The strong afternoon sunshine penetrated through the still trees scorching his skin as he walked through a narrow path from the hospital. It had generous, blinding rays that distorted his vision making everything appear blurry as his future seemed at that moment. "I am sorry Clay but your blood is infected by the virus. But there is hope...” Those words kept playing over and over through his mind bringing with them a shattering discovery, which he did not want to believe. They drained energy from his body as if someone had pulled out his life plug.
The flooding sun did not make matters any better as it caused a lifeless and blank expression from his eyes. A strange sense of dread and horror grew as he made every footfall in that lonely hour. All his senses merged and reacted to the reality of that shattering moment.
Clay couldn't believe that a one night stand could change his life forever or even end it! That night was as vivid and clear in his mind as a fine photograph and he wished that he could turn back the hand of time to change it. How can someone become so deeply evil in the flesh to do this to him? The a thousand what if and that one why, ran through his mind as birds do from one tree to the next. He tried in vain to take deep breaths but horror had numbed him into a state of disbelief. He devoutly wished for those questions to magically transform that shattering moment into normalcy.
Clay was a twenty-two old boy with rich handsome features that made heads of both men and women turn. Though he believed in love, he had never found his one true love with whom he would start his idyllic family with. Now he couldn't believe that that aspiration had been brutally snatched away by one careless night, which never meant anything and that will forever remain transfixed at the back of his mind.
Yes, he had read superficially about HIV/AIDS back in school, but now it was part him. He couldn't bring himself to believing that his whole life was going to be tethered to that very condition. What girl would want to date or be involved with an HIV positive man? Of course he had heard about discordant couples. But who would want to share such a relationship with him? Did it mean that he was going to compromise his born dignity and all his standards? He suddenly stopped on his way and gazed at the clear blue and white sky as if expecting answers.
Now he carried a deep stabbing secret that burned inside him with mounting radiation. Now he knew more than ever that he needed love for himself. This was the only thing that he knew with utmost certainty. And not just any love, he needed love stronger than a mother's love to survive.