Short Story- Somto’s Thoughts (4)

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I glance at her car, it begins to move and I start mine too. My gaze drops to the paper lying on the front seat of the car and I look away. I stop at a gate, honk, a stubby dark-skinned man opens the gate. I slowly drive-in, after flickering an invitation card to his face and he waves me in. The compound is well arranged and reeks of beauty. My best friend is doing his house warming and also his baby’s dedication.

I walk out of the car, looking at people in the compound, sensing the air of the music that blares slowly. The event decorators are busy with the designs and floral arrangements, and the audio technician makes modifications to the sound systems. They look coordinated. A voice whistles my name, I turn to look towards the direction of the voice flinging a bunch of keys in my hand. It is Tobi, he gestures instructing me to come upstairs. I climbed the staircase and enter into the room which is intoxicated.

The chatters are funny, same as their voices that give some kind of eerie feeling. Something is settling about the atmosphere as I watch them laugh in the terrain. There are bottles of drink on the table. My eyes flicker to a white bottle, trying to make out the name written boldly on it. I glance at a poster on the other side of the wall, the word ‘Friends’ written on it. A lady walks out through a door leading to another room. It is dark but the neon light bulb illuminates the room. She bolts the door, I lend her a smile and pull off my gaze.

Tobi walks close, with a smile on his face and we hug each other. He looks healthier from the little paternity leave he had taken from the office. “How are your wife and babies?” I ask, smiling. A huge smile lingers on my face.

He pats my shoulder, smoothening my arms. “My man. I am happy. And my house is finally a reality,”he says smiling. 

I smile too. We have been co-workers for some years and he tells me everything that goes on with him, even his deepest secrets. We are alike in many ways, differing only in our sexual lives. Sometimes, he tries to cajole me to the club because I do not like hanging out with him whenever he asks. He knew I clubbed. My relationship with the women he introduced me to, always ends on a platonic level.

I am a queer man but he is oblivious about my sexuality. I’m not sure how he’d react to finding out, which is the reason it still remains a secret. My parents died with no knowledge of my secret, same as my sister. I empty the thoughts off my mind, glance at a lady walking close, as she hands me a glass of wine.

I smile. She smiles too. People are gradually strolling to the living room, then I hear the MC call out Tobi and his wife. The guests have arrived, occupying the chairs outside. The lady grabs my arm tightly and we walk to a big bar beside the living room. Two buff men are sitting on a chair with two ladies opposite them. One of the ladies is giggling. I smile, one of the men extends his pale hand for a handshake before the lady drags me to a seat.

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