Secondary school was horrible, my goodness. It was not a good place at all. It was quite literally the place where my soul went to die.
My secondary school experience culminated into a thing I had with this boy – let’s call him Jonathan. He came into my room in the middle of the night and jerked me off till I woke up. I didn’t scream. I didn’t make a fuss. He took that as encouragement, and began coming to my room and to my dick many more nights after that. Then, one time, I stayed up late in the common room, pretending to read because he was also in the common room, awake. Then he said to me, “Come to the toilet.”
And so, we graduated from that to this.
But it all came abruptly to an end one night, when our house father barged in on us. He threw the door open and there we were, caught in a very compromising position. The next day – or was it the same day? I don’t know if it was after midnight – my parents were called to pick me up.
That was how that ended.
To be clear, I was a willing participant during those nights when Jonathan snuck to my bedside to touch me. I wasn’t molested or forced to do anything. We were the same age in the same year. In fact, I looked forward to those nights when he’d come to call me.
My mother would eventually show that she had a different point of view.
So back to the present; it was a week after that second clash with my parents, after I was made to write “Get thee behind me, Satan” a 100 times, and I had a meet-up. I’d paid someone to custom-make a bracelet for me. The bracelet was to have my name in rainbow colours. That was my main reason for going for the meet-up, aside from the fact that I was so very lonely and was craving any form of human interaction with people I shared any sort of interest with.
And for church the next day, I wore the bracelet. See? I told you I wasn’t very smart. The bracelet was handmade, so it wasn’t some sort of fashionable piece you’d see on the cover of Vogue or anything. But it was my name in rainbow colours and I’d paid for it with my own money, so I was going to wear it, goddamn it!
And I almost made it the whole day – until we got home and my father saw it on my wrist as I went to open the gate. He didn’t say anything then, but later, after they went out and came back, my parents called me to their room. My father apparently knew what the rainbow meant but my mother had no idea. When I was asked about the bracelet, I said something about how I just wanted to wear it for no reason.
Well, when they went out, they’d gone to buy a new bracelet. “This one is three times as expensive as that one,” my father said as he handed me the new one.
It was a fine piece of artwork. I still have it.
But they took the rainbow bracelet from me in exchange for it.
The next day, I was seated at my spot in their room, doing my schoolwork while my mother sat reading the bible.
Then she had something to say to me. “So you decided to go and display your stupidity in church yesterday?”
Of course! How did I dare think I’d get away with doing what I did yesterday?
My mother’s words however hit me harder than I thought they would. I was used to being called stupid. I’d been called lots of things for the most mundane reasons. “You don’t know how to do anything” is the phrase I blame for my complete and utter lack of self-confidence and faith in my abilities. Once, I was called wicked because I’d written a short story where the protagonist called her father paranoid.
But, it never failed to hit me hard whenever I was called these ugly things. And when my mother said what she said, it hit me hard. And I was immediately exhausted. And it’d only been a week since the last dustup. And so, I didn’t have the energy to fire back. I just sat there, wanting to get along.
Then she brought up that incident in secondary school. You see, at the time of our expulsion, Jonathan and I had denied that we’d been doing anything other than heavy petting. “We were only touching each other,” we’d said. Retrospectively speaking, how was that lie supposed to make the situation less grievous? Lol. Anyway, that was the lie we told – even though it didn’t change the consequence, we were still expelled – but a few weeks after I was kicked out of the school, I came clean to my parents. I told them the truth, everything Jonathan and I did.
So, they knew.
And this was why I was really confused when my mother presently began talking about how the Holy Spirit had revealed some things to her about that secondary school incident, and when she began talking, she was basically telling me the things I confessed to her and my father seven years ago.
The Holy Spirit didn’t tell her these things. I did.
I tried to tell her this, to tell her that I confessed these things to them, but she was insistent, and so, I shut up. I was going along with it, so I let it go.
She asked if I was angry at Jonathan. I said I wasn’t. Why would I be angry at him? What did he do? To be honest, for a while back then, I thought he should have been super pissed at me, that he should have hated me. It took me awhile to realize that he wouldn’t have a right to be. I didn’t do anything to him that he wasn’t doing to me.
But my mother said I should be mad at him. That he’d abused me. He did not, but I was going along with it, so I let it go.
Then upon her insistence, I had to agree with her that I was simply mad at god, and that was why I’d said that I don’t believe in him. That I wasn’t gay; instead I was craving what I’d experienced in secondary school.
It was very hard. Having to repeat those prevarications was really hard. I could barely get the words out of my mouth.
At some point, she said, “You need to tell everybody,” and I was scared that she would make me go online and tweet these insanely homophobic drivel.
When my father came home that day, he hugged me, feeling celebratory over what my mother had told him was the “breakthrough” I’d made.
How deep was this denial that my parents were determined to live in, that they’d hold on to any lie that would cushion them from the cold, hard reality of my truth? I wondered.
But I was going along with it, so I faked a smile and gave all the right responses to the things he said.
And everything was fine for a long time after that. My sister came home from her university. I got my phone back. We had a good Christmas at this good place that I enjoyed. I mean, I was in constant turmoil and I hated my life and the fact that I was living in this pretense. But everything was fine; at least everyone thought everything was fine. There were days, few and far in between, when they expressed their worry that I seemed to be going back to my old self, those days when they caught me in my unguarded moments of sadness. But I got better at hiding my depression, and it was all okay.
But then, what better day could it be for everything to almost fall apart again than the last day of the year?
Written by Dimeji