In her semi-conscious state, she tried to be sure what sort of insect was creeping into her legs, if it was in a dream or in reality.
Meanwhile the hand continued moving, up and up inside her thighs.
Now very close to her inner area, Georgina unconsciously slapped the hand away. She turned her legs to the other side.
Philomena waited some moments, then bent and started again.
Now Georgina realized.
This wasn’t an ordinary insect.
Not an ant or a soft-haired spider.
Those were fingers!
Now it was Georgina that waited, calculating.
As soon as Philomena’s hand was close enough, she grabbed it. Stiff and hard at the wrist.
Still holding the criminal hand, she turned to its owner.
Philomena looked every bit remorseful. With the way Georgina’s bulged eyes were fixed on her, she prayed she got off with just a slap.
But Georgina did not slap her.
Yet she did not release the hand.
If anything, she held on tighter.
‘Please, I’m sorry,’ Philomena breathed. ‘I did…I did not know what got into me.’
‘So you be lee-lee?’ Georgina asked.
It was clear Philomena battled to grasp what she meant, but she gave a nod all the same.
‘I’m sorry, please forgive me.’
Georgina looked round her sides. April and Loveth were nowhere around.
April’s dark and long legs were crossed as she snored gently away in deep sleep.
Loveth’s heavy legs were held upright in the usual manner she slept.
With her free hand, Georgina pushed the legs down, gently so as not to wake her.
Still Loveth stirred and drawled, ‘Mmmm?’ both her eyes still closed.
‘Mm!’ Georgina replied.
Loveth did not hear her.
Turning back to the hand she’d caught trespassing on her private territory, she rose, drawing Philomena up in the process. ‘Follow me.’
It wasn’t until they were safe inside the kitchen that Georgina finally let go of the hand.
She raised a finger: ‘First question, how do I look?’
Philomena was slow to respond.
‘What in my body looks so masculine?’ Georgina rephrased.
‘Nothing,’ Philomena answered. ‘Nothing at all.’
‘Is it my hair?’
Philomena shook her head.
Another shake of head.
‘Or my waist?’
‘So why does every lee-lee in town want to have a taste of me? Tell me that one thing that I have which attracts you guys to me.’
‘How do you mean we guys?’ Philomena asked.
‘Answer the question! Or is your own lee-lee because of juju? Tell me, is it juju lee-lee you dey do?’
‘No! Not at all.’
‘So what or where is the attraction?’
‘I can’t explain it. I don’t know how to!’
‘Asi gi! [You lie!] You must explain it to me anyhow you can manage.’
Philomena said nothing.
‘It’s your skin, it’s so fresh.’
Georgina shook her head, slightly. ‘I don’t believe that. If smooth and fresh skin is what you seek, then April should have been your target not me.’
‘April is too girl for me.’
‘How do you mean?’
‘She is too much of a lady.’
Surprise drew Georgina’s cavities open. ‘So you are saying I am boyish?’
‘Not really. I guess the way you defended me earlier today messed with my mind.’
Georgina stared at Philomena, saying nothing.
‘Please I’m really very sorry,’ Philomena said, ‘please don’t tell anyone.’
‘That’s where the problem is,’ Georgina said. ‘As you know, April is the queen of this room and I can’t harbour a lesbian without her knowledge. She alone can say whether you can stay or leave.’
‘I’m not a lesbian.’
‘Taa! So what where your fingers doing inside my pant?’
‘Okokobioko! That is even worse na.’
‘You do man and still do woman, that is pure greed.’
‘I’m sorry, I will never do it again but please don’t tell on me. Please.’
‘Well, for safety reasons, I must have to tell the other occupants of the room. You know we all are girls here.’
‘No, you really have nothing to fear, I won’t do it again. Ever!’
‘Shh! Let me see your fingers sef.’
Philomena showed her her fingers.
‘You have this long nails on and you want to do lee-lee with me?’
‘It won’t be painful, I swear.’
‘Taa! If I slap you now eh!’
‘Forget I’m being nice like this o, three years ago or so, I wouldn’t have been. And remember in this country you can even go to jail because of lee-lee things, shey you know.’
‘I know, thank you for not screaming.’
‘Go back to bed.’
Philomena walked away and Georgina tugged at her shorts and checked herself.
‘Nekwa this girl o,’ she murmured to herself, ‘I was offered dollars and I did not do lee-lee, now she wants to come and have me free of charge. Osho-free lee-lee, inukwa!’
‘But wait o,’ Georgina was still muttering, ‘this one everybody is suddenly doing lee-lee, hope this thing no dey sweet pass the main thing o?’
She shook her head. ‘Mba! [No!]. No way. How can finger and tongue sweet pass natural pestle wey God use him hand carve, wey get fibre, get shape.’
‘Na boys fault sha. All these modern Indomie and spaghetti boys that will climb there and be wiggling like a maggot, what do you expect. Thank God for my Abuchi o. That boy sabi do, tufia! If dem dey give degree, na PhD he go done get!’
In the morning, while she, Loveth and April were leaving for school, she spilled the beans.
‘So?’ April said, unconcerned.
‘So?’ a surprised Georgina gave back. ‘I’m telling you that the girl is lee-lee— confirmed one o—and all you can say is ‘so’?’
‘So?’ April said again. ‘Is she the only lesbian in the world?’
‘So you support lee-lee now abi?’
‘Discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation is like someone hating on you just because you are black-skinned. How would you feel?’
‘But it is a sin!’ Loveth cut in.
‘According to your faith, yes. But then so also is fornication, gossiping, stealing and all of them!’
Georgina sighed. ‘Ok then,’ she said, ‘when we get back, I will tell her that she is free to finger you to stupor this night.’
April struck Georgina with her notebook. ‘Shut up! Silly girl.’
‘How do they even do it?’ Loveth asked.
‘Look at me,’ Georgina said, sticking the entire length of her tongue out and wiggling it.
Loveth frowned at her.
‘Lesbians are the least of my worry in life biko!’ April said, stepping up her movement.
‘There is a place in the Bible that candidly condemned such an act,’ Loveth said.
Georgina scowled at Loveth. ‘A place in the Bible?’
‘What is the name of that place? Is it Genesis? Or Leviticus? When they tell you to go to church, you will not go!’
‘You, how many times have you been to church?’ Loveth said.
‘Girl, look at me na. Why should I go to church again when my body is already the temple of God?’
April and Loveth laughed.
‘But seriously, I think she has to go o,’ Loveth again.
‘Why?’ April asked.
‘What if the police come to arrest her, and then arrest us too as accomplices?’
‘Till they come.’
‘Seriously that law is the stupidest thing this country has ever done. Arresting and jailing homosexuals reminds of me of those times in the past when twins are killed, or young girls are forced to have their clitorises cut off.’
‘I will tell her to leave myself,’ Loveth said.
Georgina started to laugh. ‘Who will tell her? You? Go and tell her now, shebi you know lesbians and breaking bottle are like Indomie and egg. If you don’t like your head, go and tell her, you hear.’
‘She can’t do me anything!’ Loveth said.
Georgina was about to say something when a car pulled up in their front.
The window slid down and a dark and handsome man in dapper black suit said, ‘Hello, ladies.’
‘Hi,’ Loveth replied, smiling sheepishly.
‘Can I talk to you, please?’ the man said. His eyes were on April.
Georgina gave April a slight push. ‘Madam, he’s referring to you.’
April stepped closer to the car. ‘Good afternoon,’ she said.
‘Afternoon, sweetheart. Can I have a word of with you?’
‘Okay, I’m listening.’
‘Come into the car.’
‘Or rather you come down.’
‘Sorry, I’m late for school already.’ April was walking away already.
Georgina waved at the man. ‘Don’t be angry, she is a lesbian,’ she whispered, before running after April.
The man turned his eyes to Loveth.
In her nervousness, she did not know when she nearly bowed and said, ‘Don’t look at me, I’m also a lesbian!’ and ran after her friends.