As I walked home I realized that Samer just said 8pm but not where. In the entire stressful situation I kinda forgot to ask, so I’ve sent him a text asking him where does he want to meet.
The text, however, wasn’t delivered. His phone was offline. Immediately I started panicking about missing this opportunity to meet and/or thinking about if he even wanted to meet or not. Usually I’m a really self-confident person, but Samer makes me feel so insecure about myself, but truth be told, he makes it up by making me feel so good when we’re together.

As 8pm was approaching, I’ve decided to stay home and just wait for him. I knew there probably wasn’t any other place in question. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. It’s only 7:30pm! Wow he really must have missed me. As I open the door I freeze. Standing in front of me was… Hassan.

“What are you doing here?” – I asked him.
“No, what are YOU doing? You can’t just disappear from my life like that and ignore all of my attempts to communicate with you.” – he said in a very annoyed and yet apologetic tone. It seemed to me that he was both angry and scared of losing me at the same time.
“I’ve treated you better than good! I was there for you when he left you.” – he was getting more and more agitated. I realized that Samer could arrive at any moment, but I had to handle this situation in the apartment in order for the neighbors to not listen to our Telenovela.
“Come in!” – I told him and pulled him in to the apartment.
“Why are you ignoring me?” – he asked.
“I’m not. It’s just I had so much stuff going on lately.” – I answered.
“Well, so much stuff that you even didn’t pick up the phone?” – he asked obviously knowing the answer already.
“Ok, you deserve the truth, and there it goes. I like you, I really do. I think you’re a genuinely nice guy and the sex we had was amazing, but I just didn’t feel the spark. I think it’s maybe because I saw you as a replacement for… You know… Samer. And I know it’s wrong, I’m a terrible person for even thinking it, much more for saying it out loud, but it was a shameful feeling for me. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I think if we’d met before I met Samer, things would be completely different. My guess is that I’m not over him, and I won’t be for some time as well. I wanted to have some time to think about it all, to think about you too of course and how I see myself in regards to you in the future. But there’s just no peace in my life. Literally the only two people I want to avoid at this point are the two people who I stumble upon all the time.” – I replied and actually for the first time I felt like I’ve done something fair in regards to Hassan. He really is a great guy, he’s just not THE guy that I want at this time.
“All you should have said is that you need some time and space. I would respect that. I can respect that, but please, from now on, at least text me from time to time, just so I know you are alive and well.” – he said with the dearest look in his dark eyes.

Suddenly, the doorbell rings again. This time I know who it is. Crap. I started to panic. I didn’t want my apartment to become a murder scene. Samer would literally go crazy if he ever found out that Hassan merely exists in my life.

“It’s him, please hide on the balcony.” – I said nervously.
“No fucking way, I’ll break his face as soon as that b**st comes in, the way he fucked you up emotionally, he deserves to be beaten up.” – Hassan replied in a very angry tone.
“Please, this is the last thing I ask of you. But please, go there and be quiet, I’ll go somewhere else with him and then you can leave.” – I said and the doorbell buzzed a couple of more times. I looked at Hassan one more time and he finally went to the balcony. I pulled myself together and finally opened the door.

And there we go again. My own beautiful downfall, standing there unapologetically, pissed off for even being here in the first place. He stepped in before I could even suggest us going somewhere else.
“What did you want to talk about?” – Samer asked.
“I wanted to give you back your rent money. And ask you if you are really serious about us stopping our.. Hmm.. Friendship?” – I said and looked him straight into the face.
“Well, you know, we should both get married and have k**s, and sometimes still meet.” – He said, as if he even knew what I wanted and had planned for my life.
“I don’t want a wife for fucks sake, nor a c***d with her. I’m gay. I like dicks and asses. Are you seriously proposing cheating on your future wife before you even married her?” – just by saying that, I knew that I was just adding more fuel to the fire.
Samer looked at me one more time, did a wheezing sound of disregarding all the stuff I just said and stepped towards the door. At that point he stopped, and I could see his neck getting stiff, his shoulders getting higher and his fist clenching.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!” – he started shouting at me, his hand reaching for a men’s jeans jacket hanged next to the door.
“I will destroy him. Who and where is he?! ANSWER!” – he was at his last nerve.
“Nobody, there’s nobody here…” – I started to panic when I heard a familiar voice.
“Marhabaan akhi” – Hassan said while stepping in from the balcony. Suddenly, I couldn’t understand a word that was being spoken in my own apartment. Screams of ugly toned Arabic words and sentences were flying in both directions. And then fists started flying. I don’t remember who hit who first, but I remember that both of them can really give and take a good punch in the face. At one point, Samer just stormed out. He passed me like I was a potted plant, zero fucks were given about me.

As for Hassan, he stayed the night, not sexually in any way, but also quite sexy in a protective way as he was scared that Samer could literally hurt me. Seeing them fight like two raging bulls, and seeing Hassan really going for it, it woke up something in me. I wasn’t really sure what it was, and I wasn’t going to risk a developing friendship or whatever it was for another sex session after which I’d feel bad again and ghost him like the first time around.

The next day, I woke Hassan up and thanked him for staying over. My phone was full of messages from Samer, very, deeply derogatory messages. It seemed like it wasn’t a power play anymore, he was extremely angry because he felt like he lost the power over me. And maybe this fight was all I actually needed to realize that he doesn’t control who I am. And that made me also go back to my safe zone, a zone I’ve neglected and forgotten during the last months: I went back to church.

It always felt good for me to have a focus in life. Some would call it an addiction. When I was a c***d I was addicted to running, so addicted to it that I actually shattered my knee doing it. Then I swapped the running for candy and got fat. Then I swapped candy for church. Then church for Samer. And now Samer for… Church again? It seemed odd to go back to the same addiction for the first time in my life. I overdo my addictions and usually to a point where they don’t make any sense anymore. And honestly, I thought that the highest point of church addiction was letting a stranger come live with me, and help him out even though he was kinda treating me like crap. And then that crappy treatment soon evolved into fascination by it and a new addiction – to Samer.

But even though I “betrayed” Church by being gay and then actively submitting to a Muslim man, it never felt like church really betrayed me back. See, the end of my addiction is when it harms me back. And so far the church has been accepting, even though they knew well enough that I was gay.
Months have passed, my friendship with Hassan really started to feel like a friendship again, and not a weird post-sexual-denialship. Samer persisted with nasty messages for days, but eventually he stopped. Life became much more vanilla. Even my church life got back on track and I finally felt like I was clean of my “sins”.

Or so I thought until one night I woke up to a call from a friend that I ignored because I was sound asleep. But when I rejected the call, I saw at least 20 messages, and the phone started to ring again. I opened the messages and what I saw pulled my life in a completely different direction. It was horrible. It was…

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