The last time you heard from me, I was in a relationship with Cici, happily in love and all. That was in faraway February.
It was just another February past and I’m in a different relationship. I should fill you in on what happened shey? Oya grab your popcorn and drink, read my life like a bestseller.
In June 2017, my parents found out I was bisexual.
My dear, na me do myself. My Android had been stolen in 2016, so I was managing a Blackberry which denied me enough access to my favorite app – Twitter. In order to feed my addiction, I’d take my mother’s phone from 11 pm to 4 am and use Twitter, and then log out and return the phone. All well and good, right? My people, just keep reading.
This particular Tuesday night, I was horny and my ex-girlfriend was online. I messaged her and told her how body dey do me, and then I fell asleep. I woke up and didn’t see the phone in my hand. I didn’t see it on the floor. I didn’t see it on the bed or in the space between the wall and the bed. I started thinking, did I log out? Did I at least close the chat? I could not remember.
Wednesday went fine, everyone was acting normal but my head kept telling me that I didn’t log out. Thursday morning arrived and my parents called me to their room for morning devotion. We started to pray and some of the prayer points felt weird, but I was still sleepy so I didn’t pay any attention. After about two hours of prayer, I wanted to go back to my room and sleep, but they stopped me. My father asked me to sit down. I suspected where this was going but I didn’t expect it. I sat down.
“Ife, are you sexually active?”
My brain slowly started to wake up. I put on my straight face, wondering naively what was happening.
“No,” I answered.
“Ife, are you sleeping with boys?”
I scrunched up my face and answered, “No.”
“Ife, are you sleeping with girls?”
My brain and every part of my body woke up. “What? No.” I made my straight face very tight.
“Or should I say women? Ife, are you sleeping with women?” My father rephrased.
“No.” My plan was to deny everything they said.
“No, I’m not,” I countered
“You’re lying,” he said again.
“No, I’m –”
“Stop lying, Ife,” my mother cut me off. “We have read your tweets.”
My blood froze. My brain immediately went past Panic Mode straight to Troubleshooting Mode.
“What?” I asked in order to get them to spill more information. You know, know what they know so that I would know how to lie.
“You heard me. We’ve read your messages. Don’t lie to us.”
These people were playing hardball.
“Okay,” I said, because if they’d read my DMs, they knew. Some people have wild WhatsApp chats, some people have gay porn. Me? I had the craziest DMs.
“Are you dating Cici?”
This seemed simple. It appeared they read only my conversation with her.
“Yes,” I responded stiffly. I was already preparing to lie that I was just playing with Cici, that I was actually straight – when my father hit me with a curve.
“When did you start sleeping with married women?”
In that moment, I felt something shrink inside me. My brain scrambled to figure out what married woman he was talking about because I didn’t have anything to do with any married woman. Not physically, at least. I thought about the married women in my DMs – there was Sarah from Port Harcourt whom I used to flirt with, but we had our boundaries. I had never done anything with her.
“I’m not sleeping with any married woman. I have never slept with a married woman,” I said emphatically.
I relaxed a bit and said she was just a friend. Immediately I said that, my brain froze. They read my chat with Anivad?!! I was screwed! You know how in all those movies, people tell their therapists everything, yeah? That’s how I told Anivad EVERYTHING about my sex life in the most detailed manner.
If I were white, I would have been blanching and blushing at this point. Instead I looked at my father with a stone face and said, “Ehn?” like I’d suddenly developed a hearing problem.
My father was unfazed by my wall of confusion and repeated, “Who is Comfort and why are you having multiple orgasms?”
In my mind I went: ‘cos she great with them hands, bro!
My interrogation went on some more and was followed by a lecture where I tuned out a lot. I find it funny that the exact bible passages used by Ijeoma’s mother in Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees were the same ones my father used. Eiya, maybe I shouldn’t have let him read the book in 2016. I told my parents that I was over that ‘phase’ of life and that I was working on myself and speaking to my pastor about it. I know some of you want to come for me, that I should have come out of my closet and stood by my sexuality. You can come o, but remember I was a 17 year old girl whose business had barely taken off and I could not afford to get accommodation anywhere outside my parents’ house. So yeah, I stayed in my closet, because who no like better thing?
I had to go off twitter for months and ‘cut off’ my gay friends and ‘ended’ things with Cici. But I didn’t actually cut anybody off or end things with Cici. I was in love with her and convinced that she was not worth giving up. However, things got tenser from there; I saw but did not see. Like Lorde said, “When you’ve outgrown a lover, the whole world knows but you.”
On Sunday, 30th July, 2017, my relationship with Cici came to an end. This was the beginning of my end and the end of my beginning.
Life is a journey with unexpected turns. We learn to adjust and flow along with it.
Somebody wise said that, I’m sure.
Life without Cici was initially horrible. I tried to lock my feelings away in a box in my memory place but the box refused to stay sealed. I would think I’m good and fine and then I’d suddenly start crying in class, on my way home, when a song comes on, in bed, with friends. She was everywhere in my memory, in my life. I’d made her my oxygen and I suddenly couldn’t breathe anymore.
I remember watching Titanic with my parents and I cried so hard that I had to use my inhaler and my mum had to come over and rub my back and say it was just a movie. I was broken and I could not be put together again. Friends tried to console me and help me get over it but I did not want anyone else. Not to fuck, not to flirt with and most definitely not to love.
I moved past this stage, of course. For me to move on, I just need to accept that the former is gone. I was greatly encouraged by Ben Okri’s words in his novel, Starbook:
“All love must lead to death and out of this death a new man or woman is born. Love does not lead to only one death but several deaths; and that because of love one must keep dying and being reborn, from time to time. And that love dies only when you resist another death which love brings upon you, in order for you to be reborn, and grow… there are no ends to the deaths that love brings about, and no ends to the rebirth either. Each death making us lighter, freer, simpler, more human, more vulnerable, more strong, more spiritual, more tender, more universal. Till we become unrepresentative of our clan, tribe, country, sex, religion, or any other classification; but just a beautifully dying living being, dying and being reborn, regenerated, refined, forever, till we become a kind of dream of light.”
I subsequently met an older woman in the far away land of Anambra and shared with her a piece of my broken soul. Gave her the love I could give as a battered being. It wasn’t enough and I knew I did not want her to have to manage, and so we came to decision of being what I excel at (or used to) – friends. I fear I have been a terrible friend and I have hurt her greatly. I know I have but depression does not respect feelings.
I reserved a piece of my soul for a musician with a powerful voice and tender spirit, a calm sweet vibration. Let’s call her Kayefi Osha, a beautiful name but not as beautiful as hers. I believe she did like me at a certain point but she was not as ready as I was, to die another death for love. Communication was then loudest in silence and eventually words were spoken and friendship established. I will forever be enchanted by her.
This is where I fit in another musician; yes I’m very aware that I have a thing for artists. Halimah was a new thing. A breath of fresh air. Something new and exciting. A rush, a thrill. Meant to end. Meant to not begin. A non existential thing. She wanted a monogamous relationship and I was still waiting for Kayefi Osha. Eventually, I made up my mind to stop waiting for someone that was not going to come and go to someone who was here. Halimah was coming down from Abuja and I figured I would be romantic and tell her when she got to Lagos. She got to Lagos and we saw on a Friday (or Thursday). By the sea, a cool breeze between us, I told her I was choosing her and I wanted to be with her. She grimaced and said I should have told her earlier, that she had seen her ex the day she got back and they sort of got back together.
Y’all can tell how that worked out for me.
Right here is where I should tell you about a beautiful woman, someone who made feel whole, the one who fate deemed me unworthy of. This is where her story should be but she is more than this – more than just a summarized paragraph. She is a full novel, an autobiography, a special thing. I’ll dedicate the next episode to her fully. Her name is Nkem. A love denied by life.
That’s a bit dramatic, won’t you say? I believe that love is different and unique with each person and there is none that is counterfeit. I believe that we give up pieces of ourselves to be buried in the ground by people, to die and decompose, to rise and grow. I believe we must die to live again. We must love because to not to is to be stagnant and frozen and so I have surrendered to the art that is love, the love that is God, the God that is reborn in each of us as fragmented pieces of eternity through love.
With this in mind, I would like to tell you about my lover. With this lover, the poem, What is Love? by George Peele, comes to mind. Kosi Anigo-Jones is the soil after the rain, rejuvenated. She is the rain from the sky, pure. She is the sky we see, the first heaven. She is the fire and the rain. She is the blood and the pain. The peace and the war. The earth and the sky. She is my eternity in a moment.
Kosi, I knew, was going to be somewhere in my future, at least that’s what I told myself while I stalked her twitter. I wanted to slide in for so long but my brain held me back, saying the vibe was not ready, the time was not right, things needed to get tight.
Finally, the stars aligned and I shamelessly slid into her DM like hot okra on a plate. The vibration was great and something different happened. I was scared to fall. Me that I have waxing poetic about love being something that must not be fought but surrendered to, I was scared of what was happening to me. Eventually, I made my peace with the regeneration of self that can only come with giving myself over to love. I gave her what was left of me and she, like someone carrying a baby for the first time, stumbled a bit but found her right handle and she has been handling me well, as well as she can and I am blessed to have her love me.
She is my sweetest December and I’ll always remember her. The future is uncertain but one thing I am certain of is that I want to be with her for as long as time will allow.
P.S: I am so sorry for disappearing, guys. Hopefully I can make it up to you guys. I missed you lot a lot.
P.P.S: I’m legal now!
Written by IAmNotAPerv