FOR AJ (Part 3)

FOR AJ (Part 3)

Previously on FOR AJ

*

Finally, AJ had replied.

*insert sigh of relief*

I sat where I was reading the WhatsApp text he sent after several weeks of being incommunicado with me.

Hello, Lanrey, I’m really sorry. I wanted to apologize to you because I must have come across like an asshole and you were really worried about me. It’s a long story, but the summary of it is awhile ago, like 4 maybe 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. It comes and goes, so I never really dealt with it. On my worst days, I have suicidal thoughts, and sometimes, I have the worst mood swings. Sometimes, I just want to be alone for months and not talk to anyone. I honestly was trying to spare you having to deal with that kind of negativity because I’m not very good at expressing myself, so I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what’s going on with me.

‘I’m honestly not a bad person. Just that, well, I guess I have a fucked-up mental state. That’s why I don’t have friends because it’d be difficult to explain why my mood suddenly shifts. So, I’m really, really sorry and I honestly appreciate that you were concerned, because I don’t get that a lot apart from my family. I’m really sorry if I offended you and I hope you are doing well.’

When I was done reading, all I wanted was to understand what was going on with him and if he wanted to talk, for him to know I would be a listening ear. I also wanted to see this person who I had come to like so much in such a short time.

I typed back a reply: ‘I am sorry you have it rough right now. Whatever you are going through, I’ll be here if you feel like talking or sharing. Sending you all the love you need in this period.’

He didn’t reply. But that was okay.

After this exchange, I imagined that we would resume communication in the following days. And so, the next day, I called him, just so I could hear his voice. It’d been a long time since I’d heard him speak and I was yearning for the sound of his voice. Plus, I thought a call would help make him feel better, whatever it was he was going through.

All my calls went unanswered. But I wasn’t deterred. Whatever this depression was, I was going to do my best to help him through it. I made it my daily mission to drop a message for AJ everyday or at least most times in the coming weeks. He never responded, but that too was okay.

When my birthday came around, it sucked. However, that night, AJ sent me a message. It was a simple birthday wish accompanied by a cake emoji. When I saw it, my face lit up like I was a child who’d gotten an early Christmas present on the eve of Christmas. I quickly replied with my thanks, asking if we could talk on the phone, that it would be a great birthday gift to me.

He called. The rush of pleasure I felt when I heard his voice for the first time in so long was like nothing I’d ever felt. He sounded tired and delighted and sexy and so AJ. He apologized for distancing himself from me, wished me a happy birthday, started to sing the “Happy Birthday” song, but his terrible singing voice put a stop to that.

When I asked what the problem was and if he was willing to share, he said he was suffering from depression and that he preferred to be in his own space and alone so as not to bother anyone or rub his negative energy off on anyone. He said that in the past, some people had complained that he was a sad guy and he thought I might see him the same way, so he took the prerogative of cutting off from me. I told him I might not fully understand what he was going through, but as someone who’s known depression a couple of times, I knew what it felt like to be in that state of mind. We talked about how he had also shut out his family members; he said his mother had called severally during this bout of depression, not because of his distance (apparently, this wasn’t the first time he’d been down this road), but because she wanted to make sure he was taking his anti-depressants.

Eventually, the call ended and I didn’t feel like my birthday sucked after all.

I texted AJ the next day, and he replied, much to my surprised pleasure; he said he was moving to a new place and had been quite busy. I offered to come help him move, and he declined, saying he’d prefer me to visit when he was fully settled. I answered by again reiterating that I was here if he ever needed anyone to talk to.

The following day, I made some food, and when I realised that I’d made more than I could eat, I texted AJ, offering to bring some to him. Again, he surprised me, by immediately sending me a Google Map location and the time that he would be free.

I was both nervous and excited by the thought that I’d finally get to see AJ. This may not have been the circumstances I’d anticipated to meet him when we started getting acquainted on Hornet, but I didn’t mind. I love to feed people I care about and I just wanted him to have a taste of my jollof rice. And I wanted to give him a big, warm, reassuring, long hug.

Because I was scheduled to meet AJ at night and because it was summer, I put on a nice tank top and the shorts that always had people staring whenever I wore it. I put on my sexiest cologne, moisturized, and applied some lip balm. Then I set out to get a taxi. While in the taxi, my nervousness started surmounting my excitement and I started getting into my head. What would I do when we finally see? Would he like me? What if I didn’t appeal to him? What if this meeting took away the mystification of our friendship so much that he’d place me on his permanent “no contact” depression list? What if this! What if that!

I was lost in my thoughts that I didn’t realize we had gotten to my destination. The driver had turned to give me that impatient ‘Oga, you don reach your bus stop, make you dey come down’ look before I realised where we were. I paid him, alighted with the lunch box, and called AJ on the phone to tell him I was outside.

He emerged, clad in a sweatshirt, trousers and a pair of medically-recommended glasses. At first glance, I dug up a mental picture of the photos he sent me and merged them with this guy coming before me, and there was very little difference. He looked just as beautiful in my head as he looked before me.

We exchanged greetings and then started on the 5-minute walk to his place. We got to an apartment, and I kept looking around, observing the environment and familiarizing myself with it, even though I didn’t know why I was doing that. He held open the door and I entered. He offered me a seat. I took in the living room with a quick glance, noting how he had almost every basic house appliance installed, something that gave me a sense of the type of man he was.

We started talking, and it wasn’t very long before he had to address how he disappeared on me. He apologized, saying that before opening up to me, only his immediate family and close friends knew about his condition. He had been suicidal once, and now, he was on medication to manage it. He said he doesn’t like telling people, because he didn’t want the pity that they’d most likely offer. He talked about how he didn’t like taking the anti-depressants, because he feared he’d get addicted to them.

When we started talking, I yearned sexually for him. I wanted to hug him and kiss him and peel back the layers of our clothing so I could feel and explore every inch of him. But the longer we talked about all this, the less sexual I felt. I commented on his glasses, asking whether he could see without them. He said yes, that he only used them when in school or at his laptop. I joked about it, asking if he needed them to see where the asshole was, and he laughed heartily at that.

I gave him the lunch box, and he thanked me. I was so happy that I’d finally met him in person. I wanted to know him more. I wanted to be his friend. I cared very deeply about him. I…I –

I looked at my watch and was startled to see that it was past midnight. How time flies and you don’t even know it because you are spending it with someone you like and enjoy being with. AJ had immediately become that person. The conversations weren’t forced; it felt like we had known each other for long and I wanted to see him and visit him or spend time with him every day, if it was possible. I told him I had to go and he said okay. I asked for a hug and he chuckled, before moving to envelope me in an embrace. I hugged him tight, holding on to him, inhaling his scents.

We set out of his house and he walked with me to the bus stop. On the way, I told him I would like to be his friend and be there for him. He smiled somewhat sadly at me, and what I saw in that smile was: ‘Don’t worry, you too will run away soon.’

But I was positive that I would never abandon AJ. I would always be here for him. I wanted to continue hugging him many times over. And by God, I would be here to do just that.

So we said our goodbyes when a taxi came along, and I climbed into it, waving at him through the window as the car pulled away into the road.

TO BE CONTINUED

Written by Lanrey

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  1. Mandy
    March 11, 14:04 Reply

    I have the uneasy feeling that this story is just leading up to AJ committing suicide. God, just thinking about this possibility is making my heart break for him. 😔🥺😢

  2. Milo
    March 12, 09:07 Reply

    I’m still curious to what attracts us to damaged people

    • Sweetcandy
      March 14, 07:22 Reply

      Why will you say that everybody needs love. A little love shown could go a long way. So damaged people’s lives matters too. We all deserve to be loved,so give out love any time you can no matter the person you can save a life in so doing. But don’t get lost in it while doing so.

  3. aequle
    May 15, 12:42 Reply

    can someone please tell lanrey we are waiting for the part four, it’s been two months. LANREY!!!

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