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Episode four

After the incident with Jude, I tried to avoid him as much as possible, what if he realizes what I feel? what if he tells others about me.?

I decided to visit home for two weeks, maybe I would forget it happened and it was just a figment of my imagination.

Mother was happy to see me, she lamented on how lean I had become.

I was fed many palatable things from her kitchen. She wanted me to add more flesh before leaving.

My sister's friend Hannah came to visit her and she kept making flirtatious advances at me.

I was amused by it all if only she knew she was wasting her time.

Her visit later became frequent and my mother asked me what I thought of her.

"Is this a trick question." I pondered, the mother might be trying to find out if I had outgrown my gayism.

And I have never brought a woman home.

"She is beautiful," I said trying to show more interest than I felt.

"She is a nice girl, from a good home, why not date her." She stopped cutting the onions on the chopping board and faced me.

I looked into her eyes and saw fear. I understood immediately. 

"I will date her mother, she is quietly beautiful." Relief flooded her brown aging face.

"Good, very good." She turned back to chopping her onions. 

As I watched her knife slice into the vegetables, I felt my heartbreak.

"Why am I not normal." I cried within.

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I took Hannah on a date to the cinema after she agreed to date me, I didn't have to persuade her to agree.

We subsequently went out to the beach, I really enjoyed her company.

But I was grateful when I had to go back to Lagos.

My friends were excited to see me and I came back with roasted beef which was stapled street food.

I noticed Jude was not absent, I was sad and relieved too since I wasn't ready to face reality.

In the evening he came visiting accompanied by his new girlfriend. 

He wasn't into me after all, my heart sank. I forced a smile and greeted them both, they started dating when I traveled.

We all sat at the terrace and chatted heartily, till they decided to ask about my love life.

I offered a prayer of gratitude to my mother for setting me up with Hannah.

" My girlfriend is in Abuja," I said, happy I had one even though I had no interest.

They all stood to leave as it was getting dark and as I stood, I noticed Jude staring at me, I became self-conscious and smiled at him. He frowned, took his girl, and left.

There were no more incidents with Jude until he came to my place one evening a bit drunk.

The knock on the door was so loud, and my first thought was "thieves." 

I wanted to hide but when he called out my name I went and opened the door.

"You scared me out of my wit," I said angrily.

He stood tall and dark at the door, his clothes looked disheveled.

"Can I come in." He said, his voice sounded sad.

I opened my door wider to let him in, I have never seen him like this before and I became worried.

"Hope you are okay, Jud," I said.

He just looked down at his shoes and started crying.

I went over to him, but he shouted at me. "Don't come close to me."

I was shocked and stood transfixed.

He must have realized how harsh he sounded and tried to explain.

"Am sorry for yelling at you, I'm at a crossroads as it is." He covered his eyes to conceal his tears.

"I love you Bisi, yes I'm gay."

I froze, I couldn't say a word, I felt excited, finally someone like me.

"Am sorry if I offended you, but that day you returned my book. I know you felt something when our hands rubbed each other, I didn't want you to notice my reaction to that's why I locked my door immediately."

I was now sitting down, trying to digest all that he was saying. I looked at his profile, he looked tired and worn out, I felt pity and love for this young man.

I felt sad that our society would never accept us, I felt a sudden urge to hug him and tell him it would be okay.

As I contemplated on what he just said, he stood up and said he was leaving.

He must have thought I was going to berate him since I hadn't said a word since.

I wanted to tell him to stay, but my thoughts were in a frenzy. I just sat there and watched him leave, his back hunched over in rejection.

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For two days I stayed indoors, contemplating what Jude had just told me. 

I felt things for him that I have never felt for anyone. "Was this love or I was just confused?. Am I ready to face the world and my family if I let my heart follow the part it chose?."

For the first time I have seen someone that feels what I feel, I should be with him and not here sulking.

I gathered up courage and went in search of Jude, each step I took I felt elevated and ready to conquer all.

I knocked on his door but no one answered me. I tried harder, his neighbor opened the door and I asked him if he had seen Jude.

"He doesn't stay here anymore, he packed all his belongings and left last night."

I closed my eyes to push back my tears, "I was a day late" I thought to myself.

"Do you know where he relocated to?."  I asked, trying not to sound broken.

He shook his head "No idea." he said and closed his door behind me.

I spent the whole day asking friends if they knew where Jude was, but no one knew, not even his supposedly girlfriend.

I felt alone all over again.

#LGBT

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