“Honestly, I don’t get what it is with these homophobic internet trolls,” I said exasperatedly as I skimmed through the volatile comments section of another of Eddie’s provocative blogposts. “You know this is a gay blog, and yet you visit day after day to spew the same hateful rhetoric every time. I mean, get a life already.”
Eddie chuckled as he stretched his hand and wagged his fingers at me. “Let me see.”
I passed my phone to him. “We get it. You hate gays. You want to kill them. You want to stone them to death. That’s basically what you say in your comments over and over again. Be original for heavenssakes and try a new line in your vitriolic comments.”
“You mean like them finally admitting that it is really their innermost homophobic tendencies that they actually despise?” Ekene said. As we chortled, he continued, “But it’s true nah. Those of them that keep coming back to the blog to spew hate must know they are faggots, hate themselves for it and project that hate on those gays who are jejely living their lives.”
“Especially this Malachi character…” Eddie said, his attention on the screen of my phone.
“Yes o, that one!” Paschal interjected. “I’ve commented before that he should change his cyber name to Leviticus. The frequency with which the guy rants with these Old Testament verses, you would think Leviticus is the only chapter in his bible.”
“You people should be castrate,” Eddie read from my phone. “You follow America to do nonsense, forget our culture and tradition. Family values are cherish in our continent. Stop homosexualism. Suck pussy, not dick, you faggot.” He broke off his reading with a scoff and an exaggerated eye-roll. “Honestly, you’d think these people would take some time out of their homophobia to get a good education so as not to piss off the grammar gods.”
“The poison is just relentless on your blog, Eddie,” Ekene said.
“That makes you the second most-hated Nigerian gay man, you know,” Biola said.
“Who’s the first?” Eddie questioned.
“Bisi Alimi,” Biola, Yinka and I said in unison.
Biola continued, “And he’s the first because his face and story are already out there. Otherwise, you’d be jostling for that unenviable position with him.”
Eddie bit his lower lip as his features settled in an expression of ponderation. “I’m actually flirting with the idea…”
“What idea?” Paschal asked.
“I’ve been getting restless lately, and thinking of unmasking the identity behind Rainbowman on the blog sometime.”
There was an outburst of laughing objections from everyone in the sitting room. Biola’s voice was the loudest as he said, “Eh-eh, eh-eh! Shey you have plans of traveling abroad sometime, eh? Just wait until that time abeg. Some of your enemies on that blog may know that Edidiong Esang is friends with Biola Ojediran, and visit their wrath on me too when they start tracking you down.”
“Oh how sweet,” Eddie retorted sarcastically. “Your concern for me is so touching.”
“Thanks, I try,” Biola sallied back.
There was a rustle of footsteps on the porch just then, and a second later, Adebola was lifting the curtain hanging over the front doorway out of his way. He was beaming.
“My fellow bitches!” he hailed as he swaggered in. “Na so I take dey hear una voice for junction. What did I miss? What tea are we serving?”
“Forget about the tea,” Eddie said as he got to his feet, his face turned toward the young man stepping into Biola’s parlour behind Adebola. “First I want to know who the delight you brought with you is,” he said in a drawl.
“Down, girl,” Adebola said with a chuckle. Then he waved a hand at the stranger. “Everybody, this is my friend, Tosin. Tosin, this is everybody.”
“Hello,” the low timbre that was his voice rumbled. Tosin was tall, whipcord-lean, with deep-set black eyes and a ready smile.
“Your friend, huh, Adebola?” Yinka said. “He’s not another fashion industry colleague of yours, is he? You’re not another fashion industry colleague of his, are you?” He turned to Tosin to ask.
“Who also happens to be a model and an open-minded straight guy,” Ekene intoned with a grin. “Are you a model and an open-minded straight guy? You should tell us, because the last open-minded straight models that Adebola introduced to the group were seduced to the dark side by Biola and Declan respectively.” He accompanied the mention of our names with gestures in our directions.
Tosin gave a soft laugh. “Well, I’m a model, but I’m not straight. I’m bisexual.”
“Not much of a challenge, but I’d still totally do you,” Eddie said as he sidled closer to the guy.
Tosin flashed him a smile. “I don’t think you can afford me.”
A whoop of laughter erupted in the room as Eddie drew back from him, his brows raised.
“Oh really?” he said.
“Mm-hmm.” Tosin nodded, still smiling.
“Tosin is gay for pay, darling,” Adebola said from the sofa where he had reclined. “Maybe not in the big leagues as our dear Baba Paschal, but he’ll treat you right for the right price.”
Eddie rolled his eyes, gave a dismissive flick of his hand and returned to his seat.
“Oh come on, don’t tell me you suddenly don’t want to get some of this because you heard there’s a price tag,” Tosin jibed, to the loud amusement of everyone in the sitting room.
“Honey, I’m not into paying for my pleasure,” Eddie returned. “I have nothing against people who peddle sex for money. I’m just not into that.”
“Yea, even Paschal had to fuck him,” Adebola said to Tosin with a grin, “for the entire duration of their brief relationship free of charge.”
There was more laughter in the room as Eddie shot Adebola a mock-scowl.
Tosin shrugged. “Well, I know I said I’m bisexual, but I just don’t enjoy gay sex simply for the fun of it.”
“Why?” I said. “Sex is fun, gay or straight. I’m with Eddie. I can’t get with you and we’re doing it for different reasons. I can’t be having fun and you’re doing business.”
The mirth that followed my words quickly segued into a scattering of conversations, as the occupants in the room migrated to whichever confabulation interested them. I sat in a solitary corner of the sitting room, and observed my friends. It was Sunday, and Biola was the one hosting our weekend hangout in his house. There were already edibles and drinks set out, and a movie that had Michael Douglas all a-glitter in it was playing on the telly. Jonathan wasn’t here yet; even though he’d promised he would come, there was no expectation in the room of him making it. He’d mentioned to me on BBM that he’d be running a quick errand with a couple of his friends.
I wonder if Kema would be among those friends, the Voice said, lifting to my consciousness the memory of Friday night and the occurrence in Kema’s bedroom. A flicker of something at once hot and cold sparked to life within me, but just for a moment. It was extinguished by a deluge of mortification, as recollections of the messy turn the night had taken flooded my mind. My face flamed at the thought, and I chuckled self-consciously to myself.
Ekene chose that moment to skirt over to my side. I knew he was on the scent of my concealment before he even opened his mouth to speak.
“Oya, out with it!” he hissed at me. “You have that ‘there’s something I’m not telling’ look.”
“I do not,” I objected.
“You do too. Now, stop hoarding and give me gist. Now, now, now, or –”
“Ok, ok,” I said with a laugh. “It’s just – I painted during sex with Kema on Friday night.”
In that exact moment of my revelation, there’d been a lull in the buzz of conversations in the room, and in that sudden quiet, my voice carried, conveying my words about the parlour with an unexpected resonant decibel. With a sinking feeling, I saw the collective attention in the room rivet on me.
“Come now, don’t stop on account of us,” Biola said with an amused twitch to his lips.
“Declan, you painted on your boyfriend?” Adebola exclaimed with a clap of his hands. “What are you, a fifteen-year-old gay virgin?”
“Dude needs to go back to school for his Bottom Sex 101 lectures,” Paschal chuckled.
“It wasn’t like that joor,” I protested laughingly. “It just happened. I wasn’t feeling myself, and he had to do it, and then what happened, happened.”
“How much painting are we talking?” Yinka asked. “Like paintbrush painting or the paint roller kind?”
“It was a cross between the two,” I answered, tickled by Yinka’s question. “I mean, his bed didn’t all of a sudden turn into a makeshift lavatory, but the bed sheets suffered a smear here and there.”
There were cringes and grunts of exaggerated revulsion.
Ekene chortled as he rubbed my shoulders comfortingly. “It must have been mortifying for you.”
“You have no idea.”
“Abeg,” Paschal cut in. “The trauma of painting during sex is not just for Bottoms.”
“Oh really,” Ekene said.
“Yes. Check it now – there was this guy I was in the zone with last year. We were making out, and I was fingering him. Then at some point, he screamed abruptly, and began to shout, ‘I’m about to shit, I’m about to shit!’ Before I could rescue my fingers from his ass, the shit had already started pumping out.”
Discordant utterances of disgust began resonating in the parlour.
“It was simply horrifying,” Paschal continued. “We both ran to his bathroom, and for the next few minutes, his glutes were pinned to the toilet seat, and I was just scraping and scrubbing at my fingers in the sink. I was so furious with him ehn.”
I was laughing as I said, “It was not his fault nah.”
“Yes, Paschal, your fingers are to blame,” Yinka quipped. “The kind of pleasure they were giving the guy’s ass was more than his alimentary canal could handle apparently.”
The entire room was caught in the throes of hilarity at Yinka’s words.
“While I’ve never had a douche incident –” Adebola began.
“Never?” Ekene asked with obvious incredulity.
“Never!” Adebola reiterated, his expression smug. “I’ve however had quite the awkward sexual encounter. There was this one time I was going to have sex with this European guy, I think German. Not sure. He was in Lagos on business. And we were kissing, and his mouth smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. And there was a ring on his tongue, so that when he gave me a blowjob, it kept pricking my dick, and it was all just so inconvenient and painful. I was this close” – he brought his thumb and forefinger to within a hair’s breadth of each other – “to throwing up from his horrible breath. After a while, I just gave up trying and said I couldn’t go on.”
“Chai, see your pretty lips that someone could not clean his mouth to kiss,” Yinka said.
“Can you imagine? Can you just imagine! What nonsense. I would brush my own teeth and tongue ten times before kissing me.”
“With me,” Biola said, “it was man’s greatest embarrassment – the rise and fall of Idi Amin.” He gestured to his groin, and everyone dissolved into more laughter. “That is ehn, prick no just gree stand. The guy was all lubed up. But each time I attempted to enter, my little bros would just go into cardiac arrest. The pikin was like, ‘It’s okay, I understand.’ And that was when I died. I wanted to cry.”
“Oh God!” I gasped through my mirth.
“Dick inactivation – a Top’s nightmare… painting – a Bottom’s,” Eddie opined.
“Exactly!” half the room agreed heartily.
“Speaking of cocky experiences,” Ekene piped up, “there was this guy who fucked me one time –”
“Wait, you mean your ass has seen dick that was not Moses’?” Biola said with mock-astonishment.
“Bite me,” Ekene shot back, before continuing to his audience. “So, me and him were in the thick of the nasty, and he was relentlessly pounding away, and some point, after about twenty minutes of banging, he began to pant, ‘I’m going to give it to you good, baby! I’m going to give it to you good!’”
“At twenty minutes, he wasn’t already giving it to you good?” I said.
“My sister, help me ask o!” Ekene exclaimed. “I’m lying there beneath him, sweating and in considerable pain, and the pikin seemed like he was on a marathon, jerking my body this way and that like he was using me to practice his Olympics acrobatics.”
We were shaking with amusement at this point. I was flicking beads of tears from the corner of my eyes.
“Omo, I quickly told him I’d had enough and couldn’t continue waiting for when he’d give it to me good. His sex was just anal abuse biko, right up there with domestic abuse na umunne ya.”
“Did he have a big dick?” Yinka questioned.
“If it were any bigger, with the way he was going at my ass, my entire shobosho would have lost its God-given elasticity before Moses located it.”
“Well, lucky you,” Yinka said. “The awkward sex I had was with this secondary school mate of mine, who I reconnected with after university and he’d come to Lagos from Ogun State to take over some responsibilities in his father’s business. One thing led to the other and over drinks, he told he would like to fuck me. I looked at him then, really looked at him, and noticed he wasn’t bad, and that I wouldn’t mind shagging him. So we fixed a date and he came over to my place. After fixing him my aphrodisiac drink –”
“Irish cream!” a majority of the room chorused.
“Yea, you all know me well,” Yinka purred. “Well, we got down to business. His kissing was passable, even though he kept slobbering all over me.”
“Urgh!” I cut in. “Kissing is very important to me. You ruin that, and you’ve ruined everything else.”
“Well, he redeemed himself when he turned his attention to my nipples. He was good at sucking those. But things started to go downhill when we pulled off our pants. He was small, very small – giving him a blowjob was like sucking one of those HB pencils you find in secondary school maths-set. And when he penetrated me…” Yinka spread his palms open in a slight theatric gesture. “I mean, I’ve felt more satisfactory penetrations from fingers!”
Loud sniggers broke out in the parlour.
“I quickly lost my erection and merely endured him until he came. He tried for a repeat performance a couple of times after that day, but I was having none of it. He even suggested one time for me to top him, but I wouldn’t enjoy it because I love touching the long” – he made a loose fist and moved the hand back and forth – “hard erection that is my partner’s dick.”
“Such discrimination against men with micro penises,” Eddie sniffed.
“I know, right,” Tosin interjected. “Even chicks aren’t this brutal when it comes to guys with small dicks. You guys though…” He chuckled.
“That sounded a tad defensive,” Ekene said, turning raised brows to the model. “Do you, Tosin, have a small dick?”
“Wouldn’t you love to find out,” Tosin riposted.
“Oh honey, I’m married.” Ekene wiggled his left fingers in the air as though showing off a wedding band. “I really do not want to find out.”
“Well, I don’t have a small dick. But I have had an embarrassing sexual encounter. With this girl I’d been dying for for years. I’d tracked her through two, three boyfriends. I stayed on her case until I finally got her to come spend a weekend with me. Things got steamy pretty fast. When I finally spread her and slipped in, I lasted only two minutes.”
We were guffawing heartily at this time.
“She’s married now,” Tosin continued. “But I swear, I will carry that moment till my deathbed.”
“How did you recover?” Paschal asked, still chortling.
“I didn’t. You never recover. You just move on to the next.”
“Move on to what, gentlemen and gentlemen!” someone announced and we turned to behold Jonathan looking into the room through the curtain, while he wriggled his shoes off his feet on the porch.
There was a chorus of greetings as he walked in, exchanging hugs and handshakes. I hadn’t seen him since his wedding three weeks ago, and as he approached me with outstretched arms, I observed a few differences, just some nuances really, of the newlywed etched on him.
“So what did I miss?” he said as he set down on the centre table the poly bag he’d come with and began lifting out small containers of Coldstone ice cream.
Yinka gave a delighted squeal and promptly made a beeline for the table.
“Well,” Paschal said, “we were talking about awkward sexual encounters, starting from Declan’s embarrassment on Friday night with his boyfriend.”
Jonathan raised his hand to his mouth to smother the snicker that just then sprang to his lips.
“What are you laughing about?” I said, feeling a spurt of irritation. “You haven’t even heard the story.”
“Oh I have.” He grinned at me. “I was with Kema and some of our guys. He told us about it.”
An instant hush fell over the room, as everyone froze and settled uncomfortable glances on Jonathan and I. Tosin seemed oblivious to the sudden tension as he picked up an ice cream bowl and began maneuvering the covering out from the top.
Jonathan also didn’t seem to comprehend the strained atmosphere; he gave me a quizzical shake of his head and said, “What? What did I say wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?”
The simultaneous spark of something hot and cold had flickered to life inside me once again, and this time, it maintained a steady manifestation, flooding my face with head and my veins with ice. “He told you guys what?” I rasped.
“About your shitty incident at his place nau,” Jonathan said, chuckling. “It was hilarious. I thought you were like a Power Bottom or something, Dee.”
“Who are the ‘guys’ he told?” I asked, my voice still hoarse with warring emotions.
“The straight gay club – who else?” Biola supplied sneeringly.
“Stop calling them that,” Jonathan snapped.
“That guy’s such a bastard,” Ekene interjected.
“Hey, why would you call him a bastard?” Jonathan rounded on him. “So he told us – big deal! What, he’s not allowed to tell his friends stuff like that?”
“No, he’s not,” Ekene fired back.
“Yes, really! It was an embarrassing situation for Declan, his boyfriend – remember? The guy whose secrets he’s supposed to shut his trap about? The only person who should divulge anything about that night is Declan, when he’s okay with it. Not Kema, and certainly not to his own friends.”
“Come on, guys –”
“Is that all he told you guys?” I said in a low tone.
Jonathan continued, as though he hadn’t heard me speak, “I mean, don’t you think you all are overreacting just a little bi–”
“Is that all he told you guys about that night!” I shrieked, startling the entire room with my outburst and the sudden leap to my feet.
I stood there and stared at Jonathan, as I felt my emotions threatening to boil over. My mouth suddenly felt papery dry, and a shudder went through my body. Sensing my sudden volatile state, no one said anything for a few moments.
Then Jonathan ventured an answer. “Yes, Dee, that’s all he told us.”
I gave a bark of mirthless laughter. “Unbelievable! All through the weekend, I have been waging a war with myself, trying to understand why he did what he did, to rationalize what he did, to forgive him for it, and he goes to tell…to tell…”
“Declan, what is going on?” Ekene said softly beside me.
“Yes, Dee, what are you talking about?” Jonathan took a step toward me.
A rush of angry tears filled my eyes as I said in a shaky but loud voice, “Kema was able to blab about how I shat all over his bed, but he didn’t get around to telling you he tried to rape me!”
There were sharp intakes of breath.
“You’re joking, right?”
“Do I look like I’m joking?” My eyes bored into Jonathan, piercing him with the force of my rage. “That sonofabitch got so hopped up on his porn that he woke me up twice from my sleep and assaulted me. He tried to rape me. Me! His boyfriend! I begged! I was helpless! I wasn’t in the mood! And yet he was hell-bent on having his way with me. And probably would have succeeded too if my small intestines hadn’t decided to come to my rescue.
“And as the weekend passed, as he entreated me several times over the phone to forgive him, I was actually going to, actually thinking about letting it all go, because I assumed I was dating a reasonable human being. And the first chance he gets, he disrespects me. Well…” I looked around. “Who has my phone?” Before anyone could respond, I said in a louder voice, “Who has my goddamn phone!”
“Here it is, honey,” Eddie said, holding the Blackberry out to me. “I’ve already dialed the bastard.”
Kema’s contact ID was etched above the bobbing phone icon on my phone screen as I took the device to my ear. A moment after, the call connected.
“Hey baby –”
“The only person who gets to call me that is someone I care about,” I interrupted coldly. “You’re no longer that person. We’re done.”
“Hey now, baby, Declan –”
I ended the call.
The room remained silent.
My phone rang. I terminated the call. It rang again. I depressed the red key.
When it didn’t ring a third time, I drew in a shuddering breath, and upon expelling it, I felt a calm. It was fleeting though, I could tell. I wanted it to last, and I knew I wouldn’t get it here, in this room full of my friends. I needed to be someplace where the traffic of all things physical wouldn’t interfere with this calm I suddenly so desperately needed.
I knew just the place.
I made for the door.
“Where are you going?” Yinka enquired.
“I need to be alone right now.”
“Are you sure? You should stay, we’ll cheer you up.”
I gave a small smile at the doorway. “I don’t need cheering up right now. I simply need some solitude.”
The curtain lifted and fell, and I was gone from the room.
Written by Pink Panther