Stranger’s Mark (HIV series)

Introduction
The news is quick in spreading. Just like any story of terror, people cringe and listen with trepidation. Everyone says their quota, each version unique in their horrific embellishments, each twist and angle tormenting and creating another dimension that stretches everyone to their edges of paranoia…

Episode one (vice)
Out on the street – no names – she sits in this old man’s car, she is not thinking the stranger’s mark, she is thinking the old man’s money. She is only seventeen, and the man is over three times her age. The man has said his mind, and she has no problem with that at all. After all she has done it before, what has she to lose if she does it again, so long as she gets those new pair of jeans, and improves her cosmetic. She feels rather unbeautiful mostly, at least not beautiful enough; if only she looks a lil’ more like Jennifer Lopez, or that other stunningly beautiful super star that sings better and dances better, what’s her name…eh..
Her name is lost on her.
Her friend said there is no meter reading or radar trapping, so who will know, her boy friend? That daft wouldn’t ever know because he trusts her. Trust… She sighs with disgust; trust can only be traced down the history lane now. Her friend said it of no use if she’ll ever have to deal with men well, or get anywhere with life for that matter. Love is another close relation you wouldn’t ever need. Her friend had introduced her to the old man, and said she should do whatever he says, and she would be happy she did. And just as her friend had also said; if her boy friend loves her that much, why would he give her excuses rather than buy her those things she really desire as a woman? He just keeps yapping about love and all he wants them to be in future – future, future, future; he hasn’t even touched her yet. Her friend said he just isn’t man enough, and it was about time she moved up the league.
The old man is driving but his right hand is groping her indecently… there is a stir of disgusting feeling in her head, it is like watching her father being naughty. She suppresses the feeling. Her friend said she doesn’t need emotion, so why allow it now? Talking about her father, she suspects he does this somewhere too, maybe now too. Surely this old man is married, probably with kids like her. Her friend had told her all men are like that, so why would she want to keep her self when she knows that her husband would be doing just this while she would be at home like the old man’s wife right now. Her friend said she should do it now that she could, because someday someone is going to do it to her whether she did it or not. Her friend is older and wiser with life, her friend is genius on men, and that is why her friend is always right.
The car pulls up in front of a motel; she wouldn’t even read the name. Right now she knows what it feels like to need a man, even though she could only imagine most and her body tells her the rest. Her friend said this would happen, and she shouldn’t control it. There is a little counter thought rearing but she shuts the door of her mind on it… the last thing she needs…In the room it takes a few minutes of tumultuous ride of pleasure, she yarns it lasts forever but that is an illusion, nothing lasts forever, not pleasure at least. She hates to return to reality but her choice can’t beat it. Watching the old man lying spent on her side, her sense of decency, of guilt, of emptiness slowly begins to unfold, the stranger’s mark! She is startled. Why didn’t she remember? Where is the rubber? There is a loud chime that strikes in her head and it is about the mark, and the reality reverberates through her soul, HECHAIVEE… but she is in.

©J.Ifeme

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