I was at the park in Onitsha. My destination was Port Harcourt. As I was settling down in the bus, I noticed a bike drop a young man a short distance away. Our eyes met as he alighted from the bike. I quickly shifted my gaze away, but not before I’d taken on the impression of how tall, well-built and good looking he was. I ventured another look at him, and our eyes met again. And again, I looked away. He was so gorgeous.

As other passengers got into the bus, an argument broke out between the driver and a female passenger over how much her luggage at the back of the bus would cost. At a point in the quarrel, the woman began threatening to get down from the bus, and this gorgeous stranger (who I’ll forthwith call X) offered to pay the balance of the amount the driver was insisting that the woman pay.

So, he was not only gorgeous, but generous as well. Interesting.

I had come down from the bus during this altercation and was about to get inside to take my seat. He turned to me and asked me where I was sitting and I pointed. He said okay. He took the seat directly behind me.

Soon, we hit the road. He engaged me in a conversation, and soon, we were gisting as the neighbourhoods and roadside scenery flashed past us. Meanwhile, the young woman seated to my left seemed intent on snagging my attention from X, so bright was her green light. At some point, she even laid her head on my shoulder as she feigned sleep. Then she told me she was feeling cold and I gave her my cardigan to put on. I was even surprised when she drank from my same water bottle when she told me she was thirsty.

But this aunty dinnor know wazgoingon. As in, madam, you’re so not my type. The guy whose attention you’re trying to take me away from IS my type.

The journey was tedious. We left Onitsha around 5 PM, and the driver was slow when darkness fell because his headlights were very dim. He made a stop somewhere for a passenger to alight. Some passengers also wanted to relieve themselves. I spotted a suya joint close by and realised I was hungry. I told X that I wanted to go get suya, and he offered to accompany me. After the Mallam had wrapped the barbecued pieces for me, I was going to pay, but X interceded and asked me to allow him pay for the suya.

He was chivalrous too. More interesting.

We got to Port Harcourt really late, at about 10 PM. I told X that I was very uncomfortable with moving about at night. He asked where I was headed and I told him. He said he was going in the same direction, and I looked at him, suspecting very strongly that he was lying.

We later alighted at a bus stop, and got on two more buses together, both rides which he paid for me. I had now gotten to the stop where I’d get on another bus that would take me the rest of the way to my estate. I told him this and he said he would be heading to his own area. I asked him where he stayed and he made a vague gesture while mentioning the name of a locality that was close by. And yet, I knew he had to be lying. He didn’t seem like he lived or knew this area. I told him thank you. We said our goodbyes and I watched him walk away. He confirmed my suspicion when I watched him get on a bus that would take him back the way we came. He had actually followed me all this way just to ensure that I got home OK.

I was touched by his chivalry. I was also severely chastising myself over the courage I lacked to ask him for his number. He was attractive. He’d been nice. He’d been generous. And I liked him very much.

And I hadn’t been able to ask him for his number. I just sat throughout the trip we shared together, and stood there as he walked away, too petrified by thoughts of the kind of society we live in to ask him for his number. Not even a casual “Are you on Facebook?” I remembered a piece posted on Kito Diaries titled The Dilemma Of Chyking The Man, and how the writer UC talked about the stress of letting a Nigerian man know you like him and would like to see him again. I could totally relate.

As I walked home from my final bus stop, I couldn’t help but wonder if Serendipity would play a role here and make it so that I would meet X someday again. If the Fates would grant me another opportunity of his company when I would not hesitate to at least ask him for his number.

Written by Owen

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  1. Mandy
    October 30, 08:13 Reply

    Men, you no try at all. There’s chyking and then there’s the preliminary to chyking. Given how much he’d invested in your company, that was enough to warrant you asking him for his number. It’s natural for any two people, gay or straight, to want to continue a good acquaintanceship into a friendship, and even straight guys would wanna get the number of someone else who’d been kind to them. It’s not a gay thing. We tend to over think these things.
    Plus considering how nice he was to you, if you took his number and in the process of your friendship, you opened up to him about liking him, he doesn’t strike me as someone who’d shame you for it if he’s straight. A gentle letdown at best, and complete ghosting at worst.
    This was truly a loss for you.

    • slender
      October 30, 18:55 Reply

      A big loss, sad, pls who is cutting onionsss?

  2. Higwe
    October 30, 09:16 Reply

    Looks like Mr X dodged a bullet though .

    I don’t really know you , but your write up made you come across as a little bit selfish and insensitive.

    The story kept reverberating -you you you you .

    Where YOU wanted to sit .
    What YOU wanted to eat .
    The direction YOU were headed to .
    How YOU fear darkness .

    Let’s forget about the gay straight thing …. humanity even demands that you’d at least gotten his contact to enquire if he arrived safely to his destination .
    Knowing he put his life and safety at risk too ….

    The serendipity should definitely be him not meeting you ever again.

    Man deserves way better ….?

    Oh ….I left it at ” a bit selfish ” because you gave a woman your cardigan …that should at least count for something ??

    • Terra
      October 30, 12:08 Reply

      Bruh! The “I” and “me” just kept jumping out.
      Reads like fan fiction sha but ??‍♂️

      • Pink Panther
        October 30, 13:21 Reply

        It’s HIS story. What is the matter with you people sef? What else other kind of pronoun is he going to use in his own story? Him? She? They? I mean, seriously!

        • Wonda Buoy
          October 31, 15:02 Reply

          Exactly what I thought! Higwe and his finger-pointing all the time.

    • J
      October 31, 08:52 Reply

      ??? His mum warned him not to talk to strangers.

    • Bee
      October 31, 10:12 Reply

      I’m now fully convinced that you’re a troll.

    • Francis
      November 01, 20:13 Reply

      Who knew there’d come a day when I’d be 100% on board with your comment/view. The fine ass nigga dodge bullet biko. You just dey take take take. Who does that bikonu? When you’re not the average Naija chick ??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️

  3. Tristan
    October 30, 09:54 Reply

    Huh? You were still waiting for him to ask for your number after he flashed a dazzling green light on you. You fucked up big time.

  4. duc
    October 30, 10:42 Reply

    Sounds like they both dropped the ball. I’m a chicken about these things too. I’ve had staring contests with guys before and the one time someone actually approached me I clammed up so badly I bet he thought I was stuck up.

    • Terra
      October 30, 12:17 Reply

      Tbh I think X had already spoken volumes with his actions. Owen hadn’t said or done anything to give the green light from what I read. If someone chills with you for an entire trip, even changing buses and then pays for the trips, that says he at least likes you, even if it’s in a platonic way. Dude should have asked for a number if only to ensure his safety. If he now resists, he can quickly backtrack or just leave it alone

  5. Ebuka
    October 30, 13:40 Reply

    In this life where we are constantly faced with ugliness particularly as homosexuals, when you see a ray of light, hold it down. You should have asked for his number. I don’t want to blame you but this entire story was written because you missed a chance, because you don’t know what could have been. Abeg there’s too much ‘what ifs’ in the lives of gay people, next ask for contacts.

  6. Obatala
    October 31, 07:38 Reply

    A couple of months ago, I was in auditing a client’s shop somewhere in Lagos island; a dreary job made worse by the manager of the place, a super meticulous lady who had to triple check each item. Six hours in and I was grumpy and ready to leave when this guy walked in.

    At first, I did not think much of him, he was on dreadlocks; the natural kind, and wore baseball shorts and vest. He came in to get something for himself, and while he was being attended to, he noticed my phone, a Nokia. He used a Nokia too, and he asked me how my experience with the phone was.

    The first thing I noticed was his superb diction, and I had to do a double take. We got talking from there, from the phone, and somehow we got to Beyonce (we did spend some time on Beyonce, my first clue?) , and then a bit about ourselves. He told me he was a poet and he had published some of his work online. This would be my cue to take his social media details right? Not me. I did not. I was not 100 percent sure he was a family member, plus it was a fairly public place, and the lady I spoke about had been glaring at me the whole time; wondering when I would break of my conversation and get back to work.

    I allowed fear to get the better of me and I regret it till this day. Even if he turned out to be straight, he still was an amazing conversationist, and it was great speaking with him.

    When he left, the manager looked at me and said “this is the first time you smiled since you came here” with a knowing smile. Up until then, I did not realize that I had been grinning from ear to ear while I spoke with him.

  7. Delle
    October 31, 07:58 Reply

    What I want to understand is how Chivalry is cute?

    And while you want to beat yourself up for not chyking him, why didn’t he chyke you? Why didn’t he go all the way? I’m even more pissed at him and I’ll be if I were you.

    • Cedar
      October 31, 11:40 Reply

      No Delle, not so. Brother checked all the boxes IMO.
      Let’s imagine for a sec that dude is gay, he must have also been threading carefully to avoid stories that touch. He went out of his way to make friends with Owen, spent money on him, heck! even went as far as following Owen to his destination. That to me qualifies as ‘chyking’ What else could he have done, go down on one knee?

    • Audrey
      October 31, 14:25 Reply

      Don’t know what you understand as Chivalry but I’d tell you that being sacrificial is a cute thing and sure can be likened to being chivalrous and YES dude sacrificed a whole lot than we are used to seeing as he owed no one the obligation of being nice.Thanks

  8. Manuel
    November 07, 17:41 Reply

    I’m literally crying at this your mumuism( no offence tho)

    The thing is paining me like mad! See opportunity wey dey come once in a lifetime!

    I really wanna believe this story is mere fiction sha..

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