They kept bartering the guy while he kept saying he knew no other person like him anywhere. The guys got frustrated with him at last and left him be. No one had stepped forward to help him, not even the security men who were always at their work station, nor the students who only chattered excitedly among themselves watching him humiliated and treated less than a human.
At daybreak, he was rushed to the hospital with machete cuts all over his body. Sukanmi could not even go close to him. It could have been him. That could happen to him anytime, he shivered at the thought of being mercilessly cut like that.
No matter how much he had tried in the past to change his sexual orientation, he had never succeeded. He had even had one or two girlfriends in the past but only ended up being humiliated when they wanted sex and he could not get his manhood alive.
She scampered closer to him at the lecture room2 where they were waiting for the Professor to show up. He sat alone, reading from a textbook.
Suzan: “Hi!” she flashed him her adorable and irresistible smile.
Sunkanmi: “Hi” he said without looking up from the book.
Suzan: “Do you remember me?” she placed her right hand on her chest, grimacing and smiling sheepishly at the same time.
Sunkanmi: “Uhn! Suzan right? Thanks for the other day. I have you to thank for so many things” he said casting her a side glance.
Suzan: “What really happened that day? You are not used to taking alcohol, are you?”
Sunkanmi: “No, I’m not”
Suzan: “Then why did you take it?” she knew she was asking unnecessary questions but she just couldn’t get herself to say what she really had in mind.
Sunkanmi: “What’s with all the question now? Is there something you probably want?” he cast her a sardonic glance.
Suzan: “Uhn! Not really, I just…”
She was interrupted by a sharp voice from behind.
Kikelomo: “Don’t mind her o. there is something she has been wanting to tell you since 200l” she said, coming to sit beside him on the long bench. He sat at their middle uncomfortably.
Suzan: “Kike!” she started making signs to her with her eyes to keep quiet but she wouldn’t have any of it.
Kikelomo: “Will you tell him or should I?” she asked adamantly.
Suzan: “Uhmmmmm…I will tell him later in private. Can’t you see the way everyone is looking at us with curiosity? Do you want me to be the talk of the whole department?”
He looked from one to the other, shook his head and stood up to leave but Kike drew him back to his seat.
Kikelomo: “What are you trying to do? Walk out on us? That cannot happen na. it is not done, except you two will walk out together and go talk it over somewhere under that mango tree” she said pointing out the window towards the mango tree she was indicating.
Sunkanmi: “Okay let’s go” he said throwing his hands up in resignation.
On his way home that Saturday, he couldn’t help but wonder if he had made the right choice of deciding to go back there. He missed his mum and hadn’t stayed away from her for two weeks on a row before and that was why he made it a point of duty to go home every weekend.
His mind drifted to the conversation he had had with Suzan under the mango tree that day…
Sunkanmi: “So what is it exactly?” he asked after they had sat down.
Suzan: “I like you a lot and I have fantasized about you since I don’t remember when. I would like us to start dating or something if you wouldn’t mind?” she sounded bolder and more convinced with herself at that moment.
Sunkanmi: “Uhn! I don’t think that would be possible. I might just make you suffer a lot. I am not capable of love right now. We can just be friends if you want?”
Suzan: “I want more than friendship, I really can’t get myself to feel anything for any other guy ever since this feeling developed. I can’t seem to help it no matter how much I try. Please think about it. No one is not capable of loving and no one does not deserve to be loved. We can give it a try?” she looked at him pleadingly.
Sunkanmi: “Okay I will give it a thought” he said and stood up to go back to the class, the professor had just arrived in his Honda CRV.
As he pondered on that discussion, he wondered whether he should give her the chance… “Will she be the healing I so desperately want? Will she help me out of this web I don’t want to be in? Should I give her a try even though I don’t even have one iota of feeling for her? Will the feelings develop with time if I try my best?”
He stepped into the house with his thoughts still scattered hopelessly about. He was surprised to see the house had been ransacked and almost turned upside down. He ran to the rooms to check for his parents but they were nowhere to be found. He checked the kitchen and every other part of the house but he got no whiff of them. The whole house was empty save for their neighbour who had just packed in and when he asked her, she told him she hadn’t noticed anything or anyone.
As he picked up his phone to call the police, his phone vibrated violently in his hands and an unknown caller ID showed on the screen. He picked it with a shaky hand and a rough, coarse voice of a guy began to talk without much ado.
Unknown Caller: “If you want to see your parents again, come to the back of Amadiyya mosque at Apapa road. We are watching your every move and if you as much as talk to one single person on your way here, we will kill the two of them immediately, likewise if you try to call the police. Don’t forget we are watching you” he said and ended the call immediately.
He sprinted out of the house without even thinking twice. He couldn’t imagine his parents getting hurt just because of him. He prayed in his heart that they were alright and that no hair on their body would have been touched before he got there. It was past 10pm so he could not get bike to convey him there. He had to run as fast as his long legs could carry him to the mosque he was directed to. It was a very popular mosque in the area which had a couple of uncompleted buildings at its back.
As soon as he got to the mosque, a guy walked up to him and ordered him to follow him quietly. He led him to the uncompleted building which was at the centre of the rest and there were his parents both on the floor. His dad was bleeding from different places on his body but his mum was left untouched. They both looked disoriented to the core he made to run up to them but one of the guys stood in front of him, pointing a gun to his head.
Kemi: “Please let my son go please. He is innocent, I promise you, and he is really innocent” she sat up immediately she noticed her son was there.
The guys were five in number holding different kinds of weapons. They were probably cultists from one of the schools around.
Sunkanmi: “What do you want?” he asked defiantly.
Kemi: “Don’t say anything son, don’t talk to them at all, they are dangerous” she warned but one of the guys kicked her in the stomach to keep quiet.
1st Guy: “We want just one thing from you, confess that you are gay and we will let your parents go, but if you lie, we will kill the woman right here in your presence” he said pointing a gun to her head.
His knees became weak immediately he heard that. How was he going to confess to a thing like that? Something he was battling so hard to be free from?
Kemi: “I already told you guys that he is not gay. My son is not gay and can never be gay”
2nd Guy: “Woman keep quiet, don’t you like yourself? Do you want guys like him mingling with sane humans like us? We are trying to purge our school clean of nonentities and animals like him. if he refuses to confess now, I will take the first shot” he said and conked his gun an umpteenth time.
Question: Will he confess? Should he confess in order to save his parents?
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