THE MEN OF PORT HARCOURT (The Curious Cases of Casper and Casper)

THE MEN OF PORT HARCOURT (The Curious Cases of Casper and Casper)

ghost /ɡəʊst/

noun

  1. an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.

“the building is haunted by the ghost of a monk.”

Similar: spectre, phantom, wraith

  1. a person who appears and disappears from your life as they wish, without announcement or fanfare.

“the ghost of Henry called my phone last night.”

***

Have you ever met a ghost? A real life ghost, that is. Because I have. Twice.

Okay, maybe that isn’t so truthful. I have met ghosts more than twice. I probably have met more ghosts than I have actual human beings.

But when you meet seven different men in one place, and four out of them turn out to be ghosts, then it is both a man and a place problem.

The men of Port Harcourt are such beautiful wraiths. They have ghosting down to a science; a science and an art, really.

You don’t believe me? Fine. Let me tell you of my experiences with two of them.

The first, we shall call Rhythm. I call him this because he had such a rhythm to him, such a suave rhythm that got me very deeply attracted to him. We met at a games night organized by a mutual friend of ours, a friend who had an ulterior motive for inviting both of us: he wanted us to become an item. This friend, Richie, had been very interested in my sex life — or lack thereof  — since we got acquainted, and this was his way of getting me hooked with someone he believed would be the perfect match for me.

He was right. Because from the moment Rhythm and I shook hands, it was like electricity. Everything about him felt right. Strange, yet right. He was quite effeminate, yet I was deeply attracted to him. And when he began to speak, it felt like I had finally found my match, my equal. He and I were bouncing ideas off each other, lost in our own little world, such that the rest of the party stopped trying to get us to engage with them.

We talked all night… well, not quite. We talked, made out, talked some more, and made out some more. Like I said before, it was electric. He was electric. He made me feel alive in ways I had only ever felt with precious few people. We parted ways the next morning, and things got even steamier. He sent messages, scraps of poetry, memes, thoughtful little messages that made my everyday beautiful. And I reciprocated, sometimes starting our day with a message to him, or he sent one to me.

Then he suddenly went off.

I’m one of those people who knows how to allow people to have their own personal space, but this sudden silence worried me. I was afraid, not for me or what his silence meant for what was blossoming between us; I was afraid for him. Afraid he was sick, or had had an accident, or some particular tragedy had struck him. So I made myself stay silent for a few days, to give him a bit of space before crowding him.

Then I called. He did not answer. Did not return any of my calls. Or texts. Or WhatsApp messages. I would come online to see that he had been active that day, only a few minutes or hours prior, but my messages went unanswered. Opened, read, but unreplied. I asked myself whether I had unwittingly pissed him off, if he was angry with me and was giving me the silent treatment, or whether I had let my imagination start to run away with me, and he didn’t feel any of the things I thought he felt, all the feelings he evoked in me.

So I began to draw back, still questioning myself. A few days passed with no words from me to him, no messages or calls, no attempts at communicating.

Then he bounced right back into my life. Like a ray of sunlight peeking out from behind dark clouds. He breezed into my DM with a, “Hey sexy. How are you?”

I was nonplussed. Like, wasn’t this the same person who’d ignored me for several days, weeks even? What then was this chipper behaviour he was coming at me with? I was not going to take it. Oh, no. I was going to get to the root of his disappearance.

So I asked him. Worded my questions to him so as not to seem cantankerous, to not get him upset. Because I believed something had to have happened — with me, or to him — to have warranted that space.

His answer confounded me the more.

“”Nothing happened. I was just very busy with other things.”

I said, ahn-ahn!! How kwanụ? From wia to wia? Because there is no way you can tell me you were so busy that you read my messages, each time I sent them, yet you couldn’t reply. Every single time!

But he stuck to his story, that he’d been quite busy. It was quickly devolving into a series of back-and-forth between us, and I did not want that. I let the tension die out. Accepted his reasons, and dove into my work.

He fell back into our old routine quickly: sending poetry, thoughtful notes, pictures, memes, funny videos — anything and everything that made my heart start beating for him again.

And again, a few weeks later, he disappeared. And again, I panicked, wondering if he was okay, going through all the motions of everything I had gone through the last time. And again, he breezed back into my life when I began to withdraw from him. And I took him back again, got into him again.

Then he ghosted me again.

And I finally realized it was a pattern. It was not about him being busy or anything of that nature. It was just an insidious need to be wanted, to be chased, to have someone hooked on him and following him like a lost puppy.

And I knew I was damned if I was going to let that be me.

So I blocked him.

And all was well.

Until I met Priest.

Remember him, from the first entry in this series? Mister “Promised to come back to finish what we started”.

Well, he did come back. Just like he promised.

He hit me up that evening, asking what I had planned. I had no plans, save reading a novel, eating and sleeping. He suggested we go out and I agreed. Mostly because I liked him, and I wanted to see if our energies matched up outside of the games night atmosphere. But also because I really wanted to get out of the house and do something fun.

So we went out. Took a long walk. Bought stuff. And we talked. And while he did not hit me with the almost instant electric buzzing that Rhythm hit me with, I found myself responding to him, like a flower opening up its petals to the whisperings of a gentle wind. Slow, smooth, and steady. We walked back together, stopping beside a building behind a field nearby, kissing in the shadows that pooled there.

It felt good. Great, even.

We hooked up a few days later in his apartment. We did everything except have penetrative sex, deciding to wait till our next date to have sex. And I was fine with that, with things going at that sedate pace.

I mean, it wasn’t like I was looking for a relationship with him. Oh, no. I just am the kind of person who likes to get to know people, to develop emotional connections with them if they do not exist at the first moments of our meeting, before we have sex. Demisexual, I believe it is called.

But then, the ghosting started immediately after the day we hooked up in his apartment. First, it was the increasingly longer times between his replies to my messages. Then it was the messages that were ignored for days before he replied. Then it became short replies to my messages; brusque, two or three word replies to long messages. Then it was the silence that pervaded our conversations.

So I stopped bothering. Besides, I had entered into one of my “man-austerity” periods when I have no one looking at me, no sex, and I really am not bothered. I didn’t text, didn’t check up. Just complete silence.

Only for him to slide into my DM about three weeks later with a “Hey baby. Longest time.”

I read. Ignored. And unlooked.

Can never be me falling into the traps of these trifling-ass, ghosting Port Harcourt men. Chukwu Abiama parakwa tụlee!

Never again!

Written by Dike

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  1. Essence
    July 19, 12:52 Reply

    😂 It’s the ending for me. You know I keep asking myself if I could do the same, if I could truly not yield to such toxic persons who do not really value people; only using people as tools to achieve their goal.

  2. Bussiana
    July 22, 10:29 Reply

    Lol just wanna say thank you to this writer for starting a series and being consistent with it, unlike so many other writers and contributors on KD. You’re doing well. Please keep telling us your stories

  3. Zoar
    July 24, 21:34 Reply

    I love this Port Harcourt Expository Writings. I think it’s high time someone spoke about Port Harcourt Men and their shenanigans.

    Ghosting is a struggle that has come to stay in this our present world.

    One way or the other, we’ll surely experience this. Blocked one just recently too.

    I’ve come to realise that in this life 🧬. We’re all writing our stories on an invisible novel and when people come into our lives, their chapter starts. When it’s time for their chapter to end. Ghosting could be one of the reasons through which they exit your life and so I help them immediately when that time comes to quickly BLOCK them and close their chapter in my life’s invisible novel as I move on to another chapter.

    Atleast that’s how I manage these sort of situations which has been working perfectly for me. My Block Button 🔘✅ is always active.

    I don’t let people use me for games as this could affect ones mental health especially those that struggle with their emotions.

    I don’t give anyone that liberty 🗽 over my life when you’re not Jesus Christ.

  4. Brian
    September 09, 10:27 Reply

    Thank you, Dike. It was a lovely read.👍

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