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Have You Seen Him?

We have been exchanging text messages for a while now. He felt like a really attractive person but he seemed a little off then. We would be sending each other flirts and talk about what we both find an interest in but he would stop replying abruptly. Eventually, he stopped replying and I would feel a little rejected.

I sent another text to him and this time, it was confusing. He said he was angry, tired and disappointed and I thought I did something.

“What's wrong? All ears.”

“I found out I have HIV two days ago. If I were you, I’d thank your lucky stars we didn’t fuck and forget all about me and erase my number. It’s all too fucking late,” he replied.

I became depressed, not because I might have been infected but that he was in a horrible place. Even though I have never met him nor do I know enough about him, I wish I could help. I have never been in the same situation but I have felt the same kind of pain. I hate that someone out there is feeling like that.

I continued to text him, telling him no matter what, I’ll be there. It was a long wait but eventually, I got to him and we continued exchanging text. At least he has something else to concentrate on besides being infected.

His parents were out of town the next day and he was alone in the house. All he could think about was being dirty and killing himself. I was not going to let that happen and showed up with Krispy Kreme doughnuts and fancy chocolates.

“You are very brave,” he said.

He was even afraid to make tea for me. I felt so angry at society at the moment. HIV is much like any other infection but society makes it so disgusting to be infected. The people that he thought were friends – where are they?

We spent the whole day together just talking about everything – about our dreams, our childhood and our demons. He would get emotional all of a sudden and I felt the same pain as I sat across. I wished I could take that away from him.

I had to leave for LA in a few hours so I tugged him in, gave him a kiss on a cheek and left him sleeping in bliss for the first time in a while.

---

When I reached LA, we continued to exchange texts. I needed him to feel fine but he was alone again and it was difficult to ensure his safety.

“Beautiful man, all the urgency and rushing and looking after is on your side. Nothing about this is good. I think I'll just drive somewhere far away. What you said by the way - it's the only time I've heard anything reassuring. Nothing can really make me feel okay right now. I know you'll worry but I have to live with this or end my life. I honestly think if I'd have died that day before I knew – I’d have been a happy good man but I didn't die. I lived and met you so that is one good thing. I know I sound dramatic and intense but I'm so emotional and so ashamed I just never had anything like this. Have a great rest of trip, lovely man.”

Then, silence.

I never heard from him again.

Work, WritingTommy Laimissing, HIV