the more I tried, the more they seemed to enjoy speaking against ‘the gays’, seemingly to rile me, to unsettle me, the self-appointed office gay activist.

And so, I let up on my insistence to educate, and retreated to silence. I became cold and uncommunicative during conversations concerning LGBT, and because such talks are very popular in the office whenever there’s spare time for gossip, my silence became protracted. And the more withdrawn I had to be, the gloomier I got. I could not speak out, and so everything I longed to say about the unfairness of their opinions festered inside me. My mood slowly underwent a change. I became edgy, snappish, gradually progressing toward depression. I became so edgy that I at one time gave a snappy retort to my HOD, an act of insubordination that earned me a query, and some face-time with a disciplinary panel.

I was sinking.

I was choking.

I love my job, but the people I shared the same space with were creating an environment that was stifling to me.

Then I sought solace in music. I got an earpiece, and began to wear it around, plugged into my ears and connected to my phone’s media library. Whitney Houston. Don Williams. Celine Dion. John Legend. The smooth vocals and soulful lyrics helped me escape.

But the thing is, the music also disconnected me from my environment. I’d be listening to the songs, wrapped up in them while working, and not respond immediately to calls or requests from the people who needed my attention. My preoccupation was misinterpreted as standoffishness, and my determination not to get drawn into gay talk was written off as a reluctance to be part of the team. Before long, talk began making the rounds that I had a terrible attitude. That all I knew was work. That I lacked interpersonal skills and had no sense of team play. Vicious talk peddled by those in my office I especially resented, and who resented me in turn. Damaging talk that eventually led to a bad appraisal for me, denying me a chance at any immediate promotion.

For a while after the notification of my appraisal, I was sent on a downward spiral of emotional turmoil. I withdrew into a shell. From friends. I began to live a life of quiet desperation.

Then I spoke to a cousin of mine, who in a bid to bolster my spirit, told me of her own workplace embattlements, and how she strived to overcome and remain above the fray. From her, I got to understand that perception is reality, and when I wear my injured heart out in the open, it not only hurts me but hurts what the people around me perceive of me.

So I made the effort to change, to start living as positively as I could, to sift through the vitriol of my colleagues, instead of letting it suffocate me. I learned to hear what they said, but not to listen. I learned to shut my heart, but to keep my mind open. I learned to let the poison drip through me, instead of soaking it in.

I also learned to open my eyes and notice someone noticing me.

Remember Roland from #SuitsAndTiesPartThree? The guy who I was close to in a casual way, before sparks started flying after we hugged, and he started telling me that he saw ‘it’ in my eyes…

Yes, well, I’d been so wrapped up with my private hell that I failed to notice that he was trying to get my attention, to get closer to me.

When I finally noticed, I was too skittish to encourage him. I remembered the weird phone conversation we’d had back then. And then, I thought about the innocuous detail of him being a Festac fellow. And then, I thought about how we work together. And then I thought about how precarious my position could easily become if he meant me no good and I gave him the opening he needed. And then, I thought about the possibility of his sincerity. I thought and I thought… And in the midst of my thinking, I maintained my distance from him.

And then, he lost his mother. In the past, through his BBM dp changes and pm updates, I’d had an idea of how close he was to his mother. So I broke out from my detachment and reached out my warmth to him. And like a seedling embracing the touch of sunlight, he welcomed my contact effusively. We began to talk more, and given his vulnerability, he began to reveal how much he appreciated my concern and goodwill, even though he thought he’d lost me. I apologized, and confessed that my distance was because I felt I had to be careful.

We talked a lot more as the days passed. And the more I perceived how good his intentions were toward me, the more I let him in. I started feeling things for him, wanting things with him.

Then I heard he’d dropped a letter with the HR department. A resignation letter. And of course, whenever there’s a resignation notice given to the HR, the next department to be immediately notified is the Accounts department, where I work, for us to round up the final wages and entitlements of the departing staff member. And so I got to know about his resignation.

I called him promptly. “Roland, are you resigning?” I asked without any preamble.

“How did you know?” he asked.

I told him.

“Yes,” he finally answered.

“Why?”

“I just need to rest,” he said with a sigh.

That might have been a plausible reason, in light of his mother’s demise. But I wasn’t buying it. “Don’t bullshit me please,” I said. “Tell me the real reason you’re resigning.”

He heaved another sigh, before saying, “Have lunch with me.”

“Excuse me?”

“On Saturday. You’re not working. Go out with me. Let’s have lunch.”

“But…but –” I stuttered.

“And then, I will tell you everything.”

I conceded, and the lunch date was fixed.

Saturday afternoon met us at Kilimanjaro. I was pleasantly surprised by the rush of pleasure I felt when I saw him walk into the fast-food, clad in a pair of snug jeans below a T-shirt that hugged his torso perfectly. I couldn’t believe how hungrily my eyes devoured him as he took a seat across the table from me, or how my heart went a-flutter when he murmured a greeting to me with a smile.

How did this happen? Several weeks ago, Roland was just that work-friend I knew from down the hall. How did he become someone who commanded such chemistry between us?

We placed our orders. We chatted. We even managed some laughter. But the thought of what was going on with him nagged at me. And my impatience was palpable.

But all that melted away when he started…well, chyking me. I want you, Jay. I’ve always felt something for you ever since we’ve been casual acquaintances, but the day you came into my arms in that hug, was the day you started creeping into my heart. I want to be with you. There’s something here, and I believe we can make it work.

His words were smooth, throbbing with passion and sincerity. I felt so drawn to him. I wanted to work this out with him too. But I couldn’t understand why he looked so sad as he talked.

I placed my palm surreptitiously on his hand, conscious of the fact that we were in a semi-crowded room. “Roland,” I said in a low and urgent tone, “what’s the problem? I want to be with you too. Surely you can tell that by now. Why do you seem so sad by the prospect of us being together?”

He drew in a deep breath and released it with a shudder, before looking at me. Then he said solemnly, “Because the reason I resigned is so I can move to Port Harcourt, where I’ve gotten another job, and where I’ll be living.”

My heart froze. My world stilled. And I swear, in that moment, I heard Fate’s faint chuckle at the successful twist she’d made happen in this chapter of my life.

Written by JBoy

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65 Comments

  1. KryxxX
    February 27, 05:56 Reply

    Life! Oh life………………………….. You are never fair!!!! Y art thou so? Y snatch d only succulent nipple from a suckling babe? Y? Y? Y? Y?

    And that feeling of trying hard in bottling up emotions nd having it show in ur physically disposition, I totally get. I get all swollen faced and cranky. But music, my radio nd radio friends r my ultimate gateway!

  2. Absalom
    February 27, 05:58 Reply

    This is where Ephesians 5:31 comes to mind: “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and JOB and follow his husband to Port Harcourt and the two shall become one flesh!”

    If only Bible rules were easy to abide by. Sigh. 🙁

    • A-non
      February 27, 06:11 Reply

      Resign my job and move to another city because of him or love???!!!

      Hell no!!!

      • A-non
        February 27, 07:43 Reply

        Hmmm….Pinky, my sense of humour go omugwo and after the omugwo, na very yeye things iim in-law carry give am so e dey vex.

  3. lluvmua
    February 27, 06:01 Reply

    Just when I thought I was d first *hmmmmm* lmao @ absalom. Awwwwwwwwwwww @jboy you guys can always visit ? Yeah????

    • xpressivejboy
      February 27, 07:27 Reply

      Iluvmua, he said so…me not cut out for such; not anymore.

  4. poshyydude
    February 27, 06:16 Reply

    Oh shit !!!! Bad timing and I hate things like this

  5. A-non
    February 27, 06:18 Reply

    Biko JBoy na Pinky, edemede a obu akuko ifo ko obu ife mereme?

      • A-non
        February 27, 07:41 Reply

        Wow!

        I’ll be staying tuned to JBoy channel then for more of the gist.

        Pls where are enigmous and Peak o??!!

        Ha ano maternity leave ka obu data bundle fa gwuru?

        *hides under office table*

    • Peak
      February 27, 09:35 Reply

      A-non Hide well well under that ur office table well well ooooooo.

      see ur mouth like maternity leave and data bundle

      Na 2day u realise se I ve gone missing bah?
      Issorite

      *fades back into the background*

  6. Dennis Macauley
    February 27, 06:22 Reply

    ****singing loudly with a guitar***

    I am a portharcourt boi oh eh! I am a pitakwa first son oh eh! I am a pitakwa pitakwa boy oh eh!

    Lol! He is welcome to the land of bountiful ass-ets, handsome twinks and flamong queens lol

    • Absalom
      February 27, 06:27 Reply

      Ho! I knew you’d be thrilled. 😛

      • pinkpanthertb
        February 27, 06:28 Reply

        Me too. In fact, as I read this piece and updated it, I knew Dennis would break out the vodka in celebration. #smh

    • Khaleesi
      February 27, 14:54 Reply

      hmmm, serious? All i hear about PH are rabid roving bands of kito gangs … biko I cant deal, each time i set foot in PH, i pack all my fabulous hair tightly under a shawl and go about my bizness without casting a second glance @ anyone, and when am done – i jump on the next smoking jet and zoom off — abeg abeg …

  7. Ruby
    February 27, 06:23 Reply

    N̶̲̥̅̊☺ Fair! What a Curve Ball!

  8. Pete
    February 27, 06:24 Reply

    He moved from Lagos to PH for work? Somebody here on KD made the same move. *clamps hand over mouth*

  9. chestnut
    February 27, 06:28 Reply

    He resigned and is moving to port-harcourt? Why is he now telling u he wants u? So u too can resign and move to port-harcourt too? If he had no arrangements to get u a better job and accomodation in ph,he should simply have told u he got a job in ph, without all the “have lunch with me,I want u, I love u” bullshit.why make things more painful than they already are? Or is he suggesting an LDR?

    Anyway when he gets there, ph dragons will devour him! (Hey Dennis, how u doin’!hehehe…)

    • pinkpanthertb
      February 27, 06:29 Reply

      LDRs are the bitch! This here is a brother that won’t recommend that one bit!

      • chestnut
        February 27, 06:50 Reply

        No o,dennis I wasn’t implying that u’re a ph dragon o; that was just an innocent random shout out to u…(But now that u mention it…hehe)

      • Dennis Macauley
        February 27, 06:52 Reply

        Oh its fine! Id like to nibble on you sometime though!

        Hello Vhar

    • xpressivejboy
      February 27, 07:21 Reply

      Chestie, *in Omawunmi’s tone* if you ask me, na who I go ask?

  10. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    February 27, 06:57 Reply

    Great read.
    This is the first time I am reading the series and I had to go through the older ones.

    Una with drama-filled corporate lives, I wanna be like una when I grow up o (or not).

    • xpressivejboy
      February 27, 07:17 Reply

      Dami, why thanks.

      Don’t pray for the kind of environment I work in.

  11. Dennis Macauley
    February 27, 07:04 Reply

    About your relationship with your colleagues, its just like my story. I am the office outsider because i dont involved in their discussions which always revolve around “homosexualists”. I like only one person in my office and I dont bother about the rest, but in my office the tone is a bit different. They suspect very handsome men to be gay especially my female colleagues, they have a theory that when a man is so handsome to a certain level something must be “wrong somewhere”.

    Me i dont bother with work politics, i do my job excellently and my appraisals are always very high. I dont bother having personal relationships with them

    • A-non
      February 27, 07:47 Reply

      @Dennis, agree with your work ethics 100%.

      Office famzing can very quickly turn to ‘see finish’.

      Na work carry us come together and na the work we go do!

      • Absalom
        February 27, 08:46 Reply

        Dennis and A-non.

        In Pete’s voice: Sooooooooooo…being an introverted office bitch has become the new cool, eh kwa?

        Lothario voice: I noticed it too, this tone of condescension among the more evolved gays in the workplace! Smh.

        Gad’s voice: This is how they will be doing me-me-me every time and misleading the young ones!

        *runs away screaming*

      • Pete
        February 27, 09:02 Reply

        Absie, if I catch you eh!

      • Lothario
        February 28, 06:08 Reply

        Lmao! Absalom I will get you for this

    • Khaleesi
      February 27, 14:57 Reply

      GBAM!!!! I am always very professional and business like @ work, I will be polite but distant, lets just get the work done and @ the end of the day, everyone heads home. Dont bother to talk to me if you meet me outside the office, a “hi” and a wave will do just fine and as for finding out where i live or visiting; HELLLZZZ TO THA FUCKINGGGG NOOOOOO!!!!!

  12. Gerald
    February 27, 07:50 Reply

    Hmmmm sweet delivery, so romantic

  13. sinnex
    February 27, 09:38 Reply

    When I read about office and anti-gay discussions here, I get confused. Is it only my office it doesn’t happen in? I can’t even remember the last time I had a discussion with someone about homosexuality. I wonder why people would decide to discuss about gay people when there are lot of other topics to discuss about; what happened to politics, economy or even religion. This one that everyone is looking for money, who has time to talk about gays, I don’t even know if they are aware that gays exists.

    As for the guy, It all depends on you. I am sure he is not leaving anytime soon, at least he could be around for 2 weeks. You have have fun. You don’t need to worry about how short it is going to last, all that matters is what your heart feels. Besides Port Harcourt is not actually far….

    • xpressivejboy
      February 27, 10:12 Reply

      He has gone, already. He resumes on Monday 02 Mar., 2015.

      PH isn’t far…but it’s distance, and it’s a bitch.

      • Gad
        February 27, 10:58 Reply

        Oga please just wake up. stop living in a fool,s paradise but if you fail to heed this august warning dont fail to keep us posted on the turn of events

  14. Chris
    February 27, 09:56 Reply

    As much as possible, keep the job and the work strictly professional. No overfamiliarisation.

    Why tell a colleague you in love with them when you ve arrange a transfer to another city? Don’t get it?

  15. Chris
    February 27, 10:03 Reply

    Yes @ sinnex, i was about to start thinking maybe it is only at my work place that gay talk is neglected, only pehaps once in a while when there is a topical issue just like other thousand issues discussed regularly.
    Overall people are busy with work and other issues of life.

  16. Dennis Macaulay
    February 27, 10:42 Reply

    Chris and Sinnex its not like its the only thing discussed and it’s not like its discussed often but the few times it came up I observed where everyone stands on the issue. As you guys prolly know I don’t roll with homophobes so I tend to avoid those who said vile things ie every one

  17. Gad
    February 27, 10:48 Reply

    Are you working with Ministry for women affairs? i ask because your office seems so idle.from your it seems gisting takes most part of your work hours.one can work in most organisations for 20yrs without getting to hear talks about gays.yours seems different.if i tell you my thoughts on how you allowed mere office gossips about gays to affect you,pinky might call me something worse than”sanctimonious”.However,i urge you to know that you came to work,for one reason. work and get paid.so do just that.if you need friends join rotary club or full gospel.if joining in petty office gossips makes you feel like a nobel laureate,then you must develop topic changing skills.from politics,capital market,fashion,family,religion,atili ogwu dance to any topic under the sun,you can easily sway the discussion.you dont have to punish yourself due to mere talks that are not directed against you per se

    • Dennis Macaulay
      February 27, 12:53 Reply

      This comment is down right stupid, condescending and sexist. Women affairs? Really gad? Assuming hypothetically that I work in ministry of women affairs, you know that not only women work there right? Assuming also that only women work there are you saying that all women do is sit around gossiping without doing anything? I expected better from you.
      Let me be clear, what I meant is that because I know where these people stand on the issue of homosexuality I am not interested in forming friendships with them outside of work.
      Take your patronising condescension and shove it up the place where the sun never shines.

      • chestnut
        February 27, 13:29 Reply

        Lol. Dennis haff vex! I think he was referring to the original writer tho.
        Gad,u really need to learn how to “@” ppl when u’re responding in a threading; most times I find myself wondering who exactly u’re responding to in a thread that has several preceding comments, so when u stay stuff like “I agree” or “explain more” or whatever,nobody knows who exactly u’re addressing.

      • Khaleesi
        February 27, 15:02 Reply

        ****Rushes over to Gad with a first aid kit*** Dennis, i need to slowly and sensously kiss you for this comment in response to that idiotic comment … If you believe that vile hateful comments about gays will never get to you, then you live in deep self denial and have stubbornly refused to be true to yourself – much good may that do you!!

      • Gad
        February 27, 15:35 Reply

        DM, first of all, I was addressing the writer. Secondly,my reference to Ministry of women affairs was as a ministry that has less work to do. Men and women works there. I meant work load and not the gender of the workers but in a rush to use my comment to score a very cheap point as a feminist you betrayed your slow heartedness. Sad

      • Gad
        February 27, 15:48 Reply

        Please do not misconstrue my clarification to mean that I’m a feminist like you. If being a feminist means that men and women are same then I’m no feminist because I don’t believe that. While I believe that Man is not superior to a woman, I acknowledge that they have distinct roles assigned by nature in the society. All should be accorded due regards and respects at all times.

    • xpressivejboy
      February 27, 13:18 Reply

      Gad, I’m glad you never fail to exhibit your high level of foolishness…I had rather choose to ignore you, but before I do; know it that I work for an IT/Financial Service Provider, we barely have the time to faff around, we’ve got great minds out of which most of them hate gays, and I happen to be gay. They see movies/series, exploits of my kind, the waves we make, the grip we have on Hollywood and all they do is HATE. I should be bothered…and now, I’ve chosen to care less.
      So, if you don’t mind, go take care of your fetid fatty flappy figure…FOOL!

      ‘Nuf said.

      • Gad
        February 27, 15:53 Reply

        My friend just take my advice. Face your work.Get paid. Period

    • s_sensei
      February 27, 22:11 Reply

      The only thing I noticed is that Gad is getting wittier by the day. Loool

      • Lothario
        February 28, 06:15 Reply

        Lol….I know! Is it just me that giggled at the atilogwu part of that comment?

  18. Khaleesi
    February 27, 14:50 Reply

    Finally, someone does get me!!! A lot of people just dont get it when i tell them that I honestly cant be around homophobes, that I cant have normal cordial relationships with colleagues/co-workers if and when i get to know that they are rabidly and virulently homophobic. A lot of people call me weird for saying this, but the truth is, if i know you’re homophobic, i feel repulsed by you and can therefore not have any warmth in me towards you.
    Thanks so much for this J- Boy!!

  19. Chris
    February 27, 15:26 Reply

    Strange but true, i have come across gays guys who hate people with alternative lifestyle such a straight people and to an extent hating on bisexual people too. This set of gay folks explanation for hating on non gays seems non plausible to me such as the sexual content of men and women mating ; or that they (straight people) are in the majority.

  20. xpressivejboy
    February 27, 17:23 Reply

    R.A, please do not get me wrong, I’m so happy for him ‘cos he got a better offer in an industry he perfectly fits in based on his qualifications.

    I’m just stepping out of a LDR and I’m not ready for more…; not anymore.

    He still remains a good friend, and my head is cleared enough to focus on my work, as ‘adviced’, and get paid. *laffin’ in latin*

  21. Lothario
    February 28, 06:01 Reply

    Awwww! My poor dear, sometimes life throws these curve balls at us. The best you can do is make the best of.it. You could push to have a long distance relationship,it works, don’t believe everything you hear.

  22. prince
    March 23, 18:59 Reply

    Please friends what are your takes on LDR?

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