Lordina was hardworking so with a little push she had an incredible grade. She was actually among the few who had single grades in the whole school so Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology was glad to offer her admission to read Human resources management. I opted to read political science. I could have gone for anything but I was enthusiastic about politics and wanted to understand certain things about it. I wasn’t interested in contesting political power, just wanted to know more. Even though first-year students were given the opportunity to reside on campus, Lordina and I opted to stay off-campus but in a hostel that was just a stone’s throw from campus. It was our first time in Kumasi so we wanted to know around, have some fun before getting deeper into our various courses.
Lordina and I were in the same hostel but not the same room. She was upstairs and I was downstairs. It was a hostel full of continuing students so anyone who met us concluded we were continuing students as well. Even though University wasn’t like SHS where a junior is expected to respect a senior, we weren’t treated as naive and small as usual. We were accorded similar respect and treatment. Lordina and I were always together. We went to places together, ate together among others. So for the first few weeks in school, we made no friends individually except for our roommates. We were not even bothered about classes. Because I didn’t want same prejudice from SHS to follow me, I never told anyone my actual name or at least that I was “Saint”.
“Saint… Have you heard?” Lordina came back one day excited and surprised at the same time. She got me hooked and interested so I stopped whatever I was doing eager to listen to her news. “I just received a call from Daniella.” She said beaming with smiles. Initially, I thought that was all the news she had in store until she mentioned madam Faustina. Daniella didn’t get a very good grade hence she didn’t bother applying to any University. She said she wanted to be a nurse so she was waiting for the forms. By virtue of that, she had just enough time on her hands and was usually our ‘information minister’. “She said Madam Faustina has been sacked for sexual harassment and on top of it, she has been diagnosed with AIDS…”She said. “AIDS?! My heart skipped a beat and I got really scared. Even though it was supposed to be a piece of good news, I wasn’t happy. Not because of her fate but I was wondering if I might be infected as well. AIDS was no joke, especially since no cure exists for it. How was I even going to tell my parents I had AIDS and that I was infected by my teacher? The first outcome would be murder, not me but Madam Faustina. My Dad would be glad to shoot her dead and face any consequences. I knew him that well.
Lordina upon noticing my sudden mood change immediately regretted sharing the news. She tried various means to cheer me up but nothing worked. I went away for a while trying to clear my head. I pictured my life coming to an end and it made me very sad. It seemed to me there was nothing to live for. The stigmatization alone could kill before the virus itself started working. In our part of the world being infested with AIDS is a sign that you are promiscuous and evil. The whole thing was just like a movie… (Story Continues)