Saturday, 6 June 2009

Garuba 7

That night Garuba and I went to bed with the assurance in our hearts that we had established something really important between us. We clung to each other in bed and I couldn't help thinking that Garuba seemed so vulnerable, almost like a baby, as I stroked his back gently, lovingly and watched him drift off until his breathing was slow and steady and I knew that he was asleep. I carefully pulled the bed cover over him and snuggled close to him, careful not to wake him. My mind was busy. Since our arrival back in Garuba's place yesterday, both of us had said things to each other that we'd never said before. And the implication was that we had made promises to each other, promises which would undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences. I was happy, but there were thoughts at the back of my mind, a vague nagging feeling that I couldn't as yet decipher. Was I scared perhaps that at some point in the foreseeable future, this man with whom I had fallen so in love would be available to me no longer? Was my mind warning me to hold something back and not give everything to this relationship? That I was in love with this man was not in doubt. And he too had been nothing but kind and loving towards me. He made me feel so special, I felt loved and wanted. And I was happy, but...


I fell asleep not quite having decided what the feeling was that was at the back of my mind. But I needn't have worried, because soon something happened that would bring me back to these thoughts. The next day was Friday. Garuba asked if I would go to his office with him. I agreed to go into town with him, but then suggested that I would leave him while he worked and do some sightseeing of my own around town. I told him that it might be a good idea for me to seek out other youth corpers in Bauchi and acquaint myself with a few of them. He hesitated for a brief moment, but quickly composed himself again and accepted. In the mid-afternoon I would meet him at his office. I had spent the whole day at his office last Friday and I'd noticed that my presence there had affected him and his work. I explained that I didn't want a repeat of that and we both agreed that our relationship must not be allowed to affect our lives at work. So Garuba dropped me off on the Wunti Road, where I'd heard the NYSC lodgings were located. Garuba's office was only a short drive away.
The building was an ordinary rooming house of the kind to be found in most inner-city districts of any Nigerian city, where the occupants rent rooms and the facilities are shared. The front room was untidy, with the smell of stale tobacco smoke hanging in the air. There were empty bottles strewn about and the ashtrays were overflowing with cigarette butts and ash. The floor was crying out to be cleaned. And as I entered the building, I realised instantly how fortunate I was and I was grateful that I had Garuba's room to call home for the time being. There was a young man a little older than me and a young lady seated on an armchair, she on the seat and him on the arm of the chair, with his arm around her. They seemed to be engrossed in what they were saying as they spoke quietly to each other, smiling as they did so. They were the only people about, so I approached them and I coughed loudly as I reached them. I could tell immediately that like me, they were southerners. It was obvious to me that they were corpers too, as I said hello and introduced myself. The girl was friendly, but the man seemed to be irritated by my arrival at this very moment. I apologised for interrupting them, but explained that I was new in town and wished to meet fellow corpers. Nkechi the girl, offered her hand, introducing both of them. The man was Dayo. They were both corpers, both doctors. They were temporarily housed here, but were due to relocate to the staff accommodation of the hospital to which they were both posted, some government hospital in Bauchi town. Hearing that I had missed out on the NYSC accommodation, they hastened to assure me that I was better off staying elsewhere, since the NYSC accommodation wasn't that great. And that they were pleased they wouldn't be staying here for very long. I left them and wandered further inside the building.

Clearly, most of the
corpers living here had gone out to their various places of work, as the place seemed almost completely deserted. I was just turning around to make my way back to the entrance of the building when I heard a voice from behind me. Somebody was trying to catch my attention and when I turned around approaching me down the corridor was the figure of a man. I stopped and waited until he reached me. Standing before me was a good-looking young man of about my age. He seemed like the really friendly sort as he smiled and extended his hand in greeting. "Hi, I'm Femi", he said. I smiled back. "Anengiyefa", I said. I was used to people reacting to my name whenever they heard it for the first time and as I expected, he said "huh?". So I mouthed the name again slowly, telling him where the name is from and even the meaning of the name. Femi was really nice. He was dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt with "PUBLIC ENEMY" emblazoned on the front. There was no way I could miss those huge breast muscles straining against the t-shirt. And those biceps, gosh! Femi grabbed my hand in a firm handshake, strong, rough hands that I found mildly exciting. This was a real he-man, akin to the subject of many a dream of mine. Like me, Femi who was a graduate of Physics, was due to start work next Monday, teaching science to junior secondary school students here in town. We hit it off instantly and I told him everything that had happened and how I'd met Garuba and was now staying with him, although of course I said nothing about what was really going on between Garuba and me. By this time we were both in Femi's room on the first floor of the building.
I was right, I thought. The rooms at the NYSC hostel are almost as it was back at the university. He told me he had never lived on his own and that even while at the University of Ibadan, he stayed at home with his parents. He feared that he would have a problem living alone since he didn't know how to cook, to which I responded by saying that I love cooking and that I could help out whenever he needed help. He seemed surprised to hear me say this, but said nothing. Femi offered me a cold drink which he fetched from the communal kitchen and then we chatted at length about many things, student life, the north and what we thought about the place and its people. But never once did he mention girls, which I thought was unusual, since I could hardly envisage a conversation with such a good-looking, hot, red-blooded man as this, without the subject veering at some point to the opposite sex. Anyhow, he needed to open the window wider than it already was and since I was seated on a chair that was right by the window, he leaned across me and in the process pressed the hardness of his abdominal muscles against my body. Shamefacedly, I must confess that the overall effect on me was a weakening of the knees and a stirring in the loin, although I tried hard to remain straight-faced. Having met Femi, I knew deep down that I had met someone with whom I would share friendship throughout this one year of youth service. But it was time to make my way to Garuba's office as I could imagine how anxious he would already be. So Femi bid me goodbye after walking me down to the street. And the parting handshake, well I think perhaps it lingered for a few seconds longer than it should have, but then, maybe this was my imagination on overdrive.


The instant I saw Garuba in his office, I realised how blessed I was to be in love with him. The staff in the outer office had let me in, remembering me from the last time. And also, I think maybe Garuba had informed them I was expected, because they all welcomed me, smiling at me as if I was an old acquaintance. Garuba was concentrating on some sheets spread out on his desk, talking into the phone. If the word 'beautiful' can be used to describe a man, then this would be the appropriate term to describe this gorgeous man with whom I was now so enamoured. Garuba's face lit up when he looked up and saw me come in through the door. This morning he had asked me what he should wear to work. He had asked me to choose between a cream coloured caftan and a sharp dark suit. Having never seen him dressed in the Western style, naturally, I pointed to the suit. Gawd! He looks so handsome, I thought as I walked to him. While still on the phone he extended his other arm towards me and pulled me into his body, grazing my cheek with his lips. In return I kissed his cheek lightly, but wrestled myself from his grasp. I didn't want to interrupt what he was doing since he was obviously busy, so I went over to the arm chair and sat, crossing my legs. A few minutes later Garuba finished his conversation on the phone and came towards me. He stood in front of me, took both my hands and pulled me up so that we were standing facing each other. We hugged, tightly, when it suddenly dawned on us that anyone could walk into the room at any minute. We smiled knowingly into each other's eyes and releasing me Garuba went back to his desk, sat down and asked how my day had gone. Telling him about my visit to the NYSC hostel, I couldn't help feeling a bit guilty about what had happened when Femi had pressed his firm, hard body against me. Of course, I said nothing of this, but I told him that I met a nice guy and that I would like to go back, perhaps during the weekend, to see him again. Garuba said nothing, but went on to say that this evening he was expected at his fiance's house. He said he wanted me to meet her. I pursed my lips and fluttered my eyelids in mock indignation as if to say, "why would I want to meet this person who sooner or later, will take you away from me?", although the words never came out of my mouth. Seeing my reaction, Garuba smiled and then in that very frank and forthright manner of his and looking me straight in the eye, said that he would never allow anything to come between us. And then I remembered why I had fallen in love with him in the first place.

11 comments:

Naughty feeling said...

I hope you pray and thank your God everyday for how generous he has been to you. Am green!

Anengiyefa said...

Aww, NF, now youre making me blush..:)

Naughty feeling said...

Am not sure as whether am to be envious. If i were you...well, obviously am not. Hope u are happy.

Anengiyefa said...

NF, nice things such as are described in this story have indeed happened to me in the past, as I'm sure they have happened to many others. Its just that people often keep hidden this side of the gay experience in contemporary African society.

I am driven by a desire to tell a positive story about being gay in present day Africa, since what we read and hear about are mostly stories of doom and gloom. Its not the intention to make anyone feel envious. Indeed, quite the opposite. Ultimately, I would wish that the effect this should have on any gay person, is to make us see ourselves and our sexuality in a positive light and help us to eschew any feelings of guilt, self-loathing and uncertainty about our place in the world that is so prevalent among many gay Africans.

Rox said...

Totally worth the wait, you tell it so beautifully.....I have a feeling though that Femi is going to stir up some big trouble.....I'll let you tell the story though, cant wait for Garuba 8, yes am that greedy

Anengiyefa said...

Thanks Rox, I'm glad yo've enjoyed it. :)

Naijadude said...

I must say you were quite lucky eh!!

Hows London??

Anengiyefa said...

The word I would use to describe London today is 'sultry'. But I'm lovin' it. :) How you doing buddy?

CodLiverOil said...

The plot is thickening, great story.
I'm enjoying every word, thank you.

c'est moi said...

& i thought the Moses series was captivating...this Garuba plot is something else!!..im absolutely loving it...true,pure,reciprocative,passionate romance..ahhh,the stuff of my dreams & fantasies...and the way gay relationships should be i say!

Ps..but you never ended the Moses story though...whatever happened?

Anengiyefa said...

Hi C'est moi, in answer to your point about the Moses story, somewhere in Garuba 4 are the words..."I had been in a relationship with Moses, but that was not the same as this. Time spent with Moses was fleeting at the best of times and his circumstances and mine were such that we were unable to take our relationship much further than what we had already done. Personally, I was concerned that if I persisted in that relationship, there could be undesired consequences on his marriage, and this was an eventuality that I was determined would not occur. I had gradually decreased the frequency at which I visited the Shrine..."

I hope that answers your query..xxx