THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SHADOW OF DEATH

THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SHADOW OF DEATH

I grew up in a city where I had just a few real friends. My other friends resided outside the city and we only got to hang out and have good times in school. So whenever I returned home for the holidays, I was always such a loner. My friend, Kingsley, would however drag me out of the house every now and then. And that was what happened this fateful day when he had me accompany him to the tailor’s, and thereafter to see a friend of his. That particular day, I was bored; my brothers were occupied with soccer on TV, my sister had travelled to Port Harcourt, and my bestie, who stayed on the street next to mine, had snuck off to see his boyfriend for the weekend. So what I had that day was whatever Kingsley had planned.

From the tailor, we went to see his friend, an older male, about five years older than me, who was introduced to me as Paul. We spent about an hour at his place, gisting and just generally whiling away time. Then we left. About thirty minutes after I got home, my phone rang. I picked the call to discover it was Paul on the other end. He’d gotten my number from Kingsley and wanted to get to know me better. I wasn’t really into him, but I stayed polite and we conversed some more on the phone.

After that day, the calls turned into a thing. He called so frequently, sometimes thrice in a day, that I had to change his name on my phone to ‘Stephanie’, just in case any member of my family suddenly got it into his head to investigate the contact who called me so frequently. Some of his calls, I picked; some I didn’t. I just wasn’t that into him.

For about six months, he pursued me, wanting more than I cared to give. At a point, my friends began to think I was being mean and too full of myself, and began interceding on his behalf, asking that I at least give him a chance. Only one of my friends disliked Paul and didn’t think he was right for me.

Unable to stand the pressure, and considering how persistent his attention had been for this much time, I asked him over to my place in school two days before my birthday. He came. My intention was to feel him out some more before finally making a decision to date him.

And that visitation was the first time he struck me. He’d spied a chat on my phone where I told some guy that I was single and searching. He confronted me with his “evidence of my betrayal”, demanding to know why I’d been “taking him for a ride for the past six months”. I was startled by his anger; I mean, it wasn’t like we’d been dating those past six months. Why was he acting up? I told him as much, and he swung his hand and slapped me hard across my face. I’d never been struck by a guy before, and for several moments, I was stunned by the violent act, unable to react, not even knowing what reaction to settle on.

Immediately after, he began apologizing profusely, telling me he’d been hurt by what I told the other guy; that all this time, he’d been passionately in love with me, and that he couldn’t bear the thought of me being into any other person but him. I stayed silent, barely acknowledging him and his apologies. I was still reeling from what he’d done. He begged for my forgiveness all through the night, and while feeling me up in a bid to turn me on, he asked me to penetrate him, stressing how important a sacrifice it was he was making since, according to him, he’d never bottomed before in his life. His ass was intended to be his peace offering. And I took it with savage pleasure, banging away at him with no consideration for his pain and every focus on my satisfaction.

The next day, still feeling remorseful, he took me out to get me a pair of Toms Shoes for my birthday. By this time, I couldn’t help but forgive him and try to tuck what had happened into the deepest recesses of my mind. And on top of that, when he asked me out again, I said yes.

This was going to turn out to be two of the worst mistakes of my life.

So we started going out and he quickly turned into a possessive lover. He’d call me and if I was already on a call and he was sent to Call Waiting, the next time he got me on the phone, he’d blaze his fury at me for daring to keep his call waiting, despite my explanations. I tried not to mind about this; I’d never been in a relationship before him, and so, I figured this was one of those things that came with jealousy, a prerequisite for a relationship. I thought I could handle it.

But as the months passed, the possessiveness began to lose its cuteness. He got increasingly bossy, forceful in his demand for my attention, dominating and verbally assaultive. He was quick to sling insults at me during our fights, which had become frequent, and if he disagreed with me on the phone, he’d hang up on me.

He also hit me again. He’d hooked up with some young thing, a sixteen-year-old boy, and I got to know about it. I wasn’t as mad about his cheating as I was that he’d decided to cheat with a sixteen-year-old. He was famed for his big dick and I knew every Bottom within a 10-mile radius was on his case to get a taste of his big-dicked loving. So why then couldn’t he do it with any one of the thirsty hoes that was actually above the age of consent? I was revolted by the pedophilic implication of this, and confronted him. As we fought over this, and after I said he’d shown a lack of maturity by what he did, he shoved me to the wall, screaming that I was being rude. I pushed him back. And he retaliated by grabbing me by the neck and shoving my head to the wall. Darkness threatened to eclipse me as pain exploded in my head, and I dropped to the floor. Crazed with anger at this time, he grabbed a wardrobe stick and proceeded to lash it to pieces on my back. I couldn’t fight back. All I did was cry out as he hit me again and again. This happened at my place in school, and my lodge mates heard my cries and rushed over to see what was going on.

Upon seeing them rushing over, he stopped flogging me and stormed out of the room. My lodge mates were already acquainted with him as my cousin, and no one stopped him. They saw me looking harried and asked if everything was fine. I said yes, it was a mere misunderstanding. I couldn’t very well tell them that I’d been getting assaulted by my boyfriend.

The aftermath of this incident saw me spinning with devastation. I was deeply hurt and my sense of self had reduced to an all-time low. My friends were collectively incensed over what happened. And as usual, Paul came begging, full of apologies. If there was anything he did better than be a jealous lover, it was being a repentant boyfriend. He was full of tears the day he came begging, on his knees, and pestered me with calls after that day when I turned him away.

And because I believed I loved him, I forgave him and took him back. I kept reassuring myself that this was just something we had to endure together, that he’d change. He even assured me several times of that.

Back together, he soon began cheating again. He slept around and wasn’t even smart about it. Every one of his affairs always managed to get back to me, some of them with teenagers. It was very disheartening, but still I stayed on. I don’t know why, but at this time, I saw him as my cross to bear.

The final straw however happened when I went to see him in March 2013, during my NYSC. We were having a fight, and undeterred, I hit him with truth after painful truth. When he couldn’t bear the fact that I simply wouldn’t stop talking, no matter how many times he yelled for me to shut up, he slapped me.

I’d been expecting that, and this time, I fought back. I cocked a fist and lashed a blow at his chin that caused him to choke out a cry of pain as he fell back. As he picked himself up slowly, I was screaming at him, telling him he shouldn’t dare lay his hands on me ever again. I’d endured his abuse for 15 months and I’d had it with him. As I was shouting at him, he grabbed a ceramic plate and smashed it on my head. A jagged piece sliced my cheek and blood began to seep through.

Alarmed by the sight of my blood, I shouted, “Look at what you’ve done! Help me, Paul! Please!”

To which he very coldly replied, “Die there, you fool.”

It became quickly clear to me that he really wasn’t going to do anything about my injury. So I stormed out of his house. It was about midnight and I was very upset as I ran for a nearby hospital. As I ran, I sobbed, crying for God to spare me, to save my life. I was losing so much blood and I didn’t want to perish out here on the streets. There were no bikes, no buses, no keke-napep; I ran all the way to the hospital. At some point, I even heard his footsteps behind me as he ran after me.

We got to the hospital at the same time. There was minimal activity there and I soon got to see a doctor. The man took one look at my face and gave a faint sound of alarm, wanting to know if I’d been involved in an accident. I was going to lie that I fell in the bathroom, but Paul, ever the accomplished person in the art of repentance, began crying, interrupting me to say that he’d hit me and he was deeply sorry. The doctor wanted to know more, but Paul was too bereaved to give any more answers.

I refused to look at him. This time, I knew without a doubt that we were over. Die there, you fool. Those were not the words I expected to ever hear from someone I expected to have my back no matter what. I never wanted to see him again. The mere sight of him filled me with revulsion. And when the doctor finished stitching my face, I went back with him to his place long enough to pick up my things and, in spite of his pleading, return to the hospital. I spent the rest of the night in the hospital, and upon daybreak, I went home.

After I was settled at home, I set out to quietly eradicate him from my life. I blocked every means of communication with him on all social media platforms. I barred his line. I never wanted to see him or speak with him again. I stayed hurt for months, quietly but determinedly healing. Because I’d blocked him and forbidden my friends from speaking of him to me again, I would not know if he ever tried to reach out to me.

I thought that chapter of my life was over and done with. And for three years, it stayed over.

Then in 2016, using a number I didn’t recognize, Paul called me. Upon hearing his voice, the anger I expected to feel didn’t come. At this point, I felt nothing for him, not even enough emotion to spare for some negativity. At some point in the passing three years, I’d even forgiven him without him asking. But I would never forget what I went through in his hands. And so, when I realized he was the one on the phone, I didn’t hang up or get theatrical. I spoke to him.

And then, as though he thought my politeness was a sign that we were cool, he began begging me to take him back. Like seriously, WTF! Was this dude serious?! In what universe did he think he and I would ever get back together?!

I expressly told him no, that that would never happen, that we wouldn’t even be friends, let alone lovers. When he saw I wasn’t going to budge, his demeanour changed and he (predictably) turned nasty. The man who’d been acting nice and sweet, and then broken and desperately wanting me back, turned into a monster threatening me with outing me to my family. He raged about how he felt used and dumped, and that he wouldn’t allow me to simply dump him like that. Somewhere through the shock of what I was listening to him say, I wondered how he could be saying these things three years after we were over. And truthfully, I was both shocked and scared of what he was capable of doing. During the time we were dating, he’d gotten to know my family.

Several minutes after I hung up on his diatribe, my eldest brother called me. This one is very homophobic, and when I saw his call, I almost passed out from dread. I answered his call and he told me that Paul had just called him and was acting upset about me. My brother couldn’t make out what he was saying and now wanted to know if Paul and I had a problem. It was clear that Paul hadn’t said anything about me being gay to my brother; perhaps he’d intended this to be a warning to me not to call his bluff. I replied to my brother that I owed Paul some money and that he shouldn’t mind, that we’d resolve it in time. My brother had never liked Paul right from the first day I brought him to our house, and presently told me to take care of my debt soonest, that he didn’t like my association with him. I agreed.

And so, when my brother disconnected, filled with desperation, I called Paul back. It filled me with bile that I had to beg him, but beg him I did, asking him to please leave me alone and not do what he had threatened. He demanded for us to meet face to face, and I agreed. I felt I could better make my case when we met; that I could make him see why there was simply no way we could get back together.

When we met in a fast-food, he had an iPhone 6 with him. He wanted me to have it as a gesture of how much he cared for me and wanted me back. I turned down the gift, dismayed by the realization that he was clearly obsessed with him and would never see reason. I walked out on that meeting, feeling depressed.

Paul, it would seem, meant business when he said he wanted us to get back together. In the following days, basically all of Nigeria now had my number, friends of his calling me to beg me to take him back. It was rapidly becoming disturbing. Then his family members were now calling me, wanting to see me. Infuriated, I took up the stance of insulting anyone who called me about taking Paul back.

Then I called Paul and told him to back off, that he should get it into his head that we were over. I even told him I was dating someone new and there was simply no way I would break up my relationship to go back to him. He went ballistic and said I could not ruin his life and walk away just like that.

Then he went on to out me; he called my eldest brother to relay the ‘good news’. And my brother swiftly called me and began yelling at me, raining abuses on me, without even hearing me out. His homophobia was so strong, he chose to react against his own blood based on something he’d heard from someone he didn’t even like. I felt devastated. I actually wanted to die.

I was actually telling the truth when I told Paul I was in a relationship. And I called my boyfriend to tell spill my misery out to him. He admonished me, telling me to snap out of my victim mentality and refuse to be put down. By the time I was done talking to Bae, I felt better. A surge of confidence began to fill me up. Paul had done his worst and my world wasn’t over yet. I was still alive and well. Any apocalypse I felt was happening was only in my head and as real as I permitted it to be. I alone was responsible for my circumstances.

So I called my brother, and read him to filth. I still don’t know where my brash bravado came from, but my hurt had been distilled into indignant disappointment.

“You are a disgrace to brotherhood!” I spat at him. “You are a disgrace to all firstborns! And you a huge disappointment! How could you! I thought you were my brother! I thought you knew me so well! Is this how you intend to handle us as a family when our parents are gone? Someone called you from nowhere and you swallowed all the lies he told you about me hook, line and sinker. I hate to call you a brother because you disappoint me!”

My rage was so fluid that he was stunned into silence, speechless throughout my tirade. Then he was stricken with so much guilt that when he did speak, it was to apologize, saying he was sorry, that he shouldn’t have listened to Paul, and advised me to stay away from him and people like him.

My brother and I made our peace. And Paul… Well, as the monster that he is, following wreckage he felt he had turned my life into, he never called or bothered me again. Every now and then, I think about him and realize how necessary he was to my life: a lesson on how I was never to love ever again, a reminder that I’ve been through the worst I’ll ever go through in the hands of a man and it can only get better from here on.

Written by DI-NAVY

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46 Comments

  1. Mandy
    April 27, 06:52 Reply

    Wow.

    Just… Wow.

    Talk about a near-fatal attraction.

  2. Black Dynasty
    April 27, 06:52 Reply

    Good thing you got rid of him. The first slap should have been a straight up sign of the potential madness. I can’t stand that sort of possessive behaviour, one of us will end up dead and the other in the hospital @ physical abuse.

    One of the most important life lessons learnt…. “when someone shows you who they are, better believe it”.

    • quietSprite
      April 27, 11:11 Reply

      Hope is a very toxic thing sometimes, you have to accept the truth of who people are when you see it. People don’t change.

  3. Dickson' clement
    April 27, 06:52 Reply

    We really need to re-evaluate people’s mental stability before dating them, this is exactly why I do not like the cliché ‘dating’

    We are close, we shag, we connect on a whole different level, we have something special, but don’t tag it dating… don’t even mention it.

  4. Johnny
    April 27, 07:08 Reply

    You can shout at me but lay your hand(s) on me? I will pluck the person’s brain out.
    I trust Bea, always begging. I am his father and mother.

  5. Jo
    April 27, 07:16 Reply

    Wawu. just wawu. Dude definitely has a mental condition.
    I do understand how people can make excuses for abuse. When you are in the deep end, you do a lot of shit.

  6. Jason
    April 27, 07:38 Reply

    OK let me get this, someone was pursuing you for six months, first day you actually get to meet, he slaps you and then you reward him by having sex with him?
    The stories I read here though ????

    • DI-NAVY
      April 27, 08:06 Reply

      You might as well not have read and pass. It’s my story so please do not come here and throw bant around ….. I didn’t write it here to get judged/mocked or whatever… Just move if it doesn’t fit into the plot twist you have in mind .

      • Jason
        April 27, 09:47 Reply

        Take a cup of cold water and chill, life ain’t that serious. ???????

        • Tangie Bloom
          May 01, 17:06 Reply

          Dude, move the fuck on. It takes an immense amount of courage to tell one’s story the way he did. Don’t shame people into silence. It’s not only stupid, it’s also very cowardly.

  7. Francis
    April 27, 08:10 Reply

    The horror of it all

    The first time this ever happened to me was the last time it happened and it will hopefully stay so till I pass. There was no chance for repeat as mummy dearest called the very next morning telling me she dreamt of my coffin in her living room. Na so I narrate wetin happen that fatefully night and I was out of the ewu’s house to a family friends place one time.

    P.S: In relation to yesterday’s hook up post, awon tea spillers please these are the kain of idiots you spill tea on and drop as much descriptive hints as you want and I would so not judge at all. They need to avoided like a fucking plague! Too bad these kain people no dey commit suicide and save us the wahala of knowing them

    • Francis
      April 27, 08:12 Reply

      I just hope he doesn’t get to read this and re-out you again to your brother with this as proof. Hopefully you’re ready for that

  8. Simba
    April 27, 08:15 Reply

    I once slapped an ex, cus I caught him in a compromising situation. We didn’t break up cus of the cheating or the slap, other things happend. Does it mean, I abuse people? Lets have this ‘abuse’ in context, sometimes emotions runs crazy and we lash out. And tht is different from serial abusers, personally anybody that can use an object, stick or plate to hit another person is a monster, except in self defense. No matter how crazy ur emotions are, it does take extra muscles and brain activities to pick objects ‘weapons’ to assault another person. I think the writer, got sucked into the relationship cus of material things, and tht wht gave his bf now ex MOFO to believe he was used. Ur ex is a classical maniac, unfortunately he is on the loss and will perpetrate worse to his future lovers and etc. Be happy u came out alive tho with scar.. Lessons learnt Yes?

    • Francis
      April 27, 08:21 Reply

      Please when does it does it turn to abuse oh? If he keeps cheating and you stay dishing out slaps each time you catch him, that’s justified as your emotions ran amok?

      Guy as long as person no lift hand to strike you, keep your hands in check. Walk the fuck away!

      • Francis
        April 27, 08:31 Reply

        P.S: I’m not judging you as Lord knows we all make mistakes. I’m just trying to say, there’s no justification for hitting someone as in your case you’re using out of control rage

    • Pink Panther
      April 27, 08:37 Reply

      Lets have this ‘abuse’ in context, sometimes emotions runs crazy and we lash out.

      And this is supposed to make it okay for you to hit someone you claim to care about? That your emotions ran crazy and you had to lash out? I suppose the court system should stop sentencing those who kill other people in the heat of anger. After all, it’s only forgivable for people’s emotions to go crazy and for them to lash out.

      • Simba
        April 27, 09:26 Reply

        Didn’t ur parents or older ones slap u? Am not supporting domestic violence but saying, serial offenders should be known and differentiated from mistakes or Loco emotions. Afterall in honesty, how many of us would see their partner with another person and do nothing?

        • Pink Panther
          April 27, 09:29 Reply

          Would you be singing this same tune if it was a man who hit his wife or boy who slapped his girlfriend after seeing her in a compromising position?

        • Drone
          April 27, 09:57 Reply

          Parents don’t (ideally) slap you out of “loco” emotions. And their love is as unquestionable as it gets. But wtf would make me take assault from someone else? Even marriage isn’t an excuse, talk less of relationship. Wtf? A hit means the end. END. And a very, very sour end it would be.

      • Bryce
        April 27, 15:32 Reply

        Actually,there’s a temporary insanity plea for those who mistakenly kill in the heat of anger.It’s called the MacNaughten Rule.

        • Bryce
          April 27, 15:34 Reply

          So yes,abuse should be put in context.
          Some abuses are worse than the physical kind

    • Jason
      April 27, 09:46 Reply

      Who are you to slap anyone for cheating ?
      Was he doing it with your body?
      If someone cheats on you, break up with them or forgive them, you don’t go hitting people because they cheated, like their body is your entitlement or possesion .
      You’re are lucky it was not someone like me, we would both be dead that day.

    • Delle
      April 27, 09:52 Reply

      There’s really no justification for hitting someone. None whatsoever. Abuse is abuse and we should learn to tuck our anger in and just walk on.

    • Lorde
      April 27, 11:26 Reply

      YES!!!!!!! IT MAKES YOU A FUCKING ABUSER…..and Yes, about this….. “And tht is different from serial abusers, personally anybody that can use an object, stick or plate to hit another person is a monster” ….. you forgot to mention the use of hand too…like you did….. lemme tell you…. your emotions may run awry…. but it show how small of a man you are… it takes a bigger man with willpower to hold himself together and walk away…..

    • Black Dynasty
      April 27, 20:48 Reply

      I’m sorry but this is ridiculous, who told you had the right to slap him? Do you own him or did you give birth to him? Riding high on emotions is certainly no justification, you are grown… kick them out or walk away.

      I am far from a violent man but Lord knows i will bitch slap and wreck the face and body of the mofo who will make that mistake.

      I am thankful that I can spot the signs of a possessive lover early on and walked away before it got too deep after trying to call them to order twice. It started with the phone calls and demands, the first day the verbal insult started was the day i told him to F off.

      • Nuel
        April 27, 21:39 Reply

        I swear. I was once in an abusive relationship wit my lecturer. he dealt wit me no doubt but I gave him a cure for his insanity. some pple feel they own the knife and the yam and hence can dish it out the way they like forgetting the fact that the other person at the receiving end could be a zillion tyms more dangerous than they claim to be.

  9. Gabriella
    April 27, 08:59 Reply

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. The first he hit you shoulda been a tug at the straw I mean am leaving that relationship or whatever it is, I don’t let no mutherfucker hit me, ama fight back bitch and tear him a new one.

  10. Jerry
    April 27, 09:36 Reply

    The abusive boyfriend! You have tried with that mental case of a guy Di-Navy. He must have given you a mark from that plate cut stitches I know. You should have walked away since! Always follow your instincts, when something does not feel right, it is just not right! The earlier, the better. Sorry for your sad experiences.

  11. Delle
    April 27, 09:46 Reply

    Oh my God, what a terrifying read. It seems physical violence amongst gay men is even more rampant than I thought.

    God help the man who would touch me in the slightest painful way possible not to talk of giving my face an indelible mark.

    Thank goodness I do not see myself bringing a guy to see my mum. Mba biko. With all the problems facing us as gay men in this dawned country, some people still find the time to be obsessed.
    Oh chim.

    I’m happy you came out of it in one piece, Di-Navy. With such an experience, one would think you would be the resident Francis??

  12. Omiete
    April 27, 09:52 Reply

    Am just glad you came out alive, wouldn’t have stick around if it was me tho but I understand why you stayed. That Paul is sth else outing you like that, Biko can you help us by posting his picture to prevent us from hooking up with the idait!!!!

  13. Naija_Outcast
    April 27, 09:52 Reply

    I’ve never met a lover who laid his hands on me
    Never met a man who so much as abused me
    It is right that this is so
    Otherwise, someone would have lost a tooth, an eye or a dick to my cold, bloody hands

    • Jason
      April 27, 11:24 Reply

      I dey tell you. Beat me onto wetin, that I’m your wife or daughter?

  14. Terra
    April 27, 10:34 Reply

    Eyes, throat, knees, testicles. If any guy tries to beat you up, go for one of these. It’ll end the fight abruptly

  15. Lorde
    April 27, 11:16 Reply

    This is an unhealthy mix of Celeste from “big little lies” and Michael ealy from “the perfect guy” …..jesus……
    Honestly….when people show you who they really are, believe them….people don’t fucking change…..

  16. Canis VY Majoris
    April 27, 11:34 Reply

    I always say, the signs are there from the start. We just choose to ignore it because we’re focused on other things. But how else can we ever learn?

    If a man hits you once, there’s an 80% chance he’d hit you again. That’s a constant, not your fault, but after the 2nd abuse and you wait for the 3rd, bon voyage to you.

    @the Writer: I commend your perseverance, its very admirable. Almost sickening.

    But be on your guard, this guy beeps every psychopathic sensor I have and tell bae to do the same.

  17. posh666
    April 27, 16:38 Reply

    Seriously you people that endure abuse really try sha.. The first time you jokingly say you will beat me,is the day me and you will end our journey…I will change it for you that you wont even know what hit you.

    After all I have been through in my life and all the crap I had to endure from people for being different and I’m still standing,one bastard will just comman ruin my life? Do you know how much my parents spent to raise me? Do you know how much sleepless nights my mum endured? The hell I went through to make something of myself and become a graduate?

    So you will just wake up one day and decide because you are in a bad mood you will destroy my fine face? Hell to the no no no!

  18. ambivalentone
    April 27, 19:19 Reply

    All these talks of abusive relationships is making me seriously reconsider mine o. Hian!

  19. Brian Collins
    April 27, 21:43 Reply

    Wow!!! This was real scary, I have never been in a physically abusive relationship before and I am grateful for that. I’m just glad someone is learning from this.
    Abuse is a no-no.

  20. KingBey
    May 01, 04:19 Reply

    I’m grateful you summoned the will and courage to walk. It could have gotten worse. Obsession/physical abuse are two dangerous components in any relationship. He could have easily killed you.
    Say NO to domestic violence.

  21. Tangie Bloom
    May 01, 17:02 Reply

    Damn. That’s chilling.

    I wonder that happened to Paul. What made him that way. Id really like to hear his backstory.

    And I’m glad you got out. And you’re okay.

  22. KikiOpe
    May 02, 06:52 Reply

    All You people saying You’ll never take/accept such, I just hope You know what love is? Or that You’ve been ‘in love’. Let’s not forget how some people act the fool around ordinary crush sef, not to talk of the person that You claim to love to the point of dating. I think it’s just better to appreciate his courage by standing up to him and getting out while he could not trying to portrait yourselves as this tough somebody that won’t accept such. It’s his story, not ours! And I strongly want to believe You guys will do all the things You said You’ll if such happens to You while You’re ‘in love’ and not just making mouth (not like I’d love for it to happen though).

    Di, I’m happy for You. Growing up in a domestic violence environment, I know that shot ain’t a child’s play at all. I appreciate your power and courage to stand up to him, and to realise You had to call it quit when You did. You try sef. Once I get the early signs, I don’t bother going into it o! I once had this guy that was bossy and possessive, oh boy, I dropped him like bad habit…straight up!

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