A MOMENT IN HELL

A MOMENT IN HELL

I looked up at the clock ticking lazily on the wall separating my room from my sister’s. It was a few minutes past ten and I was set for the clinic to collect the result of the HIV test I’d had conducted on me the previous day. In a few minutes, I would either be confirming a catastrophic altering of my life or a valuable lesson point: the importance of condoms.

As I grabbed my earphones and headed out the door, I couldn’t help but allow my mind waltz through my potential life-defining moment, the moment I had had my unprotected dick ferociously ride Patrick’s cheeky ass. Patrick was a year one student in my department, and me, a penultimate year student. I was everything that cried nerd. Bespectacled, the type Einstein probably wore; tall, nobody came close to matching my height; an ambivert, the fact that I won Mister MACSA, an elusive departmental award still perplexes many; and bright, apparently among the top ten in my class, a particularly attractive feature.

From time to time, students, both my coursemates and those in the level below mine, would come to me to explain certain boggling academic issues, and it was during one of such tutorials that I met Patrick. He accompanied a female friend of his who needed clarity on a subject.

Patrick was beautiful, fair and slightly chubby, with a bubbly nature. He was quite effeminate and made no attempt to hide it. He’d laugh heartily and freely throw his hands about when explaining a point. At one point, he began running about the hall, jumping about, and every time his feet touched the ground, his derriere would bounce with an enviable vigor. I was finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on what I was teaching his friend, and swallowed severally, in a futile attempt to calm the sensations growing in me.

After the tutorial, I couldn’t bring myself to approach Patrick, so I decided to use the old school method. Facebook. I searched for his name but couldn’t find him on the platform. Probably he’d used a different name for his account, or perhaps the fact that I was only working with his first name and no last name was proving inhibitive to my search. I later accosted the girl he came to see me with and requested for his number on the pretext of a tutorial. That evening, I rehearsed several lines I would use when I called him, but as soon as his tiny, sonorous voice came over the line, they all eluded me.

“Hey Patrick, this is T-Man,” I stuttered into the receiver.

“Hey you,” he said cheerily. “I was starting to wonder what’s been taking you so long.”

I was taken aback. Either I’d done a poor job of masking my interest that day we met or his gaydar was extremely active. We got talking and became quite close. We’d meet at night at different spots on campus and just talk. My friends were surprised at my new acquaintance since I didn’t keep any friends among the lower-level students, except the girls.

A few weeks later, Patrick and I had our first sex. I didn’t use a condom because then, I was oblivious of the way STIs worked. I reasoned that since I wasn’t really sexually active, seeing as Patrick was just the fourth guy I’d be having sex with, it didn’t matter.

Sex with Patrick was AMAZING. This dude Patrick erected, scattered, and rebuilt the bars I’d set for gay sex. His ass was the haven of pleasure it promised that first day it kept on bouncing through his trousers. And the things he did with my dick. Ohmaigod. He had me moaning and trembling from the pleasure he was giving me. And when he rimmed me – the first time I’d ever receive that treatment – the pleasure that rocked through my system had me doubting my bisexuality. In those heated moments of sex with Patrick, I was sure I’d sign any undertaking declaring me homosexual.

We had sex two more times before school closed for the session, and by then Patrick was already referring to me as his boyfriend. I didn’t reciprocate. I couldn’t, since I wasn’t sure if I’d accepted myself well enough to handle a same-sex relationship. He wasn’t bothered by my reluctance though.

I returned to Lagos, wondering how I would survive the three-month-long break without seeing Patrick, who stayed in Port Harcourt. But I didn’t have to think much because after a week of my being back home, I started feeling strange. I had followed my dad to Ogun State where he was supervising a project. The plan was to stay the night and return the next day. That evening, it rained heavily and I caught a cold. I had a sore throat, a runny nose and severe headache. I felt so sickly that I couldn’t sleep. So, I decided to talk to a close friend of mine studying Pharmacy.

I chatted him up on WhatsApp about how I was feeling and he joked about how perhaps my “new thing” had infected me with HIV. I laughed along with him and threw some jibes of my own back at him, as was our custom. He didn’t approve of what I had going with Patrick, partly because he also had a thing for me even though I wasn’t sexually attracted to him. However, after we ended our chat, something in me pushed me to Google where I found myself searching symptoms of HIV. My eyes went to settle on the part that read ‘early signs’. I scanned the list impatiently and was almost thrown off balance when words like “severe headaches”, “sore throat” and “fever” jumped out at me. My stomach churned and I felt like I was going to puke on the bed I was sharing with my dad. But I held on, continuing with my reading. There were more words: body rash, swollen nymph nodes…

I couldn’t read anymore. I already had about three of the symptoms.

I stopped abruptly and placed my phone on my chest, staring up at the ceiling as I started a radical and thorough thinking on my life since I met Patrick. The Google report had said the early signs ought to come two to four weeks after contracting the virus, and although I had just had sex two weeks back, I had had my first sex with him almost two months ago. Did I not contract the virus then? Or perhaps it was because I hadn’t cum until our last sex? My world was spiraling. I couldn’t think of myself as a HIV+ person, even if it wasn’t a big deal in the modern world anymore. I thought of the stigma I was bound to face. I thought of the children I had planned to have. Would my wife allow artificial insemination? Would she be okay with adoption? Would anybody even opt to marry someone carrying an incurable disease? I thought about antiretroviral drugs. Until now, the therapy had seemed so distant. Not at all something I could ever relate to.

And finally, when I couldn’t think anymore, I succumbed to a somewhat restless slumber.

When my dad and I returned to Lagos, I kept to myself. I stayed indoors all day and didn’t eat. I browsed HIV counselling centres in Lagos, certain that I already had the virus. I browsed on how to live as a HIV positive person in Nigeria. I cursed the day I met Patrick, and then I blamed myself more for feeling too confident and being too amateurish to not consider using protection.

Finally, after having secured and saved the address of a HIV-friendly centre close to my area, I went for the HIV test to confirm my status. I didn’t bother calling Patrick – heck, I didn’t even know what to say to him.

Back to present, I left the house and was almost at the clinic. I got inside and told the nurse at the reception about my mission. She offered me a seat and asked me to wait while she got the results. The two minutes it took for her to get back felt like two centuries. My heart must have skipped several turns because it was palpitating faster and louder than Terry G’s beats. I was positive the person sitting close to me could probably hear the beat.

“I have your test results, Mister…”

I allowed her words trail off, confirming for myself what I already knew. She wouldn’t be trying to engage me in a conversation if I was negative. I wanted to get up and run. Run down the busy road and into a moving truck. I wanted to go somewhere else and cry. Cry till I had cried out every burgeoning trace of the virus in me.

“Sir?! Sir!”

I was shaken from my reverie and turned to face my messenger of doom. She had stopped talking and was extending an envelope to me. I wanted to shred it but managed to bring myself to open it with visibly shaking hands. Turning the sheet over to read the result, I must have taken a step into Pluto and back to Earth as I saw boldly inscribed in block letters the text.

NEGATIVE.

My emotions took a swift turn that was almost dizzying. I suddenly wanted to shout and hug the devil-turned-angel in front of me. I wanted to scream, to give a testimony right there and then.

I eventually managed to heave a loud sigh, and said a “Thank you” to no one in particular. All through the trip back home, I was smiling and laughing to myself. I had caught a common cold and not the HIV virus. The coast wasn’t clear yet. I would still have to go for a final test in another month, but at the moment, I had a personal celebratory date to finish.

Written by T-Man

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10 Comments

  1. Chimaobi
    February 06, 11:07 Reply

    Lucky you. I had a similar scare one time, but it was a false positive (i almost died from shock). It was that 5 minute strip test i did and it came out reactive but the confirmatory tests later were negative. Any doctors here? I want to ask why it’s possible to get false positive. I had the flu tho, runny nose and all that jazz.

    • Cocent
      February 06, 13:26 Reply

      Bad technique, expired or faulty strips, contamination of the specimen

      • Kayeze
        February 06, 23:12 Reply

        Correct, or a background heavy malaria- plasmodium loads , or tuberculosis can also do dt

  2. Sherry
    February 06, 11:48 Reply

    Lol😂😂😂
    That feeling😂 is the most dreadful feeling, millions of thoughts running through your mind,sweatpores showering sweats everywhere,many promises made to God If the result finally comes out Negative

  3. Mandy
    February 06, 16:10 Reply

    LMAO. I don’t know why but I was very amused by this. Fear. Fear is a terrible thing. Even when we know that HIV is a manageable ailment that’s not a death sentence, the thought that we might have it turns a person suicidal. That is how people will die faster than those who actually have HIV. Lol

  4. Jeancabrez
    February 06, 22:01 Reply

    Am I, the only person that closed his eyes and heaved a sign of relief at the “NEGATIVE” part

    • Net
      February 11, 07:42 Reply

      Hahaha not only you

  5. Fineman
    February 08, 03:00 Reply

    Can totally relate. First time I had an HIV test, I’d already planned 3 suicide options (funny i swear. One was to drown myself in one carnal in my area. LMAO)

    Although i’m negative, I still feel somehow. Since mid last year, I’ve had over 4 HIV tests.

    I think it’s a mental thing. When ever I’m sick, I start to panic thinking it’s HIV. (I have cold atm, was contemplating getting tested before I saw this. I still would sha.)

    And to those thinking I’m a hoe. Well, yes. I was.
    I hate condoms. Just too tight. I’ve never walked into a pharmacy to buy them myself.

    PS; I’m in a committed relationship now. So technically an ex-hoe.

    • Pjay
      February 08, 11:33 Reply

      You could consider getting on PREP to save yourself from unnecessary heartache.

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