(If you haven’t read part 1 please read it here.) I couldn’t wait to get home that evening but I had to take a few more tests at the request of the doctor. The doctor sent me to the cashier’s office to pay for the drugs and later pick them up at the pharmacy. I was ‘broke’ but I managed to gather a few coins from my friends. As I waited to be served, I sat on one of the hospital benches wondering how stupid I had been to forget my code, “not all that glitters is gold”.
The doctor had stressed the importance of taking these drugs to keep my immunity in check and I intended on following his prescription to the letter. However, this was all so new and messed up. I had made several mistakes in my life but this was one of the greatest. As I walked through hospital corridors, I wondered what I had done to deserve such punishment. I was angry at myself for falling prey and at life for being so unfair.
I walked out of the hospital and away from the gate where I decided to walk to my apartment. My brain was in turmoil as I wondered what to do next. I contemplated stepping into the highway and allowing the fast-moving khat vehicles to run me over. However, I thought about the pain my lovely mother would go through and reconsidered. I am the only child of my hardworking peasant parents. They had sacrificed everything to see me through school and all their hope rested on me to help lead our household out of poverty. Yet, here I was! my first semester on campus and I was battling through several viral infections among them HIV.
I got to my apartment that evening and there she was. Elegant as usual I forgot for a second that she had condemned my life to eternal suffering. She always had an intriguing sense of fashion. That was what had caught my attention in the first place. But I wasn’t going to fall for this today. I recuperated from her spell and remembered the numerous pills I had in my bag pack. I hate swallowing medicine but here I was. In my new life, I had been condemned to depend on pills for survival.
After searching my bag for the keys, I unlocked the door and we both walked in in silence. I sat at the far end of the couch and crunched on my bag. We remained silent for a moment until I gathered the guts to ask her why she had chosen to destroy my life. I had told her my short story of how I was the only son in a peasant family that depended on me to break our generational poverty. After a few moments of silence, she leaned in and opened up laying everything bare for me. She had this to say.
“I joined this campus three years to pursue my dream. During my freshman year, I was very focused and didn’t entertain any silly urges to explore life on campus. The same for my second year but something happened. I missed one Continuous Assessment Test (CAT) one morning. I had spent the entire night researching and writing Java code. Object-Oriented Programming was giving me a headache and I had decided to put everything into this array concept that couldn’t get to my head. I woke up two hours late and rushed to the lecture halls. The professor had refused to accept my request to take the CAT citing that it was the school policy.
However, he had another suggestion to which I denied. You know what I mean. I’m sure you have heard ladies exchanging sexual favors for the sake of grades. Being the fifth week of the term, I had several weeks to make sure I had passed the final exam without the CAT. But he became insistent one day after the next and his aggression only elevated. I stood my ground and denied all his advances. But he wasn’t the type to lose hope easily. I sat for the finals a few weeks later and went home to enjoy the holiday with my folks.
We usually access our results from our student portals so I logged in to check my grades as I did after each semester. I have always been an above-average student but this time I had failed in one of my classes. In the same class, I had missed a CAT and dismissed the professor’s sexual urges. According to the university’s regulations, I would sit for a supplementary exam to prove my knowledge and competence in this class.
I sat for the exam and failed again. But, I was sure that someone had rigged the process because there was no way I could have failed. I answered the majority of the questions but I had hurt the professor’s ego. The professor and I engaged in a game of cat and mouse for close to a year. I was at risk of being discontinued from campus. I had three choices; 1) to give in to the professor’s advances, 2) to accept being discontinued and wait it out, or 3) to report him to the necessary authority. The third option was my best bet but I soon realized that he was Head of Department (HOD) and I would be reporting him to himself. That would never work and it also applied to the second option.
Every time I tried to go above his head, I was told to adhere to the hierarchy and address the issue with my department head. It was like I was facing Thanos.
My situation left me with one option, the first option. I figured that it would only last a few minutes. I would get rid of this nightmare so I did. But that was a miscalculation. It happened one Friday evening. He picked me up a few meters from my apartment and took me to a fancy restaurant where he ordered well-done steak and a glass of red wine. Later he took me to his townhouse and an hour or so later it was all over. I held my end of the bargain and so did he.
End of part 2
Look out for part 3 tomorrow. Until next time, Adios.