I am not the lesbian who grew up “knowing” that I liked girls so I guess am a “Late Bloomer” so to say but I watched lesbian porn and was always thrilled by the idea of being touched by another woman and the tenderness of it all but that’s as far as I got and never saw myself BEING with another woman.
It was my cousin’s birthday and I got to the party late, the room had a handful of people already in attendance by the time I arrived and I was confused at first while scanning the room looking for a spot to hide till I found a place by the corner of the room to sit on my own until the celebrant arrives. I was tired from work and naturally not a chitty-chatty person; I was lost on Instagram Street when someone drew the chair beside me and ask “Is this the introvert spot?”
I could not contain my laughter and we both laughed and agreed that would be the spot for the introverts for the party and that is how Anita and I became fast friends, we Gisted throughout the party and had an amazing evening drinking and making people laugh. I didn’t know I was that funny because I barely want to be seen, I originally want to sit in a corner minding my own business but not that day or any other day with Anita.
After the party, we kept in touch and even planned outings together and each one was a blast. Anita works in the bank and I am still setting up my studio in G.R.A Port Harcourt, I found a small space in the perfect spot and I fell in love with it. It didn’t take time before she and I became a “Geng”, we would go everywhere together when we could and literally be in each other’s space all day if we can.
I had just finished NYSC and didn’t know anybody in P.H, she was posted from Anambra to the Port Harcourt branch of her bank, she became a big help in setting up my studio and had beautiful ideas about interior designs. I knew I loved spending time with her but I didn’t think much of it till a rainy evening, and I wanted to surprise her at work, I parked by the gate and waited for her to exit the building which she did but in the company of another female, a “Tomboy”. I stepped out of the car on sighting her but she asked me to hold on first as it turns out her friend had come from Awka and will be spending a few days in her house, they had ordered Uber and will not be needing my ride. I was not heartbroken but I was sad especially as we did not talk much the following days and didn’t see either.
The days we didn’t see were harder than I thought, I needed my wing woman but she is playing ghost to her friend, at some point, I even envied her friend. The next weekend we finally saw, her friend left and she “didn’t want to complicate things for me” she said. I didn’t understand what she meant by that but I didn’t ask either, I was just glad to have my “Geng” back
The next week was a sweet and sour one, my folks were out of town and then I fell sick as such Anita literally moved in with me, to “Baby-sit” me for the period my folks were away. For many days I was in so much pain but we go to the hospital to get treatments twice every day, Anita took a week off work and for the life of me I didn’t know why she would go that extra mile for me, but I am grateful she did because despite being sick I felt comfortable with her. I watched her run to my parent’s house with ease and it felt good. I remember I teased her a lot about being a “Wife Material” but one day she gave a response that got me to think.
Me: “You be serious wife material, see how you are cooking, cleaning and running the washing machine at the same time, wish I can be like you”
Anita: “I know say I be wife material nah but if I ask you to marry me now fear no go gree you”
Me: “You know say if woman fit marry woman I go marry you”
Anita: “Who tell you say woman no dey marry woman? What side of the universe have you been living”
That conversation and the emotions in it was my wake-up call, I used to day-dream a lot about marrying a woman but I think now that I wished it away because I didn’t think it was possible until Anita and I had the most challenging conversation of my adult life and I started to give it a thought again.
I started to see Anita, for the beautiful girl she is and for how much she does for me and it began to make sense why she goes out of her way to do the extra things she does for me.
On the evening of her last day in my house, I asked if she was in love with me and she said “Yes” but she said it does not matter because she knew I’ll never feel same way for her but I do, I see all she does for me and I really appreciate but I didn’t think anybody was as crazy as me to want to live on their terms.
Our friendship became awkward from then on as she left heartbroken that I didn’t feel the same way as her but I did, I just didn’t know there was supposed to be more to it than, more than being in each other’s company and being best friends so I knew I had to learn and boy did I learn? I read every rookie lesbian stories and articles Google had in stock, and I learnt that there is a community of people like me in Nigeria, people who do not wish away who they truly are and what they want but who embrace it and exist despite the odds but it was too late because Anita moved on. She even moved in with her new girlfriend and my heart broke every time I see pictures or posts of them on Instagram and Whatsapp status. I let her know every day that I missed her but she kept saying I wasn’t serious.
I am leaving for the UK in a few months and I haven’t told her yet because I hate what my ignorance did to us but I also deserve the chance to learn, unlearn and relearn and I will always think of the amazing human who helped me realise how much of myself I have kept unexplored these whole years and if luck is our sides, our paths will cross again and we will be friends as we were.