ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED 8: Disturbia

ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED 8: Disturbia

Crap. Crap. Crap. Andrew stared at Jiro’s shocked face and wondered what in the hell had made him share that information about Jayden to Jiro. The stupidest thing in the world a guy could do was talk about his former lover with his current one…if he could even call Jiro his lover.

“Forget I said that,” he said quickly.

“Which part?” Jiro asked. “Would you rather I forget that he was married or that he was – is – HIV positive?”

“Both.”

After a few moments, Jiro continued his query. “Did you know the guy was married? I’ve known you for a long time, Drew, and you don’t strike me as the kind of guy who would engage in such behaviour.”

Andrew’s hackles rose. “What kind of behaviour is that?”

“The kind where innocent people get hurt. Innocent people like the man’s wife.”

Andrew’s chest tightened. “You’re right,” he admitted. God, he did not want Jiro thinking he condoned adultery. “I didn’t know Jayden was married when we met, but by the time I found out, I was too in love with him, I couldn’t bring myself to walk away. Jayden promised me his marriage had not been an intimate one for a very long time and he said he was in the process of separating and ultimately divorcing his wife. He said it wasn’t even about me. He told me he’d just grown tired of living a lie. Stupid me, I believed him.” He chuckled, the sound laced with cynicism directed at himself. “Who am I kidding? I wanted to believe him so much, I jumped at the chance to be with him no matter what. Then one day, when we hooked up, one of his many stories didn’t correspond with what he had told me way back and I believed him a little less, and then a little less the next time, until I went all stalker on him and saw him with his wife.” The sense of wanting to be sick at the sight he had witnessed that day still sat in Andrew’s throat. “She was very pregnant.”

“Shit. Are you sure it was her?”

Andrew grimaced. “I saw a picture of her in his wallet once. It was her. He obviously never stopped having sex with her. When I figured that out, the floodgates burst open, and I imagined he probably wasn’t any more faithful to me than he was to her. He promised me there weren’t any other men, and he just hadn’t figured out a way to break from his wife and tell his family about us, but by then, I couldn’t believe anything he said and I broke it off. In fact, just before I called you the day I was going to the airport in the UK three years ago, he called me in the cab and he was begging me to stay on in London. He promised so many things: a house, a job, leaving his marriage for good. Anything to get me to stay, but it was too late. I’d made my mind up and I knew I’d forever feel guilty and hate myself because I’d be indirectly hurting his wife if I stayed in London just to be with him. I personally believe that just because someone’s bisexual doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a heart or a conscience. I also didn’t want to owe my success to anyone or be indebted to him in any way.” He sighed. “I walked away and I never looked back.”

“That’s deep, Drew. I’m surprised you never told me any of this before now,” Jiro said. Knowing that his next question was extremely sensitive and had to be dealt with delicately, he asked with determined caution, “How did you find out Jayden was HIV positive?”

“I got to know about that shortly after I arrived in Nigeria. A doctor friend of mine in the UK, who knows him, told me that Jayden had come to the hospital he was working in to get checked and his results showed he was HIV positive. My friend would probably never have told me but he was worried for my health and safety so he decided to break the doctor/patient confidentiality rule for my sake. That’s why I got tested for every disease known to man. I’m glad to say I’m healthy and disease-free.”

“If he hadn’t cheated on you, would you have dated him regardless of the disease?”

“Do you mean if I met him when he was single and HIV positive, would I still have dated him?”

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m asking.”

“Honestly, yes, I would have.”

“You’re kidding, right? Like really, tell me you are kidding.” Jiro looked at him incredulously.

“No, Jiro, I’m not kidding. I can absolutely see myself dating a man or woman who is HIV positive. I judge people simply by their character and personality. I didn’t break up with Jayden because he was HIV positive. I broke up with him because he was married, cheating on his wife, possibly cheating on me, and lying about all of it for months without end. I need you to know that I’m not saying this to you so that you’d see me as a good guy with a big heart. I’m not a good guy. I don’t have a big heart. I don’t do anything that will not benefit me in the long run. Harsh as it might sound, it’s the truth. I am selfish for my own good, just like everyone else. I say these things so that you know that my answer is as a result of my understanding of the HIV virus and the stigma that comes along with it. We have passed the day and age where people living with the disease are to be feared and ostracised. Many people in our lives are secretly living with the disease but will never say it out loud for fear of losing the people they love. The stigma kills faster than the disease!” Andrew looked into Jiro’s eyes to see if he understood the import of what he was saying. He realized he had to explain his point a little more to make Jiro understand.

“The people that live with this disease could be as close as our brothers, sisters, mothers, or lovers,” he continued. “I know of many couples – gay, bisexual, and straight – where one partner has the virus and the other doesn’t. I know it’s a hard concept to wrap your mind around, but the reality of the situation is that the virus doesn’t define the man or woman. I’m sure you know that couples can live healthy lives even if one partner is HIV positive and the other partner isn’t. The best part, there are many ways to ensure that the uninfected partner remains uninfected despite his or her partner’s HIV status. In my opinion, the only difference between someone who is HIV positive and someone who isn’t is time and chance. Not everyone that has the virus is as deceitful as Jayden. There are more ways to get HIV than to sleep around. Promiscuity might not even have been the way some people contracted the virus. It could be rape, getting cut by a sharp object, or trusting the wrong person, as mundane as it may sound. I think of Jayden’s wife now and I wonder if she has the virus. I mean, if you think about it, she’s married to Jayden. She wouldn’t be thinking of wearing a condom while making love to her husband because she wouldn’t expect him to sleep around with anyone else. In her situation, she’s blameless because she isn’t sleeping around. Hell, she might even be a virtuous bible-thumping woman. Her only mistake was trusting her husband and the father of her kids.

“Look at me. While dating Jayden, I slept with no one else but I was lucky enough to not get infected. Yes, we had sex with condoms most times but there were instances where getting a condom seemed like too much work. Stupid way of thinking, I know, but it’s the truth. Time and chance simply worked in my favour to ensure I didn’t contract the virus. Alternatively, some could get the virus simply by visiting their barber and using the same clipper, or using something someone else with the virus has used. How many people can really protect themselves when they don’t even know who is carrying the virus? It could even be as bad as going out to a restaurant to eat and not realizing that the cook might have HIV, bled in the course of preparing the food and droplets of blood might have fallen into the pot of food. Scary and a bit fat-fetched, yes, but it’s a possibility. I’m not saying you can get HIV if the person cooking bleeds into the food, but I’m sure ignorant people would not want to eat any meal prepared by an HIV patient if they knew. So yes, to answer your question, Jiro, I can definitely date someone who is HIV positive. If Jayden had HIV when I met him, I’d still most likely date him as long as he remained faithful.”

Unsure whether he had sold his point to Jiro, Andrew made his final point on the issue by saying, “It all depends on understanding. To get that understanding, further counselling will definitely be needed. I know that all I’m saying now might mean nothing to you and anyone else that might be listening now on the elevator intercom who might fear the disease – if someone else is truly listening; but I’m sure if anyone was faced with a situation like this, or knew someone they loved dearly living with the disease and the constant threat of being stigmatised if other people found out, they’d think very well about it and consider what I have told you today.”

Just then, the elevator lights came back up.

About time, Jiro thought. He really appreciated Andrew being so open and honest about his past with him. And here I thought I knew everything about him, he scoffed at himself.

He reached out to take Andrew’s hand and squeezed it tight. “You are amazing, Drew. I honestly am glad you took your time to share your past with me and counsel me on HIV. I’m sure it must have been hard for you to deal with, especially since it was your lying cheating ex that made you realise that the disease doesn’t define the person.”

13th floor… ding!

12th floor…ding!

Andrew held up Jiro’s hands in his and gave it a warm kiss. Then he dragged Jiro into his arms and kissed him, a gesture to show Jiro just how much his words meant to him… how much Jiro himself meant to him.

5th floor….ding!

“You want to come over to my place? I’ll cook you an awesome dinner, we’ll have some desert, and I can be naked in three seconds flat, to readily give you a thorough breakdown of my anatomy from head to toe.” Andrew winked as he spoke.

3rd floor…ding!

“You are such a sexual deviant. I think the fact that I kind of like that about you means I’m also becoming a sexual deviant myself.” Jiro kissed Andrew lightly on the lip and then said, “Yes, I’d love to have a home cooked dinner made by you. If you impress me with your cooking, I’ll consider that tutorial on the human anatomy.”

1st floor…ding!

They dropped their hands to their sides and picked their briefcases up from the floor as the elevator signalled that they had arrived on the ground floor.

As they exited the box and walked out of the company building, Andrew smiled. Jiro knew about his past and it didn’t matter. He hadn’t judged. He had even been patient enough to listen and understand his points on the HIV matter. Best part, he hadn’t acted like the typical Nigerian who would go all religious and blame the situation on liking men. He understood that anyone could get HIV, and that it was the disease, not the person, that should combated. Jiro’s understanding, care, knowledge, and maturity meant a lot to him. This was by far the best elevator ride of his life.

It doesn’t get any better than this, he thought. Nothing and no one can ruin what I have with Jiro now.

He didn’t know just how wrong he was.

***

Walking her out of his matrimonial bedroom and down the staircase, Jafar held Edirin’s arm. Downstairs, she wrapped her arms around Jafar’s neck. “I love you,” she said.

“I love you too, but you need to go, okay?” Jafar said, removing her arms from his neck and practically pushed her towards the front door. “My wife will be back any minute.”

“I’m not afraid of her, Jafar. I’m willing to fight for our love if you are,” Edirin said as she let him lead her to the front door.

“I know that, my love, but we need to act with caution and apply wisdom to this situation.”

When she got to the front door, Edirin turned and kissed her lover once more. “I’ll see you soon.”

Smiling, Jafar said, “You can bet on it.”

Edirin turned to the door as she heard the lock being turned from the outside. The door opened and Abbey’s mother walked in.

“Hi, Edirin. What are you doing here so late?” Tari asked.

With wide eyes, Edirin looked from Tari’s face to Jafar’s face and back to Tari’s face. “I … uh … good evening, ma. I just … erm … Abbey and I … uh, I mean…”

“Edirin, don’t tell me you and Abbey went out together on her date with Jiro,” Tari said with a chuckle.

“Yes, ma, that’s exactly what happened. In fact, that’s why I’m here so late. I came to drop her at home,” Edirin said hurriedly.

“Okay, let me go and say hi to her,” Tari said.

“Ah no, ma… I mean, I wouldn’t advise that. She’s really tired and she’s gone to sleep. I’m sure you can talk to her in the morning.”

“Hmmm.” Tari looked at Edirin closely before she spoke again. “Okay. I’m sure you know her best. Now, I know that you two are practically sisters, but you need to stop being a third wheel with her. You need to get a boyfriend and let me meet him.”

“Uhm…” Edirin glanced quickly at Jafar.

He looked away from her.

Edirin turned to face Tari, a plastic smile on her face. “There’s someone, but he’s shy. You’ll know him soon though. You have my word on that.”

“Good.” Tari beamed. “I look forward to meeting him. I’ll let you be on your way now. See you sometime soon, my dear.”

“Good night ma.”

“Good night, Edirin.”

As Tari walked towards the staircase, Edirin turned back to face Jafar and said loudly, “Good night, sir.” Her face was grim.

“Good night, my dear,” Jafar said. He wasn’t smiling either.

As he closed the front door behind her, Tari said to him from the top of the stairs, “Edirin is such a nice girl. She’ll make a young man very happy someday.”

“I’m sure she will,” Jafar replied.

***

Alone in the parlour, Jafar made his way to the mini bar and got out a bottle of whiskey. He poured himself a shot, gulped it down. He poured himself another. Walking across the room, he sat back in his favourite chair, cross-legged, nursing his glass of whiskey.

Tari must have gone straight to bed, he thought. Good riddance to bad rubbish. As much as he didn’t particularly fancy Tari anymore, he wasn’t going to let anyone or anything destroy his pristine reputation. As for Abbey, something had to be done about her. He had to find a way to make sure his daughter kept her mouth shut. Where there was a will, there would always be a way. Jafar closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Edirin had been too easy, too accessible. He should never have allowed himself to succumb to his desires with her. Not in his own house. Now he realised that Edirin had grown too attached to him. Jafar opened his eyes and stared blankly into space.  He had to find a way to ensure Edirin was not an issue anymore. He needed to end this…and soon.

Written by The Controvert

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20 Comments

  1. Mandy
    September 19, 08:01 Reply

    This Jafar is shaping up to look like a dangerous man.

  2. Dubem
    September 19, 08:03 Reply

    Thanks, The Controvert, for providing another medium for the education of HIV and the issue of relationships surrounding it. #ThisIsWhyILoveKitoDiaries

  3. efe
    September 19, 08:11 Reply

    Today epispde wasn’t really interesting but then, am going to sit and wait for next week episode *flipsweavebackwards* Abbey father tho. Hope nothing is happening to Jiro and Drew ooo * Rollingeyes*

  4. Francis
    September 19, 08:50 Reply

    Shit’s about to get dark. The wahala wey penis dey cause sha.

    Nice and generous of you to throw in the HIV part ?

  5. KryxxX
    September 19, 09:35 Reply

    Abbey’s dad screams everything bad, selfish nd evil!!!!! Surely won’t be liking him!

    Thanks for the read/education! And d HIV ish with d ex, close shave! Some ppl r just evil! But is just me or was anybody else expecting something steamy in that elevator?

    • Francis
      September 19, 09:45 Reply

      Gay sex in public?! Some pipu can like to live on the edge oh.

      • KryxxX
        September 19, 10:47 Reply

        Oh Francis!! You haven’t tried it?! Chai!! You r milssing oh! When I was still very foolish, I did extremely foolish things! Especially in school! I once wanked in class while a teacher was teaching! Smh! Lemme not even start with my public sexcapades! Wouldn’t want to taint my “holy nweje” status! But Now I haff sense plenty plenty oh! Lol!

        • Francis
          September 19, 11:28 Reply

          That status has long been tainted. ???

  6. efe
    September 19, 09:43 Reply

    kryxxx I was oh. But then controvert decided to put me on a long thing instead *sobs*

  7. Khaleesi
    September 19, 10:41 Reply

    Thanx for the bit of sexual health education… nice, well written piece …

  8. Ruby
    September 19, 11:07 Reply

    Thanks for the refresher on HIV.
    A lot of people still need a lot of enlightenment concerning this Scourge.
    Hmmmmmmmm…
    Jafar…
    Why do I have this feeling that we are about witnessing a re-enactment of Jafar from the Alladin story???

  9. Curves
    September 19, 15:17 Reply

    Dennis Macauley, why are we not dating? I have admired u for a long time. Anyway FYI, I am a lady. Reply please and I stay in ph

  10. Curves
    September 21, 12:36 Reply

    Dennis please oblige me with ur mail address. Thanx

  11. diokpa
    September 21, 21:37 Reply

    Why it is easier for gay men to contract STDs than hetero couples or lesbians is due to the unprotected oral sex. Most gay men would not want to suck a dick with a condom on it; forgetting than viruses causing STDs could live in the semen (pre-cum) that is expelled during arousal/erection.

    • Francis
      September 21, 21:49 Reply

      Please which study are you quoting?!

  12. Dickson Clement
    September 26, 17:58 Reply

    Another seasoned thrilling piece and the best in the whole bunch. I want to appreciate the writer for his style of writing, his unending ability to create tension and suspence. My interest was alive until I consumed the last word. I also think there are health issues bothering gaymen that was vividly displayed here, showing the writers versatility. I truely wish to know who is the face behind the biro! I don’t understand the character Jiro. In fundamental human psychology, sexual orientation is shaped from the formative years till the late adolescence. If Jiro had some form of erection or sexual feelings for Andrew, he must have had homosexual feeling prior to that event. His girlfriends accusations should not be the starting point of his self realization. Some folks claim that completely straight guys can be misled into indulging in homosexual act, but if any of that is true, the guy would not have any bodily sexual responce to a follow guy at first contact, it would have to be after repeated involvement. Any guy that responds bodily to your sexual manipulations is originally gay but has not avenue to explore

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