As I walked back to the chair that would serve as my bed that night, I thought about my past with Ahmed. Ahmed was a very close of mine way back in our neighbourhood. We were closer than brothers despite our age difference which my parents kind of objected to. I defended myself by telling them he was only tutoring me on my up coming JAMB examination so I could score well and study medicine. It was not hard for them to believe as I have written JAMB for three years seeking to study medicine yet no admission. That bond got clearer when Ahmed made a pass on me. I was shocked and confused, I didn’t know something like that existed; not in African let alone in Nigeria. I have only heard about homosexual in the Bible and Hollywood movies so I thought it was an extinct human race made alive by the fictional creatures of movie scripts. With Ahmed, and with the level of bond we shared, I got to realize and witness some other part of me. The first time, I was furious with myself, I remembered lying down on his bed, helpless and porous as he seductively stole my purity from me with my eyes wide open. It was like I was in a trance, I wanted him to stop, I wanted to end it but my other part, which was stronger than the opposite was so keen for the adventure. So I slowly and reluctantly yielded to his magical touch which brought to reality all that I have ever seen in a movie about homosexuality. Sex education as much as I remember ended with a boy-girl relationship, so when Ahmed started, I was much more eager to know what this side of life discusses about. Then after, when the unquenchable desires got semi quenched, I laid on the bed, beside Ahmed who seemed very much elated crying all through the night. He pulled me closer to his body and assured me everything would be fine. I felt dirty, I felt disgusting, inside me I knew the desires were wrong, I knew I shouldn’t have done it. I didn’t know much about life then but I sure somehow knew that was a sin. I regretted yielding to his evil desires. I went home and nobody suspected anything neither did I say anything. I wanted to talk but then I was ashamed of myself. Ahmed later opened my eyes to what I termed world of gays; something I never knew was in existence. I keyed in and enjoyed his company more than I did my family. Then one day, after morning devotion, out of the blues, my father advised us to also be careful on how we associate with our friends of same sex to avoid being initiated into the act of homosexuality. I was shocked, he knew something like this existed and he never informed me. I guessed he noticed my recent fond of Ahmed, hence the sudden lecture. So I got irritated by the act. I started drawing away from him. I would cry anytime I see two opposite sex in a happy romance along the road. I craved to have that life, I desired to be free with my love and move around with him anytime anywhere. I told Ahmed that I was done and that he should leave my life, else I would tell me parents what we have been doing, with a claim that he drugged me. He stayed away but not without countless apologies he ransacked my phone with through calls and SMS which I was careful not to leave after reading them. This happened when Ahmed was graduating from medical school and he was getting ready to travel to UK for his master’s degree. I was happy; he would leave the country, away from me, so I would be free to retrace my life.
Luckily for me the next year, I got admission but instead of medicine, I got Microbiology; a course I reluctantly took to go away from that neighbourhood that reminded me everything about Ahmed.
Three years gone now and Ahmed, with his non dying love, stood in front of me, in my school, saying the same thing I dreaded. I could swear he intentionally applied to that school just to see me. I shook my head and adjusted my posture on the seat. He said Eric’s girlfriend was out of theatre so I tapped Eric and informed him. He quickly rushed into the ward. I joined him in a low pace due to the mind battle my being was involved in. When I entered, he was holding her hand crying. I tapped his shoulder and assured him that everything would be fine. We sat on the chair in the ward and completed the night sleep that was disturbed.
Next morning, I woke up to behold Eric discussing with her girl. I rubbed my eyes as the bright rays of the morning sun flashed through my eyes. I looked outside through the window, the sun was up high, shining with a bit heightened harshness and I could tell how much I overslept. I coughed, drawing their attention. They looked at me and from the radiant expression on Eric’s face I could tell all was well. I stood up and walked towards the bed.
“How are you?” I asked her. She answered with a smile. I nodded and notified Eric that I want to head home, brush my mouth and take my bath. He nodded and I waved at the girl and made for the door.
“Thony.” He called. “The doctor came in here.”
I nodded. It was normal for doctors to see their patients every morning, so I didn’t read any meaning in that revelation though my troubled conscience made me stare at him with much curiosity.
“He didn’t want to wake you up so he asked that you see him when you wake.” He quenched my curiosity.
I inhaled and walked out mutely. Ahmed should know better than not create any form of suspicion within my friends. I walked out of the ward and left the hospital without seeing him. As I footed to where I would take a bike home, I called Amanda. She sounded off, like she had a rough night yet she told me her night was fine. I pressed to know what the problem was but she insisted that she was fine and even got angry at my persistence. I let her be with the word that I would call her again. She hurriedly ended the call. I looked at the phone confused. The more I tried to get closer to her, the more she moves far away from me. I had slept last night with the obedience to Ahmed’s advice that I would talk to her, let her know how I feel and if it didn’t work out in my favour I would move on and possible find another because with the sudden presence of Ahmed, I definitely would need a girl to distract me from him.
When I got home, Frank was in the kitchen cooking beans. I waved at him and moved straight into the room. I walked into the bathroom and brushed my mouth. I had just locked the door to take my bath when Frank walked in.
“How is Joy?”
I heard his voice and became puzzled. “Who is Joy?” I shouted from the bathroom. There was a strange silence. I got worried and pulled my towel from the wall, covered my body and opened the door. Frank was standing in the centre of the room with an emotionless expression. “Who is Joy?” I asked again.
His expression changed to disappointment mixed with confusion. I saw his expression and figured he expected me to know the person bearing that name or I was the only person to tell anything about her.
“You mean you don’t know her name? The girl you ran out to save last night. You don’t know her name?”
I felt disappointed with myself. I could then relate to his expression as it dawned on me that I didn’t know the girl’s name. “Oh, she is fine.” I said and locked back the door. I took my shower considering how stupid I was for not finding what the girl’s name was. I finished from the bathroom, dressed up and entered the sitting room. Frank and Ken were eating. I picked a spoon from the kitchen and joined them. We ate silently. The food finished and Frank headed into the kitchen to dish another one.
“You know, the surgery was fine and the girl is getting better now.” I told Ken as I licked my spoon. He looked surprisingly at me. “You didn’t ask, so I thought I should tell you.” I told him.
“Well that’s good news. I hope he learnt his lesson.” Ken said indifferently.
“What is wrong with you?” I softly asked. I could not understand why he was acting that way towards his best friend. Ken and Eric shared same chemistry that I and Frank shared. They were close; they do everything together, both criminal and righteous acts. He was supposed to support him but he didn’t and that made me wonder.
“Is there anything you are not telling us, because I really do not understand why you abandoned your best friend? If Frank should do that to me, I would kill him.” Frank walked in instantly. His eyes were on me as he dropped the plate on the table. I knew he heard me but I cared less because I meant what I said and he knew I meant it, even though I knew same way that he would never abandon me in such trying times. Ken avoided my gaze as he ate the beans silently. After few scoops, he dropped his spoon and stood up. Nobody talked to each other through out that day. The house became boring and irritating. This ugly feeling lingered for days even after Joy was discharged and Eric finally came home, the situation seemed to be growing from bad to worse. I tried reconciling Eric and Ken but they both would not bulge. I resigned to fate trying to figure out how to work things out with Amanda, who had restricted our friendship to calls alone.
…..the story continues….