HELLO FROM THE ROADSIDE

HELLO FROM THE ROADSIDE

The most unexpected thing happened to me a few days ago. It had only ever happened to me once before, years ago, when I was so young and nubile in the university.

I was on my way to catch a movie with a friend in Ikeja City Mall. But I had to take a detour first to a bookshop on Allen Avenue to purchase Tomi Adeyemi’s latest offering, Children of Virtue and Vengeance. The bookshop, P.A.G.E. Bookshop, is on Number 82, and I hadn’t been there in quite a while. So, while inside the keke trundling down Allen Avenue, I kept squinting at the buildings on the other side of the road, hoping to recognize the façade of Number 82, since I didn’t know exactly where to drop.

It wasn’t until I saw Number 48 flashing by that I realized we must have long passed my stop. So, I got down from the keke, crossed the road to the other side and began walking back, my eyes searching for my destination.

I had caught sight of the building with the number 78 attached to it, when I heard the toot of a horn right before a car pulled up beside me, causing me to slow my steps. I turned to the car, expecting to see the driver indicating to make the turn into the premises I was passing in front of.

But he wasn’t about to make a turn.

He was beckoning on me to draw closer.

Thinking he wanted directions to someplace, I moved close to the passenger side of the car, whose window he’d already wound down. In the humid heat of the afternoon, the chilly blast on my face of air-conditioned air coming from inside the car was a very welcome development.

“I saw you a while back walking,” the man behind the wheel began genially, a smile on his face. “And I thought you were going somewhere close. But I watched you as you walked on and on. So, I decided to drive over to give you a lift to wherever it is you are going.”

Many things contributed to me responding warmly to the man, instead of with my usual reserve. Firstly, his disarming smile got to me. He was an older-looking man, leanly-built, with salt-and-pepper hair, and there was a twinkle in his expression that seemed to say: I genuinely just want to help.

Secondly, he went straight to the point. There was none of the “I’m sorry, but you look familiar” or “You look like someone I know” that usually puts me on my guard whenever someone approaches me with such lines. He was instantly friendly and assertive, something that made me think he was someone I knew but couldn’t quite remember.

Thirdly, I was startled by his approach. Because I was wondering if he was someone I knew but couldn’t recall, I was then not sure if I was being hit on by a random stranger.

And while I was busy feeling these things, I found myself answering with a smile of my own, “I’m pretty sure I’m almost at the place I’m looking for.”

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“A bookshop. It’s on Number 832, and look” – I gestured to the building we were in front of – “this is Number 78. So, I must be close.”

“Are you a teacher?” he asked, nodding at the book I had in my hand.

It was a Game of Thrones colouring book, which I intended to give to the friend I was meeting at ICM. She has a four-year-old daughter I figured would enjoy bastardizing the white-and-black drawings of Cersei Lannister and Jon Snow with crayons.

“Oh no,” I said with a laugh. “I’m not a teacher. The book is something I got for my friend’s daughter. I’m meeting the friend shortly at the mall.”

Why are you volunteering all this information to a random stranger? This was the first thought that popped into my head at this point. And I had no answer to that. The magic of this man’s friendliness had me enthralled, and I couldn’t stop myself from responding to his genial warmth.

He asked me a few more questions, which I answered. However, the strain of standing there, slightly bent and leaning over the car window was starting to get to me. I muttered to myself: “Oh God, I’m getting tired of standing here.”

Whether he read the exasperation on my face or actually heard the mumbled words, I’m not sure. But he immediately said, “You’re tired of standing, aren’t you? Why not get into the car?”

And instead of my reserve to kick in and have me respond with something like, “Oh thanks, but I really have to be on my way” or something, I found myself gratefully opening the door and sliding into the blessed coolness of the car’s leather interior. The glass on the window began to glide upward and I sighed with immense relief as tendrils of air-conditioned air began to slick away the stress on my overheated body.

“Feels good, doesn’t it?” I heard him say.

I turned to him and there was that twinkle in his eyes. At this point, I was fairly positive that I didn’t know this man, and that he was hitting on me.

“So, what’s your name?” he asked me.

I told him and then asked him his. He told me.

“Where do you live?” he asked.

“Ikeja,” I said.

“We’re in Ikeja,” he said with a chuckle. “Ikeja is a very big place. Where in Ikeja?”

I smiled and said, “Just Ikeja.”

“Do you live alone?” he asked.

This question finally triggered my inbuilt paranoia, and I stiffened in my seat, narrowing my eyes at him, even though my smile didn’t waver.

Lately, I’d been getting a lot of threats on the Kito Diaries social media pages and via email from the kito scum whose identities are exposed right here. Some of the threats also come from the people acquainted with these scummy individuals. The threats don’t scare me; if anything, they get me angrier and more determined to keep exposing these menaces to our community. However, this has made me even more appreciative of my privacy, and I have become even more protective of the sanctuary that is my home.

Hearing this man ask the question about my living status had me triggered to the perceived threat to my privacy. Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure about him. What if he was part of a kito organisation who had tracked me down here and was just looking for a way to get to me in the place where I’m most vulnerable? Heck, what if he was a policeman investigating the identity of Pink Panther?

Easy. Just be cool, a voice said in my head, attempting to calm the paranoia that was now raging inside me. If he is the bad guy, the last thing you want to do, while you’re sitting in his car, is to let him know you know.

My hand inched toward the door handle as I said, “No, I don’t live alone. I live with a couple of roommates.”

“Oh really?” he said, looking disappointed. “Do you ever get moments of privacy there though?”

I shrugged. “Every now and then, but it’s a pretty crowded house most of the time.”

“I would really love to get to know you better,” he said, his insinuation heavy in his words and in the way he was now looking at me.

In the moment, I did a mental double take. He was back to looking like the random stranger hitting on me and less like the threat looking to strike me. I was confused. And my confusion had me feeling uncomfortable. The cool interior of the car was no longer relieving, but instead was chilling my skin, causing me to shiver.

“I’m sure you would,” I said as I darted an obvious look to my watch, “but I really should get going. I really have to pick up my book.”

“That’s right,” he said as he placed his fingers on the ignition. “What number did you say the bookshop was? I could drive you to it.”

“Number 82,” I said. “It’s just ahead.”

He started the car’s engine and drove a few yards before I saw and recognised the frontage of the building inside which P.A.G.E. Bookshop is located.

“There it is,” I said, pointing.

“Will you be long?” he asked. “It shouldn’t take too much time for you to buy the book, should it?”

“Why?” I asked.

“I was just hoping I could wait for you, and when you’re done, we could drive somewhere and get some drinks and get to know each other better.”

“I’m sorry, but that won’t be possible,” I said, unsure whether to feel regret or relief that I was turning down his offer. “I told you before, I have to meet a friend from here. As a matter of fact, if I don’t get going, I will be late.”

“Where did you say you were meeting your friend?” He asked this like he was thinking the friend was male.

“At the mall.” I let him go on thinking it.

“I could take you to the mall.”

“That won’t be necessary.” I turned the door handle and the door clicked open.

He shook his head at me, a smile still playing on his lips. “Nawa for you o,” he said, and then began saying my name over and over again, as though gently chastising me for not being more cooperative.

“Come on now,” he cajoled.

“I really should be going,” I said, already getting down from the car.

“OK, just answer me one thing,” he said.

“What?” I asked, now standing outside the car, having already shut the door. He had wound the glass window down and I was back to looking at him from the outside.

“Do you know what’s up?” he said.

“What?” I’d heard him. I just wanted to further appreciate this confirmation that this man was really out here chasing man-pussy.

“I asked if you know what’s up.” He was at once looking at me and shifting his gaze away from me to the phone in his hand, as though he was suddenly unnerved by what he was doing.

I looked at him. My smile widened. And I started gently laughing.

“Come on now, answer me.”

I was still laughing as I turned and began walking away. I was shaking my head as I marveled at this man’s courage. It can’t be easy to approach someone on the roadside with the intention of hooking up with them. Heck, even I couldn’t do it, and I fancy myself sexually adventurous. I was filled with both admiration for him and wonder that, in my thirties, I still had it in me to make a man stop his car to hit on me.

I didn’t spend much time in the bookshop. I got the book and was soon out into the afternoon heat. I glanced around as I stepped out onto the roadside, half hoping that I would see the man still in his car waiting.

He wasn’t. He was gone.

I went on to board a keke at Allen roundabout to Ikeja City Mall, where I had the best time hanging out with my friend. We watched Last Christmas, a movie where Daenerys Targaryen could sing. We had a late lunch. We gisted. We laughed. And finally, we parted ways around 7 PM.

On my way home, I was back to thinking about my roadside stranger. When I chatted up a friend and told him about what happened, he was just as incredulous as I earlier was.

“So, you’re telling me a guy just stopped his car just to chyke you,” he said, “without even knowing if you are gay or not. Who does that!”

I laughed, enjoying his incredulity.

“This is fantastic. What were you doing? You had to have done something to make him think you were approachable right there on the street. Were you catwalking?”

“Sure, because under this Lagos heat, while trekking to find an address, I was also conscious of the need to sell my market, abi?” I snarked.

He laughed in response. “OK then. Were you carrying a sign on your back that said, ‘I like dick. Approach at your own risk’? Or maybe it was what you were wearing. What were you wearing? That your T-shirt that says ‘something-something bottomist’ on the front?”

“No,” I said laughingly. “I was wearing a native top.”

“So, that your native top of many colours that’s like a man-made rainbow then?”

“Wrong again. It wasn’t that one.”

I was laughing as my friend kept on trying to figure out the absurdity of a man pulling up his car by the roadside to say help to a male stranger in Nigeria.

We may never know the answer, but dear stranger, if you’re reading this, I just want to answer your last question by saying, ‘Yes, I do know what’s up.’ Now, would you kindly find my DM and slide into it? You owe me a drink.

Written by Pink Panther

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Opinion: We’re All Losers In Eminem And Nick Cannon’s Embarrassing Feud
Next Porn star Jarec Wentworth released early from prison after extorting Republican millionaire

About author

You might also like

Our Stories 52 Comments

THAT THING AROUND YOUR NECK

In my twenty-six years of life on earth, I have had my fair share of ups and downs. Part of the ups is that I am good looking and book

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Our Stories 17 Comments

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

I came into last year, 2017, with a renewed sense of self and a determination to no longer be apologetic with my sexuality. The reasoning that governed me was simple:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Editor's Desk 84 Comments

Now That Muhammadu Buhari Has Won The Presidency…

Dare we hope that the next four years will constitute a Better Tomorrow for Nigerian LGBT?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

31 Comments

  1. Mitch
    December 11, 06:03 Reply

    Down, boy!
    You’re too thirsty.
    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

      • Mitch
        December 11, 06:48 Reply

        Your bizness is in my front😑

    • slender
      December 12, 18:52 Reply

      really? this thing really happens?? somebody should park and toast me too na.

  2. Lopez
    December 11, 06:25 Reply

    And that was how you lost the chance to tell us a better story. Weldone you hear

    • Pink Panther
      December 11, 06:43 Reply

      LOL. It’s not my fault that we live in the kind of country that we live in na. 😀

  3. Deviant
    December 11, 06:30 Reply

    What if I decide to buy you a car? But not my fault, since you just asked for a drink.

  4. RichieMichie
    December 11, 07:24 Reply

    Rainbow Jesus finally sent you a husband material and paranoia made u lose him😥😥😥

    • Pink Panther
      December 11, 08:38 Reply

      Join me in prayers for Rainbow Jesus to revisit my life with that husband material. 🙏

      • peace
        December 12, 22:41 Reply

        begins to kabash!!!!!!!

  5. Duc
    December 11, 07:30 Reply

    Genuinely didn’t want this story to end. So I’m going to go ahead and imagine an alternate scenario where you both went on a date.

  6. Chiboy
    December 11, 08:07 Reply

    You say what!!!

    Even number you did not exchange??? 😒 😒 😒

    Ndị obodo gị emela gị ịwa!!!!!

    Pinkyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!

    Ṣeé yà life and the Canadian visa you threw away on the outside! 😁😁

    • Pink Panther
      December 11, 08:37 Reply

      😂😂😂😂😂😂
      Please, don’t make me start crying.

  7. trystham
    December 11, 09:07 Reply

    I prolly know how u feel. I started dancing on my feet when I realized what he was insinuating. Once he got my number, I literally fled, my flip-flops making ridiculously loud slaps against my feet in my haste.
    Boy, in this country, the fear is real.

  8. J
    December 11, 09:39 Reply

    LOL too late your shakara don spoil market for you,you for enjoy AC wella 😂😂😂

    For him to ask you whether you know what’s up hmmmm, he didn’t know that he met the general overseer of whores 😂😂😂

    • Demi
      December 11, 14:18 Reply

      I call shade.. Lmao

  9. Eddie
    December 11, 10:45 Reply

    How come this has never happened to me before!? Do y’all live in a parallel dimension or something lol

    • J
      December 11, 13:17 Reply

      You need to up your game then 😂 Change your wardrobe and walking steps if possible. Work on your glutes too, I believe Pinky has it bubbling 😂😂😂

  10. Higwe
    December 11, 11:34 Reply

    Older men are so sexy and confident .
    Even in the locker room , older guys are usually the ones confidently prancing around naked … letting everything bounce and sway whilst the young lads keep fidgeting with their towels.

    I think there is something about “been there , done that” in that phase of life that makes most of them not to give a damn .

    ***********

    If it’s fated , you’ll definitely meet him again , if it’s not , then take it as an ephemeral serendipity meant to loosen your pistanthrophobia.

    *********

    Last Christmas was really good .
    Except for the very predictable plot and a pretty lame twist plus the painful underutilization of Michelle Yeoh’s talent …every other thing was litty 😎

  11. Lyon
    December 11, 14:40 Reply

    Dearest citizens of the Rainbow 🌈 Republic 🏳️‍🌈, this is the kind of thing many a gay man in this homophobic hell of a country would wish for -you know, a man hitting on you or you on a man you like WITH ABSOLUTELY NO FEARS OF THE UNKNOWN. That’s what the rainbow gods had destined for humanity before the sadistic bitches, Homophobia and Philophobia happened.

    I tell you what, let’s keep hope alive cuz Mother Rainboria never stops fighting for her children. That age is fast dawning on us especially as Homophobia and this other bitch are fast losing their worshippers and consequently their powers.
    AhLuvY’all!

    #ToTheRainbow
    🏳️‍🌈

  12. Uzor
    December 11, 15:02 Reply

    Children of virtue and vengeance 🥺🥺 please tell me the negative reviews are just white people being bitter twats.

  13. Mike
    December 11, 17:25 Reply

    Na the car, that’s what gave him the confidence. Personally I think it’s rude to chyke a person by the way side, stop them on their track, if I were him, I would have packed the car, come down and walk along side you as I chyke you, more like talk. The real chyking starts with your phone number.

    So the only thing I picked out of this is his directness made him seem friendly. Okay I will remember to use that.

    Dear pink panther, post your picture on kd so that we can follow and hit on you Biko.

  14. Mikey😘
    December 11, 19:08 Reply

    Now I know why you didn’t respond to my mail. You get threats and you feel that some people are after you for exposing kito scums
    I understand now

  15. Lyanna
    December 12, 18:34 Reply

    I enjoyed the writer’s use of sarcasm. Always do.

  16. Malik
    December 13, 10:40 Reply

    Unpopular opinion: You’re alive to tell the story so you made the right call.

    Let’s stretch our imagination from all the things that could have gone right to all that could have gone wrong.

    Please o. Na only one PP we get.

  17. Shadow
    December 13, 21:09 Reply

    You should have just answered him that you know what’s up because from this story the man seems harmless but one can’t be too careful anyways.

  18. Sharon
    December 16, 09:17 Reply

    Why did you let him slip like that???????

Leave a Reply