Chuma lay in the dark and tried to stop his dick from rising. He tried – and failed – to stop his ears hearing his girlfriend Amanda disrobe. First the tud tud of her cloth-covered buttons as they slid roughly out of the button holes. He could hear it slide over her shoulders, her arms and drop to the floor. Chuma pictured the downy, fair hair on her arms. In even the weakest sunlight, she seemed to be covered by a layer of beach sand. He thought about how that blonde hair lightened, became almost white against her orangey skin in the summer.
“Chummy? You awake, Chummy?” Amanda whispered.
Chuma could smell the heat from her skin, the perfume she applied between her breasts wafted into the still air in the room. He could smell her armpits through the failing deodorant she wore; a symptom of long hours kept at the office. He heard the slight tink that told him she had unclasped her bra, followed by a soft sigh. It joined the blouse on the floor. Chuma’s dick pushed against his trousers. It hurt. Denim was no good when it came to erections, but Chuma could not afford to wear pyjamas to bed any more. Not if he wanted to be on time for his 2 am graveyard shift at the taxi rank.
“Chummy? I know you’re awake.” Zip.
“There goes her skirt,” thought Chuma. His body stiffened. His dick grew harder. Chuma trembled as if from the cold. If anything, he was warm. Too warm. The essence of Amanda took up every bit of room in and around him.
“Com’on Chummy. You promised this would be the night.”
Chuma shut his eyes tight. He could feel her walking around to his side of the bed. Her jagged pencil heels ripped out bits of carpet as she walked.
Chuma could feel her peering into his face. The warmth from her breasts was like the sun. He was not sleeping and he knew she could see he was not sleeping.
“Fine,” Amanda sighed. “I’ll do it myself then.”
Chuma missed the heat on his face as she walked away, taking off her shoes as she went. A dip as she got into bed beside him. The duvet moved. Sweat prickled all over his scalp. By the time the slap slap and the sticky squelching began it was all Chuma could do not to cry. Amanada moaned as she fingered herself. Chuma knew all her motions by now; round by gummy round, the slapping, the tweak and pull, one finger; two fingers, up one side; down the other, followed by more slapping. Swallowing his saliva felt to him like eating cotton. He wanted to turn around and grab one of her heavy pink-tipped breasts, making small, farting sounds from where they had fallen into her moist armpits. He wanted to suck and suck and suck and bury himself in her until his balls were high on his waist and covered in her juice.
But of course he could not. He would be late for work again.
And of course, he was no longer allowed. Not until he was willing to use his tongue on the pink, swollen flesh dripping with thick sap like the broken leaves of an aloe plant.
“Chummy! Chummy! Chummy! Oh! Oh! Fuck! Oh! I’m coming!” Amanda screamed in that silent way only she knew how. A shudder went through him as he soiled his pants. It was all over. Amanda mewled like a cat, licking her fingers one after the other. Her harsh, laboured breathing settled into softer moans and relaxed sighs. Chuma waited until she started snoring before he got out of bed to clean himself in the bathroom.
Closing the door, he switched on the light and pulled out his dick. The dick which gave Amanda so much joy when they first met on the Tube six months ago. The dick which she now did not want near her when she found out he could not do what she seemed to need the most. It lay half-limp in his hand covered in his sperm like a vomiting snake. Amanda had crossed her legs and he’d caught a glimpse of the thick pink flesh, like lips through the blonde beard of her pubic hair. He had looked away guiltily but when he looked back she winked at him and crossed her legs again. The men on either side of Chuma nearly expired. One, the dark-haired man to his left, actually winked back at her. Amanda pretended not to see.
“What’s your name?” she said loudly over the aisle.
“You heard me.”
“Nice name. Does it mean anything?”
“No.” He didn’t want to get into the meaning of his name in such a manner, over the rumbling tube, with eyes and ears paying attention.
“Liar.” Her eyes flashed with amusement and Chuma smiled. He knew she understood.
When he got to his stop the woman had stood as well. The dark-haired man to Chuma’s left gave him an evil look.
“I’m getting off here too. Fancy that,” she said even though nobody asked her.
“Which way are you going? Me too!” She said when she heard his answer. And then she took Chuma by the hand and led him in the opposite direction to where he as going and fucked his brains out, half-standing in the doorway to her flat, not caring who could see. Chuma hadn’t even known he could find white women attractive until then. And he hadn’t left her since. His possessions were in a duffel bag in her wardrobe. All he owned in the world; a few shirts, trousers, a flat cap, a pair of trainers which were worn from being passed down. He kept them as a reminder after even Amanda bought him a new pair of sturdy black boots. A reminder of his good fortune in meeting her.
Not that he needed to. His colleagues at the rank reminded him how lucky he was every day. They thought him a fool for not acquiescing.
“You be fool o,” said Kofi. “If na me, if she talk say make I chop her asshole I go ask if she wan make I put salt!”
They’d all laughed because Kofi was as rascally as he was gay. But he’d caught their pitying looks behind the smiles, the curiosity as to what he had that could keep a woman like Amanda. Chuma wouldn’t let her drop in to see him at work. He was ashamed of his status, of how his friends would look beside her. He was also cautious. He did not need anyone to spoil his good fortune.
The thought of putting his mouth on that part of Amanda that drew like okro soup made his stomach cold. It felt good on his dick, especially without a condom. But the one time he had tried, he’d clutched his tummy and puked all over the bathroom floor.
“Brother, just chop small lemon before you start,” Obi advised. Obi was tall and quiet with a round, bleached Igbo face; a man who had quiet, loftly dreams. “It’s not bad at all. I was even doing it in Nigeria, small-small. Now the thing it sweets me o. And even our women like it, not only for oyibo.”
Of course Obi got married the next year, to Shirlee his darling and moved to Hertfordshire where they owned an African restaurant. Obi was doing well.
Chuma turned on the tap and rinsed his penis in cold water, wincing as it wilted. He dried it on the hand towel, cleaned out his boxer shorts with toilet roll and tucked the whole thing neatly away. Amanda still lay snoring. She clutched the tip of one breast in a sleepy fist like a greedy child. Her bras fit Chuma’s head. Her pussy glistened dully in the light from the street lamps behind the drawn blinds.
Chuma approached her gingerly, so as not to wake her. He did not want to offer her false hope. He sniffed her. She smelled of sweat and a bouquet of other things he had no name for, having always washed himself the moment he was done. The heat from her almost singed his eyebrows off. He closed his eyes, stuck out his tongue and gave it a little lick.