It’s been difficult, hiding, pretending, lying to everyone except myself. How did I get in so deep, why can’t I stop despite every intervention? What’s the matter with me? Why can’t I be like everyone else? Was I really born different or do I have a screw loose like my father said the first time he caught us? That was 12 years ago and despite very expensive psychiatric interventions, prayer and fasting, casting our demons, am still the same person I was 12 years ago. My name is Tade and this is my story….
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria to a lawyer father, a SAN for that matter and a housewife mother, who dedicated her life to taking care of her husband and children. I was the 3rd of 5 children. 4 boys and 1 girl who was the last born. Being smack bang in the middle, I found myself a bit confused. I wasn’t the first boy so nothing was expected of me, I wasn’t the 2nd either, so if the first didn’t perform according to expectation, the 2nd was expected too and I wasn’t the last boy either. I was in the middle and so I technically got to do what I wanted. My father chooses my older brothers professions for them. From a young age the eldest was called De Law, the second, D. DOC but when it got to me, my parents were sort of confused. They had the lawyer, the doctor, so what was I? guess they couldn’t decide, so they asked me what I wanted to be and I knew just what I wanted. My last year in secondary school, I lied that I filled in a jamb form for university entrance but I didn’t, instead I listened to Pete said university was a waste of time if your parents had money, all you need to do is play around until the end comes for them and you inherit the money. So I was going to do just that, or so I thought. Pete, although older, was my best buddy and I loved him. He taught me everything I knew.
It all began on the first day of secondary school. I was on the line for new students when a senior boy came along and asked me to clean his shoes. He said he was choosing me to be his errand boy and personal assistant. He was in year 3 and his name was Pete. That day, he moved me into his room and on top of his bunk. He slept under and I on top. Gradually he tutored me about the school, life and all. And then one day, I woke up to find him lying next to me in my bed naked. At first, I froze as he rubbed his hands over my body and then he stopped and smiled. “You’ll get used to it,” he said. And so every night he did the same until I began to crave for his touch and even started it. At first, I was afraid someone might find out. But as the days rolled into months and years I realized almost everyone was into it.
6 years went by, although Pete left school 2 years before me, every holiday, I would spend the day with him under the pretence that I was with my friends. He even came to the house and we will lock ourselves in the room, it was on one of those occasions that my father caught us. Pete had come over, I just got back from boarding house, I was craving his attention, so I called and he came over to our house. We forgot to lock the door. We were in each other’s arms kissing when my father walked in. we didn’t even hear him standing there in shock until he turned to leave and mistakenly hit the table and it made a noise. We stopped, looked up and there he was leaving the room. That day, he didn’t say anything to me, Pete left through the back door, fearing for repercussions and I stayed in my room all day. I didn’t see my father until 4 days later when he called me into his bedroom. My mother was there sobbing. As I entered, my father told me to sit down and asked just one question. “How long son?” I was about to ask, “How long for what?” But the look on his face shut me up and instead, I said “5 years”. My father sighed heavily, my moms crying became really loud. “That will be all,” he said as he dismissed me.
Throughout that week, I didn’t know what to expect from my father, he did his best to avoid me and when we accidentally meet all the hallway, he would avoid eye contact, as I say hello. 2 weeks later, I was called before my parents again. And this time, my father said I was going to a treatment Centre in the United States and when I get back I should be cured of my disease. I thought it was a joke until he produced a ticket and a letter confirming my acceptance into one of this so claimed therapy clinic to cure me. I didn’t even know I had a sickness, as far as I was concerned I was in love and that’s all that mattered.
My arrival at this crazy clinic was awful. I was beaten, starved, forced to pray and denounce my preference for men. In short, I was to stay there until I was cured. I wasn’t the only one. After 8 months of torture, I finally knew if I don’t renounce my stance, I will be here forever, so I agreed to spend time with a woman and after 2 months of being in a relationship with her, I was declared straight and cured. My father was informed and congratulated that I was on my way home back a new man.
When I got back, my mother was happy and so was my father but he was cautious, he laid down some rules. I was to play with girls only, no more guys. I mean isn’t that crazy? Most parents will insist on their 16-year-olds stay away from girls. Mine insisted all the friends they wanted to see with me were girls. So I decided to stay indoors and play with no one. I didn’t like girls and that was something they were going to have to accept. But did they? Of course not. Now it was my mother’s turn to intervene. After being back from America for 6 months and I still didn’t do Jamb or leave the house much, she decided to take me to a pastor for special prayers.
Pastor Albert, he was known for curing the incurables, so my mother was pretty convinced that whatever was left that the American clinic didn’t cure, Pastor Albert will get it all. Unknown to them I had inducted my neighbour’s child into my sessions. He was recalcitrant anyway, never listened to anybody, he was anti-authority. I called him over to play games on my Wii console and one afternoon, I kissed him and he kissed me back. Apparently he had tried it with an uncle of his who lived with them and he wasn’t that deep but by the time we got into it, he became an expert. Now you must understand, although I was banned from playing with guys, my neighbour Luke wasn’t considered a boy, he was like my brother. Our parents had lived next to each other for over 12 years, so we grew up in each other’s houses. That’s why we were left to our own devices. Meanwhile, I couldn’t get in touch with Pete because my father seized my phone before I went away to America.
So off to Pastor Albert I went. He asked my mother to leave me alone with him for a while and come back 2 days later. In short, by the time I left Pastor Albert, I was falling in love with him. He turned out to be bisexual, happily married to the world but happily molesting young boys behind closed doors and I happened to be handed to him on a platter of Gold. I didn’t tell my parents, cos I enjoyed it, in fact, he made them bring me once a week for casting out the Thorius, the name he called the confused demon in me. Very interesting.
By the time I turned 18, I was still at home, giving my parents high blood pressure. My father was worried about his reputation, my mother was worried about her son, so a decision was made, I was going off to university in London. My father and I flew down, he rented an apartment for me, got me admission into London school of economics and bid me farewell. He even said I didn’t have to come back home if I didn’t want too. My mum and he will come to visit me from time to time. On the one hand, I was elated I was free to be me, on the other I felt sad, my father was ashamed of me, and he was banishing me into oblivion, out of sight of his friends and the world. If most don’t see me, there’s hardly any chance of me disgracing my parents.
So I start my university, it wasn’t long until I met Thomas and he moved in with me. I loved London. We were a couple and no one batted an eyelid. It was normal, and we didn’t feel stigmatized. I made friends, loads of them both male and female. The fact that Thomas was white didn’t matter and then we got serious and Thomas wanted us to get married. His parents were very family orientated Irish and they insisted on meeting my parents. So I called my mum.
Now am sure you’re wondering what happened to my siblings, well they wrote me off, only my sister came to see me in London, from France where she was modelling and accepted me, my 3 brothers didn’t want anything to do with me, they felt I will bring shame to my father’s name and by association theirs. So they stayed away from me. A call once a year on my birthday but that was it. As for my parents, they called and even came visiting once or twice but I always got Thomas to go away for a week or two while they were in town, I explained they won’t understand. He wasn’t happy about it but he loved me, so he understood.
So now back to my wedding, just as Thomas and I were making moves to come to Nigeria to tell my parents, I got a call from my sister that my father was going for the governorship of his state and as such, this wedding between Thomas and I had to be postponed, it won’t go down well with the electorate back home. I was heartbroken but I understood, Thomas was very understanding too. I thought that was the worst of it until a few months later, I heard a knock on my door and it was my parents, all the way from Nigeria, both of them. I was so shocked, Thomas and I were just finishing dinner. They both walked in, said hello to Thomas and as he tried to retreat into the bedroom, my father said they flew down to speak to both of us.
So my father began, “Tade, you know I love you and Thomas I have no choice but to love you too, but we have a situation. Am contesting for the governorship of my state, I already won the primaries but a few days back the opponents got a picture of you and Thomas kissing and are threatening to release it if I don’t step down? Now the party spin doctors have said the only way to crush this rumours is for you to come back home get married to a nice young lady and claim the picture was taken when you were shooting a movie in the UK.” As he said it my mother went down on her knees holding on to my legs and crying, pleading with me to accept my father’s proposal, it would be for a short time, just 4 years, once his term is over, then I could marry whomever I want, or at best still shuttle between Lagos and London to be with Thomas, the lady will have no idea and I would have the best of both worlds and most importantly, my father will fulfil his lifelong dream and keep his name unstained.
What could I say, they had it all figured out. Here were my parents who loved me so much and wanted me to be happy, they brought me to London to live my life, now it was my turn to do something for them. I wasn’t sure I could give them what they wanted, what would happen to Thomas and me? So I asked them to give me some time but Thomas interrupted and said, “Darling, family come first, this is your parents, without them I wouldn’t have met you, Please accept the proposal, I’ll be here waiting for you.” I could not believe this guy loved me, he was so selfless, I kissed him in front of my parents and to my surprise, my parents got up and gave him a long lingering hug.
That weekend we all flew back and they had already got me a wife, we got engaged on Sunday and on Monday the opponents released the story and pictures that I loved men. But my father’s campaign team brought out my engagement pictures, especially the ones where I was kissing my bride to be and called the opponents pictures fake news. That’s how the thing was buried. A month later I watched as my wife to be walked right up to me at the altar, all the political party big wigs had insisted we get married before the elections to quash any rumours still lingering that the engagement was faked.
The ceremony was awesome and to compensate me the honeymoon was fixed for London. My father got me another nice apartment in regents square and so I went to London and every time I left my wife I would go spend hours with Thomas, I even brought him to meet my wife and called him Thomas my best friend from university. My dear wife, Caroline, she was sweet and innocent, we had an arranged marriage and she was still a virgin, didn’t have many expectations when it came to sex, my parents had chosen well, she didn’t demand it and I didn’t offer. She would go out with friends who came to pick her and come back later, leaving Thomas and me to have all the fun we wanted, in short, Thomas and I were on honeymoon, not I and Caroline. 3 weeks of honeymoon up, we flew back to Lagos, my father had gotten me a job in Mobil oil, a few minutes away from the house he bought us for a wedding present in Lekki phase one.
Caroline worked for Arthur Anderson and me for Mobil, we had great jobs but very demanding, so it was normal for us to get home and both just want to go to bed. Trouble started when after the elections, my father won and Caroline’s mother called a meeting of both parents. I can’t forget that day, she called it for their home on Banana Island. “What’s going on with you Tade? Caroline said you haven’t made love to her since you’ve been married, why, it’s been 7 months, what’s going on?” My parents pretended to look shocked and my mum said, Tade, we are waiting for an answer?” So I sighed, with sweat pouring down the back of my shirt, thankfully I had a blazer on, so they couldn’t see, I said, “Am so sorry, I wanted to keep this a secret but I have to say it. Before I came back to get married I was in a relationship and found out I had a serious infection. The doctor warned me that it would take months and lots of antibiotics to cure, in the meantime no lovemaking or I’ll pass it on. He warned I have to come back to London for a thorough check-up to make sure it’s clear before he confirms I can make love again. Am sorry, I didn’t tell my wife, it’s very embarrassing.” Now it was her father’s turn to speak. “Hope it’s not HIV?” No Sir, of course not” He sighed and said, “Thank God, It’s okay, you shouldn’t keep secrets from your wife, besides you could have used protection, but thank God we now understand and are satisfied with your response. And phew! That’s how I dodged that bullet.
2 months later, I could not pretend anymore, I made love to my wife, it felt strange but surprisingly she enjoyed it. I made her a woman after all, no matter how bad I was, she never had any experience so I was lucky. But faith has a way of playing tricks on you. 6 weeks later she falls ill, we go to the doctor and find out she’s 6 weeks pregnant for me. Ha! Ha!!! , what a life, our parents were ecstatic. My mother called me and said, “Now you can’t leave her, a child is involved, you need to get your act together, no more running off to London.” So I brought Thomas to Lagos. Got him an apartment, opened an office and claimed I brought him in to run my private business. It was the perfect story. He was all around us, helping my wife and keeping her company when I go on work assignments abroad, which was pretty often. I was in charge of upstream services and it was pretty demanding. 8 months later our son came, he was a spitting image of me, Thomas was the godfather and we were all happy. I had my wife and I had Thomas, the best of both worlds.
The funny thing about life is, lies and deceit can run ahead for 1000 years but just one day, the truth will catch up with it. 5 years later and still one child that day finally crept upon us. It was a perfect day, our son was turning 5 the next day, Thomas by now was a part of the family, in fact, he spent most nights in our guest house, my wife had tried to introduce him to countless of her friends but none could stand his overt gentleman attitude, just cuddle until he gets married he would tell them and they all took off after a while. Anyway, we were wealthy, had all we wanted but the lies that flowed within us still threatened to mess everything up. The party had been slated for Saturday evening. The marque company had set them up in our huge garden. Caterers were decorating, my wife had gone to pick up our son’s traditional wears. That morning our son was also at his grandparents, Thomas and I couldn’t control ourselves, we got into the shower, had some fun and it was supposed to end there but we got carried away, came on to the bed, continued and slept off naked. We didn’t wake up until I heard Caroline scream as she ran out of the room. I bolted after her naked and just caught her car speeding out of the compound almost killing one of the caterers. By the time I got back upstairs, Thomas was dressed and he said, “Well my darling, it was meant to come out one day, if she didn’t find out now, she would have eventually. “ He moved over to hold me but I slapped his hand, I was levied, the cat was out of the bag, what was going to happen now, where was she going to her parents or mine. If it’s mine, its fine, hers not so much. So I asked Thomas to leave, the look of pain in his eyes said it all, but at that point, I didn’t care, I got dressed and drove to my parents’ house, thankfully my wife’s car was there. I met her in my mother’s arms crying. As I walked in my mother signalled to me and she lashed out, “What are you doing, is what Caroline saying true, did she catch you in bed with Thomas? Why couldn’t you be more discreet?” as she said that Caroline, moved away from my mum and said, “Mum, you knew?” and she busted out crying some more. Then my mother pulled her together, “Come on dear, there’s nothing new under the sun, yes I knew but I thought he stopped.” You can just imagine what will be going on in Caroline’s head.
Anyway, my mum advised we celebrate our son’s birthday and deal with this later. The party went fine, Caroline avoided me that was easy because there were so many people there and she was overwhelmed and as for Thomas, he did not show up. That night Caroline slept in the guest room. The next day I went to Thomas to apologize and met him packing his luggage, he was going back to London, when I make my choice between Caroline and him, I should let him know. I begged, pleaded but he left that night. When I got back home, Caroline was also packing her things and our son’s. She had bought 2 tickets to America for herself and our son, she was going to spend some time with her sister in San Francisco. She said to me, when I decide between her and Thomas, I should come for them and she left that same night for the United States.
Now here I was, I had lied my way between two people I love dearly, now it was time to make a choice but I couldn’t. I love Caroline and our son in a different way from the way I love Thomas, they all make me the man I am today. I chased two mice and lost both. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, and 2 years later am still thinking and trying to decide, who to choose, Caroline or Thomas…..hmmmmm
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