Dada, the fine boy with the kissable lips – that is how I characterized him the first time I set my eyes on him.

I was fifteen years old then and in JSS3 when he came into my life. I already knew of my attraction to boys; I knew the hunger to touch their faces and maybe kiss them.

Dada had come to stay with his grandmother who lived in my area of Barnawa, Kaduna state. His grandmother worshipped in the same church as I did, and naturally, Dada began attending the church as well.

I was a chorister in the church, and after crushing hard on this chocolate-skinned young man who had arrived in our midst and was causing quite the stir among the girls in the church, you can imagine my joy when Dada came to join the choir. Ohmaigod, my joy knew no bounds and the crushing spiked to a new level. Finally, we were going to be in the same situation where he would probably have to interact with me.

And interact with me, he did. I could remember the first time he flashed a smile at me, the first hello he said to me, and the meaningless chitchat that followed. The butterflies that fluttered about in my stomach every time I was the centre of his attention were legit, and I never wanted what I felt those times to end.

With time, I got quite close to Dada and we became friends. Of course I wanted to be more than friends with Dada, but as a naïve teenager, I kept my “unholy desires” to myself, as who would hear about what I was feeling and think me normal?

My jealousy got triggered when I discovered Dada had started dating Binesa, another chorister and a very good friend of mine. Arrgh! That should be me and not her. I should be in his arms, enjoying the sweet loving, and not her.

But I had to live with the reality of having feelings for a person who would never be mine, and continued to keep my affections hidden.

Sadly, after about a year, Dada lost his mother and had to leave Kaduna to base in Abuja. Fortunately, the communication between us didn’t end as we still kept in touch; the thing with this was that I then became the guy who Binesa would run to whenever Dada misbehaved toward her. It was a whole new level of pain, when I wasn’t just the person who observed their relationship; I was now the one who would talk to Dada and try to get him to stay true to Binesa, who was obviously in love with him.

Life continued to happen, and Binesa graduated from the university, still loving Dada and visiting Abuja whenever she could to be with him. Things however weren’t going as she wanted in their relationship and Binesa was hurting. And because I was the only friend of Dada that she knew, she would relate the struggles of their relationship to me, often ending by saying that she feels that Dada is not really serious and not willing to move their relationship to the next level.

From what I’d gathered, he was actually doing well for himself; but it was obvious he was not in a hurry to settle down the way Binesa clearly wanted him to do. He was of course too young for that and I couldn’t imagine why Binesa would have these expectations.

A few more years passed, during which time Dada and I had become incommunicado. I was now twenty-four and had known him for nine years. And then, out of the blue, he sent me a message on Facebook. I was inordinately excited to see his message and I texted him back. And we got chatting. He told me he had an event he was attending in Port Harcourt, and afterwards, he would swing by Calabar – where I was now residing – before going back to Abuja. I felt an incredible suffusion of joy as I thought about reconnecting with this man who I’d never stopped having these feelings for.

Unfortunately, this reconnection didn’t happen as he ended up being very busy during his trip and didn’t have time to meet me. He ended up returning to Abuja without seeing me, and I felt such a heavy disappointment at this.

Toward the ending of that year, 2018, I travelled home to Kaduna for the season and during our communication, he promised to come through during the festive period to see me.

He didn’t keep that promise either. It was starting to be one crushing letdown after another with this guy.

I did however meet Binesa one of the times I was out and about, and we caught up on old times and all that had been happening in our individual lives. And during this conversation, she told me that she’d broken up with Dada and had moved on. She was currently dating someone who she called the love of her life. I was happy for her but was indifferent to the news of their breakup. I was no longer as invested in the idea of Dada as I was once.

When I chatted up Dada later that night and mentioned Binesa, he confirmed that they were indeed no longer together and that he too had moved on. He also admitted that he’d probably been the reason they didn’t work out as he hadn’t been able to keep up with her energy and vibe throughout the relationship.

Then we clocked into 2019, and while I was still in the North, I visited Abuja. I stayed a couple of days there and then returned back to base in Calabar. It wasn’t until I got back that I remembered that I should’ve hit up Dada and let him know I was in town. I still sent him a message, claiming I was in Abuja and suggesting a meet. He said he was busy and wouldn’t be chanced until the weekend. I told him I wouldn’t be available that weekend and he pleaded with me to stay till the weekend as the New Year had just started and he’d just resumed work and was still trying to get things in order. I had to tell him the truth that I’d already left Abuja and was back to my base. He felt bad about this and interpreted it as my payback to him for his failure to see me when he was in my area last year. He apologized (again and) profusely for disappointing me then and promised to do better. He added that he missed me and was praying that we eventually get to see again soon. I was totally unmoved by all this and didn’t take him seriously.

But he must have been on some new high, because it began to turn into a regular thing for him to tell me how much he misses me and how much he appreciates my friendship and how he values it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I still didn’t think much of this behaviour, however odd it seemed – until he started with the pet names. He began calling me “boo”, “sugar”, “my love” and so much more. This was something else.

Where was this coming from?

My suspicion was piqued as I didn’t think these endearments were the sort of things a heterosexual man said to another guy. But I didn’t question it or him; I simply went with the flow, responding to him with similar endearments, all the while wondering if perhaps he was gay.

I didn’t have to wonder for too long, as one day, he called me and simply began opening up to me. He started by saying how much he loved me, as more than a friend and brother. How he’d fallen in love with me way back during the days of us being in the choir but how scared he was to say anything or express how he felt, and so had to keep what we had at a friendship level, mostly because I was so young and looked so naïve and inexperienced and he didn’t want to be the bad influence.

He said a lot of things that was all very surprising and was a lot to process. I really didn’t know how to react after this revelation, because I was feeling too many emotions: elation that I may now get to build a relationship with this person that I’d once had so much feelings for, anger that he had never said anything and had let so many years pass before opening up to me, sadness that we lived in the kind of society where one’s lack of courage could very easily result in him losing a beautiful thing they never had.

I also felt bothered by the reminder that he’d been such a playboy back then in Kaduna, and I asked him about that, about him being such a ladies’ man and then dating Binesa, and then apparently cheating on her with other women in Abuja. And he said that he had had to do what he did because he hadn’t been brave enough to live his truth.

He also said that that was in his past now; that he feels he and I could have a future together and that he wasn’t giving that up now that we both know we’re gay.

Life is still going on and we’re still talking, but I really don’t know how to qualify things between me and Dada until this conversation about a relationship with him is something we’re having face to face. He has said repeatedly that he wants more from me, for us to be more than friends, but I feel like the person he is talking to is the boy he left in Kaduna. We haven’t set eyes on each other for many years after that, and I am no longer that boy. I want him to see me, the me that I am now, before committing to any relationship with him. I’ll only take things seriously when we’ve talked it through one on one.

And this may happen sooner than later, as I’d soon be relocating to Abuja (not because of him though); so maybe we may become an item, as we both are looking forward to it. For now, we’re still just friends.

But every time I think about where we are now, I can’t help but wonder how far we’ve come from the first day I saw Dada, the fine boy with the kissable lips.

Written by Black Coffee

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  1. Ken
    July 08, 07:20 Reply

    Illusion + infatuation + homophobia + lust

    Sorry but I don’t see u guys going serious. Obviously both of u just need to shag the shag y’all have been avoiding for years. Just get it out of your system. But after that, this relationship is kinda dead on arrival

    • Spike
      July 16, 23:13 Reply

      Oh please not everything is about sex …..let’s start changing the gay narrative of sex sex sex……

  2. Delle
    July 08, 07:38 Reply

    So wishes do come through? Wawu.

    You thought it and now you have it. That’s amazing. A good thing you’re waiting till he meets you though, that’s very important. Many a time, we build on emotions from the past forgetting that the other person may have evolved. If indeed this works, one could never be happier. This is your own fairytale.

    I’m stupefied!?

  3. Mandy
    July 08, 07:42 Reply

    The decision you have taken to wait until y’all meet face to face to talk is wise. You’re probably right; Dada is just in his feels about the unexplored attraction to the boy he knew in Kaduna. Best to wait till you both get to know each other as you are now before embarking on a relationship.

    And contrary to what some people are already saying here, a relationship just might work out between the two of you. There is no template to how a relationship works between two people. This one may have taken several twists and turns and a woman or two along the way to get to this junction, but at least, Dada was man enough to finally own up to his homosexuality. Only time will tell if he means that as an actualization of his journey to self acceptance or because he wants to get into your pants.

    I wish you both well.

  4. Mitch
    July 08, 07:49 Reply

    Just one very small piece of advice:

    Take things slow.
    Don’t rush headlong into this.
    Chances are, things aren’t what they seem.
    So, protect yourself and your heart.
    Before this ‘love story’ becomes a ‘he broke my heart’ story.

  5. Uzor
    July 08, 09:35 Reply

    I don’t know which slaps the hardest. Ken’s constantly nihilistic comments or the way everyone simply ignores said comments ?

    • Yk
      July 08, 09:50 Reply

      Uzor, Did you do your housejob in Uith? I’m just curious.

    • Rexxy
      July 17, 01:18 Reply

      Rotflllllll….. My dear, you mirrored my thoughts, like what scale is he using to measure all this bikonu?????
      Baba is feeling like Wole Soyinka lmao

  6. Black Dynasty
    July 08, 12:44 Reply

    Hmm i really hope it goes well between you two.

    You are correct in that you’ve grown, but so has he…. definitely take it slowly and see where this goes. Hopefully his actions consistently match his words and this turns into something beautiful.

    Wishing you luck!

  7. Black Coffee
    July 08, 19:36 Reply

    Yah, I’m taking one step at a time, no raised hopes and expectations. Just an open mind to welcome any possibility.

    Thank you Pink Panther.

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