Maybe, Maybe NotMaybe, Maybe Not


[This story was inspired by a sex crime case reported in a Nigerian paper]


An almost imperceptible head gesture from the bartender sent the woman in the tight red dress veering away from me as I perched at the bar and took a pull on my second bottle of Star Lager. Alhaji—that would be the bartender—had told me I had to start with Star Lager as it was the first local beer to be brewed in Nigeria. I had told him I’d be going through all of the brands before my thirst was quenched from having come in for a few days of R&R from weeks in the scrub around Kaduna.

Alhaji and I had become fast friends already, thanks to no more than an extra $20 U.S. passed across the bar top. He already knew all of my secrets. It had been this knowledge that had warned off the prostitute in the red dress. She didn’t seem to mind. The pickings were good in the bar this evening in the Obalande district of north Kaduna—north being the area of the city north of the Kaduna River. She’d already latched onto another European. There weren’t many of those in the bar and the red-dress brigade was honing in on them. Not that I was European—but I was of the color that identified me as that here. It was better to say European than American. As a European I’d be gauged as too cheap and hard to get anything out of. Americans were considered rich and needy of love and approval—pushovers.

I did feel the need for love at the moment. It had been a shortcut measure to let Alhaji know what kind of love. Plus I could tell from the way he’d looked at me from the beginning that he’d both figured me out and was on my wavelength.

I’d picked the Obalande district to land in, and specifically near the intersections of Bonny and Maiduguri roads because I’d been told this was the city’s red light district, and that was the sort of comfort I was looking for this evening. Alhaji hadn’t batted an eye when I told him what I was looking for. He must have made a phone call when I wasn’t looking because when I followed his gaze to the door of the bar, I saw him. The nod Alhaji then gave me told me what I needed to know. The black beauty at the door was young looking, but surely was of age or Alhaji wouldn’t have summoned him. I’d had my choices and I hadn’t gone for the risky—but sometimes I’d done the near risky.

He was maybe a foot shorter than I was and half my weight. Berry brown, in baggy khaki shorts and a riotous-hued tie-dyed T-shirt that hung on his thin frame and ended below his crotch. He was wearing sandals. Thus he wasn’t much different from any other young man I’d seen in Nigeria for the past two months, other than being sweet looking, not world weary already like so many here were much too young. The main difference was that I hoped to use him, so I took a good look. He’d obviously never been an overeater—which wasn’t unusual here in central Nigeria either. But he was a handsome young man, with large, luminous eyes. He was thin in a lithe way but with nice enough muscle tone showing on his arms and legs.

He had an aura of innocence about him. I liked that. I liked to break young men who had that aura before they met me.

At the signal from Alhaji, the young man’s eyes slid to me, he took a moment for an assessment, and then smiled and walked over and mounted the stool beside me at the bar. Alhaji looked expectantly at me.

“Whatever he wants,” I said.

He said he wanted a Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which, naturally, was the most expensive beer on the board. I knew he was testing me. He wasn’t completely settled on the stool. I nodded to Alhaji and I could almost hear the sigh from both of them as we settled in.

“I am Diji,” he said in a tenor voice, turning his face and a smile to me. He smelled slightly of All Spice and his well-controlled head of kinky-black hair was damp. It had been nearly a half hour since Alhaji and I had had a meeting of the minds and sharing of my deep, dark secrets, so it was a professional operation they had here. He’d come clean.

“Jim. I’m Jim,” I answered as his beer arrived and he took a swig, never taking his eyes from mine, though. I wasn’t really Jim, of course. I doubted that he expected me to be. But there was little expectation that he was Diji either.


“No. Canadian.” I still wasn’t ready to own up to being an American, but Canada was closer to the truth than England was.

“Do you live in Nigeria or are you just visiting?” He probably was checking out the sugar daddy possibility.

Does one “just visit” Kaduna, in Central Nigeria, I wondered—especially now with the Boko Haram terrorists roaming around. Hadn’t he noticed the gun holster at my waist? “Something in between,” I answered. “I work for UNESCO. We’re here drilling wells in villages in the region. Wells for water.”

“Ah, you drill. And do you drill well?” He asked, not only giving me a smile but also putting a small hand on my thigh, at the knee.

So we were getting right down to it. He had no idea how vigorously I sanal rulet drilled.

“Yes, I drill wells,” I said, and I laughed. Just so he’d know this wasn’t going over my head, though, I placed a hand on the small of his back, with my middle finger running down to where his crack started. A few more inches and I’d be inside him. I felt him shudder at my touch. Might as well assert dominance early, I thought. “And it’s backbreaking work,” I continued. “I come away needing a good massage.”

“And that’s why Alhaji called me—because I give good . . . massages.”

“Yes, I am in the need of a good . . . massage. Are you available?”

“Maybe, maybe not,” he answered. “I haven’t checked my messages in a while. I may have a regular customer in need of me.”

“Perhaps if I gave you $20 U.S. not to check your phone. Right here and now. And then another $50 for the . . . massage. In my hotel room.”

“Is your hotel room near here?”

“Yes. I’m staying at the One Nigeria Hotel over on Muri. Room 210.”

“That’s not a very good hotel,” he said.

“It’s near, and they aren’t nosey there. A perfect place for a . . . massage—even a noisy massage.” I took two twenty-dollar bills out of my wallet, clearly showing Diji that there was plenty more money in the wallet. I pushed one twenty to beside his beer bottle and the other one across the bar to where Alhaji would pick it up. It more than covered the three beers. I stood up from the stool, positioning myself between my stool and the one Diji was sitting on. My hand remained on the small of his back.

“$50 for one . . . massage?” he asked.

I leaned down, placing my lips close to his ear. “I’ve given you $20 and a beer already. I’ll be giving you $75 more for an hour and a half of your time—for me to use you as much and often as I want within that period of time. Are you going to lay down for me and take my cock or should I move on to someone else?”

He reached out for the $20 by his beer bottle and I covered his hand before he could snatch the bill away.

“Maybe,” he said in a saucy voice. I took my hand away and the money disappeared.

“And maybe not,” he called out to me as I headed for the door. I just kept on walking. I trusted that Alhaji had the young man under control.

I was coming out of the bathroom and a shower, brushing my hair with one towel and another one knotted around my waist when I heard the knock on the door. I let Diji in and retreated back to beside the bed. He was carrying a gym bag, which he zipped open and turned so I could see in it. Stuff for a massage, but also a tube of lube and some condom packets.

“I have my own,” I said, gesturing toward the nightstand, where I had a handful of Trojan Magnums conveniently positioned. I wasn’t going to trust anything provided in Nigeria—not even Diji.

“So, start with a massage?” he asked, looking around the room, giving it the evil eye. He was right. It was a dump. But chances were good he’d be screaming from my use of him, and this was just the sort of place that didn’t mind. I doubted there were too many exclusive resort hotels in Kaduna’s red light district.

“I think start with a more urgent need,” I said, as I unknotted my towel and let it fall to the floor.

I think the wide-eyed stare, gasp, and “Holy shit,” he whispered was genuine enough. Regardless, it helped me fill out even further. I sat down on the side of the bed and opened my stance. He sank between my thighs and took me in his mouth. He gagged as I grabbed the back of his head and pressed him hard into me, making him take it deep. But he managed me. He knew how to do it right.

After laying him on his belly on the bed, pressing his buttocks wide with my hands, and eating his ass out, I was ready to go. I’d been in the field for six weeks. I gave it to him hard, fast, and deep, mounting his ass as he held onto the rungs of the brass headboard, and riding his ass like a rodeo rider—thrusting ever harder, faster, and deeper, as he cried out for mercy; showing him who was in charge. Never once did I hear him yell “stop,” although it wasn’t a sure thing from the beginning that he’d be able to accommodate me. But he was a pro. When I really needed to get in there, his walls spread open for me and pulled me inside. In the process he yelled some stuff in some foreign, guttural language, but since English is the official language of Nigeria. I expected him to voice any objection in the language I’d understand.

He lay there, panting hard when I had finished him and rolled off to the side. He had a hand under his belly, and when he pulled it out it was slathered with cum—his cum—so I knew he’d had a good time too. I rolled the spent rubber off my cock and put an arm around him and pulled him to me.

“Twenty minutes,” I murmured. “Lots of time left.”

He groaned, which I appreciated hearing. I kissed him on the back of the neck, told him he’d done just fine, and that I’d like that massage when he blackjack felt up to giving it. He reached back and took hold of my cock and slow stroked it.

That wasn’t a wise move if he wanted to hold me off, because I hadn’t had it so long that I was hardening right up again. I reached back for another Trojan packet and took him again, slower this time, in a side split from behind.

This time was better—certainly for him and therefore for me as well. The first time I was in high need for it and fucked him with little regard for him, wanting as much, as hard, and as deep as I could get. He had taken it but nothing had come back in return. This time we embraced and fondled each other and kissed as I slow stroked him. And he sighed and moaned rather than grunted and groaned as I worked him and even moved his own hips, pressing back as I pressed down. And this time I stroked him off with my hand while I was building up to and delivering an ejaculation.

Afterward, as we lay stretched out against either, our conversation was more intimate as well. I even asked him how he had come to be a rent-boy and, then, as he gave me a body massage, he told me his story.

* * * *

Two versions of the story of Diji’s undoing existed—his, merely a student at the local technical school, and his uncle’s, the owner of a large cotton mill in Kaduna. Diji said that, knowing just that, I would have no trouble understanding whose version to believe.

He had never been with a man before. He had considered it and he had to believe that his uncle, Ekon Yeboah, knew of this interest Diji had not acted on before he tempted Diji to his house when Ekon’s wife was on a shopping spree to Lagos. Ekon, the husband of the sister of Diji’s deceased father, had provided seconds of cotton material to Diji’s family for years and had invited Diji to his house in the Malali section of Kaduna to pick some of that up to take to Diji’s mother.

It was dinner time when Diji arrived and thus was invited to eat with Ekon, who dismissed the cook and serving girl as the dinner service was completed. Shortly after the meal, as Diji was examining the lengths of cotton his uncle was offering, he became sick and barely made it to the house’s bathroom before he was vomiting. Expressing concern, Ekon prepared tea for Diji and suggested that he should spend the night rather than trying to return to his family’s home outside Kaduna in the dark and sick. Ekon, Diji’s senior by nearly thirty years, lent Diji sleeping shorts that belonged to his son, who was at the university in Lagos.

Diji went to sleep as a man who was drugged and, indeed, he told the police investigators later that he believed he had been drugged by the tea. When they went to the house, they were unable to find any traces of the tea served to Diji that night.

In the night, Diji woke, groggy from the drugged tea and weak from having vomited, only to find Ekon, naked, on top of him. Diji was on his back and there were pillows under the small of his back, elevating his pelvis. Ekon was hovering over him, holding the young man’s arms pinned to the bed, and he had his shaft in Diji’s passage. He was moving it in and out of the channel, with increasing thrust as Diji became conscious. The two men struggled, and Diji managed to reach a knife that was on the floor nearby. They fought for and with the knife, both of them being wounded in the struggle.

Diji managed to get away from his uncle, hobble out of the house, and make his way to the Malali police station, where he reported he had been attacked by his uncle at his uncle’s house. The police found Ekon in the house, naked on the floor of a bedroom and wounded by a knife.

Diji’s mistake, he thought, was not to have said it had been a sexual attack from the beginning. The two men were both taken to the Garkuwa Hospital and admitted for treatment of knife wounds. The doctors also reported that Diji had had sexual relations with a man, although there was no proof when this had occurred. It was only then that Diji said it had been his aunt’s husband. It was not something to bring up in Nigeria, however, as homosexuality was a crime and deeply condemned by society.

Ekon’s story had been quite different, though. He had said that Diji came to his house in the night, while he slept, and that Ekon caught Diji trying to take money from where he knew it was kept by his uncle. When confronted, Diji had said he needed the money to pay to the male prostitute who had just lain with him and covered him. Ekon indignantly declared he would not pay for his nephew’s evil ways, and the fight with the knife ensued that had wounded them both.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Diji said, the mill owner, of course, was the one believed.

Why was Diji in sleeping shorts when he arrived at the station, he asked, if he had not been sleeping at the house, and why was the wounded Ekon found in a bedroom that wasn’t his and next to a bed that had been slept in? The police, bingo however, were more interested in why unclean tea implements hadn’t been found. Both men had said tea had been served. Diji had said it was served because he had been sick; Ekon said he had served Diji tea upon waking and finding Diji in his house and before they had argued and fought. Ekon also asked how a knife would have been there if Ekon had not taken it up as soon as he woke to hear an interloper in his house.

Whatever the police believed, and, unfortunately for Diji there had been rumors in the neighborhood that he was much too pretty and flirty with men, Ekon Yeboah was a leading citizen and mill owner and homosexual tendencies just could not be believed of such a leader of society. That his wife left him soon after the incident was never, to Diji’s knowledge, connected with the case.

For Diji, however, even though the uncle insisted not to press charges, it was the start of a downward spiral of life to the male-on-male rent-boy he had become. Believing he already accepted men before the incident with his uncle, men started to harass him for sexual favors. When he was taken from a bar one night and shared by a group of men, he was well on his way to a life of prostitution.

* * * *

“That is a sad story, and I am sorry you had to go through that,” I said when Diji was finished telling it. It was my own fault, to be sure, for hearing what would normally be an inhibitor to arousal—the thought that the man you were fucking had been forced into this life. It wasn’t quite that now, though, which made me doubly embarrassed, because by the end of the telling of the story, I was on my back on the bed and Diji was straddling my hips and riding my cock.

There was no question at this point that I wasn’t going to ejaculate with him again. I was too far gone. So, I gritted my teeth and forced his story out of my mind, and we worked together for a new simultaneous ejaculation.

Once he’d stopped talking and we were both concentrating on building up to and achieving climax, I became aware of the time. It hit me only then that Diji had been taking surreptitious glances at the clock from time to time even before that. We came with only about seven minutes to spare. There was only time for me to pay him—generously, giving him two fifty-dollar bills—and for him to dress, give me a sad smile, and leave.

At the door, when he stopped to look back at me, he asked, “Will you want me again tomorrow?”

“Maybe, maybe not,” I said. It was flattering that he would return to me even though I’d been rough with him. In turn, he’d been more resilient than I had presumed he’d be. But I think he was just angling for a long-term customer.

“You are American, aren’t you?” he asked, a sly little smile on his face.

“Canadian,” I answered, the assertion confirming that his interest was in continuing income and a soft touch. Then I asked him the question that was burning in my mind.

“If that hadn’t happened to you, Diji, if you hadn’t been forced by your uncle, would you still have received me as you did? You admitted that you were curious about sex with a man. Would you have lain under me if you had not been forced into the life?”

Giving me a saucy smile, he said only, “Maybe, maybe not,” and then he was gone.

That answer didn’t help me one damn bit.

He had been a sweet fuck, but all night I steeped myself in the question of whether I had become part of forces that held him in a servitude not of his choice. What would he have become if he hadn’t been forced into the life? What did he really think of it now? If he didn’t enjoy it enough to do it, he certainly had been a good actor with me. Would I have enjoyed myself as I had if I had thought he was just doing it to survive or because he’d been ruined to be doing anything else? Did that question taint my enjoyment of my night of sexual fulfillment even now?

Luckily, I went to sleep before I argued that one out in my mind and the next morning it was enough in my past to be no more than an irritant that worried the back of my mind.

I decided on an early beer and went back to the bar I’d been in the evening before. Alhaji was there tending the bar—either again or still.

“All your wishes fulfilled last night?” he asked, as he set up a Goldberg Lager in front of me. “You’ve tried the oldest beer. Time for a Kaduna-brewed beer. This has only been around for five years.”

“Thanks,” I said. “Diji mostly scratched the itch,” I answered.


“He had a sad story about getting into the life. I feel better if the men I fuck were more enthusiastic in picking that life.”

“Ah, told you the uncle story, did he? And you gave him a real nice tip?”

“You telling me the story isn’t true—that he was just playing me?”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Alhaji said, with a laugh. “But as far as I know he has no uncle. Certainly not one who owns a cotton mill here.”

I laughed then too. That actually helped. I wouldn’t stew about it now. Last night’s fuck was already a lot more satisfying again. “Well, the joke’s on him then,” I said. “I didn’t give him any bigger tip than I would have anyway. He was a good lay. Hit the spot, just like this beer.”

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