It was 6am in the morning, I was just standing out in the middle of the quadrangle and looking embarrassed.
I was trying to understand how I missed it.
My clothes were on the window pane to my left. I had placed them there before I began to bathe myself as I prepared for school.
Why would someone do this to me?
This was only my first morning in boarding school.
I wanted the safety of my home.
My temperature controlled shower, consistent electricity, hot breakfast and just emotional safety!
Here I was thrust into the “wild”.
Anyone that experienced it will tell you straight up that it builds character and forces you to face a lot of the fears you will meet in life.
One thing it also does though, it awakens fears you never thought you had.
That cold morning, I stood there and wished I could teleport.
I swear I had seen my clothes there. Just a minute before.
Someone obviously moved it because they wanted to teach me a lesson.
I eventually made my way into my dorm and tried to forget that had happened, but it hurt.
That day, I prayed that I would never be in that kind of situation again.
Well, I have been in that situation 3 times since then but this had to be the most embarrassing.
My father, a renowned minister, was standing less than 10 feet away from me while I clutched my undergarments to protect my exposed genitalia.
How did this happen?
How did he know I was here?
“Pastor, I am sorry”
Micah said in whimpering tone.
My father barked back at him.
He looked up to me and said
“You are still at this?! After everything your mother and I have done for you?”
My head dropped.
He continued on
“You are a disgrace. A complete disgrace.”
It was at that point I dropped my clothes on the bed and I started putting my boxers on.
I was so tired of being called all sorts for being who I was.
My father turned to Micah and said
“…and you, I cannot believe you would do this. I never want to see you again.
Or anywhere near the church.”
He stormed out without saying another word.
I quickly put the rest of my clothes on and followed. Micah tried to grab me, I stopped and he said
“I’m sorry. This is my fault”
I smiled and gave him a kiss on his lips and then said
“Don’t be. You did nothing wrong”
as I wiped his lip.
He dropped his head and I patted his cheek as I walked out.
Walking into the parking space, my father said to me
“Give him the keys”
referring to his driver who was now standing outside to my left, right next to my car.
I wanted to ask why but I knew why.
He wanted us to ride together so he could berate me further.
I didn’t question it, I tossed my keys to Dimeji, our longtime family driver and the man that taught me how to drive.
He nodded, almost in apology and then entered my car.
I walked over to my father’s car and entered.
To my surprise, he did not say a single word during the entire ride home.
When we got home, I went straight to my room and stayed there most of the day.
I shuffled between scrolling through Twitter and watching season 4 of the Blacklist. I was basically trying everything to get my mind off what had just happened.
My mom was out of the country and returning later that night. One thing was for sure, my father was always going to tell my mother what happened.
They tell each other everything.
So I knew it was only a matter of time before she was brought up to speed.
And she was going to be home in a few hours.
I was awakened by the buzzing of my phone.
I actually didn’t realize I had fallen asleep. As I answered, I tried to keep my eyes closed.
The voice on the other end was familiar. It said
“Are you ready?”
I wasn’t understanding. So I asked
“Ready for what?”
“Drinks. I texted you and told you I was coming”
I hadn’t seen the text. Probably because I was sleeping. So I asked
“Where are you?”
I sighed and said
“Aight, I’ll be out in a bit”
I quickly got up, brushed my teeth and then washed my face before heading out the room.
As I approached the living room, I could hear the sounds of the television – MSNBC.
That was one of my dad’s favourite channels, so I quickly put it together that he was in there.
I knew I had to walk past him and I was going to do it as quickly as possible.
As I entered the living room and was almost out of the main door, he said
“Ni bo lo da?” – translating to “where to?”
I stopped in my tracks, turned to my right where he sat and said
“I am grabbing dinner with a friend”
He squeezed his face and dismissed me with his mouth closed.
And out I was.
In the car waiting for me was Sandra.
One of my true best friends and one of the only few that knew my situation.
As I sat in the car, she turned and gave me a hug.
She followed it up by saying
“How are you?”
In that moment, I wanted to break down and cry but I mustered the strength and said
“I think I’m okay hun.
Like… I don’t know but I’d like to think that I’m good”
We chatted about her week and her boyfriend whom she felt was dragging his feet and not proposing.
I told her to be calm, after all, only 20 months of dating was never going to be enough time to know someone.
Sandra was extra like that.
As they cleared our table, Sandra asked for the check and brought out her wallet.
I looked at her with confusion and said
“What are you doing?”
She scoffed, smiled and said
“Paying. Or what does it look like?”
I was about to reply when she said
“Abeg hold that your machismo nonsense. I got this one.”
I just swallowed my words. She then asked
“So what are you going to do?”
I looked up to her and locked my fingers into each other as I said
“I honestly don’t know but I sure as hell know that I am tired.
I mean for crying out loud, I am almost 30!
I have never had sex and I have done everything my family has asked of me…but I cannot change who I am!
This is who I fucking am. Sandra it is soo tiring.
Is it my fault that my parents are pastors? Or that I like men and not women?
Like let’s get this straight, I am almost fucking thirty! Like is it because I moved back home or something?
Like I am just tired”
She nodded as I could see the sadness all over her face.
“I am sorry hun. I really am.
Let me just say this though. Just continue to be yourself. We appreciate you for who you are.
I know for sure that I do, and I love you for being you”
Dinner and those drinks certainly helped me feel a bit better. As I rode home in the back of the Uber, I couldn’t help but think about how much I had wanted to break free.
For many years, nobody knew of my status and I truly didn’t need people to know.
I was always sure that I never wanted people to treat me any kind of way because of my sexuality. I was going to be great at anything I did without being treated differently.
But how come my home never felt like I was welcome?
My father would preach love and togetherness, being non-judgmental, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Yet, since I became an adult, those things have been far away from me.
The Uber pulled up to the gate and said
“Okay sir, we are here”
I looked up and noticed we were in front of my house.
I grew up in that house and I had come to hate that house. Every time I brought up the idea of me moving out, my mother scoffed at it and tried to make me feel bad for not wanting to live with them.
I heaved a deep sigh as I knocked on the gate for the gateman to open.
The house was quiet when I got in but the television was on.
I turned it off and went to my room. As I began taking my clothes off, I heard the gate open.
My parents were back.
I turned the lights off and got into my bed.
I heard them make their way into the house. I could hear my mom’s voice and even though I hadn’t see her in a few weeks, I decided against coming out of my room.
I heard them talking in their bedroom which was a floor beneath mine but when the house was quiet enough, it felt like they were next door.
I heard the water running. I figured my mother was taking a shower.
Sleep came calling and soon enough I was struggling to keep my eyes open.
I hadn’t been asleep for too long when I heard my door open quickly.
By the fruity scent left behind, I figured it was mom that came to check if I was awake.
I was, but I was not ready for the things that followed.
Sunday mornings were always sluggish for me.
I think as I got older, I hated the pressure that came from being a PK (Pastor’s kid). So I became more distant from the church in many ways.
I would still go but I was always late or very detached. Only at the church, my parents pastored.
This morning, I woke up and I just lay there for a while.
I kept playing that day and my dad walking in.
As I replayed the day, I kept blaming myself.
Maybe I shouldn’t have slept over or maybe I should have rushed and put my clothes on as I heard my dad barge in.
I kept going through a bunch of maybes but I eventually settled on the fact that, it already happened and there was nothing I could do to change it.
When I made it to church, praise and worship was just about to start.
For the next twenty-five minutes, we sang and danced to the glory of God.
Then came the Liberty prayer and then the announcements.
The sermon was about to start when I noticed my father hand the microphone to my mother.
He wasn’t taking the sermon today.
I figured that it was because of everything that had happened over the weekend, he wanted to absolve himself of any ill feelings while ministering.
My mother got up there like she had many times before and began preaching.
She was firm, she was direct and told it as it was.
The title of her sermon was “Finding Your Way Home”
A lot of what she said convicted me, I felt like I had drifted from God.
I used to be active in the church and closer in my journey against sexual immorality.
I had promised that I would never have sex until I was married.
And even though I had dated women and almost got married to one, I was determined to wait until after I was married to have sex.
Now some of you may say, but what is the point in going on God, when you are already gay.
I wish I knew but it felt like the right thing to do within me.
And that was what I was going to do.
Midway through her sermon, I remember my mother saying
“Some of us have been so blessed by God that we stray. We let the blessings get to us and then we forget all that he has done.
We start to simplify his goodness and take it for granted.
Brethren, I encourage you to never let the elevation you have in life, make you think you no longer need God…”
I remember thinking
“hmmm, maybe I had turned on God and forgotten how much he had blessed me…”
I was in that thought when I heard my name over the loudspeakers.
I looked up and my mother was motioning me towards the altar.
I looked around to be sure.
Slowly, I got up and walked to the front of the church.
She stepped down from the altar and came up to me.
Placing her hand on my shoulder she said into the microphone
“An example of forgetting home and God’s blessings is my son here.
God has given him so much that he has forgotten God to the point that he is now engaging in sinful acts that made God burn down Sodom and Gomorrah.
My son has been participating in a homosexual relationship”
The entire church gasped.
I swear I thought I had died for a second.
It was like I was hearing a cassette tape played backwards. Everything in my head was scrambled. I was stunned.
My eyes quickly welled up and I couldn’t understand.
“How could she do this to me?”
I thought to myself.
I turned and people in the congregation had their hands covering their mouths in shock.
Something in me wanted to run but I couldn’t.
My mom continued and said
“It is important that when people are trying to lead you back to Christ, you take note because you can be lost in the world”
As she finished, someone got up in the second row and said
“Abeg what is all this nonsense?
Is this what we came to church for?”
My mother, microphone to her lips, said
And the man continued and said
“Yes, is this why we came to church. So you can air your personal drama?
We come for the word, not this theatrics.
Besides, this is not news at least not to your family. Your husband always knew and he has known for a while now, so why are you here lying to us.
Please let us hear word”
My mother, surprised, turned around and looked at my father.
He rose up with his head hung low.
He took two steps forward and then he slumped. My father died that morning.
What happens next?
Come back for Part 3 next Saturday!
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