Social media is good. You can rack up countless number of friends, blog endless stories of your fantastic life and be idolized over your washboard abs by tens of thousands of people around the world. But beware; social media is not the real world. There is a world of difference between the two and only the diligent few have managed to transcend this barrier. Why am I rehearsing this story? I lost a ‘supposedly’ close friend to leukemia a while ago. I wasn’t even aware until one and half years later when I woke to a birthday notification on Facebook for him. I am deeply heartbroken because he wasn’t the social media hook up-turned-friend. We were friends before social media, but as the years flew by, it was on social media and not our hearts that we eventually laid our bond. We were content to scroll through each other’s page and leave a comment here and there but never really doing much to reengage on the physical level. Yet, as I scrolled through his page on this particular day, all I saw were tributes from very few friends and family; none from me, and I am here asking myself where I was when all these were happening.

Ayke was my on-and-off muse with whom I bounced off some of my silliest ideas. You know that one person who manages to bust your bubbles every now and then in the canniest of ways. And yes, we explored. Ayke had a sexual energy brimming full with life. Its crest was a wave of creativity unleashed in the most laborious sweat and passions imaginable. We knew we were kindred spirits from the first day we met on Christmas Eve of 2003, when a mutual friend promised and brought him to my house as “my Christmas present” for a boring day. We met for dinner at Tetrazzini restaurant in Ajao Estate, Lagos and he literally popped out of the box with his striking good looks, intelligence, youth and willingness to open himself to ideas. He had just entered medical school in Awka and even though he told me that he wasn’t interested in keeping monogamous relationships, we kept in touch all through all those years to his graduation and return to Lagos to commence his medical career.

His last Facebook post was barely a year after we last met. I remember I was moving into my new home and he came to help me unpack. Later, as we discussed his new work in Festac and how he was saving for an apartment, I showed him the Boy’s Quarters behind the building and offered it to him as his residence while he continues his medical practice. He turned it down because he felt the distance from Lekki to Festac was a hindrance and besides, he didn’t want to impose on me – his own way of saying, “I don’t want you looking over my shoulders.” Anyway, as he departed that day, I asked him to keep in touch. He never did. I believe we spoke once or twice afterwards on phone but he essentially never did keep in touch. I’ll never know how the months passed so quickly that it took me a Facebook notification after more than one and half years to learn of his passing. How can I forgive myself for not showing enough care when it was demanded of me? What sort of friend am I that it takes machines and algorithms for me to know the happenings in the lives of my friends?

I am terribly upset about the whole event because it tells a lot about my friendships, values and relationships. I am sad that I have been found wanting when I should have been in the front row. I am looking to pay my condolences to his family and visit the grave site, but his sister now tells me that that is impossible because Ayke died young and traditional customs does not see him as befitting to be buried in the family compound. So they hurled him off to be buried in a graceless spot somewhere in Obosi, Anambra State, in an unmarked grave. Ayke, dear Ayke, lies for eternity in a desolate spot; to be forgotten by history, unloved and in company of strange spirits he had no affiliations with in life. I mean, this was a great guy; freshly minted from medical school and looking towards life with verve and ambition. Yet, they have told his story in death like he was loveless and unaccomplished. The grave is our common destiny, may we be deserving of the spot we spend eternity.

God grant me the courage to change because I want to be there for my friends. I have to change for the friendships I thought I have that are not really there. I have to change because I wish to live in the hearts and not the loins of my relationships. I have to change because everyone needs to have his story told by those who know the story well.

I promise to be a friend to my friends – people who have interacted with me, visited me and know me. I promise to be a friend to people who have given their best to get to know me while I battled my inner demons. I promise never to take the backseat anymore in our relationships; never to throw money at your problems or wave aside your fears. I promise to visit you, give you a listening ear and when you are down, give you a shoulder to lean on. I promise never to have my heart so calloused that I will be uncaring to your friendship. Life is transient and we are here only for a fleeting time. I want to use this lifetime to laugh with you, play with you and work with you. I want to take a front row seat in your life, if you let me, to share in your joys and sadness. Let no man tell me a story about you that I should have known but did not. For it is because of you that my life is complete.

Written by Kritzmoritz

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  1. Mandy
    December 27, 05:57 Reply

    More than a year after his passing is when you’re finding out he’s dead? Wow. The guilt you must be feeling must be crushing. When life is combined with a reliance on the social media, it can rob relationships of time to do things right.

    Rest on in peace Ayke.

  2. KingBey
    December 27, 06:17 Reply

    The finest guy I’ve met yet, so handsome and yet so humble. He always called me “Oyibo” or “Mon Cherie” Your death made me to realize this life is actually vanity. If a hot, intelligent, humble, young man full of life and with a perfect future could just vanish out of earth, then what is life again? Just so you know, I still look at your Whatsapp profile picture on my phone, still scroll through your Instagram and Facebook page just to console myself. It’s a pity your life ended before it began but the good thing was that you left a positive impact on everyone you met…..I’m yet to see anyone who speaks bad of you. Rest on Nwoke mara mma. My able Doc.Shame on you death. What more can you do? You will never be forgotten. ???

  3. Dubem
    December 27, 06:30 Reply

    I know him. Ayke. Very fine dude. Really good looking and not at all self-possessed because of it. He’s the first guy to ever give me a very very orgasmic rim job; my god, he was good at it.
    I swear, for the longest time after I learned of his death on Facebook, I thought it was a social media prank. It took some calls to his number and to mutual friends (some who didn’t even know) to confirm the tragedy. Truly a loss. 🙁
    RIP, Ayke.

      • ambivalentone
        December 27, 08:13 Reply

        ???Lemme guess, u thot u were the only one he’d done that for?

        • KryxxX
          December 27, 08:56 Reply

          Me keh? Mbakwa oh! Espeakilekwe! I am just speechless seeing that it is a mourning post and one is reminiscing/ talking about rimming! Rim kwa! Whatever shaa……. I am a prude like that. ????????

    • KingBey
      December 27, 06:57 Reply

      You can say that again and again. I did so many firsts with him. *sigh*

      • Delle
        December 27, 10:17 Reply

        Hian. This Ayke had shaa gone round before his death.

        Why do I feel a tinny-winny pang of jealousy?

  4. KryxxX
    December 27, 06:51 Reply

    You never know how cruel death is till someone close to your heart passes on……….a vacuum never to be filled again . So sad…………. ? ?. And how ironic that I am actually dying for what he accomplished B4 he died…. … Life.

    As for Social Media, it is actually not helping matters at all. It gives that fake illusion of being there but yet you might actually not be there. Emojis r just not enough….. Words r just not enough….. Pictures are just not enough.

    If only we could see beyond what goes on behind the camera and keyboard…… If only….. ? ?.

    To all ye on vocal rest and those that never have credit but yet are way richer than me……..hear word. You never know……..

    Bye Friend. Your friends miss you.

    • Francis
      December 27, 10:45 Reply

      ???? is it your vocal rest? biko keep moving. Some of us have our own personal ekwensu to overcome. *checks on vocal cords*

      Sorry for una loss oh. Cancer is such a dreadful way to exit ??

  5. Xavier Thicc
    December 27, 08:09 Reply

    I know iyke for a year in the school hostel.We got admission together in 2006…
    Then I had friends who were his room mates that I go to see.
    demands,after one year of pre med school in the campus,they had to move to Okofia..that was the last I saw him regularly,as I see him when he comes to see my good friend in the hostel…
    ere was a time I was asking my friend his classmates in medical school about him,it was then he told me that iyke is dead.
    I was shocked,called my friend who he was dating then to tell him..he too didn’t know of his death..it is well..We meet to pass no more..

  6. y
    December 27, 08:38 Reply

    What kind of barbaric custom is that? So he was tossed into an “evil” forest and left to rot? I better stop here.

    • Pink Panther
      December 27, 09:01 Reply

      I was astonished when I heard it too. Like seriously, youthful death means you don’t get a meaningful final resting place? Our cultures in this country sha.

      • KryxxX
        December 27, 09:18 Reply

        I don’t know if it’s just the Igbos that do it, but it is sad and annoying! A cousin went same way too. At least find a cemetery and bury him! Not discarding a human being like a piece of used toy. This Buhari change needs to pay culture a visit biko!

        • Delle
          December 27, 10:21 Reply

          It has not finished paying Economy and Infrastructure visits, òburu zie Culture.

        • ambivalentone
          December 27, 13:21 Reply

          Yorubas say a prayer “May parents not know the resting place of their children”. They take it literal really. I for one have seen instances where parents have actually been prevented from knowing where their kids are buried. Evil forest tho…its such an extreme

  7. Queen Blue Fox
    December 27, 08:41 Reply

    His death Still pains me so much.
    Towards the end he started pushing everyone away, but I shouldn’t have let him. I should have stayed and been there with him till the very last. Each time I remember him, my heart bleeds all over again. He was a sweet soul, kind and very sensitive too.
    I cannot still forgive myself for not noticing you We’re pushing me away to lessen the pain of your passing, I should have picked up on the conversations of you not being around anymore. I was so mad at you for building up walls, I should have fought to tear them down and know what was wrong.
    I’m so sorry Ayke, I should have been there.

    • Kritzmoritz
      December 27, 08:52 Reply

      You are very right. He did have a tendency to build walls. I figure if I was available in the country at the time, I would have known and perhaps offered other assistance if possible. In any case, I have made my apologies to his sister and insisting on making arrangements to visit. Maybe that would be another story

      • Simba
        December 27, 09:09 Reply

        Reading 1st Paragraph, I knew it has to be Mr kritsmorris the unconventional man.. For peace, u can call all his friends, host a post mortem dinner, candlelight, songs of praise, anything in his honor. .. Unfortunately I didn’t know him…. But death is the end of all creature, may we all be remembered by the goods we did or have done.. Cheers

      • crunch
        December 27, 19:53 Reply

        Sorry for the loss,I pray he finds rest with his creator

  8. Mr. Fingers
    December 27, 09:05 Reply

    I know how u feel. I lost a friend a few years ago. It still hurts that i wasnt there and dont even know where they buried him. What kind of friend im i? Smh.

    Continue to RIP stallon. I miss u bro.

  9. Irish...
    December 27, 09:32 Reply

    i lost a friend early this year too, i saw him few week before his death, he was sickly skinny, I couldn’t even tell him because he already complained people were telling him that, then i got a call he’s dead! How? Only male son of this single mom and graduating uni next year. i cried and cried, the pain was indescribable. Death is the one thing I’ll never understand why jt happens, it’s really the cruel part of nature. Sorry for your loss. what’s Ayke social media handle?

    • Delle
      December 27, 10:23 Reply

      Ummm, his social media handle on an anonymous blog?
      *cycles off*

  10. Delle
    December 27, 10:15 Reply

    This was a beautiful tribute.
    RIP Ayke.

  11. posh666
    December 27, 12:42 Reply

    Gay’s are fond of writing this kind of epistle always when it’s too late….I noticed this a long time ago as such I’m okay with having even if it’s just one sincere friend than all the fair whether/good time friends,who are only after the fun,parties,gossips and things you can offer them but never to be in touch when you really need them for emotional support…

    Honestly the gay world is filled with phonies and very few people care about each other. At least I’m glad I still have one friend who got my back and I got his.

    Good friends are hard to come by and when you find someone that is always keeping in touch and checking up on you,never take such person for granted! I dumped some sorry ass so called friends this year and I’m happier for it..

    They miss me now that I’m gone and in future I will become more receptive to becoming close to straight guys they even seem more honest and caring as friends .I have few who I have tried to create distance with both they never give up.. .

    Gays are full of pride and ego and no one will pick up the phone to call first.

    • ambivalentone
      December 27, 12:53 Reply

      Sweetheart, I am quite sure u missed out the part where the deceased put up walls to shut ppl out. If you weren’t in such a hurry to post rubbish, you might not have missed it in the comments. Just so you know, there are times when you want to bear ur own burdens without involving even your best friend. Its HUMAN nature not a ‘gay thing’. Bitch, take several seats abeg??

      • posh666
        December 27, 13:05 Reply

        You are very very stupid for the nonsense you just wrote to me..

        If you weren’t in so much hurry to type nonsense and show ur lame attempt at being a Bitch you will read properly and understand that I’m necessarily not blaming this particular writer and just speaking in general of what happens in the gay world and now that you speak of him building a wall,even the writer didn’t care enough to contact him as much,cos if he did he won’t be hearing of his death after like a year….Reasons why the gay world is fucked up!

        Better go and find a cure for whatever is making you so mad this beautiful cold day instead of trying to direct ur frustration upon me..Bitch kole werk! Go choke on a dick Lool

        • ambivalentone
          December 27, 13:15 Reply

          Ahhhh yes!!! Terrible grammar and piss-poor spelling, and I am the one accused of non-comprehension. See that concluding statement? Right before I called you bitch? Read again. If you didnt hate urself so much for being gay, it’d av made more sense to u. I should perhaps change ‘bitch’ to ‘moron’. Suits u even better

          • posh666
            December 27, 13:19 Reply

            Lool someone is really angry oh.. Try harder love.

            • ambivalentone
              December 27, 13:33 Reply

              Yeah. That someone shud be so daft. Makes me want to blame the creator that u exist.

    • Delle
      December 27, 17:27 Reply

      Ermm, Posh dear, biko don’t be confusing sexuality with personality, oh? They are different things.

      Also, pride and ego are one and the same.?

  12. Francis
    December 27, 13:39 Reply

    Hmmmmmm, all I can say is just as it is in relationships, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s all about knowing your friends very well and being comfortable with how they function.

    That someone is all up in your business 24/7 don’t mean they will be there when you TRULY need them. No guarantees at all.

  13. QuietSprite
    December 27, 16:28 Reply

    I always hoped I’d be able to visit his grave, pay my respects. Guess that would never happen. Keep resting my friend, I miss you.

  14. Lopez
    December 27, 17:00 Reply

    You two are throwing jabs at each other on a tribute piece on this very blog that is going viral… continue, u hear. Show d whole world that we were never a family.

    • Jeova Sanctus Unus
      December 28, 07:06 Reply

      Stop! Please stop. We’re gay men not robots. Even twins fight and have differing opinions.

      • Delle
        December 28, 09:36 Reply

        Azin ehn. I just taya for the comment.

  15. coolCraze
    December 30, 18:32 Reply

    Hmmm. Lots to learn. But paranoia won’t even allow me make friends.

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