Bukayo: “HPV?! She asked with her mouth wide open her pupils dilating as she snatched the paper from her and read through.
Matilda: “What is it? Is it some very deadly disease or what?” she asked, looking frightened.
Bukayo: “Can we go? I will explain to you when we get to the guest house” she held her wrist and headed out of the laboratory.
Matilda: “You are yet to tell me about the test result. Is it as deadly as HIV?” she asked Bukayo who looked at her pitiably and shook her head as she turned round to look at her in the room.
Bukayo: “I don’t want to frighten you, so I will tell you what HPV is. Just as it is written in the test result; it is Human Papillomavirus, in other words, it can lead to cancer that is after a very long period of time though, in only few cases. So, fear less your case might be exceptional” She said to calm her down.
Matilda swirled in her seat as she heard the word that sounded s ambiguous to her ears. She hit her ear to pull out an insect that flew in. Her fingers that had been cold before became numb. She felt as though she prayed for death to come immediately and wished she could just rip her heart with her bare hands.
Matilda: “ho-how di di did I get it?” She asked rhetorically, stuttering. Her voice failed her as she attempted to speak again.
Bukayo persuaded her not to give up on life. It is not the end of life
Bukayo: “it is not how you got it. It is a matter of acting fast so as to manage it before it gets out of hands.” This frightened her the more.
All Bukayo’s explanations fell on Matilda’s deaf ears. They sounded like illusion in her ears. All she was concerned about was death, or some miracles to happen. She wished the laboratory attendant would give her a call and tell her the result was a mistake that it was not meant for her. That it was a mix-up or some mishap on their part. She wondered how she could have such a dreaded terminal illness.
Matilda: “okay, but I am yet to know how I acquired this”. She said, looking up to Bukayo who stood with her arms folded under her breast, staring at her pitiably.
Bukayo: “From my little knowledge about HPV so far, it can only be acquired through sex, oral sex especially – it is a sexually transmitted disease. And It can only be transmitted through a carrier of the virus. Don’t worry, it’s not some death warrant. Be cheerful, it is not as deadly as you think.” She explained to her, stroking her back.
Matilda’s head dropped as Bukayo told her the possible ways through which she could have acquired the virus. She remembered Justin, the Toubab sadist.
Matilda: “Hmmmm, I am done for” she threw her hands up in the air and put them on her head, sank into the bed.
Bukayo: “But did at any time give any guy or anyone a head?” She asked looking away from her to avoid eye contact with her.
Matilda looked into the ceiling and ignored her.
Bukayo: “I am sorry if that was rude. But, I know a lot of girls give their guys a head, which is not too healthy, especially because of cases like this, you know. Someone can carry HPV for years without any symptoms and infest their partner with it. One has to be wary and watchful. The best way to avoid contracting this is by fleeing from oral sex”. She advised her, but Matilda paid no attention to all her explanations. She turned her face to the wall.
Few days later, Mercy called to tell her sister about her ex-lover, whom she left in Nigeria in search of a greener pasture.
Mercy: “Hello sister Mattie!
Matilda: “Hello. What’s up?
Mercy: “Guess what sister?”
Matilda: “See I no dey for that one this afternoon. Leave me alone. Tell me what it is or you save me the gist for another day. And by the way, you win lotto? You are sounding so happy.
Mercy: “Bro Joseph has travelled! She sad feeling so excited at the other end.
Matilda: “which Joseph?” she asked, looking confused.
Mercy: “haba, how many Bro Joseph you know? Your boyfriend of course!
Matilda: “Are you serious? Where did he travel to?” she asked looking so amazed.
Mercy: “His brother told me he travelled last week to the UK.
Matilda: “Okay” she replied casually feeling less concerned and disinterested in her sister’s choice of topic.
Mercy: “Is that all you will say?”
Matilda: “What else do you want me to say or do? Should I start jumping up and start dancing, which one should I do? Na today person dey travel?” she shunned her sister.
Mercy: “Na wa o. I thought it would make you happy since he is your boyfriend. I did not know you would take it up like that.
Matilda: “See if you have something else to say, spit it out and save me the gist of someone travelling out.” She hung the phone on her sister.
“What a life! Patience pays, I left Joe because of here, and now Joe is on the verge of making it in life. I trust him he won’t get himself involved in shady deals” she muttered regrettably.
Mariama was watching the mid-day news on the only television channel in the country, where it was announced that a group of girls were rescued from human traffickers in an attempt to cross the Sierra Leone border into the country. She leapt out of the sofa as she heard the breaking of the news. She dialled Wendy’s number which was not available. She paced her living room, looking face down as her mind became clouded with thoughts of how her name would not be mentioned. She was lost in thought until Wendy whom all efforts to reach via phone was futile tapped her on the shoulder.
Mariama: “Oops!” she shuddered and turned back
Wendy: “Are you okay?” she asked, waving her fingers to her face to know if she saw her standing before her.
Mariama: “oh, thanks goodness. I have been dialling your number all day. Not available. She replied, looking worried.
Wendy: “Oh, network issues” she replied, staring at the device in her hand. “That is by the way, is anything the matter? Are you okay at all, because you were lost in thought and did not even flinch till I entered the room and got to your back” she asked, sitting on the sofa.
Mariama: “There is fire on the mountain”. She replied
Wendy: “Fire on the mountain? How? Where is the fore coming from? We will always get water to put it out” She replied casually, placing a cushion on her laps
Mariama: “Hey listen up, you bitch, some girls have been rescued on the border of this country and Rougi has been arrested. Don’t you get? Get it sunk into your skull, you bone-head” she spoke through clenched teeth, pointing her index finger to her head and pointing to the television set simultaneously.
Wendy became numb and dumbfounded as she heard the news. She looked straight into Mariama’s eyes and he could see rage and fire. She had never seen been this upset before. She became so frightened by her reactions to the news she had just heard.
Wendy: “Okay. The deed is done. Nonetheless, we can always but our ways over”
Mariama: “Are you out of your senses? Or are you listening to you at all, you moron?” she fumed at her.
Wendy: “This matter can be resolved amicably”
Mariama: “With whom? By whom?” She became much angrier at what Wendy said. “Do you have idea or the gravity of this offence at all. Should you not know laws, I will tell you right now. Human Trafficking is a grave crime, punishable by law, so, any culprit nabbed will dance to the music. The act is culpable. It is against the laws of any sane society” she said.
Wendy: “Of course I know all these. But, what I am saying is; in case we get caught, we can always buy our ways over, you know” she said, still feeling unremorseful.
Mariama: “This is not Nigeria baby, where you people wallow in corruption and bribery. And besides, there is no hideout in this country, you will always get fished out by the intelligence officers. You sure know about all these, so, why are you acting like a novice?” she asked rhetorically. Looking at Wendy, who felt so relaxed.
Wendy: “My UK visa is not expired, we can always flee before the cat is let out of bag and before she begins to snitch on any of us.” She said, shrugging her shoulders and facing her palms up.
Mariama looked at her and entered her room.
Question: “It seems nemesis is about to catch up with the duo, will they escape just as Wendy had suggested?
Here is a brief enlightenment on HPV; according to research one of the fastest ways through which it can be contracted is having ORAL SEX with a carrier of the virus.
SEE Episode 18 Below…(You Don’t Wanna Miss This!)… Adelove Stories… Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!