Foreword: So guys, (and I’m using the male term because I believe this blog’s readership is vastly male), I was wondering if there’s anyone here with lesbian friends. It would be nice if we had ladies up in here, reading and commenting and sending in stories for publication. If y’all have lady friends who are of like minds, well, heck, spread the gospel of Kito Diaries to them. This here isn’t a Guys Only Club. 🙂
“Dotun, how far?” I answered, lifting files off the conference room table into my arm. There’d been a briefing which ended moments ago, and I had taken down the minutes. Everyone else was gone, and I was just bringing up the rear. “This is the second day you haven’t been to work. What’s going on? Just this morning, Mrs. Oguzie asked about you, and –”
“Declan, I need you…”
I paused. Dotun’s voice also sounded shaky, trembly, like he was battling tears. I was instantly alarmed. “Dotun, what’s the problem?”
“Can you come to my house?”
“Yes, please…just come…”
“Dotun, you’re scaring me. What’s the problem, just tell me.”
“Just come over…”
“But it’s not even five yet.” I glanced at my wristwatch. It was a few minutes past two. “I can’t just pick up and leave –”
“Yes, you can. Simply tell Estelle I requested for you to come over to my place.” His voice had firmed somewhat, with the authority that came from the awareness of his ranking. Dotun is Fit Plus’ HR manager, Recruitment and Outsourcing; it isn’t a managerial position that is that high up there, but at least, he gets to pull his weight around when he can. And seeing to it that I wouldn’t get queried for leaving work early seemed like something he could do without breaking any sweat.
“Okay, I’m on my way. Just give me a few minutes.”
“You still know how to get here, right?”
“Yes, I do. Your place is not that far.” He lives in Akoka, just one short bus-ride away from work. I’d been to his place a couple of times, one of which was when he threw a house-warming party. It was during that party that we turned from mere office acquaintances to friends. Not firm friends, but close enough for him to call me for whatever emergency he was going through currently.
I hung up, feeling perplexed by the strangeness of the call, and wondering at what could be the problem. Dotun is a very sweet man, just a few years older than me. He has a mild-mannered personality, with one of those wholesome good looks that doesn’t overwhelm, but which seems to acquire so much appeal whenever he smiles. And he smiles quite often.
I was wrapped in my thoughts as I pulled the conference door open. The moment I stepped out of the room, I was pulled out of my thoughts at the sight of Kizito talking to someone a few yards down the hallway. My reaction to the sight of him was involuntary. I swallowed a gasp and my body jerked back, crashing back against the door, forcing it open and stumbling back into the room. My heart was thumping as I fell against the wall. Did he see me… No, of course not… He was talking to someone… But he was facing my direction… It still doesn’t mean anything… But what if he saw me, what then…
That question was answered when I heard soft footfalls approaching the room, and seconds after they came to a stop on the other side, the door was pushed back. Kizito stood in the doorway, looking at me.
I stared back, drinking in his gorgeousness with a longing that couldn’t quench my thirst. Ori mi o! He looked so yummy, with that clear dark complexion that was a few shades shy of ebony, startling against the red of his lips. I swallowed hard, suddenly so parched as the memory of that kiss on Friday flooded my consciousness.
“You’ve been dodging me,” he said.
“What gives you that idea?” I asked, struggling to firm my voice against the breathlessness I felt.
“You know we have to talk. I’ve been looking for you for that purpose –”
“Since just yesterday. Not being able to reach me yesterday does not say anything about me dodging you.”
“Really? What about just now, when you walked out, saw me and barged back inside here?” His brows arched, challenging me to come up with a good excuse.
“You have a presumptuous opinion of yourself,” I snapped, seeking refuge in annoyance. “I don’t know why you’ll think I’ll be dodging you. After all, I’m not the one who…” I stopped.
“Yes? The one who what?”
I faced him squarely. “The one who initiated the kiss. You kissed me.”
“And you kissed me back.”
“Well, that couldn’t be helped. One thing always has to lead to another.”
“Do you go around kissing back guys who kiss you?”
“Do you go around kissing guys out of the blue?”
“No, I don’t. You’re the first guy I’ve ever kissed.”
“Good for you.”
“What about you?”
“What about me what?”
“Do you kiss guys?”
And there it was – the question that easily translated to ‘Are you gay?’ In all the time I’d spent existing, no one had ever posed that question to me. Not my family, not my straight acquaintances, not people I know in the passing. And why should they? It’s not exactly the kind of question that crops up into a conversation unless you give the enquirer reason to ask it. I’d always wondered how I’d react when asked that. Would I get hot and defensive, instantly silencing the asker’s need to know with a blistering denial? Or would I get flustered and not know what to say? Would I quirk a brow and adopt that cold, supercilious what-if-I-am attitude? Or would I get earnest and break down and unburden my soul? I supposed my reaction would depend on the nature of my relationship with the person asking.
I exhibited neither of these reactions toward Kizito. Instead my face shuttered, my mouth tightened and wordlessly, I started around him for the door.
I pulled open the door.
“Declan, talk to me please…”
I was out of the room, and walking down the hallway to my office. Let him think what he wants, I fumed silently. I don’t care.
Are you sure you don’t? a small, contentious voice replied in my head. You want him –
No, I like him, I corrected. And even that I’m not sure about.
He wants to know your sexuality, the voice argued. He wants to be sure. Now, why would that be, if he isn’t considering getting into something more lasting and fulfilling with you. THINK!
I did not answer that. I did not think. For the next few minutes, I instead kept myself busy with obtaining the permission to go see Dotun, and putting together my things as I prepared to leave work for the day. It wasn’t long before I was darting across the main road to the bus stop on the other side where the conductors were bellowing their major stops and the minimal pedestrians at the stop were clambering into the buses. I got into the bus headed for Shomolu, and before long, we were on our way.
When I got to Dotun’s house, I noticed the front door was ajar. That was not very Lagosian of him, leaving his door unlocked. Residents of Lagos, more than any other city I’d ever been to, are mostly driven by paranoia, a paranoia that was fueled by the hard knocks dealt by the city.
I knocked, but I didn’t hear any reply. I thought maybe he was busy somewhere inside and couldn’t hear me. I opened the door an inch, peering inside, and yelled, “Hello…”, but still didn’t hear anything. I got bolder and continued inside, a little puzzled. I shut the door behind me and walked across the well-appointed living room to the inner section. I knew Dotun’s bedroom was the first on the right in the corridor. I found that door ajar too, and heard the sniffling sounds before I pushed the door open.
The first thing I noticed was that Dotun was naked. He was standing before a mirror, sobbing quietly and totally without a stitch of clothing on. The second thing I noticed was the bruises on his rear end. The man is very light-skinned, several shades fairer than I am. And his complexion is such that any exertion on his skin is readily revealed by a redness. At work, whenever he laughs too much at a joke, or chokes on something in the cafeteria, he gets very red in the face.
And now, his butt, which was positioned to face me, was reddened and bruised. He saw my reflection on the mirror, flinched and turned around, flailing for a pair of boxer shorts on the bed beside him and muttering, “Oh, great, now my misery is complete! Why did you have to come in now, Declan? I’m fucked!”
“What is it, Dotun? What happened to you?” I said as I advanced into the room.
“I mean I’m really fucked, literally,” he said, wiping at his face with a hand towel he had in his hand. “That bastard just got finished fucking me in the ass, and now you’ve found me like this. I’m fucked!”
“Calm down, please, Dotun. And please stop saying `I’m fucked?’ I – well, I didn’t even know you are gay–”
“I’m not!” he cut in heatedly, his face flushed. Then he paused and his eyes swept downward. He said brokenly, “I mean…I don’t know…I think I’m homosexual. I don’t know… God! I’m so confused…” He sank down on his bed, and his body started shaking.
I was stunned by Dotun’s revelation. He was gay, or thought he was? The first thing I had to do was calm him down. “Why don’t you tell me what happened,” I said as I moved forward to sit beside him on the bed, “and we can talk this thing through.”
He sniffled and ran a hand over his face before saying slowly and hesitantly, “Remember that time two weeks ago when I asked you for your phone so I could transfer that Banky W song through Bluetooth to my phone?” At my nod, he said, “Well, I started perusing your media, and in your video collection, I saw a porn video clip.” He waited a beat, not looking at me, before adding, “A homosexual porn video clip.”
Shit – Declan! How stupid can you get! I railed at myself. Leaving your gay porn to be discovered in your phone by a colleague – you idiot! What if it’d been someone who isn’t Dotun?!
“I’m sorry, I know I was only supposed to transfer the music and hand you back your phone,” Dotun spoke in a rush, “but you have such a huge fine collection of music, I supposed you’d have the same for videos as well. And then, I saw the porn, and I was shocked to find out that I wasn’t repulsed by it. I watched it, Declan. All fifteen minutes of it. I just sat there at my desk, watching it and getting turned on by it. It horrified me afterwards. I was confused. I’d never felt anything for guys before then. I mean, I’ve looked and appreciated fine boys in the past, but I’ve always explained that away as me merely appreciating God’s creation.”
Yes, denial is a beautiful thing like that, I thought.
“I’ve dated a few women. I’ve slept with them. And I’ve never once, ever, thought about getting it on with my fellow man. Until that day I watched your porn.”
I flinched inwardly at the words – Your porn. He didn’t say them accusatorily, but somehow, the words made me feel like some kind of evil agent. Here was a nicely heterosexual young man, and I led him astray with my porn.
“And then, I found myself surfing the internet for more videos. And soon, I was surfing for nude male pictures, and masturbating to them. And when that wasn’t enough for me, I discovered the homosexual dating sites, and logged into one of them, and started chatting with other homosexuals.”
We’re no longer called homosexuals, I wanted to say. We’re gay now. Not like the other kind of gay, the happy kind, but close enough. We’re gay and oftentimes happy, at least I am.
“And then, I worked up the courage to invite this dude to my place. He said he’d be free yesterday, and we were supposed to see. I was so nervous and excited, and my emotions were all over the place. I was certainly not in the right frame of mind for work, so I took the day off. But he couldn’t come, called me quite late to say he was caught up with errands. And promised he’d make it today. So again, I took today off. And this time, he came. And the person I was expecting, the fine guy I saw and was attracted to in his profile, wasn’t the real him.”
Yes, some of us are devious like that, I thought, wanting to smile at the disgust I heard in his voice. Ah, to be such a newbie to the gay way of life.
“I didn’t like him. Not at all. He had this rough look I wasn’t comfortable with. I tried to be nice to him, served him refreshment, and then discharge him. He got angry when he realized nothing further was going to happen between us. And then, he wrestled me to the ground, right there in my parlour and, well, fucked me.”
“Oh Dotun…” I said in a low tone, cringing at the thought of how painful this experience must have been for him. To be a first time Bottom was no mean feat, even in the best of conditions, let alone being subjected to it forcefully. I swore furiously and silently at that guy who violated him so. “I’m so sorry you had to go through this…”
His eyes had started to leak tears again, even though he made no sobbing sounds. “It hurt, Declan…so, so very much. And the worst part was, I couldn’t scream for help. I mean, I met this guy on a homosexual dating site. I asked him over. We’d talked about being intimate. And for all this, I opened myself up for the assault.”
“Sure, you made yourself vulnerable,” I said, “And frankly, making yourself vulnerable to a total stranger was stupid, Dotun. For one thing, I’m the friend of yours whose phone you saw gay porn in. Don’t you think you should have come to me?”
“You? You’re the last one I would have told that to, Declan. I admire you, and respect you. And even though I saw proof of your sexuality in your phone, somehow I convinced myself that it didn’t mean anything. You couldn’t be homosexual –”
“You know how ridiculous that sounds, don’t you? You saw gay porn in my phone –”
“I have been very confused these past few weeks,” he sighed.
I felt very sorry for him. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.”
I led him over to the bathroom, and drew a hot bath for him. As we waited for the tub to fill, I looked at Dotun in a new light, considering all that his being gay meant. I’d always thought he was good looking, even though I’d never been attracted to him. But as I looked askance at him, I felt a flutter of yearning in the pit of my stomach as I took in his features.
He shucked his boxers before me without any feeling of self consciousness. I supposed that with the revelations of his recent past came the need not to hide anything else from me. As he turned to step into the tub, I caught a look at his ass, and winced when I saw the bruises. His round cheeks were purpled where he’d been manhandled, and his ass hole looked kind of red and slightly swollen. I was furious that someone would treat someone I called a friend like that.
As Dotun soaked in the tub, we talked more. I watched him as he slowly ran the wash cloth over his chest, but I could see him wince with the pain he felt, apparently from his rapist twisting his arm the wrong way. We’d be here forever at this rate.
“Here, let me help you,” I said. I took the washcloth and ran it over his chest and arms, soaping him, then rinsing off. “Okay, top’s done, now stand up and I’ll do the rest of you.” Are you sure you want to do the rest of him? that contentious little voice queried me. I ignored it.
Dotun slowly stood up, and I soaped him all around his cock, balls and then his ass, but gently, as I could see those bruises clearly. I guess I was too gentle, because as I wiped down his cock, it started to get stiff and quite a bit bigger. He chuckled, and, rather than get embarrassed, I was kind of proud that I could turn him on. I finished washing down and rinsing his legs, and helped him to step out of the tub, then patted him dry with a towel. There was something satisfying about feeling his muscles under the towel as I patted him, something satisfying and stimulating. I was getting turned on by him as well.
“Thank you for being so good to me,” he said as he pulled on his boxers when we returned to the bedroom.
“Not a problem. I’m your friend, and you can count on me to help you through this anytime.”
“So you – uh, you’re homosexual?”
This time, I did smile. The second time today I was getting asked this question, and again I didn’t react with any of the ways I’d considered in the past. I just smiled and said softly, “Yes, Dotun, I’m gay.”
His expression was at first contemplative, as he mulled over my answer. Then he gave a tentative smile as he said, “Can I ask you a favour?”
“I’ve masturbated to the porn of men fucking men. I’ve looked at male nude pictures. I’ve been violated by a guy. There’s yet one experience I’m yet to have since this whole new chapter of my life was opened.”
“I haven’t kissed a guy before.” His eyes slid away from my stare as he continued, “Could you, erm, kiss me?”
I chuckled. “Of course.” And I stepped toward him, stood so close to him that I could feel the heat of his body. Then, I moved my face to his, tilted my head so our lips would fit together, and tentatively brought my mouth to his until our lips were just touching. I noticed that his eyes were closed the whole time. His lips were warm and dry against mine, and I thought I felt a quiver run through him when they touched. Our lips mashed together instead of just touching, and I felt a thrill of sparks shoot straight to my cock. I moaned at the sensation, and my mouth opened involuntarily. I felt Dotun’s tongue tentatively touching my lips, and I responded by touching his tongue with mine. The tingle turned into an erection, and I lifted my hands to his bare chest. He took that as his cue to place his on my hips. And we stood there for a few minutes, our mouths glued together, moving and sliding over each other, our tongues teasing each other, our breaths quickening.
Finally, I broke our kiss and looked into Dotun’s eyes. They were darkened with the untapped desires he must feel. Desires I wasn’t sure I was ready to slake for him. So I stepped back from him. “How was it?” I asked.
“Divine,” he said, breathless.
“I have to go now.”
“You can’t stay?” he said plaintively.
I shook my head. “If I stay, we might get to doing what I’m not ready for us to do.”
“Would it be so bad?” His lips curved in a smile.
I laughed at that. “No, perhaps it wouldn’t. But, please, let’s take things slow, okay? I’m still your subordinate at work, and we’re friends. All that can be messed up if we cross the line into lovers. We can’t be hasty about this.”
He nodded, still smiling, his expression grudgingly accepting. “You’re right.”
“Of course I’m right. I have more years and maturity than you. I’m the older gay here.”
We laughed. And then he said, “Thanks, Declan. I’m really glad I know you.”
“I’m glad I know you too.”
I had no idea how glad I’d be that I knew him. I would eventually. That message is what started it all – that Whatsapp message I got as I stepped out of his house onto the street. My phone pinged and I checked the notification.
Fake boy, the message read.
It was the third time I was getting it. I still didn’t know the number or identity of the sender, and I still wasn’t bothered by it. I quickly deleted the message and lifted my hand to flag down a bike that would take me to the junction where I’d get a bus ride to Ekene’s place. What better company than he to spend the rest of my free afternoon with.
I remain yours faithfully, Pink Panther.
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