Aondona wants to think. But, the guy some seats away would not just stop blabbing. Aondona’s phone continues to beep. Kosi has been relentless with the messages; Aondona had told him over the phone this morning that he was scared he was only using him to fill a hole. “I don’t think I can die for you.”
“Must you?” Kosi replied, as if his breath had caught.

The boy around Aondona is still blabbing. He is tripping on his words, meandering his way around a nasal, dramatic accent. He is saying: baby, my daughter, she want see you. I tell her Russia and Ukraine is a fighting, not safe, not safe. But she say, daddy, United Kingdom is peaceful, no one is a fighting? She’s not understanding, baby. She’s not eat her food.

Aondona catches his breath. What the hell? He turns to take a good look at the boy once more. Isn’t this boy Nigerian? Aondona’s phone beeps again. His heart slams against his chest as he sees the new text. Where are you?

Tears fall out of Aondona’s eyes. His heart beats, slowly. He is drowning. He reads another text. What would you say of these past two days then?
Two days in which Kosi had lured him to his house, teasing an invite like it was the best thing in the world. Then he had caught him off guard with a kiss. Then said “Yes, Aondona, I will be your boyfriend.” Aondona froze. Delight washed all over him, but deep in there, there was also shock and confusion.

Sex happened.

Now, the texts come in a rush.
You are afraid, but tell me you don’t feel this too?
Why did we become friends: the universe wills this, see?

I took so much time, I know. I knew myself as straight, so falling for a boy was disorienting asf.
Aondona wants to refute this last text. He wants to tell Kosi that it is not about his sexual orientation, rather about himself, but the blabbing boy keeps cutting into his thoughts, baby, we’ll come over in the a summer, I want to touch you, waste a money on you plenty.
Summer. Aondona chuckles under his breath. He turns, the urge to walk over to the boy overwhelming. The boy is leaning forward in his seat, phone pressed to his ear. A beep brings his attention back: give ‘us’ a chance, Aondona. What’s there to lose, baby boy? A call follows, Kosi’s name sprawled over his screen. His finger hovers over the green button. Thoughts dance in a loop in his head. Tears blur his vision. All of him trembles. The blabbing boy is saying, baby, I miss you, I really do. So, Aondona springs out of his seat, tears the assignment he was working on before Kosi’s relentless texts. Outside, he hugs himself, cold. This has always been what he wanted, so why is he starting fire to it? No, the universe was Always complicating things. Always.

Mhembeuter Jeremiah Orhemba is Nigerian. A 2021 ARTmosterrific artist-in-residence and first runner-up for the 2021 Kreative Diadem contest, his works have found home or are forthcoming in FictionWrit, The Shallow Tales Review, Arts Lounge, Eboquills, The Muse Journal, Agapanthus Collective, ARTmosterrific, and Fiction Niche. He is an editor at FictionWrit, wishes to attain the peaceful serenity of water, enjoys watching Tk and Carlos kiss, and still loves Christina Perri. He tweets @son_of_faya.