"AIDS and Love"
By Tang Kit Ming
Love is unexplainable. No word or phrase is able to fully describe love. Only time can witness its complexity. Wandering between romance and heartbreak, true lovers stay for each other, cherishing their love of life.
Ken, 55-years-old, was confirmed to be HIV infected 15 years ago. His wife was also found to be positive after an HIV test. Instead of demanding an explanation from him in panic, she calmly leads an ordinary life with him for 15 years under this unusual situation.
Having experienced all the suffering, Ken hopes to live a simple life, without thinking too much.
One may prefer to describe the difficult days vividly to the engaging audience, as a proof of toughness. However, Ken acts the opposite way. Covering all his scars, he tries not to show off any hints of his old days. He is not talkative, but still easy to approach.
Infected with HIV together, the couple regards the situation like being sentenced to the capital penalty. However, Ken recalls the tragedy so briefly as if they have just caught a cold.
Ken reacts to the disease calmly, refusing to stir up any other’s emotion. HIV infected people are as normal as anyone else. There is nothing to be afraid of.
Ken studied in America during his youth. Working part-time at a Chinese restaurant, he met the love of his life. Quite a number of girls fell for Ken at that time. Yet, he knew there was something different in this new colleague. Although it was her who started the conversation, Ken appreciated her straightforwardness and genuine attitude.
They began to see each other afterwards. At the same time, they have had to bear all the ups and downs of the relationship. Ken’s temper could sometimes suffocate his lover. When she could no longer bear it, she would respond vigorously.
While they are searching for the most appropriate distance, Ken cheated on her.
Even though he was pretty sure his wife could read his mind, he couldn’t help but get involved in having more and more affairs. His wife decided to leave him. Their relationship was cut short for the time being.
Regaining his single status, Ken enjoyed a range of choices and lived his life to the fullest, passionately. However, something was missing in midst of the happiness. Only she could understand his heart. All the other girls were only proof that she was the one and the only one.
They still lived close after breaking up. Grabbing every chance to meet each other, they both understood that between them there was something more than friendship.
Compared to the past, Ken took more initiative in their relationship.
In the past, it was her doing everything for him. This time she was touched by his sincerity. Knowing him well, she was clear this was his implicit way to express love.
The old flames had been reignited.
After spending 30 years together, Ken still believed she was the only one he had ever wanted to propose to.
Marriage is never a fairy tale for lovers. A vow requires the patience of the couple for the whole lifetime. To find compromises can be to go against one’s heart. It is a lifelong challenge requiring perseverance.
It is his wife’s character to be very loyal to her love.
Ken recalls once before she had a pet puppy. Treating it so well, she took good care of it in every respect. Arranging activities and courses for the puppy, she was so close to the puppy as if she was its mother. Yet, since the puppy passed away, she has never had any other pets.
One may tell how loyal she is.
Ken loves his wife, but sometimes he does have a few sex partners. To him they mean nothing but pleasure. In his view it is the nature of man. Only for fun and his only love is still her. As long as his wife ignores his issues, he can balance his desire and love.
No one knows how the couple accept the cheating. Yet, marriage between Ken and his wife has always been alright, though Ken’s wife once said, “Maybe I have owed you lots in my last life.”
Sometimes owing each other is a way of love.
Ken’s wife always takes Ken’s preference into consideration for her life choices. When Ken was considering returning to Hong Kong for better prospects, his wife made her mind to follow his decision. Determined, she left her family and a familiar life of North America behind. Returning to their birthplace, the couple started over in Hong Kong.
Ken does not require his wife to take a regular job. They spiritually understand each other and respect the life choices. Deciding not to have any children, they enjoy freedom and romance.
Life has been different in Hong Kong. Ken treats all the possible lovers with the same attitude – stating his married status and that the lovers are just for fun. He has his own standard: not to embarrass his wife. Then all those affairs seem to be acceptable. Ken always thinks he has been balancing his life very well.
It was a normal afternoon in 2000. Ken went to donate blood. The next day he received a call, requiring him to visit the clinic immediately. Hearing the news he had been infected, he was much less panicked than expected. When the nurse asked him to inform his wife, he had no hesitation and affirmed that she had to know the truth.
Ken went to work as normal that day.
In that evening, Ken returned home and, without any rehearsal, confessed to his wife about the HIV infection. He could hardly have anticipated that his wife would react just like him – horrifyingly calm................... to be continued.
The full version is available in "Something Positive ─ 5 Love Stories of People Living with HIV" .