God’s Children Are Truly Little Broken Things

God’s Children Are Truly Little Broken Things

Some months ago, I met this guy on Tinder. I’d just joined the app following a dare from a friend, and after a few matches, two days later, here was someone saying hi.

I responded. And we were soon engaged in a chatversation.

The chat was good – not the generic type – something organic, seamless and engaging. It was easy for me to like him based simply on our interaction. Thinking about it now, what I found the most attractive about him (whom I shall name Concord for the purpose of this story) was that he could speak Igbo well.  At least, that was what he told me, and I couldn’t wait to hear him speak.

From the pictures I saw, Concord wasn’t bad-looking either, and he knew just how to keep a conversation going.

I should have been attentive to the drop in communication on his part after that first day, because it seemed like as the days went by, the quickness with which he responded to my messages dropped. From several minutes to hours, and from hours, it became days. He would always come back with the excuse that he’d been busy; but you see that excuse, no matter how valid it may seem to some, it has never really worked with me. I believe that you would always find the time to respond and/or reach out to someone you are interested in.

So, chiding myself for becoming unduly attached, I stopped trying to initiate a conversation with him. (To be fair, he would always respond, but the timeline was so far apart that many a time, the essence of the discourse was already lost by the time he would answer). And since he never initiated any conversation with me, soon, the friendship that never really took off wound down to an end.

Fast forward to two months after that e-meeting, and I was at a friend’s birthday party, when this person walked up to me and planted himself on the arm rest of the couch I was seated on. He was wearing a fine smile when he said, “Hello, Delle.”

I am terrible with faces and stared at him, not knowing if he was someone I was supposed to know or not.

He picked up on my confusion and supplied, “Concord. We met on Tinder some time ago.”

I still didn’t remember him. But I smiled, because I figured it would be rude to keep looking confused after such a helpful clarification. We shook hands, exchanged some pleasantries and he left. Maybe I hadn’t done a good job of convincing him that I’d remembered him. I watched as he settled in another corner of the room, and it wasn’t until the party was winding down – most guests had left and the only drinks lying about were remnants abandoned by inebriated attendees – did it click.

Pushing myself out of my seat, I went looking for him. I wanted some form of closure, even though I knew I wasn’t entitled to that. I couldn’t call what he did “ghosting”. However, I needed to know. I wanted to understand how it was that someone could simply stop talking to you even when it was obvious that they enjoyed it the times you both conversed. I’d often heard people complain about it and it didn’t make sense to me then; it wasn’t making sense to me still and I needed it to.

I pulled him out of the room he was in talking with some friend of his – he was very agreeable, I recall – and we found a spot in the living room.

We went on to talk till the following morning, and by then, I had become curious about him. No, it wasn’t only because he could speak Igbo, but there was a simplicity to him that appealed very much to me. He was the kind of man I could be myself with, the type that knew who he was and seemed mature enough to handle a personality as big as mine. It was an amazing time spent with him, which ended with a kiss and an exchange of numbers.

Have I mentioned his communication deficiency? Well, take this as a reminder because even though we started to chat on WhatsApp and speak to each other on phone after the party, I could tell that it was more my effort than his. Concord was apparently a very outdoorsy person; if he wasn’t hanging out with friends, he was buying fabrics for a sewing job. I suppose fashion designers/tailors in an upscale city like Abuja would have a plethora of clients. But are you ever too busy to make the person you are in talks with feel like they’re not alone in the quest to “get to know each other better?”

I tried to rationalize this. Maybe I had more time, I reasoned. Maybe he was really so busy, he barely even had time to breathe.

I struggled to make sense of this happening all over again – especially after we had met physically and enjoyed each other’s company so thoroughly.

At this time, I had traveled out of Abuja for a work thing. I was reluctant to conclude on what was going on between us until we’d met and talked. But in the meantime, I needed us to communicate, to keep the embers burning if we were going to make fire out of it. But I was getting tired of reaching out, of being the only one checking in. I was tired of acting like I wasn’t seeing other messages from other people.

Why are the people you’re interested in the ones who never give the energy back?

He did say he was interested, and he’d sounded genuine enough, I reminded myself often. But this reasoning would last until the next time I felt like I was pestering him. You can’t blame me. One-sided reach-outs for sensitive persons like me are bothersome. If he wasn’t going to call or text me, then what was I doing?

So, I stopped as well.

Although an arguably bad character trait, when I decide on certain things, I follow it through no matter how difficult it may feel. I resolved to stop reaching out to Concord and I did. For the remaining two weeks I spent in Calabar, there was no communication between us. The first three days of it hurt. There was always this impulse to click on his name on WhatsApp, to check his status, to know if he was okay. But I restrained myself. The hurt and disappointment began to ebb after a week, and by the time I was ready to return to Abuja, I was done with Concord. All that was left were flashes of memories that came unexpectedly at me and were easy to wave off without any lingering feeling of pain or disappointment. I was good. I felt fine.

During the time we were in communication, I’d told him that he would help make some outfits for me. He had shared his work with me and they looked great; plus he is queer, so that sealed the deal. The wedding I had to attend the next month meant that I had to make an attire suitable for the event.

After struggling with the decision to follow through on my word for him to make the outfit for the wedding for me, I hit him up. This was largely because I had already made him a promise, and partly because I needed to convince myself that this person does not deserve to be in my life the way I had wanted. I needed to remind myself what it was about him that got me interested that night at the party.

This meet was, however, going to be purely business. Whatever observations I made, and subsequent inferences, would be mine to deal with. Alone.

And so, we met. It was a 5 PM appointment at a restaurant he suggested, and even though I was a bit thrown-off as to why he would suggest that we meet at a restaurant instead of his workplace, I did not dwell too much on it. I remembered how the only feeling I felt as we set up the meet was slight anxiety at the anticipated awkwardness of being in his company after weeks of silence. It felt strange to chat him up and not have the hotness in my belly that I used to have. It scared me a bit how quick it was for me to move on.

The meeting was as awkward for me as I had envisaged. At first, he came in with that air of ease I’d come to associate with him. From the twinkle in his eyes, I could tell that he expected the same breeziness from me, which caused a frisson of annoyance to course through me. Did he really not care that I might resent him for his ghosting?

After a few minutes of settling in, he seemed thrown by how quickly I moved to the business at hand, talking about the colors the materials should be and the design I wanted. At some point, he stopped me with a question: “Why are we being so official?”

I was incensed by that question. How could one man be so out-of-touch with sensitivity? How could he expect warmth and accommodation from someone he’d ghosted TWICE? How could he act like everything was okay, as if the chat that led to this meet hadn’t come after several weeks of no interaction?

I was so triggered, I wanted to eviscerate him with my wrath. But I am not one to cause a scene or overreact, so I just responded calmly but honestly, “Because I am here for us to do business and not to be friendly with you.”

There was no way I was going to pretend like we were fine. What did he expect? A smile and a hug? Some flirtation perhaps? He even had the guts to want to get me ice-cream. Did he choose the restaurant because a part of him wanted to make a date out of this meeting? How can such an informed gay man be so…clueless? The questions that swirled around in my head fueled my anger.

I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to hit him and shake him until his eyeballs started to spin. As he took measurements of me – now obviously accepting that I wasn’t going to be that person he met at the party, asking me different questions about my body and what I wanted – I hated that I had to be formal with him. I began to think that maybe it’d been a bad idea to contract him for the job. I hated the crisp responses I was giving, and I knew that he hated them too (not that his feelings mattered). I started to contemplate speaking to him about the reason behind my standoffish attitude towards him, the reason I was clipped in my responses and refused to smile too much or laugh at the little jokes he was telling.

You see, if he had been a bit more perceptive, if he had allowed himself to be a little sensitive, he would have asked what was wrong. I knew that he knew what this tension was about and what he could do to defuse it. And it fueled my anger that he wasn’t asking the right questions. If he had simply shown me what I needed to see, maybe I would have relented. But he was acting like he was bewildered by my aloofness, so I was done. I had talked and done all the reaching out I could with one person, and I was at my yielding point. To be candid, he made it easy to keep that resolution.

“Where are you headed from here?” he asked as I waited for my Bolt ride to come. I couldn’t say for sure, but it seemed like he wanted to say more, and I waited for it. When it didn’t come, without looking up from my phone, I responded, “Home.”

A few minutes later, the Bolt guy was parked in front of the restaurant, and I was bounding out of the restaurant to meet him. I don’t remember if I even bade Concord goodbye. I just wanted – no, needed – to leave that space. The more I stayed, the more it felt like I was going to choke from all the pent-up anger, the frustration from my decision not to speak, and his loud emotional unintelligence.

Yet, even as I type this, I cannot convince myself that what I did was right. Should I have spoken to him again? Should I not have even contacted him (surely, there are other queer tailors in this city)? Am I right for being intentional about crushing the interest I had in Concord? Why are queer men hell-bent on being so damaged, they damage others?

In the words of the writer and friend, Arinze Ifeakandu, God’s children are really little broken things.

Written by Delle

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  1. BoyToy
    March 15, 12:47 Reply

    Care too much? you lose ’em. Care too little? you still lose ’em.

    Well, all I can say is most people are very much aware of what they are doing. Concord has picked up on your fondness/likeness for him and he expects you to follow it through some more while he garners supply by employing some sadistic mind games. His ghosting you was all the closure you needed to move on while your resolution to keep your distance and not communicate with him should have been firmer.

    Ain’t no need frolicking with an emotionally bankrupt weasel. Your contacting him for business would be seen (by him) as a date and shouldn’t have been arranged in the first place and you were hoping to get an explanation from him for his erratic behaviour…..Sweetie, the handwriting is crystal clear that he has no plans of getting involved with you in that sort of way. Just take the hint and move on with all the dignity you can muster.

  2. Bliss
    March 15, 13:49 Reply

    Is this ‘’Toss’’?

  3. Oba of Benin
    March 15, 21:36 Reply

    Ain’t no more fury than hell when you u realize the asswipe you’ve been dating and getting for five years is a power bottom 😂😂

    Trust me… your act was a good riddance to that baggage 🧳 of bad rubbish

  4. Andie
    March 16, 23:23 Reply

    I think the best advice to give would be what I would’ve done in that situation.
    I would’ve asked him to explain himself. Because that ghosting was just too weird.

  5. Audrey
    March 21, 01:10 Reply

    You’ve written this same story on your Facebook page, you only tweaked it a bit.

  6. Pie
    March 22, 11:49 Reply

    Narcissistic bas*tard. Wanted more supply. Glad you shoved it up his ass.

  7. Lorde
    March 28, 00:08 Reply

    Girl- this is coming late – but you did the absolute right thing- men, esp useless emotionally unavailable ones don’t deserve one ounce of your pity or emotions- you block his ass and move on- guys like that they know what they are doing- always wanting the upper hand in every relationship. He knew he fucked up obviously- he just didn’t want to talk it cos of the reasons above- I will suggest a total cold shoulder- but not like “ in your face” …if you run into him at a party- still say hello-with a cold smile, cos they be looking at your face to see if they get a rise out of you. Don’t give him that satidafaction.

  8. Essence
    March 30, 17:25 Reply

    My first comment on this platform. I think I would have asked him what his deal was really. But maybe the mood might not allow it; human emotions are deep.

  9. Him69
    March 31, 17:58 Reply

    That nigga knows what he’s doing and he deserves to be treated that way.He wants to be chased that’s why he’s putting up this emotionally unavailable attitude.

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