Remember Jah? Despite what she had to go through in her life before (she lost her 1st husband and son within just months – and to add to that after her husband’s death she also found out she had HIV), Jah had always been the happy-go-lucky type of person; always the live-wire in any of our activities, particularly our annual Family Day.
That was until she remarried. Jah did talk to me about her boyfriend then (who was free from HIV) and my question to her had always been whether the boyfriend knew she was HIV positive. Apparently he knew, yet he still wanted to marry her. Jah was of course excited.
Ok then, it was their choice, nobody could stop them. So yes, they got married. And ever since then, I had never been able to contact Jah by phone. She no longer lived with her mother, whose house I used to visit, but went to stay with her husband at her mother-in-law’s house. We were no longer able to call her to join us for our Family Day. The only time I got to speak to her was when I’d bump into her at the hospital during her appointments which coincidentally happened to be on the same day as my clinic duty.
The last time I saw Jah was some time in April this year. She was waiting for her turn to see the doctor. I did ask for her latest phone number, but she told me she didn’t have any. So I informed her about all our planned activities and gave her my number so that she could call me if she was interested to join any of the activities. She seemed very interested but told me she’d need to go home and seek her husband’s permission first. Jah also asked for Shila’s phone number. Shila used to be her best friend before Jah remarried. But even Shila complained about Jah no longer keeping in touch with her. Shila in fact, didn’t even know Jah got married until I told her about it.
Despite taking down our phone numbers, Jah never did call me or Shila.
When I met Shila after this year’s Family Day in The Roots, Tg Rambutan, she did mention to me about Jah’s husband who kept sending her text messages, wanting to befriend her, telling her he wanted to marry her etc. Urggh, this guy must be sick! Whenever I met Jah after her marriage, the only person she’d be complaining about would be her mother-in-law who didn’t seem to like her, but Jah always had praises for her husband whom to her was “a very loving husband”. Of course, she didn’t know that the loving husband she had, had been trying to tackle her own best friend.
According to Shila, she did tell him off, but from time to time, he’d still try to contact her. I’m not too sure if he knew about Shila’s death just before Ramadhan this year; I had never been able to inform Jah about it as I didn’t know how to. Maybe her husband did find out – who knows, maybe he did send his SMS to Shila’s phone number which is now held by her mother/sister. Maybe the mother/sister replied the message telling him that Shila had passed on. I don’t know for sure.
Anyway, today out of the blue a text message came in on my handphone from an unfamiliar number:
"Askm akak Afizah sy nak betaya ni masa sy nati nk buat sorat beranak anak sy nak macm mana cara ya n ape dokte mita n berape bayaran kus buat sorat beranak n berape kus pebayaran kuluar dari hopita iteri sy nati n akak sy tak pernah melalui macm ni lg akak tolong lg bg tahu"
I had to reread the message to comprehend what the sender was trying to say. Whoever sent that message was actually asking me how to register for his child’s birth cert when the time comes, what would the doctor be asking for, how much would be the cost to get the birth cert, and what would be the costs when the wife gets discharged from the hospital.
The first thing I was trying to figure out was… who the hell was the sender of the message? A husband of someone who’d soon be giving birth… but I simply couldn’t recall any of clients being pregnant. So I replied the message to ask, “Siapa ni?”
It was only after that did he explain he was Jah’s husband. Well, I did reply his earlier queries. Then came his reply, thanking me for the info and asking “boleh ke sy nak mejadi adik akad akak itu pun kut akak sudi” (based on the spellings he had been using in his messages, he probably meant adik angkat, but the irony of it… adik AKAD??)
Allo brader! Jangan la over!!
I decided not to reply his last message. I remembered Shila telling him off and it didn’t stop him from contacting her. For the moment I think I’ll just use the “no response” tactic first. If he sends me another message, even to seek help for his wife, I’ll tell him to get his wife to contact me direct. After all, I’m his wife’s buddy, not his!
But right now what I need to do is to check with SN about Jah. I never heard about her being pregnant. SN or the other nurses at the HIV clinic never mentioned anything about it to me either. If Jah really is pregnant, those at the HIV clinic need to know so they can take necessary precautions to avoid transmission of HIV to the child…