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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Like Dragging Your Infectious Lover To The Police Station


   Nothing in life is simple, not the lone mudfish staring at the crack in the almost dried up puddle it just crawled out from. Or the half frog half fish, watching the starving rat, standing there by the muddy bank blocking it's path to redemption. Nor the spectacle displayed this hot afternoon, as a mother hawk circles above. I'm not sure which is predator or prey anymore. All I know is that time is ticking and the choice has to be made quickly. Do I paddle my way fast, away from the scary rat? Or move closer, towards it to reduce my chance of been the target of the hungry hawk above? There is only one thing to do, I will pull and fight, scratch and bite and be heard and be seen. Yes, it will be Like Dragging Your Infectious Lover To The Police Station. In broad daylight and I don't care what anyone think's. All I want is for all, to feel my pain, see my dilemma and hear my cries. For the truth of the matter is that.. If you die in silence, You are on your own.
      So back to my very annoying story, the irritating story of my life. I am standing here, with no choice but one. Why is been a grown up so hard? Why should I, be friends with a girl that clearly does not like me?
 I can see she is nervous and not sure what I would do to her. That's her guilty conscience, pricking at her. But I know what I must do and that is why I am pissed. No one told me, diplomacy was this hard.
   I do the most logical thing, smile, inhale deeply and speak as calm as a dove, gliding down to a warm earth.
'See, as long as you don't attack me. We both won't have a problem'
'Ade I'm sorry'
 Nnoye grabs my hand and I twitch, I can be a germofobe. I am worried we are infecting each other with bathroom bacteria and I turn to wash my hands again. Or is it the true disdain I feel for this my former friend.
'Please Nnoye, it's one of those things'
  I grit my teeth and force another smile, it's a good thing I am backing her.
'I truly, truly..'
 Now, she is getting on my nerves, Abeg how many times will she apologize?
'Let's go, we are fine'
 I tell her, getting out my hand sanitizer and pouring her some.
'I missed you, you know'
 Nnoye was already acting like, all was forgiven and forgotten already. Well, two can play this game.
'It's me, I'm missable like that'
 Stylishly said, from my full warm lips as we get back to the dining section. We both laugh and approach our table, Daniel looks worried and Henrik looked pleased. These two guys are enjoying our girl fight, which has apparently, somehow ended.
'So, are you two good?'
 I choose not to look at Daniel Ojora with his silly question, but at my beautiful table.    Henrik was showing me the menu and pointing at what he ordered. As he did, the food arrived and I didn't get any.
'Where is mine?'
'I thought you would prefer to order yours'
    I hijacked his plate and had a taste, nonsense and ingredients. When did Henrik start that rubbish? And he knows how hungry I get when I get upset. The meat kebabs was succulent and spiced just enough. As if my mum cooked it, I shut my eyes and announced to my ever so attentive audience.
'Ade, you are ignoring me'
 Daniel said, a lot irritated by now.
  I wanted to scream and report Nnoye, to tell him how insecure his current girlfriend is. But I stop myself, chew and then swallowed.
'It's delightful'
 Daniel drops his cutlery and Henrik squeezed my hand. He was saying without saying it, that I should stop been childish. So I giggled and turned to the fake couple.
'Us girls, just had a misunderstanding and Nnoye overreacted. But, we are cool. We understand that friends fight and make up'
 Daniel was pleased and looked like he was breathing now.
'Good, because I want you two to go with me to my hometown'
'Where is that? I am curious, because I know you are from Lagos Island'
 Yes, me and all the people who read magazines in Lagos state, Nigeria.
'It's actually my mum's, she's also from Lagos too. But it's far from all the noise and you ladies get to show us your cooking skills'
 Nnoye and I protest and point at Daniel and Henrik was laughing at us. Which part of the statement was funny? I decide that if he could throw stones, so can I.
'Fine, if we cook? Then you two must hunt and fish and harvest what we cook'
'Equation must balance'
    I add and then Nnoye and Henrik's food arrives. We are laughing and having so much fun that I didn't want it to end.
'Ade, did you hear?'
 It was her first bold and direct question and I smiled and asked.
'Hear what?'
'About the HIV infected white guy, dragged to the police station'
 I say and add, as casually as I can. Even Daniel gave her a questioning look. I buttressed the point by driving the fact deeper in.
'The foreign worker, right?'
 Clueless Nnoye answered, feeling like she had arrived.
'Are you telling me because I am dating a white guy or because you want to know if we are having sex?'
     A feather could have dropped and you would have heard it. I put the tension back in to the room and Henrik self, was confused.
    My accusations or should I say, insinuations were harsh and drew us back like to the point she attacked me. Daniel froze and Henrik left his mouth open and Nnoye lowered her eyes. You all know what they say about people who live in glass houses. They should never, ever throw stones.
   I was enjoying this a little too much, relish every second. Until I could not anymore. My dear, I chuckled and they all awkwardly joined me.
'Henrik and I know our status and the news was actually shocking'
 I said, slicing another piece of meat and shifting some lettuce around it before digging into it.
 Nnoye nods her head.
'I told you'
 She nudged her boyfriend who got uncomfortable. Because they were discussing my sex life, in private and Nnoye just made it public knowledge. Nnoye knows about my abstaining from sex vow and Daniel gave me a sad look. As if he was disappointed that I had been touched.
 See men and their double standards, he is chopping steady and expects any woman he wants to abstain and wait.
'Ade is sharper than that, she knows her status and she is careful. But that guy was mean'
 I nod my head.
'Yes, he is wicked. The foreigner sent his wife and kid back home and protected them. But did not protect his local mistress'
'The painful part is that she suspected', Nnoye adds.
'Only God knows how it will end', Henrik says.
'She has taken legal action against him, the investigation is ongoing', Daniel weighed in.
'It is a criminal offence to know your status and intentionally infect your partner'
 Nnoye says and eats her grilled fish.
'I am sure it will be a record breaking case'
 I add and shake my head.
    Lunch was filled with all the drama that got my mind off all my worries. I enjoyed every naughty emotional game I played. And Henrik and I milked the idea of us not abstaining by touching more than usual. I think Henrik liked the fact that Daniel twitched every time he touched me. I was too busy enjoying watching Nnoye pretending not to notice it. This their relationship is boiling over and I suspect that soon, the lid will fly open.

  Honestly before lunch, I had no clue that Henrik had read the news about the HIV infected couple. Worse off, the two of us had not done a recent HIV test. I lied at the table and Henrik, just went along. If we had church counselling, maybe we would have by now. Right now, especially since we both wanted kids. It was the next logical step to take.
 Henrik dropped his car keys and stands at akimbo.
'We both need to take the test'
'Right, I almost said we should branch at a medical center, military hospital or Catholic hospital'
'Ade, you know it doesn't matter to me'
'I've taken the test before and I was negative and I have not had sex since'
 That was my reply, no need to pretend like I won't freak out.
'I have too, but it won't matter to me...'
 Henrik means well but I can not pretend to accept this, so I cut him off.
'.... I reject it in Jesus name. I can't ooo, can't cope if ever I am. I am careful and the kind of person that will sue if any idiot infects me.....'
Henrik pulled me to the couch and on his lap.
'Ade, I would not infect you. Or leave you, I am here to stay'
    I realized I was agitated and scared, why? I asked myself and the answer made me sad.
 Dating a promiscuous guy, like Frank meant I was exposed to multiple partner's. I thought of Khadijatu, she has a baby so she can't be infected. The truth is that HIV was very manageable in 2016 and not so easily detected. My heart skipped and I got scared.
'We are fine'
 Henrik reassured me and I got very tired all of a sudden.
  I hug him and rest my aching head on his comfortable shoulders. Today has gone completely different from what I expected.
 My phone is buzzing and I can hear the distinct sound and ringtone of a Skype call from my laptop.
'You should get that'
'We need to...'
'Ade after your call'

 The heat is unbearable and I walk with my laptop in my hand as I switch on the air conditioning unit from the wall.
'Hey Ajoke, how are you?'
'Good, Bala says hi'
'Greet your husband for me ooo'
 Henrik waves and leaves the room.
'Hey, husband of my friend. Hi and byebye'
'He's on another call'
'What's up?'
'Nnoye and Daniel just had lunch...'
'At your place?'
'No, she invited Henrik who invited me'
'So, Daniel knows'
'He thinks its nothing'
'Ade you have changed'
'My dear, she set me up and'
'I would not have cared'
'See the babe, has no much relevance. Let's talk about something else'
'Ade dont dodge'
 Ajoke grumbled and eyed me at the same time, edging me on to give out more information.
'She mentioned a white guy infecting a Nigerian with HIV'
'It's a lie'
'I took offence and said it to her face'
'I trust you, jare'
'But toned it down and announced we were HIV free and sexually active'
 Ajoke chuckled and falls forward and I shake my head at my naughty friend as she adds.
'Daniel would have died'
'Abi ooo', you should have seen how jealous she hot'
'Ade, it will not end well ooo'
'I'm not meeting up with her without Henrik, I don't want trouble'
'If I was there, eh?'
'You Ajoke, would never have let us end the fight'
'Do you blame me?'
 Ajoke says resting her head on Bala's bum.
'How is Celine?'
'Ajoke, something is wrong'
'Thats why I called you, Ade you know you are softer than I am. Ask her'
'What if she does not want to bring it up?'
'Ade, you bring it up. Don't let her die in silence. And tell me all the Juicy details'
'Ajoke, you can't keep a secret'
'Did I tell you that the day Celine saw Frank kiss you. She called me'
'At my former house?'
  Seriously, I didn't know that.
'The second it happened'
'You didn't know'
'I know plenty, I just reveal only what I am told to'
 Her confession made me think.
'So, you suggesting we go to the shopping mall in Ikeja. That day I discovered Baratu with Mr. H?'
'Was my way of exposing him'
'My God'
'Bala didn't care to suspect, I did and took the mantle to expose him without exposing myself'
 She laughed and I shake my head, I am really impressed by this skinny girl that acts all clueless and all.
'Ade, the best defence is to feign ignorance. Sometimes, other times it's offense. Or me screaming and been as loud as possible'
'So I should ask her?'
'i'll be home soon, so we will tackle all these together'
 My mind drifted and I was deep in thoughts. Ajoke was watching me and then I asked.
  My friend knew what was on my mind.
'Just do the test and find out. It doesn't take that long any more'
'I know'
'I'm here for you. Just don't worry'
'It's just that I don't know anyone with HIV'. How do they cope?'
'I do, we all stigmatized her at first and then found out that her uncle gave her'
'Which Caro? Your cousin? She can't be'
'Before I found out, I used to gamble. Use condom or not, depending on the man. Since her, I don't gamble. And if we want to take it seriously, we do the test'
'I only did it because Frank was so loose'
'Frank showed himself, what about men and women that chop and clean mouth?'
'Lord have mercy'
 I rest my head backwards and then sit back upright.
'Test yourself at least once a year, have a record. So that, nobody will come and accuse you of anything. You know there is a test that can detect who infected who?'
 I shake my head, I had no idea.
'This my cousin was squatting with my uncle in Abuja, because they were poor and the man molested her. He even claimed she gave him the disease. It was the test that saved her. The man is quarter to dead now, he refused treatment and went herbal. But my cousin even found a husband'
'Ajoke, you are lying'
'No stigma like before and she has two HIV' free children'
'Thank God for her ooo'
'Because of my uncle, all my family members were subjected to HIV tests, my first ever'
'He didn't try to molest you?'
'He did, me I reported him. But my cousin and three girls and a boy in the street were not so Lucky'
'He should be arrested, in prison somewhere'
'My family was ashamed and afraid of the stigma. We all cut them off instead'
'I hope he didn't infect more people'
'Well, what I heard is that he is almost dead or dead. Nothing else'
'My dear, be safe be strong and know your status '
'I will'
   As we end the call, I am quiet. So many innocent people are infected every day. The sooner one knows, the better.

         The sickening smell of bleach or any type of disinfectant filled the room and we both hug and wait. I am nervous and Henrik is smiling. He has obviously done the test recently, so knows for sure he is negative. We are waiting for the rapid test result which will be in fifteen to twenty minutes. Then we will send our blood for further confirmation after three days.
 The doctor is smiling and I am a bit relieved. Should he be frowning? I ask myself and come to think about it, he is so used to giving out results. So a negative or positive is no big deal to him.
 Lord, I commit my blood test unto your hands. I have not been promiscuous, I have been faithful and stayed with my partner. I believed I would marry him, that's why my flesh was weak and I sinned before now. But right now, I am stronger. I am fighting temptations, one day at a time. And by your grace I am winning. I am at the hospital with a man that will marry me next month.
 Please, let me leave this hospital HIV' free. I beg you in Jesus name, amen.
'Ade, did you not hear the doctor?'
 Henrik's voice brought me from my spiritual realm, back to the doctor's office.
 I was dizzy and my ears became clogged and my heart pounds really fast and then did long hard rapid beats. It made me wozzy and I staggered and almost fall forward.

 The shocking question came to my fainting body, why did I just not remain a virgin?

 God, please help me and keep me HIV free.

 Is this prayer a little too late? Abeg help me help me oooo...

**Season 1, Episode 76**
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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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