EVERYDAY AND A MAN

EVERYDAY AND A MAN

“Hian, where did everybody go? Abi na sleep dem dey sleep ni?” I wondered out loud as I swiped through Grindr.

Tonight was particularly cold. The draft was brutal and unforgiving, and any thoughts of being too far from warm clothes and Eskimo blankets were probably your village people speaking. The windows on either side of my room were rattling slightly as the evening breeze skipped across.

This was a telling sign of the holiday season.

Weather for two? Perhaps. But it was not what I was about at the moment.

I love Christmas; the food, decor, the food, carols, the cold, the food – and just in case you missed it, I love the food. Then of course, there are the visitors. Christmas is that time of the year when people from all over the country return home to spend the ever-so-needed quality time with their families in celebration of the Nativity.

And with them comes new prospects – men of different colours and flavours for the viewing and tasting pleasure of Yours Truly. And where better to thrift-shop for these testosterone-infused candy bars with brand assurance than Grindr?

The app is usually at its best during this time of year (well, this and Ramadan of course). The selection varies ten-fold with excess thirst and extra drip, which is a good thing really, because, well, Grindr isn’t exactly the hottest take here any other day. Activity is boisterous, especially at nighttime, with profiles of newcomers frantically making friends with the natives and the natives offering wholesome services, genial and coital.

This night however was terribly slow, hence my earlier concern; practically all the profiles I’d been texting earlier were offline and the ones that were online played for the same team. Scrolling through was getting frustrating.

Oh well, maybe it’s just one of those days, I finally thought with some resignation.

I had just pulled down the notifications shade to turn off my data when I heard the familiar chime of a new message on the app. Notifications from my socials are set to not show details of new messages because, well, human beings are super nosy.

So I wouldn’t get to know who texted until I opened the app.

‘Hey, what’s up’ was all that the message read – sent by a blank profile, no name and no picture.

This guy is not serious.

Just as I was about to swipe the app shut, another message pinged in.

‘Hello? Are you still there?’

“He’s still here?” I said to myself. “Hmmm…”

I looked over the message, then went back to my famine-stricken chat list, then I returned to his message.

“Uuurrrrgghh! Boredom is a bitch, I swear,” I groaned in exasperation as I typed a response to him.

‘Hey, what’s up?’

I can’t recall much of what was said. Pleasantries were made and names exchanged. For this story, I will call him Neto.

The initial exchange with Neto was the usual: role, location, age, you know how it is. The conversation was lackluster and quickly tiring until…

“So what university did you attend?” he asked.

If I were to point out where the interaction started looking up, it’d probably be right here. Turns out he too had pursued a degree at the same institution I attended. This bit of information fast-tracked the bonding process over shared experiences of two graduates of the same alma mater. His company was easy, and camaraderie was formed mostly over the foundations of juvenile antics, lectures we abhorred and how we as people birthed up North got entangled in the throes of Southern education. During this time, we also came to discover that we attended the same high school, him being a few years my senior.

He eventually asked for my number and I gladly obliged, wanting to know more of this guy. A few minutes later, a call came in. And on my phone screen was written ‘Private Number’ where the number of the incoming call was supposed to be. I don’t like answering such calls, so of course I didn’t pay it any regard. The mystery number called a few more times and I ended each one as fast as they came.

It wasn’t till the caller finally came clean with his regular number that I answered and got to find out that it was Neto who’d been on the other end (some security measure, I suppose). We talked about a lot of things, mostly around life in high school, how much he disliked the school for reasons I found quite amusing. So get this: this guy left the school because he felt he didn’t fit in. To him, the school was too boogie and he was a street nigga. So, he transferred to another school that was more in tune with his personality, where he performed admirably. I was (still am) of the opinion that he simply didn’t cut it and had to flee to somewhere that suited his mental capabilities. But oh well, what do I know?

He was especially interested in my sexual life back in the day and was seemingly blown away by the sheer magnitude of my sexcapades back in the school. His stupefaction was just as obvious as his ignorance. Oga had no idea such sexual shenanigans were going on around him. Maybe it was just me and my very high sensitivity gaydar, but the signs were everywhere that boys were being sexually active: the clandestine senior-junior relationships, the late night bathroom affairs (they weren’t always so quiet), the occasional affectionate glances between classroom and hostel mates. I mean, I didn’t even have to try before I landed my first high school experience (story for another day).

For Neto not to have noticed, this was classic some having eyes but cannot see. In his defense, he did say he wasn’t checking out boys, wasn’t sexually active and that he had problems with the girls (which is shocking because he said he was a star player on the football team. No be dia type dem dey rush pass?). He also admitted to being mildly bicurious, but not enough to solidify his place on the Kinsey scale apparently.

Anyhoo, so this guy, having come around to my more raunchy side, took to becoming overly sexual, asking what I liked during sex, positions, fantasies, all that jazz. I told him how I’m a quasi-control freak; I could be submissive but it’d take a really dominant figure to get me to be so. I think he took this the wrong way, probably reading along the lines of “I like my men to be rude, narcissistic pricks and all-round assholes” because he started becoming vulgar, saying things like “You’re my bitch” and how he’d fuck me like a bitch.

Hmmm. Okay!?

He also talked a lot of talk about how much of a hunk he is, probably the best thing since sliced bread; tall, visits the gym regularly, dark-skinned and bearded. He was painting the picture of the kind of man I find sexually appealing, but he bore this patronizing tone I didn’t appreciate and it constantly ground on my nerves. In light of the generally great conversation we were having, I kept having to set my irritation aside.

Now, we’d been at this phone conversation for several minutes; he called around 10:30 PM. I was at home as previously stated, snuggled up in my duvet while conversing with Mr. Supposedly Fine and Slightly Irritating. He asked for the specifics of my location, which I wasn’t comfortable giving up at the time. Although my neighborhood is rather large with lots of houses, I didn’t know him like that yet. I decided to give him a general address, a sort of description that a bunch of houses in the same area shared, just nothing too specific.

“Oh, for real?” he said with pleased surprise. “I’m actually not too far from there. Can you come out? I could drive by and pick you up.”

I looked at the time. 11:07 PM!

Na winch be diz o! He dey fly for night!

At first, I thought he was joking and laughed his comment off in an attempt to change the subject. But Oga wasn’t playing around. He really was in the area, letting off tidbits about the environs that only residents or people who’d been to the area would know.

But I wasn’t about to meet him that late, asking him if he was out of his mind. He grumbled and lamented my lack of a “sense of adventure”, asking why I wouldn’t want to find out what awaited me outside.

Because this is Nigeria, nigga! I wanted to snap at him. Besides the very apparent homophobia in this country that gives these people the effrontery to boast of killing people like me because we are gay, there was also the issue of insecurity that comes with festive periods. With this one in particular, the recession was very real, the hunger even more so, and people become insidiously diabolical this yuletide season, leading unsuspecting victims to their early graves for some loose change. So no, Yours Truly was not about to be a bloodied-up donation to some sleazebag’s Christmas celebration.

Seeing that he was vehement in his proposition for us to meet, at some point becoming commandeering even, I became just as stubborn, giving him various reasons why a meet that night just wasn’t going to happen.

To be honest, a part of me was curious to see this person; it had been so long since I’d been with a decent human being in this town from Grindr. So, yeah, I yearned to climb out of bed, throw some clothes on, and go find out what adventure was out there with him.

Thankfully though, curiosity lost to reason and I sat my ass down.

A couple of failed attempts later, he let the matter rest and we carried on with our banter till late into the night. Eventually, we said our good nights and ended the call. I laid half-asleep for a while, mulling over my encounter with Neto. Many things pissed me off about him. Just imagine, I’d sent this dude my picture and he didn’t even acknowledge it by sending his to me, giving the excuse that he didn’t have his photo on his phone, then later on, when we started talking on the phone, he told me that he’d seen my photo and that I wasn’t all that. Like, who the fuck does this guy think he is? I was ready to write him off as a pompous prick whose existence should be raptured off my phone and life in quick succession.

But a few things left me intrigued about him. I could tell that underneath that self-absorbed nature was someone who would make an amazing comrade. His confidence was also very appealing (although unnecessarily excessive and quite annoying), and seeing a man so sure of himself was quite the turn-on.

***

*RING* *RING* *RING*

Mm-hmm…

*RING* *RING*

Urgh… Shut up…

Without bothering to turn my head towards the alarm, I grabbed the noise-producing box and sent it flying in a one-way trip across the room. I heard it slam into the door of the dresser.

Nonsense!

*RING* *RING* *RING*

“What the fu…? Didn’t I just…?”

My voice trailed when I turned on my pillow, toward the sound of this new alarm, zeroing in on the source, which was my phone.

Well, I can’t throw that away now, can I?

I picked up the phone and turned the alarm off.

I groaned as I sunk into my bed again, wincing at the slight throb at the back of my skull and the grainy feeling in my eyes. My vision was initially blurred, and I had to blink a couple of times before it gradually cleared up and settled on the low, early morning ambiance peering through the curtains.

“Monday,” I said.

God, I hate Mondays. It is the one day that’s a constant reminder of the continuous hustle, how annoying. A lot of things had been easily getting under my skin these days: work, family, friends, Neto…

Neto?!

Christ, why the fuck was this guy on my mind first thing in the morning?

I shrugged him and other related thoughts off my mind and began my morning routine. About the time I was leaving for work, I picked up my phone. Reminiscing on last night’s call, I laughed to myself, surprised at how much the encounter pleased more than irked me in the daylight of the morning. And on a whim, I decided to call Neto.

The phone rang and rang and rang.

And then: “Dear customer, the number you have dialed is not answering.”

Hmmm…Okay!?

I called again and it rang and rang, and went unanswered. Considering that perhaps he was still asleep or wasn’t around his phone, I refrained from calling again, believing that he would call back when he saw the missed call.

Work was long as always, but I pulled through anyway, occasionally glancing at my phone to see if Neto had left a missed call or picking up the phone every now and then whenever it buzzed, only to be disappointed by an irrelevant notification from one of my socials. I wasn’t worried, but I sure wasn’t completely unconcerned either.

I didn’t get the feeling to do anything about Neto’s uncommunicativeness until the next day, when I called him and it was just as before, ringing until the prerecorded voice did its thing when the call went unanswered. For someone I’d just met, it surprised me when I started worrying about him. I veered off to WhatsApp to check if he was on the app. He was and had in fact been online just recently. A wave of relief washed over me knowing that he was okay.

However that feeling swiftly gave way to annoyance as I wondered, “Wait o, does it mean this guy has been ignoring me on purpose?”

My temper began to build at the thought, but I stayed it, reasoning that anything could have happened to prevent him from reaching out.

So instead of getting mad, I simply sent him a “Hey, what’s up?” on WhatsApp and went about my activities for the day.

That particular day was brutal and I didn’t get a chance to even touch my phone, let alone check its contents. It wasn’t until I got back home that I went through my messages. Scrolling down to Neto’s chat, I saw that my message had been read but not replied to.

The fuck!?

I opened up the chat and highlighted the message to check when it was read. He’d read it a couple of hours prior and didn’t even bother with a reply? To say I was mad is an understatement. I was livid. Like, what the hell was this guy’s deal?

I called him again, this time with a full intention of cussing him out. But – surprise, surprise – the call went unanswered. I called again two more times, with the same result.

What was I really expecting though?

“This isn’t going anywhere,” I said to myself, suddenly feeling ashamed at my seeming desperation to connect again with someone I’d just met. This wasn’t worth the trouble. I decidedly began to distract myself with some movies, making a mental note to never call him again.

A week and a forgotten man later, I had just finished from church and was waiting on my father in the car when someone called with a private number. Like I said before, I don’t answer private or unknown numbers. But that afternoon, I was bored and not exactly doing anything anyway. So I answered.

“Hello,” the caller said.

“Yeah, who’s this?” I said curtly.

“Really? So you can’t recognise my voice?”

Feeling annoyed, I said, “Please, who’s this abeg? The sun is too hot and I don’t have the strength for this game.”

“Calm down eh, why your body dey hot? It’s the guy from the other day. You know, the one that’s gonna fuck you real good.”

Neto!

TO BE CONTINUED

Written by Danté

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  1. Mandy
    May 13, 13:51 Reply

    There’s nothing I loathe more than being made to feel desperate for a guy’s attention, especially when the guy has set the foundation for me to think that wanting him is part of the way forward. We’ll finish being all up in each other business, whether DM or sexually, full of promise for more, then you’ll not only ghost me but I’d be too slow to recognise that that chapter is over. And by the time I realize this, I’ve had lots of missed calls and read messages to account for my desperation.

    Urrgh! Menaskom abeg.

  2. Tariq
    May 13, 14:41 Reply

    This has bad signals written all over it.

    You are too principled to not take a private call and yet so desperate to be calling a one day stranger/friend on repeat?

    Like why would you even dial him more than once???🤔

    Neto sounds like a USER n an ABUSER to me…but then who asked for my opinion kwanu?

    #MyOnePenny

  3. Delle
    May 13, 17:32 Reply

    The way I was reading this and smiling to myself as I met paragraph upon delicious paragraph of more storytelling, grateful for the generosity of the writer only to still be met with A CLIFFHANGER!???

    Dante dear, ya scum.

    • Good ade
      May 14, 11:17 Reply

      Aswe dell this person writes like you… Like wtf . I was reading and in my head I was like dell never told me any gist like this oo.

  4. Good ade
    May 14, 11:16 Reply

    Ewwwwww. The guy that will fuck who😂
    Werey !!

  5. Dunder
    May 15, 03:13 Reply

    I was low-key triggered that there was no video call to verify who you were chatting with. Now I am desperate to know nothing went south.

  6. Pie
    June 06, 12:03 Reply

    I enjoyed this story no be lie, this got me, “It’s the guy from the other day. You know, the one that’s gonna fuck you real good.”

    Nothing you’ll do about that. You go still fuck am..lol.

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