Friday, December 24, 2010

Does Happiness Really Exists?

     She told me he had beat her for looking through his phone. We both cried as I placed an ice pack over her red swollen eye. Katelyn trembled from the coldness of the ice, but I feared the heart of Brent was even colder. It had been two years since I had seen her in Atlanta. Things were good then, but when Brent had become a nobody after a nasty STD confirmation with a groupie he slept with, he took his rage out on the only person closest. Katelyn didn't want to tell me, but I had already seen it on the Internet. "Ex football player, Brent Davis' medical records leaked! Syphilis confirmed!" Katelyn cried all night as she lay in the next bedroom. Rena was the culprit. She had hit rock bottom once the rumor surfaced that there was a sore in her rectum. Sources say she was preparing for anal sex and the guy noticed something "unusual" in her anus. Nobody would touch her after that, but Brent. I didn't want to tell Katelyn that Brent probably did give the disease to Rena. After all, it was clear that he wasn't faithful with newborns popping up every other month.

     The next day, Katelyn and I went to the clinic. I told her it would be a good idea for her to get checked out thoroughly. After a pap smear, blood test and a bag full of condoms, Katelyn felt a certain pressure to be safe. We talked about everything. She told me things I had never known, like how she and Brent had a threesome with one of his co-workers! Apparently, Brent enjoyed it more than she did! Katelyn also mentioned how Dama asked about me on occasion. We hadn't spoken again since after the miscarriage and that's the way I preferred it. It would take two weeks for Katelyn to get her results. We prayed and drank, and prayed some more. As soon as I got back from Atlanta after sleeping with Dama, I was tested, twice. Katelyn searched every website pertaining to Syphilis. She would ask every five minutes if I had seen a sore anywhere.
    "You could be asymptomatic." Katelyn and I were sitting on my bed researching on my laptop.
    "A...what?" Katelyn said before guzzling down the last of her Hypnotic.
    "You may not show any symptoms. Just wait for the results. I'm sure everything is fine." Truth be told, I wasn't sure of anything. In the past few days I had been Katelyn's psychologist, human resource, realtor and chef. Since leaving Brent, Katelyn lost her access to money, housing and was in need of a job quickly. The only thing she was qualified to do was dance and the sad part was that people actually left North Carolina to dance in Atlanta.

     "What about the kids?" It was odd that Katelyn didn't mention the twins she'd always bragged about.
     "Well, they .....uh..." Sigh. "I don't have any children with Brent. My mother took my girls when I left them for Brent. He didn't want to raise another man's kids." She began sobbing again. WOW! It pissed me off how Katelyn could leave her children behind like that. No wonder I never saw them when I visited. Since she was crying again, I didn't ask who the real father was. Really, I was afraid she would say Dama. Katelyn's mother had cut all ties with her only daughter after she abandoned her flesh and blood and moved to Atlanta to be with Brent. Not the one to say I told you so, but I thought all this was Karma haunting Katelyn for the sake for her children. As we sat on the bed looking at pictures of the beautiful twin girls with hazel eyes and fair skin, Katelyn's cellphone rang. After saying hello, Katelyn's face become white as a ghost.
   "What happened?!" I squealed. Katelyn looked as if she would pass out.
   "They told me to come back in. They only call if there is something is wrong! Oh God!" Katelyn began screaming like crazy. I tried my hardest to console her, but she broke free and ran out of my room. When I gave chase, Katelyn curled up into a ball behind my linen closet door. She rolled in to a fetal position like a little baby.

     For three hours, I begged and pleaded for Katelyn to go to the clinic. Knowing she was afraid of the news  forced me to show empathy. Did she feel like I felt that night I lost my baby? Was her heart ripping out? All I could do was hold her. The clinic closed at 5:00pm and it was going on 3:30 already. Shaking like a leaf, Katelyn climbed inside of my Nissan Murano and we drove off. Sitting in the cold impersonal office waiting for the doctor, I read every symptom of every disease posted on the wall. Finally, the doctor came in with a smile on her face.
    "Hi! How are you?" How did she think we were? Katelyn gave a faint smile, I rolled my eyes. It seemed like hours as the doctor flipped through Katelyn's short medical history.
     "Well your pap was a little abnormal. Nothing to worry about, just a little Candida,(yeast infection). Now your blood work. I think you were worried about having Syphilis. Well you don't." Katelyn felt a sigh of relief. She wiped sweat from her forehead and flashed a quick smile at me. Then the doctor began speaking again.
     "You will need to take 600mg of Prezista and one Norvir two times a day together. They should help with the infections." Something wasn't right. Katelyn was happy that she didn't have Syphilis, but from the doctor's prescription, something didn't seem right. I told Katelyn that I would meet her in the car. Knowing all about the HIPPA privacy act, I disregarded the possible felony and pull the doctor to the side.

      "Listen, I know it's against the law to ask, but Prezista and Norvir? I studied medical terminology for four years and I currently hold a position in a doctor's office transcribing medical information on many different patients that take plenty of combination medications. How bad is it?" Technically, I had only taken an eighteen month course, but I was licensed and I did transcribe on a daily basis. Prezista  was a protease inhibitor, which was a class of drugs used to prevent infections of viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis C. Norvir was used to boost levels of other protease inhibitors in the bloodstream. I looked that doctor in her eyes and demanded an answer.
   "Don't tell anyone I told you this. She does have HIV." My heart sank. Given the blood work and Katelyn's age, the illness may develop in to AIDS within five to ten years.
      "Why didn't you just tell her!" Rage flooded my soul. The doctor showed me Katelyn's medical records, and again, against the law. Katelyn had written that she was suicidal in the "additional information" space. The doctor did recommend referring her to a psychologist before breaking the news.

     By the time I arrived to my jeep, my shirt was drenched in sweat. First of all I was mad as hell at that stupid doctor and wanted to report her, but then I'd go to jail too. Second, my best friend was contemplating on killing herself. All sorts of emotions ran through me.
    "Why are they sending me to a therapist?" Katelyn read the copy of her visit.
    "Well, you were crying and worried about having a disease. They just want to make sure you're okay." That seemed to calm her down. Two weeks later, Katelyn was scheduled to see Mr. Saefigy, some Indian guy with an accent so inaudible, that it made me want to boycott the borders, airports, boat ports and any other way of emerging in to the United States. Once the news broke, I played along to cover my own ass.
    "Why wasn't she told that! She thought she just had a yeast infection!" Grabbing Katelyn, I pretended to storm out. To my surprise, Katelyn was extremely quiet.
     "Are you okay? I'll file a report with the Medical Board!" Katelyn held my hand gently.
     "I knew for years that Brent was cheating on me with all kinds of women. I should have gotten out then, but the money was too good." Wiping a few tears from her eyes, Katelyn tried to fain a smile.
     "Well, the most important thing now is to bond with my girls. So I'm going home and really live for once."

       When Katelyn left, the sadness on her face was enough to make me want to devote my life to abstinence.       Giving Katelyn ten hours before calling, which was three hours over the time it took to drive from North Carolina to Atlanta, especially the part where I lived. She didn't answer, so I called again. This time she answered and assured me everything was okay. She sounded a little weak, but I assumed it was from all that crying and the medication we picked up before she left. Three days later, Rena called me, which was out of the ordinary. I didn't even know she had my number.
    "Did you hear about Katelyn? So sad, huh?" Never would thought Katelyn would have told Rena about her illness, knowing that she had slept with Brent. I guess Katelyn turned over a new leaf and learn to forgive.
     "Yeah, I called her a few days ago. She said she'd call if she needed anything, but I think she'll be okay." Rena laughed.
     "Ariona! Katelyn drove off a bridge on her way home three days ago. She's dead!"

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