Series, The Recruits

The Recruits: A strange thing!

By Tafadzwa Razemba, Zimbabwe:

Farai was looking forward to his lunch date.

His aunt Marilyn, was the youngest of his father's sisters, and he enjoyed spending time with her. She was a generous lady who was easy to talk to. She was a happy housewife to a rich lawyer, who from all one could see was a great guy. Farai though had his suspicions; he couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he felt that the man was a lot similar to him than he let on. Farai and Marilyn liked to try out different places in Harare and that afternoon had decided to have lunch at a small exclusive lodge in Umwinsdale.

“So what has been going on in your life?” Marilyn asked Farai, as she sat down at a table overlooking a small meandering stream.
“Well, not much Tete. I still have the same girlfriend Rudo, am enjoying my job although it gets really busy and just living life to the full,” Farai answered.

As she talked on, Farai, out of the corner of his eye, saw what he could describe as a straight acting pretty young man walking across the lobby, seemingly headed to one of the chalets. He paid no mind to it as he sat for nearly two hours chatting and eating with his aunt. Farai had read somewhere that most, if not all men, struggle with sexuality questions at some point in their lives. It was probably not true when it came to Zimbabwean men though, he thought. With the excessive feelings of hatred that most people feel in Zimbabwe towards homosexuality, it was highly unlikely. Farai on the other hand, had been attracted to other males from the time he was a pre-teen, stemming from playing with his special elderly white neighbour and later his friends.

As his aunt continued to ramble on about her life and her family, Farai spotted her husband, his uncle striding across the lobby from the direction of the chalets to the car park. Harare can seem really small sometimes, Farai thought. Farai knew without a doubt, that his uncle had been up to something, and things were definitely not what they seemed when it came to him. While listening to his aunt, now gushing about her hard working loyal husband, Farai half-heartedly listened to her. His focus was now on the few individuals who walked across the lobby. He spotted the pretty young man who had crossed earlier, walking across to the parking lot and grew suspicious.

“Tete, I think I just saw someone I know. Will you excuse me for a few minutes while I run after him quickly?” Farai asked his aunt.
“Yes, of course. Hurry back” Marilyn replied.
Farai quickly rose from the table and ran to the reception. He was going to follow the pretty young man to see where he was going and maybe even talk to him to get his number. He caught sight of him and ran towards him, but before he got to him, the young man walked right up to a silver Mercedes. He opened the passenger side door and got in. Farai, in astonishment, stopped and as the car reversed, he caught a glimpse of the driver. He slowly turned around and walked back to the table. He had doubted his uncle's squeaky clean image but hadn't in his wildest dreams ever thought that his uncle was doing what Farai suspected he was doing. He knew he shouldn't assume things but what else would a married man be doing at a secluded lodge on the outskirts of town, with a young man paying for a room? It was obvious; his uncle was a married man on the down low.

As he returned to the table to finish off his lunch date, Farai's mind was spinning. He was the last person to feel any judgment towards Gift. He was angry though, for the lie Gift was living. Farai's lies were better in his opinion, because he wasn't married with children. What if someone found out about Gift's secrets? It could destroy his life, especially as such a high flying lawyer. And his poor pure hearted aunt. What if he gave her some dreadful STI or even HIV? It was at times like these that Farai truly wished he lived in a more liberal country than Zimbabwe. Due to the laws and the shame associated with having homosexual tendencies, being gay or bisexual is often a secret. Instead of men coming out in acceptance of who they are, they lie to themselves and others. Farai, related to this so well, because he was just the same. With his lingering thoughts, Farai and his aunt finished their lunch and went their separate ways.

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