The Last Kiss Episode 7 is running…
THE LAST KISS
Alicia is sitting in a private room in a plush hotel with a reminiscing look in her eyes.
She does not seem to be aware of her surroundings.
She is surrounded by beautiful and incredibly-scented flowers.
The table is set for two with the perfumed candles as the only source of light.
Ordinarily, it is a perfect setting of a romantic candle-lit dinner.
Curtis, in his desperation to take Alicia’s mind off the unfortunate turn of events, has organized a romantic dinner in a hotel Alicia adores.
He is hoping that gesture will bring some colour to her face and lift her rather dampened spirit.
The Alicia he knows would have been full of smiles and savouring every second and detail of the moment.
But today is different.
She has not said much and has touched very little of her favourite food.
Curtis looks at her for a long time wondering if she is ever going to be alright.
He needs her to grasp this.
He needs her to want to live.
Her eyes are set on him but he can tell she is far away in her thoughts.
He looks at the beautiful dress she is donning and his heart misses a beat with desire.
It is the second time he has seen her in it.
The first time was on their wedding night.
He recalls how happy she was that day.
She had walked confidently on his proud arms as they moved from spot to spot, restaurant to restaurant and place to place until they finally dined in the same hotel room they are now.
Alicia had smiled at everything and everyone then.
“Sweetheart, it’s not the end of the world, you know. Your handsome dotting husband is here with you. We are in this together. Stop fretting.”
“I can’t seem to concentrate on anything, Curt.”
“Not even a romantic evening with the love of your life? I was hoping this time together outside the home would lighten you up a bit but it looks like I was wrong. I really miss us and I miss your sweet smile and the sparkle of light in your eyes every time our eyes meet.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, my love. Just that my mind is filled with so many unanswered questions. How did I get infected? What am I going to do? Feels like I can’t make you happy even if I try.”
“It doesn’t really matter. For me, nothing has changed. You are still the only one for me. I meant my vows when I said them. I really do love you and nothing is ever going to change that.”
Alicia is speechless.
Sometimes she admires Curtis’ courage and selfless love.
She never believed a man could love to such great lengths.
She never believed a man could love with such purity and absolute sacrifice.
In her world, it was only women who loved for better or worse.
She is not that old but she has seen a lot in life.
Men leaving their homes at the sight of the first storm.
Curtis’ love is unshakable. Simply unchangeable.
She is really grateful for that but a part of her, the part that loves him to bits, thinks it will be too much to expect him to stay with her under the circumstance.
For some reason she believes Curtis is not infected.
She makes a mental note to remember to look for his test results when they get home.
Right now, she is worried that every time they kiss or make love there will be that underlying fear of Curtis getting infected. She knows for a fact that there will never be a kiss like the ones they shared when they didn’t know she was HIV positive.
The thought saddens her. She feels it is unfair for a young man who is so full of life and love to be reduced to taking care of a sick wife who can die any moment leaving him a young widower or probably not be able to give him any children because of her condition.
Kids! Curtis and herself love kids and they have planned to have five; two boys and three girls. They had spent hours during their courtship talking about kids; their kids.
They have decided on the names for their five kids.
They have picked the schools they would go to and even decided on what careers they would pursue.
Now all that seems gravely impossible.
“Sweetheart, looks like some fresh air would do some magic to your mood. Would you mind taking a walk with me?”
Alicia smiles feebly.
How can she say no to the only man she loves unconditionally?
She pushes her chair back and gets to her feet.
Curtis hurries to her side and wraps his arm around her waist, planting kisses on her lips briefly.
The moon is a bit dim but there are a million stars in the sky.
The sight is really splendid to behold.
Alicia likes the calm wind that seems to be literally blowing all her sorrows and fears away.
Curtis guides her to the fountain at the centre of the hotel.
It is a beautiful sight. There were mini huts around the fountain with lots of flowers, green grass and coloured lights. There is a bar at the far end of the fountain.
Curtis leads her to the mini farm close to the fountain.
There are different species of birds and monkeys.
The birds look like they had called it a day but the beauty of it all is in looking at how spectacular their unique feathers are and how wonderfully they have been created.
Alicia enjoys watching them.
She is deeply moved by God’s awesomeness once again.
She moves to the monkeys’ cage and see them going up and down as if day has just broken.
Then she feeds them some bananas and giggles as they play with her.
By the time she leaves the farm, she was relaxed and more positive about life.
As they walk to the other part of the hotel, Curtis stops and looks at her uneasily.
“Allie, we promised not to keep secrets. I have one secret but I’m not sure how you will take it. I found out yesterday that my results to the HIV test is negative. It might be a mistake or something but even if it were true, I don’t want anything to come between us. You are my life, without you there will be no me. I want to grow old with you. I want to love you until the sun and stars are no more. And I want you in my bed, in my house, in my life, sick or not. I really need you.”
She is so relieved there’s at least some good news for them.
She is so happy to hear that her Curtis tested negative.
Yes, she had been worried that she might have given it to him the times they made love without protection when they didn’t know about her status.
Oh, she is really thrilled God has answered her prayers and she is so grateful.
She spins around and hugs him fiercely.
“Thank God you are negative. I was worried sick. I love you so much Curt, so so much. But I’m worried and I feel kind of inadequate right now. What will happen if I can’t give you children? “
“Nothing. That’ll mean I’ll have all the time in the world to love only you. Let me love you, my Princess. Let’s leave all our fears, burdens and anxieties to the Most High. He takes care of all the animals how much more us who were made in his image? I think we should take it a day at a time.”
Alicia moves closer.
Curtis places his hands on her shoulder forcing her closer.
She lifts her head till her mouth is just inches from his.
He closes the gap between their lips and kisses her with a passion and a need only they understood.
Curtis sights a spot they could sit and watch the stars and pulls Alicia gently to the spot.
He makes her sit beside him on the grass.
She puts her head on his laps after a while as she listens to him tell an interesting tale about the stars that his grandpa had told him when he was a little boy.
It is Friday.
Alicia is sitting behind her desk in the office.
She has just finished reviewing documents for their next Board Meeting scheduled for next week Tuesday.
She sends the document via email to the Executive Secretary to be attached to an email drawn to the Board members.
It has been a month since she was diagnosed HIV positive.
Life has been normal except for the occasional nausea and weakness that came from the medications prescribed for her.
Her sex life has not suffered much.
She just has to get used to the nauseating rubber scent from condoms.
Curtis makes things easy.
The only thing she misses is their skin to skin sexual encounters. Even though the experts mentioned that they could do without condoms when her viral load is very low, she has insisted on the use of condoms as protection for Curtis.
On those days they completely lose themselves and make love without condoms, Curtis takes prescribed medications to protect himself. Somehow things seem to be perfect but she occasionally wonders how long it will take for Curtis to get tired of it all.
She is lucky to be married to Curtis.
He has been incredibly sweet, sensitive and very caring as always. She knows his love for her knows no bounds and she is also crazily in love with him. She is aware that her life without him will never be the same.
Alicia and Curtis have not told anyone about recent developments in their life.
The doctor insists it is best close family members are told.
He also insists it is important to narrow down the source of her infection to stop other people from being infected.
Alicia feels it is now time to face the world with the truth and Curtis has pledged his complete support all the way.
Since she only knew one guy intimately before her adorable and dotting husband, she has decided to meet with Richie after work that day.
She preferred to have done this over the phone but Curtis insists it is best she does it in person.
That is one other thing she adores about him, his total trust in her and the amazing display of maturity in his dealings.
Alicia looks at the clock hanging above her wedding picture in her office and sighs.
She has less than thirty minutes to get to the meeting place with Richie.
She tidies up her desk and gets to her feet, making sure she was all packed and ready to head out.
And then she brings out her makeup purse and steps into the powder room to freshen up as always.
She returns in no time, picks her bag and heads out.
She calls Curtis on the way to the car to see if she will convince him to come with her.
The truth was, she had tried everything in the book to get him to come with her but he had not been swayed.
She unlocks the door to her plush metallic black Nissan Rogue and tosses her bag on the passenger seat.
She gets into the driver’s seat and takes off her high heels because she has never been comfortable driving in heels..
Alicia pulls out her driving shoes from under her seat and slips into them.
Most importantly she puts on her seat belt, turns on the ignition and manoeuvres out of the parking lot with ease.
Alicia drives through the car park of Memories Restaurant a while later and looks for a spot to park because the car park was congested as usual.
Memories Restaurant is in the heart of the city and since she didn’t want Richie getting funny ideas in his head, she made sure their meeting place was not in a secluded location.
With a sigh she locks her car and heads for the grounds of the open-place eatery.
The restaurant is more like a twin pack. The interior is well furnished with the best furniture and drapes ever.
The uplifting colours used for the decoration makes it warm and cosy therefore giving it a very homely appearance.
Besides that the grounds of the restaurant are also decorated nicely for those who would want fresh air.
And conveniently, bamboo sticks have been used to divide the place into booths for comfort and a little privacy.
The seats in the booths differ in size and colour. There are booths for two, three, family and group.
Alicia realizes there are not many people around but she knows it is only a matter of time before the place fills up to capacity with people from all walks of life.
She looks for a table nearby and is surprised to see Richie seated not far from the entrance in a booth designed for two, fidgeting with his phone.
Richie is neatly dressed for the occasion, as always. Alicia can tell from afar that he chose his clothes with care.
And he is wearing Alicia’s gift of a T-shirt to him on his last birthday when they were together.
She had made sure it was crested with a heart just above his left breast with their first names inside it, therefore making it more intimate. The words ‘Together Forever’ was inscribed around the heart shape.