A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 4)

A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 4)

RICHARD

2016

This was the year I discovered Grindr. Before then, how I got to meet guys was to pick from those who made their intentions known in my DM on Facebook, and there weren’t many options. With Grindr, I figured my options would be varied. And everyone else seemed to already be on it. So, I was late to the party and was desperate to catch up on lost time.

He was amongst the very first guys to chat me up that year as I prepared, albeit reluctantly, to leave Lagos for school after I’d rounded off my Industrial Training program. He was very direct about what he wanted – sex – and while that turned me on, there was nothing I could do about it, given how naïve and socially repressed I was then. I mean, I hardly knew my way around. I told him this and he understood. There were others on the app who would insult me for wasting their time or go on to annihilate my profile the minute they found out I was an Omo Get Inside.

Not Richard. He was patient and he told me this. We would go on to talk on phone even after I had left for school. Then school work load got in the way and life in general took its toll on both of us, such that the communication dwindled and dwindled until it was finally nonexistent.

I would not hear from him for a little over a year.

 

2018

One day, while I was doing the dishes I’d used for lunch, I got a call and I saw that it was a contact that was not saved in my phone. It took a series of explanations from the caller to get me to remember who he was, and when I did, I was very surprised and quite pleased. I told him I had changed phones in the time that we were incommunicado and that was the reason I lost his contact, and he seemed to understand.

He called more often after that day in an attempt to rekindle what we once had, or thought we had, but I could just not tune into that frequency, no matter how hard I tried. I was still in the no-relationship phase and was enjoying myself. I did not want to break another man’s heart and the fact that I was now able to have sex without having any connection with the person emotionally did not help matters.

To be candid, Richard never stated in plain terms that he wanted to be in a relationship with me, but he kept making statements like “When we start living together…” and “I am not searching again since I reconnected with you…”

I did not need any more clarifications as to what he had in mind.

I remember one time telling him that I was only interested in having sex with him, which although partly true, was said to know how he’d react, and he acted so hurt, I found myself apologizing. That year, I had planned to return to Lagos for Christmas and so, we made plans to meet when I come around. Actually, he made me promise this as a placatory gesture while I was apologizing for what I said.

 

Meeting Day

Festival Mall had never looked more jampacked and I remember thinking to myself that perhaps that was how it derived its name. I got to the mall before Richard because he said he had to go drop some stuff off at his office first. When he came, he was just as his pictures depicted. In his casual wear of polo and jeans, his bald look shone through. I liked that he was a couple of inches taller than me, and he had thin lips that gave the faux impression of him perpetually wearing a smile.

He ordered food for the both of us, and as we ate, we had an easy conversation. He was not much of a talker in real life as he was over the phone, which struck me as odd but then, I figured he was shy.

Afterward, he said he wanted to get grocery. We went in to ShopRite and he proceeded on to the sections that mattered to him. I am not someone who goes out with you, expecting you to buy something for me. If you call me out of my house and it’s a bottle of water you can afford, I am okay with it. If I want more and am with my debit card, I get what I want. As a matter of fact, I do not know how to shop to save my life, and as a result, most of what I buy, I get online. So, it was awkward when he told me, very causally, to pick what I wanted. I did not know what to pick, did not think I needed anything, so, just so I do not come off rude, I picked a McVities Digestive Biscuit and a bottle of yoghurt and said my thanks.

But Richard was not content with that and disregarding my protests and objections, went on to add some other nice stuff. Although unnecessary, I thought it was pretty generous of him. I guess it was in that moment I decided that I could be serious with him. It’s the little things, right?

But that was not to be.

We went our separate ways with promises to keep in touch and do this some other time, but he never called to check if I got home safely. That was such a huge minus in the books for me. I could not understand it. The following day when I did not hear a thing from him, I was slightly alarmed. Maybe something happened to him. An accident? A robbery? I was no longer miffed. I was scared. And I called him.

The phone rang, but he did not pick. When I called for the second time and he did not pick, I got confused. Did something happen to him yesterday or was he deliberately ignoring my calls? Truthfully, I could not reconcile how it could be the latter because we had departed on such a good, if not promising, note.

Later in the day, I updated something on WhatsApp and saw that he was amongst those who viewed it. I was flabbergasted but swore not to act on my hurt. This went on for a while – no communications, but I’d always notice him interacting with my online activities – until I deleted him from my every social media platform. It’s the way I heal, the most effective for me.

I did not have time to ponder on what could have gone wrong in what I would describe as a wonderful date, because I would soon get to Abuja to meet the worst of them all: a man who you might have read about when I wrote about him in THE BATTLE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON.

Written by Delle

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4 Comments

  1. Marvey
    December 16, 10:39 Reply

    Yeah…I get that feeling, it can be Soo nauseating , when a guy gives you the first green light and attention just when u want to start reciprocating boom they vanish and start ghosting you. Wrst of it all is d nerve of them to still keep tabs with ur social media activities. Like wtf🤦🤦 if u’re gone , be gone for real , let’s know how many good guys are left 😏

  2. Mitch
    December 16, 11:13 Reply

    I told you this one.

    You didn’t just jump. No.
    You somersaulted, backflipped, pole-vaulted and flew your way into thinking something existed there. It was just words. Flimsy words. Nothing extra.

    And it was annoying how put down you were by this. I almost wanted to shake you till your teeth rattled in your head.

    Kai!

    • Delle
      December 16, 15:35 Reply

      🙄🙄🙄

      We’re emoshona beings. Something you cannot relate with🚶🚶🚶

  3. flame
    December 20, 00:13 Reply

    Please a friend is currently being kitoed in abj for a ransome. Please any form of help will be appreciated. I can be reached on juniorasante5@gmail.com

    Please!! This has been one of my worst nights for a very long time following this news.

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