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[Hiv Support Group] Looking For People Who Are Hiv + Poz For Poz (Compiled)


bludragon

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I was wondering whether I should type it out but since I'm already facing the PC...I might as well do it.

BEGINNING

The only guy in the camp to have his test results delayed....three grueling days. Considering the fact that you are left with a week to your promised Pink I.C but yet you are still juggling with training, HOTO (handing over, taking over to your junior) and plans as a normal civilian. However it was just that egging voice "What if..." that really seems to get menacing and strangely bolder as the days go by. Bad enough since I used to work as a medical profession, that fear really intensifies. I brushed it off in thinking that like any other army bloke, "Its army...Bo Pian!" But I will soon regret in even uttering that such remark.

On the fourth day, the weather did not seem to dampen the trainees' mood. I guess it was close to lunch time or its probably the other way around that the programme is coming to its end. Somehow I have yet to brush that feeling off...but I just pushed it at the back of the mind. Trainees first. And as usual...the normal routine of instructions.

My Nokia (though it was silent) was on the wooden bench gave a buzz.

Probably a text message from my guy.

However that buzz seemed...urgent....persistent and definitely annoying because the trainees were distracted with its fierce clattering across the wooden surface. I gave a signal to my junior for him to take over. As I walked a few distance away from the training ground, I looked at the screen. Probably it was just my imagination? Or my thoughts were racing through with "As long as the medical officer does not address you via the phone, you will be fine..." and definitely a lot of "What if..."s. Mustering my courage, I picked up the phone. Somehow it sounded like a croak

"H...hello?"

"Is this....SGT B? This is Captain H. I need you to come by the medical centre during lunch time. It concerns you."

It was like the last nail to the coffin. My heart dropped upon hearing that harsh; last three words. I knew it was unethical to talk about my 'condition' over the phone but I felt at that moment...that fury...the anger boiling over to demand that the Captain to tell me truthfully.

"Sir...is it because of my blood result?"

"I cannot discuss this over the phone. Come over to the medical centre"

"Is it tested Positive. Am I HIV positive?"

The voice of the Captain seem to waver uncomfortably but that lasted only for a few minutes and I definitely pushed his buttons.

"SGT! Hear me clearly and I do not need my instructions to be repeated. Be at the medical centre!"

*click*

And that bitter coldness sets in.

Not from the surroundings itself but from the voice which had its final laugh.

*****

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When I first realised someone whom I love was poz, my world shattered and my mind literally went blank and crazy....

Whoever you feel in love with, his diagnosis does not change his personality (since that is the one of the factors to fall in love...besides looks). How did it turn out though?

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Whoever you feel in love with, his diagnosis does not change his personality (since that is the one of the factors to fall in love...besides looks). How did it turn out though?

Yes u are right....after the initial shock, I accepted him as who he is...but nothing happen as it was a one way love...

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The Results

I gave a quick tap on the door and slowly enter. Same office. Different time, different situation. The medical officer looked up from his pile of papers and gestured me to take a seat. Probably reading out my blood results or just bidding his time to break the news. A man in his mid 30s....in any sense, breaking grave news couldn't have been easy for him. From the look of his face, its now or never.

"SGT B.....what makes you think that I will be breaking bad news to you?" he smiled. Somehow the smile was too weak to diffuse the highly charged tension. And second of all, it was just another trick question that usually most medical professions would use to a lay fear.

I gave a nervous laugh.

"Sir out of respect. My friends who are ORDing the same week as me have receive their results. I am the only one whose blood result is delayed by four days. No medical officer would go through the trouble to make a call to a NSF unless it is a serious situation. And I am medically trained. I know what the call is for and the reason why I am here."

The MO kept quiet. Somehow he knew that I was no fool to play around with.

"Sir, please show me the result."

Slowly, he took several pieces of paper from the pile and lay it gently.

"I need you to take it easy, ok?"

Plastered in the middle was my name with the result stating I tested positive. Failing my ELISA and Western Blot test. And what seems to appear to be is a brief instruction on breaking the news. I read once...no couple of times thinking I was imagining but yet my name is there. Reality sets in and I blinked back a few tears. As for the MO, he was reading me as though vetting out signs of a breakdown. Denial. Outburst. Like a caged animal.

"So...what is my next step from here, Sir?" I whispered. I stared hard at the Medical Officer. He seem to be taken aback by my frankness and the lack of emotional outburst.

" I have to make a referral to the CDC and..." I cut him across.

"No....what i mean. What about my job?"

".....your job?"

"I mentioned that I am medically trained. I am a nurse"

"SGT...this could be too much for you in a day. Both of us equally know what needs to be done..." he said gently. I kept quiet.

"Sir...I need time and I don't feel the need to come back to camp"

"Understandable"

With a week worth of MC clutched in my hand, I wasnt paying much attention to the questions that the MO ask as part of the protocol. My mind was buzzing with thoughts of work...losing a career and the next step from there. To what and where? What will happen to me? Seems like ages and the whole procedure ended. The MO gave me an encouragement stating that i will be fine but i told him as much as he tries to cheer me up, it cant be helped at all.

Finally out.

Two task.

Handing the copy of the MC to Encik.

And making a much needed call.

******

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Guest Ironrod

Blu u are one of the strong spirit.

U may not be able a nurse but u can still be in admin/operations etc in the hospital.

Bumming for u , else post your story in main so more ppl can read it and higher chance u find another poz friend.

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damn, i feel for you want i read what you wrote. anyway here a thought, be a writer! :D

im glad you are leading life in a positive light now?(shit no pun intended)

all the best mate! and i will be looking forward to read more of your story!

Edited by Spencer
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damn, i feel for you want i read what you wrote. anyway here a thought, be a writer! :D

im glad you are leading life in a positive light now?(shit no pun intended)

all the best mate! and i will be looking forward to read more of your story!

Can't help but agree. Very good writing!

Feed me your best shot! :yuk:

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Blu u are one of the strong spirit.

U may not be able a nurse but u can still be in admin/operations etc in the hospital.

Bumming for u , else post your story in main so more ppl can read it and higher chance u find another poz friend.

To Ironclad,

Hey thanks for the encouragement. Really appreciate it though.

I have a wonderful group of people from the Project Hope Ive attended and we keep in touch often but the reason for me is just to share like my earlier post had stated. As I add in more of the entries, it will probably give reasons why I did it.

As for the job, nah....there would be no career because of the setbacks of being a hiv carrier.

Regards,

Blu

PS: Oh yea...I thought this bulletin was the ideal sort but how do i change it to the main one?

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keep us in suspense, making us curious and making us want to find out more! haha, lol its kind of sadist to want to find out about your story, not that im happily looking forward to read your life story but just like to find out more and learn from you. I think ultimately thats the message you want to deliver right? :)

Cheers!

Edited by Spencer
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hi bludragon, as a nurse yourself, you can still be a RN and continue to progress your career. There are many nursing appointments available which fits your HIV status. Dont be discouraged!

I am glad that you've taken the news positively and carry on with your life. If i were you, most probably i will bid the world goodbye. Its very strong of you as depicted in the post. I guess its a wake up call to those who sleeps around...

Keep your stories coming in, share with us your experience and spread the word. :)

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hi bludragon, as a nurse yourself, you can still be a RN and continue to progress your career. There are many nursing appointments available which fits your HIV status. Dont be discouraged!

I am glad that you've taken the news positively and carry on with your life. If i were you, most probably i will bid the world goodbye. Its very strong of you as depicted in the post. I guess its a wake up call to those who sleeps around...

Keep your stories coming in, share with us your experience and spread the word. :)

To Atropine,

It wouldnt be easy if i were to continue my nursing career. As much as I want to, it will be damaging for my health and mental wellness.

Anyway thanks for the encouragement.

Cheers,

Blu

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Not everyone is discreet or understand poz. Perhaps this thread could be retitled Looking for Friendship/Relationship - Magnetic or Not :) Then everyone can join in without worrying about Hiv disclosure...? Just a thot :)

@Bludragon: yes, it can be a daunting journey but we can learn to be stronger too, thru the experience. Found homeopathy and TCM a good addition to my health regimen, and newsletter from the following site has been very good for mental wellness... Keeps me informed and knowledgeable about options, alleviates worries...

http://www.thebody.com/

Be well!

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Not everyone is discreet or understand poz. Perhaps this thread could be retitled Looking for Friendship/Relationship - Magnetic or Not :) Then everyone can join in without worrying about Hiv disclosure...? Just a thot :)

@Bludragon: yes, it can be a daunting journey but we can learn to be stronger too, thru the experience. Found homeopathy and TCM a good addition to my health regimen, and newsletter from the following site has been very good for mental wellness... Keeps me informed and knowledgeable about options, alleviates worries...

http://www.thebody.com/

Be well!

Thanks for updating me about this. Though for me making sure eating right and being mentally well is the most important. Oh yea about that....there are some who are not really aware about the meaning of POZ or a magnetic relationship.

Cheers,

Blu

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Flight, fight or wayang?

Deep breath. Steady. Take a deep breath.....

Dammit....I am so...tired...even putting on a this mask. Especially with him.

Seems like a battle of two entities were having a war game. Flight or fight? What options do I have? It is my final act for this place. Looking over my Nokia for the time, Encik probably in his Office even when everyone is happily lunching away. Being his personal assistant for close to a year does have its 'perks'. Chains of servitude....The hell am i thinking? I shook off the idea.

I walked in. And as always piles upon piles of 'documents' stacked on top of each other blocking the view. He seems awfully busy but I gave a brief cough and greeted him. Doing so he replied with a gruff.

"Yes SGT Blu? What is it this time? The trainees having a problem with the timing or lesson plans? I already told you to send an email to their Officer if they refuse to...."

"Sorry Sir, it has nothing to do with them.....it concerns me."

Surprisingly, he turned and eyed me hard. No way I am falling for this trick again. I slipped the MC in front of his desk. Slowly, his eyes hovered from the top of the paper to the minuscule words stating that I was given a weeks worth of MC. I could feel the tension building and sense his clogworks spinning hard and fast....assuming that I did try to pull off a fast one when....

"Hahaha....good one Blu! How the hell you manage to get a weeks worth of MC right before you ORD? The hell? You must have done some voodoo on the Medical Officer!"

Damn! Be in my bloody shoes for once and you know what it is like. I accidently gave a grimace and from the looks of Encik, he though I really did pull a fast one.

"Sir, I am sorry to cause the inconvenience but I need medical attention outside the camp. The MO says it is a serious matter. Besides you can give him a call"

"Hrmm"

"Look Sir..."

(Thinking back, I cant believe that I really used a trump card even at this point of time)

I removed my glasses. After four days worth of sleepless nights, somehow the right side of eye was much puffier. Together with the MC and the puffiness, that seems to put the drama to its effect. And the Encik took the bait.

"Fine...fine."

...thank god...

"Anyway you've done your HOTO to your junior?

*********

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Snake

"Hey Blu! Leaving early? Wow...Congrates man! Can't fxxking believe you are going to leave camp. Some more MC before ORD? Da hell? Take care and see you around as a reservist!" joked one of the Guards; a cheerful Malay Corporal patrolling the front gate of the camp. I had to show my MC as proof in order to exit out from the camp.

I know the Guards meant well and I had been close with them. Shared the same bunk and even joked through the freezing and dull nights when we had our night duties before my ORD month. Somehow it was like a sad note to the whole situation. I faked a laugh and gave a sheepish grin. Telling myself....less attention for the better good. No amount of good if I start bragging ORD when I have a serious matter on hand. A while before I had reached the gates, I had packed some of my stuff neatly into my bag and gave that call.

A call of reprieve.

An answer.

But somehow it did not turn out as what I had expected or hear.

"Hey Sayang, what's up?"

"Did you remember about the delay of my blood test for ORD FFI? I got the results..."

"Ook....the Army screwed up your test result again? Relax. You sound dead serious."

Anger boiling. I cut him short.

"I am serious. The results came back. I'm tested positive. I saw the papers. Get it?!"

My sharp retort came with an immediate silence. As though the other recipient was punched with venom for each words. All the emotions that I had carefully walled up was breaching its limit.

".....dear. I am at work. We will talk this later. Do not get upset. I will call you later. Bye."

CLICK

Do not get upset? I am at work? What is going on? Instead of answers or reassurance, I am being swarmed with alot of angry questions. Angrily buzzing and accusing me for putting my guard down in the last few months before this incident. There were alot of "What ifs". I was the nurse and knowing the medical knowledge at the back of my head was my forte. I was puzzled when friends whom we have not met for quite some time asked me discreetly how unusually 'thin' he is and my response would be work and he eats like a bird. Until one of them showed me a picture taken in the past that reality jarred me awake to question him. He would say that if it had been 'IT', he would be informed during his ORD. He would often complain tiredness and taking panadol frequently to tide his 'incoming' night fever. But I "finally" acted on my alarm when one of the days he complain of sore throat and I had a peek at it. To my horror were white spots caking his tongue. Immediately I brought him to the hospital (thinking back how foolish it had been rather than bringing him to DSC) and the result tested negative. I too had my own doubts...I was afraid of taking the blood test. As though I was in denial that my partner could not have 'IT'. That is impossible.

I was in between my gut instinct and the trust of my partner. A partner that I trusted and had been together for long years. Though we had our fights, we usually get over it.

With each clues, seems to set off an alarm.

And for each alarm, I dismiss it with a denial button.

I snapped out from daydream and realized I was several steps away from the yellow gate.

My folly seems to cage my own fate.

The sun was blazing and the birds were chirping innocently....

*******

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The Family

I love my family as any other child would love their parents. They were the most pious and nicest folks but strict when it comes to the holy scriptures. Since I came from that background, I was taught that every actions and effect were God's will. However for that reason, I struggled hard when I was trying to come in terms with my sexuality and teachings. There were times I thought it was just a phase. No matter how hard I pray, that struggle seems to overwhelm me. Mentally, I was close to giving up. I doubt my parents would accept that their eldest son is gay. Any mention of the word 'different' seems to end any lively conversation. And that struggle? Was just the peak of the iceberg. It came as a of form a knife that hurled from the unlikely 'ally'.

I came back home from school as usual. I was happy since it was the last papers of the exam week. Nothing would spoil my mood. Nothing. Or so I had thought. As I was about to open the door, it flew open. I was greeted by my mother. I smiled however my attempt faltered the moment I saw the look.

"Hi mom....something...wrong?"

"Come in....drop the bag. Your father is waiting for you. Family talk now!"

I was dumbfounded. From the look of her face...it was serious. Traditionally, a standard family member has their own roles and function; the mother who takes care of the children and the father as the sole breadwinner. My mom would balance affection and discipline but in this case, if my father is brought into the picture.....it was beyond her capabilities. I shuddered at the idea. I silently walked into the living room. Since the entrance was adjoined to the living room, I already saw the ominous figure of my father behind the family couch. My mother swept pass me and heavily sat on the couch. As though burden by whatever she had in mind to say or felt. I kept my silence. My mother had her head bowed. Her hands clenched open and shut as if to muster every strength she could. It was not my imagination that I saw tears drip silently onto her palms. Finally she spoke.

"Blu, we need to talk to you about something. I...we....B, we were informed that you have some confusion."

"Confusion....what do you mean confusion?"

"We could overcome this. With prayers and the right person you will be fine. But as for now, it could have been the devil's work."

"What? No mom...you got it wrong! I...I am not what you think!"

"B....You dare lie to your own mother? I got a call from school and...and I confirmed it with a friend of yours. God...I...I. I DO NOT THINK NO SON OF MINE IS GAY! You know yourself...you know the scriptures....it is forbidden!"

I stood stunned....the avalanche of words streamed from my mothers mouth seems hard to digest. How...how did she know that I went for counselling? Or even to the littlest detail that I confided my inner most struggle and secret to a 'friend'. In my struggle to juggle N levels and sexuality, I thought it was safest to confide it a friend whom I had trusted. He was initially shocked but he said that maybe the friendly school counsellor would give me an ideal haven to talk without worry. And unfortunately, my privacy was breached.

I struggled to talk. To deny the truth and to pretend it never happen was killing me inside. It has to be said. I do not care of the consequences. At least they would know the struggle I had gone through alone.

"Mum....you don't understand. It is not easy for me. I...I did what you have told me. I prayed as much as I can. B..But it is just too hard. The more I avoid it, the harder it is. Please understand."

"Like I said...it is the devils work. You...you maybe haven't mingle with the good crowd. It's must be the TV that you got the idea from!"

"You have met my friends. How could you make a judgement?! This is not fair. I did not do anything wrong! I...I..I Like boys!

My mother gave out a sharp gasp. And I saw my father clenched both his fingers onto the shoulder of my mother. Their fear is affirm. It was beyond what they had been taught by the book or even the faith they had believed in. Such honesty was too taboo. And that spark an immediate reaction. With a swift motion, my dear mother who hardly give more than a severe scolding when I was a child stood up and gave a sharp stinging slap across my right cheek. My cheek stung with humiliation and anger.

"Such Blasphemy! We did not teach you to turn out this way! What do you think of my feelings?! Or your fathers? You are ungrateful!"

"I am not ungrateful! I am telling you the truth. You think I want to be this way? You think I have ask God many times to remove this thoughts? I want your understanding! Not your anger or your hatred!"

I screamed with each fiber I could have mustered. With the pain and the lack of understanding, I felt I was bullied by own faith that it was I who was in the wrong. Not faith or God. And finally I realized from the look of my father. That alone sent chills down my spine. It was muted anger. I could not recall whether my father said both sentences to me. It was hard for me to recall those sentences as I was visibly upset by it.

"You are no son of mine. I want you to leave! Get out! I said get out!"

I did not remember whether I had said any words to him but for all I know, I rushed to my room. And slammed the door and lock it shut.

Silence ensued.

Only the muffled crying of a young boy in his school uniform crying his heart out. Crying because dealing with the injustice and feeling the loneliness.

************

Part B to be continued

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The Family (Part B)

I thought that my period of accidental coming out was the toughest ride of my life. Being ripped out from the cocoon of safety and into a spiral of mental torture. You can heal from wounds when the vessel is harmed but no torture can equate to a small trap that sits inside your cranium. A cage. No chains. No guards. Just words were enough to weaken that will. My parents put me through what they thought was the 'best' for me. To cleanse off my 'illness' by countless prayers. The constant harassment with meetings of religious counseling. I lost my luster. And doing so, I created a twisted form of friendship with Anger and Misery. They hounded me when I was alone. Both never miss a beat. I walked into my room and saw Misery slouching by the bed. Motionless. Staring into vacant space before uttering.

"Same routine I suppose?"

"Do I look pleased with the situation? Its not going to stop until they see me repent...."

"Repent...to lie or not to lie....lie and you are still trap by that lie. To tell the truth, you are trap again. So why put the effort?"

"....."

Anger brushed past, looking into the shelves of the countless books that stacked neatly in rows as though searching. Finally decided to take out a very familiar book. Lime green and embossed in gold. He sneered.

"He just a damn coward. Just a coward to hide behind a book."

Palm clenched tightly. Struggling to control my temper.

"I am no coward!"

"Heh...prove it then!"

Anger stepped forward and drop the book into my palm. I stared at it hard. I felt my knuckles turn white as though wanting to rip the hardcover with my bare hands. Suddenly with a burst of blinded anger, I threw the book forward. Books cascaded down in thundering pile. I look up and saw no Anger or Misery but only the destruction of my faith.

**********

What a past.

Somehow this chapter seems harder than coming out. I chose the night since both my parents will be at home and probably at ease than the hectic of the day. I looked at my mum. Feeling the bitter guilt rising slowly. She look so different now. Homely. Bringing up three children does take a toll on her. Am I going to be that selfish about my decision? I was told by relatives that in her hay day, my mum was a catch to the eyes of men. Alabaster skin and big doe eyes that match evidently with her jet black hair. Father would say she knows how to take care of the heart....through the stomach of course. And mum would say father was a charmer....well he knows when to pour love through his actions and not words.

I walked into my parents room and closed the door behind. Sensing something wrong, my mum look up.

"I need to talk."

"About work? Monday you are going to start to work in that hospital. Nervous is it?"

"No...not nervous."

Mum raised her eyebrows. Dad asked.

"Then whats the reason. Speak up."

"I...i want to end my bond..with the hospital."

I could not look into my parents face. All I can imagine was my parents utter disbelieve. I told them before of my dreams of using this career as a stepping stone. See the world and have a taste of it.

"No...I don't care B. You are going to complete this bond. You like it or not, you are going to complete it!" shrieked my mum.

"Mum....i...i just cant."

"Listen to me young man! Who is the one who brag to me and your father about your dreams, huh?"

"I...uh..."

"Ive told you several...no...many times that taking a bond is risky. Look at it now?! After 2 years of NS and you are telling us this? We don't have the money to pay it all back"

I bit my tongue. Only way to get this through is to head on. I hate lying but I saw no option. And I am taking a huge risk with this russian roulette. I did the unthinkable. The emotions that I had walled up from camp crumbled. I teared up.

"Mum...I know its sudden but I lost interest. I am really really sorry. I wish I could do something about it" I croaked. Blinded by tears, all I saw was the stricken face of my mother and father. Worried. Worried about the turn of events and my sudden tearing. I don't cry easily and they knew that. Suddenly my father spoke.

"B...are you positively sure you want to break this bond? Did someone or something force you to change your mind?"

I kept mum. Tell now? No...the truth is too much. Break of a bond and an illness to boot? I think that is not the wisest decision.

"I say this again. Are you completely sure you want to break this bond?"

"...yes..."

A lie.

"No interest in being a nurse?"

"No..."

Another lie.

A deep sigh.

"....I will talk to your grandmother. She might help."

"R! What are you saying? Leave your mother alone. Let him settle this problem this time!" cried my mum. Her voice was reaching a few higher notes when it comes to her mother in law.

"....i will talk but he knows the consequences from there on."

My father trudged out from the room, open the door and slowly close behind him.

A few sobs.

God....I hate myself

*****************

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So reading from the latest part, does that mean your parents have come to make peace with you being gay?

If they know that you're + , I can imagine them saying "That's God's punishment for you listening to the devil".

Anyhow - it's good that you can channel your emotions into writing. Like people say above, being + nowadays is not the end of the world, and a complete cure is just around the corner.

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So reading from the latest part, does that mean your parents have come to make peace with you being gay?

If they know that you're + , I can imagine them saying "That's God's punishment for you listening to the devil".

Anyhow - it's good that you can channel your emotions into writing. Like people say above, being + nowadays is not the end of the world, and a complete cure is just around the corner.

From N levels to post Ord...its a long journey. I dont expect my parents to think ive changed any different.

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One of the Sevens

When I used the tittle above, It will be one of the drastic actions or perhaps desperation to clear within the seven days. Was it a right decision that I had made? I leave it to the readers. But always I make it a reminder that anyone is capable when forced. That is human nature. Capable to do the most beautiful things and at the same time the worst of all humanity.

My bond was one the biggest wall that I faced. I broke my ego to swallow the shame, put on the silver tongue of lies and the multiple masks to hide. The first people were my parents, the next were my relatives and finally my grandmother. So much deceit. I rehearsed my lies to the point, I felt guiltless in making use a person to forge on. Twenty three thousand dollars worth of savings. At age of twenty three to pull a lifeline from an old woman's savings. And whatever I had spun, managed to hoodwinked the people who had their trusts on me. One of the biggest stain in the chapters. Dark and tarry. Nevertheless, necessary to survive.

Hiding the shame of finding out being positive at work was my main true goal.

To bury it deep. Hide it. Remove any trace that I had ever work in that field.

No way will I work in a field that I will be shunted to a lesser capability because of the virus that lay deep within my flesh and bones. I do not trust the working professionals to keep my secret. A slip of a tongue and that will be the end. No fool would risk it. A 'healthy' young man from National Service thrown to do admin job? Rumors are sharpen by the faceless whispers. And a eventual slow death to my career and deterioration of mental being and health.

I was alone in my thoughts. Plotting for the next steps of action when a knock on my bedroom door snap me back to reality.

"What is it Dad?"

"....its about your bond. Your grandmother finally agreed to lend you the money. But you are going to pay back in whatever means necessary"

"Ok...anything else?" I coolly asked

"No...wait...she...she just said that she wishes you the best of luck."

Every bit of luck. I am in this rabbit hole. How worst can it turn out to be?

I looked at the crumpled piece of old letter. I sighed. Another call.

Another fresh batch of victims?

*****************

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I was almost tearing up reading "Family pt B".

I'm exactly your age, and my biggest concerns mostly revolve around school stuffs while you are going through all this. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is.

Please keep up the strength and don't lose your faith.

I have a friend who is a Bio-chemistry major. The other day we were chit-chatting about all stuffs in the world, and she told me that the cure to HIV has already been discovered and medically tested. She said that it could be put into commercial use by 2020.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To my dear readers,

I had been absent for these couple of weeks and i am truelly sorry. Been really busy with alot of visitings and plans during this festive month (yes Eid Mubarrak takes a month to clear). I will try to update but I prefer to write it down slowly...I dont like certain aspect of the posts to be rushed. I can type a couple of the same posts and delete it immediately even it had been a very long post (crazy...but that is pretty normal i guess).

Yours sincerely,

Blu

EID MUBARRAK TO ALL!

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Dua (Two) of the Sevens Part A

The crumpled piece of yellowed letter lay among the trashed study table. Paper scribbled hurriedly in ink and pencil cluttered most part of it . In the midst of trying to get through the hospital, I was busily looking out for a job. Worry was creeping in steadily. Worried I would be jobless, worried that I could not pay off the unimaginable debt and also preparing my life line...antiviral medications. Back when I was a student nurse, I was attached for two weeks at one of the CDC wards. It seemed that the entire area was trapped in a bubble. The buildings were old....as compared to the nearest hospital on top of the hill. Its like those really old kampung look-a-like buildings. Big fields in between each building and occasional coconut trees that sway gently by the breeze. The staff were pretty nice but by the look of it, they were bored. Guess being assigned to a building from the usual buzz can take its toll. Wednesday rolled by slowly...or perhaps inching slowly and I was assigned to one of my first two cases. My first duty of the day was to assist RN D. Shes wore this blue scrubs but since she has this great hourglass figure, it does not seem to affect how shabby the scrub looks like. Yes it was a passage of trial for all new nurse wannabes to be scrutinized. Its either you get hung up by it or be thick skinned. Learnt the trick to put on a 'blur' mask and tore it off when doing duties....know when to answer the questions and know what to do...or pretend to. I followed her to two of the cubicles that I was 'responsible' for. In addition to that, she gave me the case notes. Both equally the same in colour and size....except for one with a bold lettering in it. I read slowly.

"MSM? Wh..whats MSM?" I asked her.

She screened me with her piercing black eyes and replied nonchalantly.

"Men sex with men."

******

It was lunch time. Me and RN D tried to coax L to eat his meal. The poor man...left skin and bones thanks to the virus that ravaged every part of his body. I could not blame him for his lack of appetite or even the will to eat. The ulcers that caked that man's tongue is as close as drinking a vet of blazing hot liquid. Each time he coughed, RN D lovingly wiped whatever remains of the food that dribbled from the corners of his mouth and still patiently coax him. I watch the two and inched closer to assist her. But after several attempts to coax, L finally waved us away. We picked up the tray and left. RN D had this big smile on her face and I asked her the reason. She peeled off the plastic apron as though it was like a second skin and eventually recorded on the IO (input/output) chart.

"L usually dont finish half a bowl of his food....but strangely he manage to. Guess that is a good thing. I am happy for him."

"Oh...he usually doesn't?"

She gave me the look. Dumb question. Its the basics of nursing skills. How well you know your patients depends on the clues left in the charts. In the post action of feeding, I blurted out without thinking. She sighed.

"Look Kiddo, from the chart here he has been a eating poorly. But its ok...you were 'shocked' by the whole thing. All forgiven if you help me pass this tray to J."

"Ok."

"J tends to be quiet but try to talk to him. Hes been awfully quiet lately but try...to talk to him ok?"

I nod meekly.

J. That was one of the case notes that mention of MSM. Door was closed and I gave a tap and I heard a hallow reply to come in.

"Hey J. Look what we have here. Your favourite food. They really made it special for you. Chilled mangoes with jelly and..."

J was silent. I took a deep breath.

"...and they have chicken with rice and stew broth. Let me place the tray close to you ok?"

With the chink of the tray that hit the table, J slowly sit up. His hands fumbled for awhile till I took hold of his hands and put the cutleries into his palm. He inched closed. Shakily his spoon wavered in the air and slowly he dug into the fluffy white rice. Though a bit messy on his part when he missed his plate but overall, he took with stride when he got into his next course. He was staring blankly while grunting. Maybe enjoying it. I was talking to him with whatever I could think of. He gave his few nods while I chatted away. After a rich burp and swipe of the serviette, he went back to his original state. Looking up. Staring with those blank...unseeing eyes. The virus that stole his sight.

I headed out and thought to myself....no way will this ever happen to me....

********

Present date.

"Hello? Heello? WHO am I speaking to?" squeak the voice.

Is it just me but usually human resource staff are soft spoken? I shook my head and I remembered that I dialed the number and it picked up.

"Oh...Im sorry. I was given this number before my national service. I am suppose to make this call once it ended?"

"Your name Sir?

"Blu"

"A moment please"

A tinkle of music and a different voice spoke.

"Hello Blu, I was told by my colleague that you have just ended national service. Ok..please be on time on Monday because we will be..."

"I am sorry to butt in but the reason I have called is to inform you that I have decided to quit nursing"

"...."

"Yes. So what is my next step, Maam?"

"I..uh...this is sudden. Is there a reason to quit? I need to inform the Director of Nursing in regards to your abrupt change of plans."

"Please inform her that I had change of plans and choose not to continue on as a nurse"

"Ok...there will be administration that needed to be done and of course a face to face meeting"

"I am sure of the steps needed to be done. Can i leave my number and email so that i can prepare whats necessary?"

And so....the lying will not end from there.

Edited by bludragon
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  • 2 weeks later...

Dua (two of the Sevens) Part B

The email came prompt during the mid afternoon. Two letters needed to be written and be delivered within this week before meeting the Nursing Director the following week. No emails. Just letters needed to be inked in black and white. I looked at my computer screen and i grabbed two blank pieces of paper. So this is how my career going to end? A few pieces of paper and a scrawling passage of my 'retirement'. I took a deep breath.

Scratch...scratch....scratch....I am leaving the organization....scratch....scratch

Scratch....For reasons....scratch....to leave for a different....scratch

Scratch...field and....scratch....I appreciate...scratch

The opportunity...scratch....given....scratch

Done. Two letters. Two nails to my coffin. I slipped in carefully the letters in each ivory casings as though it was a precious newborn baby. Bitter miserable gutting in. Feeling drained...so much of effort and consideration to write them in. Another note...goddamit...I left another email to the HR staff that I had already prepared the letters will sent to her as soon as possible. Well emails are lovely. Type and away it went on its passage of wireless passage but for a letter....a different pilgrimage. And definitely been a while I wrote one though. Who write letters at this kind of time and age?

I left the dark den of my room to the brightness of my living room. Both Mom and Dad are away at work. Younger brother and sis are both at school. House seems completely empty and gloomy despite the sunny interior. The cat? Too lofty...and he isnt much of a company. Hate guys. Ok...maybe a little tv would do me good.

I switched it on. God....a few documentaries...some cooking channels.

CLick!

HBO 601....reasonable...I could not bother less whether I missed half of it or the fact it was a really old film. I wanted to do something else as I just do not want to be in that room. With the messy table. The ivory casings that lay on top of the mess. Or even the darken room. It was like a mirror image of growing despair that clung every inch of myself. I even when to the lengths of chucking my army uniforms up on the top cabinet. Just to hide it. My medic badge and rank.....I shelved it inside the drawers. Collecting dust. Hoping it rot and be forgotten.

The only reminder that of my past that I chose to keep was my old trusty Nokia.

Shes been with me through the crazy BMT days, command school and my dysfunctional relationship with my bf. And regarding to my boyfriend, he too been quiet these couple of days. I could not even be bothered with him after what the previous call. Pathetic. To think six years of relationship and work was his excuse? Whatever...I have other important matters to deal with. My livelihood is priority.

Again. Movie has not been working its magical charms on me. My mind was still buzzing with thoughts of being miserable. I am miserable. I am aching. I am going to be jobless and i am in debt. I AM twenty three years old. Who the fxxk would get into this mess after National Service? Shit. Shit. Shit....I dont deserve this meltdown. I groaned.

I gritted my teeth and entered the gloomy interior of my room while leaving the tv blaring. Hoping to wash out the thoughts. I was just about to rest myself and take a long nap...sleep...whatever, I glanced at my Nokia. She clattered for a while. Gave a brave shiver and a brief yellow glow.

shit...

I trudged towards the phone and looked at the screen.

Not my friends.

Not my parents.

Not the HR staff.

Hmm...

I pressed the call button....

"Hello? May I know whose this?"

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Three of the Sevens

"Blu? Is this Blu?" asked an unknown female caller.

"Sorry....Seriously how did you manage to get hold of my number...or whats more important, how do you even know my name?"

My mind was racing through. I did not get drunk as of late. I did not even remember going to any clubs or even meeting ladies. Even if I did, no possible way I pass my number. Unless the chick has something for a gay guy....that is some twisted fetish. Well I will wait it out.

She chuckled.

"Oh...my bad. I forgot to introduce myself. The name is Flo. I am calling from MOH."

"Sor...sorry. MOH?"

Shit.....don't tell me the hospital already knew about my status. It cant be....can it?

"Blu, I think the Medical Officer from your camp did told you that a MOH representative will make a call. Its part of the protocol to do a contact tracing. You do know when I mean by contact tracing, do you?"

"Yes...I am well aware of what is contact tracing...."

I did contact tracing once before in my old hospital when H1N1 was in its infancy. The most tedious and intensive effort that requires one being to be meticulous. This usually happens when relatives visit their sick love ones. A chain of events. Linked from one person to another by particulars in a logbook. In the event of an epidemic, anyone who had any contact of the sick will be required to be quarantine. In theory, HIV contact tracing seems ideal but in reality....it is the opposite. Sensing a bite of impatience in my voice, Flo hasten her conversation.

"But its ok...I think you are still in shock and you could have forgotten about it."

"....."

"I know this is hard for you at this time of moment. Being diagnosed and planning ahead. I got someone from AFA you can contact with. Maybe he can answer your questions or probably get you on your feet. Anyway I need to ask, are you available for next week? We can talk about the whole thing."

"Yea sure..."

"Alright. Stay strong Blu."

Flo told me her contact and the AFA guy she mention as P. Contact him as soon as possible Flo said before she put down the receiver. I am actually tired of talking. Repeating myself like a broken down recorder. The more I talk about it....you get my drift...is exhausting. I took a deep breath. Well....since she recommended me to call this guy. I might as well get any help. Pressed the button. Ring...double ring....oh well I can just put it down. Looks like hes...

"Hello? This is P. May I know who am i speaking with?"

DAmn...

"Uh hi P....I got this number from Flo. Shes from MOH?"

"Flo....Flo...Oh yea Flo...I am so sorry. I am driving at this moment. Give me a moment Blu. I will call you back."

A moment pass and I picked up the phone.

"How can I help you Blu?"

I told P as much as I can. Yes it was tiring to answer back the repetitive questions. My nerves were frayed but still I do not know why I still hung onto the the sliver of patience. After much discussion, P asked whether it was possible if I can meet him...together with my boyfriend near his workplace by next week. I eventually agreed and the conversation ended. Man its alot of "Next weeks appointment". The nursing director. Flo. P and A. Tiring

Fell flat on my bed. Close my eyes.

I did not dream.

**********

BrRRrrrrBRRRRT

My head ache. What a splitting headache. Felt as though I had a trunk slammed into my face a couple of times. I rather have the hangover I had when I pass out parade as a medic. That was fun. Fun....think of which, it seems like aeons ago. The room seems darker than usual. With my the Nokia in my hand, I peeped out the curtains and into the horizon. Hues of maroon and dark blue. Looks like I slept all day. I looked at the phone and my heart drop. Its A.

Groan...

"Yes A..."

"Oh....hey....I gave you alot missed calls but you didnt pick up."

"I was asleep"

(I still wished that I was still dead asleep and wake up immediately from an awful dream)

"I thought we could head out and talk over? Just bring your helmet. I will be reaching in 15mins time"

"Yea yea whatever...."

*************

We reached the place near the lagoon of East Coast Park. A brought me to the sea breaker. I hopped lightly onto the boulders and choose the ones with smaller crevices. Roaches love to crawl at this time of night and I hate the idea of one climbing up my pants.As I sat down, I hear the crackle of my shoes rubbing the sand caked boulders. The crescent moon lay out her glow against the inky black sea and the soft lapping of waves that rubbed the boulders raw was alluring. But still sad. The sea was like my heart for an unusual reason. Calming on the surface but deep down....it was a whirl pool of anger, frustration and all those negative energy. All the raw emotions waiting to vomit out. I was lost in my own thoughts when A spoke.

"Cruel world huh?"

I turned....and looked him directly into his face. His face was covered by a dark shadow despite Luna's glow.

I could not read his expression.

*********

Edited by bludragon
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