I have no hesitation to admit that I also loved him for the sex. Every moment with him in bed was different, every single time. I could never get tired of it. It was his prowess and my uninhibited acceptance to the fore during our unbridled lovemaking sessions. Even the quickies were memorable.

Things changed as he switched jobs. He showed signs of transformation into a busy young executive. We hardly met once a week and he was usually drunk, or tired or both. On rare occasions, only the foreplay remained explosive. But then he chose to remain high and dry. I refused to be pleasured alone.

His anxiety was making things worse. We had an open discussion. I was concerned if he got tired of me too soon. No illness, he claimed. He had just gone through an extensive medical check-up for the new job. He had no affairs and was neither gay. The most logical boxes were ticked alright. 

I suggested a consultation with a renowned andrologist in the city for his unlikely sexual disorder.  He became rebellious. I strongly believed that the non-existent disorder was more due to a psychological condition than a physical one.

I asked him for one last opportunity to set things right between us. He needed help. I loved him too much to abandon him in this condition. I was confident of things turning around. He finally relented and agreed to see a psychiatrist. 

As fate would have it, on the day of the counselling I had a severe bout of menorrhagia. I was hospitalized and kept under observation for the night. Later that day, the blood test reports arrived.

******

I did not see him again for a few more years.  I lost my job. The NGO that took care of my rehabilitation gave me a part-time job in their own organization. No other company dared to employ people with my condition. Even our parents had abandoned us. 

I didn’t hide my condition. I participated in public awareness programs. I was jeered at, while making a presentation on “Pre-Marital Health Screening.” I was slut-shamed by women and men alike. 

******

There was a sudden shortage in the market for the Antiretroviral drugs after a big pharmaceutical company was forced to shut down to some irregularities. I had no choice but to get them at the Primary Health Clinics. As I stood in the queue for my monthly ration of the prescribed drugs, I saw him collect his quota and leave. He looked much paler. Something told me he would not live much longer. The weight of his lies, guilt and craven secrets seemed to bear upon his spine as he walked away with a stutter in his steps. I looked away, remorselessly. 

******

As I alighted from the bus, I mustered a wry smile at the banner at the NGO’s office

It Could Happen to you”

December 1, World Aids Day

 ***

Photo By: Mohammad Hassan

****

ranjit

This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
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