I was a barman in one of the renowned clubs in Victoria Island. Serving drinks to men and women and smiling to please them, even when I shouldn’t, was my duty. I was a Youngman of nineteen, broad-shouldered, tall, with an afro that was always perfectly groomed. People said I looked dashing. I always tried to look my best. It boosted my tips, anyway.
In my profession, we saw all kinds of people; the gropingly rich and the embarrassingly wealthy ones. You may be wondering why I referred to them as ‘embarrassingly wealthy’; this set of people could spend more than half a million box on liquor, but they would never tip. Occasionally, they would give you their cards which, most certainly, you would accept with both hands like golden eggs, but they hardly helped. However, I never got discouraged. I regarded anyone that entered the club as a big boy that might just be my ticket to the ‘big league’. So, I never hesitated to clinch. That was how I met Mr. Uche.
Mr. Uche, by my measuring standards, was a ‘big boy’. He used to come with his friends who always busted ‘hennesies’. He was an extremely lean guy with obviously feminine mannerisms. On one of our busy club nights, I was walking on the dance floor when he stopped me. I thought he wanted a drink so I brought out my docket, prepared to take his orders. But, he waved my docket aside and said, “I like your chest. Do you gym?’’ Although, it had been long I had been to the gym then, my skin-tight bar uniform magnified the bulging flesh.
“Yes, sometimes,’’ I answered.
He looked at me for a while, and finally said, “I want to help you. I’m highly connected and I could hook you up with a better job’’.
On hearing this, my soul did a ‘three–sixty’ somersault and remained in the air of euphoria. My joy could have filled a truck and busted the tires. It was what I had been waiting for; an opportunity for the big league. He collected my phone number and promised to call.
I became restless, always having my phone close by, waiting for that call that would raise me to grace. You may not understand why I was that keen. If you’ve been in my condition before, you’d understand; you stand in front of the bar like a statue, watching people having fun, eating, drinking, dancing and catching good groove. All you do is watch and wish to be in their shoes. They come into the club looking exquisitely resplendent in their extravagantly sumptuous dresses, with their attitude also dressed in superciliousness, and all you do is look and hope they’ll give you some lousy tip which hardly comes.
O, sorry for the little digression. Mr. Uche called two weeks after and told me to meet him somewhere along Falomo. You could imagine the speed with which I responded to the call. Thirty minutes later, I got there. He was with three other men. He introduced them to me as his friends and we all shook hands and entered their car afterwards. Where was our destination? I didn’t bother to ask. How stupid of me?
The journey into Ikoyi began. The men were discussing, though not in clear terms. They were talking about their ‘sex-capades’, but not with ladies. I began to listen and observe more intently. Then I got to realize that Mr. Uche’s feminine mannerisms were too pronounced to be normal. He wore very tight jeans that accentuated the bones of his lean waist and a body-hugging T-shirt that stuck to his lanky body. And the way he twisted was certainly a deliberate attempt to get a man’s attention. I concluded immediately that they were a bunch of homosexuals. “How would I leave?” I Pondered. “Okay, I’ll stay away from Mr. Uche as soon as I return’’, I said to myself.
The car packed in front of a gate around Ikoyi and we all alighted. Mr. Uche was in front, and he led the rest of us into the compound. I had a clearer view of him then. His jean trouser was on his buttock and he was actually cat-walking. Honestly, he was trying to make his dry waist roll.
We got into the house. In my mind, I knew it was risky – me against four men! Would I be able to resist them if they attempted to rape me? The situation called for utmost diplomacy, and my naturally diplomatic mind began scheming, seeking a way out of the trouble my over-ambitiousness put me into.
We sat down on the bed since there was no chair around. Then the three other men stood up and said they were going out, and they left Mr. Uche and me. The whole situation reminded me of what we used to do when our friends’ girlfriends came into the room; we would excuse them, stylishly. So, Mr. Uche and I were being excused. What was the plot? Anyway, it pleased me to know that I had only Mr. Uche to contend with. If he tried anything funny, I could strangle him. He looked that fragile to me.
While we talked, Mr. Uche rested his head on my lap all of a sudden. Eh! My suspicion was being confirmed. But, I remained calm. I shouldn’t be too reactive. Possibly, he was only being free with me, I tried to convince myself.
While I was considering what to do about his head on my lap, with a flashing speed, he put his head through my shirt and held my bulging nipple with his lips. Ay! He wanted me to commit murder; I pushed him so hard that he rolled off the bed.
He was fast on his feet. Honestly, if I wanted to react to my annoyance, I would have reconfigured (probably, disfigured) his entire being. But, I knew his friends were outside and would rush in for his rescue if I acted rash. So, I blurted out, “What’s the problem with you?’’
The next thing I saw, Mr. Uche took off his shirt, pulled his trouser and boxers. And what he had on his waist would have been sexually arousing to a lady, but I had a similar one (If not finer). Men, the sight was appalling; his ‘jack-knife’ stood gallantly firm with big brave veins all over. He began to plead that he liked me and that I looked sexy. He said he had wealthy friends that would pay a fortune to have me as a gay partner and that he was willing to introduce me to them. In short, he made the gay life disgustingly rosy. The more he spoke, the angrier I felt. But, I reminded myself that I was in a strange zone, and so had to be diplomatic.
Mr. Uche started to approach me with the stiff stick between his legs. He jumped at my trouser and struggled to bring it down. This time, I became befuddled with rage. With every iota of strength I had as a typical Calabar man, I lifted Mr. Uche and flung him across the room, and he landed on the ground, hard, on his hardened penis. Ey! I thought he wouldn’t wake. If dick were stick, his would have broken.
I rushed over to him, mind beating frantically, praying silently, but fervently. As I got close enough, I discovered his eyes were open. He was obviously in pain, but tried to smile. “Stupid gay,” I muttered. “Next time, you won’t be this lucky.” Then I turned around.
I went to the window and peeped through. His friends were nowhere in sight. So, I opened the door and walked out. When I got to the gate, it was locked. The gateman was nowhere in sight. I had to get out before he showed up. I fumbled with the gate, but it was locked for good. There was only one way out and that was the fence. There was no time to think; I acted fast.
I began climbing. When I was at the top of the fence, I heard, “Kai! Come down!” The gate man had emerged from the back of the house. Like ‘Jetlee’, I jumped from the fence and landed outside in style, heart pounding. Then I saw the other three men, Uche’s friends. They were in the car, gisting and probably wishing to be in their friend’s position (chilling with a sexy gay lover inside). There was no time to think as I began to run for my dear ass!