An afternoon with Cynthia


When I was still in college I had a flat mate who changed before my very eyes, in a short period of time.

She was a very sweet and timid girl. She always kept to herself and was careful never to bother anyone. Every time something shocking would happen, she’d have this classic and endearing “deer caught in headlights” expression on her face. Everyone adored her and her life was close to perfect, until she fell in love.

His name was Collins. Not the most charming fella, but he was okay you know? He broke a girl’s heart.  But this story isn’t about him. It’s about the girl. This is about my old flat mate, Cynthia.

 

An afternoon with Cynthia

So there I was, chilling in my room on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I was putting the finishing touches on my Gender Studies assignment. In walks Cynthia with an offer to take me out for ice-cream. I was quick to put on my flip-flops and off we were. We walked to ice cream parlour then she insisted we take a stroll to the park, which I didn’t mind. When we got there, she seemed restless and uneasy. I figured she wanted to talk to me about something important. ‘Maybe she wants me out of the flat’ I thought (I was such a slob back then). Little did I know that I was a part of a covert mission to stalk someone.

We were having an unmemorable conversation about Janet Jackson’s fading music career. I had funny things to say, so did she I guess. Suddenly she changed the topic, and looked at the opened field.

“Obi do you know that girl over there”, as she signalled to a group of “free spirits” who were relaxing under a tree. I looked and I knew one girl in the group. Stella, an acquaintance I was on friendly terms with.

“Um…I know the one girl, Stella. Party animal that one, she’s probably recovering from a hangover”, I joked. I then looked to Cynthia to acknowledge my joke. No such luck! Cynthia gave me a stern look instead. Which confused the shit out of me and made things a bit tense too.

“Yes, they told me you know her” she said, in a solemn tone. At this point a million things started running through my mind. I looked at her, with as much evidence of astonishment that I could possibly muster in one facial expression.

‘Did she here something about me and Stella? What did Stella do? Oh God, has she gone lezzy for Stella? Mmmmh, if I knew we were doing this, I would’ve gotten three more scoops of this delicious ice-cream.’

She soon stopped the bullet train running through my mind, “Obi, she’s been sleeping with Collins”.

You know I thought I was a good friend/flat mate, but all I could say to her was “Oh”. ‘Oh’ was really all that I could offer her, because I had million questions to ask her dammit! Why the hell was I doing in the park, eating ice-cream and stalking an alleged mistress? Why am I getting dragged into this shit? Why didn’t she tell me about this when she first suspected it?

Needless to say, my meek ‘Oh’ didn’t deter her. She wanted me to divulge every single thing that I knew about Stella. Which wasn’t much, but she was so dynamic in her efforts to get intel, I even felt compelled to embellish a few things. Which I didn’t, I would’ve under ‘normal’ circumstances (being the eccentric I am), but the whole thing of stalking in the summer time was crazy enough.

We got into the whole thing, and I was pretty convinced from everything she told me, that Stella was indeed sleeping with Collins. It had all the clichés of the tales of a cheating boyfriend. Denial, we’re just friends, people are lying, I love you, she’s crazy, etc.

Which again begged the question, “Cynthia, why are we here? Why am I here?”, so I asked her.

“I want you to introduce me to her”, I nearly choked on my last scoop of ice-cream.

“Um, are you sure? Why? Does she know you? What do you want to say to her? Shouldn’t you be speaking to Collins? I mean this is about you two. You’re in a relationship with him, not her.” I replied in a bit of a panic, trying to change her mind.

All her faculties were surprisingly in order as she picked up on my discomfort and vehement protest of this confrontation.  Cynthia put my mind to ease. She explained that she’d been coming to this spot in the park for a very long time before she even knew about Stella. That she only found about Stella once she started sleeping with Collins. She even made farce at how she knew how crazy the whole thing seemed to me. She called it prima facie feeble duplicity (law students). She confessed that if she told me before hand, I might have disagreed, and that she didn’t have the nerve to walk up to Stella alone.

I was convinced, yet I was still sceptical. My curiosity took over and I wanted to see the story unfold. So I walked over to the shaded tree and hollered Stella’s name. Stella was infamous for her zest, she was quick to respond.

“Obi! How you doin’ doll? Come over here and gimme a hug”, I conceded to her hospitable charms and hugged her with my tail between my legs. I felt a bit dirty. But this feeling was quickly watered down by how she reeked of weed.

“So Stella, can I have a quick word with you buddy”, I smirked sheepishly. I motioned her towards Cynthia’s direction. I then realised that she might know of Cynthia, which didn’t matter to me anymore. As we took the short walk towards Cynthia, I told Stella that my friend wanted to meet her.

“Oh, that’s Collins’ girlfriend isn’t it? Is she the friend who wants to meet me? I’m shagging him. Oh fuck Obi, what is this bitch shit trap you’re drawing me into?” she laughed! Then I couldn’t help but smile at her bizarre behaviour. ‘I should hang out with this girl’ I thought.

“Stella, this is Cynthia, Cynthia, Stella”, I was very curt and eager to end this.

Without skipping a beat Cynthia went straight into it.

“Hey Stella. I’m so sorry if you feel ambushed, but I don’t know what the protocol for doing this kind of thing is. I’ve been thinking about this confrontation for a few days now and I thought it was best to do it in person. “

Stella, tried to interject. But Cynthia was determined to finish. She sounded like an automaton, programmed to confront the other woman with as much tact as possible. She continued as if she she’d never stopped.

“A few days ago, Collins ex-girlfriend contacted me. She told me that she’s HIV positive and that she’s not sure where she got it from. Apparently she told Collins and he’s been ignoring her since then. So she got desperate and contacted me. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Collins too, but he’s phone has been off since I told him that his ex called me.”

Tears started rolling down Cynthia’s cheeks, and just like that it felt like the end of summer. I took off my sunglasses and held Cynthia’s hand. Stella stood still like a marble statue. Her face looked gaunt like something inside of her had decomposed instantly. I didn’t know how to comfort her, hell, I didn’t know how to comfort Cynthia.

As if she had a potato stuck in her throat, Cynthia resumed with her monologue that now sounded like an ode to the end of a young life. The most human and most real thing I’ve ever heard spoken.

“I’ve been going to Collins’ place to try to speak to him, find him, to get some sort of explanation. I’ve since found out that he’s run back to his hometown of Orange Groove. I got tested for HIV yesterday and I’m negative. I suggest you do the same.”

At this point tears were rolling down Stella’s face too. This provided me with some sort of relief. At least now Stella was showing some feeling. And she wasn’t being the belligerent sassy girl. She was processing everything and taking it all in. Stella then gestured to hug Cynthia.

Cynthia stepped back. Wiped her tears and then there was fury in her voice.

“You don’t get to sleep with my boyfriend and then have me comfort you. Your God does not love you that much. You have a reputation Stella. For me to do this, I had to think of you as a human being and not a contemptible whore.”

I don’t know if it was the weed, or if this is who Stella really was. But she didn’t respond at all to Cynthia’s scorn. She wiped her tears, told me to take care and walked away back to her friends under the tree.

I immediately held Cynthia in my arms. She was shaking; all I could do was stand there in the middle of the park and hold her as she wept. When she regained composure, we walked home and stopped at Mirror Tables, for a late lunch. We ended up having a liquid lunch and we had a conversation about the whole thing drunk and loud. We both cried and said all that could’ve possibly been said. We had a few comfortable silences, which would end up in more tears and hugs. Occasionally we sang along to a few songs that were played on the radio.

We literally crawled home and both passed out on her bed.

The next few weeks were hell. I’d hear her crying every night, and when she wasn’t crying she was drinking. Sometimes I’d tend to her, but on other nights I pretended not to even hear her. She was not prepared to draw anyone else into this. I suppose then I was expected to carry her through this whole ordeal. But all was prepared to do was that I could possibly do, listen. I listened to her anger, confusion, regret, pain and hope. All the while I was speaking to my mother for some grown up guidance.

She got tested again for HIV and again she was negative. We were both jubilant. But it had become obvious that something had changed about Cynthia. There was nothing neither sweet nor timid about her anymore. She was now firm and a little more selfish.

Somehow she found the strength to graduate and instead of getting work as a legal intern, she decided to go teach English abroad. Her next test was scheduled for just after graduation. But I had moved back to Southville. It’s been three years, and I still don’t know if she took the final test or not. I didn’t care to ask or bring it up. I didn’t think it mattered then and I still don’t think it matters now. What nearly consumed her, saved her in a way. We email each other every now and then and she is the poster child for carpe diem. I couldn’t be more proud.

 

Collins was never heard of again.

I actually heard about Stella a week ago. She married a Muslim Doctor.

As for me…well, I’m just the guy telling the story. It’s not about me, lol.

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Seven Days of Sex: Day Three


DISEASE, ABORTIONS AND BABIES…SHIT HAPPENS.

 

This isn’t an after school special. I’m not going to list all the disgusting things you might get from protectionless sex. If you don’t now about them it’s late for you. This post is also to acknowledge all the hard work the condom people put into bring us all the exciting condoms. Lets appreciate these hard working men and women. Oh, do y’all know anyone who’s used the female condome before? What’s that about?

If your last name is Christ, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Us mere mortals do.

And fuck everyone who says it’s NAAAAICE without protection. If you’re not married or PROPER committed to ONE person (sorry Mr President), I have not time for that kind of NAAAAICE. You can go have it with someone else.

I’m not going to deny you a few slip ups. Sometimes something inside of us switches of, and we put our lives in DANGER. Yes, there are those times. You feel awful the first time (if you have a conscious). That first time is more than enough to make you never do it again. Don’t let it become a habit. Sex without protection is no different from Russian roulette, that one bullet will get you! It takes ONE.  AND FOR WHAT? 30mins of pleasure?

You are not unique to the laws of biology. Protection Protection Protection.

It’s not just sex

When you don’t use protection, it’s not just sex. You are tacitly adding so many other things to the equation. You’re giving yourself so many other things to worry about post sex. Essentially you are creating potential for momentous irreversible changes in your life. This is the seriousness of SEX. When little pokes, thrusts and drizzles can alter your entire reality. Anything unwanted/unplanned, that lasts for 20mins and can change your life, cannot just be sex. It’s poor judgement, selfishness,
irresponsibility, stupidity, fate (maybe you were born to die of AIDS), so many cracks in your personality.

I just find it so self-destructive to be lax about disease. Love you life and love your shlong/pooms.

Congratulations it’s a bustard or maybe you aborted

I always joke about how people keep aborting the babies that are meant to find the cure for cancers, HIV and maybe even ignorance. Eish! I’m prochoice, but otherwise very anti abortion. Actually, a moment of silence for all regretted abortions: “_______________________”. Thanks.

Do you have any idea how fucking gross abortion is? It’s grosser than giving birth. Essentially, they’re undoing all that gross condomless sex you had. It’s killing the evidence, by burning down the vandalised building. Leaving terrible 3rd degree burn scars all over you.

For us, who were raised well and want to keep the baby. Yoh! I remember talking to @Miss__TC and she said: “I can’t imagine the degrading moment, where I tell my mom I’m pregnant and she has to ask me who the father is.” If you’re going to get pregnant, your parents must know the daddy/mommy is before the fact.

So like yeah, I am Catholic. But I’m part of the reformed Catholic Church, that’s the church in my head. We believe that life begins at conception. It’s too easy to make a baby; natural selection is a bitch like that. We need to be responsible about it. We can’t be brining life into the world if we aren’t equipped to handle our one lives. Only have a child/ren when you’ve worked on the best possible you.

Shit happens

Side bar, do you guys know that song by Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire”? It’s about an STI, that’s why it’s burning. Go listen to it. I got this from Chantelle Hulett.

So you’ve fucked up now. Your shlong looks like lips stick run over by a truck, and your pooms looks like mince. Shame, life’s not over. Don’t be stupid about it, handle it. You had the “not just sex” so now it’s time to deal with it. Do your best. Modern medicine
is still on your side with most STIs.

So you’ve fucked up now. You’re pregnant. Watch JUNO!!! Please watch JUNO. Again, get yourself together. It’s not the end of the world.  But ya JUNO!!!

So you’ve fucked up now. You have HIV. Please be a spokes person! So we know who you are, and stay far away from you!!! I joke. Look, it’s still not over. There are cancers that are worse than HIV. People can apparently live a long time now. I don’t know
said people. But again…it’s not over. It was a lesson you had to learn. You learnt it in the cruellest way.

Tips

  • Don’t have sex.
  • Go buy condoms NOW.
  • If you need tips beyond this, I’m not your friend.

“When she/he says I’m allergic to latex, your response is? I wanna see, put it on.”

And it read on her tombstone. “Nah girl, its aight…he pulled out.”

Yeah, that concludes DAY 3.

I’m not going to announce DAY 4 quite yet. I need to think about it.

I’m lying!!! DAY 4, SEX SELL.