AS I LIVE: 6 (Bed of Lies)

AS I LIVE: 6 (Bed of Lies)

Yemi: Hey, how are you doing?

Me: I’m doing well, and you?

Yemi: I need to tell you something. I would have called you but I know you won’t pick anyway. Just so you know, what I’m about to say is not for you to feel guilty or pity. It’s just that it’s only you I can relate with. I had a fever some weeks ago, so I took malaria pills. I felt better afterwards, only for me to start having stomach upset and sore throat, muscle pains and joint pains. I talked to my doctor friend and he asked me to go for HIV test. I did and it was positive. Like I said, I’m not saying this to make you feel indebted to me anything.

I wonder why he came at me with this. We’d lost touch for a while now. Why now? Of all the times he could have told me the truth, he’s choosing now? This doesn’t only look like an attempt to guilt me, but it also rekindles the question I asked myself throughout the time I spent with Yemi: “What is he up to?” That has always being the question.

Yemi is the first guy I met after my diagnosis – long before I met Jesse. Our meeting was as dreamy and magical as it was with Jesse. I liked him. From the first time I saw him, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He noticed I was staring hard at him. We even got to make jokes about it later on. Yemi isn’t just the first guy I met; he is also the first I tried to be honest with about my status. I studied him for a while before I came clean. He was nice and caring, had his flaws like everyone else. Most importantly he wasn’t a security risk; still, I could never get over the feeling that he was up to something. Desperate for companionship, I turned a blind eye to what my head was telling me and went ahead to trust him.

The day I told him about my status, it was a bit funny the way he reacted when I laid the news on him.

Yemi: I’m so sorry, dear. How long have you known?

Me: A few months now. I’m okay though. I don’t want you to pity me.

Yemi: Dear, I really want to stay and chat, but my data is almost exhausted. Can you help me with my subscription?

Well, talk about non-sequiturs. This came out of nowhere, startling me, considering what we’d just being talking about.

Me: I don’t really have much on me. How much is your subscription?

Yemi: 2500

Me: I can help you with 1000.

Yemi: Okay dear. I can get the rest from someone else.

I didn’t really take the way the conversation played out seriously, but it became buried in my subconscious. I wondered how someone would ask for a favour in the middle of a “I am HIV positive” conversation. I sent the recharge card as I promised. I like to think I’m a man of my words.

In subsequent conversations, I tried to find out if he could still be with me, my status notwithstanding. He always told me when we got to that bridge, we’d cross it. He didn’t seem to mind, which was a good thing. But there was something unsettling about him not minding.

I had this feeling he was HIV positive as well. I asked him point-blank a couple of times, and his answer was always no. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something off about him. I began getting hints from some comments he would make while we chatted. Sometimes, he would say things like: “Just make sure I’m well taken care of and I’ll make you happy.”

Well taken care of? Would that be financially or protection during sex?

I played along to see where we were really going.

The funny thing was, in spite of this, I still liked him, and I’d hoped he would come clean and we would live happily ever after.

Other times he would passively ask me for stuff, and I would passively say no. Sometimes, he would claim to want to visit, and I’d passively give my okay. And when he wasn’t getting the kind of response from me that he expected, he would come up with an excuse as to why he can no longer visit.

He finally suggested that I get a place for him to stay; this time, he wanted to reassure me that he’d be coming to visit. I agreed to get him a place. Then came the weekend when he became very pushy about the place I was going to get for him. I told him I already had, and he said he was on his way. In no time, he called me to tell me he’d just gotten in. I gave him directions to where I was, and he came over to meet me.

The time stamps didn’t match. The only way he could have gotten to me so quickly was if he was already in town. I kept my suspicions to myself and gave him the warm welcome he expected. We chatted for a while, got to know each other better. He was sweet, kept planting kisses on my lips incessantly, just as I liked. With us now together, he really didn’t seem worried about my status. We kissed and caressed each other’s bodies the way lovers do. On my own part anyway; I know I touched him the way I would touch someone I liked. If he was putting up a show, he was really good at it.

Soon, kisses weren’t enough anymore. We had to do what lovers really do. We got a condom and off we went. We had fun. Good fun. That kind of fun where you both are tired afterwards, the sweet kind of tired, so tired you can’t even get up, you just lie there with the sheets and pillows all messed up and damp from the heat. I caught a glimpse of the condom afterwards and it wasn’t broken. It was a win for me.

As we lay there, we started a conversation.

Yemi: Sweetheart, I need a favour. I’m in need of a loan. There are things I need to buy here before I go back. I’ll send the money back to you when I get home.

Me: Well…I don’t have much on me. But let’s see how it goes.

He was ready to leave the following day. I saw him off to the park. He reminded me of the loan he asked for. I brought out all the money in my pocket, and what I had on me was N2000. I gave it to him and he left. As I watched him leave, I said to myself, “I’m never going to see this one again.” Whatever he was up to, I didn’t want to find out anymore. I checked on him later to see that he’d gotten home okay. And thereafter, the attention I expended toward him began to dwindle. A few days later, he told me he was ready to repay me my money. I told him not to worry about it. He asked why. I just told him not to worry about it.

He kept chatting me up, buttering me up like sliced bread. Calling me sweetheart, honey, bae and all that, till I couldn’t take it anymore.

Me: Okay just stop. Stop acting like you care about me.

Yemi: What’s wrong? Did I offend you?

Me: No. But stop acting like you care about me. All you do is lie.

Yemi: What do you mean by that?

Me: I knew you were around, Yemi. You’ve been with someone else here in Asaba, and you acted like you just came from Lagos that day. I just kept quiet and played along.

He bristled instantly at that.

Yemi: What do you mean by that? See, if you want to break up with me, just tell me. Don’t just cook up stories.

Me: I have just told you what I have to tell you. Stop acting like you care about me. Period!

Yemi: I just wasted my time and risked my life for nothing. Even when the condom broke, I didn’t even tell you so you wouldn’t feel bad.

Me: Did you just say the condom broke? Because I’m sure I looked at it when we were done and it didn’t look broken. So what are you telling me?

For awhile, he didn’t respond.

Me: You’re not replying, abi? You lied. And you just want to use my guilt against me, huh? Why would you do this?

Yemi: I’m sorry. I just didn’t want you to leave me.

I became nauseated. I couldn’t continue with the conversation. I blocked Yemi on whatsapp. He called my phone and I didn’t answer. He kept sending text messages saying he was sorry. And in the hours after that disastrous chat, I maintained a cold silence toward him.

Hours became days, and days became weeks. He called while I was leaving for work and I answered. He asked that I should unblock him on whatsapp and I did. We reconnected tentatively. He’d talk to me sometimes and I’d reply. He tried once to get back with me, and I made it clear that whatever I felt was gone and the best I could do was give us time to heal. Time was really all I could give him.

And now, he has come to me with the news of his status. This one is the one I don’t know o. I don’t want to give him any room to play with my guilt one more time, so I reply him.

Me: Well, it’s not up to three months since we were together, and we used condoms. So there’s no need for me to feel guilty.

Yemi: I just wanted you to know.

Me: I was expecting you to tell me this long ago. I gave you chances to come clean but you chose to do it this way.

Yemi: Believe it or not, I didn’t have any reason to lie then to you that I was positive.

Me: So are you saying I gave it to you? Is that the point to this conversation?

Yemi: I didn’t say so. I just thought you should know, because you’ve always asked. No biggie sha.

Me: Ok. Thanks for telling me. I wish you well.

I do wish him well. And I still check on him once in a while.

Written by Bobby

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21 Comments

  1. Mandy
    November 27, 06:56 Reply

    This Yemi is a kinda complicated guy sha. I’m pretty sure he cares about you, Bobby. To a certain degree. But to be deceitful and manipulative as well… Tsk tsk.

    • façade
      November 27, 07:21 Reply

      He cares about him, seriously? After trying to play the u gave me HIV card

      • Mandy
        November 27, 07:51 Reply

        Yes, seriously. It’s twisted but I believe to some degree, the Yemi guy actually cared for Bobby, if only for selfish purposes. Anyone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you wouldn’t go thru the effort of manipulating you to be with him. Or keep coming back after fucking up his chances with you.

    • Peak
      November 27, 08:30 Reply

      Sorry Mandy, but I’m not buying ur candy this morning.
      You don’t use or manipulate someone you care about. It’s wrong on every level.

      Bobby, I happy about how you went about the situation. Nicely handled.

  2. Absalom
    November 27, 08:27 Reply

    Sigh. I wanted to cuss Yemi but changed my mind. In case he has more issues than we know of. I hope he’s doing okay sha.

    Your courage is really admirable, Bobby.

  3. Brian Collins
    November 27, 08:37 Reply

    Very very twisted indeed. Sounds like something Sylar would do, I totally remember when he was Zane Taylor.

  4. Darlington
    November 27, 08:42 Reply

    I need info on hiv positive LGBT community support group

  5. Sinnex
    November 27, 08:49 Reply

    Yomi sounds like someone I know.

    Bobby, biko flee…. flee….fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….

  6. Francis
    November 27, 08:50 Reply

    Shady opportunists. Lord continue to hear my prayer against them biko.

    • Max
      November 27, 09:17 Reply

      Don’t worry, one day, that your precious feeble heart will be ripped to shreds if you keep tucking it away like that. ??

      • Francis
        November 27, 09:23 Reply

        ?? As long as my financial status doesn’t take a hit, they can rip away biko. I’m done dreaming of happily ever after. Now I’m in, “enjoy the moment mode till it ends….whenever it does….if it does” mode ?

        • Absalom
          November 27, 09:28 Reply

          Stop speaking in parables, Francis. Are you announcing you’re in full-on slut mode now?

          • Francis
            November 27, 09:36 Reply

            ?????? I was totally expecting this. I’m not in slut mode biko and I plan/hope to keep it that way till I quench.

            I just don’t want to put myself in that position where I’m a complete wreck post breakup ’cause I had convinced myself this was IT!

            You gerrit?

    • Peak
      November 27, 09:36 Reply

      **slowly stirring my tea while waiting for a status update from Francis**

  7. Chizzie
    November 27, 10:11 Reply

    Wow. Just wow. You know the ultimate red flag is when someone asks you for data credit after you’ve revealed your status to them or in the middle of such a serious conversation. That’s the height and for me it would’ve just ended there.

    I know its just sex and its not like you are going to marry the person but it still amazes me how people are more picky about the underwear they put on than the ppl they have sex with. I for one will never have sex with someone I do not like, regardless of how attractive they are. If we do not get along or they trigger something that instantly registers as lame to me, then I’d rather wank. And its not me being principled, its just, anal sex is fucking painful and I know the effort I go through in preparing myself for it so you have to be worth all that stress.

    Now that you have this virus and are liberal with those you reveal your status to ( which is a commendable thing) … You also need to be picky and cautious about those you sleep with, as they will always be Yemis of society. The good thing is that they drop glaring pointers.. Be on the look out for those. Sometimes brain over penis.

  8. Zage
    November 27, 10:50 Reply

    Brain over Penis loool

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