A lot of things can change by morning; our thoughts, ideas, perception in life, or even a benevolent landlord after a few drinks and a monologue of self-respect on debts, finally decided to put a padlock on your door. He decides he’s tolerated your shenanigans for four months and you need to pay up, he’s not in the business of charity after all. Or you could wake up one morning like Marilyn, and suspect your boyfriend of nine months is gay.
As she narrates to me, it all started with an innocent game, Never Have I Ever- a popular game like Truth or Dare, only in this, you must confess the things you have never done in the entirety of your life.
“Never have I ever been suspected of being a lesbian in high school,” one of her friends said.
“Me too,” the sheep of the group voiced in turn.
“Never have I ever been suspected of being a lesbian either.” Derrick, Marilyn’s boyfriend chipped in.
Now games should be in a booklet of what society should fear the most. They’re people who conceived through a game, lost big chunks of their wealth in mindless games of poker and ridiculous bets. While others like Derrick, their sexuality, was under scrutiny.
“Did he say he’s never been suspected of being a lesbian?!” I incredulously ask.
“That’s what he said,” Marilyn says smacking her lips while snapping her fingers, I involuntarily picture the fictional African American character, Madea, doing the same thing.
“What if he was just caught up in the moment?” I inquire. “You know there are guys who say the most ridiculous things in the spirit of the moment. Don’t forget we women have been known to jump into conclusions with our- know- it- all attitudes.” Besides when did gaysim become part of the discussion list with philandering men, dead-beat dads, drunkards, and domestically violent men? I wonder internally. Information is a globalized commodity and our culture is evolving but when did we start accusing our men of being homosexuals? Seems the modern man and woman in Kenya deal with relationship problems their parents never experienced.
Marilyn seems lost in thought. Poor girl. Who would have thought such a game will create such confusion?
“Have you subtly tried throwing hints to catfish it out of him?”
“Yeah, right!” she scoffs at me, “you don’t just walk up to a guy and ask that. These are our African men; they don’t even go for a prostate checkup because they don’t see how some stranger can touch them down there. How then, can I expect him to admit to being gay? He will probably turn it against me and accuse me of being insecure or the homosexual one.”
We seat quietly. Marilyn rings her fingers in frustration. I watch the fast rhythm of her breathing as she steals glances outside the window, her movements heightened with the raw sadness reflected in her eyes.
“You know, he is not interested in any kind of intimacy,” she mumbles after a long period of silence.” Not even once has he ever held me in an erotic manner that could lead up to coitus.” She confesses. “I really care and respect this guy but I don’t know what to do.”
Some would laud this guy for respecting the hell out of Marilyn. But that is not the case. Her man stares dreamily at pictures of men. His wonderfully sculpted art book is full of pictures of perfectly drawn, good looking men. He spends a tad bit more time on the mirror than an average woman, loves beauty products, has gone to the extent of proposing to situate acrylics wraps on his nails since he’s curious of how they would look on him. As if that is not enough, they decide to be exclusive only for Marilyn to discover he is actively following Ghanaians gays on Instagram. These men are hot, can contour their cheeks after flawlessly blending foundation and admirably pose for pictures. Marilyn is an insecure girl. She wonders if she can compete with the beautiful gay men with the immaculately drawn eyebrows. She now harbors uneasy feelings towards his boyfriend’s friends, scrutinizing every little detail that will lead her to one solid unbeatable answer, he is gay.
“The thought that my guy may be gay is killing me. It has created a rift between us and every time we fight, I feel my emotions being replaced by this void of sadness and desperation.”
I wonder why she is still clinging to the relationship. Many girls in her situation would have probably left by now with philosophical statements, ‘I am loving the woman am becoming. Time to fall in love with me again.’ But here she is taking one step a time. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. She plans to wait for a tangible reason. An un-opposed truth that he is gay.