He had been spying on me. He’d noticed my secrecy with that book – my diary. He’d been watching somehow. I noticed. But I always hid the book. Surely he would not go through the stress of ravaging my belongings just to see what was written beneath the hard cover, I thought.
My elder brother. Alex.
On this fateful day, Alex decided he couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. I was downstairs washing. The perfect opportunity. We shared the same room, but he locked the door and began Operation Find Kizito’s Diary. Hian. Nosy much?
Well, while I was washing with earphones plugged in, (y’all will agree with me that chores are better done whilst listening to music), my palasa phone’s battery went off. I had a spare. It was upstairs, in our room.
On getting there na, ah-ah, the door was jammed. I knocked.
“Yes!” he yelled in response.
“It’s me,” I replied. “I want to take my battery.”
Something wasn’t right, I felt it.
“Go joor. I’m in the toilet. I’m shitting,” he threw back from the other side of the door.
I wasn’t buying it. So I peered into the room through the keyhole, and I saw my precious in his hands. Baggage on the floor. My heart skipped two beats. Hey! Another kind of Kito. I screamed, “Open this door joor! I want to take my battery!”
He did sharp-guy-no-be-thief and put all my stuff back in order. I banged at the door, peered through the keyhole again. I knew I had spoiled show. He stepped into the bathroom, came out swiftly, unclad with just a towel round his waist, to make the shitting story more convincing. He was fooling Biati, he must have thought. I no fit vex.
“Ah-ah, what is it? I told you I was in the toilet,” he snapped.
I simply walked past him toward my belongings. Serious foul play. I was somewhat amused by all of it. “Nawa,” I muttered. “Some people cannot just mind their business.”
He understood. Asiri ti tu for the both of us. He simply walked straight back into the bathroom. I gave this humorless laugh and thought: Maybe coming out in the future won’t be so difficult, someone already knows. Alex.
I told Diary everything. I think.
I also lost Diary some minutes later. I burned it. After pacing up and down the house for some time, emotions running deep, I simply took a matchstick to it. And then I stood there, watching misty-eyed as words and ink burned. Like you see in the movies. And I washed the ashes down the sink.
We said nothing to each other after that day. Some sort of malice. E get as we dey do am. Our expressions always grim. Carrying ‘Ihu Ekpo’ – as Mum calls it – for each other. Don’t talk to me, I won’t talk to you. Don’t touch my stuff, I won’t touch yours. Don’t ask me shit, I won’t do same. We kept on like that.
I told a few peeps, they were like: “Ha. Kito”, “Why would you keep a diary? That’s childish”, “Sorry”, “Let me see his picture”, “Maybe he’s gay too, that’s why he’s hasn’t told anybody”… Blah.
I don’t really care.
Written by Kizito