Thursday, December 6, 2012


I once heard there are three major vices that compete for the average young man's attention and only when a man successfully crosses the youthful stage of life steering clear of these mischievous trio could he be said to be a perfect youth. The vices form the DSF clan, an acronym for Drinking, Smoking and Fornication. Now, is there any dude in the house who’d say he’s never indulged in any of these? Please, stand up or forever remain silent and content with your status as a presently or erstwhile Imperfect youth. Of course there are exceptions and this has to do with the young men who have been fortunate enough to have been on the righteous path from a rather young age. These ones tend to cross the gulf of youth without getting hooked by at least one of the DSF components. Note that I used the word ‘average young man’ where this implies boys who get to grow up without necessarily being recipients of strict spiritual and moral guidance. Unfortunately, these vices have become so etched in the fabric of our society that people excuse them, using the comfortable term ‘youthful exuberance’. Indeed!

Personally, I wouldn’t totally agree that it is permissible for young men to indulge in these excesses in the name of youthful exuberance but even if the benefit of doubt is given, I strongly believe such kids should outgrow such tendencies after a while. At twenty, if you are a member of the DSF clan, there should definitely be a get-away plan. You shouldn’t see yourself still doing such stuff by twenty-five! That’s what I have always believed and still do believe. Unfortunately, many young men still find themselves stuck in this vicious community well into their thirties, forties and even beyond. I was not lucky enough to escape DSF; in fact, I sampled all its components and it felt so good at the time. However, I always had a get-away plan. I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to do forever and so always had to use the ‘check myself before I wreck myself’ code. One factor that further strengthened this resolve was the fleeting feeling that came with all of these vices.  The fun usually only lasted for that present moment and I always hated the way I felt afterwards. It was a thought I hardly shared with anyone but I always had my get-away plan at the back of my mind. 

Of the lot, fornication seems to be the easiest commit, especially considering the available options this vice offers. If you’re not bold enough to approach a girl, you could save yourself the trouble by patronizing brothels. Smoking takes more guts, especially when you go beyond cigarettes and try out smoking weed or some crazier stimulant. Drinking tends to be a little easier to indulge in than smoking but the effects could mess a man up just as well. The hangovers from drinking sprees could subject one to the worst forms of ridicule. The most terrible part is the hangover experience of the morning after a night of drunkenness. It usually feels like hell. I could compare this feeling to what I felt in the morning after the night I found myself kissing Cher.

I opened my eyes and stretched lazily in bed. I attempted to roll sideways and suddenly I realized I was not alone. Cher was still sleeping soundly. I sat up and stared at her sleeping frame for a moment. This was not happening, I tried to convince myself. Had I just spent the night in bed with my girlfriend’s sister? I felt bile build up in my throat. I felt like a pregnant woman with morning sickness. Perhaps, BG’s pregnancy had been miraculously transferred to me and I was beginning to feel the symptoms of early pregnancy! I was suddenly woozy all over and the room seemed to spin. I looked at a corner of the bed and saw my boxer shorts and I recalled all that had transpired the night before . . .

Cher broke off suddenly and pulled away. In the darkness, I could feel my face flush with embarrassment. I tried to imagine how humiliated she must have felt as well.
“Cher . . .” I began, feeling like I had just had ‘dumbass’ tatooed on my forehead.
She didn’t respond. Her back was turned to me and I thought twice about reaching out to touch her again. That was how the foolishness had started anyway.
“I’m so sorry, Cher” I said, finally finding my voice. “I really don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s okay, Geebee. I’m sorry too.” she said, turning slightly to face me in the darkness. “I guess I am as guilty as you are anyway.”

I understood what she meant. She had kissed me back and I figured she had probably surprised herself as well. I remained on the spot I was sitting on the ground for a while wondering what implications the kiss we had just shared could have. It wasn’t something I would easily be able to shake off and I wondered if it would be the same for her. Her sister was pregnant for me and as things were, I was practically stuck with her, at least until after the baby was born and probably for a few years more until we decided what the future held for both of us. That automatically meant I would always be connected to Cher one way or the other. Could I bear to look at her without thinking of the kiss? How long would it take for BG to notice the tension that would exist between her sister and I? How about our Yahoo-Yahoo association? Would we still be able to continue?

I sighed and tried to get up to crawl back to the corner of the floor to sleep off the exhaustion I felt but I stopped in my tracks as Cher gripped my sleeve. I was speechless for a moment as I tried to process what could be going on and what I should say at that moment.
“We’re both human beings and blood flows through our veins!” she simply said as she pushed her body closer to mine. The physical contact caused electric sparks to shoot through my entire body and every thought I had building in my head vanished into thin air. I took her mouth and kissed her again with so much force that I never imagined myself capable of. In the darkness, and with our lips aching from the forceful kissing, we undressed one another without pausing for a moment to think. A brief pause would probably have been all that was needed to save the day but we seemed determined not to interfere with the strong chemistry in the air. Minutes later, with our blind passion well spent, we had fallen asleep. . . .

I winced as I recalled all that had happened. I had felt so bad about kissing Cher but I had gone ahead to do the most despicable thing. I was sure I had committed a crime worthy of nothing but death. I sighed again and tried to find an excuse for what had happened. It had not been entirely my fault. Cher should not have been at my place that night. I countered the thought almost immediately. After all, she had resolved to find her way home that night but I had stopped her. I had gone all the way to the bus stop to persuade her to come back with me although it had been an action I took out of concern for her safety and especially out of irritation at BG’s insinuations. Yes! BG! Immediately, I began to build a mental blame-jail for my girlfriend. I had never imagined that what had happened between Cher and I could happen. It was BG who had started the senseless accusations on phone back in the bus. It was her that had made Cher feel so bad to the point of weeping and then in my bid to console her I had done a most stupid thing. BG had a part in this unfortunate occurrence. I suddenly found myself hating my girlfriend so much at that moment. If she had only been more trusting and given me the benefit of doubt, I would probably never have been pushed into doing something so wrong. In the deepest recesses of my mind, I knew I was making lame excuses but I shut up that part of me and chose to focus on what I wanted to focus on. It worked like magic. I proceeded to tie a towel around my waist

Cher must have felt some activity around her as she woke up and looked around the room. Our eyes met.
“Hi”, she said, trying to avert my gaze, her countenance betraying a hint of timidity.
“Hey”, I responded. “Hope you slept well?”
She nodded and looked at the clock on the wall. I followed her gaze and for the first time I remembered she was due to submit an assignment that day and should have been out of my house by 5 am. It was almost seven o’clock.
“Wow! Your assignment,” I said concernedly.
She sighed as she got up, pulling off the entire bed sheet with her to cover her nudity.
“I guess I’ve started paying for what we did last night” she said, smiling mischievously.
I was surprised and at the same time relieved. I had expected her to be as gloomy as death with the guilty feeling like I was feeling. I had wondered how we would be able to look each other in the face after what had transpired but here we stood making a casual joke about it. It was so comforting.
“Look, Geebee” she began. “About what happened last night, I’m sorry about it all but could we try to keep it away from BG?”
I looked at her in surprise. “Of course. You think I’ll tell her? That would be a most stupid thing to do.”
“Fine.” She said, as she sat on the edge of the sofa. “I really don’t know what came over me.”
I shrugged. “What has happened has happened. We just need to move on.” I said, trying my best to be in control as much as possible.
“Yeah.” She concurred. “I should get going. Do you mind if I take a shower?”
“Sure, why not?” I said, pointing out the bathroom to her.

As she took her shower, my mind wandered to BG again and I wondered if indeed I would be able to keep the truth of what had happened between me and her sister from her and even if I did, how long would I be able to hide it? A month? Two months? Two years? What if we ended up together eventually? Would I be able to keep the truth from her forever? I realized only time would tell. I turned on my phone and barely a minute after; I received about five new messages. They were all from BG. She was full of apologies for accusing me and asked that I forgave her for over-reacting. She confessed that she loved me too much and was scared of losing me. The successive messages were follow-ups to preceding ones. In the last one, she asked that I called her as soon as I saw the messages. I hated myself so much right then and wished I could rewind time back to the very moment Cher had called on phone the previous day. I should have simply not picked up the phone!
“I think you should try to call BG.” Cher said as she emerged from the bathroom. Thankfully, she had put on her clothes before coming out.
I nodded. “Yeah I will. I’m just reading her messages.”
“Oh really? What did she say? More insults?”
I shook my head and passed the phone to her. She read on for a few minutes and sighed.
“Wow! We’ve been very bad!” she said as she handed back the phone to me.

As Cher left my place that morning, I knew somehow I would not be able to push her away for good. I admired her unique ability to stay detached and composed in spite of what had happened between us and I wished I had such a personality as well. I knew keeping the truth away from BG would be an uphill task but I also knew it was best if she didn’t know. What had happened with Cher was a mistake but I was not even convinced it was a mistake I would never repeat. As much as I tried to make the resolve, it did not feel strong enough. I knew the only person that could actually stop me from making that mistake again was Cher herself. I looked at my phone. It was time to call and make up with BG. Perhaps, that would be my saving grace, I hoped.