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"Yes, I have AIDS"By Gudgudee
FYI: names have been changed for privacy reasons!
6:30 am: *Hello Moto!* Not wanting to get out of my comfy bed, I hit snooze to get a few more precious minutes of sleep before stepping out into the cold Chicago wind. It seemed like a typical morning as I gazed out my window, grey skies, the howling wind, frozen lake, and the typical morning traffic on LSD. Sitting on the futon, sipping my morning coffee, I hear that annoying ringer go off again. Ignoring the call, I sit there just pondering about how fortunate I am to live the life I have; so thankful for my supportive family, loving friends, and ok health. Slowly I walk over to the telephone, oh, hmmm, I wonder what my girl Pinky wants this early in the morning.
So what about Pinky? She?s a beautiful, well educated, respectable wife, daughter, and a good friend. She lives a true inspirational Islamic lifestyle. I have never seen her take off her hijab, nor have I ever really seen her making eye contact with the fellas who gawk at her body. All in all, a virgin- sweet & innocent gal.
She married into a similar type family who?s only son, Ali, was the typical class clown. Like most teenage guys, he fell for a girl, Miriam, very early in his life and had every intention of marriage with her. Miriam too wanted Ali but their naseeb wasn?t meant to last. Miriam passed away before taking wedding vows. Now quick note about Miriam, she had one previous ?fling? with another man and girl (yes a one time ?threesome? event), which Ali was aware of.
So getting back to the chilly winter morning and conversation with Pinky:
Me: Just tell me why are you crying chica?
Pinky: It?s horrible, I can?t even say it. You know how I?ve been battling pneumonia these past few weeks, feeling very sick and rundown, well I went for a check up and? *crying continues*
Me: Are you pregnant? I know Ali and you have been trying! Congrats babe!
Pinky: NO, I HAVE AIDS.
Me: What did you say? *thought I mistakenly heard her say something disturbing and then wishing I could take back my previous words*
Pinky: Yes, I have AIDS.
Me: But how? The only man you?ve ever been with is Ali, so how did this happen?
Pinky: Ali tested positive for HIV also, but his immune system has been able to fight off the bugs. We never thought to get tested before and he didn?t know until now. The only person he must have contracted it from was Miriam, and she, only God knows. *crying turns to shrieking wails now*
*chills and tears filled my heart*
Me: I?m coming over right now.
The world seemed to have stopped as I hung up the phone with Pinky that day. As I traveled to her house, everything around me was quiet; the radio was on but I heard nothing, the cars beeped their way through traffic yet I felt as though no one was around. Feelings of guilt, anger, shame, and sorrow hurricaned through my mind. How could God let this happen to such a good person? She never did anything sinful or wrong! For once in my life, I was speechless. I didn?t know what to say to my dear friend.
We talked for hours that day, sobbing and pondering about if and how she should break the news to her family. Should she tell her parents about this horrific roadblock in her life? While sitting next to her, she called her mother for a family meeting. I stuck around to support her while she explained her test results to the parents. Obviously, everyone was shocked and in terrible grief. The yelling, screaming, and crying from both parties didn?t seem to end, but when it did, uncle ji dismissed Pinky as his daughter. He called her unimaginable names, called her a disgrace to the family, and asked her to never contact them again. And then both uncle and aunty left!
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? I was so outraged and astounded at her father?s remarks and her mother?s khamoshi. Apparently they forgot that they had arranged this marriage after ?carefully investigating? the guy and family as most desi families do. Pinky ka kiya kasoor hai? How was it her fault?
So these days she is receiving drugs to ease the pain this disease causes, but the truth of the matter is, she?s dying and can only pray that God forgives her and her husband for their sins.
My friend?s experience has really got me thinking about an important question: In an arranged marriage situation were guy/gal hook up because of some rishta lady, do you bring up past sexual relationships? If yes, then how does one start up a hefty topic with someone they barely even know? If a person has a sexual past and you are seriously considering them for shaddi, would it be so wrong to ask them to get tested beforehand without offending the other?
**** A public safety announcement: Be responsible with your sexual activity. One shot is all it takes to pass on a lifetime of misery. ****