a writing by Adeosun Olamide Ayo

O.k. listen young man, it is not the end, not the end
of the world, not the end of your life, not the end
of a happy life, it should be the beginning of a new
life, a new chapter, maybe it is even Gods own way
of saving you again, this prescription you will give
to the pharmacist, make sure you take the drugs, they are far too well too important for you, I
implore you come visiting frequently for
counseling the doctor said;
My brain never has been so active, so absorbing
and so understanding.
Just yesterday, I felt I was growing far too old, I felt I already withered away, I felt the touch of
weakness and a voice saying to me, calling to me,
dragging me, I could hear voices in agony, voices
in pain, voices in sorrow saying suicide is an
option, it is the best option, you are sick, how will
you ever survive this? Not this time, God is missing, He won't hear you even if you call to him, do it!
Draw the curtain and in a twinkle it will all be over,
all of it like it never happened. I felt heat within my
soul and I was cold therein. I wasn't living apart from my mother, my beloved
mother, through smile or through cry she has
refused to be apart from me, she has held on to me
and no matter how much she tried to suit me I
cried. Her pain was well concealed on her swollen
face, she faked that smile and even my younger sister knew nothing was right. She didn't deserve this entire, God, she served you,
loved you, please take away her pain away, her
sorrow, I heard my little sister pray.
On my own face is the result of the test I did,
everyone saw it written on my face so they did not
bother asking and even if they did even I would tell them. I was looking just as the beetroot not very far from
the garden. How quickly good times go, how
quickly smile while away, how quickly?
I remember the days my dad would feed me and
my sister, those days when he would drop us off in
his beetle car in school, he would push the car before it kicked off and in the car he had big
stones. In the evening he would buy yogurt and
chocolate sweets for us, he would wash our
uniforms while my mum prepared the best food in
the world, but this same world came crumbling
down when the devil took the form of a beautiful young lady and became our neighbor, at first our
friend and then she turned a beast. My dad soon
left my mum with bruises, he forgot our names,
our birthdates, days went by and he wouldn't see
us, we no longer had dinner with him, he no
longer dropped us at school, he stopped coming to his church, our church, and that was it. He died when I was twelve, I heard he died of HIV
Aids, it was really painful and mum was the last
person to stop crying. As I sat on my bed, the windows closed, I bow my
head to my lap and try to figure out who it could
have been. Could it have been the tall beautiful
Tolani or the well endowed Busola, or is it Cynthia?
It can't be Linda, no it can't be, we did it just once. They were strong girls and I said when I met them
that they were the best thing that ever happened
to me, I said then to myself that they were the best
gift I ever received from God, I said nothing maybe
in the world is as good as Friday night with Busola
but now it is not so. It was never so, never… I loved protection but I hated condoms, it so much
drew the fun backwards and I felt awkward by
using it so most times I did it unprotected. Tears drawing close to my eyes, I remembered
how the same killed my father years back. I
remembered how my journey to hell started, I
remember the send off dinner I had with my
mother, siblings and pastor, I remember every
word they spoke, how my pastor gave me a book to lead me all through my days, he called it the best
gift he could give me, on the cover of the book is
open heavens. I remembered how my mother
insisted I do not stay off campus and how the
pastor convinced her. I remember lots of things, I
remember my dreams, and I remember now. It was a sole journey, my soul journey of four
years to a place I have never been, I have heard
and read about cultism, of a student killing another
over girlfriends, drinks and even football, but all
this has never been my concern. On that day, it was evening, Tunde, the son of my
pastor, should be in his room. It was hard getting
to where he stayed, as I banged the door tiredly,
exhausted of the journey, I heard a female voice, I
thought it's probably another mistake and then
again I heard Tunde's voice, I knew his voice anytime. Tunde was a young smart boy, he is the
baby face of our church and all parents wish they
gave birth to him. He gained admission on a
scholarship after doing his qualification exams
when we were just in secondary school, he had
topped the whole country and so he was awarded a scholarship to study any course of his choice in
any university within the country. Tunde was also
very versatile in the bible, he had such in-depth
knowledge about the bible that even teachers
approached him for bible knowledge. Everywhere
Tunde got to he was loved. As I waited uncomfortably for Tunde to get the door opened
to me, my discomfort grew the more, I hate
cigarettes and now I can perceive it, I wondered
where it came from but in a minute I knew it came
from Tunde's room. Tunde had a fridge, a colored
television, a radio and almost all gadgets we didn't have at home. At first glance that didn't catch my
attention as the girls therein, they were puffing
cigarettes and on the table I saw canned hard
drinks. I coughed as I entered and Tunde and his
guest, his female guest, welcomed me in all accord,
still surprised at what I saw, Tunde introduced me to his friends, Tolani, Busola and Cynthia. Opposite his room lay a dying kiosk, it looks like a
pharmacy from afar but the only thing therein is a
bold board with buy your condom inscribed on it. Tunde has always been a model I could follow and
everyone has always spoken of him in good tone,
Tunde has never been wrong or corrected and
right from time I have heard be like Tunde any
time I err probably this is another world. I sat
calmly on a well laid bed, I tried to sleep as the girls left minutes after I entered but I couldn't, the
smoke remained still in the air. There was a voice droning in me, in my heart,
saying something, something very different, very
different from what I have always heard. This is the
beauty of life, no one to stop you, look at Solomon,
see his lifestyle; will you let the moment pass by,
this fun pass by? The voice kept coming and that night I saw beauty in sin, I now realized my sister
is nagging, I realized my mum is a sadist and then
the priest is a fault finder.
I could feel life in here, one I might have always
wanted, one I have never seen or felt. That night I saw the moon glow and the wind
blew my heart as it drove me to dreamland. Early the next morning, I woke up seeing the
room in a different shape, I saw Tunde studying
and the new scent in the room was different from
that I have seen anywhere. The day looked pretty and delicate as I yawned on
my bed, Tunde cut across that smile and I replied
with good morning, on the table was rice with
fried plantain, I quickly cleaned my mouth and
back was I to devour it.
On that day, we talked, talked and talked with the girls joining later in the day. One of the girls had sat on my laps, and it fuelled
something in me, one reaction I had not seen or
felt before. On the bed that night I thought about each and
every moment with the girls as the wind blew me
to dreamland. I think I had a dream I should pray against but I
didn't I even prayed for it, I didn't remember the
beginning of the dream but I caught a glance of
Cynthia and I was so intimate with her as I
penetrated her in the dream. Early the next
morning I woke feeling a bit uneasy and tired, feeling a bowl down my intestine, there was
something sticky in my boxer short, it was sticky
liquid and whitish no one had to tell me it was
sperm as I remembered my biology teacher with
her glasses, how she will say sperm looks like milk
and all the big boys in the class will laugh, we didn't have a sample of sperm in our biology
laboratory then though my school was the best,
we had a court where we did all sport on, we
played football, basketball, volleyball on the court
and we did our early morning gathering there. The dream told me and passed unto me a message
not hard to figure, it tells you are matured mide,
you are. Soon my behaviors, attitudes and social customs
associated with the opposite sex drew apart and
with Tunde I opened a chapter, a new brand
episode one that brought me here. The first line of the chapter was if it looks like a
hole, walks like a whore and gestures like whole, it
is simply an invitation and you must grab it. That was my first course in higher school, on the
day I was to be examined, I didn't do too bad, and
carefully I sorted the stages out. My partner was
Busola, she had done it more than she could
remember, her remarks were impressive and on it
we continued the exam almost every weekend. Gradually I killed conscience nonetheless there
were moment when I realized how much I forgot
God, how far I have gone away from Him, far away
from Him. Soon I graduated from Busola and tasted others, it
was becoming too usual and not a week passed
without sex. I never knew the way to my faculty as I settled my
class representative with goodies so as to include
my name in every attendance list. Weeks passed, and all through this moment I
forgot venereal diseases, I forgot God, I forgot my
pastor teachings, I forgot it all because of the
pleasure I got on and on, one that pleased me. Well it is my life, my sex life. There were times I thought about mother, she
trusted me too well and Tunde extremely well and
didn't see any reason why I would change slightly
and sin against my body. Then it started the fever, the chills, the rash, night
sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, ulcer in
my mouth. I was ill and it was the worst ever. And then I was healthy again but this time
stronger. All through the period of my illness, no one
checked on me or called to me, I was alone,
abandoned, forgotten and it made me feel I was of
little value. I knew I had to do something to be a little
indispensable so that they won't go to club, to the
parties without me in consequent times.
So I got the girls back and like never before we
had unprotected sex almost every two days. But again the fever came, the chills came, the rash
came, the sweats in the night, muscle aches and
this time it came with a stronger force, even
stronger than the former. They were there for me this time; they took me to
the school clinic. I was placed on drills and in two
days discharged. The cause they said was as a result of less sleep,
not eating and mosquito. I was told to eat more
often and get more sleep. They gave me tonic, milk
and malt to replenish my blood.
But then it came on and on, coming and going, my
face growing pale, my appetite gone then my fears drew nigh, I couldn't sleep but I rejected it.
What if it is a sexually transmitted disease, what if?
Probably Chlamydia but I didn't experience painful
or burning urination and then again I thought of
gonorrhea yet again burning urination isn't part of
my problems. I had no genital sore so syphilis or genital herpes
was out of it. There was nothing growing on my
penis so it was not genital warts, because I felt no
burning, itching and discomfort in my urethra I
knew it was far from trichomoniasis.
It was beginning to dawn on me, but how on earth will I accept it, how? I knelt down and
bowed my heads searching for God, I needed him
now so I wanted so bad to get back with him.
I prayed, I called Him to help me, to save me, to
give me another chance and take my fear away.
God kept quite all through, He looked at me only maybe because I failed myself before.
That night I searched and searched and searched.
I searched my Bible out, I didn't know what to
read, where to read and so I just opened it
The book of Deuteronomy I opened, chapter five of the book. As I read with tears in my eye, flowing
down my cheeks, I didn't need to realize his
presence left me, I left His holy presence.
That night I slept a desperate man, desperate for
several thing, I wanted to get back with God, get
back with my mother, my pastor and see a doctor the next day for a test.
Early the next morning, I was at youth friendly, a
center where I will see a doctor.
I witnessed the early morning sun rise, it remain
one beauty I will like to behold again, one I won't
forget. I know miracles exist and they happen, maybe
one will happen in my case, I wanted to keep
waiting, I stared at the brilliant sun, letting the
tiniest of breezes through my mind, that morning
was beautiful it was the most beautiful ever. No
one was there, only birds, the melody they gave through chirping and shrieking was one that
would win more than a Grammy. The flowers
produced an overwhelming scent one I held the
breathe within. The breeze blew all my pain away,
all my sorrows it took away and then the sun grew
into hot, the birds flew away and the sight of the doctor brought back my pain.
Why do you want to do the test? The doctor asked;
he didn't await my reply when he said it is the best
thing to do. There are several people that have
been living with HIV for twenty years that I know
of. HIV transmission occurs most commonly during intimate sexual contact with an infected person,
including genital, anal and oral sex. He continued
adjusting his glasses; his voice grew low as he
continued. It can also be contacted through
having direct contact with HIV infected blood.
Anyone can have HIV; health professionals sometimes accidentally stick themselves with
needles containing HIV infected blood.
He talked about the mother to child transmission,
about the baby in the uterus infection, how
mothers pass the virus to child during pregnancy,
labor, delivery or breast feeding, he talked on and on, he talked about the solution to the mother to
child transmission, about antiretroviral drugs
(ARVs), its necessity to infected mothers. You
know mide, most pregnant women do not come
for voluntary testing, counseling services so they
do not have access or even know if they need the anti retroviral therapy, safe delivery practice, and
sometimes safe use of breast milk substitutes, he
said; then what about steering an awareness
program? I asked; he talked about the cost and all
of it and then it came back to me, to our
government, to everyone in the society, how far a coin would go.
He told me lot and lots of things, on that day I
knew a handshake, hugging, kissing or even
sharing dishes or bathroom facilities' with an
infected person don't cause HIV.
At last the result was out and I was positive, I cried and cried silently, God did save me, he made me
realize at this stage and so I was lucky.
You have HIV not Aids and with the right drug,
right food, right environment you will be very fine.
The doctor tried failing to soothe me.
Human immunodeficiency virus is the infectious agent that cause acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome (AIDS), a disease that leave a person
vulnerable to life threatening infections. The virus
attacks the immune system (the body system that
fights diseases). He held forth; there are drugs that
have been developed to suppress the virus replication, thereby preventing the destruction of
the immune system. The drugs target different
stages in the life cycle of HIV, the drugs are known
as antiretroviral therapy and they prevent viral
disease that ravage the immune system, with the
drugs your body has the ability to defend itself from infection and diseases.
The day was far spent and fast gone, I walked like
a fragile old man home that day and I didn't talk
about it to anyone. In consequent days my mum
knew and now I am on antiretroviral therapy but
more closer to God, in his presence, I have kids now and my wife and none, I mean none is
infected, with the virus.
Today I am happy to be here and fulfilled you got
here, I am lucky.
HIV does not make you less pretty, less strong.
I please plead that you go for check up. Don't let the last stage push you to and above all if
not abstinence from sex, use latex condom.

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