A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 5)

A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 5)

OBINNA

I met Obinna on Grindr. I was on the Island that day, at a test venue for a job, nervous as hell and needing a distraction while I waited for them to begin the process. So I put my data on and opened the masked app.

His message was the first that came through.

It was a simple “Hello dear”, but that was what I needed at the time. I quickly responded and so the chat went on. It was so engaging that I showed no interest in the other profiles seeking my attention until the test was about to commence. I told him this and after he had wished me luck, I logged off. I remember thinking to myself how it was sad that we may never really rekindle the chemistry even if I go back on there after I was done. It did not help that I would still have to go home, and the fact that my base was on the Mainland while his was on the Island made things seem bleaker.

I pushed these thoughts to the back of my mind and went on to write my test.

Perhaps, he was waiting for me because the moment I logged back in after I was done with the test, a part of me wishing he was online, his message came through.

“How was it?”

I smiled and typed back: “Was okay sha. A bit daunting but good overall.”

Then he asked for my number. He seemed cool, earnest in his conversations, and mature with words. So I gave it to him and in less than a minute, he called. If I had any lingering doubts about him, the moment I heard his voice and we began to talk, those doubts were quelled. We talked about any- and everything, but what touched me most was how interested he was in my job-seeking. I knew then that he was a good person.

He was also conservative, the type that rarely has sex except when in a relationship. A demisexual, I believe they’re called. In the pictures he sent to me, he appeared nerdy with those large, square-shaped glasses that framed his face. He had a face that calmed you and a voice so tranquil, he made you not want to offend him.

I liked that with him I could be serious without feeling on edge. Obinna was also very vocal about his intentions to be in a relationship. From his bio on Grindr, I should have known – but over the years, I had seen a lot of people design their Grindr profiles to seem like they’re interested in something more than sex, and it’d always turned out to be more for the aesthetics than any real intent. So, when he told me on one of those evenings when he called that he was in it for the long-run, a part of me recoiled in shock and then, the fear took over. I was not sure I wanted to be in a relationship and I told him this. He expressed his understanding and told me he would give me all the time I needed. He was an intense man and I did not know if intense was what I needed at the time.

The last two years had not been particularly favorable to me when it came to relationships or men in general, so my wariness over that situation was reflexive.

But I enjoyed our talks and his gentility. I liked that he was old school and comfortable in his skin. I liked the way he laughed and how he was so quick to compliment me. I liked that he understood me even in such a short time. He would tell me that he needed my sharpness in his life because he was a blunt knife. I did not fail to see the intimacy in those words and I thought it was cute. I especially loved how he never seemed to stay angry.

Being a very opinionated person, it is quite easy for me to get into a scuffle with anybody and I do get into a lot of that, especially online where words are exchanged without the accompaniment of tone, facial expression and body language. Many a time, the things I say are not meant to scald, and Obinna seemed to get that. Even when I angered him, he did not stay mad. And the few times he got on my nerves, he knew how to pacify me without being patronizing.

He understood me and that, to me, earned him the highest point in my books.

Yet, I was not emotionally ready. His patience, however, was laudable, and on the third week since our first chat, when he asked me out, I acquiesced. We met at a restaurant and everything I thought of him was true and more.

He was so doting that he held my hand as we crossed the road. Normally, I would not allow that but because I knew that his was not done from a place of chivalry, I let him. The meal was not fantastic but my time with him was.

Sometimes he would tell me of someone who was looking at us and go on to say that he knows the person wishes to be him at the moment because he was having lunch with one of the most beautiful men on earth. Although he said it in a simple, almost off-handed manner, I could tell from his eyes that he meant it. He made me blush very easily that it became a little disconcerting.

It was funny how he had that effect on me because he was not the most handsome guy I had been with, but his attitude, character and cheerfulness more than made up for that. I enjoyed him so much that when he asked that we start dating officially, right there in the restaurant, holding my gaze so that I couldn’t deflect because he wanted an answer, I nodded my acceptance.

And just like that, I was in a relationship. But still, something was off. I did not know what. It was as though my head was the only thing that knew I was no longer single, but my heart was lagging. I told myself to give it time. Love doesn’t always happen instantly; sometimes it needs to be groomed and nurtured. I told myself this and believed it.

But the following week, the calls dwindled. The chats were not as frequent as they once were and I began to panic. I did not want this, did not need it. I called him and expressed how I felt, and in that calm tone of his, he told me I was thinking too much of nothing. He said that work was really tasking. I did not believe him, refused to understand it. How was work all of a sudden a barrier when you were working at the time you came after me? I asked him one evening over the phone, and his response was that it happens.

For the first time, his unwavering calmness annoyed me. I felt like he had finally gotten me agree to be in a relationship with him and was no longer putting in the effort.

I felt used.

My emotions got the better of me and I snapped. In a haze of stupidity, I called him two days after and called off our one-week relationship. I could tell he was stunned because for a long time, I did not hear anything but his steady breathing on the other end of the line. But I resented the way I was feeling and I was angry with him for not understanding and making me feel like I was being overly dramatic.

A lot was going on in my head, and when I disconnected the call, I cried. It is so easy for me to cry and sometimes, it annoys me. I knew I was not supposed to be feeling like the victim, but I just did not know how else to feel or what to do. Obinna was pretty mature about it and he let me go.

I know I hurt him. I know I was not patient with him (he told me this a month ago after we reconnected and I felt really bad, but he is happy with someone else now and that is what matters), but I guess I was never ready.

Obinna, if you read this, know it that I am truly sorry, from the bottom of my heart.

But my fuck up did not end here.

Written by Delle

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10 Comments

  1. Mitch
    January 08, 08:48 Reply

    To speak or not to speak? 🤔🤔
    You kuku know all the things I’m going to say to you, because we’ve had this conversation several times in the past.

    • Delle
      January 11, 08:02 Reply

      PP, please I’d like for Mitch to be blocked from commenting on my posts. This torment is becoming much abeg 😒😒😒

  2. David
    January 08, 10:12 Reply

    So sorry about that, I know the feeling when you lose
    someone that could have been amazing due to personal issues, it happens so is life, dwell on the amazing times you guys had and use it as a lesson to learn from.

  3. ken
    January 08, 12:43 Reply

    Once u tell me u are in love or relationship bla bla
    I automatically start counting down to the end of the “transaction”
    Less than 1% of gay “relationships” in naija survive the first 6 months

    • Delle
      January 11, 08:04 Reply

      It’s sad, really. We need healing sessions for the gays.

  4. Mandy
    January 08, 19:24 Reply

    Men, I hope you’ve managed to overcome this insecurity. I wonder what scarred you to this extent. Life is shitty, especially when it involves getting involved romantically with people. There are going to be people who’ll want to take advantage and those who’ll be genuine. There’ll also be those who are genuine but are besieged by circumstances that’ll make them regrettably break your heart.
    The way to survive is not to turn the hurts into baggage that will influence every interaction you have with possible love interests, because that’ll ruin you and any good thing you hope to have with good men.

  5. nah
    January 12, 12:19 Reply

    funny how fickle we seem to see the things that matter so much to us.

  6. Tristan
    January 18, 16:14 Reply

    All of this story registered quite well and I can very well understand. But why I always ends this way is what I cannot fathom. You’d be hesitant to fall in love — only to the coaxed by the other person and end up being suspended in the air. Makes you start questioning your sanity. I don’t even wanna talk bout my story cos it’s too much s burden to bear let alone talk bout.

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