CHASING STARS

CHASING STARS

When I was 19, during my NYSC in the North, I met this guy at the bank after my CDS. For some reason, we were waiting for our turns to meet the cashiers in the bank and got engaged in a conversation, about the latest terrorist attack in the state. We instantly bonded, and I was very drawn to him. About thirty minutes later, it was my turn to see the cashier and thereafter, we parted ways. I wasn’t able to get his contact information.

However, fortunately, I ran into him again a few days later at the market, where we carried on with our banter like we’d known each other for ages. We exchanged numbers, became friends, found out we were both gay, and started dating.

Let’s call him Lawal.

Lawal was an incredibly nice person – a really great guy, who I shared so much chemistry with. We had the best sex, fought, made up, and just generally had a good time being boyfriends. It was everything I could ever dream of in a relationship, so much so that by the time my POP came around, I wasn’t ready. That period was a gloomy time for us, as the end of my service year seemed like it would be the end of our relationship as well. After my passing out, I stayed back for about a month, before I returned to Lagos.

And we stayed in touch, full of hopes and promises that we could still be together in spite of the long distance.

Then Lawal came up with the idea for me to return to the North to study medicine, since I’d earlier studied a basic medical course for which I graduated with a first class. My plan had been to get a scholarship abroad for an MSc in Public Health. But after so much back and forth, I decided to give his suggestion a try. And before long, through direct entry, I got into medical school in the same town as my boyfriend. It was a dream come true for both of us.

When I returned to the North, Lawal was over the moon at our reunion. But then, things were different from the way they were the last time. He began to get too protective. He’d always want me at his place, even though I had a place of my own; a place that he reluctantly agreed for me to have after he initially insisted on me moving in with me and me begging to have my own space. Even then, he helped me get a place that was close to his house. This over-protectiveness caused us to have a couple of serious fights, during which he would break down into tears and lament about his insecurities and fears that I might leave him for another guy. I found this to be ridiculous, because I truly loved him. I loved him so much I made the decision to further my studies in Nigeria, instead of pursuing them overseas like I’d planned.

I tried to pacify him that I was going nowhere, and we eventually settled in such a tight-knit relationship, that everyone who knew us figured we had to be brothers or really close relatives.

Lawal gave me virtually anything I wanted. I was a supportive partner too, but he made sure I got enough food, sleep, money, books, everything. I helped him too, writing his proposals for jobs and contracts, and eventually, when he finished his MSc, he got a job in the university where I was schooling.

Life was great and everything was going well…until I met someone in the hospital where I was training as a fifth year medical student. This guy was a patient of mine at the time; he was incredibly good looking and I could tell from the few conversations we had that he was intelligent too.

As time went on, and he was discharged from the hospital, we became friends. Let’s call him Ahmed. I’d been with Lawal for years now, but he wasn’t comfortable with the growing friendship between me and Ahmed. And he was right to not be comfortable, because Ahmed seemed very into me. We had never discussed anything about sexuality, but after he was discharged from his surgery, he became such a regular visitor at my house, that I began to wonder if there was more to his visits than a casual new friend. I later got to know he was the son of one of the most influential men in the town who was well-known in the country too.

A few months later, Ahmed came clear to me about his intentions. He didn’t want to be my friend. He wanted us to date. Like I said, we’d never said anything to each other about either of us being gay, so you can imagine my shock when he simply came out with this to me. Flattered as I was, I told him no, letting him know that I was already in a relationship.

But in the days that followed, Ahmed couldn’t take no for an answer. He kept begging me to reconsider and give him a chance. This made me very uncomfortable, and I began to distance myself from him.

About eight months later, I graduated. Ahmed came all the way from the UK where he was at the time for my graduation to gift me with a car and two million naira. At first, suspecting that these gifts may come to a string, I turned them down. But he insisted that they really just came from a place of love and friendship.

On the day of my induction, Lawal was supposed to attend a seminar in another state the next day. So, he spent just a few hours with me before he had to leave. And I was left with Ahmed and some of my friends for the rest of the day.

Ahmed suggested we spend the night together in a hotel after the induction party. I knew I was playing with fire, but after some hesitation, I told him I would only agree if my friends could come along. He agreed. He rented two suites, one for my friends and one for me and him. At about 12 AM, after we had finally exhausted ourselves with all the partying, my friends retired to their room and Ahmed took me to ours.

In there, he started again with his plea for me to date him. When I reminded him that I still had a boyfriend, he said he knew. But that he could see a lot of potential in me, in us being together. Then he began talking about how he could sponsor my IELTS and PLAB exams if I was willing to relocate to the UK with him.

This was all too much. I felt bombarded. I struggled to hold the thought of my boyfriend close to my heart, but at this point, if not for anything, I had to think about myself and what was good for me. This wasn’t about Ahmed; it was about what Ahmed represented: a better life and career prospects abroad. The same thing I’d always wanted.

After that night, Ahmed kept on talking to me about my prospects, urging to consider what he wanted for me. Throughout my house job, he was on my case. He also paid for my IELTS and placed me on a monthly allowance. Then he brought us closer by introducing me to his siblings who he was out to.

At this point, Lawal was already so used to seeing him around me as a good friend, and so didn’t suspect that anything was going on. Plus he was also busy with his PhD at the time.

Eventually, I had to make a decision for me. When I told Lawal that I wanted to relocate to the UK, he was livid and stopped talking to me. I tried to reason with him, to make him understand why this was the best option for me, but he was insistent that I remain in Nigeria and do my residency here. But I could see no future in my practising medicine in Nigeria. And I am a gay man, a gay man who just wants to live and love freely. Ahmed was offering me these opportunities, and I’d be a fool not to take them.

After seven years together, Lawal and I eventually had a bitter breakup, during which time he accused me of sleeping with Ahmed all along, promising me that Karma would strike back at me for my supposed faithlessness to him.

After I took all my required exams, I left Nigeria and got a job in the UK. Ahmed also relocated to the UK to a job that was waiting for him. And we officially started dating.

Two years later, out of the blue, Lawal reached out to me, wanting to know how I was doing. I told him I was in the UK, doing okay. When I mentioned that I was now dating Ahmed, he became angry and cut off from me again. He went on to not speak to me again for months.

Then one day, Ahmed saw a publication for a job in a university that matched Lawal’s qualifications. I sent the link to Lawal, and he didn’t acknowledge receipt. After some weeks, he replied, saying he wasn’t interested. In response, I sent him a long message, arguing why he should take the offer. He replied, saying he couldn’t afford to come to the UK to start a new life, even if he wanted to.

I talked to Ahmed about this and he offered to finance the entire relocation if Lawal wanted. After a lot of back and forth, Lawal eventually and grudgingly gave in. he did not get that particular job in the end, but he got another one in the long run and relocated to the UK through Ahmed’s help.

Since then, he’s been living a fairly good life. We have settled our differences. He is dating someone else now. And we are all good friends. This year will make it the fourth year that I’ve been with Ahmed, and as he promised, it’s been a good life in all this time.

But, however much good I’ve done to heal the hurt I caused Lawal, I still wake up every now and then to the cold accusation in his voice the day, years ago, when he told me that Karma would strike back at me. I know I can get too much in my head about the past, but there is always that niggling worry that those words spoken with such bitterness will take effect at some point in my life.

Until then though, I am doing well.

Written by Doctor A

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12 Comments

  1. Lopez
    March 11, 07:12 Reply

    This is fiction, right? 11 years ago there was no terrorist attack anywhere in the north to begin with.

    • Uzor
      March 12, 10:17 Reply

      You you have already done the math 🤣🤣 you don’t want to believe that someone’s life was this easy

  2. Jibril
    March 11, 09:40 Reply

    Happy endings…☺ Borinnng…

  3. ken
    March 11, 10:25 Reply

    Fantasy story and he rode off into the sunlight with prince charming, and they lived happily ever after. Lol
    The reality is that this rarely ever happens in real life. But heck, daydreaming is free!

  4. Higwe
    March 11, 10:41 Reply

    You did very well dear .

    You did absolutely nothing wrong to him, you have no reason to feel even the most scintilla of guilt.

    No doubt , lawal was good but Ahmed is way better , and in the future if you see a best , do not hesitate to leave Ahmed too .😁

    Beyonce also had a boyfriend but when she saw Jay Z had a better prospect , she quickly left him for Jay Z .

    Today Jay Z is a billionaire ( in dollars might I add 😎 )

    Beyonce is one of the most powerful women on the planet .

    And her ex …well , I’m sure the young man is doing good for himself wherever he is. 😁

    Do you think Beyonce ever wakes up feeling guilty in between touring the world , making platinum albums , taking care of her three very beautiful kids and earning tens of millions every year ? 😂😂🤣

    Snap out of that guilt and enjoy your life to the fullest abeg .

    ************************

    Two million Naira and a car 😳😳😳😳😳 yoooo !
    Is it just me or people who don’t really try too hard seem to get things falling into their laps.
    I can bet you’re probably a white T shirt and plain trousers guy , whose only beauty routine is probably brushing your hair in the morning 🤦🏼‍♂️.

    I spend six days a week in the gym .
    Style my hair weekly .
    Takes tons of over filtered pictures that sometimes I don’t even recognize myself 😂😂😁.
    Let’s not even talk about how much I spend on supplements and vitamins …

    You think anyone has offered me even a Keke na Pepe 😩🤦🏼‍♂️😂

    Oh Lord ! Where is my Ahmed 😩🤦🏼‍♂️

    • Audrey
      March 11, 13:32 Reply

      Higwe oh abeg no kill me with laugh I’m in a serious meeting and your comment almost made me burst out with laughter. Don’t we all need an AHMED in our lives🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

    • Omiete
      March 12, 01:41 Reply

      Biko Higwe what’s your Instagram handle? I want to check something

    • Joe
      March 13, 23:16 Reply

      Your Ahmed is on the way

  5. Oludayo
    March 12, 09:41 Reply

    Thanks Doctor A for sharing.

    From your story it doesn’t appear you cheated on him, physically at least. You made decision. You seem to be carrying some guilt because of another person’s insecurities, release yourself from them.

    Even if you cheated, it doesn’t meant something bad HAS to happen to you or your relationship.

    However, if you keep waiting for a shoe to drop….you wouldn’t be disappointed.

    My advice? Focus on making the best of your life/situation knowing no one has the monopoly of power to decide what’ll happen to you

  6. Cee
    March 16, 01:53 Reply

    See me thinking that I’m in final year med school and I haven’t seen my Ahmed. Lord please do it for me😂😂

  7. Sly
    March 18, 23:36 Reply

    Higwe u are so interesting and a good adviser and inspirational wow. You do all😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

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