By Tafadzwa Razemba, Zimbabwe:
There was a strange pull that internet chat rooms had on Stewie. Chat rooms were like a gateway drug for him. At first out of curiosity he just wanted to talk, then it led to talking about more taboo topics, then it led to meeting the people he chatted with, then doing taboo things with the people he was only meant to have had an innocent conversation with. It just became one horrible cycle, over which he felt such inexplicable guilt and self-loathing at the end.
Yet he kept starting it again. It had already ruined his friendship with Rudo, who not only told a few people at church, but ended up backsliding in her faith too. What she saw that day on Farai's computer disgusted her and she would forever see Stewie as a hypocrite and a liar. For the sake of his own faith, he had to stay away from the chat rooms. On a weak day though, he did go in search of Simba on online fora, hoping to learn more about the flamboyantly gay young man. He nipped that in the bud after a few searches, knowing that it would open a can of worms. Stewie had decided and was adamant on living a holy life with all sexual immorality cut out because that is the only way, he believed, he would be rid of all those unnatural urges.
Simba on the other hand, had given in to his urges a long time ago.
Everybody has secrets. Being gay was a secret for a few men. Simba had his secrets, being a gay man was definitely not one of them. Anyone would know, just by looking at him. He didn't try to hide it, in fact with the way he spoke, moved, dressed, even ate; it was just a chance to display his gayness. Although he embraced his sexuality and expected everyone he met to do the same, it was not that way, most of the time. In a country where adulterous men and their murderous friends shout loudly at how homosexuality is a sin punishable by death, even Simba grew tired at the incessant spewing of hatred towards people like him. He had moved to South Africa, hoping it would be better. Although living in a city like Cape Town, where a bigger city means more people like him, acceptance of his kind was still not widespread. It was much better than living in Harare though and he felt so much more freedom to be himself.
He was in Zimbabwe a lot since one of his boyfriends, Adolf, lived there. Adolf was a wealthy 50 year old German man who had business interests in Bulawayo and was the perfect sugar daddy for Simba. He bankrolled his travels, his living expenses in Cape Town, Bulawayo and Harare and anything else his heart desired. He only ever sought after rich men to be his partners and there were so many willing foreign ones. Wealthy older white men are how it started for him and that's how it would end. He did feel he was robbed of his youth, when he got lifts along with gifts from Mr Sanders when he was in Grade 2. Although, he felt it wasn't a choice for him like it was for most of the men he slept with, he tried not to think about it too much.
Simba decided since he was only in Harare for a few days, to go and see if his friend Taku was free for lunch. He had met Taku at one of the few gay friendly hunting grounds in town where they were both searching for rich partners. He seemed reluctant at living in that lifestyle at first, but with Simba's help, he opened up in more ways than one. Although he was a male prostitute, Simba could not judge him since he too was a male whore, just not an official one.
Simba arriving at the Avenues flat, bumped into Taku and a female on their way out of the flat.
“Simba! Hi!” Taku said, giving Simba a hearty grin and tight hug.
“Hesi Taku. How are you dear?” Simba said.
“I'm good, thanks. What are you doing here, thought you were in SA?” Taku asked.
“I'm here for a few days, thought I'd surprise you,” he replied.
“I'm surprised for sure. Meet Michelle, she lives and works here too,” Taku said, pointing to Michelle.
“Hi Michelle, you're a doll. I'm SImba.”
“Hi Simba,” Michelle said smiling. “I was just taking Taku to meet my boyfriend. We're actually running late.”
“Oooh, can I tag along, I'm a great judge of character? Unless he hates gay boys,” Simba playfully said.
“No, he's such a nice guy; I don't think it's a problem.”
“Great, I have so much to catch up on with you, Taku. We should do something afterwards.”
With that they made their way to Avondale. The trio got out of the combi and made their way to Creamy Inn. Michelle with her model looks and demeanor, Taku with his clean cut preppy look and Simba's boisterously gay look, were a sight to behold. Walking into Creamy Inn, Michelle gave a squeal and ran towards Stephen as he stood from the table by the corner. As Taku and Simba walked behind her, Simba saw her boyfriend.
“Oh my gosh” Simba muttered in astonishment.
“What's up?” Taku asked Simba as he looked at his friend, who had a wide eyed expression on his face.
Michelle still hugging Stephen started to introduce him first to Taku but Stephen recognized Simba.
“Hey Simba! Small world!”
“Um hi, Stephen,” Simba said.
“Funny seeing you again, after I bumped into you a few weeks ago.”
Michelle looked nervously at Simba.
“H-how do you guys know each other?”
“We went to school together. We are actually old school friends,” Simba said glaring at Michelle. He couldn't believe that such a good guy like Stephen would knowingly date a woman like Michelle.
“Ok, Stephen, meet Taku,” Michelle swiftly said.
“Hi Taku, I've heard such nice things about you,” Stephen said.
“Likewise, man,” Taku said as they proceeded to sit and order their ice cream.
Simba did not hide his displeasure from Michelle; Stephen picked up on it too. He decided to bombard them with questions.
“So how did you meet Michelle, Stephen?”
“How long have you been together?”
“Do you feel you know each other well enough?”
Stephen answered each question, whilst Michelle grew antsy.
“We should actually get going, besides you guys wanted to catch up with each other remember?” Michelle said to Taku and Simba.
“Oh, there's still time,” Simba said waving his hand at Michelle dismissively. “So Stephen, how do you feel about Michelle's job?”
“Well, I have no issues, she seems to enjoy it.” Stephen said, beginning to wonder about the barrage of questions coming his way from Simba.
“Yeah, I'm sure she enjoys it. I'm no prude or judge, if you're ok with sharing your chick with other men, so be it,” Simba said to a table hit with a sudden shocked silence.
Michelle stood up and grabbed Stephen's hand, “Let's go Stephen!”
“Wait. What?” Stephen said confused.
“Oh, my bad. You didn't know?” Simba with feigned surprise asked. Drama was coming their way.
“Michelle, what is he talking about?” Stephen was starting to panic. His beautiful sweet girl, whom he was saving himself for, was starting to look like a tainted lady.
“What are you talking about?” Stephen asked again, starting to shout, drawing attention to them “Asi you have other boyfriends? Tell me what's going on!”
Simba looked at the tearful, quickly becoming hysterical young man, gently put his hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eye and said “I'm sorry you had to find out like this. She is a pro-sti-tute.” He made sure to enunciate each syllable.
Michelle was now seething with anger and grabbed at something to hit Simba with.
“I'm sorry, Taku and I should go. I said too much. She should have told you, you're a good guy. Let her explain.” With that, Simba grabbed Taku and quickly left the ice cream shop. Although, drama and scandal could be fun, that drama needed to be dealt with between the two of them.
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