THE MENACE

I check the clock smiling above my pillow, 5:05pm it tells me as I contest with my eyes just to keep them open, scanning my phone to see who was disturbing my sleep. I had slept for only 10mins and a migraine was imminent. I marvel at the name that pops up on my screen; why was she calling me at this time? Was she getting married? It had been 7 years since I last heard from her. Why her contact was still on my phone? I had no idea.

I say a nice hello as I latch on the call but what welcomes me is a despairing “Hello” followed by an outburst of tears. “Eliezer, Eliezer! I’m dying. I prop up in my bed as I anxiously turn over the phone to the left side of my head, with my right hand groping for my shorts which would lead me to a spot with better network coverage.
Surprised, I asked her “What was wrong? And remained speechless over the phone. “Always give the one in trouble the opportunity to talk without interrupting” She then replies “Eliezer, I have HIV!” dropping a dead note just like that.
I take a seat in my balcony, astonished! not knowing what to say. I could have asked how she got the HIV, but that would be so silly of me, knowing HIV was transmitted through unsafe sex, sharing needles and blood transfusions.
I take in a deep breath and tell her to tell me about everything starting from the top. Everything that gets to an end obviously has a beginning. How everything happened? Why she thought she had HIV and how she was diagnosed?
She then starts, “Eliezer, you have always known me to be the church girl, walking up to the podium and singing in church. Serving the Lord always with my voice and heart.”
I’d known her to lead bible studies back in primary school and anytime she led a prayer session, the ground trembled and hell broke loose. The Holy Spirit would just descend and pitch tent in our midst because of her voice.
She had been in this state until she entered the university 6 years ago, when the scene became so green to start a new life without the influence of her parents. On one hand, I felt her parents had been so hard on her. Bringing her up in the Lord was very necessary but she was too oblivious of the other side of life, where the wolves and scorpions paced.
She had 3 other roommates who were so different from her. From their hair to their feet. All of them had cars and changed their hairstyles weekly. Well, she thought they were pretty and aspired to be like them.
She started school attending mass every Wednesday and Sunday and any other day she learnt there was any activity at the chapel and she prayed unceasingly just like before. But now she attended church once in a month and that happened only when she didn’t go on expeditions with the roommates the night before.
In church, she wouldn’t pay attention…Not judging because sometimes I know I do same. because she was busy texting the guy she met the previous night. Then her weekly outings turned into a daily avocation. She started going out almost every night and got back to school drunk. Her course mates and church friends became so concerned they approached her, but they were turned back in a way they never imagined. Who ever wondered she would be the villain.
All this time, she didn’t know what she wanted. I know it sounds fictional like a story waiting to have a bad end but it is real! Well, even as bad as she was, the good news was, she was smart enough to hide her continence from guys she met at the club.
Then one day, this cool looking guy in his white Benz approaches her as she returns from lectures with her friends. Seeing the ‘fine’ guy in his car carried her away. What was life with this guy going to be? He offered a lift which she accepted willingly.
Then they became friends, and then they started dating. She promised herself she was going to stay a virgin till she got married even though she went out and did everything bad.
It just took a snap of the finger. A relationship without God is in shambles. They weren’t praying. They were just there. Watching movies, doing sleep overs and others. The stuff people who think they are dating do on campus.
Before she realized, she was sleeping with this guy every day, and it felt good she did not want to stop. Her roommates became concerned and warned her but she was in her own world.
Like it was going to last a lifetime, she sadly learnt, her dear boyfriend had another girlfriend. I mean a Christian girlfriend. This revelation sent her crazy. She went over trying to destroy the relationship but this Christian girl was so glued to him.
Disappointed, and with no one to turn to, she decides to re-dedicate her life back to Christ. “Come to me, your weary ones and I will give you rest” and she starts singing in church again. Even better than before!
She was in this happy Christian mood until she decided to have a health screening organized on campus, some weeks ago. She had her blood pressure checked, her BMI, blood sugar…everything, but unfortunately HIV was unfriendly to her. It fell like a time bomb, a plus (+). They pulled her aside and told her She had HIV.
All she could do was to look dazed and slowly return to her room, pick up her phone to call me, her long-time friend. After listening to her story, I prayed with her, however referred her to come to the hospital the next day, so her HIV was confirmed and then she could start HAART. HAART – highly active anti-retroviral therapy was not expected to cure her HIV but prolong her life by suppressing the growth of the virus.
She sighs (the harm had already been caused) and readily decides to visit the hospital the next day. She thanks me a million times and hangs up her line.
Now my battery which started at 85% is now 5% and blinking angrily at me. I dash for my phone charger and then go back to bed.
Have your HIV status checked and get treated if you are positive because HIV is real.
Based on a true life story.
Enjoy your weekend!

PhotoCredit: GoogleImages

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