For the first time, I felt tears roll down my cheeks. Perhaps in realization that all those things we talked and those we did, or had planned to do were just but a dream and that Nelly song “just a dream” played along in my head.
I slept with three ladies all infected with HIV/AIDS in a span of one year [PART 2]
Pretending everything is fine
For the first time, since I first laid my eyes on the pills, I felt sorry for her. I realized how messed up her life must be. Smiling each day pretending everything is fine. I hugged her and whispered in her ears that everything will be okay.
“Dan, you are my light. You are different. You see goodness in everything and you are always positive. You make me feel special, loved, cared, valued and respected. I love you and I know you love me too. Sorry that I didn’t tell you earlier. But I was afraid you would leave me. You are the only valuable thing that I have now and that’s why I didn’t tell you. I hope you understand,” she responded.
“Unadhani niko kwa risk ya kupata?”
“Zii, tunatumianga CD kila time and my viral loads ziko chini,” she assured me. That felt nice for a minute.
For the next 20 minutes silence dominated.
Feeling the clumsiness in the room, I bid her farewell for the night.
“Dan? Nitakuona tena?”
“Don’t be silly, of course utaniona sihami,” I told her, but to say the truth, I wasn’t sure.
I cried a lot that night
I arrived in my room. My cousin was cooking. He was on his campus long holiday and so he was staying with me. I didn’t even greet him. I immediately jumped into the shower. Not that I wanted to shower, no, but there was no better place for me to cry in my bedsitter.
I cried a lot that night. I was worried, worried not only because of her but also because I feared I might be infected. The following week, I was deployed in Tala for a 3-month assignment and boy was I glad!.
My cousin was to later tell me that she relocated to Ruiru the following month. I visited VCT on October 20th, Mashujaa day and the result turned Negative. I didn’t pursue the light-skinned beauty and neither did she look for me. I moved on.
November 9th, 2018. After having dinner with my friend, we decided to stroll the university streets looking for freshas. 9th November was our Graduation eve. Few meters from where we were standing, two ladies were sampling graduation cards. They were just reading the messages. Perhaps they wanted to buy the best worded one. My eyes were particularly on the brown one, my type.
She was wearing a brown khaki trouser and a denim shirt. She had beautiful, long, black hair. Maybe my love for khakis and natural hair fronted me to her.
“Hello, ladies, ninunulie hio gift umeshika uniletee kesho nagraduate,” I struggled to pronounce every word correctly.
“Excuse me? Nakujua?” The other girl replied. Always the first to talk.
“Apana but actually I was talking to your friend.”
I might have angered her as she left almost immediately. Or maybe I wasn’t her type, I will never know.
We had a casual discussion and we exchanged contacts. And no, I didn’t get the gift since it’s almost impossible to spot someone during a graduation ceremony. We met again a week later when I was returning my gown. She was the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen(that’s a fact); she was petite, almost my height and blessed with such a soothing voice and smile. We would meet again when I was collecting my certificate.
Coincidentally we were both single
Towards the end of November of 2018, fate connected us again during a friend’s burial I had invited her to. After the burial we would go for lunch. We both poured our hearts out and coincidentally we were both single. We really connected that day, her eyes spoke volumes. When later that evening I boarded a matatu to Nairobi, I knew for a fact we were into each other.
The whole of November we really communicated. I learnt that she is a born again Christian. And a virgin, but she wasn’t ready to give in, at least not that easily. I was falling in love again and it felt right. We planned that I should visit her after her end of semester exam in December.
“And know we will not have sex Dan,” she reiterated for the thousandth time.
The funny thing about me is, I don’t force sex. If you are not going to give in willingly, we will not do it. So I was sure I would manage and that’s why I agreed to visit her.
On December 15th 2018, 8 P.M, I started my journey and I arrived at around 10.30 P.M. I was so excited to see her, we hugged so hard and kissed for the first time. It was her breath, it was so fresh. She had a blue booty short, oversized T-SHIRT and Crocks. After supper, we talked the night away and the next day, Sunday, we spent the whole day in bed. Yes, we would make out but we didn’t go all the way, we had our pact.
I don’t remember how we got to it but she finally let me get the “cookie” just a day or two afterwards. Let me spare your the intimate details.
From then we had the same routine daily; wake up, she prepares the tea as I toast the bread, we have breakfast, go back to bed, make love some more, wake up again at 12 o’clock, cook lunch, eat, shower, take an afternoon nap, later stroll, come back cook supper and sleep.
Side effects of taking ARVs
Saturday 22nd December 2018. She had gone to meet some of her friends. She came back at around 7.30 P.M complaining of stomach ache. She grabbed a quick shower and buried herself in the blankets. I prepared supper. At around 9.30 I woke her up but she was derailing. I decided to switch my data on to check my mails. There was nothing interesting apart from Christmas offers from different brands. I logged into my Facebook account. The first thing I saw was some statistics about how easy it is to get HIV these days, especially among the youth. By now she was waking up and I engage her in a random conversation about the stats.
I talked about the 40-year life span predicted for HIV-infected people are, side effects of taking ARVs, being on a strict diet just to increase chances of survival, you know, such boring HIV stuff.
I was being pompous because I thought I had seen it all. She was mostly quiet and when she talked, she would say I was exaggerating things.
“Na mbona unawatetea sana?” I asked
“Juu mimi ni mmoja wao.”
That statement broke me into a million pieces. Then it occurred to me that she was joking. After all she had a poor sense of humor.
“You are joking right?” I asked
“Zii, kama huamini chukua card zangu za hosi hapo kwa bag. Mbona nidanganye juu ya kitu kama hio”
I didn’t look at the card for as I knew her better, I was sure she wasn’t bluffing. She said she contracted the disease as she was helping people who were stuck and badly injured in an accident. Unfortunately for her, she had a cut on her left arm.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I inquired.
“You didn’t ask. So I presumed you are also positive; now you know the truth and the choice is entirely yours. I cannot go advertising my Status, sasa nikuambie uniache, niambie my friend’s waeneze udaku watu wajue na wanitenge, I have a life to live bana”.
I realized those were not just words,but rather a fact, the truth. Yes, I did not ask and yes, equally I presumed she was negative. I started feeling unwell, fear was taking over, more so because my gums sometimes bleeds. I didn’t eat and nor did she.
The next morning she woke up very early and prepared a breakfast. Strangely, she was calm, acting normal as if we didn’t have “the talk”. She even called me love 3 times that morning. Knowing better, I didn’t raise the topic again in the morning nor during the day.
Three ladies, and all were HIV POSITIVE
On Sunday 23rd of December 2018, I left her as it was Christmas and my services were required at home.
After Christmas celebrations, everything that had happened that year started to unfold. Three ladies, and all were HIV POSITIVE. Was I cursed? Why me? I was traumatized, depression started developing roots inside me, I lost my job. I was good at it but I was underperforming due to stress. I contemplated suicide at times, but the thoughts of leaving my mother alone kept me alive and going.
As I write this piece, I am healing. I am talking to someone, a medical specialist. I wasn’t writing to scare you and you would be a fool if you are scared. I’m writing so that you can learn HIV is real. People are sick. Make it your responsibility to know the status of your partner.
Second and third chances don’t come to us all, luckily for me I have narrowly escaped the virus. It’s God Grace. I know he loves me
January 22th, 2019. 2.46 P.M
“Will you now date again?” the doctor ask.
“No, not now, maybe never, I can as well be celibate you know.”
“What became of them? Do you talk to them anymore? Do you see each other? Do you feel betrayed,” he asks
“Even though I feel they should have let me know before we fell in love, I’m grateful for their honesty. They saved me and wherever they are they will always be my angels.” I reply
Be careful Young Man
“Be careful young man, it’s so hard to stay Negative in today’s world, hii ugonjwa ni kama pesa, kila mtu anasema hana ata wenye wako nayo,” he jokes
“I understand and thank you for everything Doctor.”
“I hope you find love someday Dan. You are a good man. You deserve all the happiness in the world,” he adds, I think that is his way of trying to encourage me to take a chance at love again.
“I hope I will, and when I do. You will be the one to test us both,” he smiles as our final session came to an end.
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Note: The Narrator of the story has requested anonymity
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