Suite 419

Suite 419

kd suite 47Suite 419 was where everything happened; the meeting, the loving, and the breakup. The first time Kene met Chiboy and Peter, he fell immediately for Peter. That night, the moon did not shine because a great cloud covered the sky. A cool breeze blew that night, plastered Kene’s face with water. By the time he got to Timber Avenue, the breeze had turned into a gale, tossing everything in its path. Kene ran into a compound and called his cousin, Val. “Where are you?” Kene asked. “I have the books.”

“Just stay put,” Val said. “I’ll send someone with an umbrella.”

That person was Chiboy: tall, slim, with a delicate fair-skinned, red-lipped handsomeness, like he would break if you touched him too hard. He shook hands with Kene and said “hey” with the deepest voice Kene had ever heard. They walked quickly, closely, sharing the umbrella. Kene did not say much; Chiboy did all the talking.

When they got into the house, the living room was dark. Power had been cut, and Kene could hear someone trying to put on the generator in the balcony. Two people were talking in the balcony. Kene could make out Val’s voice, rough and grainy. Chiboy helped Kene into a seat. Soon, the light came on, the living room awash in a white brilliance. Val came in, laughing at something the guy behind him had said. He smiled at Kene. “This guy na idiot,” he said. “And him get good name oh, Peter. Imagine!”

Peter took Kene’s breath away, a clichéd expression for a clichéd feeling. But it was true. Kene practically skipped a breath, a heartbeat, muttered some nonsensical stuff as he shook hands with Peter.

Peter had the kind of off-handed handsomeness that made Kene turn to cloth. His blackness glowed, his white polo-shirt hugged his body, hugged his chest; he had a fine face that was not too fine, lips a little pouty, eyes bright, like he was full of perpetual laughter. And so Kene fell.

*

Viewing Timber Avenue from Suite 419 was like viewing a column of ants. Everything below was specked, the noises filtered into some kind of continuous music. Whenever Kene visited Val, he stood by the window and stared at the street, at the cars and motorcycles and the people. Chiboy would come and stand beside him, and together they would talk about the people they saw and the cars they would like to buy when they graduated.

On one of such days, they were alone in the house. Both Val and Peter had gone out with their girlfriends. Chiboy and Kene stood watching the street below when, out of a reckless impulse, Kene said, “You must be gay. I’ve not seen you with any girl.”

Chiboy laughed. He did not look at Kene. “I’m gay for you,” he said.

“Lie,” Kene said, and laughed.

*

The first time they kissed, Kene tasted beer on Chiboy’s tongue. Earlier on, they had all gone out to the Bar downstairs. Both Val and Peter had their girlfriends sleeping over, and Kene and Chiboy slept in the living room, since there were only two bedrooms in Suite 419. Tinsel was showing on DSTV, and they both sat huddled in a couch in the dimness of the living room, watching it.

Outside, it was going to rain. A fierce wind pushed the sliding windows, so Chiboy rushed to shut them. He went outside, returned with a heap of all their clothes, and dumped them on a chair. When he returned to the couch, he relaxed properly with his back against the backrest and his hand around Kene’s shoulder. Then he moved closer. And closer. By the time the movie was over, Kene’s head was resting on Chiboy’s shoulder.

“This is weird,” Kene said, moving away.

Chiboy chuckled. They both looked up, looked away, looked up again. And then Chiboy took Kene’s hand and pulled him closer. He planted his lips on Kene’s, and soon they were both gasping as their tongues stretched and their hands groped.

*

And, just as Kene was beginning to settle into a quiet relationship, Peter became all friendly and chatty with him. Whenever he visited, Peter would sit long hours with him and talk and talk, and Kene began to notice how Peter was always shirtless whenever he was around, how Peter always seemed to hold his gaze as they talked. And he noticed Peter’s stare too, lingering, openly leering and flirting, not masking its interest.

It confused Kene.

“Is Peter gay?” he asked Chiboy one evening, the evening Chiboy took him to a fine restaurant on campus and asked that they make it official. They were through with dinner and were walking back to Timber Avenue when Kene asked the question.

“No,” Chiboy said. “Why do you ask?”

Kene hesitated. “He’s acting all flirtatious lately.”

Chiboy choked on his laughter, beat his hand on his chest. “Sorry about that,” he said. “It’s the look on your face that made me laugh. You’re looking like he almost raped you.”

“Shut up,” Kene said, smiling.

He slipped his hand into Chiboy’s when they got to a dark street. Chiboy squeezed it. “But seriously,” Chiboy said. “Don’t worry. He’s 100% pussy man.” He chuckled. “But he knows I like guys more than I like girls, and he’s cool with it. So maybe he suspects we’re an item, so he’s just kidding with you.”

“Okay,” Kene said. “Does Val know about you?”

“Noooo,” Chiboy said. “No way am I telling him. He will freak out.”

*

Then came the day when Kene visited Suite 419 and found a note on the table: Sorry, Kene. Had an emergency. Couldn’t get across to you over phone. My project supervisor wants to see me. I don’t know why this late. I’ll crash on campus. Chiboy.

“I saw the note on the table,” Val said, lacing his sneakers.

“Oh yes. My phone is down. No light on campus.”

Val nodded. “This one Chiboy is now leaving you notes,” he said. “Hmmm.”

“Hmmm-what?” Kene asked.

Val stood up, ruffled Kene’s hair. “Don’t worry, little bro,” he said. “Just don’t let him put that thing in your ass. Have you seen the size?” He bunched his fists to indicate how large Chiboy was down there. Kene threw a slipper at him, and he dodged and ran out of the house, laughing.

That night, as Kene sat watching Tinsel, a sleepy-eyed Peter walked into the living room. He squinted at Kene for a few seconds, and then extended his hand for a handshake. In the next minutes, Kene watched him go about the suite brushing his teeth, taking his bath, dressing up. And then he came and sat in the living room with Kene. For a while, they sat quietly watching the movie. Kene stood up to go to the bathroom, and when he squeezed pass Peter to go to his seat, Peter slapped his behind. “So Chiboy is the one fucking this ass eh?” he said.

The way he said those words, so off-handedly, like he was saying, “I like your shirt,” made Kene freeze. Peter pulled him onto his laps. “So, tell me,” he said. “What do you really like about Chiboy?”

Kene squirmed. “Guy, free me,” he said. “I don’t like this.”

“You have the nicest ass I’ve ever seen on a guy,” Peter said.

Kene tried to wriggle out of his hands. “You’re supposed to be straight,” he said.

“I can make an exception for you,” Peter said. “Tell me you don’t want me, and I’ll leave you now.”

“I am your friend’s guy,” Kene said; his words sounded strangled.

Peter chuckled. “Stop talking like a girl,” he said. “Will he marry you?” His hands moved into Kene’s trouser, pressed Kene’s buns, his lips nibbling Kene’s neck. He pushed Kene onto the sofa, and shoved down Kene’s trousers, rolled Kene’s shirt up, nibbled at Kene’s neck, Kene’s back, Kene’s shoulder.

Kene whimpered as he felt Peter’s mildly hairy torso against his back. Then it was Peter’s finger, wet with Vaseline, that probed his anus, circling, teasing, burrowing. Kene started thrusting back against the finger.

“Jesus!” Peter said, chuckled. “So you want it afterall.”

Kene whimpered.

*

They were both older than Kene – Chiboy and Peter. In their mid twenties, they would be graduating in a couple of months. Kene, in his late teens, was awash with the promise of love: he often dreamed of taking long walks on a beach, holding hands with a man, the sunset yellow.

With Chiboy, his sunset and beach fantasy came alive in the dim rooms of Suite 419. Val traveled to the village to interview some old people for his project, and Kene moved in temporarily, taking up his space, staring at Timber Avenue with Chiboy all evening and talking about the cars they would buy and the places they would visit. Then they had sex; good, neat sex—the condom carefully slipped on, Chiboy always gentle, always worrying: “You like it?” “Does it hurt” “Sorry.” “Yeah?”

With Peter, sex was spontaneous and dirty and exciting. No condom. No venue—in the bedroom, on the couch, in the bathroom, in the kitchen. No apology—“Come here, dude! Spread that leg! Yeah!” And they did it even when Chiboy was around, most times asleep in the other room, and Kene would creep into Peter’s room, and as he slammed his hips against Kene’s behind, Peter would lean forward and grab Kene’s neck, muttering obscenities into Kene’s ear—”you like this dick huh?” “Chiboy’s dick not enough for you huh?”—and he would lick Kene’s ears with an avid hunger, force Kene’s mouth open with his tongue and, in Kene’s sex-crazed thought, rape it.

And afterwards, he would collect Kene into his arms and ruffle his hair. “Dude,” he would say, in a way that sounded like a question, like he was saying “and you still call yourself a dude?” And Kene would shrink inside and swear never to return. But he always did.

*

It rained heavily the day Chiboy broke up with Kene. Chiboy was on campus when it started raining. Kene walked to the living room and found Peter watching a movie. He sat in a chair as far away from Peter as possible. They were both quiet at first. Then Peter said, “So, you still dey form lover boy, eh?”

Kene shifted on his seat, but did not say a word. He did not want to be here, in this living room with Peter. But something held him back. Something. He had told Peter a few weeks ago that he wasn’t doing stuff with him anymore, and Peter had laughed and said, “Okay na,” in that way one said to a child, “Yes, I’ll beat your teacher for you.”

Peter came and sat beside Kene. He wrapped his arm around Kene’s shoulder. “I have missed you oh,” he said.

Kene shifted on his seat. Still, he did not leave.

And so, when Peter put his hands into Kene’s boxers and he moaned, Peter said, “No be gay you be again?” and chuckled.

And that was when Kene pushed him away. “Fuck you!” he said.

That night, Chiboy returned home, drenched. He went straight to the kitchen, boiled water for his bath and, after he had bathed, went into the room. Kene was asleep. He lay beside Kene, cuddled with him. “I missed you, dude,” he whispered.

“Welcome,” Kene sniffed.

“I thought you were asleep,” Chiboy said.

“No,” Kene sniffed, wiped his eyes. “No, I’m not.”

Chiboy sat up. “What’s wrong?” he asked, pulling Kene up with him. Kene resisted, and when he tried again and again, Kene shrugged him off and screamed, “I had sex with Peter. You’ve heard it now abi, so let me rest!”

He was crying.

Chiboy stared at him.

The rain drummed against the windows. “What?! He forced you or what?”

“No,” Kene said. “I did what everybody does. I fucked around a bit.” Even he didn’t know where all the sarcasm was coming from.

“Shut up!” Chiboy said, jumped out of the bed, as if Kene had suddenly turned leprous. “Just listen to yourself. I thought you were different!” He sank onto the floor and covered his face with his hands. The room seemed to be reeling.

Kene watched him. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Please.”

At first, Chiboy remained silent. But when Kene persisted with the “sorry” he said, “Please give me some space.” His eyes were red; the tears stood on his eyes, squeezed tight, like he didn’t have enough tears.

Kene left the room. He felt this weird sensation in his chest, like his heart was ticklish, ticklish with both laughter and sorrow. Peter was standing by the door. “Why did you tell him?” he asked. “Did you have to tell him to make you feel like you’re a good person?”

Kene gaped at him, then picked the remote control and smashed it on his head. He grabbed Kene’s arm, twisted it, pulled Kene to himself, raised his hand up to hit him, but changed his mind and muttered, “Bitch,” then pushed Kene away. He rushed into the room, and Kene heard him say, “Hey Chiboy, chill please.” Then there was the sound of scuffling, of things smashing.

When Kene dashed into the room, Peter was on the floor and Chiboy was on top of him, his fists raised high in the air. Kene rushed and held his hand and they struggled and struggled, until both he and Peter were holding Chiboy down and saying, “I’m so sorry” and “Chill dude,” respectively.

The next morning, the sun that rose over Timber Avenue was bright and scalding. But it was still beautiful, a brilliant after-rain sun. Kene threw his clothes into his bag and left.

*

Val settled everything. He returned, called Kene and said, “I’m not gay, but if I were Chiboy, I’d have killed both you and Peter. Especially you, because we all already know Peter is an asshole.”

Kene was quiet. “Who told you?”

“Peter,” he said.

Kene wrapped his arms around himself. Shame was like icy breeze on a naked body, and the thought of Peter and what they did together made him ashamed.

“Peter is not that bad,” Val said. “He simply takes things for granted. He wouldn’t do that to my girlfriend, I’m sure. ”

Kene wanted to ask, “What if I was a girl, would you have waved the whole blame off Peter like that?” but he didn’t. “Okay,” he said, instead; the phone call was getting too long. “What about Chiboy?”

“He’s sleeping,” Val said, chuckled. “The dude thought I’d punch him, he kept apologizing about going out with my cousin.”

“So you’re not freaked out?”

“Like I didn’t know you both were fucking all along.” He chuckled. “I was pissed sha, but not anymore. The most important thing is that you are happy. Chiboy wants to see you.”

“Thank you,” Kene said.

Written by Rapu’m Kambili

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35 Comments

  1. SimonAndal
    August 09, 04:54 Reply

    Dem swear for gays and infidelity, abi na wetin?

    • pinkpanthertb
      August 09, 04:59 Reply

      Statistically men are the greater cheats in heterosexual relationships. So when you have a man and a man dating, then . . . *shrug*

    • Obatala
      August 09, 06:40 Reply

      yaaaayy simon andal is here. Really love this guy. your biggest fan on naira land.

  2. Absalom
    August 09, 06:22 Reply

    Beautiful! Really beautiful! Enjoyed this. 🙂

  3. Dennis Macauley
    August 09, 07:02 Reply

    As soon as I read the first paragraph I knew it was rapu’m who wrote this. This is brilliant! I totally enjoyed reading this; Rapu’m you should have a novel out now or at least a collection of short stories. Vivid, real and relatable characters! Bravo dude!!!

    Now before any of us judge Kene, look through your own life and tell me if you haven’t had any cherry on the side, while you were dating? Yes that’s what I thought, now drop the stones you were about to haul…LOL

    • pinkpanthertb
      August 09, 07:06 Reply

      LOL! Ah Dennis, your defense of Kene is very revealing about you… #Okbye. *running away*

      • Dennis Macauley
        August 09, 07:25 Reply

        @PinkPanther keep running! Just pray I don’t catch you alone in a dark alley!!!

    • Rapu'm
      August 09, 07:11 Reply

      Oh, I love Kene. What else can I say? Thanks all!

      • Dennis Macauley
        August 09, 07:35 Reply

        Rapu’m, I love Kene too! Meanwhile *looks over shoulder* Big kiss for you!

    • chestnut
      August 09, 07:43 Reply

      Nah,dennis, I wanna believe many guys still respect loyalty/faithfulness. The only “real” relationship I’ve been in,I NEVER flirted with anyone for d whole 4 months it lasted,even when I had good reason, even when I threatened to (scare tactic)not to talk of “having a cherry on d side”. Believe it or not,I’m just not that guy. I just can’t bring myself to maintain a relationship that isn’t ENTIRELY exclusive. That was d main reason I broke up with him; I didn’t want to start cheating TOO and turn it into an “open relationship”.

      • Dennis Macauley
        August 09, 07:51 Reply

        @chestnut I prefer to be realistic and practical! I think open relationships are more realistic rather than having an exclusive one in which both parties are cheating and hiding it.
        I am currently in am exclusive relationship and it’s quite challenging as cherry is available anywhere you turn. I believe every relationship should set ground rules on what will work for them!

      • chestnut
        August 09, 08:06 Reply

        Well,yes dennis. What works for some, won’t work for others. I’m sorry but this “open relationship” mess doesn’t make any type of sense to me. Sadly, e be like say na only me waka come for d mattah, so I’ve made up my mind not to “date” again, since most ppl seem to share ur notion that everybody will/should cheat and hide it. I don’t know why my brain is wired differently,but unfortunately,I’m just like that. Giving 100% exclusivity in a relationship I’m satisfied with seems like a logical thing to do. I can’t knock those who believe in open relationships though; if it works for them,fine, but it’s just not for me,so I’ll just respect myself and save myself d trouble of trying to cope with a partner that gives me d kind of heart ache that I don’t know how to give back.

      • max
        August 10, 16:49 Reply

        Ure not alone @chestnut… I don’t do open relationships either..I don’t even see it as a relationship..sadly most ppl believe everyone cheats..and also believe that’s how it shld be..I’m wired differently too..I think Ekene’s act was stupid.. But u can 4give him cos he’s still young n inexperienced.. Peter is a jerk who wants no commitment but wanna be “getting some” anytime he wants…

  4. Blaq Jaqs
    August 09, 07:15 Reply

    A few lines into this piece and I knew it had to be Rapu’m writing. A relevant discourse woven into a beautiful narrative. And like your last story an open ending that made me yearn for more. Great stuff man! I’m a big fan…

  5. trystham
    August 09, 07:22 Reply

    I initially thought it was a James piece because it felt like a rambling. But he moves on to other topics when he does. I was very surprised it was a Rapu’m’s. Managed to deduce who goes where in the end.

    • chestnut
      August 09, 07:35 Reply

      Nah c’mon…from d first paragraph,it was obviously Rapum.James has an entirely different style of writing.

  6. Neon
    August 09, 07:25 Reply

    A lovely piece… Kept me glued to my monitor all the way. Chiboy and Kene had it perfect, until the hungry b***h took a twirl. Once again, bravo! An interesting piece, and quite relatable.

  7. lluvmua
    August 09, 07:28 Reply

    It was a Nice nd splendid tale. #chiboy *whew* nice job rapu’m @ andre_hayford

  8. chestnut
    August 09, 07:46 Reply

    Nice story, Rapu’m. That Peter is really a disrespectful mo’fuckah! *angry face*

  9. Koteh
    August 09, 10:24 Reply

    Never thought of a better way to start my lonely Saturday at work……Thanks Rapum…you just made my day….
    Em’ regarding Kene….pls free d guy….who wan claim holy holy for here…not even me….

  10. kris koslokowski
    August 09, 10:34 Reply

    Just like leaving a goat with yam.
    Tbs are always unfaithful. Anyone trying to do that ‘exclusivo’ thing is just wasting time.
    Just enjoy the sex and the friendship till it peters out.
    No be nyash all tops dey look for?
    No be kporo all bottoms dey find?

  11. daniel
    August 09, 11:15 Reply

    Hey Rapu’m, nice piece. Just wondering, do u hv chiboy’s contacts, or did they get back together? *sips lipton*

      • daniel
        August 09, 16:02 Reply

        Lol, it’s not easy to find people who believe in relationships these days.. Since sex got easier to get, love got harder to find.

        • pinkpanthertb
          August 09, 19:00 Reply

          I love that line. Absolutely.
          Since sex got easier to get, love got harder to find.
          I just might use it in the Love And Sex series, with your permission, of course.

      • daniel
        August 09, 20:09 Reply

        @pinky u r free jawe. Use it.

  12. Aproko Pikin
    August 09, 12:23 Reply

    Nice one Rapu’m and totally relatable. Exclusive relationship are hard these days; very few manage it into months of dating.

    But I believe it is possible! Seeking one for now anyway. Tired of working too hard to find a perfect fuck. When it’s easier to keep the one U already have and stay with it *my thinking tho*

  13. Andrevn
    August 09, 12:44 Reply

    Nice Piece…Narratively Relatable…In my case i cheated ‘cos he was always on my trail(he’s a security personnel) in a disillussioned manner…imagine someone who sleeps with and seduces any thing on trousers (queer and straight) and have booty calls when i’m not in town questioning my relationship with other guys. After my sexcapedes i told him about them (and oh, how i did them for the fun) without an iota of remorse, packed my things and vanished like a wil o’ wisp.

  14. victor
    August 09, 14:38 Reply

    Great piece,totally enjoyed it and it was so relatable, just feel so bad for chiboy,he loved kene so much and now whatever they do,even if they get back together,something is always gonna be missing. Love is good but can be wicked too. Great job rapum, if u ever make a book dnt hesitate to let us know cos I would love to help with the publicity,lols

  15. ace
    August 09, 21:40 Reply

    Apart from the glaring theme of infidelity in gay relationships, one other thing I could pick from this story is the appeal for badness. Many gay guys I know of have these attractions for people that have a huge record of being a player. Some guys I know wrecked their wonderful relationship because of a fling with one “hot on bed” guy that everyone has tasted.

  16. Ruby
    August 09, 22:24 Reply

    Lovely piece @Rapu’m
    Well… I have n still A̶̲̥̅♏ in an exclusive relationship that has lasted for 3yrs n counting and tho there Α̲̅я̩̥̊ƺ so many Delilahs, trying to lure М̣̣̥̇̊Ɣ Samson away frm ♍e̶̲̥̅̊ (yeah! He’s М̣̣̥̇̊Ɣ Hero), our ground rules in the relationship are wat maintain Decorum for us.
    This ensures that any “Applicant” is made aware of our relationship in order to disabuse their minds frm any plans they have or had.
    That said, I believe that monogamous relationships like mine can exist in the “Gaybourhood” if only they are built on D̶̲̥̅ Bedrock called TRUST. Bt besides that, fidelity should be a concious effort frm both parties in a relationship.

  17. aquastar112
    August 10, 09:40 Reply

    this is a really beautiful story! of course i can’t judge any of the character… i could easily have been kene, chiboy or peter really

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