A short story.
we both knew he would get married to someone who wasn't me — that was an unshakeable certainty. and so everything we did together, everything i did with him, for him, i did knowing that whatever we were — friends with benefits(?) prospective prayer partners(?) amateur massage therapist(?) — would come to an end one day. like a movie, the credits rolling by too quick before the screen went blank and all i had left was flashback material.
and this, i think, was why i did not appreciate his unwillingness to go all the way.
he didn't kiss. he didn't give head too, but he always wanted it done to him. wanted, because he had a way of gently pushing my head downwards until i was face to face with the dense sponge of his pubic hair.
after he left, i had to finish off on my own. i would regurgitate like a goat chewing cud, scenes of us together. in these scenes, i reconstructed reality, reimagined the truth: he kissed me, he knelt between my legs and took me in the wet cave of his mouth. he flicked his tongue over my nipples, gave just as much as he took. only then did i arrive at pleasure, my toes curling of their own accord, release and relief washing over me like an open tap.
i. friends with benefits(?) — i asked for this. pleaded for it. but he wasn’t even willing to be friends with me anyway, he just wanted the benefits. so the friendship died even before it had a chance to live. yes, you can fuck or be fucked by somebody without necessarily being friends with them. this is one thing i have come to learn.
ii. prospective prayer partners(?) — i thought about this, willed it to happen. i kept my bible in sight whenever he came visiting. he was a worship leader in his church, and i was losing sight of god. he might choose to pray with me. but he asked me to put the bible away, and that was it.
iii. amateur massage therapist(?) — i don’t know if i should laugh about this, but he had a way of demanding for sex without saying the word ‘sex’. he called it massage. imagine that. i’m coming over for a massage. and i played along too. he would come in, lie prone on my narrow mattress, as though he was too ashamed or embarrassed or disgusted to face me. i would start with my palms on his back. back and forth and back and forth until i was lying on my back with him thrusting back and forth and back and forth.
he could have been twenty-four. or twenty-five. or twenty-six. not thirty, he didn’t look it, didn’t act it. but who is to say? he never told me his age and i never pressed. it wasn't that i didn't want to know, i wanted to. but ours was not a dynamic that allowed for conversation. it was one where i opened myself up for him to come in, take, and go, until he wanted more again.
i want him so bad, i seek him out. text him. call him. leave whatsapp messages that go unanswered. he will respond when he wants me. i touch myself, but it is like eating air. my hunger stays awake, alive. i still want him, and what is a little embarrassment when i am guaranteed pleasure at the end of it?
when he shows up and it is done, i feel an emptiness so acute. it is like water passing through a sieve: nothing holds, nothing registers, no impact is left.
to him, everything was right. with him, everything was wrong.
he’s like poisoned fruit that makes no attempt to disguise itself.
i seek him out. i leave my door open for him. i leave my life open for him. i leave my body open for him: my mouth and my legs and my arms are swept clean for him, brushed clean for him, shaved clean for him. what does that say of me? what does that make me? who does that make me? eve lured in the garden of eden? or eve choosing to eat poison so she could feel something different from the colourless monotony of her daily life?
i have a special gift: it is wanting those that don’t want me.
i am extremely lucky: i choose people that hesitate before choosing me back, or may not even choose me at all.
it’s fine, it’s fine. such is the life i have been given.
relief and release wash over me like an open tap. my toes curl of their own accord. i arrive at pleasure. he gave just as much as he took, he flicked his tongue over my nipples. he took me in the wet cave of his mouth and knelt between my legs. i have reimagined the truth, reconstructed reality in these scenes. i have regurgitated like a goat chewing cud, scenes of us together. i have to finish off on my own. he has left.
Brief notes about “and yet.”
This story is far from being perfect. When I wrote the first draft in late 2021, I had a vision in mind. But I transferred it to my laptop and only a tiny bit of it seemed viable. Even now that I have put it out for you to read, not everything I penned down made the cut. I have become incredibly critical of my fiction, and it’s hard to put out things as often as I want to, or put out just anything. But this little feels emotionally true to a certain extent. I hope it touches something in you.
- Kunle. ❤️