FOR THE LOVE OF MAN

FOR THE LOVE OF MAN

Port Harcourt, 2005

I was in the university, studying in school and being gay in town. Port Harcourt City was full of promises and adventures for the young gay man looking to have a good time. There were oil workers up for grabs and gay hotspots only those in the know hit up. This was the type of bustling pre-antigay-law environment that I was a part of, and yet, it would appear that I didn’t know enough about what went on in the underbelly of the beast that was the gayborhood.

One of the guys I hooked up with in my early days at Uniport was an expatriate – who we shall call Pete for the purpose of this story. Pete worked for Shell. I went to see him at his beautiful house, and while we were getting acquainted, he mentioned that he had a boyfriend (a Nigerian right there in Port Harcourt) who he’d just broken up with. And all of a sudden, it was as if a dam was broken open, as Pete wouldn’t stop venting about this ex-boyfriend. He complained about how the guy often disrespected him and was very lavish with the way he spent his (Pete’s) money. He talked about how they’d broken up a few times before, but now, it was for sure over and he simply wants to move on.

This was music to my ears, as I thought I’d finally landed a sugar daddy. White, rich and now available – what more could a university undergraduate ask for? Now, if only he’d just shut up about his ex!

I kept my impatience restrained as I agreed with him on everything, from how his ex was a very terrible person to how he did well by giving him the heave-ho.

The meet was a lunch date, and soon, our meal was served. We were at the dining table eating when Pete’s phone rang. He answered, and that was when everything changed.

First, it was his expression: what was once an animated expression became flat as he listened to the person on the other end. I could hear the teeny sound of the caller’s voice and he seemed to be talking endlessly, eliciting only the occasional wooden “Yes, dear” and “No, dear” responses from Pete. It was worrying to me, and I kept whispering to him, “What’s wrong, Pete? Who’s that on the line?” He of course neither gave me any response nor spared me a glance.

Then, after an uncomfortable several minutes spent watching him be a zombie throughout the phone call, he hung up and turned to me.

“So, Phyne,” he said, “I’m going to need you to leave now.”

I sat there, dumbstruck. He wanted me to what?

“That was my boyfriend on the phone…”

Oh, so the guy had gone from “ex” back to “boyfriend”, huh?

“…and he’ll be coming over. And so, you gotta go.”

It was such a swift turn of events, I was almost left feeling dizzy. Like, I couldn’t explain what had just happened. How did we go from he and I potentially hooking up and possibly becoming a thing to me getting kicked out of the house after just a phone call from the ex that he’d hated just moments earlier?

As I left Pete’s house that evening with my compensation that amounted up to twenty thousand naira, I couldn’t shake off the image of his countenance throughout that phone call. There was something so not ordinary about the way he transformed from a human being to a zombie when he answered that call.

I would encounter that same countenance again some years later.

 

Port Harcourt, 2008

I had a very good friend when I was in Uniport. His name (for the purpose of this story) was Sam. For as long as I knew Sam, he had a rich older boyfriend who doubled as his benefactor (let’s call him Brume). I never got to meet Brume or even know what he looked like, but I knew he was married, worked for an offshore company, and was very generous toward Sam. In fact, he was the one sponsoring Sam’s education.

Then one day, Sam told me that he’d started noticing that there was another boy in Brume’s life who, it seemed, was trying to take over Brume’s attention and affections. He said that he was starting to see less and less of Brume. For instance, whenever Brume was back in town from an offshore assignment, he would usually call up Sam and ask him over to his hotel for them to spend a few days together before Brume would have to go on home. Sam noted that that was now happening fewer and fewer, even though he knew that Brume’s trips back home hadn’t changed. This prompted him to investigate, and he found out that Brume was seeing some other boy.

“And do you know the worst part?” Sam said as he updated me with his relationship woes.

“There’s a worst part?” I said facetiously.

“The pikin has even moved into Brume’s house, and the two of them are claiming – to Brume’s wife at least – that the boy is Brume’s son from a past indiscretion.”

“What!”

“Yes!” Sam exclaimed with a clap of his hands.

“Wow! That’s a big risk to take for the sake of nyash na,” I said.

“Are you telling me! I am certain that that boy is using jazz on Brume.”

“Or maybe, he really is Brume’s son and there is nothing sexual going on between them,” I reasoned.

“Na lie!” Sam objected with a firm shake of his head. “Brume is fucking that boy, and the boy has used juju to lock him down.”

Until Sam died five years later, he never stopped believing this.

 

Lagos, 2012

I had graduated from school, was done with service and was now based in Lagos, trying to hustle my way through the world. Sam was still based in Port Harcourt and we kept in touch.

One day, I got a friend request on Facebook. It was from a person named Jonathan. I accepted the request, and a few chats in the DM later, we established both our interests in each other. He said he was based in Warri, but assured me that work often brought him to Lagos, and so, we’d be able to see sometime soon.

However, there was something I found a bit uneasy about getting acquainted with Jonathan. During our chats, it always seemed like he knew about me from beyond social media. It was an impression I got from the way he didn’t seem too surprised by some of the personal information I told him about myself. The more we chatted, the more certain I became that he was friends with somebody who knew me; this was an easy conclusion to come to because Warri was where I grew up.

He soon came to Lagos, and that evening, we had fun hooking up. The conversation was great, and the sex was really good. So good in fact, that when he slipped out of me and laid back on the bed, his mood changed in a way that was hard to miss, considering what a good time we’d just had.

It was as though the spark had gone out of him, and his countenance became flat. Dull. He even attempted to put some distance between our bodies, hastening to put on his boxers and singlet when we were supposed to be cuddling and basking in the post-coital glow.

I realized then that I was looking at the same inexplicable mood change I’d encountered with Pete many years ago. This time though, I was determined to get an explanation.

“What is the matter?” I asked him.

“Nothing…” he started saying.

“Don’t tell me that. Something is very clearly wrong here, and I want to know.”

He sighed, and then in a morose tone, he said, “I shouldn’t have done what I just did with you.”

“Is there someone else?”

“Yes. And we made a vow to each other that we would never do this thing with anybody else.”

That evening ended on a downcast note. I couldn’t spend the night with him, not with him acting like I was suddenly nauseating to him. However, as I made my way home, I began to figure out that perhaps, this guy, this Jonathan was Sam’s Brume. It all started to click: the personal details he appeared to already know about me could only have come from Sam; and he worked for Schlumberger, which was the same place Brume worked.

After all these years, I had finally gotten to know Sam’s man in more ways than one.

Sam confirmed my suspicion when I called him to tell him about my hookup with Jonathan.

“It’s him,” he said after I told him Jonathan’s Facebook information. “And that vow he’s talking about isn’t with me. He’s still messing with that boy, and they are still masquerading as father and son. But I know better. As long as Brume is still giving me my own share of his sugar, then that one concern them.”

“But, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that they are father and son, how could Brume just accept a random young man out of nowhere to be his son? Did they do any paternity test?”

“Not to my knowledge,” Sam said. “When I asked him, he gave me some nonsense excuse about how he recognized the resemblance between them in the boy, and how he knew the boy’s mother and had a thing with her a long time ago.”

“And is the boy’s mother around to confirm this paternity?”

“I don’t know. Maybe she’s dead. But I’m telling you, this is the work of juju. That boy has tied Brume down in some babalawo’s shrine. I mean, he’s talking about making vows… That’s the sort of thing someone who is using juju to control you will try to get you to commit to.”

He had a point.

But I didn’t pursue the matter, because I didn’t really care. Besides, Jonathan aka Brume had all but made it clear that our first meet was going to be our last.

However, as I thought about him and the possibility of him being under this boy’s fetish control, I remembered Pete and that weird lunch date we had. I thought about that phone call that turned him into a zombie and I wondered if that was his ex-boyfriend reasserting his fetish control over Pete.

 

Warri, 2013

This was the year my friend, Sam, died.

Sam was the quintessential fabulous gay: loud, theatrical and the life of the party. His friends called him The Duchess. However, he had moments when he would disappear from communication. You would try to reach him and his number would be unavailable. Then he would suddenly reemerge with some excuse about how he lost his phone or couldn’t charge his phone because his charger got spoiled or they didn’t have light for days.

He did this so often that when it happened this particular time, I figured this was Sam being Sam. Before he disappeared from contact, I was in Port Harcourt and had seen him briefly. He didn’t look too good then; I mean, his outfit was still fabulous, but physically, he looked…less. He wasn’t as effervescent as he usually was, and he looked like he had lost some weight. When I asked him if he was okay and he brushed off my concern, I told myself he must be stressed and didn’t press further.

Then he disappeared. However, after a few weeks of him staying unreachable, I began to worry. Now, this wasn’t like him. I called a mutual friend of ours who was in Port Harcourt and he said he too had started to worry and was making some effort to reach Sam.

He called me a couple of days later to say he had finally seen Sam, and that he was fine. Then the next day, he told me that Sam was hospitalized. He’d apparently been walking home that day, when he got dizzy and fainted. Upon dropping to the ground, he hit his head hard, and now, there was some swelling in his head. I was distressed by this news, especially because I was in Warri and couldn’t go straightaway to the hospital to see my friend.

So, I made plans to come to Port Harcourt that weekend and go together with this mutual friend to the hospital to see Sam. However, three days later, Sam was dead.

I was devastated. It all seemed so sudden, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to Sam’s death.

While the news was spreading amongst those of us who knew Sam, out of the blue, Jonathan called me. He’d heard about Sam’s death, and like me, was bothered about the sketchy details surrounding the demise. He was especially concerned that it might have been AIDS-related and because he feared for his own exposure, wanted to know if I knew whether Sam might have been HIV positive. I didn’t, and I admonished him, telling him I knew as much about Sam’s death as he did and I didn’t have time to focus on his worries, not when I was grieving my friend. He understood and backed away.

However in the weeks after he made contact, Jonathan started reconnecting with me. A friendship began to form, especially now that we were both in the same place. I would go to see him at work, and we’d hang out sometimes. There was sex of course, but that was few and far in between. We were more friends than lovers.

Then, one day, somebody called me.

“Hello, are you Phyne?” a soft male voice said when I answered.

“Who’s asking?”

“My name is Abbey. You may not know who I am…”

Oh, but I knew who he was. Abbey was the rival that Sam had despised for so long, the boy who came into Sam’s boyfriend’s life and became the son he never had.

“What can I do for you?” I queried.

“You know any person named Brume?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well, I am his son and I would like to tell you to stop whatever you are doing with my father.” His tone had turned icy as he went on, “I know you two are messing around, and I want that to stop. You are a gold digger, just a shameless gold digger. You are breaking up my family and I won’t have that. Stop whatever it is you are doing with my father, or I’ll do it for you.”

I was dumbfounded. I truly hadn’t seen this coming: a confrontation with this guy who’s now issuing threats over the phone. Like seriously?!

“Are you done?” I said when I finally found my voice.

“Yes,” he said.

I hung up. Then I immediately dialed Jonathan’s number, but it was unreachable.

For the next couple of days, I persistently tried to reach him to no avail. Finally, on the third day, I tried him again and his phone rang. When he answered, I told him I’d been trying to reach him for days. He said his phone had been bad. Then, I went straight to telling him about the strange call I got from a young man who called himself his son, and I told him everything Abbey said to me.

However, Jonathan didn’t react like I thought he would. I mean, I didn’t know what I expected his reaction to be, but it certainly wasn’t the way he tried to minimize what I told him or the way he tried to brush it aside.

“He’s just a kid throwing tantrums,” he said. “Don’t mind him. That’s how he behaves. In fact, he’s the reason my phone is bad. We quarreled a few days ago and he smashed my phone.”

What! Did this guy realize that he’d just told me that a boy who was supposed to be his son had quarreled with him and then smashed his phone? In what part of the Nigerian motherland did this type of father-son relationship exist?

I began to realize then that Sam had it right all along: these two were about as related to each other as I was Jennifer Lopez’s long-lost brother.

In the following days, Abbey continued to pester me with calls and texts, calling me a gold digger, harassing me with threats and warning me to leave his “father” alone. It was aggravating, but I ignored him, hoping he would go away.

Then one day, I got a call from an unknown number. It was the weirdest call I’d ever gotten in my life – till date! I said “Hello” but there was no response. Instead, what I could hear were incantations and the singing of some traditional song. It wasn’t recorded; this was happening live, as though the caller was in the room with some people who were chatting and singing.

“Hello,” I said again.

Still, there was no response; just the singing and incantations.

I listened for a bit, waiting for whoever was on the other end to say something. But then, I began to feel dizzy. It was strange; a sudden wave of vertigo, as strong and as physical as a gust of wind, blew through me, rendering me suddenly weak. I quickly disconnected the call and shakily sat down, remaining seated until the dizzying spell passed.

Then two things occurred to me and stayed with me like the solidification of fact. One, this was the handiwork of Abbey. That guy was as diabolic as Sam believed he was. And secondly, he most likely was involved in Sam’s death. He couldn’t have been happy that after all these years, Brume still occasionally fooled around with Sam. I thought about how it was reported that Sam, on his way home, had gotten dizzy before dropping to the ground, unconscious.

It would seem as though this boy had turned his diabolical attention to me. And it officially pissed me off more than it scared me.

I picked up my phone and called him. When he answered, I began, “Boy, I’ve had it with your harassment. You seem to think you have power but you don’t. All these games you are playing in Port Harcourt that is giving you the impression that you are somebody, I have played them and graduated from them. You know my name, don’t you? Well, go and ask about me and the people I rolled with. You keep calling me a gold digger and I laugh. You think I don’t know you and what you’re truly about? My dear, I have known about you for years. And if you don’t stop harassing me, I will fuck you up. You see that nice life you are having as Jonathan’s son, I will fuck it up. I will find the wife and tell her some truths. Don’t mess with me. You don’t want me as your enemy. Better stay in your lane and stop looking for trouble where there isn’t any to find.”

I hung up.

And that was the last time I heard from Abbey.

 

Lagos, 2021

In the years that passed, Jonathan and I drifted apart. We stayed friendly, but I’d gotten much busier with life to interact with him like I used to. He would randomly call, and if we happened to be in the same place, he would want us to hook up. That, I definitely didn’t want. I was so over having any more sexual relations with him.

It had been a few months since we talked, and now, he was buzzing me on Facebook Messenger. He’d seen the photo update I’d earlier posted, where I was looking very peng, and slid into my DM.

After a brief exchange, during which time he ascertained that I was yet again unavailable for a hookup, I clicked over to his profile. I hadn’t been to his Facebook profile in such a long time and I wanted to see if there were any surprises there.

And there was.

His cover picture was a photo of what I assumed was Jonathan and his nuclear family. And standing in a corner, beaming at the camera, ever the dutiful “son” was Abbey.

A short, incredulous laugh burst out of my mouth. After all these years, this guy was still in Jonathan’s life?!

Written by Phyneasphuck

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  1. Worraheh did I just read?? Voo-doo because of man?? Ahh! So these things happen here too??😳😳

    Woh, they should comman show me way o, I need me a white glucose guardian too biko😋😋

    Anyways I’m so sorry for Sam’s death, It’s sad.

  2. Wiffey
    January 23, 09:26 Reply

    What the diabolic Fuck is this!!!

    Don’t play this kind of play with me o. Incantation, dizziness and your comeback was a phone call???

    Baby we are going deeper than you’ll ever wonder o. You will now enchant me because of a mere man that won’t marry either of us and you think we’ll all be fine. No sweetheart you may have killed the last bitch but honey this time, you’ve messed with the wrong bitch (in the lines of Todrick Hall)

    Me wey like fight pass quarrel, Bitch I am fucking matching to that house with my legions (for we are many) dragging you out of that house, (I don’t care about the very stupid man and his very gullible wife) to the Baba’s shrine or wherever you called me from, you must all reverse that shit there and then or heads will roll o.

    This small destiny I am trying to protect is the one you want to come and carry misery and scatter for me because of man that won’t even last 10mins before Cumming everywhere like a chicken ????

    Rara o, one of us is dying there that day.

  3. Zoar
    January 23, 10:44 Reply

    Hmmmmmm

    The length guys are going to hook a man.

    And you wonder how Women get all those Big Big Gifts and Cars from their Big gods(“It’s the Lord’s Doing” according to our Sister Bobrisky)

    It’s not only women alone now ooooo.

    What women can do, Men can do better 🤭🤭🤭.

    Strange and Mysterious but we move.

  4. Delle
    January 23, 11:18 Reply

    This was chilling to read

    That the Abbey guy is still in his life is even more disconcerting

  5. Queen of Queens
    January 23, 11:33 Reply

    Phyne my dear, you have not finished your assignment. Your destiny battle is calling you. You should return and defeat Abbey… then you write part 2 and update us 🙂

    • trystham
      January 24, 11:11 Reply

      Liiiiike!!! Make ẹ even avenge for im friend

  6. Sasha fierce
    January 23, 12:51 Reply

    Hmmmm…things are really happening oo, have had similar experience.., the he is my son card , the phone call from the supposed son🙄🙄..and the man acting like mumu wen speaking with the supposed son….funny enough the poeple that goes such length to hook these men are small small kpekere boys…well nothing lasts forever I believe , not even a spell……

    • Audrey
      January 23, 22:20 Reply

      My dear very small small boys that greed has eaten deep into.

  7. Pezaro
    January 23, 15:34 Reply

    …or maybe Abbey is truly just a homophobic son of Jonathan???

  8. Loxagyl
    January 23, 17:07 Reply

    Abeg finish up this gist ooo. is Abbey, Sokari? I have gist oooo.

  9. Audrey
    January 23, 21:39 Reply

    I’m not surprised because it’s currently happening to someone I know and funny thing is that the victim is American. Abeg how on earth would an American be the father of a GAY Nigerian?

    This is somebody that he’s mom has never even stepped out of Seme border oh and funny thing is that Nigga is the last child of a family of Six. The man in question comes to his senses at times but I think whenever he does this pikin goes back to stir his juju pot(Fear Onitsha children). My people things are happening oh but I just laugh because I know the end thereof would be very disastrous. When Oyibo shared the story surrounding the birth of this pikin with me I couldn’t help but call him stupid.

    He’s your son yet he sends premium nudes and wank videos to you which he’s shared with me a few times. My dear, I know you’d see this comment and know it’s me. This is me telling you to repent now before it’s too late so that when death comes for you we would know where to lay our blames on. We have a lot of ABBEY’S in our community and it’s very bad image for all us.

  10. Demi
    January 24, 00:27 Reply

    Eh God.. This is a crazy story.. I’m not happy the abbey guy is still winning even after killing Sam.. Wtf!! Phyne u av work to do ohh.. I really want another part to this story..

  11. Fred
    January 24, 06:43 Reply

    Abbey’s background is what really bothers me. How did he leave his biological relatives and settle as another man’s son so easily?

  12. Joe
    January 24, 14:35 Reply

    Some guys are so desperate.

  13. Rexxy
    January 25, 13:17 Reply

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
    That’s all I can say….
    You’re a queen…a real queen,…

    This was my best line
    “picked up my phone and called him. When he answered, I began, “Boy, I’ve had it with your harassment. You seem to think you have power but you don’t. All these games you are playing in Port Harcourt that is giving you the impression that you are somebody, I have played them and graduated from them. You know my name, don’t you? Well, go and ask about me and the people I rolled with”

  14. Peaches
    January 29, 01:29 Reply

    @Wiffey, I rotfl at your reaction. @Delle, e shock you!

    Knew a few from back then in Port Harcourt. I was never interested in their unnecessary display of power. making comments like “ask question o, I dey waka! I go waka for your head, drop you.” “I no want that man, If i want am, dem never born person wey go collect am from my hand”.
    They are still dying till even last year, and it is not corona.

    • Pink Panther
      January 29, 06:33 Reply

      “If i want am, dem never born person wey go collect am from my hand.”

      The confidence that comes from the abilities of your babalawo. Tsk, tsk.

  15. Bells
    January 31, 12:31 Reply

    I’m not surprised. Juju,voodoo etc are common practices amongst queer folks around Port Harcourt/Warri axis around the period of this write up. I grew up in Warri so I know. But u see juju ehh, e dey backfire las las na only time e go take.
    Abbey will definitely meet his water loo soon trust me

  16. Jacob
    January 31, 14:52 Reply

    This was scary to read😅😅..I am never coming out y’all..Atleast not in Nigeria where nonsense like this can still come to play

    • Pink Panther
      January 31, 15:41 Reply

      Lol. Whether you come out or not, that has no bearing on whether you’d ever encounter problematic circumstances like this. Heck, all these people probably weren’t out of the closet, and yet, see the mess they were involved in. Staying out of trouble and making good choices are the ways you won’t be caught up in situations like this, not coming out.

  17. Lanrey
    January 31, 15:05 Reply

    As I always say ” I would rather chew sand than fight over a man”. Man! Tufiakwa…except he is my husband sha

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