It’s been a rough week in my kik group. Started with me and the woman I was kinda involved with bringing drama. Then the best friend of a member died back in their home country. The member was devastated about it. Then last night, one of the women revealed that she’d met her husband’s girlfriend whom she’d only found out existed the night before. It was total mess. That was all child’s play compared to the atomic bomb that was placed in my lap earlier this morning.
“Is she really that important?”
Was the question a new member asked last week when a senior member *Karen* chose to leave because I’d removed another member from the group because I thought it was a guy. She became upset with me when I refused her request to re-add the member without proof that she was in fact a woman.
“She is fun, funny and keeps the group in stitches laughing so hard.
She will always be welcome here.”
That was my response to the new member. And it’s all true. Had it not been for this member, we’d still be stuck in an awkward loop of pleasantries. We wouldn’t know anything about each other. She is great at getting people to feel comfortable. That’s what makes what I found out tonight even more upsetting
“I have something to tell you.”
Read the text I received in the wee hours this morning in a private message from one of the members, *Alice*.
“Nothing bad, I hope”
Was my response.Knowing I was asking too much, I steeled myself.
“I wish it wasn’t”
*Alice* wrote back.
“I don’t even know how to tell you this.”
I put myself in break and waited for her messages. *Alice* told me that she and *Karen* had been seeing each other. I knew about this. She didn’t know that I knew, but *Karen* told me in confidence about it a while ago. I wish it ended there, but it didn’t. She told me that she went to the ER earlier last week for some kind of break out. My heart sank. With the herpes thing from the liar I’d been dealing with still fresh in my mind, I immediately thought that was it. I heard the first flare up can be pretty bad. That wasn’t it.
She told me that what she’d had an allergic reaction to something, but while she was in the ER they gave her a rapid HIV test. Thankfully, it came back negative. She also told me that *Karen” had told her last night that she is HIV positive and she’s known she’s been positive for six years.
Oh God, why couldn’t it have been herpes?
The bombs kept coming. *Alice* told me that *Karen* said that she hadn’t planned on telling her, but her best friend’s death last week prompted her to. Wow. I asked *Alice* if that was how the friend died. She confirmed that *Karen’s* friend had died of AIDS. Fuck.
I feel horrible. I am so scared and worried for *Alice*. I can only imagine the horror she is dealing with right now. Not being 100% sure. She said they used protection. I pray it was enough. I’m leaving what to do with “Karen* being in the group up to *Alice*.
I am furious with *Karen*, but at the same time my heart breaks for her. In the short time that I’ve known her, I have grown to care for her quite a bit. She did the impossible- made me comfortable enough to speak in a crowd and not fear what type of response I would get. I will never forget that. I think of this tragic news and recall a picture *Karen* once posted of her two little kids and a flood of tears rush to my eyes. Having lost my dear aunt to it, I know what AIDS does to a person.
*Alice* told me that everyone in “Karen’s* home country new that she had HIV. That’s why she left. To come here for meds, treatment and a new start. I can’t imagine how lonely it must be and it’s somewhat comforting knowing that HIV isn’t the death sentence it used it be, but what *Karen* did is inexcusable. I am not ok with it at all. She knowingly, willingly put someone’s life at risk. I’m not sure what to do.
*Alice* and I have been chatting quite a bit about how to handle this. She’s as lost as I am. Understandably, she doesn’t want anything else to do with “Karen*, but feels sorry for her at the same time. We don’t want her exposing anyone else to what she has. The fact that she told *Alice* that she wasn’t planning on telling her anything horrifies me. Who knows who else she has been keeping this from? She flirts with everyone in the group.