I gathered a little courage and kissed him, afraid that he would push me away. On the contrary, he hugged me and kissed me back. It was a relief.
He felt completely at ease now and lay down comfortably. I sat down beside him and he promptly started showing me photos on his phone. The very first one he showed me was of his nephew – sister’s son – who was born that very day!
This time I was not surprised. I was stunned. Who in their right mind would travel 70 km to meet a man they had never seen or met before, except on a dating app? Definitely not me. And here he was, a crazy young lad, who kept his word that he would come to meet me that very day.
An idea dawned on me. I asked him if I could call him via the app, without making it a video call, so that we could talk to each other. He immediately agreed. I remember thinking to myself: how can someone be so accommodating?
At 43 years of age, I did not have much to boast of in terms of a personal life. Here I was - a single, gay man living away from my family for nearly 15 years, with many unsuccessful attempts at finding love and some unremarkable short flings.
Under tremendous pressure to find a suitable partner for myself, I finally took the plunge and created my profile on a popular gay dating app.
The train towards HUDA City Centre was rolling into the platform, and I hurried to reach the last coach, which I was usually found to be less crowded than the others. I made it comfortably, and waited for the doors to open. At this time there were fewer people boarding the train, and I hoped to have a comfortable ride for a change. The doors started opening, and that is when I first saw him.