Two years passed. Zinhle phoned to tell me that she was graduating. But, of course, I didn’t care and did not attend her graduation.

Then a mad lady came to our place, claiming to be Dollar’s ex-wife. She told me that Dollar was no good and had infected her with HIV. I was angry and chased her away. But the gossiping and accusations were getting to me, so I decided to go through his things when he was away.

On a pile of books in the study, I came across a piece of paper with a list of names. My name was the last one on the list. On the back of the paper were the words “GIRLS I’VE INFECTED”.

My heart stopped for a second – I couldn’t believe my eyes.

When he got back I confronted him and he didn’t deny it. He said that he was not a movie producer and admitted to being HIV positive. He said that I should leave his house if I had a problem with it.

I felt so betrayed and stupid. I tested positive and felt my whole world crumbling before my eyes.

I had quit varsity, lost my best friends – the only person I could talk to, left Tee – a guy who really cared for me.

I couldn’t face the world. I was on the streets with nothing.

I returned home to my parents and looked for Zinhle. I told her everything. And, to my surprise, she didn’t judge me. She was a loving friend even though I was heart broken, hurt and disappointed in myself. I felt I had nothing to live for.

How would I tell my parents I had quit varsity? How could I face the fact that I was dying?

I got counselling but still I was angry with myself and with the world. Should I go back to varsity and try again… by myself this time?

Zinhle was a qualified doctor by now and I was happy for her. But it hurt seeing my friends and people I went to school with living BIG.

I went back and completed my studies. That love and support I got from Zinhle and my other true friends made me stronger than ever before. I never saw Dollar again… but I wasn’t surprised.