BLOG SERIES: The Zacc Chronicles (Episode 3) – “The Long Walk”


Previously on The Zacc Chronicles..

Episode 1 (You’re Positive). Read HERE

Episode 2 (I’m Going To Die). Read HERE


The Sunset. Long Walks. Cooking. And Praying. Four things out of the few things I love to do.

I love watching the Sun set. The orange halo surrounding scattered clouds in the sky. Its always beautiful. I’m looking at it right now while walking down a deserted street off campus.

I got back to school two weeks ago after I was discharged. Mother didn’t want me leaving just yet because I had bouts of depression after leaving the hospital. She was and is still worried that I’d go into a shell that would be too tough to break out from.

Today… The long walk is doing what its meant to do which is take my mind off things. How I’ve missed this. Long walks in shorts, sandals headphones and a blank mind with no destination whatsoever in mind. Its always refreshing. Sometimes I say few words of prayer or just speak in other tongues (although I’m not doing either at the moment) till I get back to the room I share with The Clan“.

Speaking of “The Clan”, its my turn to cook dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure I’d want to do this again seeing how my fear of infecting them has hit the roof top but they all assured me (Oh, I let everyone of them know of my HIV status) that I’ve always prepared amazing meals and they would not because of a “doctor’s report” be sentimental when it comes to living as a Family.

Brian, a medical student and the self-imposed Health practitioner of the Clan (hehehe) had an extensive talk with me few days ago and said to me

“I love you bro, like I would love a sibling. You’re more than a friend and nothing will make me think less of you”.

As usual, tears pricked my eyes but I thought better of it when I saw the scowl he donned on. The laughter that erupted from my belly apparently gave him the result he hoped to achieve.

This type of love is very rare. 7 human beings and none is acting aloof towards me. Although I keep thinking one or two of them will stay away from me soon, thanks to my paranoia. I can be paranoid for Africa.

I’m walking to the 24/7-always-open-market to get groceries. Suddenly, there’s a nudge to pray in the spirit. Truthfully, I haven’t prayed since the report about my status and right now I don’t think I’d like to either (nudging or not). I don’t want to pray. I don’t even want to read my bible. I’d rather host a pity party where I’ll mop and lament about how I’ve been wronged by God.

“How much are these smoked fish?” I’m asking the smoked fish seller. I know she’d call one annoying price now. And she did. I finally beat down the price and purchased other necessary things for the “Efo riro and Eba” I planned preparing for dinner.

I whistled for a bike man and gave him the address to my house. Then my phone rings. Checking the caller I.D to see if its an important call. Yeah, it is.

“Hello Fola, how are you? No vex sey I no call all this while o. School work ehn, na waya” I said immediately I pressed the answer key button.

“No be you? You don’t call na. And I’m very well, thank you. I’ve got news though. About our friend Yinka. And its not good”.

Remember the call I got two weeks ago at the hospital when Mother dearest was hugging me? It was Fola. He had called to tell me about our friend Yinka who’d been M.I.A. for months only to resurface and reach out to him with the news of his illness. At first, I didn’t care because I had “health issues” of my own but then I remembered how wonderful a friend Yinka is, so I excused myself from the matrons office and talked extensively about Yinka with Fola. Although we’d both planned on meeting up and visiting our friend, we never got around to doing it because He (Yinka) didn’t want to be visited.

Fola and I found it a tad appalling but we shrugged it off and looked forward to seeing him when very well on his feet. Now Fola is calling with-a-not-so-good-news about Yinka??

“What is it?” I couldn’t keep the anxiety out of my voice.

“Where are you? That place is noisy” he said.

“Fola, you can hear me and I can hear you clearly. So spill it! What in the white heavens is going on with Yinka?!”

“Calm down Zacc. Its the nature of his health. Its worse.” He replied.

“Worse? Worse how?! Ogbeni talk na!” I was practically shouting and the Okada man who was still waiting for me gave me this look which earned him my arched brow.

“Okay… Okay. I found out from a friend where he he’s been receiving treatment… Zacc, Yinka’s an AIDS patient”.

Oh no! No! Not Yinka. AIDS?! Not even HIV!? Full blown AIDS. That explains why he didn’t want us to see him. The stigma, the shame… The loneliness. My God.

“Are you there?” Was the question from the other end of the call. My voice had strolled away.

It came back and I muttered “Er.. Yes. Yes I’m here. I was.. Er surprised, you know shocked”. Then I added “Are you sure this informant of yours is saying absolutely the truth?”

“Yes, he’s sure. He said some other things which -“. he was saying but I cut in…

“I can’t hear you Fola, its noisy here. Can I call you when I get home? Thank you” I didn’t wait for him to reply. I cut the call and told the bike man to go. He muttered some Yoruba expletives and zoomed off like a scorned man.

Yinka? AIDS? How? These three questions are currently on my mind. I’m so confused. Totally confused. I’m walking back home. I need to get my thoughts together. I have to- then I heard it… A sound like a car horn, several screams and gasps. I look up to see what the fuss is about and then I see it.

My eyes meet two glaring headlights racing towards me…

 [Watch Out For Episode 4]

  • Episode 1 (You’re Positive). Read HERE
  • Episode 2 (I’m Going To Die). Read HERE

You can contact Zacc on Twitter @zaccaret_writes

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