THE UGLY SIDE OF LOVE

THE UGLY SIDE OF LOVE

Growing up, I had crushes on both boys and girls. But my father was a pastor and so, exploring my homosexual crushes wasn’t something I could do. However, I tried to focus on my heterosexual crushes, and even that wouldn’t work out because I was effeminate.

Then I met Edwin. He was friends with someone who did some work for my father, and I met him for the first time at my father’s station. I was 16 and he was 17. The second time we met was when I decided I didn’t like him. We got a chance to talk and he remarked on my pimply face, saying, “I used to think I have pimples, but it seems like with some people, I have hope.”

I hated him there and then.

I however started seeing him differently when I saw him again in my school. It was at an evening church program and I was so relieved to see a familiar face that I forgot all about his rudeness the last time we interacted. He too seemed pleased to see me and as we talked, we discovered that we were studying the same course. I was in second year and he had just gotten into Year 1.

I also got to know a more humble and respectful side to him that I hadn’t known before, which endeared me to him. I now wanted to be friends with him.

My friend, David, also wanted to be friends with him. David had been sitting next to him at the church program and it seemed, from the way he frequently smiled at Edwin, that he knew him. So when I asked him later how he knew Edwin, he said they’d met at the Registry. David was in first year too, and as two people who were both in the same department and level, they’d gotten acquainted and chatted a bit, after which Edwin had asked him for his number. David also said he suspected Edwin was into him. I didn’t know anything about Edwin being queer, but my friend seemed so into him that I decided to take a backseat on my friendship with Edwin.

However, Edwin kept seeking me out from time to time to ask for one thing or the other. I was in an upper level, and I figured he needed my guidance to learn the ropes in our department. It wasn’t very long before David begun complaining about him though, saying Edwin was an asshole. He didn’t say why he was no longer enamoured with Edwin, and I didn’t probe. It was clear to me that Edwin wasn’t doing what David expected him to do, whatever that was. Again, I wondered if Edwin was truly gay or if David wanted him to be.

Then one day, Edwin came up to where I was hanging with David, and after an exchange of pleasantries, made awkward by David’s scowling, Edwin asked me why I didn’t come to see him anymore. I shrugged, unwilling to get into my real reasons, which was that I hadn’t wanted to get in the middle of whatever was going on between him and my friend. He told me he would like to see me, encouraging me to visit him sometime soon. I said okay.

After he left, David asked me if I was going to go see him. I said yes. I thought David would be displeased by this and try to make me not go. Instead he asked if we could go together. I was surprised by this. Wasn’t he supposed to be over Edwin?

Anyway, we went to see Edwin together. That first time we went to his room, he seemed very pleased to see us, not even showing any signs that he was put out by David’s presence. He was engaging and genial: the perfect host. Whatever resentment David felt for him must have evaporated, because as we left, he very beamingly told me that we should do it again.

“Do what again?” I asked.

“Visit Edwin together more often,” he replied.

I was baffled by this, but I didn’t argue.

So, all three of us continued hanging out, David and I going to see Edwin in his room. However, as these visits progressed, it started becoming obvious that Edwin favoured my company to David’s. He was more attentive to me and wanted to talk to me more. This of course upset David and he started hating Edwin again. It wasn’t long before I became the middle man in their fights, the person who both sides would come to complain to about the other person’s behaviour. I tried a few times to reconcile them but my efforts were futile. So I stopped trying.

It didn’t help that I’d started to notice that as much as David’s resentment of Edwin stemmed from Edwin not being into him as he’d hoped, he was also right about some other things about Edwin. Edwin only ever seemed to seek me out whenever he was bored or needed my help. Whenever we met each other in social gatherings or just anywhere outside the hostel, he would act like he didn’t know me. So, as I stopped caring about making things right between him and David, I also stopped relating with him and kept my distance.

After some months of not interacting, of basically waving our hellos at each other from a distance, Edwin reached out to me again. This time, he simply asked me, “What don’t you like about me?”

And I told him. I told him I had a problem with his general behaviour of only needing my friendship in secret or as an opportunity. It made me feel used. I didn’t tell him this, but if David was right about him being gay, then I suspected this behaviour might stem from his internalized homophobia or simply his femmephobia – because both David and I were effeminate.

Anyway, whatever I said may have struck a nerve, because on my eighteenth birthday some days later, after I posted a picture on Facebook to commemorate my birthday, he posted a comment on the picture that was full of feeling. I was touched by his comment and responded to it first. From there, we went on to start chatting inbox. Later that day, he came to my room to keep my company, and we talked about a lot of things. He stayed till late in the night, before leaving.

It was a very special day, made even more so by his company, and we became close again after that day. It was as though he’d become a changed person. He would look for ways to spend time with me; he’d even keep a seat for me at church programs that we both attended, and after the program, he would walk with me to my room. He did little things and said beautiful things just to get me to smile, as though my happiness was his priority. He introduced me to his friends as his favorite person, and he began calling me pet names. He’d involuntarily touch me, like we’d be talking and he would reach out and hold my hand or touch my face. He’d notice little things about me and compliment me. Or he’d pick out little things I did and say something nice about them; like he’d say he loves my smile and the way I pronounce some words. Our chats on WhatsApp were tender and sweet, with him saying things to me – like the time he said to me “I love you”, which I was too scared to take seriously.  – that basically told me David was right: Edwin was gay.

And it was almost as though he was courting me. And I was falling for him. I loved this person he had become with me, and when I asked him about it, he said he was trying to be better for me.

One day, giddy with all my feelings for Edwin, I did a Google Search on the signs that someone is in love with you. One of the results showed 16 signs that one should look out for whenever the person they’re seeing is likely in love with them. Edwin had ticked off most of these 16 signs. In fact, the signs he hadn’t exhibited had to do with sex, like kissing me on the forehead and moaning my name during lovemaking.

We hadn’t gotten around to having sex. One time, when we went to the cinema to see a movie, he had touched me, caressed me in places that made my heart race and had me trembling with desire.

But I wasn’t in a hurry to consummate our relationship. I made the mistake of believing that we had all the time in the world. I should have known better.

Even though Edwin and I didn’t define what we were to each other, our actions toward each other spoke volumes about the way we felt for each other. He had once told me he loved me, and even though I didn’t believe him then, I was starting to believe it now that he had shown me that he had changed and wanted us to be together. We had to stay apart when exams came around, and after that, we went on vacation, during which time we spent hours either chatting or making WhatsApp calls, video and audio. One time, during one of our calls, he joked about how one girl in his area was trying to steal him from me.

I yearned for the new semester to begin so I could go back to physically being with my man; we even discussed the possibility of being in the same room when we reopen for the new semester.

However, when we resumed school, everything changed. Edwin began blowing hot and cold again. We weren’t in the same room, because I resumed school before he did, but I was expecting us to get back to our former routine, maybe even dial things up. But instead, he seemed to be scaling things back. Like the times he would see me in school and simply make eye contact before moving on, or he would visit my hostel and not bother to come over to my room. But then, he would message me on WhatsApp to sound all sweet and loving. When I visited him in his room, he was engaging and attentive to me. And when I asked him why he was being so distant with me, he apologized and said he was just too busy. I wasn’t buying that, told him no one is ever too busy for the person they claim to love, that if I was important to him, he would make out some time for me. He said he would do better – which of course he never did.

It was all so confusing and heartbreaking for me. And at some point, I got tired of the inconsistency and quietly moved on. I eventually started dating someone else; Bryan had been asking me out during the holiday and I’d been saying no to him because I thought I was with Edwin. He didn’t give up though. And now that I was done with Edwin’s hot-and-cold behaviour, I said yes to him and we became boyfriends.

Edwin didn’t seem too pleased about this when he noticed me being close with someone else. He texted me, saying some things that made me feel guilty about abandoning him and so, I decided to at least carry on being friends with him by visiting him. And during those visits, he was the old Edwin, engaging, full of laughter and attention for me.

And I’d be looking at him like: Dude, will you make up your mind already? Do you want me or not?

His new roommates also noticed his overly friendly behaviour toward me whenever I visited, and began teasing him, calling me “Edwin’s wife”. I wasn’t bothered by this; I’d after all gotten to the place of acceptance of who I am. Besides, he wasn’t the first guy I was close to whom people had called me his wife. As an effeminate person, lots of people call me somebody’s wife whenever I am seen as being nice or close to that person.

Edwin on the other hand was apparently bothered by this teasing, and reacted in a way that showed just how wicked internalized homophobia is.

He screenshot our former WhatsApp chats – which was really just the parts where I said loving things to him – and he published them on his WhatsApp status and Facebook story.

Our school is a small environment, and something like that was quickly seen by many students, the gossip of its existence spreading like wild fire. It was my friend in another department who showed it to me. I was stunned by the betrayal. Everywhere I went, I could feel death stares on me, could almost hear the whispers behind my back. It was apparent that people were talking about me, even though nobody physically threatened or assaulted me.

And when some students – those who either wanted to know for the sake of hearing my side of the story or just as fodder for their gossip – asked me, I didn’t attempt to deny anything. I told them that yes, I did send those messages to Edwin. And yes, that was how I felt about him then. But I also had a question for them: Why didn’t Edwin publish his responses to me in those chats? Why was it the only things anyone could see on those screenshots were the things I said?

It didn’t make any difference – not that I was expecting it to. I was the person who was outed, and I was the person who bore the brunt of the scandal. Even my boyfriend distanced himself from me to avoid being tainted by my scandal. However much of a brave front I put up, inwardly, I was in a dark place. Edwin’s betrayal was like a blow that had me reeling for days.

But I eventually managed to get over it, to even forgive him. We never got back to being friends, and he never apologized. In fact, the day he approached me and started talking to me as though nothing happened, I responded coldly, certain now that I could never love him ever again.

Written by Mikey

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26 Comments

  1. Zoar
    July 21, 07:41 Reply

    I just wish Internalized Homophobia never existed. And how long can one stay before actually knowing exactly what they want ie if they are Gay, Bi, straight etc? Because this is now like a routine with guys and this particular thing leaves people that they try to experiment with having bad feelings that can affect them all through their lives. It’s now like a recurring story too.

    On a second note,

    Where is Higwe?🤔🤔

    His comments used to be sought after here. What happened to him and where is he? Can someone tell me what happened to him?

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 15:09 Reply

      And to think that its my first time actually falling in love with someone

      • Zoar
        July 25, 10:52 Reply

        This is sounding interesting

        If it’s True and confirmed then can someone tell me who he is Among the Housemates just maybe I can have a change of heart and actually vote for someone in that house afterall.

        After my excessive voting and campaigning for Tacha last year, I don’t think I would ever in my life support and give somuch money into voting someone in a reality TV Show again.

  2. Mikey😘
    July 21, 07:58 Reply

    Pinky thank you very much for helping me share my story, your editing skills are something else, it almost felt like I was reading a better version of my story. I hope y’all enjoy the story

  3. Mandy
    July 21, 08:14 Reply

    Jeezuz, what an asshole! Like, what a real big asshole! This Edwin doesn’t sound like somebody you should ever be talking to or relating to let alone fall back in love with, Mikey. It is a terrible thing when gay guys, instead of quietly and internally dealing with their shit, turn it around to endanger others who are more accepting of themselves. What if you’d been endangered physically by what he did? What if you’d been beaten or expelled from school? Like, what audacity did he even have to come back to talking to you after what he did?
    That guy is a major asshole! I’m so vexed by this. 😠😠😡😡

    • Zoar
      July 21, 08:24 Reply

      Seriously Mandy. There’s no explanation for being an asshole.

      That Edwin guy is the worse for being that shitty not even excusing his IH.

      People have quite a complicated behavioral Pattern that leaves one wonder how they’re made up.

      But we Experience these things to make out what we eventually are today.

      As long as there’s Life, shit will always happen.

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 15:16 Reply

      I guess that’s his way of saving himself from gay speculations. His level mates tried to blackmail me with the viral chat, but I told them to report me to the authorities that’s I’ll defend myself, that I’m not giving them a dime

  4. Black Dynasty
    July 21, 08:26 Reply

    Sighs, he’s a loser for outing you. Well done @ taking the high road on that, i imagine it wasn’t easy.

    I would say this, when people are blowing hot one minute and later cold…. it is a huge red flag and I’d suggest moving on. It’s usually a sign that they aren’t comfy with themselves or are using you.

    Though, I suppose somethings are best understood via experiences smh. Good thing you came out of it relatively unscathed.

  5. geminiguy
    July 21, 10:19 Reply

    What was the point of him outing you, apart from sheer wickedness? He could have simply just distanced himself from you completely if he didn’t want to be associated with you anymore. Internalized homophobia is not even an excuse. We are all in this Nigeria together, we are all suffering in one way or the other, he did not have to do what he did.

    • mikey
      July 21, 15:30 Reply

      Well he did, he didn’t want me out of his life he just did what he did to quench the gay rumor around him by putting it all on me and I can remember our last encounter b4 he did that, he came to ask me 4 sugar and I told him to hug me first, he then ask me if my love has condition, I then replied yes, since he can’t love me unconditionally, he refused to hug me because of the other guys but b4 he left I hugged someone of interest to b4 him, I dunno if it was what cause it jealousy, IH, or whatever

  6. Mannie
    July 21, 11:06 Reply

    This story describes the life of an average Caleb university student on campus. The Internalised Homophobia is sickening.
    Where a proper bottom would be shaming another person for being too effeminate. Nonsense and condiments.
    Where’s Higwe BTW?

    • Zoar
      July 21, 13:21 Reply

      No one is answering us about Higwe 😞.
      Whatever happened to that guy.

  7. Mitch
    July 21, 11:15 Reply

    He’s mad!
    Very mad!
    What exactly was the point of outing you? To prove his heterosexuality? To prove that you were the one coming onto him? And the anuofia still had the gumption to act friendly towards you? After what he did?

    Ah!
    The audacity!
    May he choke on his internalised homophobia.

    PS: Mikey, his name and pictures should be given to Pink Panther. Just in case.

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 15:22 Reply

      Well he did the typical thing most gay guys suffering from IH will do throwing me under the bus to save himself little did he know it will backfire he didn’t come to act friendly he came to confirm if I knew he was the source of the news cause he just acted like nothing happened

    • Mitch's biggest fan
      July 24, 22:32 Reply

      I love you Mitch you are my hero and role model a really love that fact that you a sassy and a bad bitch(in a good way of course) and also do you love misty Copeland because I do
      You have been my motivation on my road to self acceptance

  8. Ebube
    July 21, 12:01 Reply

    Stories like this make me feel a lot of things from fear to resentment!

    If you’re reading this and you have issues with accepting yourself and fighting your demons, you have a problem and you need help!.

    These days I get some of my close friends scolding me on how too uptight and all to myself I’ve become within the past one year.
    Stories like this make me strengthen my resolve 🤦‍♂️

    I’m sorry you had to go through all that dear Mike.
    At least we’re both PKs and namesakes 😁

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 13:22 Reply

      Thank you but I’m totally fine I’m in a better place RN and I’m surprised we share three things in common, you can ask pinky for my email if you wish to reach out

    • Dela
      July 26, 19:33 Reply

      I thought I was the only one who keeps to himself these days. It’s quite sickening what length internally homophobic guys go to to prove their heterosexuality!

  9. Ken
    July 21, 15:09 Reply

    Wait, this can’t be the end na ???

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 22:25 Reply

      How are you expecting it to end. Okay I lost a beautiful thing to internalized homophobia, he went ahead to deceive himself asking girls out
      FYI: none accepted lol

      • Ken
        July 22, 05:40 Reply

        Bwahahahaha.
        Ehen I knew there more juicy story down this road. Well he should go for the desperate ones from like 50yrs old, they will accept. 😂

        In other news, Nigerian government is slowly blocking all gay websites. From Grindr, manjam, bgc etc. One day we will wake up and there will be no more kito diaries. Sad

  10. Peace
    July 21, 16:15 Reply

    Hi Mikey I’m so sorry you went through this. This is actually a lot, I can’t even imagine how you must have felt. If this still bothers you and you ever want to talk about it, I’d be happy to listen.

    • Mikey😘
      July 21, 22:41 Reply

      I’ll love that, thank you so much I could use a listening ear

      • Peace
        July 23, 11:57 Reply

        pinky can connect us …………….

  11. Liam
    July 25, 07:44 Reply

    Internalized homophobia or not that guy didn’t do well abeg!

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