Sunday, 9 April 2017

SKIN TO SKIN



By Ajenifuja Adetokunbo

The cold was growing stronger by each passing moment. So was my feelings for her.

Between us, on the mahogany log, was what seemed a mile but I wished we were skin-to-skin close. Our eyes rested on the pathway leading to the farm. Our minds pregnant with words unsaid. Words stringed with fragments of our emotions. Instead, we spoke with our souls, with our bodies, our eyes. The foliage of the tree had been dripping with iced water, the liquid cascading down our bodies, drenching us. She couldn’t stop shivering, hugging herself, tightly. Her figure was barely visible in the shadows of the woods, under the massive foliage of an orange tree. At least, here was better than the open – the dimmed daylight – where heaven was pouring down and increasing with every rumble of thunder, with every flash and dash of lightning. Praises to this hilly earth. Or flood would have swept us away. The clothing on her were pieces of tie-dye wrappers. One tied round her breasts and another from her waist to her knees – otherwise she was naked. I loved her costume. In it her breasts were always defined, her melon-shaped breasts, as well as the loaded cheeks of her bums. Hers were generous curves…this goddess.

She threw a glance at me. Through the corner of my eyes I caught her. Twice our eyes had met, and then my heartbeat had rivaled the ‘ptarr-ptarr’ of the rain against the plants – our only witnesses besides the gods. Our bodies yearning and this might be the only moment we had, forever. The moment we had craved for many moons – six or seven moons ago – the moment to be together in a lone place. A place where we could make our first love. Her father had admonished her to keep away from men. Intercourse would be too much, until her brideprice was settled. Until her wedding night. Failure to comply, her father warned, would result into destruction for her and such partner. I was incapable to be Anike’s betroth. This I knew. Not that I was too young as a lad of twenty-five. I just needed to acquire a farmland – a large one at that – to grow crops, preferably yams. Or cocoa. I had come from the Ayan, the drummers clan. All her parents wanted was a man wealthy enough to pay her price. Not the son of ‘Ayan’ like me,
popularly called beggars. That’s why I must start farming. With that, I would be able to pay her brideprice worth lot of yams and goats and other items. Then I would be fit to call myself a man.



A man, our people say, is the one who provides more than his woman needs. I was not only bulky but strong enough to singlehandedly cultivate fifty acres of farmland in a period of one market week. My strength had earned me the prize of the best wrestler among my peers, hence I was a popular fighter. Anike had won my heart among many

She threw a glance at me. Through the corner of my eyes I caught her. Twice our eyes had met, and then my heartbeat had rivaled the ‘ptarr-ptarr’ of the rain against the plants – our only witnesses besides the gods. Our bodies yearning and this might be the only moment we had, forever. The moment we had craved for many moons – six or seven moons ago – the moment to be together in a lone place. A place where we could make our first love. Her father had admonished her to keep away from men. Intercourse would be too much, until her bride price was settled. Until her wedding night. Failure to comply, her father warned, would result into destruction for her and such partner. I was incapable to be Anike’s betroth. This I knew. Not that I was too young as a lad of twenty-five. I just needed to acquire a farmland – a large one at that – to grow crops, preferably yams. Or cocoa. I had come from the Ayan, the drummers clan. All her parents wanted was a man wealthy enough to pay her price. Not the son of ‘Ayan’ like me, popularly called beggars. That’s why I must start farming. With that, I would be able to pay her bride price worth lot of yams and goats and other items. Then I would be fit to call myself a man.



A man, our people say, is the one who provides more than his woman needs. I was not only bulky but strong enough to singlehandedly cultivate fifty acres of farmland in a period of one market week. My strength had earned me the prize of the best wrestler among my peers, hence I was a popular fighter. Anike had won my heart among many other maidens, many admirers. And I must do all I could to possess her. I was attracted not only by her beauty but her petiteness.

We used to meet secretly along the stream, same place she accepted my love, before she was tortured by her father. For the past four moons her father had tumbled a bridge between us. The cane scars still visible on her body. Somebody must have told her father about us. He could as well know by himself. Ogunbanwo, who was Anike’s father, was a powerful hunter known across our village and beyond. His magic was very potent, which was the cause of my fear, my restrictions. He had slain a tiger and used its teeth to make a necklace, its skin a hunting garb. He could turn to anything, wild things. He could disappear and appear anywhere at will. He inherited his power from his father who had been a great warrior. It was said that Ogunbanwo had fortified all his children, including Anike, so that no evil could befall them. A man had aimed to slap one of his children only to get struck by lightning. The victim was awake in three days not before feeding on dog’s excreta, the only remedy.

I believed the rain was falling for me, for us. The gods had favoured us. Mama had sent me to the farm as soon as the wind began. I’d been sent to fetch some firewood she’d gathered there. On my way back, wading through the deluge, I stumbled on Anike under this tree, her basket of dried cocoa lying beside her. We didn’t greet with words but smiles. Hers was a magical smile, the grey of her full moon eyes gleaming with desire.

For seven moons it had not rained in our village. I imagined our hut, how cool its wall would feel tonight, same way I imagined Anike’s wall, that constricted wall and its heavenly warmth. I wanted to worship her. I wanted to touch…to feel her skin, which was as coloured and as gleaming as an oily gourd in the sun.

Our eyes met again and she did not – could not – look away. Come into me, said her eyes. When her eyes beckoned again, and again, I knew my dream would come to pass. I inched closer to her, which she reciprocated.

I pulled off my ‘dashiki’ shirt to reveal my bare chests which the villagers likened to pair of mighty rocks. Bit by bit, our hands clasped together, our body quivered with such startling strangeness my tissues sparked to life. My nerves crackled like kindred firewood. She let out a soft sigh. The feeling was mutual, of course. Instinctively, we sat astride the log.

Slowly, I planted my lips in hers. Full and well formed lips. We Sucked. We wrestled with our tongues. Our necks had grown minds of their own, cocking our heads from left to right. We licked and gulped our juices; as intoxicating a liquid as fresh palmwine. My hands accommodated her melons, those soft mounds, squeezing them, kneading them, until they swelled and grew tight. Her body jerked from each touch as though she was tickled in the armpit. I felt her breaths quickened after mine, invading my lungs, and I was intoxicated more. Her heart beating ten times the normal. I felt it. I felt the pounding. I heard it even.

My hands extended to her waist, fiddling with her waist beads, hers around my back. Our bodies grinded together while I kissed the side of neck, upwards, in slow-steady pace.

Her breasts, which I had stripped naked, began vibrating against my chest, or so I felt, exuding warmth, sticky from the water drops, sucking my cold to oblivion. Their proud peaks piercing my chests, soothing…very soothing, the bulge in my shorts jerking to its final fullness at last. Feeling my hardness against her thighs, she fretted, trying to squirm herself free. But too late. I had locked her legs around my waist and my monster, pulled out, had sought its way between her thighs. Skin to skin, I could almost feel the heat now. But I felt the tickles of slimy things, warm wetness, and the pulsations of hooded fleshes. Swollen fleshes.

“I..I want you…now…Ayanbiyi.” She breathed, moaned actually, clutching onto me as desperately as if she was dying and I held the antidote to her life, to her survival.

I would not have hesitated to grant her wish if all had not been playing out in my head, If all had not been a fantasy.

There she was, my mistress, eyes resting on the pathway, our positions unchanged, everything unchanged, except the bulge in my shorts. We were restrained still by the fear of the unknown

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