A Tale To Last A Lifetime
This is a tale of love. Maybe not such a good love for one party involved. You see, this is also a tale of betrayal. Betrayal of a nice, sweet Isaan girl by her butterfly of a boyfriend.
Let’s call her Nok and him Kii.
Nok was like so many girls. Looking for someone to love. And to love her back. So young when she met the man that turned her head and took her breath away. Yes, she had found the man that she would give her heart to. And her virginity. Did Kii love Nok? I don’t know and it’s too late to ask him. You see, Kii is dead. And Nok will probably die before much longer.
Kii was just a little too fond of the booze and the broads. At every opportunity, he would slip off to one little bar or another. And these times seem to have lead to numerous romps with the good ladies at these establishments. Needless to say, he wasn’t exactly practicing safe sex. I honestly believe Nok knew. She had to have known. Of course I did not dare to ask. But Thai women seem to be willing to forgive a multitude of sins committed by the men that they love. Sometimes they do wise up and send the guy packing. After all, no use throwing good money after bad, right? Ok, so there’s probably a more appropriate phrase that could be used here. Too bad that Nok, bless her heart, allowed this situation to go on. Mostly, I think they believe that he will change. I’m sure that they pray to Buddha for him to change. Unfortunately they never seem to learn that a leopard cannot change his spots. We are what we are. The good. The bad. The ugly.
I never knew Kii. But I think it is probably safe to say that he was more bad than not. If only in this one regard. Yes I know we should not speak ill of the dead. But he did it to himself. Unfortunately it was not only to himself. Had that been the case, I would never have given Kii another thought. Even now, I don’t really give a thought to him. But it’s hard not to feel sympathy for Nok without thoughts of Kii also entering my head. Ok, you guys, no jokes about that line, alright? I would also like to think that he had some redeeming qualities. Something that Nok saw and that she so desperately tried to hold on to. Something she wanted so badly that, ultimately, she gave her own life in its pursuit.
Obviously, with 20/20 hindsight, this was a very bad deal for Nok. But, for her, at the time, it was not all bad either. We must suffer the thorns for the chance to behold the beauty of the rose. I do not delve into any of this with Nok. All of my information comes from those around her, primarily from CG. But I know she truly loved this man. Loved him enough to overlook everything he did. I’m sure she cried herself to sleep many a night too. What a cross she chose to bear.
With everything that has happened, she does not feel any hatred for this man. I doubt she has any love left for him either but you can tell that she still remembers him fondly. He was her first and, subsequently, her only love. Once she knew of the infection she never allowed anyone else to get too close. Yes, she has her friends. But she didn’t want anyone to come along and love her. Because ‘love make people stupid’ and ‘I not want hurt someone I love’. Yes, she felt if she let anyone else love her that they would ultimately become physical, even knowing she was positive, and that thought frightened her. The thought that she could one day infect (hurt) someone that she loved, even with him knowing the risk / danger, was something that she could never allow.
Nok is but a child but, I have to admit, I have the utmost respect and admiration for her. She knows she will probably die sooner rather than later. Being poor does have its disadvantages. But she does not let it get her down.
Everyone knows of HIV / AIDS but no one really thinks much about it. It never occurred to her that her boyfriend could contract this disease and bring it home to her. Who was Kii and where did he get this? It wasn’t Bangkok. Or Pattaya. Or Phuket.
It was a small village in Isaan. He grew up just minutes from Nok. She had dreams and ambitions while he mostly just thought with his dick. Small town karaoke venues. Maybe one or more of the girls had been to the big city at one time. Maybe it
was a guy returning from the big city that introduced it. There may be more people infected there who just don’t know it yet. But this much is certain: it will soon extinguish the life of a beautiful girl. A girl who wanted a love to last
A sad story, and one which can be found all over the country. Just change the names.