Forbidden! Utterly forbidden!
I could not love him. Not because he was one of the heart breakers or because he had a girlfriend – no not at all. I couldn’t love him simply because it was forbidden love. As much as I knew it was wrong, I couldn’t help myself. I really thought it was love.
Linda was a dark skinned, cute and handsome young man. He carried himself with pride and was always quiet. He had a smile that could light up whole world. Whenever I was around him, nobody and nothing else in world existed; it was just the both of us. However, Linda never knew that I loved him, because I never told him and also because we were just friends.
I didn’t want to risk our friendship over something I was not certain of.
But there were times when I could’ve sworn he felt the same way. He would often look at me as if he knew how I felt about him… as if he felt the same way about me! I remember when I caught him looking at me, then he smiled so flawlessly – on that day I knew what I felt was real.
Yet again, I could not love him. The more I tried to tell myself that, the more I fell hopelessly in love with him.
One Monday morning, I was reading the ‘Fashion Show’ poster at school. It was going to be held on Friday night in our school hall. I walked away from the poster and went back to class. On my way up the stairs, I came across Linda.
“Hey!” he said with his usual breath-taking smile.
“Hey… what are you laughing about?” I asked, starting a lame conversation. Sometimes my feelings for him made it feel awkward to talk to him casually.
He chuckled and said he wasn’t laughing. I nodded my head as to say ‘okay’…
“So, are you coming to the Fashion Show on Friday?” Linda asked, breaking the awkward silence.
“Uhm, I don’t know. You?”
“Yeah I’m coming. Please come bra, I want to show you something.”
He said those words and left abruptly, before I could even reply. I walked reluctantly back to class. I hardly heard anything my Science teacher said for the rest of the lesson. The only Science that was going through my head were the words I just heard.
“Show you something…” those words echoed repeatedly in my head as I tried to figure out what could Linda possibly want to show me.
For the rest of the week I hardly saw Linda, and Friday night was rapidly approaching…
The fateful night of the Fashion Show finally arrived and I was nerve-wrecked! I had been trying to decide what to wear all week, until I settled for a black sweater and a pair of jeans. I kept thinking about what was going to happen. I was wondering if he was still going to pitch.
I entered the adorned school hall. It was beautiful, the perfect place for Linda and I to get married! “Hahaha, okay let me not get carried away,” I said to myself as I took a seat at one of the elegantly decorated tables. I took a glass of water, trying to cool my nerves.
A few minutes later, Linda suddenly appeared on the seat next to me. He was as handsome as usual. He was wearing a jacket with a hood and tracksuit pants, and he smelt like a million dollars!!!
I mean… he smelt good.
“I was worried you weren’t going to come!” he said. I could see in his smile that he was nervous. But why?
“Anything to avoid washing the dishes!” I replied laughing.
We laughed a little and the Fashion Show began. I could feel his eyes penetrate right through my skull. He was stuttering, trying to say something, but he held back. I could sense how bad he wanted to say something, but I kept looking forward, pretending to be focused on the entertainment on stage.
“Okay ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to take a short break and then continue with the show. See you all in five!” the host announced.
Right then, Linda said, “Come let’s go! I want to show you something!”
“What is that?” I asked hesitantly.
“Come, you’ll see!”
He led the way out of the hall and into the dark, moonlit night. When we got outside, we went behind some building, then he grabbed my hand and ran up the stairs to the top (second) floor.
We got to the top and stood leaning on the railings. There was no one else around as people were making their way back to the hall. Then it got quiet, and I became speechless.
“Beautiful view, don’t you think?” Linda asked staring at the different colored lights of the town at night.
“Yeah hey, I never knew our town was this beautiful,” I answered, “So what is it that you wanted to show me?”
“This!” he answered with an instant yet shaking voice. “I usually admire the view at home, but it has never been this beautiful before…” he looked into my eyes and continued. “Maybe it’s because tonight I’m admiring it with someone who compliments its beauty.”
I couldn’t believe the words I just heard. Was this really happening? The butterflies in my stomach stood dead still. I could literally feel my heart thumping against my chest. I couldn’t move. I tried to look at Linda but I just couldn’t handle his gaze. I looked down and noticed how my knees were shaking.
I felt him come closer. He gently pulled my face by the chin and leaned over to kiss me. I felt fireworks in my stomach! He pressed on, affectionately kissing my lips and gripping my hands tightly. This is what we were both longing for all along.
Suddenly I snapped! I pushed Linda away. He looked at me, confused. I felt tears fill my eyes and then quickly ran down the stairs. On my way down, I heard Linda calling after me, asking me to wait.
I wanted to kill him! I wanted to kill myself! Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I ran out of the school gate.
I got home, ran into my room and fell to the floor. I got on my knees and prayed. I apologized for the sin I just did. I deliberately disobeyed God. I knew it was wrong to love Linda because he was a man. Yes, I was in love with another man.
I had been gay for as long as I could remember. I never told anyone and never acted upon it because I was raised in a Christian family. I was always scared of what my family and friends were going to say if I ever tried to tell them that I’m gay. I would’ve lost everything and everyone in my life – well, except for Linda.
But what was the use if it was ‘forbidden’. And it really was, because at some point during the kiss, I felt something deep within me say… No.
You’re probably wondering how things ended up with Linda…
Well, I wrote him a letter and explained everything to him. Surprisingly, he understood. He also replied with a letter. He apologized and said that he felt the exact same way, but he couldn’t control his feelings that night. I was glad, but I was also sad that we could never have our friendship back again. Until one day after school…
“Hi, my name Linda. Can I be your friend?” he said, reaching out to shake my hand. I couldn’t help but laugh. I was so happy and surprised!
“That was so epic dude! I thought we’d never speak to each other again.”
“I’m sorry but your name is…?” he continued to play stranger.
“Oh sorry, I’m Vuyo,” I replied laughing.
He laughed and said, “Nice to meet you Vuyo. Would you like to play my PS3 with me? I’ve got awesome new games that I’d love to play with an awesome new friend.”
“Sure!” I replied, giving him a high-five!
As awkward as it was, we both knew that that was the right approach. This ‘gay’ thing faded along the way – but trust me, it was NOT easy. We became the best of friends and we never tried to do anything to jeopardize our new friendship ever again.
Tell us: Can you be friends again once you’ve crossed that line?