We were eleven. Actually, I was eleven and he was thirteen. Kids. Still naive to the world. Or maybe, that was what the world thought of us – sweet, little, innocent children.
But we weren’t all that.
Well, we weren’t evil in the true sense of the word, but I, especially, wasn’t this unsullied child that adults would’ve liked to believe me to be. I was exposed to a lot from a tender age. I’d started finding and watching my uncle’s straight porn CDs long before my eleventh birthday. And at that age, I’d long come to know about my attraction for the same sex. While watching my uncle’s porn, I was always enraptured by the male performers. My eyes bugged at the sight of how virile they were as they thrust into the women. How big their appendages looked when they were excited. I’d look at mine, so small and straining in response to what I was watching. The men were the only ones I saw. The only ones I craved to touch and hold. The only times the women mattered to me was when I wished to be them, being violently buggered by the thick-assed, savage men.
So yes, as a child, I knew things most adults would flinch to when revealed to them.
I was eleven and Solomon Ali was thirteen. Suleiman was his native name. As neighbours, he lived with his mother and two sisters, one of who was my age mate. His father had died when he was really young; we never got around to asking the cause. Solomon was a dark, lanky boy with a gorgeous face. He smiled a lot, at least with me. I was smitten by him.
We were three boys in the compound who were always seen together, but Chima wasn’t attractive, not to me anyway. He seemed drawn to me though, from the random suggestive games he always invented for us to play, which entailed me sitting on his laps and moving my hips. I knew he wanted me the way I wanted those men in my uncle’s porn. But I was eleven, and I wasn’t brave enough for any adventures.
Solomon was the centre of my world then. I would get home at the end of my day and drop into bed, and into my mental relishing of the moments I’d touched him or he’d held my hand just before we crossed the busy main road. I’d think about how he laughed that day, his deep and guttural when compared to my thin one.
For a long while, my show of friendship toward him remained like so – platonic on the surface and filled with desperate longing on the inside.
Then one day, tired of dying in silence, I dared myself and wrote a letter. It was a letter to him, a letter that was supposed to tell him how I felt, how I wanted him to kiss me in the evenings behind Mister Elias’ car. How I didn’t just want to be his friend like I was to Chima, but be the mummy to his daddy. I signed the letter as ‘Your Secret Admirer’ and sealed it inside an envelope address simply to ‘Solomon’. Then I put the letter on Chima’s window sill the following day, knowing he’d get it delivered immediately he saw Solomon’s name written on it.
Chima came out to our evening play with the letter, just like I knew he would. Solomon laughed heartily after he read it out loud, and Chima joined in. Even though my heart was breaking at his trivialization of my emotional outpouring, I also joined in the mirth, my laughter being the loudest and most mechanical. I even remember making a quip about how the ‘Secret admirer’ could be Vanessa – pompous, beautiful, fourteen-year-old Vanessa, who’d always had an eye for him but would never talk to him.
The levity died down after about thirty minutes of re-reading the letter – my letter – and making jokes over the content of the letter. Then we got back to the game we were playing on Solomon’s video game. Actually, they both played while I penned down scores just to be relevant.
Then came the day that was like any other; I’d just finished my chores at home, school wasn’t in session and my mother was ever willing to grant me permission to go see Solomon, permission she’d gotten generous with ever since I started hanging out with “my fellow boys”.
I left for Solomon’s house which was on the last floor of our building. Chima had gone out with his aunt that morning, so I had to go see Solomon on my own.
“He’s in his room,” Sarah, his immediate younger sister said when I came in and asked about him. “I think he’s bathing sha or watching games. See abeg I don’t know. Just go and check.” She waved me ahead into the house.
I made my way to Solomon’s bedroom, one he had all to himself. I went into the room after knocking a couple of times to no response from him. It was no wonder, considering that he was in the bathroom. I could hear the sound of the shower beating down, interspersed with the sound of him whistling the Ben 10 soundtrack. I went to his bed, picked up his phone and resumed playing the episode of Naruto that he had put on pause.
I heard the exclamation and with a mild start, I turned to see Solomon walking into the bedroom from the bathroom.
“When did you get in?” he enquired as he adjusted his towel more securely around his waist.
Beads of water tracked their way down his body, which was sleek and fresh-looking with his maturing muscles that was already showing definition. He exuded a strong bouquet of the palm olive bath he’d just had, a scent that had my insides suddenly twirling with delight. The imprint of his flaccid dick through his towel made me instantly weak as I scrambled for a response to the question he’d asked.
He didn’t seem to anticipate an answer as he strolled about the room, getting ready to get dressed.
“Your sister let me in,” I was finally able to say.
He grunted his response.
A few minutes later, he was dressed, during which time I had thrown my body and soul into the Naruto game, striving hard not to stare at his penis when it flashed into view, at how dark the length of it was in sharp contrast with the pink, helmet-shaped head, and at how well-toned his dark, hairy thighs were.
He plopped himself down on the bed beside me. For some moments, he didn’t say anything to me, and the silence began to make me nervous, causing my heart to beat a little faster than usual. With a spurt of new determination, I kept my eyes on the Naruto in his phone.
And he watched me.
I could feel the burn of his stare on me, so heightened was my awareness of him. Before long, the atmosphere in the room had gotten taut with undercurrents of inexplicable emotions and my palms were sweaty. Questions roiled about in my mind: why isn’t he saying anything? Why is he staring at me like that? What is going on? And –
Oh my God, when did he get so close to me?
Yes, I’d been so wrapped up in my anxiety that I hadn’t noticed him sidle closer to me, so close that when I felt his nearness and the rush of his breath on my face, I turned and was startled to see that our faces were a hair’s breadth from each other, our lips a mere whisper away from the other.
I swallowed. Oh God now, what next?! My mind screamed at me.
He answered the unasked question when he took the phone from my hand, and without warning, pushed me backward so I was no longer lying on my belly but on my back.
Instinctively, I knew what was coming next, and my reaction shocked even me. As I slid around to my back, I turned my head to the other side, away from him, away from the curious feeling of helplessness I suddenly felt.
I wanted this. I knew what was about to happen, and I wanted it to. But something in me was suddenly revolted. I didn’t fight him though. I just lay there, my head turned away from him, and motionless.
He slid on top of me and with his hand on my chin, he inched my face around. His head began to dip forward. I saw it coming and I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to see him do what it was he was going to do.
He kissed me. The kiss was firm and seeking. It didn’t seem like it was his first. It was too sure, his lips and tongue moving too skillfully over mine, for it to be his first.
But the kiss was my first.
Fireworks sparked in my head and random particles in the atmosphere stood still. I could hear music, choruses and the distinct ‘ho-ho-ho’ of Father Christmas.
And then Solomon broke the kiss and pulled away. I felt empty, void, like someone had taken the light from my body. All I wanted in that moment was to reconnect our lips together again. He seemed to sense my need and bent his head again. We kissed again. This time, I kissed him fervently back. Our tongues dueled and fought for dominance; his searching and intruding, mine accepting and accommodating.
And then, in the middle of the passion, that feeling of helplessness overcame me again, and I was pushing him off. I struggled to regain my breath as I felt my soul slowly slip away from my body.
Solomon sat up as well, and there was a look of dejection etched on his face.
That expression undid me. I was feeling a riotous clash of conflicting emotions, wanting him and feeling revolted by him. The want however was winning as I watched him get up from the bed and go to stand against a wall. My gaze was arrested by his crotch, behind which his penis was standing, tented and straining within the confines of his knickers. I moved across the bed close to where he stood and reached for his crotch. He didn’t recoil from me.
However, immediately I grabbed a feel of his erection, I pulled away like I had been electrocuted.
He didn’t say anything, merely watched me.
Just then, a thought crossed my mind. A scene I had recently watched in one of my uncle’s numerous porn collections came searing through. I decided to try it out.
I stood up before him and raised my index finger to his face. I slowly ran the finger down the bridge of his nose while pressing my body against his. Groaning, he grabbed hold of my tiny buttocks as I slipped my finger into his mouth.
Then, not knowing what else to do, I stopped and moved away.
I was just eleven!
But my unknowing act of seduction broke Solomon out of his reserve. He got aggressive, picked me like I weighed no more than a coin and flung me onto the bed. He got on top of me again, both of us still fully clothed, and dry-humped me for several moments, until he began spasming over me. I later understood that he had ejaculated.
I didn’t cum. I simply got thoroughly kissed as I lay on my back and his head was often buried in the heat of my neck. When he was done jerking on top of me, he got up and started looking at me again with that same longing in his eyes.
I didn’t understand what that look meant. I didn’t ask him. I knew one thing though.
I wasn’t satisfied.
He looked satiated and happy, but I wasn’t. Frustration knotted inside me, and I bounded up from the bed and was out of the room before he could stop me. I ran all the way out of his house, ignoring Sarah’s ‘What is going on?’ as I darted through the parlour and Solomon’s ‘Please stop’ as he chased after me, running fast until I got up to my house and shut the door behind me.
Safely ensconced in my bedroom, I settled further into the frustration of all the things I was feeling. I was beset by a wide range of emotions – dissatisfaction at the intimacy Solomon and I had just shared, self deprecation at how speechless I’d been, not telling him how I wanted to be on that bed with him disbelief at the sudden wanting to be with him forever, even though I had no idea what forever was. I sat there and let my rioting emotions push me further down a hole of tears and self pity. I cried myself to sleep that night and swore never to step foot in Solomon’s house.
It was curious, how much I began to both desire and loathe Solomon in the days to come. I couldn’t explain it, and I didn’t want to face him with such incomprehension in my heart. So I began avoiding him, not once visiting him or going out to hang with him and Chima.
And then school resumed, and that made it easy for me to avoid him. Some weeks after school resumed, I got home from school to the news that the Alis had moved out.
Chima told me. And as I gaped at him, I felt the news hit me with a force that I didn’t see coming. Solomon was gone?! I could not believe it.
“Solomon left without telling us?” I said to Chima. I knew I’d been avoiding him, but I could not believe he would just up and leave without making the effort to let me know his family was relocating. I’d always expected him to make an effort to get the attention I was so determinedly denying him.
“He told me o,” Chima said. “He didn’t tell you?”
I shook my head, while struggling with the misery that was overcoming me rapidly. He didn’t tell me! He didn’t tell me! You fool! You brought this on yourself! I silently berated myself.
As if to punctuate that admonishment, Chima said, “Ehn, shebi he said you don’t use to talk to him again. Maybe that is why.” And just then, his aunt hollered his name. And he was off.
Just in time, because my tears had started to fall. The tears I’d been holding back since Chima delivered the news to me, since I realised I may never set eyes on Solomon again, since I began to understand that I may have lost the first love to come to me.
Solomon and I have not seen or spoken to each other since then till now.
Written by Delle