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Mindy

I got to the hospital just in time to save her from collapsing onto the cold, hard pavement. She was consumed with shock and fear.


Mindy had just discovered she was HIV positive and was going to die of the dreadful AIDS virus, which had the whole world under siege even to this day.

 

It was in the Autumn of 1992 in a city called Reading in the South of England. I was up early as usual that morning and had started working on my computer when the hospital had called about 8.00 am to inform us that our AIDS test results were back.

Mindy was anxious after waiting for two nerve racking weeks for these results. For some unknown reason, she decided to go without me to get her results. It was as if she already knew what the results would be.

As I was working away, the room seemed to go dark for a few seconds and immediately I felt a compelling urge to rush to the hospital to be with Mindy.

 

Mindy and I had gone for our AIDS tests at the same time two weeks before. She had suspected that I was having an affair with another lady called Claire and had insisted that we both get tested for her peace of mind.

I had recently met Claire who was extremely beautiful, sophisticated, classy and very unhappy in her marriage. We had become very close and although we had not yet slept together, it was inevitable. In fact, Mindy was right about the affair.

Mindy and I had met in Barbados earlier that year and our romance was certainly the most steamy, passionate one I'd had in years. It was real and yet surreal at the same time. From the moment we met on that west coast beach until that day, the romance had been on fire. We had sex everywhere, every time we were together. We never wasted a passionate moment.

For the previous three months the relationship had been very sexually adventurous and no holes were barred, literally. Please forgive the pun.

 

As our relationship intensified and became more serious we began having unprotected sex. The thought of AIDS never crossed our minds. Even with all the publicity about safe sex and AIDS at that time. Our relationship had seemed all too perfect, too real.

 

As I held her in my arms outside the hospital, her face was red, swollen and drenched with tears. As I looked into her eyes I could see and feel all the pain and suffering she had already started to go through.

"I am going to die, Charles. I am going to die." Mindy screamed at me. "I do not want to suffer and die with AIDS. I will kill myself first"

 

I started to imagine her dying. I actually wished she would die right there in my arms instead of having to suffer as much as she would before she died.

 

Mindy's death sentence was also mine. Finding out at that moment that she was infected with the HIV virus meant that I too was going to die a horrible death. Each time we'd had unprotected sex flashed before my eyes. There was no way I could have escaped being infected with all the exposure I had to the virus.

I took her home immediately to begin our new journey to the end. There was no need to go back into the hospital for my test results. I could not bear to have my death sentence repeated.

From the first time I'd heard about AIDS, I often wondered what my reaction would be if I discovered I was HIV positive. It was nothing like I imagined. Nothing could have prepared me for this experience. The fear was enormous. Every living moment was filled with glimpses of my life and my death.

Ironically I accepted death with only one regret; the thought that I might have given the virus to Mindy. That was too big a cross for me to bear. In spite of my own fears, I felt a compelling need to be strong for Mindy. My role for the remainder of her life or mine was clear. I needed to be her pillar of strength.

Some comfort came from knowing that we both shared the same fate and that we would be there for each other, till death do us part.

 

Handling the knowledge that I was HIV positive was the most difficult experience of my life. I needed constant distraction and deflection to get me through each day. Throwing myself totally into supporting Mindy was the key to my emotional and psychological survival. As much as I was Mindy‚s rock, she was mine. Without someone who shared the same fate and to care for, I could not survive this ordeal spiritually, emotionally or psychologically. Mindy gave me strength, purpose and direction.

 

Sent via Email January 11, 2008 from Caribbean.

 
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