Time Changes Yesterday

Time Changes Yesterday

Six years ago, I was in the university. And Ben was still trying to get an admission. We were classmates in secondary school, but we didn’t have much of a relationship then.

So I was more than a little surprised when he sent me a friend request on Facebook, and after I accepted, he chatted me up in my inbox. There was no prompting from me to make him start coming on to me. Even though I found his flirtation startling, seeing as we’d never had any prior conversation about me being homosexual, I wasn’t entirely surprised; in secondary school, I was very effeminate, and so, I fell neatly into the stereotypical bracket of homosexuality to the uninformed eye.

I’d liked Ben in secondary school, so when he started coming on to me, feeling flattered, I obliged him, and soon, our chats had become very sexual. It wasn’t long before we were talking about hooking up. We decided to book a hotel room whose cost we’d split between us.

I got to the hotel first on that fateful day, and when I called him, he said he was on his way. So I paid for the hotel room after he promised to pay me back his own half. He soon arrived and we were alone in the room. We talked a bit, and then began to make out. Then our clothes began to come off – actually, scratch that. My clothes began to come off, while all he divested from his body was his T-shirt. I was so caught up in the heat of my passion that I didn’t find it odd that while I was now wearing only my briefs, he still had his singlet on, with his jeans pulled down to his knees, to give me access to his dick for a blow job.

As I gave him head, I tried to yank his jeans all the way off, but he restrained my efforts, saying he liked the sense of a quickie having his clothes on gave him during sex. Even though I was just seventeen at the time, I’d been through enough freaky sexual encounters for his reasoning to make sense to me. So I didn’t bother with him having his clothes on.

In fact, I was now ready for him as I slipped off my briefs and assumed a doggy position after handing him a condom.

However, a chill cut through the heat firing up my skin when I felt a cold touch on my back and turned to see Ben pressing a knife on my skin.

“Don’t scream,” he said in a flat, low voice. “Don’t even make any sudden moves. If you do, I’ll either use this knife on you or alert people around that you tried to molest me. And also, I have my people around this hotel who will make it easy for me to set you up.”

I instantly believed him. As I was positioned there, stark naked, and feeling debilitating fear arrest my entire body, I believed that if I resisted this guy in any way, I’d either get stabbed or get set up. My vulnerability was made even more emphatic by the fact that I was completely naked and he had his clothes on.

And for the kind of person I am – the son of a very influential family in Enugu where I lived – I didn’t know which was worse, the scandal of my murder in a hotel room or that of a public exposure as a predatory homo.

So I didn’t say anything or attempt to put up any form of resistance when he began rummaging through my clothes and wallet. I had only 3000 naira in my wallet, and the measly sum seemed to annoy him. He took the money, graciously leaving enough for my transport fare, took my school ID card, ATM card and wristwatch. He didn’t take my phone though, and the reason soon became clear when he told me he’d be keeping in touch as I provide more money, deposit it in my account and let him know so he can withdraw it.

He wanted 50 thousand naira.

I had just 5 thousand naira in my account, an amount he promptly withdrew after he left me devastated in the hotel room. I was panicked by the threat of a scandal he could bring upon me. He had my ID card and our Facebook chats, stuff he promised he wouldn’t hesitate to make public if I didn’t get the 50 grand to him.

In the following 48 hours, I was able to scrounge up 25 grand and put that in my account. After I informed him of the deposit, a quick text message alerted me to his withdrawal of it.

Getting the rest of the money was proving to be harder than I imagined. It was at this point that my pride broke and the shame I felt at being such a victim couldn’t hold me back any longer from confiding in a friend, Kalu, about my situation. Kalu heard me out, and then counseled me to call Ben’s bluff and not send him any more money. The thought of doing that scared me shitless, but there wasn’t any other alternative available to me. I had no place to get the remaining 25 thousand naira.

So I mined some courage from within me and took Kalu’s advice. Ben called to know when I’d be depositing the rest of the money and with the firmest voice I could muster, I told him to go to hell, that I wasn’t going to give him one more dime.

His reaction was absolutely unexpected.

I expected an outburst of diatribe, a slew of angry threats, but no. Ben started begging. He began begging me to please send him some money, any amount, even if it was 5 grand, that he was broke and really needed whatever he can get from me. He sounded so desperate that I felt myself relenting. It was obvious that the power had shifted, and yet I couldn’t utilize mine. I agreed that I was going to give him 5000 naira in person in exchange for my ID card, ATM card and watch, and that after that, I would be finished with him. He agreed without hesitation.

When I had the money, I called him over to someplace neutral and we made the exchange. As I walked away from him, I believed that was going to be the last time I’d hear from, interact with or see Ben again.

And it remained so until a year later.

He called me out of the blue, asking for my forgiveness. He confessed that he was indeed gay and that he liked me, but at the time, he’d been really desperate for some money. His father had just died and he didn’t have any money to take care of the fees he needed to pay after just getting a university admission. He was however in a good place now, he said, and he wanted to pay me back what he took from me. And then he finished by asking me for my account number.

I listened to him speak with increasing anger. Anger that he was back into my life, that he dared to ask me for forgiveness, that he even expected me to consider forgiving him no matter what sob story he was able to come up with. I was so angry that when he paused, apparently waiting for me to supply my account details, I said very coldly, “Don’t ever call me again.” And then I disconnected the call.

But of course, whatever spirit of amendment that was driving him did not allow him to let up. He sent me text message after text message, none of which I bothered to reply. He inboxed me on Facebook, pleading for me to meet him anywhere so we could talk. I told him I had nothing to talk about with him and blocked him. I was not only angry; I was very distrustful of him.

At this point, he decided to let me be.

The following year, my sister had just had surgery, and I went to the hospital to see her. I was done with my visitation and was walking out of the hospital, when somebody called my name. I turned and it was to behold Ben standing some yards away from me. When he saw that it was truly me, a smile broke out across his face and he began walking toward me.

Immediate panic erupted inside me and I had this sudden urge to turn and run. But the feeling was fleeting; I quashed it, deciding to defiantly stick this meeting out, to face him and never let on to him that seeing him now, almost two years since our last physical encounter had me unsettled.

He came up to me and we exchanged some pleasantries. As he talked, I was startled to see the longing in his eyes; it wasn’t even an expression he bothered to hide. For whatever reason, this guy wanted me in a way he hadn’t wanted me in that dreary hotel room.

But his longing only annoyed me the more. I remained distant, and after the “how are yous” were done, I turned and began walking away. I heard him walking away too and turned to watch him depart. He too had turned in that precise moment, and our eyes met. I turned away quickly and kept on walking, this time never looking back.

That meeting, however much I tried to tell myself that I was unaffected by it, caused me to ease up on my animosity a little bit. I unblocked him from Facebook. And as if he was waiting for that to happen, he blew into my inbox. He was desperately sorry, he said. He acknowledged that during our meeting, he’d felt my hate toward him, and that it tore him apart to think that now he truly liked me, I’d hate him so much. He vowed that he would make it right. And then he offered to pay me back my 35 thousand naira again. I declined. He got persistent and asked for my account details. I refused. To be honest, I still didn’t trust him.

Even though my responses were always cool and formal, he kept on chatting me up, being nice and friendly, offering advice and suggestions any time he managed to get something out of me about whatever was going on in my life. His friendliness worried me; I was suspicious of his motives. When, one day, I got an alert of the deposit of 10 grand made into my account from him, driven by paranoia, I instantly messaged him, demanding to know how he got my account number. He demurred, instead replying with how he meant it when he said he’d make it right. I maintained my question, demanding for an answer, but he wouldn’t say. I was so provoked by this that I was on the verge of transferring the money back to him. But then I stopped and reasoned: whether I forgive him or not, whether we become friends or stay apart, this was my money. This was money he extorted from me. He wasn’t doing me any favour by giving it back, and keeping it did not mean I owed him anything.

Time passed and Ben and I carried on with our uneasy friendship. I finished law school in 2016, and while I was waiting for my results and then call to bar, he stayed supportive and friendly. Then he began asking for us to meet. By this time, he had worn my defenses down so much, I found myself agreeing the first time he asked. He wanted us to meet at his place; he’d prepare lunch, he said. It all sounded nice and I actually anticipated the visit, until the day arrived. And a flash of panic had me cancelling at the last minute. He graciously accepted my decision and we rescheduled. We rescheduled that meet four times, and every time I agreed only to change my mind on the day we were supposed to meet. I just couldn’t get over the memory of what happened the last time I met him in an intimate situation.

After my fifth cancellation, Ben stopped asking. He never exhibited any anger with any of my cancellations; instead he told me he understood and that he feels like he deserved what he was getting from me. So he stopped wanting to get us tighter and focused on being my friend from a distance.

Then I got posted to Lagos for my NYSC and he still kept in touch. After some months, he buzzed me to tell me he was in Lagos for a business thing, and that he’d really love to see me.

The first thought I had was: Great. Now he has followed me to Lagos. The second thought was of how tired I was with hating him and placing him far away from me. Since he seemed determined to be on my case, we might as well meet now on my territory. There was something about being here in Lagos, away from Enugu, that made it okay for me to finally want to see him.

I asked him over to my place. As he was on his way, I made sure to sterilize my environment, putting out of sight any sharp objects that could easily be snatched and turned into a weapon. Then I kept a club hidden under my bed, easily obtainable and used to strike, should my visitors get any ideas.

I was paranoid over his visit, and yet I was eager to see him.

He soon arrived, and we settled in my room. We talked about life in general and the business he was pursuing. I didn’t bring up what happened in that hotel room six years ago and he didn’t offer up any more apologies for it.

I could sense he was nervous. There was also that longing in his eyes. Observing these weaknesses in him – this guy who I’d been terrified of for so long – caused my guardedness to melt. I knew right then that I was done hating him, that I’d forgiven him. I simply didn’t have the heart to put him through any more of my antagonism.

I also remembered we had unfinished business from six years ago.

So I drew him close to me and I kissed him. He kissed me back with an eagerness that betrayed how much he wanted this. And this time, when the clothes came off, it was both of ours, and when we came together, it was skin against naked skin.

After he left my house that evening, a text message buzzed through into my phone. It was from him. And it read: Can you be the one for me?

I stared at those words for the longest moment, before typing back my answer.

No.

Written by Nefertiti

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27 Comments

  1. CHUCK
    January 10, 05:40 Reply

    Na wa. Being at the top of the food chain (being a top, being the “patriarch” ) pays sha. Your abuser is coming back to “date” you and you didn’t punish him.

    • Shuga chocolata
      January 10, 06:05 Reply

      So being a ‘Top’ automatically enrolls one to Top the food chain?

      When did I miss this memo ? pensive ?.

    • Johnny
      January 10, 10:20 Reply

      And you will say you have brain as part of your body o. ?

  2. Higwe
    January 10, 06:32 Reply

    Please if you don’t want Ben, can you give him to me? ?

    • KingBey
      January 10, 09:10 Reply

      LMAO! You’re not smiling at all.

    • KingBey
      January 10, 09:10 Reply

      LMAO! You’re not smiling at all

  3. Kenny
    January 10, 07:00 Reply

    I just don’t see how I can ever let someone who kitoed me back into my life especially to the point of having sex no matter how sorry he is.

    • Mandy
      January 10, 07:25 Reply

      But it is easy to feel sorry for this particular guy. I mean, reading this alone melted my heart, let alone if I were the one experiencing it.

    • Kenny
      January 10, 07:53 Reply

      Yinmu. His predicament was not enough reason to inflict suffering on someone else. We’re more forgiving than one another sha. Someone that I will plot pay back for ???

  4. Mandy
    January 10, 07:28 Reply

    This is Stockholm syndrome On a whole other level.

  5. Canis VY Majoris
    January 10, 10:20 Reply

    Im guessing the sex wasn’t that great either.

    No matter how long this trauma would linger between you 2.

    Your response was the most appropriate.

    • trystham
      January 10, 18:58 Reply

      Appropraitely brutal. All these single word ‘choskys’

  6. Tobby
    January 10, 11:19 Reply

    I don’t even know how I feel about this

  7. Real
    January 10, 11:26 Reply

    LMAO I love this site

  8. Malik
    January 10, 12:40 Reply

    Lol. I foresee more hookups. Your guard just started breaking. It will soon turn to powder. Just be careful sha.

  9. Black Dynasty
    January 10, 16:06 Reply

    I won’t judge, but in your shoes… i will get my money back and we are done. Someone able to do that whilst desperate is capable of murder if need be.

  10. Milez
    January 10, 21:04 Reply

    So I can relate totally with this story… I was involved with someone who did almost same to me, I hate his entire existence, if I see anybody with him I hate that person automatically. You all don’t even know how it feels like, you’ll think anyone that comes to toast was sent by him to complete his kito plans. Hei God!

  11. Gad
    January 11, 03:40 Reply

    That “no” is the most sensible thing in this story.

  12. blueberry
    January 11, 06:03 Reply

    awwwwn weirdically romantic
    but i cant imagine someone blackmailin me no matter what

  13. Dickson Clement
    January 12, 17:12 Reply

    Time changes yesterday is a novel by Nyeng koin, I read that book when I was 10.

    Now to this story, I think people change, and they deserve a chance to prove themselves. Personally someone who had hurt you in the past can turn out to be your strongest ally!
    They may hurt you again, that is equally possible – a leopard can never change his stripes!!

  14. mike
    January 15, 22:25 Reply

    common sense yhu no get, so after what he did, yhur demonic possession still no let yhu rest, yhu still shameless take him to bed.

    if yhu were kitoed nao,we won’t hear word.

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