It was February 2013. I’d just graduated from a university in South-Eastern Nigeria. No lectures, studies or exams to worry about – that felt like bliss to me. There was the occasional hook-up, but I was essentially into enjoying my company most of the time.
By the end of February, I was notified to proceed to my alma mater university to pick up my NYSC call-up letter. At this time, I felt a bit of nervousness due to the fact that my call-up number was among a batch of numbers that had previously had some issues. I was worried that these issues had made it impossible for me to influence my place of posting. I arrived in school in this state of anxiety and trepidation. I so did not like that I’d had to leave my place of posting up to the Fates. The last thing I wanted was to get thrown to any such far-flung places like the North.
Upon arrival, I was greeted with the sight of a vast sea of persons who had also come for the same purpose. My spirits sank as I realized that this was going to be another long, stressful day filled with lots of pushing, shoving and bureaucratic hassles.
This is going to take all day, I thought with growing despondency.
And take the whole day it did! We all had to endure the blistering rays of a scorching sun sweating profusely like manual labourers for several miserable hours before we could be attended to. The call-up letters were being issued department by department, and by the time they came around to my department, I was a mental and emotional wreck. I was drenched in sweat and having a hard time keeping my emotions in check. Eventually, my name was called out and I was required to step forward and receive my letter. I was so tense and highly strung that when this happened, I sprang forward, anxious to know my fate. I narrowly missed tumbling headlong into the open gutter which was a few inches away from where I stood.
I got to the front of the crowd and as I stretched out my hand to receive the envelope which contained the posting letter, I felt cold dread curled itself in my stomach. The thought that this letter could change everything flashed through my mind. Not being a huge fan of change and upheaval, I worried that what lay within the sealed envelope could shatter my idyllic and undisturbed existence. I retrieved my posting letter and walked off to find a quiet spot where I could open the envelope in solitude.
Upon opening the envelope, my worst fears leaped out at me with fangs bared. I had been – gasp! – posted to Osun State. A cousin of mine had also served out his NYSC in Osun State about two years ago and had returned with gruesome and unpalatable stories. I didn’t know whether to be angry or to be sad, but the tears which I suddenly felt on my cheeks told me that I had chosen sadness over anger. It could have been worse, I thought. I could have gotten posted to somewhere like Sokoto or Kano. With the consoling thought, I wiped off my tears before anyone could see what was happening and reluctantly retreated to the spot where I had parked the car. I unlocked the doors and sank onto the car seat with a heavy feeling in my heart.
I considered my options, and decided that I had to at least try to get out of this posting. Eventually, I called my mother and relayed my sad tale to her. Luckily, she knew someone who knew someone who perhaps knew someone who was highly placed at the NYSC Headquarters in Abuja. After several enquiries, she was able to secure assistance from someone who promised to help with getting me posted away from Osun State – after my completion of the mandatory three-week camping exercise, that is. I was immensely relieved that I wouldn’t have to spend an entire year of my life out in the middle of nowhere (that’s how I saw Osun State). All I had to do was endure the place for three weeks. However bad it was, three weeks couldn’t be compared to an entire year.
I prepared for my trip to Osun State, making purchases, packing stuff and saying goodbye to the sweet life of undisturbed and languid bliss that I’d gotten used to in the wake of my graduation. On the day of my departure, my mother dropped me off at the bus park early in the morning. I purchased my ticket and boarded a bus full of other passengers who were heading to the same destination. During the trip, I chatted with and quickly got acquainted with the other occupants of the vehicle. Our light cheerful banter eased the rigours of the long journey and helped us forget our annoyance at how slowly the driver was traveling. He drove so slowly that I could literally feel myself aging and going gray as we crawled along the highway at a grinding snail’s pace.
After what seemed like an eternity in the cramped uncomfortable bus, we finally arrived at the Osun State NYSC Camp. Everyone was relieved! We all poured out of the vehicle stretching our aching limbs and without a backwards glance, we gathered out bags and headed for the camp. At the entrance, we went through body and bag searches by the military men stationed there.
Characteristically, I was already on the prowl, quietly checking out the military guys as they searched and frisked us. I quickly saw that none of them was my type; something just didn’t feel right with any of them. We were allowed into the camp premises and we proceeded to join the long line of other new arrivals. Still on the prowl, I scanned the length of the line as well as other lines and surrounding vicinity, looking out for any guy who looked like he would be a probable hit (you’d think I was a dark albino, with the way my eyes were darting about all over the place). All my visual hunting and cruising turned up not a single enticing hottie.
Maybe this camp is gonna be a horrible bore after all, I thought wryly.
As I concluded my registration formalities, I slowly resigned myself to three weeks of boredom with not a single cute boy in sight to ease the drudgery of the three weeks. I was issued with my camp kits; I bought two buckets and headed towards the room where I had earlier stashed my things.
Inside the room, I observed the occupants. Some were early arrivals who had already settled in and were lounging around laughing and bantering with the other occupants or engaged in their personal pursuits. Some of the occupants looked friendly and some others looked, well, not-so friendly. I was assigned the lower bed of a bunk. The lower bunks to my left and right were already occupied. To my right was some bible-thumping preacher who was already in his righteous element; and to my left was another guy who didn’t seem any better. Just looking at the two of them engage in their antics made me feel faint and begin to experience the onset of a mild headache.
I soon settled, and the days began to tick past. By the third day, I was still struggling to adapt to life in the Osun State NYSC Camp as well as carve a niche for myself. I was feeling a bit down as the previous night it had rained heavily and while trying to shut the windows next to my bed to keep out the rain, the glass pane broke. This ensured that half of my mattress was drenched in the driving rain; I had no option but to sleep on it that way. I had also by this time grown weary of searching and hoping that I would find love in this camp. (Yeah, I believe in love, am allowed to have my moments of fantasy, aren’t I?)
And then, we were having an orientation briefing. I was bored stiff and sat on the pavement with one of my cute roommates whom I had a secret crush on. At some point, he stood up to go pick up something, asking me to reserve his spot and ensure that no one took over his seat. You can bet I wasn’t going to let any MOFO come anywhere near that seat! Cute boys were extremely hard to find in this camp and I wasn’t going to let anyone separate me from one of the few ones I could get close to.
My will however was to be tested.
A few minutes later, a soft voice politely asked, “Please, is anyone here?”
For a moment, before I turned around to see the newcomer, I mentally prepared a particularly biting response with which to wither this moron who dared to even dream of nyashing down on the one place only my cute roommate was entitled to occupy. As I looked up, ready to spit out a saucy retort, I caught myself just in time and swallowed my nasty words rapidly.
Staring down at me was another gorgeous piece of man-meat who had caught my eyes several times in the past few days. I had immediately taken to him the previous day when I spotted him as we ate at one of the restaurants in the Mammy market. Even then, I had not failed to notice that we kept making eye contact with each other, subtly checking each other out when either one of us thought the other wasn’t looking. Then again, perhaps, it had all been in my head. Of course, I didn’t say anything to him then.
I did now, when I croaked, “Yes, someone is here, this seat is occupied.” No sooner had I said the words than a voice in my head angrily chastised me, “Dude, are you crazy?! Such a hot thing wants to sit by you and you’re waiting for one who probably doesn’t know you exist, one you’ll probably never get more than a handshake from!” Besides, this hottie was hotter than my hottie roommate.
So of course, I retracted my earlier comment and invited him to take the seat as the earlier occupant probably wasn’t going to return anytime soon. He thanked me, spread out his handkerchief on the spot beside me and planted his gluteus maximus on the pavement right beside me. I was thrilled beyond measure. And it seemed the gods of love were smiling ever more broadly on me that day, for he fulfilled my earnest wish when he turned to me and said by way of introduction, “Hi, my name is Timi.”
I quickly introduced myself and we got talking. Soon after, he asked if we could take a couple of pictures together.
This must be my lucky day, I thought gleefully, inwardly dancing and clapping.
We took a couple of selfies together, and I’m not ashamed to boast that we looked damn good together. He also asked a passing Corp Member to take some more pictures of us using my digital camera. Instantly, my despondency about the boredom I was going to face on the camp started to lift. Timi was an acquaintance now, but I was determined to make him a friend.
We continued to talk and discovered that we had a lot of things in common. The more I got to know him, the more infatuated with him I got. We had an instant rapport, and it didn’t help that he had killer looks: his large, red luscious lips made me want to abandon all my cares and just suck on them like there was no tomorrow, his facial bone structure and physique were reminiscent of that commonly found on Greek gods. He had everything I wanted in a man – charm, abundant good looks, nice diction etc. We exchanged phone numbers and before we parted ways, we agreed to have lunch together the next day. The next day came and I was in frenzy of excitement, eagerly anticipating our lunch date which came after what seemed like a million hours. All through lunch, I was so excited it was a miracle I was able to eat anything at all.
When we parted ways, Timi was the only thing on my mind. I thought about what he would look like naked, how big his dick would be, what it would feel like to have him in my arms. I had suddenly gone from being mindlessly bored in camp to having something to feverishly focus on. I had a very difficult time finding sleep that night. I woke up several times during the night, anxious for 5am to come so I could begin my day and meet my Adonis at some point.
As soon as dawn broke, I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth quickly and grabbed my phone to call Timi’s number. It was unavailable. I couldn’t believe it! Who lets his phone be unavailable by 5 in the morning – Who?! I tried his number several more times, holding my breath and feeling my heart stop each time that annoying robotic female voice told me the number I was dialing was not available. My fingers itched to find the owner of that voice and slap her something fierce across the face.
Eventually, I gave up, understanding that perhaps, his battery was flat, and he probably hadn’t charged his phone. I went for morning prayers and afterwards returned to my room to keep trying his number. I tried that number for two days. Two whole days! I neither saw nor could speak to Timi for two days. I hadn’t bothered to find out what hostel he was in. so I felt officially screwed (not by Timi or anyone else, anyway). During this time, I got frantic with worry, with all sorts of negative possibilities racing through my mind in quick succession.
On the third day, I decided to head towards the Mammy Market and walk around that area, with the hope that I would somehow spot my lost gem. I loitered in the general area of the market for a while and eventually my search paid off. I saw a figure in the distance; I recognized it instantly as Timi as all his features had become etched in my mind as if carved on granite. As soon as he saw me, his handsome face lit up with an expression of pleasure. The kind of sheer joy I knew must have suffused my entire face as well.
I hastened towards him, and when we stood next to each other, I asked, “What happened to your phone?”
“It got stolen,” he replied. Apparently, he had been in the Mammy Market for the same purpose as I’d been there, to look around for me.
I had to restrain myself from grabbing him in tight bear hug, planting kisses all over his juicy lips and bursting into happy tears all at the same time. I was totally, madly, head-over-heels in lust…sorry, love with the boy!
He pulled out his second phone and we exchanged numbers again. From that moment on, it was like we never left each other’s side. We went everywhere together, we went ‘people watching’ together, we poked fun at and gibed those who were deserving of it, and generally had a lot of fun in each other’s company. He was a huge smiler and I am a big laugher, it was like a match made in heaven.
We spent most evenings enjoying the cool Osun breeze at the Pavilion which had stairs and chairs at the top where we would often sit. I often looked into Timi’s eyes and imagined riding off into the sunset with him on a huge white horse. At first, I was worried about what people might think of all the time we spent together and how we often sat very close to each other; but Timi seemed not to give a damn what anyone thought or said of our closeness. He made flirty gestures which I thoroughly loved. I fell harder and harder for him with each passing day.
It wasn’t long before we were accompanying each other to the bathroom to shower, and to change afterwards. I would often catch him staring when I took off my shirt, and when he was undressing, I would see him giving me what I wanted to believe was an ‘I want you’ look. Frequently, while sitting together in the dark, he would caress my thigh gently, giving me an instant hard-on. He would boldly whisper nice things in my ear, such as, “You have a nice smile” and “You light up the day with your beautiful smile.” He encouraged me to enter for the Close-Up Toothpaste smile contest which took place on the camp. Over the coming days, he got bolder and bolder, saying things like, “Your lips look so succulent and sexy, I could kiss them right now if you were a girl.” The sexual tension and energy between us was inching toward boiling point. Something just had to happen soon!
However, we never touched on the topic of sex or sexuality, not even when he would hold me and tell me how he loved how tiny my waist was. It was a testament to my self control that I didn’t simply cave under my sexual frustration and grab for his groin, even though I was insanely horny. By now we were virtually spending every waking hour together, only parting ways when the bugle for bedtime sounded at night. Even then, once he got to his room, he would quickly fire off a sweet text message or call me. And then, he drove me to the peak of ecstasy when he used the ‘L’ word. That was it! There was no going back. He was going to be mine in every way possible.
We started making plans about spending a few days together in a hotel once we were done with the camp. However, I was impatient and decided that I could at least get a kiss from Timi before the camp ended. I had been advised to take this bold step by another friend I had made in the camp at some point. His name was Elvis, we were in the same platoon and with just one look at him, my gaydar had gone off wildly and had been spot-on accurate. I hadn’t intended on being friends with him, but he had somehow pushed his way into my life and we ended up friends. #sigh. Elvis became some sort of cock-blocker. He always hung around Timi and I, and I could never seem to get rid of him. I found it irritating but I also felt a stab of pity for him as he was a loner and had no one but us to hang out with.
So, he was the one who encouraged me to get my kiss from Timi. On that fateful night, I rehearsed and played out the scenario several times in my head, and tweaked and tuned it till I felt it was perfect and I could pull it off without a hitch.
Like all the other days in the recent past, we spent most of the entire day close to each other and when the bugle announced that it was time to turn in for the night, I drew him close to me. He didn’t offer up any resistance as I pulled his head towards mine and felt his warm breath on my lips. As his chiseled face brushed my cheeks, I got an instant hard-on. I savoured the moment as it seemed to last forever, expecting his lips to met mine next.
And then something wet brushed my cheek. It was Timi’s lips touching the wrong place. He had somehow steered away from my mouth and instead pecked me on the cheek.
“Goodnight,” he whispered gently and walked away.
I could not believe what had just happened, standing there frozen and staring after him. How did I not get a kiss, and got handed a peck instead? What sort of cruel and unusual punishment was this? What was Timi doing to me? I soon snapped out of my reverie and made my way to my room.
The days had sped by in all this time. And soon, we were just a few days away from the end of the camp. In case he hadn’t gotten it all this time, I was at this time ready to come clean and tell Timi the exact nature of my feelings for him. I talked to Elvis, and he encouraged me to take this audacious step. Despite how close we had grown over the past few weeks, I was nervous and uneasy about making my intentions clear to Timi. I thought of hundred things that could possibly go wrong. Despite everything, I honestly wasn’t sure if Timi was gay. I felt about 80% certain that he was, judging from all the gestures and body language I had been receiving from him. But I also knew there was always an ever present possibility that things could go horribly wrong and rapidly head south if I was mistaken in my assumptions.
As the end of our camping exercise drew near, I became sad and descended into an emotional sinkhole. I had strong feelings for Timi and yet I couldn’t freely express them. Soon we would be let out of the camp and I had no idea what would happen after that. Timi noticed my depressed state and expressed concern, but I fabricated a lie about some family problems. He bought the lie, and even offered some advice on how best to deal with my “family problem.” If only he knew!
We soon had our campfire night, which was full of fun and partying. I danced a lot, took a lot of crazy selfies and generally had a good time. Around 1am, I said goodbye and parted ways with Timi. When I got to my room, I pulled out my phone and sent him a text saying how I was falling for him. What I’d wanted desperately to say to him face-to-face, I compressed in a text. I got no reply. Deeply disturbed, I tossed and turned all through the night, struggling to find sleep. I knew there was trouble somewhere.
The next morning, Timi didn’t show up at my bedside as had become our regular morning routine. My calls to him also went unanswered. Worried that what I’d feared about our friendship going south with any revelation from me had happened, and determined to get him back, I headed to his room with a thick lump of dread and worry settling in my heart. I got to his room and was informed by the other occupants that he had gone to the Mammy Market.
Since when did he start going to the Mammy Market without me, I thought in alarm.
I headed off in the direction of the Mammy Market, desperately hoping that Timi had a good explanation for all this weirdness. I got there, and soon spotted him talking with Dada, a girl who belonged to his platoon. As I moved closer to them, she noticed my approach first and flashed me a weird look which was laden with meaning. Timi turned around then, saw me and smiled; but this smile was not the same smile I had grown accustomed to. That smile was rich and sincere and brightened my moments; this smile was the sort of fake one you plastered on your face when really, you’re inwardly rolling your eyes at the recipient of the smile. It was the sort of smile I had on whenever I was around my irritating bunk-side neighbours.
With a deepening sense of dread, I pulled Timi aside and asked why he hadn’t responded to my message. He said he would send me a reply before the end of the day. As it was a Sunday morning, I left for church. All through the church service, my mind was in turmoil. Had I made a horrible mistake by expressing my true feelings to Timi? But then, what about all the positive and encouraging signals he had been giving me? What about all the amazing chemistry that undoubtedly existed between us? What had happened to suddenly change Timi from a loving guy who held so much promise of happiness towards me, to a total stranger who greeted me with fake smiles? My head reeled as my mind swam. I heard not a single word that was said by the priest in church. I was preoccupied with wondering what Timi’s reply to my message would be.
Eventually, his text came. I saw a notification on my phone and I just knew it was his text. I’d never in my life been so scared of opening a message. I felt like the contents of the message could make or break me for a very long time to come. I steeled myself, and tapped my phone’s screen in order to read the message. And a stinker popped up.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Written by Maxonex