“Who is Paschal smashing so vigorously like that abeg?” Ekene said with a giggle as he moved from the kitchen, through the connecting doorway, into the living room, where the rest of us were sprawled in various positions of relaxation on Biola’s carpeted floor and sofas. Muted coital sounds were floating out to us through the small corridor, from the guestroom at the end of the hallway.

“As in eh,” Adebola exclaimed, coming up behind Ekene. The two of them came bearing items of food we’d be having for brunch. “Since we came here, they’ve been cooped up inside there. Abeg, Biola, since when did your house turn into a brothel?”

“My dear, I have no idea o,” Biola said, as he stood before the television and flicked through DSTV stations. “Dude came to me yesterday evening with his squeeze, some young thing he invited from UniBen, and begged me to let the boy crash here for the night.”

“And you agreed?” I said with a mock-gasp. “Since when did you start becoming so charitable?” It is an understanding amongst us that Biola is just not the type of friend that will discommode himself over someone else’s convenience. He’s just not wired to be a Good Samaritan.

“Bigger question is, since when did Paschal start doing young things and students?” Eddie lifted his head from behind his laptop long enough to ask. He was partially engrossed with some blog work, no doubt attending to the several comments streaming in following his updates this morning.

“He did you, didn’t he?” Yinka quipped.

“Hey, I was not a student when me and Paschal got our freak on abeg,” Eddie said in loud protest over our chuckles at Yinka’s sally.

“The guy is certainly busy with that his dick,” Jonathan piped up. He stretched out a hand to receive a glass of chilled Sherry which Adebola had started handing out. Ekene was already dishing out helpings of plantain gnocchi and egusi-deviled eggs. The aroma of the cuisine had been torturing my senses ever since Adebola, Ekene and Biola – even though he kept flitting in and out of the kitchen – started on its preparation about an hour ago.

“Paschal’s dick has always been a busy thing,” Ekene chortled.

“Yes, but so busy he fucked the insides out of some dude in Ajah?” Jonathan said smilingly. While everyone else turned to stare at him, I slid my gaze away from him, feeling my heart pick up a slight tattoo and my face warm. I knew Paschal hadn’t told any of them about our little misadventure at my place, but the knowledge that I was hiding something from my friends still filled me with mild discomfort.

“Wait, what do you mean he fucked the insides out of a guy?” Yinka asked, accepting a dish from Ekene.

“He called me, asking for medication for piles, that he’d been fucking one dude like that in Ajah, and fucked the guy to the point of hemorrhage.” Jonathan chuckled as he spoke. The others joined him. I remained deadpan. “You should have heard him on the phone. The guy sounded like he was about to have a panic attack.”

“Wait, he called you?” Biola said. He gave a quick shake of his head. “Eddie, you’re right, something has upset Paschal’s routine, since he’s apparently now doing osho-free and with spring chickens like us.”

“So, you’re saying this fuck-mate is young too?” I asked.

“Well, duh? It can’t have been one of his usual older rich queens, because those ones would have known what to do to take care of their anus, and Paschal wouldn’t have needed to call Jonathan for medical advice.”

I shut my mouth. Sometimes, this Biola can be too smart for his own good.

“Oh I’ll love to hear the full details of this gist,” Adebola enthused.

“What, the story of someone getting piles from sex that foreign to you?” I said tersely.

“But of course,” he replied, arching his sleek, dark brows imperiously. With a smirk, he continued, “I’ll have you know that I have very strong anal muscle walls, and so, I can ride King Solomon’s dick from now till Thy Kingdom Come and still sit upright for breakfast thereafter.”

The other men burst out in laughter as they hailed him. He genuflected before them, theatrically waving his hands in acknowledgement of their encomiums. I had to smile grudgingly at his melodrama. Then, noticing Biola peer at his watch for the umpteenth time, I seized the chance to divert the focus from all this talk of Paschal and who he’d given piles during sex. “Ah, Biola,” I said, “you’ve been looking at that your watch every five-five minutes. Don’t tell me you’re thinking of bailing on us o.”

“To where kwanu?” Ekene said. “Is this not his house? He should bail nah, and I’ll just ring Moses over for us to have torrid sex all over his furniture.”

There was some laughter at that, as Biola shot Ekene a feigned scowl. Just then, there was a rap on the door. He seemed to instantly straighten, and in the pause that came over us following the knock, he smiled and said in a hushed tone, “That” – he pointed at the door – “is the reason why I have been looking at my watch. And please, guys, be nice. Don’t judge, okay?” He actually said that last bit with an expression overcast with a glimmer of vulnerability.

Biola? Vulnerable? Who the hell is at that door? I thought with increasing interest as I watched him make his way to the door. I could see my interest mirrored on the faces of the others in the room as well.

He opened the door, with that unsure smile hovering on his lips, stepped back and said, “George, hi…”

The sight of the young man that stepped into the room made my jaw slowly sag open with shock.

“George?” Adebola gasped, as though he needed to say the name to believe the identity of the newcomer. “George Emoefe, is this really you?”

The guy smiled, slow and plastic, before saying with easy familiarity, “Hello, guys.”

Here’s where I need to give you a little bit of history. In our gang, there are three people who have quite the casual and unrestrained sex life, and they are Paschal, Eddie and Biola. Paschal however has to sleep around, because he does it for the money. Eddie and Biola have no excuse; incredibly though, Eddie is a romantic, and believes that he will fuck his way to his Prince Charming some day. Biola thinks all that business about love is a load of bunkum. He scoffs at love and exclusive relationships, and got into a verbal fight with Ekene one day shortly after Ekene and Moses started dating, when he insouciantly said they wouldn’t last. Even now, after nearly a year in the relationship, Biola still believes it has an expiry date. No booty call of his had ever graduated from sex to anything remotely involving emotions.

No one that is, except for George Emoefe.

George had actually been Adebola’s friend, one of the acquaintances he made in the fashion industry. George was an aspiring model, and Adebola had hired him a few times to wear his creations during fashion shows. The guy wasn’t good looking in the conventional sense, what with his perpetually shaved dome-shaped head and facial bone structure that were a bit too angular. But he has an amazing body, sinewy and whipcord lean, which wore clothes well. When he became fast friends with Adebola and started hanging out with us about a year ago, Biola picked an interest in him. He pulled out his entire arsenal of seduction in order to get George into his bed, but the model kept acting blithely unaware of his efforts. We’d actually started to believe he really didn’t know Biola had the hots for him, until one day, during a game we were playing in Adebola’s house, he blurted out that he could never sleep with Biola. That stung Biola, and he lashed out with an ugly retort. Their tempers were immediately ignited, and a verbal altercation ensued.

From that moment thenceforth, the acrimony between the two became palpable, with the only exchange between them being snide remarks and snappy rejoinders. That quickly graduated to heated arguments between them over somber issues such as LGBT matters, politics and the entertainment industry. It quickly became obvious to us that George wasn’t just a great body; he knew his onions. And the sapiosexual Biola was inexorably drawn to him.

And then it happened, like every typical Hollywood rom-com, even though we were not there when it happened. All I know is, today, they were arguing heatedly about the right religion has to influence the affairs of state of Nigeria, and the next day, they were cuddling in our presence, and kissing and sharing private jokes. The chemistry between them was just right, and it was a stupendous thing to see Biola so obviously smitten by George, even though he maintained, in the face of Ekene’s smug exultancy, that he wasn’t in love; he just really, really liked George.

They were together for a month-and-a-half, and then George found Christ. He became born again, and old things were passed away. That included his homosexuality and everything that was even remotely connected to that way of life. He broke up with Biola, dumped us as his friends, and discarded his budding modeling career. The breakup with Biola was a shouting match at Adebola’s house, the end resembling the beginning, with the hurling of epithets and the vows to never see each other again. When George banged out of Adebola’s apartment that evening, it was the last time we were to see of him for a long time.

Biola handled the breakup in his true fashion. He didn’t cry or let his defenses crumble, not ever in our presence. But we knew of his hurt in the only way he knew how to express it. He turned into an ogre, as brutally scathing as ever, verbally decimating anything or anyone that irked him, even the slightest bit. And we, his friends, couldn’t escape the scourge of his tongue. Ekene, who was still in love and in a steady relationship, was his regular target. It got to a point when – after Ekene threatened to no longer be friends with him – we all had to conduct an intervention. We didn’t want mean, derisive Biola anymore. We wanted the sarcastic, witty Biola back.

Eventually he came back to us. But he made some changes in his life. Huge changes. He cut off every tie with the church, dumped his Protestant faith, tossed his bible into the trash can, and declared himself an atheist. Then he proceeded to write a corrosive, no-holds-barred piece for Rainbowman.com, which he titled ‘I Hate God,’ a write-up which Eddie still alleges recorded the highest traffic and largest number of comments his blog had ever seen, so controversial was it.

All this because of the one man he’d loved and lost, the man who was now standing in his living room, obviously here upon his invitation.

Why, pray tell, was he back? I wondered as I stared pensively from one to the other of the two ex-lovers.

Written by Pink Panther