FOREWORD: First of all, I will like to say that in recent times, I’ve been getting quite a number of mails from readers of this blog, brothers who are in different points of distress over their lives and relationships. They seek answers from me, and I have tried to give what I can. But I fear that I’m not entirely capable of doing right by them.
And so, in the spirit of helping, I’ve decided to open yet another segment on Kito Dairies. The ‘Dear KD’ segment, where I’ll update the blog with these enquiries, with the permission of the senders of course, and let the house offer ways these people can employ to help them with their circumstances. These updates may or may not bear the blog pseudonyms of the owners. (Whether I post their blog names is up to them)
And also, if anyone else has something, any entanglements that he needs the house to help him or her unknot, kindly email your grievance to me on email@example.com.
Secondly, I want to dedicate this episode of Love And Sex In The City to all those who have been hounding me to update the series. Most especially to that my witty friend with the witty blog. A lot of peeps have been on my case about the series, but this guy is – unfortunately for me – on my BBM friend list. So he has the unfettered access to bug me nearly every day for the past two weeks that I’ve been slacking. When he finally pinged me with a message along the lines of: ‘You know what? I don’t care anymore,’ I panicked (lol) and decided to get off my lazy ass and get to work. And so, here it is.
PS: If, dear witty friend, I find out that you reverse-psychologied me or something, I will kill you. Lol
PPS: Read and enjoy.
Click HERE for the previous episode of Love And Sex In the City.
Mary Jane came late for the Monday meeting of the junior level staff of Fit Plus. One of the Operations junior managers of the company, Mr. Oyebanjo was speaking at the time. I wasn’t exactly paying attention to him. My focus was mindlessly centered on the face of one of my colleagues who sat five seats away from me against the conference table.
Lateef, I think his name is.
I was looking at his mouth, not because I desired it, but because I felt some revulsion at the abraded appearance of the lips. I stared at the tiny bits of tissue peeling away from the labial surface, making the mouth look scaly. I wondered with distaste how anyone could let his lips go on looking so neglected, so uncared-for. I could never. Especially during the Harmattan, when the weather threatened everything without with near extreme dryness, I always made sure my lips were glossed-over with the appropriate cosmetic. Lips are a huge turn-on for me, and Lateef’s were nice. But his neglect of them made me swear off sex, if he was the last man alive and offering it.
“In all you do,” My. Oyebanjo droned on, “you people should always put this company’s mission statement in mind. I mean, all your objectives are directed at…”
His voice trailed off at the whisper of the conference room door opening, and moments before I looked up to see what had distracted his boring oratory, I perceived the familiar lemonade scent that was uniquely Mary Jane’s. I watched her as she walked in a slight tiptoe toward an empty seat, acting as though she was moving unnoticed to her position, when in fact, all eyes were on her. Whether from her lateness or her compelling attractiveness, I wasn’t entirely sure. She looked appropriate for Monday, with her mauve-coloured shirt-blouse tucked neatly into the gray pencil skirt whose hems ended inches above her knees. Her hair was cropped to a pixie cut, a new hairdo, seeing as she’d been wearing longer locks last week, and the sleek do emphasized the soft planes of her high cheekbones.
So appropriate… appropriate and stunning, I thought as I glanced appreciatively at her. I waited for that flicker I assumed men must feel whenever they observed a beautiful woman. I waited. It didn’t happen.
Oh, you’re so gay, Declan, a voice chided teasingly inside my head.
Shut up, I admonished lightly back.
“Ms. Ade-Cole,” Mr. Oyebanjo called, “nice of you to join us.” There was no censure one would expect to hear in those words. The man was, in fact, smiling at Mary Jane. “The traffic was that bad, huh?”
“Yes sir, really bad,” Mary Jane husked.
Mr. Oyebanjo tsk-tsked, “This city is so overcrowded these days, what can we do…”
I tried not to roll my eyes. If I didn’t already like Mary Jane, I’d have been seething at the Operations manager right now. The man is legendary for being cuttingly intolerant of tardiness to any issue he oversees.
As soon as he went back to his droning, Mary Jane looked up and swept a quick glance around the room. Our gazes met, and flashing a smile, she lifted her hand in a small wave at me. I waggled my fingers back at her. She mimed the phone-finger-typing gesture, mouthing the words, “I’ll ping you later.” I nodded.
“Nawa o, Declan you are slacking with this girl, mehn,” someone said beside me.
I turned to look flintily at the person. It was Mahmud, and he was seated on the other side of Kizito, who was on my immediate right. I was already settled in the conference room before the meeting started, and when Kizito walked in and saw me, he made a beeline for where I was seated. Following him was Mahmud. I’ve never cared much for the guy, with his narrow, dark features, lanky frame and cocksure attitude, especially with females, as though he believes himself God’s gift to them. He does have a way with the ladies, granted, but I don’t believe they go for him because of his looks, because he’s not even that good looking. I’m sure it’s because of his position as a staff from the DG’s main office; it gives him a certain impression of power that I suppose the women find irresistible.
When he noticed my glare on him, he continued in a lowered tone so as not to draw Mr. Oyebanjo’s attention to us, “See fine geh like MJ, wey she even get time for you pass every other guy for this office, and you have not even secured the deal with her. It makes me wonder what is wrong with you.” He swept a quick cursory look over me.
My face flamed. “What is that supposed to mean?” I hissed.
He shrugged. “Well, if that girl so much as gives me a little more than a hello with a smile – boy! – I’ll bang her so fast she’d probably be having my babies before she’ll know it.” He sniggered at his wit, no doubt believing it amusing.
It wasn’t. I didn’t crack a smile. I noticed Kizito’s grimace which revealed his reluctance to be amused by his friend’s delivery.
“Oh come on, lighten up, Declan,” Mahmud said. “I’m just saying –”
“I don’t care what you are saying,” I said cuttingly.
“Well, I’ll say it anyway. It’s only someone who’s chronically gay that will not lust after MJ. Your bedroom business must have to be all about your fellow man if you see that babe and not want to fuck her.” He made a face, as though to express his incredulity at any man who makes his bedroom business about his fellow man.
“What are you saying to me?” My eyes narrowed. My dislike for the guy was now stark on my face.
He smiled cheekily back at me, either blithely unaware of or deliberately ignoring my animosity. “I’m saying that I go just siddon dey look you and MJ. I just siddon dey look. What is on my mind will continue to be on my mind.” He turned his grin to Kizito, who smiled wanly in response.
Inexplicably, I felt my anger threaten to consume me. It was already licking away at my nerve endings, and when I stared at the two friends, I felt the heat of it tide from Mahmud to Kizito. How dare he act all chummy with this egotistic bastard? And why wasn’t he saying anything? Whether to defend me or not, he shouldn’t take the cowardly route of keeping mute. In fact, I decided, if he felt any desire for me like he claimed to feel, then he should have said something to admonish his friend. Any man who wanted to be my man had to publicly always be on my side.
Dropping my voice to a snarling hiss, I said to Mahmud, “If you are insinuating that you believe I’m gay simply because nothing has happened between me and Mary Jane, well, she’s also friendly with your friend here” – I jerked my head at Kizito – “and he too hasn’t scored with her. By the standards of what is on your mind” – I was sneering now – “does that make him gay too?”
Kizito flinched and turned a scowl to me. Mahmud paused and stared at me, no doubt contemplating whether to be offended or amused by my remark. Apparently deciding on the latter, he grinned again and said with a chuckle, “You got me there. You’re quite hilarious, Declan. Your head is there true-true.”
I shook my head at him, and turned away from both of them to re-focus on Mr. Oyebanjo, moving my seat a few inches from Kizito, a silent expression of my displeasure with him.
It wasn’t very long before the meeting was over, and we all started thronging out of the room. Some of us would go back to their offices on this floor, while the rest of us would take the elevator ride or stairs down to the floor below, like me, or out to the streets, like Kizito. I pushed my way gently through the crush of bodies until I was out in the hallway and walking toward the bank of elevators.
“Not so fast!” someone hissed before a hand grabbing at my upper arm jerked me to a stop.
I whirled around to face Kizito.
“What the hell was that about in there?” he seethed, his eyes stormy.
“You just kept quiet,” I fired back, “like what me and Mahmud were talking about did not ultimately matter to you.”
“It did not –”
“Why, because you’re straight?”
He gave a small start at my fired rejoinder, and turned a quick look around at our colleagues milling around us. I did the same too, immediately regretting my outburst. Sometimes, when I get pissed off like this, and the object of my ire is before me, I can lose focus of my surroundings, like I’d just done. Luckily, no one appeared to be paying any attention to us. Kizito grabbed my arm again and pulled me firmly into a corner that was reasonably out of the earshot of the other people in the corridor.
“What is the matter with you, Declan?” he stormed in a quieter tone.
“Nothing, nothing is the matter with me,” I said flatly.
“Something is, otherwise you won’t be acting like you’re carrying a chip on your shoulder. Why so defensive? Mahmud didn’t even say anything that could be construed as offensive to you people –”
“To we people?!” My anger started ratcheting up again.
He backpedalled immediately. “I mean –”
“Oh yes, I know what you mean,” I cut in, spearing him with a furious gaze. “And that is the exact thing guys like you have been meaning since forever. Guys who have always fancied pussy their entire lives, and suddenly wake up one day to realize, sometimes to their horror, that they also fancy dick and ass.”
“Keep your voice down –”
“My voice is down, you asshole.”
“Look, Declan, I’m sorry… What do you want from me?”
“Nothing, I don’t want anything from you. Last I checked, it was you who has been all up in my business, wanting something from me.” He opened his mouth to say something in response, but I had already turned away from him to stomp down the hallway, blinking my eyes furiously to stop the tears that were stinging inside. Goddamnit! I cursed silently. To think I had actually started liking him…
You still like him despite what just happened, that annoying prissy little voice spoke up.
That may be so, but I cannot be with a guy like that, I argued. There’s no way he can make me happy.
Yea, sure, because happiness is guaranteed when you date gay guys, right?
At least, they know who they are and are to some extent okay with what they want. The kinds of Kizito will forever put me in an emotional roller-coaster…
Cut the guy a break –
Not a chance in hell!
“Whoa! Hell this early morning? Did we sign up the Devil for a client or something?” a voice cut into my reverie with a laugh.
I must have muttered those last words out loud, and I felt some mortification as I looked in the direction of the speaker to see Dotun.
“Are you alright?” he said with some concern, when he saw my ruffled countenance.
I nodded and attempted a smile. “Yes, I am. Just a minor tiff with someone. No biggie.”
He was moving in the direction of the stairwell, and I joined him, shunning the elevators. There were too many staffers waiting for the lifts anyway.
“Kizito,” I said.
“Kizito… Kizito…” His brows were furrowed as he ferreted through his memory banks for that employee identity. Then his expression cleared and he said, “Ah, yes, Kizito Ebrubame… he’s in the marketing team, yes?”
“Yea, that’s him.”
“I noticed you two were very chummy when he first started working here.” He eyed me as he said that.
“That’s like two years ago, and we weren’t close then, you and me. You noticed me then?” The look I gave him was pleased and teasing. I felt warmed by the fact that I’d had Dotun’s attention when I hadn’t even bothered with him except as just another colleague.
He gave an abashed smile. “Don’t let it get to your head. I wasn’t even aware then that I could feel attracted to guys, remember?”
“Mmhmm… And yet, you noticed me then,” I teased, my lips quivering with a smile.
“Oh shut up, you!” And the two of us burst out laughing, the mirthful sounds resonating in the cavernous space of the stairwell as we walked down the steps. When we sobered up, he queried, “So the tiff… you two are no longer chummy, is that what it means?”
I heaved a sigh. “Well, I don’t know. I mean, we stopped being friends awhile ago, after I overheard him and his friend, Mahmud having a homophobic conversation. I just thought then that I couldn’t be friends with someone who wouldn’t accept me should he find out my true sexuality. And then suddenly, out of the blue, two weeks ago, he kissed me.”
“He what?” Dotun’s eyes rounded on me. “Tell me, tell me.”
The narration of my kiss with Kizito, and everything that transpired between us after it, lasted until we got to Dotun’s office. He sat behind his desk and watched me as I finished up. Then he sighed, “You know, being bisexual is not an easy cross to carry.”
“Don’t you dare make any excuses for him,” I began, flashing at Dotun.
“I’m not making any excuse. I’m just saying it as it is. I am, after all, for all intents and purposes, a bisexual. And I’m telling you, there are moments I just can’t deal with it. It’s easier for guys like you, Declan, guys who have discovered who they are from an early stage and have learned how to deal with it –”
“There are bisexuals who knew of their twofold sexual preferences from an early age too, and yet, that doesn’t stop them from being assholes.”
“Yes, I know,” Dotun conceded. “But you have to take into cognizance the fact that we live in a country such as Nigeria, a country that doesn’t make it easy –”
“For homosexuals worse than for bisexuals,” I cut in, getting incensed again. “At least, a bisexual guy takes pride in the fact that if a mob should shove him out of his closet and put a pussy before him, and tell him to fuck it to prove he’s not queer, he can perform. For homosexuals, where is our cover? For guys who are repulsed by the notion of sticking their dicks inside a vagina, what’s our defense strategy?”
“Okay, but see, my point is –”
“No offense, Dotun, but you don’t quite have a point. By all accounts, you’re quite naïve in these issues. You’re still struggling with the cross of your split sexuality, and since I know the story of your coming out, it’s fine if tomorrow, you say or do something that ordinarily would make you a jackass. But Kizito has been coming on to me with the ease and polish of someone who knows that he likes ass and has known it for quite some time.”
Dotun stared at me for a moment, and then he started chuckling, healthy sounds that shook his shoulders as he let them out.
“What, why are you laughing?”
“I just especially hate the prejudice more when it’s coming from a guy who fancies the same thing that I do in the bedroom than from the person who doesn’t – come on, you’re still laughing.”
Indeed, he was, holding his hand up to his mouth, as though to physically stifle his mirth.
“What’s funny joor?”
“It’s just that…” he said in between chuckles. “You need to see yourself now that you’re in such a righteous rage. You look hot, very desirable.”
“Stop flirting with me jaré.”
“I’m not. It’s true. I bet if Kizito were here to see you so riled up, instead of feeling chastised, he’d grab you and give you another kiss.”
“It will be a cold day in hell first before I’ll give in to another smooch from him.”
Dotun began to sober up as he said, “Are you sure about that? Because one doesn’t get this upset with a person he doesn’t truly care about.”
I decided not to offer any rebuttal to that, especially considering the disagreement I’d had within me several minutes ago.
For quite some time, the two of us sat in the office, enjoying a companionable silence. Then Dotun sighed, and at my enquiring glance, he said, “I need to settle down quick, get a girlfriend before things get too complicated for me.”
“What’s the rush all of a sudden?”
He turned a heavy stare to me. “I need to hook a prospective wife, before I start having sex with guys, enjoy it too much and forget that I ought to have sexual priorities.”
“Sounds like you’re using marriage as an escape.”
“What cock-sucking man in Nigeria doesn’t?”
“My friend, Jonathan, will soon wed his fiancée. She’s sweet girl, also anti-gay. And yet, she’s marrying this man who represents everything she’s strongly opposed to, and she has no clue. And I look at them, and I wonder how many other marriages in this country are like that. I find myself not knowing who to feel the most sorry for, the homosexual half of a couple who feels pressured to do the right thing” – I added finger quotes here – “by the society, or the clueless other half who has no idea the lie he or she has committed to. And even though I know that this might be my future, I don’t know how I can stand the deceit of marrying a woman who I’d feel no sexual love for. I mean, I literally don’t know how I can keep up that charade.”
Dotun chuckled. “Yea, I feel you on that. Imagine you and your wife are in Shoprite, and the mall is teeming with delicious men of all sizes and ages. And you simply have to check them out. How on earth do you do that without the wifey noticing those double takes.”
“I know, right,” I burst out, laughing.
“For me, that won’t be a problem o. All I need is a quick look at your face. And then, a quicker scan of your nyash, and I’m good to go.”
“Cakes, Dotun, they’re called cakes,” I corrected in between paroxysms of laughter.
“Eh, keeping teaching me, that is why we are friends,” he said with a smile.
“Oh, so one look here and one look there, and you’re done, abi?” I said. “You’re lucky nau. Me that has a lot more to check out nko? I see the face, and then I have to gauge the biceps. And run my eyes down his pecs, over his abs, down to the crotch. I might just be in the middle of deducing the exact size of his dick when the wifey will be all up in my face, demanding to know what I’m looking at.”
At this time, the two of us had dissolved into more gales of laughter. I was thoroughly enjoying this budding new friendship with Dotun, but I had to get to work. So minutes later, we ended our banter, and I left his office.
I was on my way to the cafeteria across the street from Ibikun Place during my lunch break when I bumped into Mary Jane, and she commandeered me to her table in the restaurant, where I spent the lunch hour with her and three of our colleagues from her department. They were two females and one male. The lunchtime conversation was light and pleasing, filled with laughter, at which times Mary Jane slapped her palm lightly down on my hand or my thigh. I didn’t mind her fleeting gestures of intimacy. In fact, I was flattered by her blatant displays. She was a woman desired by most males in our workplace, and she’d chosen to be so flirtatious with the one guy who didn’t fancy her like that.
Perhaps that was the whole point of her attention. Perhaps my seeming indifference to her femininity was the reason she seemed interested in me. I’d read somewhere that beautiful women liked to be chased, to be desired, and any man who didn’t do so inversely turned out to be the one who attracted them. This explained why most womenfolk were always so contentious over attractive gay male celebrities from the West. I was online awhile ago, reading an American blog update of two incredibly gorgeous, photogenic men getting engaged. One was a male model, and the other a reality TV star. They both had well-built bodies. The male model had exotic looks that Apollo himself would fly into a jealous rage over. I gave a lusty sigh as I scrolled over their photos on the blog, whispering a prayer to God for just one chance at a threesome with such fine specimen. In the comments section, I saw female commenters throwing out hissy remarks like ‘What a lousy waste,’ ‘How can God bless you two like this and you decide to waste it on each other’ and ‘There goes the gorgeousness that the next generation should have.’ I’d been amused by some of the comments. Much of the world’s hate after all stems from a lack of understanding.
Lunch was finally over, and we started out of the restaurant. The other three were apart from Mary Jane and I, walking ahead of us, but the banter was still bouncing back and forth. And then –
“Isselai! It. Is. A. Lie! Declan Odum, is that you!” a woman’s voice screeched.
Feeling flustered at the loud recognition, I turned to see a young woman, my age, hurrying over to where Mary Jane and I stood. There was a wide smile on her light-skinned, broad-featured face, which was emphasized by her braids pulled back in a bun. She had a bosom that was disproportionately large, with respect to her leggy frame that was almost so stick-thin that she walked very slightly hunched over.
“Veronica Mbadiwe!” I gusted.
She gave a small delighted scream, before saying, “Ah, it really is you!” And she flew into my outstretched arms for a hug, before stepping back to give me the once-over. “My God, you are not looking bad. Not bad at all.”
“Neither are you. What did you do, get a boob job?”
“Oh please, these babies have been like this since forever, you know that.”
“Oh yes, I do.”
We shared a laugh, and then, I turned to Mary Jane. “Veronica, this is my friend and colleague, Mary Jane. Mary Jane, this is Veronica. We went to university together.”
“That’s right, MJ – can I call you MJ” – she barreled on as Mary Jane grimaced – “yes of course, everything you need to know, all the dirt on this boy here you want, you can get from me. We go way, way back.”
“Actually, not that way back, Vero,” I said self-consciously. “University isn’t that far away.”
“Oh hush,” she said, waving her hand in a shushing gesture. “We spent five years together in the same school and the same off-campus lodge. That’s a period filled with lots of memories.”
Most of which I’d like to forget, thank you very much, I thought caustically.
“So you two work together? Where’s that?”
I pointed at the building on the other side of the road. “FitPlus, it’s a pharmaceutical company.”
“Oh yea, yea, I’ve heard of it. That’s nice. Maybe I can drop in sometime, and you can help me drum up some business.”
“What are you into?”
“Insurance, and let me just tell you, it is a bitch of a job!” I made a commiserative sound, and she continued, “I swear, I’m even still looking for a change. This job will not kill me. Targets here and there, hustle, hustle, on the constant grind in these mean streets of Lagos. A girl doesn’t even have time for herself these days anymore. To catch a movie, common movie night at Silverbird, doesn’t happen. Social life kwanu? That one is practically nonexistent. And of course, when there’s no social life, you may as well say bye-bye to sex.”
Oh dear Lawd…!
She wasn’t finished yet. “In fact ehn, my brother, the sex part is a serious problem o. I’m constantly in a state of horniness these days. Just the other afternoon, on the rare weekend that I spent at home, I called a carpenter to fix my net-door. Common carpenter, my brother, and I was eyeing him and thinking about all the things I wanted him to do to me. I was this close” – she lifted her hand and held her forefinger mere inches away from her thumb – “to asking him to stop his banging and come inside and give my vagina some workout, because I swear, down there has started growing cobwebs.”
As she giggled at her witticism, Mary Jane turned a pained look to me. Her eyes were widened with incredulity, and she appeared to be silently asking me, Is this chick for real?
I nodded in answer to that unspoken question. It seemed Veronica Mbadiwe had not changed with the years. ‘Vero The Talker’ was the moniker some of us in the lodge off-campus where we lived had taken to calling her behind her back. The woman could talk about anything, and lacked any inhibitions to the amount of information she divulged. Whether it was her business or someone else’s, Veronica would unabashedly talk about it to any ear who would listen. No secret was safe with her. The ironic thing was her garrulous nature was entirely without malice. She simply loved to talk. And it had been charming, sort of, when I first got to know her.
Until the day she came to my room one morning to borrow a CD, and jabbed the Eject button on my DVD player, letting out the porn VCD I and a new catch who came to see me had watched the night before to get us in the mood for a romp. The guy was still sleeping soundly beside me when Veronica gasped at her discovery and endured a few minutes of my stumbling explanation for the disc.
“Please, don’t tell anyone, Vero, please…” I’d begged fervently.
She nodded solemnly in acquiescence. But as she stepped out of my room that morning, I knew I was finished. Just like that, Vero The Talker struck. My reputation took a bad hit amongst my lodge-mates. Every guy seen around me was suddenly brought under a gossipy microscope. I endured the whispers resolutely, even tried to respond civilly to the few neighbours who came to me with queries of what they’d been hearing. I was eternally mortified, and refused to speak to Veronica for a long time. Luckily, the talk didn’t get to school. And I eventually rode the scandal out, just until Chijioke in Room 4 impregnated one of the locals, and diverted the attention away from me. Eventually, I made up with Veronica, but our friendship suffered. I was no more as close I initially was to her. In fact, I never really forgave her.
Even presently, as she gabbed, I wondered idly if there was a way I could get back at her for what she did to me all those years ago.
I was looking beyond her at the traffic on the street, observing Dotun crossing the road to our side, no doubt to have his lunch, when Veronica finally said something that snagged my attention. “Honestly ehn, this is the reason why I need a boyfriend badly.”
“Really?” My eyes snapped back to her. “Do you not have a boyfriend?”
“Have you not been listening to anything I have been saying?”
No, Vero, I have been busy thinking of a way to politely get me and Mary Jane away from you. Aloud I said with a beguiling smile, “I’m sorry… but anyway, back to your boyfriend need, any prospects?”
Dotun had spotted me and waved cheerily as he approached us. I moved my head in acknowledgement of his wave.
Veronica was talking, “No o, my brother. Not one, where is the time kwanu? I’m too exhausted at the end of every day to even log onto a dating site to see what prospects are out there.”
“And do you have any issues with dating someone who is not from our ethnicity?”
“Are you kidding me?” She arched her brows at me. “At this rate, I won’t mind dating a Fulani man sef. Abeg, as long as he’s good looking, can hold a conversation, has a source of income, let me at him.”
The three of us laughed at that, as Dotun finally drew close to us. And I said, “Well, in that case, Vero, let me introduce you to a friend of mine.” I raised my hand to draw an uncomprehending Dotun closer. “As you can see, he is easy on the eye, speaks well, and is a senior colleague at my work. His name is Dotun, and if you have no problem with the fact that he is Yoruba, then I see no reason why you two shouldn’t go out on a date or something.” I turned to the other man. “Dotun, my friend, Veronica.”
Both of them stared at me, looking befuddled by this sudden twist in their afternoons. And then, they looked at each other, both of them wearing awkward smiles.
“Well, Veronica,” Dotun started, “I guess because Declan has decreed it, we should go out on that date, huh?”
The expansive smile that split across Veronica’s face was like a balm to my soul. Karma, take the wheel now. And please, do your job well, I murmured inaudibly, before taking Mary Jane’s hand and walking toward the road as the two new acquaintances walked into the restaurant.
Written by Pink Panther