I still can't believe we met on Grindr because I’d always believed that Grindr is filled with really annoying people with little or no brains. I am not saying there are no good people on the app; it's just very rare to find them.
Dean was the rarity that I found.
I was still sour from my last breakup and I was trying to get the perfect rebound sex. So I downloaded Grindr that day, hoping to find a good fuck with a total stranger. But all the interactions I was having that day just kept reminding me why I always delete the app whenever I get on it. I was contemplating doing it again when he messaged me.
He didn't have a profile pic or a lot of things to say on his profile. It wasn’t my style to respond to people without so much as a bio, but he got to me with the way he started the chat. There was none of the generic “Hey, where you at?” or “What's your role and how old are you?” It was different. He was different, and before I knew it, we were having a conversation. I told him I was on Grindr for a very temporary period and he said the same applied to him. He said he was bored and simply wanted to see if he could find any interesting person to laugh with and make small talks with. It didn’t take much after this before we moved the conversation to WhatsApp,
Dean wasn’t into sharing his pics online; he said he preferred getting to know people face-to-face and making video calls as opposed to sharing pics. He was that private. Normally, I wouldn’t stand for this, but in his case, I wasn’t put off by his conditions. I don’t know what had me attracted to him, considering I hadn’t even seen him; perhaps it was the air of mystery around his persona or the fact that he had a great sense of humour. I had just come out of an unexpected breakup and I needed to laugh. We chatted a lot, sharing bits of information about each other. He told me he had only been with one guy before and that he had never had sex with a guy and that he wasn't too keen on doing it anytime soon. I suppose that was another reason that made me stick around; it felt nice and relaxing to be chatting with someone who just really liked me for me and not because he wanted sex.
The first time we tried video calling, the network was terrible and so we ended up talking on the phone. He wasn’t in town at the time. He’d gone to Lagos to be with his family for the holiday, and so we couldn't even meet up. He promised that he’d hit me up once he was back in town.
When he returned, we picked a Saturday to meet, but when the day came, his number wasn't connecting and I remember thinking to myself: Doesn't he want to see me?
A few minutes after it was too late to meet, he called and apologized; he said he’d been engaged with unavoidable circumstances. We rescheduled to the following day, Sunday, and on that day, he gave me directions of where we should meet. When I got there and called to notify him of my arrival, he said he was on his way.
“I am not very fine o,” he said on the phone, “so don't be expecting one Mister Nigeria o.”
I laughed at that and said okay.
A few minutes later, a car pulled up on the other side of the road from where I was waiting, and the driver leaned forward over the window and waved at me. When I didn’t move, the driver picked up his phone and seconds later, my phone rang.
“Hey, how you doing?” Dean said. “Cross over. That’s me in the car.”
I was surprised by his appearance as I slid into the car next to him. For someone who’d admitted to not being fine, he was really good looking, with nice teeth and lovely eyes.
He pulled away from the side of the road and drove us to an ice cream shop, where we conversed a bit over ice cream, before getting back into his car and he drove to his place. There, we talked some more and then made out. Dean was really cool, funny, fun and he had a good body, which he admitted to keeping in shape by occasionally going to the gym. Our date that day didn’t end with us having sex, but it was a really nice date.
We got closer over the next few days, talking more, always chatting. I showed him my last post on Kito Diaries, and after reading it, he asked me when I’d get bored with him and leave him; he wanted to know so he would work on not falling for me. I laughed at that and responded, “Don't worry, you are much too fun for me to ever get bored with. Who knows, maybe what happened with those other guys will not happen with you.”
After that conversation, later in the day, he buzzed me to tell me he wanted to discuss something with me, and that he wanted us to be sitting across from each other during the discussion because he wanted to observe my reaction when he tells me what it is. I found this unnerving, especially when he went on to say that he wished we’d met earlier. I asked him if all was well and he said yes. I agreed for us to see during the coming weekend. But I fell ill during the weekend and our meeting couldn’t happen. During this time, he teased me, asking if I was already bored with him. Again I reassured him that he was so far the last man I’d ever get bored with.
We were already talking, so he carried on, saying he wished he’d met me about two years ago. There it was again, this puzzling comment. So I asked, “What’s wrong with the time that we met? If you’re concerned about the fact that I’ll soon be going for service and that that will change things, it won’t. I can always come back home to see you all the time.”
He laughed and said, “Will you come and see me if I travel out of the country?”
I felt an avalanche of ice descend on me upon hearing these words. For a moment, I couldn’t say anything, and when I did manage to find speech, my words were a question marinated with dread: “Are you traveling out of the country?”
“Typical Nigerian,” he said teasingly, “answering a question with a question.”
So I replied, “Very well, if you travel out of the country and ask me over to see you, of course I’ll come.”
He laughed again and said, “Let’s get married overseas, you and me.”
I found myself feeling a mix of emotions: dread, bewilderment and cautious elation. The randomness of this conversation was making my head spin and my heart race just a little bit faster. I have gotten a few marriage proposals in my lifetime, serious ones and playful ones, all of which I declined without thinking too much on them. But after hearing Dean’s words, for the first time, I found myself considering it. I thought about life married to him and it pleased me so.
However, I said to him, “Are you proposing, Dean?” Injecting some humour into my voice just in case he was joking, I said, “And if you are proposing, where’s the ring? Where are the flowers and ice cream to make this moment really special?”
He chuckled. “You are not answering well na. Plus you don’t need a ring to say yes to a marriage proposal.”
“Well, when you propose well, I will answer well,” I riposted.
We laughed at that. And then he said, “I wish I had met you earlier. Then we would have had enough time.”
There they were again! My elation evaporated with those words. Why did he keep saying this? Unwilling to give in to my dread of the unknown portended by his words, I said with forced levity, “Why do you keep saying that? Are you running off to somewhere, abi are you getting married?”
“Yes,” came his simple response.
My heart stopped. There was no need to ask: I knew which of my questions that “Yes” was an answer to, and I waited for him to say something, make a rebuttal, crack a joke about how he didn’t mean what he’d just said.
Instead, he continued in a tone that had gotten grave: “This was what I wanted to talk to you about in person. I’ve grown to like you very much and I didn’t want you to think I was lying to you or trying to hide this from you.”
I didn’t know what to say. I felt robbed of words to articulate my feelings, primarily because I wasn’t even sure what I was feeling. I knew I was supposed to be sad or angry or feel any of the thousand emotions people are supposed to feel upon finding out news like this. But I wasn’t feeling them.
Instead I found myself asking, “When is the wedding?”
“It's very close,” he said. “It's in November.”
The blows to my heart kept on coming.
November! He was getting married next month. I couldn’t believe the happiness I’d considered myself so lucky to have found was getting snatched so abruptly.
Now I am wondering about what would happen to us after November. I keep telling myself: Don't think on it… Enjoy the time you both have now… Make good use of it, have fun, laugh, make out.
And then what?
What if after November comes, I find myself even more attached to him than I already am, would I be okay with being one of those guys who sneak around with married men? I don’t know. All I know is the now.
And the now means I am still seeing Dean and we never talk about November. I keep praying for October to never come to an end, but I know it's a stupid thing to wish for.
October will end. And November will come. And I’m nowhere near ready for it.
Written by XOXO