Episode Nine

As I walked into the hotel lobby, I noticed it was crowded with people and most of them were guests trying to check-in.

I wasn't surprised by the rush because it was a Friday and weekends were mostly for getaways, weddings, and general funfairs.

I walked up to my room hoping that Ebuka was not there waiting for me.

I gently opened the door and entered. Though I didn't want him there when I came back but I was disappointed that he wasn't.

"Maybe he had given up on us, after all, I left abruptly without explanation." This thought crossed my mind and I felt a sudden fear at the possibility. However, my stubborn self won and I uttered " His loss" as I entered the empty room.

I quickly ran a hot shower to wash away the sweats from my body after the long hours I spent in the sun. 

The bath was refreshing as I felt rejuvenated. Regardless the room felt empty without him and I was beginning to feel lonely. I picked up my phone to call him and dropped it again.

"What would I say if I called him, would he receive my call?". I quickly dropped the phone and put on the television, I couldn't concentrate on the shows and the news was the same brouhaha of the world's unending drama of chaos, racism, violence, and death. I switched it off, and I was once again left alone with my thoughts.

Feeling restless I took a bottle of cold water from the small fridge in the room and gulped almost half of it. I looked at my well-laid bed and memories of earlier today flooded my mind.

I shot my eyes close for some instant to contain my emotions. As I removed the bed covers to climb in I heard a light knock on my door and my heart skipped. With giant strides, I reached the door, took a deep breath, and opened the door.

" Sorry, I thought this was room 12." An old man who probably lost his way said as I opened the door.

"This is room 21 sir, 12 should be on the down floor," I replied, my voice sad, I hoped and thought it was Ebuka. 

 I gazed towards his door opposite mine and had the urge to knock, but didn't.

"Thank you, my son." The old man said and left. Closing my door behind me I went back to bed.

A few minutes later I heard another knock on the door. I thought it was probably the old man and he still couldn't locate his room. Resigned to the torture I stood and went to open the door and maybe take him to room 12 myself.

It wasn't him. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach and my heart beat faster.

Ebuka stood fully clothed, almost 6 feet tall and arms crossed. He was the most beautiful man I ever met. I wanted so much to touch him.

He walked into the room and sat at the edge of the bed. He looked me over and said, "I'm waiting." 

I closed the door and rested on it, I didn't know what to say. My heart knew what it wanted but my head was spinning with doubts.

"You just left Bisi. Why?." I felt and heard the emotions in his voice. 

I still couldn't find words to express my doubts, my misgivings. 

Then I said the only words that made sense to me "You are a married man, Ebuka."

He looked at me and smiled. I felt confused, what was funny in what I just said.

"Are you jealous." He asked me.

"No, but that's...cheating," I said, feeling relieved that I finally expressed reasons for my doubts.

"What would you have me do?. I can't even express what I feel for you to the world, else I lose my prestige, family, and worst I might be killed. I can only be with you and love you in secret Bisi, whether I'm married or not."

I stood at the door more confused now than before.

"Unless you want someone who is single then there is nothing else I can do." He stood up from where he had been sitting and walked up to me.

"The choice is yours" Our eyes met and locked. I knew my decision about us tonight would determine whether we are together or not. 

I moved from the door like a robot, without another word he left my room.

I sprawled my body on the bed, my hands crossed on my chest. My mind in disarray, "I don't know what is right and what is wrong anymore, but I know who I am and whom I want to be with."

"I  loved Ebuka with all my heart." and then it dawned on me that I can never be with him as lovers in the open, our love would never be celebrated here.

I stood up happy to have come to a decision and went in search of him. His door was unlocked as I turned the knob.

He was sitting on a lone chair in his room as if waiting for me.

" I was expecting you Bisi, lock the door, and sit down."

I sat like an obedient child and ran my hands through my hair. "I can't be with you in the open, but at least I can be with you in secret.

 I can't lose all and most especially I can't lose you, I rather love you in secret than lose you in the open." I said to Ebuka. Though my eyes were focused on the television, my words were meant for him.

I knew when he left his chair and sat next to me, he reached out and held my hand while he nestled his head on my shoulder. I finally felt a sense of belonging and for now, I belonged to Ebuka.

We didn't make love that night, our bodies were exhausted from my earlier tantrum but our hearts had united.

We decided to stay the weekend at the hotel and just enjoy each other away from the pressure of family, friends, and society.

The next day we went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast of pancakes, sausages, and scrambled eggs with a cup of hot tea.

Afterward, we took a stroll. We passed through a wedding reception and saw them dancing. We watched them for some minutes and moved on. 

Sometimes I wish I wasn't gay and that I was normal, maybe I would have been the one dancing happily on my wedding day.

Ebuka must have noticed my quietness as he stopped and assured me that everything would be alright.

I smiled at him and allowed myself to enjoy the day, the pain of tomorrow can wait.

I forgot myself at a point when we were window shopping and held his hand, he looked at me and I quickly removed my hand. 

The only place we engaged as lovers in the open was at the almost empty cinema, we probably only watched a few clips of the movie as we spent most part whispering and sharing and at a point he kissed me it didn't last long but the memory lingered in my heart till we went back to the hotel.

I was still reeling from the kiss as we got to our hotel, we quickly ate dinner of pounded Yam and vegetable soup and went to our rooms to shower.

As I showered I reminisced on the day and when I remembered our brief kiss my body hardened with want.

I had left my door open in case Ebuka wanted to come to my room later. So when I felt a naked flesh next to mine I knew it was him, we spent the next hour exploring and loving each other.

I knew tomorrow was not guaranteed in life most especially in our situation and I made up my mind to love myself first and be happy. I owe myself that much.

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