I was in year two in medical school. ASUU was on strike and I was home, idling away on the social media. I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled on a profile on my Friend’s Suggestion list. The profile picture struck me for no specific reason: it was the picture of a young school boy in his school uniform. Without realizing why I was doing so, I sent a friend request to the profile. It wasn’t long before the school boy accepted my request and we began chatting. He told me his name was Sam (not real name). He asked me my age. I told him and asked him his. His reply startled me. Forty-two years old. How come? Omo school?
I went back to check the profile picture and was surprised to realize that the photo was actually of an adult male clad in a navy blue suit, with a red tie and a red hat. I’d forgotten to enlarge the picture when I first saw it, and so, spotting it as a tiny index it was had presented the illusion of a young secondary school boy in his uniform.
In the following weeks, we progressed in our acquaintanceship. We got to learn a lot about each other, somehow settling on a definition for our relationship in the process. He adopted the role of a god father to me, encouraging me to speak freely of my issues to him and confide my secrets in him. He was very understanding and equally took me into his confidence. I got to learn that he’d been a virgin until he got married at thirty-two. He let me into his world of a man who wasn’t inclined to skirt-chasing, and had been able to remain a virgin till that age because he hadn’t been particularly interested in girls. He’d attributed his lack of avid sexual interest in females to the trauma he suffered as a victim of rape by his aunt when he was six.
We shared a lot, the two of us. Sam very quickly became the very definition of a friend to me.
Occasionally, he’d ask me if I had a girlfriend, and my answer was always of course No. Now, it didn’t matter how close we were, I couldn’t bring myself to tell him about my sexuality. So of course he assumed that the absence of a girlfriend was because I was being a good boy, and he encouraged that character.
And then came the day when my boyfriend at the time broke up with me with a bible verse (one I’d forgotten now). The breakup shattered me; at this time I was in my fourth year in school and he was in his first year. In spite of the disparity of our ages, I’d grown to love him during the course of our relationship. And he had to use a bible verse to end what we had! I was so distraught and feeling so vulnerable, that that night, I finally opened up to Sam about my sexuality, adding to it my breakup and the bible verse that had ended my happiness.
Following my ‘confessions’, he sent me a message, encouraging me to remain positive about who I am, while also asking me to seriously consider repenting from my homosexuality. (You should probably know now that he was an evangelist and a choir master in his church). Of course I didn’t give much thought to his repentance message, but our relationship remained intact, with the additional benefit of me freely talking to him about my past relationships and my life as a young gay man. He listened and had kind words, and always asked me to repent.
Eventually, four years after I made Sam’s acquaintance, we met in person. I visited him, and was stunned by how youthful he looked for forty-six years of age. His wife was home, a nice, nondescript woman who was immediately relegated to the background when he took me to a private parlour in the house so we could have a good talk. We chatted for some time, and then he looked at me with feeling and said, “I love you.”
This wasn’t the first time he’d told me this. In the four years I’d known him, I’d come to know him to be an emotional person who was freely-speaking of his emotions. Tender words like ‘I love you’ and ‘I miss you’ peppered our conversations, and I didn’t think much of them. Our friendship was platonic and there couldn’t be any sexual connotation to the words of endearment, right?
After saying the words to me, he quickly leaned forward and kissed me on the cheek. I was startled by that move. I didn’t know what to say. But that was alright, because he had plenty to say. He wanted me to spend the night in his house, because his wife was going on a vigil. I was bewildered. What was going on here? He was a friend and father to me for heavenssakes! How did we get to this point where he was kissing me and asking me to spend the night because the wife was conveniently going to be away? I declined the invitation. I needed time to process this shift in our relationship.
When I announced my intention to go on home, he walked me some of the way to where I’d get on a transport, informing me that he’d be coming around in a week to my place to return the visit. I accepted.
On the day before the day he was supposed to come see me, I asked if he wanted to meet my family or just wanted some alone time with me. He opted for the latter. He said he was too shy to meet my family.
My family has an estate inside which my father owns five houses; my family and I occupy two of the houses, with my parents staying in one and my siblings and I occupying the other. My siblings, all girls and older, had left the nest, and so I had the house to myself. This was why I’d asked Sam what kind of visitation he wanted. When he opted for privacy, I directed him to my place instead of my parents’.
He came around and we talked about all manner of things for about an hour. Just when I was beginning to relax with the realization that this visit was going to remain cordial, he asked me what I’d say if he said he wanted to suck my tongue. I stiffened. And then I smiled stiffly at him. He must have taken that as consent, because he leaned forward and claimed my lips in a kiss.
There was no holding back after he kissed me, and before long, we were tearing off our clothes and coming together, skin on skin, limbs intertwined. Before he left that day, we made love about three times. It was so intense.
This new level of our intimacy opened an avenue for me to ask the questions I suddenly had. I wanted to know if he’d always been homosexual. He didn’t have a good answer to that. I asked if he’d engaged in any gay sexual acts before me. He said no. I was his first. He’d always wanted to but hadn’t the nerves to pursue his desires. These we talked about before he left that day.
And then, following that day, he became attached to me, stronger than he’d ever been. He wanted us to be in a relationship. He wanted to be my lover and everything else in between. I declined. He didn’t like that and he didn’t relent. He began acting jealous each time he saw guys on my BBM display picture. He’d send me money while I was in school, and visited me in school severally. There was more sex, and with each carnal knowledge he gained of me, he sank deeper and got more attached. Our relationship began to get very heavy and quite demanding. It got to a head when he resigned from his evangelism commitments and choirmaster position in church. When I asked him why he did that, at first he gave me the excuse that he’d gotten too swamped with work to focus on those extracurricular activities. I knew that was bullshit and I pressed him for the truth. He finally admitted that he’d begun to feel dirty anytime he picked up a mic to sing in church or evangelize.
And now, he’s gotten commitment rings for the both of us. I declined the ring, and even though he felt crushed, I could see the strange mix of misery and optimism in his expression – that optimism and determination he has adopted that speaks of a man who wants to have what he desires.
This makes me worry – about his wife and his two children. And these days, I’m nagged by the guilt of what part I’ve played in bringing about this perilous attraction. I know it’s a ridiculous thought, but I can’t help but wonder sometimes if perhaps it was my fault that an ‘innocent’ man had turned so gay.
Written by King Tee