The first thing I did when Tolani gave me a ‘Yes’ was to set Boundaries. No sex, No kissing of any kind. Hugs may be allowed but they shouldn't be too tight and too long. We both agreed. And so began our journey into what should be a three or four-year-long relationship...

I met Tolani on campus, in my fourth year. Omo, it was like this girl copied everything I had written about what I wanted in a woman. She was so beautiful, tall, fair... This girl  was practically my spec. She was an Execo in that their fellowship which means she wasn't like any of these girls on campus; and that she talked so much about music—my daily obsession. I fell in love with her but I didn't tell her until my final year... 

It was after our final year sendforth, that I  opened up about my long-term feelings. Surprisingly, she too had been nursing something for me. I proposed. 

“Tolani, I'm...I'm not in a hurry...” I told her even before she could say anything. But she shocked me with a firm bold smile-coated 'YES!'

It will be my first ever relationship with someone I deeply love, but we both knew we were not ready for marriage. 

I was twenty-four still dependent on my parents, and She was three years younger but the conviction we had about us spending our lives together fuelled our determination to see this relationship work no matter how long. 

The love was aflame and burning, the affection was sincere and real. Where was I, and where was she this long before we found ourselves? 

I would learn about her 'struggles' before she gained admission. The same struggle she still fought with, that I called our fight and we both decided to fight it together. It kept her quiet and bleeding. Sometimes she retreated in tears. Other times, she fell and got bruised. Yet still was head-bent on victory until we met. It was Porn...

I was a new convert...not the regular fellowship type. But I became a bit serious because of Tolani. 

The boundary was to keep us. The boundary was there, and will always be there because we believed in it. 

The boundary was a large, tall concrete wall we built, raised with trust and cast out all fears. It was the pillow we placed between us,  the hands we did not hold, the days we suspended our meeting because it was late. 

Sex was not accepted. We both knew. But Kissing, hmmm...We debated it. Somethings agreed that it was wrong. Other times, we left it...but never looked each other in the eyes, in a way that made a subtle appeal to wet each other's lips.

Everything was beautiful, meeting in front of the library, walking together to fellowship, spending the evenings in her place. 

When Her roommate stayed back to sleep or was pretending to be tired and stressed out, we went to my lodge. We trusted ourselves. We trusted the boundaries too. We rehearsed the rules, No sex, no kissing, and made sure the walls were intact. Until one day, Tolani got the news about her twin brother. 

It was the day after our exams, the same weekend she was to travel. We were alone in her room when the phone rang. And the next hour I held her in a tight embrace, endlessly trying to console her.  I couldn't watch her cry. I was determined never to untangle until I was sure the love of my life felt consoled and stopped crying while the night was fast fading in, and our shadows darkened and formed; and the intimacy we shared thickened and slowly pounded on the walls we had built. It made small cracks. But We didn't hear it; we didn't notice the tiny Webby lines. Our love blinded us until we were without clothes in disbelief...

It's ten years now and I don't even know where Tolani is. I can't tell if it was a boy or girl. The last time we saw was after the burial when she told me she will not say anything until the test result is out....and for ten years I remained a fugitive. 

All I want to say is, ‘Tolani, I'm sorry.’

Know  ye not that ye are the temple of God, and  that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

  If any man defile the temple of God, him  shall God destroy; for the temple of God is  holy, which temple ye are.  (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)


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