I looked at the nurse like she’s playing a mean prank on me. What in Heaven does Positive mean? Positive? Positive to what?
On my Hospital bed (I was admitted an hour ago for Acute Malaria). The nurse just read my HIV test result to me. How can I be Positive? It’s not even April yet. Hian… she had better quit this joke fast fast. It’s expensive biko.
“Ma’am you must be mistaken. I can’t be positive. Absolutely not. I’d like to do another test. Could you arrange that for me please?”
Deep down, I know she’s not wrong. The test was conducted in my presence. Before my eyes. It’s not like she doctored it. She gave me a warm smile. What’s making her smile now? Is it funny? Is she high on something? I felt like slapping that smirk off her face.
“If that’s what you want, by all means”
Heaven yes, that’s what I want!
She waved a nurse over and told her to bring the other testing kit. Same procedure, same outcome. I’m HIV positive. It’s a lie. The nurse is holding my hand. She gave me another warm smile and said
See it as nothing. You can still have the beautiful life you’ve always desired”.
See it as nothing? Is this the zombie apocalypse or something? I feel naked. Who opened the windows? Why am I suddenly cold? I rubbed my neck with my free hand. The chill had hairs at attention, like my Spidey sense was in alerting me of an impending danger. What’s that one whispering to that woman? Do these patients know of my new status? I looked suspiciously at everybody… waiting for the mockery and market-women-handclaps I knew wasn’t coming to start.
“As nothing you say? You’re kidding right, madam nurse? As nothing? How do I tell my mother? Seeing as my brother died few years ago, how do I tell her her only son and child is HIV positive? I’m a 26 year old virgin for goodness sakes and I’m a Christian. Do Christians have HIV? So tell me what you mean by “as nothing?”
I said these words quoting the air. My voice laced with anger I never knew was in me.
“Being HIV isn’t the end of the world”.
Really? Because I could see a coffin from where I was seated. My end is here. The smirk or smile or whatever was on her face was back and these upset me the more. What is this woman saying? It’s not the end of the world ke? I looked around like I was in Cook county Jail. I still couldn’t believe the test result or the conversation I was having with the nurse.
“You’re a virgin… there are other means of contracting the virus. Do you-”
“Mind your business ma’am and kindly go back to your seat please. I didn’t get admitted into this hospital to get life-coaching tips from you or anyone for that matter”.
I snatched my hand away from hers and scowled deeply at her. She gave me that smile again and I was tempted, really tempted to slap her.
“I’ll be over there if you need anything” She said pointing to her work station. She smiled again before sashaying off to her desk.
I laid back on my bed. My mind was blank. I couldn’t think. Didn’t want to think. I thought of my mother. I love her so much. Ever since my younger brother died, I have tried to be the best son any parent could have. I faced my studies and did everything I could to be there for her. My parents are seperated and I chose to cut ties with my Father. How will she feel IF I decide to tell her? I couldn’t bear to see her cry, devastated and heart broken.
“This is too much Lord. I am not HIV positive. I am a son of the ZOE lineage. We don’t have infirmities running through our veins. We have the one true Father whose blood was shed for us before we were even born. I definitely cannot and will never accept this report because it is only your report Lord that I have always listened to”.
Even as I said these confessions under my breathe, I knew there was no conviction whatsoever backing it up from my cores. Doubt had set in. I was suddenly misty eyed and the water works started. I took out my Blackberry device from my pocket and went to the messenger folder. I found the BBM contact I was looking for and sent her a message.
“Hey Mae, how are you?”
“Bobo mi, mo wa o. Settled in yet? How’s the bed, is it soft?”
Amidst the tears, I managed a chuckle. Mae has a way of making me laugh always. Even when we fight. We’ve been bestfriends for two years. She’s the one person I open up to about whatever it is I’m going through and vice versa. She’s the female Benson Idahosa of my life – She’s got fire in her bones. And no… Before the wheels in your head start turning, we friendzoned each other immediately the friendship started. Besides, she’s older seff.
“I’m HIV positive”. I typed and sent it to her. Just like that. Without even thinking what her reaction would be like. There was a pause. The message was delivered and She read it.
Still there was a pause.
Then I knew… And the tears flowed freely again.
My name is Zacc-Aret Adams. I’m living with HIV…. And this is my Story…
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