Monday, January 11

Mixed Emotions

I asked him if he was ok. Stupid question. Of course he's not. He's sulking on his bed without his shirt on, with unkempt hair, looking dazed. He asked me to stand guard by the comfort room's door. He needed to take a bath but he was too scared to be alone. I knew that feeling. I remember one night when I crawled my way to my sister's bed because I was too scared to be alone in the dark. I needed to feel a semblance of security. I needed someone to lean on to lest I breakdown and lose it.


"He added me on facebook. Should I confirm his invite?"

"Well, you told me you have moved on. Besides it's Christmas," I answered back.


"Guess what? He changed his status from single to in a relationship. At about the same time, JM did the same thing. And I know that they knew each other way before. You think they're together?" he asked Lia.

"I don't know but Carmie said that JM's new boyfriend is a nursing student from XXX."

"He's a nursing student!"

And then Lia revealed something totally unexpected.

"Are you guys my friends?"

"Oo naman."

"Nasa akin ba ang loyalties niyo?"

"Tinatanong pa ba iyan?"

"Kasi alam niyo, for over a year now JM has been diagnosed as HIV positive."


My friends and I go back for more than a decade already. Most of us met in gradeschool and we practically grew up together. Lia's younger brother went to the same school and had his own circle. JM was in that younger circle. Interestingly, that younger circle sort of paralleled our group. We identified who our younger selves were just as the kids identified who among us older guys were most similar to them.

JM was my parallel. Smart. Geeky. Silent.


Hay, I know I've been rambling. I can't think straight but I know I have to write this one down. My heart sank when I heard the news but I know I can't barge on JM, console him, give him a hug. That would be betraying Lia's trust and in turn, JM's trust on Lia. I honestly don't know what to feel. I'm choked up. I wan't to cry. He's too young. Just 23. And I'm scared because I see myself in him. What if I end up just like him? I feel for JM, I really do. Lia told stories of JM attending sessions in Alabang to get his meds. How he'd have adverse reactions to the drugs which at one point caused his nose to bleed. How he hasn't told his parents and how difficult that must have been.

And then there's the friend's ex who's most probably JM's present. JM's responsible. He never striked me as someone who'd risk another. But then friend knew his ex. And so the whole "responsibility" thing creeps in. From our end, we know that we're not in the position to do an intervention. Even if he's the ex, he has no right to just barge into JM's new-found relationship. But what if JM has not really told friend's ex? Should we unburden ourselves of this would-be guilt?

I really don't know. I feel so helpless.
I want to cry but I can't force the tears out.

I never knew HIV would hit us, hit me this close.


  1. Whoa. This is big. Has anyone who's in the position to talk to JM stepped up to ask him? Someone's gotta talk to JM first before going to the partner.

    This is tough for you, but it's exponentially tougher for JM for sure. He's going to need all the support he can get, even just to be there for him sans the context of HIV. Good luck and God Bless!

  2. It really came as a surprise that "JM" has got HIV for over a year now and the kids knew it. "Lia" will probably talk to "JM" just to confirm if he's really with friend's ex.

    I'm not that close to him. All I can do is watch and wait... that's why I feel so helpless :(

  3. This is hard. Hope you find the resolution you're looking for. Soon.

  4. i'm sorry to hear about your friend. i've not known anyone who's in his situation or yours as a friend.

    but like what you guys have been telling me, these things happen. we just need to accept things and move on.


  5. i really don't know what to say here. it must be really difficult for you, to others who may have known about the news, and most especially to your friend jm.

    prayers for your friend is the best that you can do for now.

  6. Oh, this is indeed a difficult situation.

    I feel for you and your friend "JM." Words are only cold comfort at this point.

  7. thanks sir, it's like being in limbo. neither here nor there. appreciate it much!

  8. for once, words evade me.


  9. i think the guy deserves to know it more than the weight of lia's trust being broken. well, just my opinion.

    this is indeed a difficult situation for you. i wish you peace of mind bro.

  10. thanks max. wishing for the best here.

  11. this is really really tough.. more than the hiv.. trust and honesty and friendship is at question.

    im so sorry to hear about your friend..

    just don't pre-empt things that concerns JM. He is still alive, capable of decision making.

  12. yep, "friend" sort of gave up on them already and he now shares your sentiments. to put it bluntly, sabi niya, "matatanda na sila, kaya na nilang mag-desisyon."

    we'll see...

  13. What would be accomplished by talking?