As the time passed both Samer and I got used to the roles we were acting in. I was a good Christian boy and he was a person in need that couldn’t be more polite and nice to everyone who had met him. Some of them suspected of us being a couple, but most were just ignorant about homosexuality and probably couldn’t even get an idea of what they were looking at in this situation.
At home, things got very quiet and as our cohabitation went on, we also progressed along the lines. Samer started to work part-time as a delivery guy, and visited the language course as well. I was working non stop as my job became even more stressful and difficult. We had barely had any time to be together and to spend our time having crazy sex. Even the crazy sex died out or calmed down eventually and what was left was an example of what looked like a sexless marriage of my parents. Love? Love is something we are forbidden to talk about. It just doesn’t exist because in his mind it cannot exist between two men.
Spending long hours at work didn’t necessarily mean that I was doing work all the time. However, I was spending a lot of time on my PC. Slowly but surely I started to feel neglected by Samer and although I was really dying for us to be together as a couple, I’ve also realized that it goes against every belief that he has. And I didn’t want to do that to him. So I did what I always do: I started to search for an easy way out. I’ve logged in to a dating site after a long time and saw a bunch of messages. Most of them were spam or the profiles were already deleted, but I did notice a sexy guy called Hassan who sent me a message and is just a couple of kilometers away.
Hassan: “Hey guy, I’m kinda new here and I really don’t know anyone. I liked your profile, so if you want to go for a friendly coffee please let me know.”
I answered the message and have given him my number for Whatsapp.
“Damn, why did I do that” – I’ve asked myself as I was actually drooling over his profile pics. I didn’t know if Hassan is really that hot or if the entire attraction towards him was a result of me being totally obsessed with Arab and/or Muslim guys.
Unknown number: “Hey it’s Hassan”
Unknown number: “Did you know that you are the only guy who answers after 6 months? I hope another answer will come sooner than that. In case it doesn’t, happy new year in advance!”
I saved his number immediately and put his name as Hanna. Not that I’m doing something wrong here, but I know how Samer reacts, and nobody wants this. It seemed, however, that this Hassan guy was genuinely funny and that I could at least talk to him.
Three hours later and we are still chatting, messages just keep pouring in and out. It is not the same feeling as with Samer, but that’s exactly the point.
Similar story but different premises, Hassan is also a refugee, but he is very open about the fact that he likes men, he even said that he is gay. It’s just that this entire vibe was different about him. He tries to meet new people, possibly someone he could love and be with, in a real relationship. But the problem is, as much as I find him hot, he doesn’t have this semi-violent vibe about him that Samer has. He doesn’t bottle up his feelings and release them all suddenly. I guess the issue is, one cannot have both.
Days have passed and I was finding myself more and more attracted to Hassan as well. But I had all those urges in me, to be dominated by him, while he didn’t really strike me as the type who would be into that.
On the other hand, my “relationship” to Samer was getting even more distant and somehow cold as well. I liked him. No, I loved him, but I wanted him to love himself so that he could maybe love me back as well. It just seemed like we were stuck in a closed circle of emotions all the time.
So, after a week or so, I finally asked Hassan to go out with me for a cup of coffee or tea, and he was very glad to hear and accept my invitation. We’ve arranged to meet in an open minded semi-gay bar in the city center. As usual, I was thinking I’ll get there sooner and just wait for him, but he was already there when I arrived.
His dark eyes have instantly drawn my attention and his wonderful, strong, black hair made me instantly feel attracted to him. I guess I’ve become a sucker for the dark skinned guys.
He smiled at me and gave me a nice tight hug. Not a care in the world! It felt good feeling this easiness of life again. We were talking for hours and it seemed like there were no forbidden topics. Hassan was truly an open book. And this book was really the one I enjoyed reading so far. It seemed like he wanted many things in life, and having a loving person next to him was really one of his top priorities.
He was a 30 year old guy and came here from Mosul, Iraq, after it got really dangerous there. It was hard for him in the beginning, but now he got a grasp of the language and felt really good about being here. The whole conversation was really easy even though some topics weren’t. And then he asked me about my life.
Hassan: “So, are you dating someone?”
Me: “No, well, yes and no…” – I responded defensively.
Hassan: “Yes and no, it means it’s something occasional… Or?”
Me: “As much as I’d want it to be more than something occasional, I am getting to a point where I can feel like it’s never going to get there. It’s just… I feel the love, but I also feel uncertain about the future. It is very complicated.”
Hassan: “Well, as long as you’re aware of pros and contras, it is good.” – he answered in an encouraging tone.
Hassan: “But I am certainly not the guy that takes involvement in other people’s relationships. For me this is a nice friendly date, and I really don’t want to mix myself up with a taken man.” – he added after I stayed silent.
Me: “Well, that’s just it. I feel like I need to break it off, but sometimes the situation feels so right that I can’t really feel how wrong it is. You see, he was in a same situation as you were, but the two of you are exactly opposite. I guess I needed to meet you in order to get some perspective on my guy and realistically conclude if there is any future in this… “
Hassan: “Oh, so you got yourself involved with an Arab guy?”
Me: “Yeah, pretty much.”
Hassan: “And let me guess, he is straight, but likes having sex with you up to a point where he gets possessive?”
Me: “Again, yeah, pretty much.”
Hassan: “I’d like to say he’ll change, but you wouldn’t be here if you were thinking it was possible, right?”
Me: “I guess not…”
Hassan: “Look, the thing is, we grew up in an environment where it is impossible to be gay. Some people just need more time and experience. Others will never be able to get comfortable with being what they are. And they tend to be toxic.”
The whole time I was just appalled by how accurate his description was, even though he didn’t know the exact situation. So I opened up about it. I’ve told him exactly what happened and how we got to where we are, but I’ve left out all about the sexual stuff. I just didn’t want to sound so deviant. Although, it was really relaxing to put most of it out in front of a person who gets it.
Hassan: “There is a special appeal that Arab men have, so I get you. And you are such a kind and loving person, I really can’t believe just how much. But it is too bad that your partner doesn’t see it.”
Me: “Well, just him hearing you calling me his partner would cause chaos.” – we laughed.
Hassan: “Look, you deserve to see how good it feels when an Arab man really wants you. He will go to great lengths just to make you happy and satisfied.”
I looked at him and cringed.
Just thinking about that sent some weird shivers through my body. But I was also thinking about what I have with Samer. Sexually, I found a perfect man, but emotionally I was really crippled by him. I had lost my sense of self value, and in a way even though I enjoyed it, I still felt attacked in a way and had an urge to fight back. Was Hassan my fighting back? Or was it that I was just over Samer?
Me: “I’d like that.”
Hassan: “It wouldn’t be ok for me to use the situation and turn on my brother like this, so I cannot suggest myself…”
Me: “And if I suggested it?”
Hassan: “It would certainly make a big difference.”
We looked at each other and our eyes smiled.