Underlying Love – Episode 6
By Kayode Odusanya
“What exactly did Adunni tell you?” She asked without looking at him.
He looked at her for a while as if not knowing how to say what he had to say, then he turned off the car stareo, sat back in his seat before saying, “She told me you wanted to have sex with me.” A few seconds went by and when he didn’t get any response from her, he went on to say, “She told me you have been working on getting me hooked up with your friends so you could have sex with me eventually.”
“Is that all she told you?”
“Yes.” He said with a face like he was wondering why she was not denying the allegations.
“She told you my friend, Ann told her that, right?”
“The only mistake i made was trying to hook you up with that girl before i really knew her.”
“What are you saying?”
“Yes, at a time, I really wanted to be more than your friend.” She paused, took a deep breath before countinuing. “And yes I told her how i felt, but i never said i wanted to sleep with you. It was all girl talk I thought would stay between us.” She looked at him affectionately for a few seconds before adding, “I didn’t want you to end up unhappy like me, that’s why I wanted to hook you up so bad.”
“What are you talking about? Jack is a good guy.” He said with a curious look on his face.
“Yes, he is a good guy. He is a great guy. But…but i am nothing more than his beard.”
“His beard? What are you talking about?”
“Stephen, Jack is gay.”
“What?” He said as he turned in his seat to face her.
She had a smile on her face as she said, “I have nothing against gay people, but he lied to me.”
“You didn’t know while you were dating?”
“You know him just as much as I do…did you?” Stephen shook his head slowly, lost in thought. His mind went through all the times he had spent with Jack, wondering if there were any signs that he might have been gay, but he couldn’t even picture Jack as a homosexual. He was too macho.
Not like they had been best buddies, but back when he was a heavy drinker, Jack had been a regular at a bar he frequented. They had connected when they discovered they both had a love for psychological thriller movies.
Coincidentally, Jack worked on the same street with Modupe back then, and one day, after going to see Modupe at work, he saw Jack while she was walking him to his car. He introduced them, and, a few months later, they told him they had started dating. And a year later, they were married. Stephen had thought the whole thing happened so fast back then, but since he knew both of them really well, he had been genuinely happy for them.
“You see why I didn’t know how to explain things to Adunni, or you.” Modupe said, distorting his train of thought. “Also, you and Jack were very good friends at some point, so…”
“So…” Stephen said, urging her on.
She took a deep breath before saying, “The other reason why I wanted you to hook up with my friends was because…”
“Because I needed to know something, and I couldn’t find out on my own. I needed to know if you were gay.”
“What!!?” He blurted out with a chuckle. “Why would you think I was gay?”
“Well, as I said, you and Jack were pretty close at some point.”
“So what, you thought we were gay lovers?”
“Yea, kinda.” She said and looked at him with a smile on her face. “Come on! Don’t look at me that way; I had never seen you with a girl before.”
“That doesn’t mean…Oh my! So you have been thinking I was gay all this while?”
“Come on, why are you making it seem like I thought you were a serial killer or something.” She said and hit him playfully on the arm. “I don’t have any problem with gay people; I just wanted to be sure what your sexuality was.”
There was silence in the car for a while and then he looked at her for a while before saying, “So, Jack is really gay?” She nodded her head at him. “Are you sure? How did you get to know?”
“Trust me; you don’t want to hear that story.” She said and had a faraway look on her face. “He has apologized and all that, but it doesn’t change the fact that he…he is attracted to guys.”
“Hmm! I still find it hard to believe.”
She looked at him and a smile appeared on her face. “At a point I even thought he had a crush on you the way he always talked about you around the house.” She said but he didn’t say anything back. His mind was miles away. “So, that’s my story. I am married to a guy who isn’t attracted to me.” She turned around to look at Stephen again, but he was still lost in thought.
Stephen sat there, his mind thinking up how he could weave this whole story into a book. He turned to look at her for a brief second, and then looked away again, feeling guilty for trying to use another person’s pain for his gains. She was going on and on, in little rambles, about how bad her life was and how much pain she goes through keeping the secret that her husband was gay to herself.
As they say, truth is stranger than fiction, Stephen thought. He had always thought Jack and Modupe were the coolest and happiest couple he knew. Little did he know that they were both living a lie. His mind went back to something she had said earlier, and then he looked at her and asked, “So, all you were doing was trying to make sure I was happy in a relationship.” She nodded. “That’s so selfless of you. And you would be cool with a friend of yours being with me, even though…even though you have feeling for me?”
“Yes. We can’t be together, but it will bring me joy if you were with someone I know would bring you joy.”
“This is really complicated.” He said and looked out the window. “The rain has stopped. Let me change the tire.”
To be continued