My wife to be Kemi is HIV positive. I got to know after engaging her. Am going ahead with the marriage and keeping her HIV status as a secret between us and her mother alone. I can’t stand people discriminating her.
Before meeting Kemi, I was the spoilt and only child of a business mogul. My mum runs a successful clothing company. One of the biggest in the country, my dad runs a successful cement distribution company. I was brought up with the mentality that the rich are meant to ride the poor and only mingle with people of the same level and class as them.
My mum and dad used to maltreat their employees and threaten them with sack to get the best out of them, and make them worship us like we were from another planet. None of them dare complain about this unfair treatment else they lose their job to another in search of employment.
One incident I never forget was one in which my mum fired all the workers of the packaging department for complaining about reduction in their salary due to poor patronage for that month, and that day got replacement for them. People flock around the factory gate daily for employment.
My dad wasn’t treating those working for him better in anyway. All my friends were from rich families and we share the same mentality. I never knew what it was like to be poor or depending on someone for your daily bread. I had all I wanted and intended treating poor people same as my parents. Something then happened.
After my secondary education, arrangements were made for me to go and live in America with my uncle and further my education there. On the day of my departure, I took a flight leaving Abuja for Lagos where I was to take the flight to America. Some hours into the flight, our pilot announced that he had lost control of the plane so we should try our best to be calm and say our prayers.
I couldn’t remember what I said. All I knew was that the plane crashed and burnt. Everyone on board was declared dead. No one knew I survived the crash.
My dad who couldn’t believe the news collapsed and stayed in the hospital for a week before being discharged. The news of my death made them reverse their actions towards their workers. No one could believe something like that would happen to me. According to my dad, it felt like losing everything they had been working for. The vanity that this life is hit them with a big blow.
I stayed three years in the village where the plane crash occurred recovering. The first year recovering from the severe injury I had all over my body. The other two as the son of a farmer and a cattle rearer, who rescued me from the scene of the plane crash. I had retrograde amnesia and couldn’t remember who I was before the plane crash. The poor farmer and his family housed me and took care of me as their own. They had no children of their own so I was like a blessing from heaven to them. I learnt cattle rearing and farming from them and what it feels like to be poor. Though I lost my memory, it felt good learning what I learnt from them while the memory loss lasted. It all contributed to the better human being I have become and I could never have wished for a better teacher.
I started having dreams and visions of my life before the plane crash my third year with the cattle rearer and his wife, so I asked to be taken to the site of the plane crash. Little memory of how I boarded the plane came. I started visiting the site to see if anyone from the city would come by but none came. Months later, my memory came so I asked to be taken to the park where I took a bus to Lagos.
For the first time in my life I took public transport and sat in a bus for hours and enjoyed the company of people, I was brought up not to mingle with. It felt great to feel like a normal human being.
When I got home, no one could believe it. My dad took me to my memorial grave and showed me where they put an empty coffin to represent me because they couldn’t get my body from the plane crash. Tears followed as I read my engraved name ‘Bode Adekunle’. My dad later ordered the destruction of the memorial stone. We also visited the airport and scraped my name off the death list on the memorial stone erected at the airport.
My mum organised a very big party for me in which everyone present were treated equally with respect. Family members had no objections for my parents made their new approach to life straight. The farmer and his wife were rewarded for their kindness, at the party with a large sum and a support for their community and business by my parents.
When it was time to continue my education, I asked my parents to allow me school in Nigeria on a low budget. They agreed and I got admitted to one of the best federal university in Nigeria to study business administration. While in the university, I met Ade who became my roommate and best friend at 200 levels. I got interested in him when I attended one of his tutorials on a topic in business Mathematics that was giving me tough time. I got to understand later that he pays his school fees and house rent from the money he gain from the tutorials. We became roommates when his landlord wasn’t patient enough for him to raise money for rent after paying his school fees at 200 levels. We helped each other through school. I didn’t let him or anyone know my family back ground. When he asked, I told him I grew up in an orphanage home and it has been all I had as a home until school. I also told him I was on scholarship. After school, I followed him to his house at Isachi Lagos where I lived with his mum and two younger siblings. They accepted me as the orphan that I told them I was. Again, I had another poor family to learn from before youth service. It was there I met Kemi.
Kemi was the eldest child and first daughter of a lady that runs a local restaurant not too far from our house. She had two younger siblings. One (a boy) in Jss 3, the other (a girl) in primary six, Kemi was a 300 levels part time student of Lagos State University. Whenever she is not in school, she will be with her mum helping with the restaurant. I fell in love with her person the very first day I visited the restaurant with Sam to get a quick one for the stomach when there was no food in the house that day. I became a frequent customer and whenever I visited, I made sure we chat. True Stories were around about her affairs with men that visit the restaurant but they didn’t stop me from going for her. I got to know she used the money she got from the men to sponsor her education, for her mums business was not enough to pay for her tuition.
Before going for Youth Service with Sam, we started dating. She promised to stop seeing men when I get back from service and get a good job. It was then I revealed my identity to her and Sam. First they didn’t believe until I took them to my family house in Lekki and introduced her to my parents as the girl I intend getting married to. She stopped seeing the men and concentrated on her education, expenses on me.
After service, my dad employed Sam as one of the supervisors of his company. I engaged Kemi to marry her after her graduation, there after we will both travel to America to further our studies.
One afternoon, she got a call that her mum was rushed to a hospital from the restaurant. She collapsed while attending to a customer.
At the hospital, the doctor informed her that her mum had Anaemia and she would need blood donation. Kemi volunteered her blood for she is of same blood group with her mum. Some hours after taking Kemis blood sample for test, the doctor asked to see her in private. She was then informed her blood could not be used for she was HIV Positive.
Receiving the shocking news of her HIV status, Kemi ran to the busy road opposite the hospital to commit suicide. She got hit by a taxi and rushed to the hospital to join her mum on admission.
When she regained consciousness, her mum insisted the doctor call me and inform me of the situation. At the hospital, the doctor briefed me about everything that happened and how Kemi attempted suicide after knowing her HIV status. I then visited her and made it known to her that am going ahead with the marriage. We are in an age where HIV Positive couples can have children that are free from the virus.
Her HIV status remained a secret between the three of us till date.
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