CHAPTER 15: THE ODD COUPLE
During the ride back home, Boza had confided in Kangye some terrible things he had just discovered about his friend Bampe. He had asked her to make sure no one ever knew that Bampe was hiding at their house. He had also asked her to deny ever seeing him for over a week. Kangye had asked if Boza had had any knowledge of Bampe’s sexuality and Boza had answered with a big no. She had asked him again why he was working hard to hide him and he had answered with a question,
“What if it was your sister?”
“But he is not even your brother.” noted Kangye.
“He has been more than a brother to me than most brothers to their siblings. Do you even know how far back we go?” asked Boza.
Kangye looked at Boza who was driving and paying attention on the road. She had tried to read him and then had asked,
“Wait, are you two involved?” asked Kangye with a very questioning eye.
“Hell No.” answered Boza very immediately and angrily
“What I see here is that you are involved with him or you have always known and now you want me to be your accomplice. Of course you don’t want this to reflect back at you. Why else would you ask me to lie for you?” said Kangye in an angry and somehow dramatic tone.
“Kangye, trust me when I tell you I had no idea. And if it’s true, he has fooled me and everybody else for years.” Boza had said
The soft conversation had turned into a small quarrel that had escalated into moody faces and then into a serious silence mode. This had reminded Boza of the rich couples he had seen in their cars on the roads sitting in one car angrily looking sideways as though they never even liked each other at all. By the time they had reached home, they had broken the silence and devised means of keeping the matter under wraps, except the matter had already torn and left the wrappers.
Boza had wanted his friend to get ample sleep, but with the news, he couldn’t let him sleep without at least getting the elephant out of him. He, together with Kangye formed a united front to go and dig the details out of him. As they walked to Bampe’s interrogation, Kangye tried to open the guest room door, but Boza quickly said,
“No. I left him in our bedroom.” Kangye looked at him with a little more suspicion. But she just wanted to believe that Boza was telling the truth, that he wasn’t what he had said Bampe had been called, gay.
They walked into the room and found Bampe sleeping with the covers up to his head. Boza called him and woke him up. He sat up quickly like he had woken from the scariest of all nightmares with a very loud and nervous yell, “Don’t hit me!” He looked around and noticed Kangye whom he had been told had gone to her other house was standing over him with Boza.
“Calm down. No one will hit you.” Boza comforted him. Kangye sat on the edge of the bed and said absolutely nothing. Boza sat next to Bampe and hugged him with one hand. Bampe tried to pull out but Boza’s hug was too tight for Bampe to pull out easily. Kangye just watched the two and kept quiet.
“I am sorry to wake you up. There is something we need to talk to you about. We, I couldn’t wait any longer.” said Boza.
“Boza, please let me sleep. I don’t know what to tell you. My life is shitty now” Bampe said
“I know. I just found out” said Boza.
“You know?” asked Bampe while he looked at him.
“Yes, I know. Even Kangye knows.” he treaded carefully and slowly not to terribly scare him. He added,
Bampe looked at him and tears started rolling down his cheeks. He pulled the blankets to his shoulders and sobbed. Boza held him again. And said,
“Your pictures have been published on TV and I am sure tomorrow’s newspapers too. I called Kangye back so we could get a plan to keep you safe here in the house. But I need you to tell me something first. Is it true?”
Bampe raised his eyes at Boza and then at Kangye and didn’t say a word. He rolled down more drops of tears and this time started crying seriously until he looked like Viola Davis in a dramatic scene. Boza needed no other answer to be truer than what he had seen. He had more questions though. But he didn’t want to ask yet. He needed him to be calm first and then he could ask. It only seemed like that was going to be all he needed to ask that night.
He looked back at Kangye and tried to extend his hand to her. She looked at him and ignored him. She seemed disgusted of what she had just found out about Bampe and how Boza treated him while he tried to comfort him. She walked outside the room in no haste. Boza followed her and caught up with her right before she could get to the living room. He tried to ask her why she why she was quiet and moody and she said,
“I don’t want to be part of this.”
“But we agreed. He is my friend, I can’t give him up.” said Boza.
“How can you have not known all this time you two have been friends and lived together?” asked Kangye.
“He clearly hid it from me. Or I have been such a bad friend and didn’t care enough to know.” replied Boza.
“Come on. That is too rich coming from you. With what I have just observed? You two are like the most romantic couple I have ever seen. You clearly care too much for him than you do me. I am clearly the third wheel in this relationship. How could I have been this stupid?” said Kangye.
“Please don’t say that darling. I just told you earlier that I am not gay. There isn’t anything going on between me and him. We are just friends.” Boza tried to convince Kangye but she wasn’t having it. She was getting angrier with every passing second.
“Stop it Boza, and stop darling me. Even the first day I moved in you two shared a bed together. Yeah, I thought of the phrase “Boys will be boys” but it seems like it was more than just a phrase.” fumed Kangye as she picked her purse up. For a moment, Boza was confused. He never knew whether she was tidying up the place or wanted to leave. His answer soon came when she said,
“Maybe I can lie for you, but I don’t want to be here when the shit-storm I know is coming finally arrives.” Kangye spoke, this time calmly but angrily as she walked towards the door.
Boza begged her to stay and sort matters out together. But Kangye seemed determined to leave. She looked at him and asked,
“Do you know it’s a big offence knowing him and keeping quiet? Ah Ah. Do you even know it’s an offence to habour a fugitive? Do you know that even though you say you are not like him people will think you are lying?”
“So even you don’t believe me?” asked Boza.
“It doesn’t matter what I believe. The fact is that you are involved with them. No one will believe you haven’t known all this time.” she finished and turned to go and added,
“Until this mess clears up, I am gonna be staying at my house.”
“But you know that doesn’t help us with the situation. Please help me help my friend.” begged Boza.
“Like I said, I will lie for you if they come to ask me, but I can’t wait here to be smeared with the mud.” she swung the door open and disappeared outside.
Boza stood and watched the door. He didn’t know what to do. He could never leave his friend alone. But he also loved Kangye and never wanted her to go, but she had gone, even if she hadn’t taken any of her belongings, Boza felt like he would never see her again.