Kito /kI:to/ –      noun: the forceful outing of a homosexual individual from the closet either involuntarily by his own hands or through the spiteful acts of others.

My name is…well, Pink Panther, and this is my kito story.

This happened several years ago, a story that belongs to that distant past I would like to tuck away in that part of my mind reserved for things I don’t want to remember, but still want to nudge me into alertness should I find myself in similar circumstances.

I was young, impulsive, and giddy with hormones, all those unsatisfied passions waiting to be slaked by the touch of brawny arms, sensuous lips and a throbbing dick. I had long since come to terms with my sexuality; I did so at a very early age. It helped that I attended a boarding school, where I kissed and smooched my way up from SS1 to SS3. At this time, I’d even dated twice. Yes, twice. And not the I-have-a-boyfriend-but-I-can-screw-other-people-on-the-side kind of relationship Nigerian gay guys are known for. I exclusively dated these guys and exclusively broke up with them. I was young, starry-eyed and still looking for love.

But while searching for love, I was willing to be bold and adventurous along the way. And when you combine an adventurous spirit with naiveté, what you have is a kito moment waiting to happen.

I remember I went with my most recent ex, himself just a couple of years older than me, to his friend’s place. We hung out with the bunch, all of them interesting-looking guys. I use the word ‘interesting-looking’ because I looked at them and I saw the prospects for hot, sweaty sex, that we’d have just one time and forget it ever happened afterwards. I felt no spark. No chemistry. But I was certainly interested in the possibilities.

The afternoon ended. And I returned home. In the evening, my phone rang. I answered, and a husky treble hummed in my ears. He was Paul. He was at the hangout earlier on. He got my number from my ex. Actually, he took my number from my ex’s phone without his permission, could I please not tell him? He liked me. He would love to get together with me. How does tomorrow afternoon sound?

I was thrilled by the call, the proposition, the sudden scent of sex in the offing. And he actually went through the length of stealing my number just so he could get down with me?! The notion that anyone would go through such an effort for me made me giddy with delight, so giddy I disregarded the still, small voice that said I should call my ex and quiz him about this Paul. For heavenssakes, I didn’t even know what he looked like, couldn’t place his face out of the group of boys I met earlier on. The alarm bells trilled, very gently, oh-so faintly, at the base of my neck. But I was thinking about the sex, and the thirst for it was very real.

So the next day, when I finished my chores at home, I dressed up, tucked my phone and novel inside the man-bag I slung over my shoulder, and started out of the house. I called Paul, and he directed me to his house in the suburbia of the Housing Estate. An okada conveyed me to my destination, and by the time I knocked on the gate, waiting to be let in, my heart was palpitating with excitement. Oh, the thrill of the testosterone, the thickening scent of nasty sex, the heady sensation of skin against sweaty skin.

I couldn’t wait. Literally. He offered drinks, and I told him we should just get down to business. We were in one of the rooms of the compound’s boys’ quarters. He nodded at my enthusiasm, and told me to give him a minute. He walked out of the room, and moments later, he returned. He seemed on edge then, skittish even, but I was so consumed by my hormonal urges that I mistook his edginess for anticipation. I was so blinded by my passion that I didn’t even notice that he didn’t LOCK THE DOOR! And then he encouraged me to strip while he was still clad in his boxer shorts, shirtless though.

Just as I slid the last stitch of clothing from my body, the unlocked door slammed open.

“HEY! WETIN UNA DEY DO!” someone growled nastily.

Shock. Disbelief. Panic. These were the emotions that slammed into me at the sudden intrusion. My hard-on deflated. My passion dwindled. And I found myself staring into the cold, stark hateful eyes of an intruder.

“WETIN UNA DEY DO?! HEEEIIIII! HOMO! SO NA HOMO UNA DEY DO! SO, PAUL, YOU BE HOMO!”

Oh gawd! I found myself frantically and silently begging God to tear the ground open and have it swallow me up. I snatched at my boxers as this guy started shoving us about, lashing out with his fists at us, catching me with a punch to the temple here and a slap to the cheek there. He beat me. He beat Paul. He was a one-man mob. He ransacked my bag and pockets, took my phone and the spare change in my wallet. And then he beat me some more. And beat Paul some more. I felt humiliated. I sobbed. I begged. I cried.

And then, sometime during the ruckus, I suddenly realized that there was a certain fakeness to the aggression he directed towards Paul, that the punches he lashed out at Paul seemed forced. Acted. Like a charade. The entire incident began to take the form of a scripted performance in my head.

Mark boy as victim.

Seduce him to the rendezvous.

Leave door unlocked.

Get him in a compromising position.

And have someone else barge in and ‘discover’ the abomination going on.

I suddenly realized how foolish I’d been so far. Why was I even crying? What was I begging for? For all his aggression and threats of exposing us, the guy didn’t seem too keen on dragging both our semi-clad selves out to the streets. He fumed and raged, and yet his voice was subdued every time he said the word ‘Homo’. Why? I wondered. Perhaps because the plan was to shake me down and get me blinded so much by my panic I’d do anything, give anything he wanted from me?

My tears dried up and I became mad. Mad at myself. Mad at this two-faced, lying sack of shit called Paul. Mad at the other guy for obtaining the phone my mother had recently bought for me. Mad at the society that made it so that situations like this could exist. Mad at the world. Mad at God for not opening that ground already so I could get swallowed.

Eventually, the tide passed. The guy took what he could get out of me – my phone and money, and then he stomped out of the room, leaving me bruised and battered – and not just physically – from the episode. Paul kept on apologizing profusely to me, but I couldn’t be bothered. I pulled together my tattered dignity, with my mind already concocting a story I’d give my parents as to the loss of my phone, and walked out of his house, relieved that the terror had ended, regretful that it happened, and hopeful that I should never find myself in such a compromising situation ever again.

So far, the Lord has been good, and this story has been my one kito story.

My name is Pink Panther, and this is my kito story. What’s yours?

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