So this is how it started....
Just under two years ago i was playing one of those stupid time consuming games on Facebook. To be precise it was Farmville! If you have ever played it you will know that the key to doing pretty much anything in the game is to have many neighbours. So i went trawling for some. Somehow i ‘neighboured’ a lady by the Name of Jeannie, and being a nosy sod i went and checked out her profile. Well i was completely stunned as she was very beautiful! However i have always been a shy person and not one to come out and talk to people very easily, so i just hung around in the wings posting the odd comment to her wall every now and again.
This carried on for around seven months and then one day, out of the blue, she comes onto the chat and asks if i can talk! Heart pounding, i jump on the chat and wait to see what appears. To anyone around i must have looked like a rabbit in the headlights of a car as i sat there wondering what would transpire.
To cut a long story short, and not to bore the hell out of you, we decided on the spot that i would go over to America and visit her in New York that weekend as we both had nothing to do. Nothing untoward there? Well the chat took place on a Thursday night around 2am and the flight i took left the airport around three in the afternoon the following day.
Getting off the plane i called her cell and checked to see where she was as the flight had got in early. My heart stopped... what had i got myself into.. The voice that came back was indistinguishable, guttural and to say i couldn't understand a word said was to put it mildly. With a heavy heart, hoping it had just been a bad phone connection but feeling that the weekend was going to go down in flames, i walked to meet her. Waiting at a junction on the Airtrain walkway i got my first real-life glimpse of her as she walked up to me and my jaw hit the floor. Her photos did her no justice whatsoever and i hastily rolled up my tongue and closed my mouth before it became obvious i was drooling. With hesitance in my voice from the earlier call, i said hello and to my amazement understood her! A sudden wave of euphoria swept down my body as i knew that even if she did not like what she saw we could at least communicate.
The rest of the weekend flew by like a supersonic jet on speed, but my mind, heart and soul were won over by the one action that is by far the hardest thing i have ever had to watch in my life..
We were sitting on the couch in the room after returning from a local bar and things were progressing well, when i got the distinct feeling that there was some problem with her. Worrying like mad that she really did not like what she saw and was about to blow me out and head for the hills, i sat there perspiring with worry and waited for the hammer to fall. Well what happened next was a relief above all else but must have looked wrong at the time to her. With a look on her face i will never forget, she calmly told me she had the HIV virus. Now as stupid as this may sound the one thought that went through my head as soon as she said that was ‘Thank God’. Was i worried i had just learned that the woman i thought was everything i had ever wanted was HIV+? Yes of course, but the relief she wasn’t just about to run out the door was even stronger at that moment.
Now i guess i am one of the lucky ones, or so it seems, here in England as i already knew a fair amount about the virus and what it entailed, so the news that Jeannie had HIV did not phase me one small bit. Yes there is a possibility of cross-infection if we slept together but i already knew the precautions to take and we were not talking about leprosy here!
The reason i bring this to mind is that i will never have any idea how much guts that took to tell me from the start that she had the virus and she had no idea what my reaction to the news would be. For that thought alone, above all other feelings, i was filled with a feeling i had not felt in a long long time. The feeling of amazement and awe. I will never forget the determination and worried look on her face as she told me and the shock as i sat there and laughed when shedid. So relieved i was that for a second it must have looked like i was laughing at her for having the virus. That was definitely not the case and very quickly was cleared up.
Too many times you read in the journals where somebody has not had the guts to tell a prospective partner that they have the virus and needlessly put someone else at risk of contracting HIV. People, if there were more out there like my now wife, and i am not saying that she is the only one by any means, then the virus would not be spread so easily from people that are knowingly carrying it.
So that is how we met and how i found out that my wife has the virus and how HIV found its way into my life.