It was a boring evening sometime in August 2014. I was waiting for admission then. So, I was going through 2go, and in one of the rooms on the app, I added this guy. We started chatting and he was so friendly. I am an Igbo guy living in the East and he is Yoruba, staying in Ibadan. I told him I was gay and was interested in getting to know him. He laughed at that and asked for my contact. His name is Ayo. He called me the next day and said he’s not gay, but that that shouldn’t affect our friendship. I felt cold at this, but accepted things the way they were.

We started getting acquainted, with him adding me up on social networks like Instagram, BBM and Facebook. No day passed without the two of us talking on phone. He would ask me if I’d gotten a boyfriend and I’d ask him about his girlfriend. He told me he was a virgin and intended to stay chaste till his wedding night. We talked about a lot of things and our friendship bloomed.

It turned out that we were both waiting to get admitted into the university. I didn’t get admission that year and neither did he. We agreed to apply for admission in the same school in the coming year so we could be closer to each other. His parents wouldn’t let him apply to any university in the East, so I applied for the University of Ibadan. By this time, we’d gotten so close that we talked about everything regarding our lives and families to each other. As far as I knew, he was the only straight friend I had who knew about my sexuality. He was caring and sensitive, and could tell when I wasn’t okay by the tone of my voice whenever we talked on the phone. He was a poet and often wrote me poems, even though they weren’t love poems, just basically poems about making it through the drudgery of everyday living.

And I couldn’t help falling in love with him.

My father later objected to my option of University of Ibadan after I scored 245 in JAMB. He said I would have a very narrow chance of getting the course I wanted in the university, so I changed to UNN. It took a lot of courage for me to break the news to Ayo, and the disappointment was very apparent in his voice. This wasn’t our plan. Attending UNN would keep us further apart and delay indefinitely any chance we’d have of ever meeting. I promised him that I would definitely visit him when I could, and he made the same promise to me.

However, I was unfortunately not admitted into UNN. He too didn’t get admission to Ibadan because he didn’t meet the cutoff required to study Law.

My delayed admission was starting to get to me. I was getting frustrated and losing interest in a lot of things, and my mom suggested I change environment. So, I moved to Lagos to stay with my uncle and write my next JAMB there. Because of my depression, my communications with Ayo had dwindled overtime, and I was feeling too down to bother. I just wanted to fix my life.

One day though, I logged into Messenger and saw a message from Ayo, asking if we were quarreling. That I should tell him if he’d offended me so he could make up for it. I replied that nothing was wrong, that I was just going through some things. He was online and swiftly responded, asking if it was because of my admission. I said yes.

“But we are in this mess together,” he typed back.

I felt bad about that and apologized, promising to surprise him.

After some weeks, I called him to let him know that I intended to come see him in Ibadan the following day, that he should send me directions. He thought I was joking but I assured him that I was serious. I hadn’t told him that I’d been in Lagos all this while. He was ecstatic, and his excitement was infectious, as I began to feel intense pleasure over the fact that I was finally going to meet Ayo.

I told my uncle I wanted to visit a classmate in Ibadan. He initially objected, saying I’d never been to Ibadan before and he couldn’t risk exposing me to any danger. I begged him, lying that the reason I wanted to go had to do with my school stuff. He later agreed and warned me not to come back to Lagos late and that if the need arises, I should stay the night in Ibadan and come back the next day. Of course, I had no intention of coming back to Lagos that day. The need would for sure arise. I headed to Oshodi the next morning, and soon got on a bus heading to Ibadan. I spoke to Ayo and he wished me a safe trip.

The road to Ibadan from Lagos was messed up and the traffic a mess, and as such, the journey wasn’t an easy one to endure. I kept reminding the driver of my bus stop. Eventually, after a tedious two-hour-or-so trip, I was dropped at my stop. I called Ayo and he wasn’t picking. I texted him and got no reply. I tried not to panic. It wasn’t like I was stranded. I found a place to wait, and kept on calling as I waited. After about thirty minutes, I decided to head back to Lagos.

I’d boarded a bus and was waiting for other passengers to fill it up when my phone rang. It was Ayo. I answered and just drove straight into ripping him a new one. He apologised profusely, saying his battery had been down and his phone had been charging somewhere. I told him I was already on my way back to Lagos and he pleaded with me to stop and get down from the bus. I was really furious, but I also wanted to see him. I got down from the bus and returned to the stop where he’d told me to wait for him.

This time, he was waiting for me. He looked every bit as gorgeous as he was in his pictures. My heart tightened with so much emotion as he hugged him before gushing about how he’d “finally gotten to meet Owen!” This was a meet that was three years in the making.

We took a taxi to his house, and along the way, we excitedly chatted with each other as though this was the first time we were getting acquainted. There was no awkwardness, just a lot of love. When we got to his house, it was to meet it filled with lots of people. I couldn’t comprehend how this many people could be living under the one roof. Ayo said his father was around and took me to greet him. We got to the man’s room, and Ayo knocked before opening the door. Then he prostrated on the floor in greeting, saying, “Baba, this is that my friend I told you about.”

The elderly man said, looking at me, “Omo Igbo, abi?”

I said yes.

He told me I was welcome and that I should feel free in his house. I had a feeling he said that to a lot of people. Ayo took me to the kitchen where I helped him prepare noodles and eggs. He dished it out on the one plate, which we shared when we went to the parlor to watch TV. Soon, two of his siblings joined us in the parlor. They asked how we knew each other and Ayo told them it was on 2go. They brought up a conversation in football, and when I told them I wasn’t a fan of football, they laughed at me while saying something in Yoruba. After some time, they left the sitting room.

I had something I’d always wanted to talk to Ayo about, especially now that I’d met him in person. I said I couldn’t have been the only gay guy who’d interacted with him from 2go. He said yes, I wasn’t, but that I was the only one he’d stayed friends with. I asked him why. He looked me in the eye as he said it was because I was different. I felt that familiar tightening of my chest, a flooding of those emotions I had not been able to extinguish in all the three years I’d known him.

I told him that I was in love with him, and that I hadn’t been able to get over my feelings despite him being straight. He said it was a natural thing, that we can’t help who we fall in love with.

We stopped talking as the traffic of people moving in and out of the living room increased. I told him his house was really filled up and that the lack of privacy was making me feel self-conscious. I had a plan – a plan to try and get intimate with him at night. But that plan was looking like it wouldn’t happen because I was sure, with all this people in his house, we wouldn’t have a room to sleep in all to ourselves. Whether he knew what I had in mind or not wasn’t something I was sure of, but he suggested calling a friend of his to know if he was around so we could go to his house, seeing as he lived alone with his mother. At this point, I had to clarify him on my intent. I told him that because of my attraction to him, I would be tempted to touch him if we slept together on the same bed. Upon hearing this, he smiled and said he’ll trust me to control myself. This was a disappointing answer; I’d hoped for some encouragement from him. Suddenly, I was no longer feeling this trip. I just wanted to get back to Lagos. I told him not to bother calling his friend as I didn’t want to spend the night in Ibadan anymore. He looked startled and asked what was wrong. I said nothing. He asked if I was sure I wanted to leave. I said yes. The day was fading fast, and he said I should at least inform his father that I would be leaving soon. His father tried to persuade me to stay the night, that it was not a good idea for me to go back to Lagos by that time, but I told him my parents were expecting me back home. He said OK.

Ayo escorted me to the park. He hugged me and said in my ear, “I love you, Owen.”

I found myself fighting tears as I thought: Just not the way I want to be loved by you, Ayo.

He slid a piece of paper into my pocket and said I shouldn’t open it till I get back home. I got into Lagos by almost 11 PM. I was so exhausted by the trip that I slept off the moment I hit my bed. It was the next morning that I remembered Ayo’s note and took it out of my pocket to read.

It was a love poem. Totally different from all the poems he had written to me before. As I read his words to me about feelings and emotions and the heart, I found myself wondering if there was any real possibility that a straight boy such as Ayo could ever love me the way I loved him.

Written by Owen

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  1. Mitch
    May 02, 06:29 Reply

    …As I read his words to me about feelings and emotions and the heart, I found myself wondering if there was any real possibility that a straight boy such as Ayo could ever love me the way I loved him….

    Forget about it.
    He’s straight, you’s gay.
    He’s wired for women, you’s wired for men.

    Understanding this would spare you from a lot of needless heartache.

  2. Sim
    May 02, 06:43 Reply

    I will say because you were young and horny- you lacked the patience to stay the night and find what may happen. Human sexuality is fluid, mostly fluid, no clear cut solid line.

    • Lonz
      May 02, 08:35 Reply

      Shebi i have knacked straight friends. Sexuality is fluid. Be around, dont rush or Force things

  3. O_shabby
    May 02, 07:52 Reply

    Hmmmmm interesting but a straight guy will always be straight but because his too young he doesn’t want to hurt your feeling that why his playing you yourself just have to know nothing good will come out of it rather you guys to be neutral friends ✌✌

    May 02, 07:57 Reply

    It’s very possible that Ayo hadn’t totally discovered his sexual preference. He may have been gay, bi or curious for all we know. Then again, it’s also very possible that he had and that he’s straight as he claims. It’s very possible for a straight guy to be as close and friendly with a gay person. 1 of my 2 closest friends is straight. My point here is, inasmuch as it was risky to return to Lagos that night, kudos for guarding your heart. Imagine how annoying it would be for a close female friend to keep asking you out. Respecting people’s choices is important. And it’s best to guard our hearts from pursuing certain things that can never be. Hope is a good thing, but while we may hope, we should also guard our hearts.

  5. Aladdin
    May 02, 09:28 Reply

    He is chasted, he maintained the relationship after knowing you were gay, he loves you

  6. Higwe
    May 02, 13:32 Reply

    Too many vague details in this story to make a conspicuous comment .

    First off …which room did you meet him on the app ?

    I never used 2go but I heard rooms were categorized according to taste .

    Telling us the particular room you met him will give some of us more clarity about his personality .


    He loves you ?
    Nah , I disagree .

    I think he loved the idea of “friendship ”

    He’s a good guy , no doubt …
    Quite mature for his age …
    And it seems like he has an interesting personality ….
    But no where in this story did I detect anything more than “like ” and “good rapport”


    I don’t know if you noticed , but you were the one making most of the efforts ..

    First you changed the University you wanted to apply to his …

    You made the trip from Lagos to Ibadan …

    He left you stranded for hours claiming he was charging his phone somewhere …

    You rationalized his action in your head by choosing to believe he took your proposal to visit as a joke .

    And you could be right or wrong …which still leaves me right- that there is no love here.

    Love does not entertain the possibility of someone you claim to love possibly being stranded .
    Even when you think it’s probably a joke .

    While I’m no guru of love , I do know there is a certain type of desperation attached to it .One that doesn’t leave much room for speculations or rationality .

    And even though it can be argued that love can be interpreted differently ……Ayo’s words (or in this case poetry) doesn’t seem to match his actions.

    The ending is quite intriguing though ….
    Because this story as you claim happened a few years ago …..

    I would think you must have figured something out ….but all the same , I applaud your actions that day .

    Yes, you can’t get everything you want but you can definitely curtail what you’re getting exposed to.

    As long as you’re alive , there will definitely be more Ayos …..and until you have enough headspace to handle that kind of friendship , you have every right to keep cutting the goddam cord .?

  7. Zizi
    May 02, 22:11 Reply

    If there’s a shrink in the house who will be kind enough to maybe save a life, I’d like to talk to him or her.

  8. J
    May 03, 02:10 Reply

    Story! Channel your attention somewhere, the earlier the better. Believe people when they tell you they are straight. Holding on to impossibilities can be mentally draining.

  9. Owen
    May 03, 08:38 Reply

    We are still very good friends till date

  10. NaN
    May 03, 21:09 Reply

    I was feeling the love thingy until I saw higwe’s comment. I see sense

  11. Seun
    May 04, 06:20 Reply

    Interesting, some folks give out the wrong signals in the name of friendship. Guard your heart.

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