AS I LIVE: 2 (Honesty, Highly Overrated)

AS I LIVE: 2 (Honesty, Highly Overrated)

It is clear now, like looking through a glass. I regret telling my family about my status. I wish I had kept my stupid, brave mouth shut.

On this note, I apologize to all those who reached out to me, particularly the ones I advised to be honest about their statuses. Honesty is something the world is not ready for yet, believe me. I know, because I have not only seen firsthand, but I have also paid the price twice. And the funny thing is nobody asks you to be honest; they just expect you to be so by default, like you owe it to them.

Like most HIV positive people out there, I carry a burden. We all do, though some of us turn our backs on it, shut our emotions off, or embark on a personal vendetta to pay the world back in retroviral coins. There are still some with their souls intact, and these are the ones who carry this burden. And that burden materializes whenever issues concerning SEX, COMPANIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP (…the list goes on) comes up. However we want to twist the truth, it remains the same, and it boils down to the fact that we worry about being loved regardless of our status. Some of us are pretty good at shying away when it comes to this, but I’ve got popcorn; let me see how long you can deceive yourself for.

Reconciling these burdens with the need for honesty is quite a task, which I have learned is as relative as the word “relative”, because different people have found different ways to go around this. I have optioned some of these ways, tried them; they never worked for me.

I have given up on love, as I myself am not sure if I can love me if I were someone else. I have settled for a fuck buddy, you know, that kind of relationship where you guys message yourselves like:

‘Hey, are you home? I’m kinda horny.

Yea, I’m home. You can come over.

Have you got lube or should I bring mine?

I have lube, but get CDs.

Ok.’

That is exactly the kind of fuck buddy I need. No strings attached.

I have renovated my manjam profile. I indicated my positive status on my profile and stated that I am looking out to meet someone of the same status. If someone chats me up, I make sure they read my profile before we continue the conversation.

And then comes the Wednesday, I think, when I develop the urge to do the dirty. I go on manjam to get lucky. I stumble upon a profile which states that the owner is also positive. Lucky me. The person isn’t online, so I leave some introductory messages. Oh boy! I go on to spend a lot of data, checking every two minutes to see if I have a reply from this dude. I am actually trying to catch him online, which I eventually do. He says his name is Baba. We talk for a while and exchange pins.

I am finally going to get some! The thought alone has me in a mood, that mood we are all familiar with.

The conversation goes on smoothly when we carried it over to Blackberry Messenger. I am just waiting for the “Can we see?” part. I actually hate those three words when they are put together like that, and it’s a conversation shredder for me. But right at this time, it is all I am waiting to hear. I wait for him to ask for a pic of me. And he does. He asks for my photo, and I demand for his first. He complies, and I follow suit.

The next message I get sends chills down my spine.

Baba: So, Bobby, you have HIV and you’ve been sleeping with negative people.

Me: ???

Baba: Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this. You of all people.

Me: Is this a joke?

And Baba takes me off his contact list immediately. Adrenaline begins to pump into my system. I feel the rush as my vision becomes blurred all of a sudden. I look at the picture he sent me. The face in it isn’t one I am familiar with. Then it dawns on me that Baba had sent me a fake picture.

For the next five minutes, I am as blank as a new Microsoft word document.

I begin to wonder if there is anyone I have slept with that I didn’t know about, maybe I was drugged when it happened. Whoever this person – this Baba – is, he sounded so sure of my indiscretions, so much so that I begin to doubt myself. I recall Abaz and Nick – the only two guys I have been with since after the discovery of my status. Nothing links them to this Baba, I want to believe. They have absolutely nothing in common. I think about the details Baba told me about himself during our chat, and none of my friends seem to fit the profile.

I take calming breaths and decide to keep this development to myself.

Two days pass, and I still cannot settle my mind on who Baba really is. Worry and an inexplicable guilt weigh down on my soul. I begin to lose my appetite, which leads to a loss of weight. My mother notices my loss of weight and begins to make remarks that show she fears that AIDS may be playing catch-up with me.

Then it comes to me. The piece of the puzzle that has been eluding me finally gets illuminated in my mind. I realize that I have an idea who Baba is. However, I need to confirm. The person I suspect is Mr. Obalenle. Mr. Obanlenle is a Facebook contact, a married man, whom I have been playing hot and cold with for the greater part of the year. He isn’t a local but he visits often. I just need to know if he is in town. So, I chat him up on Facebook, and he happens to be around. He invites me to his hotel room and I accept. After a while, I ask him point-blank why he did what he did. After a few hours of acting like he doesn’t know what I am talking about, he finally gives in.

Me: You can pretend all you want. If I am the kind of person you think I am, I would have harmed you long ago.

Obalenle: I have warned you, stop sharing it. Stop meeting people, or else I will publish your story on blogs. I have our chats saved as evidence.

Me: Too late. I have been with someone. Yes. And I regretted it. It really is none of your business, but I have my story published on a blog already. I can give you a link if you want. Let your so-called friend who you claim I slept with come and point me out himself. You really need to grow up. I can’t believe I’m talking to a father of two. You’re quite childish.

Obalenle: So what if the condom tore?

Me: Like I said, I owe you no explanation.

Obalenle: What scenario led to your discovery? Sorry for the way I acted earlier.

Me: You looking for more info for your blog threat?

Obalenle: I’m not that wicked. I guess you were careless, that’s why you got it. And you don’t know who gave it to you?

Me: I will just ignore you said that. As you keep doing what you’re doing, what makes you think other people would continue to be honest about this? Because of your actions, I’m going to remove my status from my profile. If you keep ridiculing what’s left of honesty, what then is keeping negative people safe? Do you know how many lives you have endangered then? Please stop this act. You are causing more harm. You don’t know how far the backlash of your actions would go.

Obalenle: I’m doing it to protect my friends and family. At least they know who’s safe and who’s not.

Me: Keep at it then.

I stop the chatversation with Obalenle because I am beginning to get angry. I feel like I am trying to convince a five-year-old to eat vegetables.

A few days pass, and I have some peace. Then Obalenle messages me.

Obalenle: I warned you not to spread it but you didn’t listen. You still chat guys up and hook up. I have written a story and it will be published by 3pm today.

Me: OK. Listen. I see you are sick. First of all, let me remind you, you aren’t the only person who has contacts with a blog owner. The only thing you will succeed in doing is outing you and I as gay. I have your pictures, I know where you work, I don’t know your house in Lagos, but I know your area. All I need do is start a little rumour around there and let it swim its way to your wife. I have just as much dirt on you. So you see that your threat thing? I don’t have much to lose, which is more than I can say for you. NOW PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN.

Then I proceed to block Mr. Obalenle. I haven’t heard from him since then. He mentioned earlier the name of the blog he intended to publish his exposé on. I have been keeping tabs on it. No breaking news. I’m still waiting for him to make his move.

Written by Bobby

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23 Comments

  1. ken
    October 23, 06:08 Reply

    How profoundly annoying. The way we react to hiv positive people in Nigeria is just down right ridiculous. Logic always gives way to irrational fear of catching the virus. Despite d fact that we know the facts about HIV.

    I want to encourage bobby not to give up on honesty just because of one lousy individual. There still exists people who are not as stupid as mr obalenle: claiming self righteousness when he is married and screwing men behind his wife’s back.

  2. Francis
    October 23, 06:38 Reply

    Na wa oh. Bobby chop knuckle biko. Na so one ewu ex threaten to out me. By the time I issue my own threat, the goat back down one time as he had a lot more to lose than I did.

    I for talk say this guy head go correct soon and he will realize the error of his ways but nah, he sounds too retarded for such.

    Maybe you should stop revealing your status to random fucks while doing your possible best to keep them safe. It’s not like those having random sex know the status of their shags.

  3. Dennis Macaulay
    October 23, 08:06 Reply

    There is no need for this paranoia. Like I will always say, if you are sexually active in this Nigeria, you have had sex with poz guys. You used a condom out of routine and it may (or may not) have protected you. Majority of us (even on this blog) don’t know our status anyway so what’s the noise about.

    That man is a prick!

  4. Gnat
    October 23, 09:03 Reply

    I ‘ll rather date a HIV + person.. who is on drugs, VL<20.. and we don't cheat each other… than to have random sex with unknown statuses.. meanwhile who honestly haven't had unprotected sex..

  5. sinnex
    October 23, 10:18 Reply

    Some guys are just crazy sha.

  6. Max
    October 23, 11:04 Reply

    “you know, that kind of relationship where you guys message yourselves like:

    ‘Hey, are you home? I’m kinda horny.

    Yea, I’m home. You can come over.

    Have you got lube or should I bring mine?

    I have lube, but get CDs.

    Ok.’”

    No, I don’t, I don’t know.

  7. PETROVICH
    October 23, 11:22 Reply

    Let it be a reminder that age and marital status doesn’t necessarily mean someone has brains….
    He could be a married, father of two retard…or a single hot retard….
    Keep your status to yourself for the main time, while ensuring maximum safety whenever you do IT.
    As for the ‘hey i’m horny’ kind of relationship, it’s good because both parties know what they mean to each other.

  8. Marius
    October 23, 12:06 Reply

    With HIV, honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy especially in Nigeria. It’s best to just become undetectable as any risk of transmission is significantly reduced (probably 0).

  9. bobby
    October 23, 12:43 Reply

    i feel he has told sum of his friends…Especially one in particular. ..buh hey!…who gives a fuck?

  10. Temi Cole
    October 23, 14:25 Reply

    Yaay! Bobby is back!! Love the name of the new series too!

    As for the honesty bit. That was really brave of you especially on social media where catfishing is the order of the day. I knew very early that revealing my status was not something I would consider at least not in a while not because I was/am ashamed of my status but I feel like a ton load of people will judge you or put you in a box based on your status and the ones who like and admire you will mostly do it from a safe distance.

    These days though, I like to flirt with the idea of dating a positive guy. I almost feel like we would get each other and may be able to help each other deal with the new phase of our life. And while I’m sure there are quite a number of us out there, the question becomes who will bell the cat and come clean about their status to you with the risk of meeting a Mr. Obalenle…

    Great Stuff! Can’t wait to read more from you…

    • Dubem
      October 23, 14:33 Reply

      It’s really tough. I mean, the gay dating scene is tough enough. Now throw in your status as positive and the chances shrinks 10times smaller. You can even imagine the gall of this Mr. Obalenle. Clearly he used that Manjam account (with its stated positive status) as bait for people he thinks he may know and expose. When someone goes through such lengths to shame poz guys, then is it any wonder we’re all mum on the issue?

  11. sensei
    October 23, 16:36 Reply

    Dear Bobby,
    Mehn, i’m speechless. You are really going through a lot. I will say what I have always said. Hang in there. It gets better. *hugz*

  12. Chizzie
    October 23, 16:41 Reply

    First of all, honesty isn’t overrated. We need to chill on what we hastily categorize as overrated; First it was family now it is honesty. Honesty might be a noble thing and the best policy as they say, but it is not always the wisest thing. Timing is also very important when one decides to be honest.

    I don’t think it was wise to confide in your parents about your status, plus the timing wasn’t exactly the best either seeing as you are still dependent on them and under their roof, but thats all water under the bridge. Lets forge ahead.

    Also why do people still use manjam? Why? Only serial killers use that site. Please deactivate your profile and stick to less generic apps or sites

    • Pink Panther
      October 23, 16:44 Reply

      LMAO. Chizzie, there’s whispers you’re a killer of sorts. So if we check, we’d find you’ve made yourself at home in Manjam, no? 😀

      • Max
        October 23, 16:52 Reply

        ????.. Don’t be surprised @ Pinky that @Chizzie may not know what to do with a meat cleaver if it was staring him in the face.

      • Chizzie
        October 23, 17:54 Reply

        Actually I’m a Satanist and we don’t exactly do the killings, we send out our demons for that. And we generally prefer Grindr

  13. Teflondon
    October 23, 17:32 Reply

    Brave! brave! thats what comes to mind anytime I see your name bobby and your stories.

    However, on this particular issue/ story.. I think we all shouldnt be quick to judge Mr Obalende.. After all he is doing what he feels is right, however ignorantly carried out. Not everyone has a good conscience like you bobby.. There are some guys out there looking to harm and spead the virus unpurpose. We need people like Mr Obalende to check mate such activities.
    Mr Obalende just needs to be tutored in the right way.

    The thoughts of some young child knowingly or unknowingly spreading the virus around gives me goose pimples. As I am a very loose fuck-Bareback-everything-cute-walking-around Hoe!

    • KingBey
      October 28, 10:34 Reply

      So you fuck around bare back and you’re still HIV Negative? I will just sip my tea.

  14. posh6666
    October 24, 09:21 Reply

    It is well dear keep being strong.Thats life for u anyways even on this blog some people actually use the word hiv positive as an insult on social media upon others.Maybe this ur article will give them some sense that anybody could be positive,they could be already positive themselves,but dont know already,they could have slept with someone positive,or might even get infected in the nearest future whon knows?life is full of surprises anyways.

  15. Eddie
    October 24, 23:01 Reply

    So the twat was blackmailing you hmmmm…..thanks for ur article…..at least now I know better than to run my mouth of my status to anyone…….these punks just ain’t loyal

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