Previously on Down Low


Martin woke with a start to find Ayo regarding him with an unreadable expression from his perch on an armchair across from the L-shaped couch in Siji and Ayo’s living room that had served as Martin’s bed for the night. Martin stared at Ayo immobile, still trying to gauge the exactness of the situation and formulate an appropriate response from his still-sleepy brain.

Ayo noticed Martin’s awakening, partly from him sighting the whites of Martin’s large eyes in the pre-dawn gloom of the living room, and partly from the stiffening of Martin’s reclined form.

“I don’t bite so early in the morning, you know,” Ayo said softly. “You don’t have to look so tense.”

He cocked his head to side and smiled coyly. “Well, I only bite Siji this early, and on some quite yummy body parts…”

Martin rolled his eyes and straightened himself to a sitting position. “T.M.I., Ayo. T.M.I.”

Ayo scoffed. “As if Siji doesn’t tell you more about what goes on in our bedroom than I just did.”

“He doesn’t actually,” Martin said. “All I know is that you both have frequent and steamy sex, which really is not a surprise, seeing as you are both warm-blooded males in a loving relationship.”

“Hmmm,” Ayo responded.

“If you don’t believe me, ask your boyfriend.” Martin was beginning to get annoyed. “He told me he has never lied to you – hundred percent disclosure and all that jazz.”

“Is that what he said?” Ayo said, raising a quizzical eyebrow, trying not to betray how suddenly his insides felt like a warm loaf of fresh bread.

“I know it’s still early but that shouldn’t affect your hearing, and I know I didn’t stutter,” Martin responded glibly and Ayo frowned.

“There’s really no need for that attitude. It’s way too early,” Ayo said, his eyes narrowed in annoyance.

Martin groaned and threw up his arms in exasperation. “Look, Ayo, what do you want? I know that you loathe me and want to spit in my eyes every chance you get. Yet I wake up and your face is the first thing I see. What is it?”

Ayo blinked several times, clearly taken aback by Martin’s brashness.

“Loathe?” he whispered. “That’s quite a strong word, Martin. I don’t loathe you.”

“Oh yeah? You definitely could have fooled me.”

Ayo sighed and rubbed his hands across his face.

“I don’t hate you Martin, honestly,” Ayo said, then raised a hand as he saw Martin’s eyebrow rise in scornful disbelief. “Ehn-ehn, wait first. I know I am not always at my best behavior when you’re around–”

“Well that’s putting it lightly…” Martin mumbled.

“BUUUT…” Ayo continued, ignoring him. “It’s not really my fault. I really do not know how to feel towards you.”

Martin regarded him with pursed lips. “Erm, Okay, so…why?”

Ayo stood up and came to sit down beside him, and Martin noticed a sheen of something that looked like tears in his eyes.

“I love Siji so much – much more than I have ever loved anyone or anything,” Ayo said in a fierce whisper.

The fervent emotion in his voice and the truth shining from his eyes tugged at a deep place inside Martin, and he found himself reaching for Ayo’s hands and giving them a reassuring squeeze.

“Siji loves you too, you know. He loves you very much.”

“I know!” Ayo said, and the tears fell, one bead from each eye. “I just don’t understand why he would choose me when he has someone like you in his life.”

Martin was nonplussed. “What? I’m sorry, you lost me.”

Ayo sighed and looked away. “All of you fake modest people irritate me, I swear to God.”

He turned back and faced Martin with a sour look, all traces of vulnerability gone, like morning dew under hot sunlight.

“You are everything a man like Siji would want. I know you enjoy fishing for compliments, but let me just say this: you are immensely attractive – tall, caramel skin, pretty face, cheek bones like kitchen knives. Sometimes, it appears as if you glow. Then you are considerably financially comfortable, with a career about to take off. Those are everybody’s checklist, my dear Martin, and you tick off all the boxes.”

Martin pursed his lips, extremely flattered and taken aback at the same time. This was Ayo, a person that had only previously spoken ten sentences to him, seven of which were some form of insult, pouring out his insecurities to him. He made a mental note to check his horoscope later that day to see which heavenly bodies were in alignment.

“You said that I am everything a man like Siji would want,” he said softly. “But Siji is a man like Siji, yet he is in love with and in a relationship with you. You are clearly very wrong about something.”

Ayo sighed and looked away again. “I am afraid that I am just a second choice, that he is with me because he can’t be with you. He does love me, yes, I know. But he would rather love you.”

“What are you even saying?” Martin snapped, getting quite irritated. “Did he tell you all this nonsense? “

“He did not. He doesn’t need to. I know.” Ayo proceeded to drop to his knees in front of a bewildered Martin. “I do not hate you, Martin, but I can’t see myself being friends with you because you remind me of everything I am not and can’t be.”

He reached out to clasp both of Martin’s hands in his.

“But I just need you to promise me one thing. Do not take Siji away from me. Please. I know that if you decide that you want him, you would take him with ease and I would not be able to stop you. Please just leave Siji for me because…I would die without him.”

Then he burst into tears, burying his face in Martin’s lap.

Written by Santa Diaba

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  1. iAmNotAPerv
    April 17, 06:22 Reply

    Santa Diaba, please stop withholding pleasure from my life. You can’t just stop here. You can’t do it and i won’t take it! *Lowkey i hate you*

    • Pink Panther
      April 17, 06:24 Reply

      I want you to hate me too. 😀 *readying the next installment of Love and Sex in the City*

      • iAmNotAPerv
        April 17, 07:04 Reply

        Is like you want to be mutilated and fed to the fish by Lagoon Front. If you’re updating better update properly. Short updates cannot be gotten away with in non fiction o.

        • Pink Panther
          April 17, 07:08 Reply

          Good. I’m glad you said nonfiction cos LASITC is fiction. So I can get away with it ??

          • iAmNotAPerv
            April 17, 07:11 Reply

            Nooo! I meant to say ‘Can ONLY be gotten away with in non fiction’ 🙁

  2. Façade
    April 17, 06:58 Reply

    What’s this, a teaser for the main episode?

  3. Delle
    April 17, 07:14 Reply

    Santa who told you an episode is supposed to be as short as Buhari’s memory? Re-adjust this episode ósisó!

    • iAmNotAPerv
      April 17, 07:21 Reply

      Delle! Baby, how are you? Are you okay, are you fine? I missed you. Now lerrus attack Pinky together

      • Delle
        April 17, 11:41 Reply

        Sweetheart, see me here still waiting for a message from you.
        I’ve been alright, trying to look better than I ever was.

        Don’t mind PP. I’ve taken his matter to my village witches.

        • iAmNotAPerv
          April 17, 11:59 Reply

          Pinky has not still not given me your contact o! I will just vex and drop my number here

  4. WhoIsUgo
    April 17, 08:07 Reply

    The next episode better open with a Sex scene to compensate for this piece ?

  5. Mac nuel
    April 17, 08:22 Reply

    I can totally relate with Ayo here, cos myself I’m I a relationship where I Dnt know if I’m the second choice. His ex is always in all the picture, if I ain’t around the ex comes over not dat I have seen him but the ex is constantly in everything even more than I. I don’t know what to do.

      • Mac nuel
        April 17, 09:04 Reply

        Yes I have and he always stylish ignore the topic. On the other hand my first time to comment been a lukewarm reader and the comments section but the post got to me.

    • El
      April 18, 10:35 Reply

      This is not good at all. start packing your feelings out of this relationship cause they are clearly still not over each other. Well, except if you are okay with being the second.

  6. Mandy
    April 17, 10:03 Reply

    The greatest nightmare of anyone in a relationship, especially if you’re not the one with the power, is for your Bae to still be very good friends with his ex. Let them now coman have a camaraderie that seems to exempt you and it’s die.

    I’ve always never liked Ayo. But seeing this vulnerability of his and understanding what he’s dealing with has softened my heart toward him.

    • iAmNotAPerv
      April 17, 10:13 Reply

      I’m very good friends with all my exes except one. It’s not such a bad thing 🙂

      • Mandy
        April 17, 10:58 Reply

        Of course you’d think that. You’re speaking from the Siji perspective. Look at it from Ayo’s perspective, and it won’t be such a swell idea.

        Besides I’m not saying one shouldn’t be friends with his exes. I’m saying there’s a reason the ex is an EX.

        • iAmNotAPerv
          April 17, 11:01 Reply

          I should ask my girlfriend if she’s done anything of the sort with any of my exes.
          But a whole other note… hello Many *wink wink* How do you do?

  7. Dumdum
    April 17, 10:13 Reply

    Santa le!
    What or who touched you mbok?
    That’s by the way sef!

    Either that Ayo thinks very lowly of himself, or he has probably analyzed the whole situation and he’s tryna get Martin to pity him and not take Siji away from him when he comes knocking.
    Being in that position can very toxic to any human being.
    Chukwu aju!

  8. beejay
    April 17, 10:22 Reply

    tsk tsk tsk… Insecurity, not a very attractive quality in a man. Nice segue with the vulnerability angle though.

  9. Omiete
    April 18, 09:32 Reply

    PP if you bring back LASITC without back to back episodes the thunder that will fire you eh….

      • KikiOpe
        April 19, 19:00 Reply

        Do and post it already na, it’s long overdue, abeg. And just like Omiete said, the thunder that will fire You if You deprive us of back-to-back ehn.. lemme comment my reserve.

  10. El
    April 18, 10:25 Reply

    Jolene and Dolly Parton. *wide grin*

  11. KikiOpe
    April 19, 18:49 Reply

    Awwn.. vulnerability at its peak. Just wonder when I’ll be in love to this point, find me a boo already. Biko.

    Beautiful piece by the way, nice read.

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