I will call him *Chika. A dear friend. The first day I saw him, I couldn’t stop laughing. The way he swayed his hands, pursed his lips and batted his eyelashes. It pointed to one thing: homo.
Last week Chika called me to say he was dying. That’s all he said before the phone went dead.
I stared at the phone. The person on the other end had sounded like Chika. Though, His tone was different. Chika always sounded like he was in a rush – a joyous rush.
Here, he spoke as though he was actually dying.
I called back.
The operator said the number was switched off. I tried again, and again. Nothing. My heart raced. My head asked questions. I began to wipe my sweaty palm on my jeans trousers.
What if he is serious? What could be wrong? What did he hope to achieve by scaring me?
One time, a friend of mine scolded Chika with belittling remarks about his female disposition.
Why you dey do like woman like this? my friend asked. His tone hinting every sense of disgust he could muster.
I found it ironic. He seemed to be fine with my feminine disposition. Did he just choose to be blind to it? Or, Was he disgusted by me as well? One evening, He had grabbed my butt and whispered to me that he wished I were a girl. Then, he planted a kiss on my right cheek.
Just when my mouth opened to defend Chika. Chika was well on his way to defend himself.
My friend had to retreat. Chika’s words stung.
When Chika noticed we were alone. He wept. All the while asking: why?
I had never seen him seem so powerless. He wailed and beat his fist on a nearby table cursing the day God made him.
I consoled the best I could, until, he stopped weeping.
I later found out that Chika suffered depression and looked to sex to soothe the feeling. His joyous displays were not so much a lie, they just came from mood swings we didn’t understand.
Could he just be in another bout of depression? But, he never called before.
I put on a slipper and drove to his house in V.G.C.
His apartment was a mess. His apartment was always a mess; clothes cluttered at various sites, unfinished meals on the dining, everything looked out of place.
I scanned the apartment looking for him.
Just beside a heap of clothes, I saw his legs. Black socks covered his feet, and his jeans hugged his legs. He was shirtless. He slept chest down in a pool of blood.
I stood there, looking at my friend. My mind was blank. I heard my heart thump against my chest. Something in my head said help him.
I rushed over to him. He was twice my size and I couldn’t lift him. He had built muscle. Muscles built in an attempt to hide his female mannerism. Now, I was covered in his blood. My thin fair hands contrast to his thick dark hands. I noticed a slit in his right wrist as I tried to lift him up.
I ran out of his compound. I grabbed the first person I saw to come help me. I was lucky. The man I saw was willing to help. He lived near by and he could drive. He drove while I was with Chika on the back seat. I administered whatever first aid I could on him.
Chika stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks. When he got out, he would not say why he tried to kill himself. And, I would not ask. I wanted to. But, I felt it would come off wrong.
Last week, he came over to my house in Lekki. And, we talked.
He liked Lekki Phase One. He was considering moving to Canada. He didn’t like that my bulbs were bright.
I was bored.
Then, he started crying. He was HIV positive. He found out the day he tried to kill himself. His one time boyfriend had called and threatened to out him to his Catholic family.
The boyfriend had tested positive. Chika -according to the boyfriend- was the only person he had sex with. He was going to ruin Chika’s life. And, the first thing he would do would be to tell Chika’s family about Chika’s gayness.
I stared at Chika when he was done narrating – a bit irritated.
Was that really enough reason for him to try to take his own life? What if I hadn’t come when I did? Would he be here telling me about a person I always disliked?
I couldn’t be judgemental at a moment like that. I simply sat up from my couch and went over to comfort him.
Enjoy my Blog.