FIRST PAGES STORY FOUR

So this is another oldie I wrote in 2016, funnily enough, still haven’t pitched it anywhere. Eric wanted a story like this, I said I could do it and voila

VOID. UNKNOWN TIME OF DAY.
The unmistakeable sound of chaos rings loud as the darkness
slowly reveals itself.

UNKNOWN VOICE
Oh God am I dead yet?

The sound of vomitting is heard before it is seen. The
stomach pulsates wildly, with erractic, brief moments of
relief and is then still.

UNKNOWN VOICE
Apparently not

A hand wipes its owner’s mouth and we come to view the face
of the owner, sitting in a corner, putrid and defiled by his
vomit all around him, he sits there unmoving, and we cut to

DISSOLVE TO BLACK

INT.JEREMIAH’S ROOM. MIDDAY
We are led on a panoramic view of a room that ends with
Jeremiah in a corner, his vomit long having been swept away
by a character who moves past him, a rag in her hand.
Jeremiah’s gaze follows her departing figure.

JEREMIAH
(teasing)
I would have settled for a coma
though, at least I wouldn’t have to
fear this your silent treatment.
There is no reply from the lady, instead she passes by
Jeremiah again, his stare never leaving her.

JEREMIAH
Nancy

NANCY
What?

JEREMIAH
I get it, you’ve done your good
deed of the day, and at my funeral
you will be able to confidently
tell yourself you tried to reach
me.

Jeremiah walks towards her as he speaks, his hand reaches
out to hold hers’ in a surprisingly tender manner

JEREMIAH
Although I tried to reach you first

Nancy maintains his gaze

NANCY
I brought you a cooler of food, and
I picked up some medication for you
since you’ve decided to stop
visiting the clinic.

Jeremiah drops her hand nonchalantly and goes to retrieve
his shirt from a nearby chair

JEREMIAH
Good, any Rufenol and codeine
there?

Nancy breathes sharply, barely reining in her anger.
Jeremiah doesn’t have to look in her direction to know how
she’s feeling

JEREMIAH
See nancy, be angry with me,(turns
to her) vex for me. That is what I
want, loose my number, just forget
me pata pata. Try not to feel
empathy for me at all okay! I’m
past that now.

Nancy struggles through a rebuttal

NANCY

Jerry￾

JEREMIAH
Yes nancy, what is it you want this
time?

NANCY
It wasn’t always like this

JEREMIAH
Really? Like when has it ever been
the truth with you?

CUT TO

INT. JEREMIAH’S ROOM. SAME TIME
Jeremiah is sitting in the corner of his room as before,
there is no one save himself and some bottles on the ground.
Jeremiah looks around the room, looking for Nancy.

JEREMIAH
Answer me!
(Louder, hysterically)
ANSWER ME!

Jeremiah hurls the bottle forward

FADE TO BLACK.

EXT. PARKING LOT. MIDDAY

VOICE OVER
Dying is easy, once you find a
motive to stop living

Jeremiah, with Soji in the co driver’s seat contemplates
heading into the clinic.

JEREMIAH
Of all the hospitals we could have
gone to, we choose here? Like
really?

Soji stares at the looming VCT sign hanging over the clinic
and back at Jeremiah.

SOJI
Well this one is straight to the
point, none of those extra malaria
or typhoid testing, no registering
for hospital card and since we both
know you don’t have AIDS, (snickers
conspiratorily) the testing is
free.

JEREMIAH
I can afford a paying clinic.

SOJI
Sure, but you are just going to let
that my sub fly over your head
without replying?

JEREMIAH
Yes.
Aren’t you getting tested.

SOJI
(Steps out of the car and
walks round towards
Jeremiah)
No, but I will accompany you all
the same. This is the place to find
girls scared of the repercussions
of a life of sexual exuberance and
provide all sorts of support.

JEREMIAH
It’s funny, but I feel sort of, I
don’t know, scared, anxious, like
one kind sha

SOJI
(Admiring a female who walks past)
Mm hmmm.
See ehn, let me know when you’re
done, I’m coming back now now.

JEREMIAH
Like as if you ever get anyone
Soji raises a questioning brow at Jerry

JEREMIAH
Eh now, bring one around and
introduce her to me as your babe or
something, just one (holds up a
finger) of the many you keep
showing me their pictures.

SOJI
(feigns seriousness)
I have nothing to prove to you,
besides you go use preaching pursue
am, or worse, convert am
They head in different directions, with Jerry laughing
quietly

DISSOLVE TO BLACK

INT. JEREMIAH’S CAR. AN INDETERMINIABLE PERIOD LATER
Soji’s quick smile is replaced by a look of gloom, Jeremiah
is in the back seat, staring blankly into space while a
lady, Nancy, bespectacled, dressed in what seems to be a lab
coat holds his hand while talking to him

NANCY
Hey, Jeremiah, what’s wrong? I mean
beside your HIV positive result of
course.

JEREMIAH
You really are asking me what is
wrong right after I test positive
for an incurable disease?

NANCY
You know you can still live a full
life, your viral count is low and
with healthy habits and medication
you would be as normal as anybody
else, what you have to do is to not
let your diagnosis affect your
perception.

JEREMIAH
(mildly incredulous)
Are you talking to me like you are
reading off a bloody textbook? This
is supposed to make me happy and
come around on weekdays in the
evening to sing kumba ya with other
about to die men and women? Why
don’t you just offer me a loaded
gun instead?

NANCY
(sighs)
Look, I’m sorry about this turn of
events for you, I really am. You’ve
had three tests in the past four
days and they confirm what we
already know, for the sake of your
health you can’t afford to remain
in denial any longer.

Jeremiah’s phone rings, he stares at it with just a hint of
fear and apprehension, which quickly gives way to resentment
by the time he speaks into the phone

JEREMIAH
Yes Shola, I know it’s three days
overdue since the church said we
should submit all relevant medical
details.

JEREMIAH (CONT’D)
See shola, I don’t have time for
this, thanks to this whole medical
test thing I’m here thinking how
long I have to live on ARVs. (long
pause) yes shola, I’m HIV positive,
yes after multiple tests. Well,
unless you have a cure for me
there’s really nothing you can do.
Actually there is something you can
do, you can tell the pastor in
charge of counselling and your
parents that we aren’t getting
married anymore. (sighs) what would
you have me do Shola? Assure you I
did not get it through intercourse?
Well, I didn’t. declare you my one
true love and ask you to stay with
me? Unless you also have AIDS I
don’t see any future in that, or do
you? (pause) good bye Shola.
There is an awkward silence in the car, Nancy looks away
from Jeremiah as he ends the call, finding a new interest in
the buttons on her labcoat

DISSOLVE TO

INT. SHOLAS’S APARTMENT. DAY
A lone tear escapes Shola’s tearduct as the phone lingers in
her hands, a message comes in, it reads: have you guys
spoken yet? Pastor M

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