FINDING DIMEJI (PART 3)

FINDING DIMEJI (PART 3)

Previously on FINDING DIMEJI

*

Hold me close and hold me fast, this magic spell you cast,

This is La vie en rose.

When you kiss me, heaven sighs and though I close my eyes,

I see La vie en rose

When you press me to your heart, and in a world apart,

A world where roses bloom.

And when you speak, angels sing from above, everyday words seem to turn into love songs.

Give your heart and soul to me, and life will always be…

La vie en rose.

 

Dimeji lied when he sang those lyrics to me in a voice-note a few weeks before he left home. I held him close to me but it wasn’t magical. When I gave him his first ever kiss, the heavens didn’t sigh. He didn’t even kiss me back. I pressed him to my heart, and the roses didn’t bloom. They withered. What the hell was he singing about then?

My life certainly wasn’t ‘La vie en rose’ as I sat on the cold slab of the worn-out bus stop shed at 3 am that cold Wednesday morning. As I began to grill him, I could see the fear in his swollen eyes, thanks to the luminous glow of the moon.

“What happened?” I quizzed the now quiet Dimeji. “I thought you were supposed to leave home at 4?”

“Yes, that was the plan,” he admitted before taking in a deep breath. “I was awake in my room, on my phone, when I heard a sound from my parent’s room upstairs. I don’t know why but I panicked and immediately ordered my ride and left home.”

“Do you think they suspect anything?”

“No, I don’t think so. They were praying. They only come downstairs to wake us for morning devotion around 5:30.”

Pause.

Dimeji and I quickly went mum as a small group of people passed by the walkway. They were in high spirits as they were all chattering and muttering. I recognized one of them to be my sister’s friend, Wole. He recognized me too and, with a suspicious expression on his face, waved a ‘hello’, to which I responded.

Shit.

Now my sister was definitely going to find out that I snuck out of the house in the dead of the night.

When Wole and his crew were out of sight, Dimeji continued, “Seun, I am also sorry about the phone call with the security man. When he stopped me, I didn’t know who else to call. I had to sharply change your contact on my phone to “Dad” and dial your number. I was hoping you wouldn’t pick the call. I’m so sorry for everything.”

With an exasperated shake of my head, I asked, “Dimeji, why are you doing this?”

“I can’t stay here, Seun,” he said with breathy agitation. “I am losing my mind.”

“You can still return home, you know,” I counseled. “It’s not too late.”

“I know. But I can’t. I don’t want to,” he declared. “Don’t worry, Seun. Uzo and I will figure things out.”

Uzo was a close friend and school mate of Dimeji, and although he was heterosexual, he wasn’t homophobic. He and Dimeji were both running away from home for totally different reasons, but they planned to live together in a rented apartment in the heart of Northern Nigeria. That arrangement had seemed decent enough to me. However, Dimeji and I deliberated some more on the issue until about 4:30am when it was time for him to head to the bus park. I explained to him that I wouldn’t be accompanying him to the terminal as planned because I didn’t want to involve myself any further. He was visibly disappointed, but didn’t try to convince me to join him.

Our quest to find him transportation from my estate to the park was another incredible tale in itself. We spent nearly two hours at the bus stop, frantically trying to get conveyance for him to meet his North-bound bus. The Uber rides we ordered, about six of them in total, gave flimsy excuses and all declined the trip. We then tried to hail a motorcycle via OPay and ORide, but astonishingly, no riders were within our coverage.

Around 5:30am, still stranded at the bus stop, Dimeji switched off his phone for good. By now, his parents would have noticed his disappearance and would start bombarding his phone with calls. My mobile was unreachable as well; the battery was flat. Without any technology, we settled for public transportation, but our luck didn’t improve. No cabs were operating at the time and commercial busses were few and far between. In desperation, we tried to hike private cars but, as we found out, such deeds were alien to Lagosians. When it was 6 am, just a few minutes to his departure time, Dimeji began to audibly regret his decision to stop over at mine. He couldn’t stop himself from transferring his frustrations and aggression my way.

And then, in an unexpected twist of fate, a miracle happened and a vacant bus pulled up at the bus stop. Dimeji found space in the bus for himself and his three traveling bags, and off he went to the park.

Phew!

I rushed back home to charge my phone, but more importantly, to use the toilet. I’d felt pressed all through the morning but had to hide my discomfort from Dimeji. As I sat on the toilet bowl, relieved to be emptying my bowels, I finally took a minute to reflect on the crazy morning I’d just had. When I finished in the toilet, I returned to my bedroom, switched on my now charging phone and placed a call to Dimeji, but his line was unreachable. Then, feeling the effects of a stressful morning, I crashed into my bed to catch some well-deserved rest.

A short while later however, I was awake and staring at my ringing phone as Mrs. Adeleke called relentlessly. I still had her contact saved from our previous encounter; I ignored all the calls. She stopped calling only for an unsaved number to take over, a number I would soon realize belonged to her husband, Mr. Adeleke. Between the both of them, they left over twenty missed calls on my phone that morning. Around 7 am, when the anxiety was becoming too much to bear, I called Mrs. Adeleke back. The phone barely rang before she picked up.

“Hello Seun, Good morning,” she greeted in a hasty voice.

“Good morning ma,” I replied, feigning a yawn.

“How was your night?” she inquired.

“Fine, thank you ma,” I answered. “I just woke up now to meet over 20 missed calls on my phone. Is everything okay?”

“Oh I am sorry about that,” she apologized. “We are looking for your friend.”

“My friend? I don’t understand.”

“Seun, please don’t lie to me,” she snapped, the genteelism starting to evaporate from her voice. “Dimeji is not at home. When I went to his room to wake him up this morning, he wasn’t there. I noticed some of his clothes were missing, and his suitcase was also gone.”

“Ma, you mean Dimeji left home?”

“Yes Seun. Is he with you?”

“No ma, he is not with me.”

“Where is he then?”

“I don’t know.”

I was still reeling when Mr. Adeleke snatched the phone from his wife and dialed things up a notch.

“Hello Seun, this is Dimeji’s father.”

“Good morning, sir.”

“Good morning,” he said, quickly dismissing the pleasantries. “Where is my son?”

“I don’t know where Dimeji is, sir.”

“What do you mean by that?! Are you not his boyfriend?”

“No sir. We are just friends.”

***

Dimeji eventually reached the North around 10pm that night, much to my relief. His phone had been switched off throughout his trip. Therefore, it was impossible for anyone to reach him all day. A worried Uzo, who was already at their new home, called me earlier in the day to inquire about Dimeji’s trip, but I didn’t have the answers he was looking for. All I knew, and told him, was that Dimeji would contact us whenever he got the chance to. Dimeji called later that night and explained to me that all passengers would be spending the night at the bus park as the roads leading to his final destination were damaged. The journey would resume in the morning when the sun was out in the sky. He sounded tired and exhausted from his trip, but I still had to give him the horrible news.

After much hesitation, I informed him about my ordeal with his parents and how they coerced me into confessing our secrets to them. He took to my revelation calmly, almost as if he was too tired to produce a reaction. I asked if he had contacted Uzo and he said he’d do that when our call was over. Now playing my new role as his big brother, I encouraged him to find some food to eat and also to give his mother a call, if only to put her mind at rest. He remonstrated, giving me ample reasons why that was a bad idea. He was right; it was a terrible idea in hindsight, but I didn’t know at the time and I persuaded him to ring her. He said he would.

Soon, I wished Dimeji a good night’s rest and prepared myself for bed. I was buoyed by the good feeling that nothing else could possibly deny me my craved sleep that night. Everything was settled; the birds were flying in the sky, the fishes were in the sea and the river was running free. As I slowly drifted into la la land, Dimeji buzzed me on WhatsApp with a message that would keep me awake all night.

“Seun, my mum is here.”

Two long weeks passed before I heard from Dimeji’s camp. He explained the unbelievable events that happened to him during his hiatus via a text message. Following my confession, Mrs. Adeleke contacted the bus transit Dimeji traveled with for Intel, and then flew ahead to the North to wait for him at the bus park. Upon his arrival, she whisked him off to a nearby hotel to spend the night, and in the morning, mother and son were back in Lagos. Dimeji’s ignominious homecoming signified a return to the vicious cycle of oppression and abuse he tried to so desperately escape from. His parents turned him into a prisoner in his own home by seizing his phone, restricting his movements and forcing the peaceful message of Christ further down his throat.

When he finished lamenting his ordeal to me, I was moved to tears. I felt very sorry for him but at the same time, I realized this was a battle that was beyond me. With a heavy heart, I composed and sent Dimeji a profound and devastating text message explaining why I would be cutting off all communications with him.

“I am sorry for all you went through, Dimeji,” I started in the text, “but I think the less I know about you, the better for the both of us.”

With that, I put an end to my three-month-long friendship with Dimeji. I still keep an eye out for him from time to time, but from a safe distance.

Wole never told my sister he saw me at the bus stop at 3 am in the morning, and till date, no one knows I snuck out of the house past midnight. Maybe my life is La vie en rose, after all.

As I type, Dimeji has run away from home a second time. lol. This time, he ran away without my help. His parents have not contacted me yet, but as sure as the sun rises in the east every morning, I am sure they will. Until then, I remain calm and assured that even if they unleash all the demons in hell, I will definitely not be helping them on their quest to finding Dimeji.

And so, for now, this is:

THE END

Written by Orobo Hunter

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24 Comments

  1. Rukky
    March 01, 07:08 Reply

    May we not force our children to make enemies of us in the name of what we think is right for them. This is sad. I hope Dimeji doesn’t do anything more drastic while away from home. Seun please check on him from time to time. This is really tragic.

  2. Mandy
    March 01, 07:26 Reply

    “When it was 6 am, just a few minutes to his departure time, Dimeji began to audibly regret his decision to stop over at mine. He couldn’t stop himself from transferring his frustrations and aggression my way.”

    Imagine the nerve of this guy sha. I came to read this chapter, thinking I would see where Dimeji AT LEAST asked Seun how he felt and if he was okay with being a part of his escape plan. And nothing. Nothing. No time to spare any thoughts or concern for his friend who is helping him. SMH. Some friends sha.

    Anyway, I’m glad you have decided to wash your hands off his situation, Orobo Hunter. When na fuck you wan fuck, somehow you ended up being his confidante, therapist, escape plan coordinator, accomplice, fake father, security consultant. All because you wan fuck ooo.

    • Orobo Hunter
      March 01, 07:49 Reply

      Lol.. calm down Mandy. In the beginning, it was more than just knacks. My actions were not motivated by coitus lmao. I was just trying to be a friend in need.

      • Mandy
        March 01, 09:39 Reply

        I’m just really pained because this story is hitting too close to home and my recent experience with opportunistic self-centered friends. Friendship should not be a one-way street, even if you’re doing something for the other. In cases where your friendship is compelled to make you do things that are out of your comfort zone, the person you’re supporting should spare sometime to know how you’re holding up.

        I’m sorry, Orobo Hunter, but I firmly believe your Dimeji is a little too self involved. Especially knowing he comes from a wealthy background, he could’ve spared more time to consider how involving you in his plans will impact you. The story ended well, but we all know it could’ve ended just as badly, without you here to tell us the story.

        • Higwe
          March 01, 23:20 Reply

          The person who shared the story says it’s not.
          The person who shared the story also mentioned that it’s a lot more complicated than he shared and there were a lot he left out ….

          But of course , the omniknowest , alpha and Omega , all seeing Mandy , certainly knows the story better than the narrator .😂😂😁

          When does your clownery end though?
          This is what you always do …you make up things in your head , believe it and start projecting whatever it is on others and woe betide them they tell you it’s not actually the way you projected , then defensive Mandy jumps right out 😂😁

          It definitely has the be the way you want it to be , even if it’s faraway from truth or reality .

          Mandy , it’s okay to accept you’re wrong .
          It’s okay to admit you don’t know it all .
          It’s very okay to sometimes look the other way even if your head tells you to do the opposite.

          Your need to always defend everything no matter how silly or inconsequential , certainly says a lot about your self confidence or lack thereof.

          I’ve never not seen you go back and forth whenever you’re countered …and the embarrassing thing is that you’re more wrong than you’re right .

          This is Orobo Hunter’s story , and I believe he knows what motivated him a lot more than we do ….you could have simply taken your L and kept it moving , but of course …Mandy is always ready with a clapback , even in a situation it is completely unnecessary , downright ridiculous and absurdly whimsical .

          For your sake I hope you’re a teen or a young man in his early twenties, because if you’re in your thirties and you can’t resist the urge to always be defensive ….well , Lord help the people that take the advice you dish out. 🤦🏼‍♂️

          Then again – this is KD where snappy comebacks and “savage ” retorts are the way people show they are not pushovers 😂😂😁 while people actually doing the most damage in the real world barely move a finger.

          Lmfao 🚶🏼‍♂️

  3. Orobo Hunter
    March 01, 07:46 Reply

    Thank you guys for the warm reception of this tale.

    As far as I know, Dimeji is safe now, wherever he is. I was very angry at him for a long time but I decided to forgive him and myself and that was what prompted me to finally pen this.

    The whole story is much longer and more complicated but I’ve captured just my side of the tale with the hope that someday, Dimeji will fill in blanks with his own account of events.

    I would also love to make a plea to everyone to kindly refrain from calling Dimeji any “bad” names, he and I are both victims of homophobia. Thanks.

    My final appreciation goes to Pink Panther for the awesome editing and for giving the story apt attention. Thank you very much.

    I sincerely hope there won’t be a Finding Dimeji part 4 lol.

    • Mandy
      March 01, 09:44 Reply

      Yes. We’re all victims of homophobia. And I truly commend your friend for being so bold and courageous in owning (or at least, trying to own) his life and narrative.

      But I have a problem with victims stepping all over other victims in their frantic desire to write their own stories.

      Acknowledge that we’re all suffering the same pain, while being considerate of each other as we all try to get ahead.

  4. Higwe
    March 01, 08:03 Reply

    would also love to make a plea to everyone to kindly refrain from calling Dimeji any “bad” names, he and I are both victims of homophobia. Thanks *

    Why on Earth would anyone do that? 😳

    The boy deserves nothing but praises for being strong-willed and resilient .

    People like him end up becoming extremely successful in life because he has a mind that is not easily defeated .

    The fact he escaped again, this time without involving you- tells me he’s a true survivor; an independent spirit …….

    • Demi
      March 01, 20:28 Reply

      Bless you higwe for this comment.. Nigga just needed to move ni kawai.. Otherwise he’d just kill himself and that will be bad. I respect him and we wouldn’t be able to tell how really bad he suffered at home. I think orobo u did well, just try reaching out to him one day. The parents are really funny stifling him further after the event instead of threading with care, understanding and caution, they are lucky he ran and didn’t commit suicide

  5. Dear
    March 01, 08:37 Reply

    This is an amazing and enthralling story.

    What you did for Dimeji was above and beyond and it is totally understandable why you had to cut yourself off.

    I would like to know how Dimeji is surviving where he is now though. And what of Uzo? Is he still in the north alone or he had to relocate?

  6. Delle
    March 01, 10:57 Reply

    Woah Seun!

    ‘Following my confession, Mrs. Adeleke contacted the bus transit Dimeji traveled with for Intel, and then flew ahead to the North to wait for him at the bus park. Upon his arrival, she whisked him off to a nearby hotel to spend the night, and in the morning, mother and son were back in Lagos.’

    Am I the only one that laughed so loud after reading this part?

    Seun this was quite the story. And despite his shortcomings, we can’t deny Dimeji is a strong man; his ardent desire to own his life is quite inspiring. I pray things work out for him.

    Meanwhile, you write good. ❤

  7. Gaia
    March 01, 11:46 Reply

    The part where the mum had to arrive his destination before him got me lol. Tuff woman. I wish Dimeji well.

  8. Malik
    March 01, 12:27 Reply

    My parents could have done exactly what Dimeji’s parents did. Sometimes, parents need to be taught how to love a child the way the child wants/needs to be loved.

    I don’t know who to blame in the story. I don’t think that it’s easy to invest 20+ years in a child and just let him go because he’s grown and should be allowed to make major decisions all on his own. Yet, I think there’s middle ground that can be found. @Orobo Hunter, I support your staying out of it. I prescribe that Dimeji and his parents sit down and have an actual conversation where both parties are speaking as well as listening.

    • Orobo Hunter
      March 02, 08:07 Reply

      The chances of this happening look slimmer everyday but let’s hope.

  9. Dillish
    March 01, 12:58 Reply

    Hey orobs!
    Me I Santo hear the full gists.call me abeg

  10. Bluewaters
    March 01, 15:31 Reply

    Following my confession, Mrs. Adeleke contacted the bus transit Dimeji traveled with for Intel, and then flew ahead to the North to wait for him at the bus park. Upon his arrival, she whisked him off to a nearby hotel to spend the night, and in the morning, mother and son were back in Lagos.’
    Lol. I read that over and over again.
    Please, do keep contact with Dimeji.
    Will be expecting part 4.
    All the best, Dear

  11. Francis
    March 01, 17:07 Reply

    Here’s hoping the parents don run mad and drag you into Part 4 if they still can’t get a hold of him. It pains me that the parents after knowing what the boy is going through are stuck in their ways. Hyper religious parents are simply the worst sha

  12. John
    March 04, 08:59 Reply

    Nice story but I want to know, how did Mrs Adeleke know the actual bus Demiji took to north or did u reveal that to them

  13. Peter
    April 25, 08:56 Reply

    Had to”binge read” after I saw the first part. This is very interesting and if it’s really true, I understand why you had to cut off. Not everyone has the strength to deal with such drama. I wish Dimeji well and I hope he finds peace and happiness. Hopefully, his parents would realise that their son’s life is much more important than their religion.

    • Pink Panther
      April 25, 13:27 Reply

      The story continues with a prequel titled “My name is Dimeji”. You should check that out. It’s a true story, and the Dimeji tells us the story from his own perspective.

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