Being queer was not something I became one with until late in my teen year. There had always been tiny random feelings for other boys but not enough to make me sit down and ponder about. After secondary school, I didn’t make it with my post-UTME aspirations, so i decided to take on a pre-degree course in a federal university. I anticipated that the move far from home would be an opportunity for me to explore my ‘happy’ self.
I had never lived in a hostel because I attended a day secondary school, and so this was an experience I was looking forward to, albeit with a little nervousness. Would I be bullied for being a little effeminate? Would I be loved? Would I even make it academically because competition here is a little stiff?
In the same hostel with me was Yomi. Because I kept to myself most of the time and loved to stay indoors, I hadn’t made the acquaintance of much people even though I’d been there for a few weeks. Then Yomi came to my room looking to borrow something from me; after saying I didn’t have what he wanted, he proceeded to “What’s your name? I don’t think I have seen you around here…” And from there, our friendship took off.
Yomi is a laidback guy, older than me and matured in looks and worldliness. He was also very good-looking. He had some problems in his former school, a private university, and was thus looking to start afresh in our school. Soon we became best of friends, really close, always huddled together gisting and texting each other and spending lots of time in each other’s rooms. There was some talk in the hostel about our closeness, but we never really paid attention to it.
However, through all this, no matter how much I yearned for Yomi, I never breached the platonic boundaries of our friendship.
Then came the day he asked for us to go read overnight in a public school. Loads of predates (as we pre-degree students were called) read out at night – in schools, churches etc. I obliged and that night, we soon got to the public school classroom and settled down into our books. However, Yomi wanted to sleep a bit and asked me to wake him up a little later. He put his head down on my thigh and shut his eyes. As the bookworm that I was, I wasn’t going for any nap; I was here to read. And so I read, placing my hand on his head and idly rubbing it. He hadn’t drifted off yet so I was hoping the soothing motion would send him off to sleep. But the opposite was the case. About thirty minutes later, I found out my action was making him horny. In a hoarse voice, he whispered to me to give him a hand job. Without waiting for my response, he took my hand and placed it on his junk – on his semi-hard junk.
I did not need much prompting to get down to business. I jerked him off and minutes later, when we were done, then came the awkward silence. I wasn’t apologetic though; he had after all asked for what happened. We read in silence for throughout the night and didn’t talk to each other for a few days after.
Soon, we drew close to each other again and I asked for us to talk about what happened, but he wouldn’t have it – which was good, because I didn’t care either. We carried on with our close friendship, gisting alone in the dark, talking about his life, and about school. We were so close that one time I was sick, he had to spoon-feed me when I didn’t have the strength to feed myself.
We finished our pre-degree programme and I got into medical school while he got the course he’d put in for. We still maintained our closeness, but things were about to take a turn this time. Yomi had a reputation of a bad boy; he smoked weed and due to his stocky stature and hard-faced demeanour, it wasn’t hard for people to be wary of him. Anytime he wanted to go to his hideout to smoke, he would ask me to come along. On one of those trips, we eventually talked about what happened that night in the classroom. I was able to admit to him that I’d always found him attractive, and he told me of some guy in his former school who was queer and had equally liked him that way.
Then one night, just before he set out for his smoking rendezvous, he said to me, “I’m going to smoke. Bring your Vaseline, so we can do stuff.” Startled, I was like, “Stuffs?” And he was like, “I know you grab what I mean. Just come along.” I was on instant excitement overdrive. Finally!
We got to our spot, dropped our pants and he asked me to penetrate him. He reasoned that that would be more satisfying to me than merely me wanking him. We tried, but penetrating him was tough, a fumble. We were being very bad at it. So that didn’t work out eventually. We settled for all other acts of intimacy, which we continued to carry on with every time we stole away to the hideout. Sometimes, we hooked up in my room, in the bathroom, anywhere we could get away with it.
We had plans to get a place in town after 100 Level and really explore our attachment. Anticipation began building inside me over the possibility of us becoming a ‘couple’. However, for all my anticipation, in a weird twist of fate, Yomi began to fall for me harder than I was falling for him. You see, without sounding immodest, I was this brilliant chap, with a sweet demeanour, kind and just generally good to be with. It wasn’t that far-fetched that I’d be easy to fall in love with. When we started being friends a year ago, it was torture for me to be so besotted with him and not have him the way I wanted. But here we were now, and he adored me. I was his solace, his advisor, getting close to being his everything. He didn’t get along very well with his parents especially because of the cultist issues he had in his former school that got him thrown out of there. He was prone to depression too, always thinking he was trash and talking about one day just giving up.
But I always got him. I took care of him. I strived to always give him a reason to be happy and feel safe.
Then came the holiday when I travelled to my cousin’s place and he to his parents’ place. I should mention that Yomi was my first queer experience. I had no queer friend and I usually felt like I was the only queer person in the world. Because of that sense of aloneness, there were often times when I felt like what I was doing with Yomi was abominable. Times when I couldn’t seem to reconcile my sexuality with my religion, and this was killing me – so much that when one early morning during the holiday, I received a text from Yomi about how he couldn’t think of anything but me and how much he misses and loves me dearly, and about us staying together and all, something snapped inside me. The rush of joy I should feel over this blatantly expressed emotion didn’t come. Instead, all I felt was the rumble of self-hate and disgust.
And so, I texted him back: I can’t do this anymore, it isn’t right and we shouldn’t see each other anymore.
It wasn’t easy, but after much drama, we parted ways. We lost our friendship, settling instead for occasionally meeting and gisting. I soon graduated, but for someone studying a five-year course, Yomi still hadn’t graduated. He lost himself along the way, joined goons, still smokes.
When I look back on our story, I feel a pang of guilt over how I failed him, over how I let him fall right back into the path I helped him out of. It is ironic that the reason I broke up with him, my internalized homophobia, is no longer an issue now as I have come into my own as a gay man.
When I look back on our story, I feel a little guilty because he fell right back into the path I helped him out of.
Written by Demi