You fell into depression days later. You were as broken as you were self-loathing. You couldn’t see a possible future where everything ended well. You could only think of your funeral, your mum and your siblings dressed in black as they lowered your casket six feet below.

You called Ezra to tell him of your result. You were tearing up when you told him. He muttered a solemn sorry, and ended the call on you. When you called back, he shouted over the line and told you to lose his number, that he couldn’t have been the only one that fucked you, that you were too sexy and lost to be somebody’s keep.

You locked yourself up in your room for days, skipped meals and switched off your phone. You even contemplated suicide. You couldn’t bear the thought of being like an inert volcano waiting to erupt; of having a terminal illness grow inside of you.

What hurt you most were the dreams you’d had for the future. You were certain you wouldn’t outlive five to eight years later from now. You felt like a walking corpse.



Daniel’s reaction when you told him wasn’t what you’d expected. You’d imagined him telling you how sorry he was about what happened, yet inwardly gloating over your misfortune, and afterwards informing you that the relationship was officially over.

But what happened was not what you thought would happen.

He had come over to your place after he called you for days and you weren’t reachable. He knocked repeatedly at the protector of your porch. It took you awhile before you opened up. He knew before you told him that something was wrong with you.

“You have bags in your eyes,” he said. “You don’t look like you’ve been sleeping.”

“I’m fine,” you said and sat adjacent from him on the floor, at the edge of your mattress.

“I know who you are. You are not often fine when you say you are. What is wrong my baby?”

You stayed silent for a while. Daniel was not the kind of person you hid things from. As much as he was your lover, he was also your friend. It was no wonder his cheating with Kanayo had caused you so much pain.

“I’m HIV positive,” you told him after a while.

“What?” Daniel stared at you. “Since when?”

“I found out last week Thursday, when I went to St. Patrick for my routine blood donation.”

Daniel’s head dropped and you heard the sigh that escaped wearily from his mouth.

“Don’t worry,” you said. “It’s not you. It is Ezra. He told me was negative and I took his word for it.”

Daniel came over and squatted next to you. He said he was sorry, that it was all his fault. If he hadn’t done what he did with Kanayo, you wouldn’t have had to go looking for someone like Ezra. He had placed you in a vulnerable position.

“No, you didn’t,” you said. “It was all my decision and fault. And I will totally understand if you ended things with me.”

Daniel reached out and cuddled you into his arms. He kissed you on your temple and held you tight. “I’m not going anywhere. I lost you once and I won’t lose you again.”

Your heart swelled as you lay there in his arms and tears started on a thready path from your eyes down your face.



Katie Melua’s Just like Heaven was playing in the amplifier as he drove you to your first CD4 count appointment. He was singing aloud: “Show me how you do that trick… The one that makes me scream he said… The one that makes me laugh he said… And threw his arms around my neck… Show me how you do it… And I promise you, I promise that… I’ll run away with you… I’ll run away with you.”

You joined half way into the song, and he held your hand in his.

He waited with you in the reception till the result from your white blood cell count came out. It wasn’t that bad for a recent exposure. HIV antibodies were remitting themselves in reaction to the virus. He followed you to the pharmacy for your antiretroviral therapy, and then to your counselling class.

You felt a bit relieved when the instructor – a nurse – introduced the new participants to the class. She was married to a HIV-positive husband, who had been undetectable for nearly fifteen years. You heaved a sigh of relief. At least, you were sure you would live to die another day.



You were worried about what you couldn’t give him anymore: the sex. You were worried that he might get tired of you one day and move on. So you dreaded the day he would leave you and not come back. You sat on the edge of your “chair” and waited for it.

But he was a perfect gentleman. He stayed by your side.

So then, you started fearing that it wasn’t love that was keeping him there, but sympathy. You feared that this was him trying to redeem himself for having placed you in harm’s way.

So you tried breaking up with him after a CD4 count session.

“I have packed the rest of your things at my place,” you told him as he drove you back home.

“Why?” Daniel held on to the steering. There was traffic ahead at Olu Obasanjo. “Are you moving in back to your family house? You know you have to tell them at some point.”

“No,” you said solemnly. “I’m setting you free. Life is too complicated already. An HIV positive boyfriend shouldn’t be one of them.”

“But I’m not complaining.”

“And that’s exactly my problem!” you shouted. For a moment, nothing was said. You sat there trembling with the surge of emotions roiling inside you, and he sat there, staring at you. You continued, “I cheated on you. Then I contracted an untreatable disease that demands much of your time. And you tell me you aren’t sad. This story is too good to be true.”

He pulled up the car by the roadside. Then he turned to you and began speaking to you. He told you that he was as sad as he was annoyed with you. He told you that you two had a perfect life until you left him for Ezra.

“Why didn’t you tell me that you were still angry?” You were holding his hand.

“I was angry at you and then myself. But in all that, what I felt most was love. Is that too hard to understand? Must love always be complicated?”

You reached for his face and kissed quickly him on the chin; there was after all a traffic of motorists and pedestrians eddying outside your space.

“No,” you said.



You celebrated your HIV unreactive status with him eleven months later. Your CD4 count was almost back to normal and the HIV routine screening had showed no sign of the antibody. You two sat on the verandah and played Lucky Dube and Fela all night. And he bought you a ring as a memento for the progress.

The sex came back naturally. You didn’t force it. Neither did he. On a cold rainy night, after you became undetectable, you woke up and found him lying in a semi curl behind you. He was clad only in his white cotton briefs that showed his fleshy behind. You missed him so badly. You missed his perfectly curved hands and athletic legs. And the broad chest and shoulders that told tales of an enduring workout. You ran your hands over his torso and felt his cold bare body. He woke up.

“I’m sorry,” you said and lay back on the mattress.

He reached for your hand and placed it back on his chest. You felt his hand play with your hardened nipple, and then your belly button. You were breathing fast.

“Are you sure you still want this?” you asked him and prayed he wouldn’t say no.

“I have never been sure of anything.”

His hands went into your underwear.

“Then we must use protection,” you said.

“But you are already undetectable.”

“You can never be sure when there is a remittance. I read that somewhere.” You turned on the electric lamp, and ransacked your bedside cupboard for an HIV self-care handbook.

“Okay, okay,” he said and pulled you away from the cupboard and unto him.

And then, you two proceeded to make love to one another. You lay on top of him when you two came, and stayed there till the morning rays shone through your window.

Isn’t love one of the purposes of wanting to live long? you found yourself wondering.



You joined PLWHA (People Living With HIV/AIDS), and identified as HIV positive. You continued to marvel at how you’d become indifferent to people’s reactions when you told them that you are poz. You would laugh at their mixture of revulsion and ignorance, and would tell Daniel about it over the phone. He had traveled to Pennsylvania, where he was running an MSc program. He would laugh along with you and tell you that their ignorance reminded him of his white supremacist lecturer, who thought Africa was still a virgin land full of baboons. Then you would kiss him goodbye, and he would tell you how much he missed you.

You would drop the phone on the desk, and would look at yourself on the full-length mirror on the wall. You were now sure you will be fine.

Obiri n’aja ocha.

It ends six feet below the ground.

Whoever coined that phrase must have missed out on a beautiful life.


Written by David Kamdili

Previous #RepealSSMPA: A Kito Story In Threads
Next “The Truth Is I Am Pushing An Agenda.” Lil Nas X Shares His Coming Out Story in Empowering Letter to His Younger Self

About author

You might also like

Fiction 9 Comments

The Gaycation He Would Never Forget

FOREWORD: This story was inspired by the time someone close to me told me he met the porn star, Rocco Steele, during a vacation in Europe. He sent me pictures

Fiction 43 Comments

The KGB Boy

You take a deep breath, trying to calm your racing heart and slow the rush of adrenaline in your veins. When you have achieved a sufficient level of calm, you

Fiction 36 Comments


The door cracked open and he peered out at me from the opening. I smiled. I couldn’t help it. Seeing him lit up my world in ways I didn’t know


  1. P. Mitch O.
    March 24, 08:28 Reply

    All’s well that ends well.
    That’s all I can say.

    Daniel may have made a mistake, but he’s proof that one mistake doesn’t define you.

    Be happy, David. You deserve it.

  2. Someone's Someone
    March 24, 15:14 Reply

    Such a poignant story. Thank you Kamdili for sharing and there are better days ahead for you. Cheers!

  3. Fred
    March 24, 16:34 Reply

    Whoop! Whoop!!
    I love the sweet ending to the twists and turns of pains, frustrations and unbelief!
    Daniel must be otherworldly o! He’s too rare to be a Port Harcourt son.
    I’m glad you found strength in yourself again.
    Can we have this made into an out of Naija gay movie?

  4. Denzy
    March 24, 20:55 Reply

    Everything beautiful – Everything sweet (Love’s Power).

  5. Saucebutton
    March 25, 08:16 Reply

    Wow! Kamdili thanks for penning this down. It gives one a surge of hope that life has good stuff in it including good men too. Just got spooked about my HIV status this morning. But never felt more hopeful about how my life will turn. Thank you David.

  6. Delle
    March 25, 09:20 Reply

    I. Want. Me. A. Daniel.

    That’s all 😒😪😪

  7. Frosty
    March 30, 16:40 Reply

    Daniel’s love is so true and real. Blessings on you both.

Leave a Reply