For Clare, she contracted the HIV in Bluesocksville.
Where she caught the disease was not important. What was important was how, and why.
Clare reached the welcome signpost. Just beneath the signpost were two boulders which, in the past, were used to support the sign.
“Welcome to Bluesocksville”
The rectangular aluminium sign read. Below those words were “Population: 942”.
Maybe the town authorities should have added one more line.
“Number contracted AIDS: zero.”
Because this number was about to change.
Clare sat on one of the boulders which was about the size of a small coffee table. The walk from the town took about half an hour. Ahead, the main highway led to other bigger towns and cities.
One day, Clare swore, she would leave this miserable small town.
One day, she swore, life would be better. Happier. Where a knight in shining armour would rescue her from this miserable world.
Her eyes were now dry.
No more tears.
The walk from the town always helped.
Clare sat for another half an hour before she rose and began her journey back.
Back to miserable Bluesocksville.
Back to her miserable life.
A honk from behind.
Clare turned and her miseries disappeared.
A knight in shining armour.
The red Ferrari stopped right beside her. The driver was a man in his late twenties, not very handsome, but who cared?
He was driving a Ferrari.
“Excuse me, this town any fun?” he asked.
“I don’t think so,” Clare said. “Besides, I don’t think you’d want to drive a car like yours into Bluesocks. Unless you want stones to be thrown at.”
He peered at her from beneath his sunglasses. “Really? Nasty folks?”
“Not nasty. Just jealous.”
“You’re not going to throw stones at my car, are you?” he said.
Clare laughed. Funny guy. “Nah, I’m one of the few kinder ones.”
His eyes glanced at the tight top she was wearing, and then at the tight denim shorts. “I’m Mark. Where do you suggest I go then?”
“I’m Clare. That depends of your definition of fun,” Clare said.
“Well, Clare. Right now, I wouldn’t mind spending my day with a beautiful girl like you.”
Clare smiled. He’s so sweet. “If you like, I can bring you to a spot where you can have a view of the whole town. It’s pretty nice there. I mean the spot, not the town.”
Mark laughed. “Sounds good. Hop in.”
Clare almost wanted to hop in, but Mark reached over to open the door for her.
What a gentleman. My knight in shining armour?
Clare directed him to her favourite spot, about a five minute drive out of the highway and into an used road that led to an old quarry.
From there, they could see Bluesocksville, a suburban town consisting of middle income folks who drove middle range cars. Not flashy ones like the one Mark was driving.
Mark had brought a blanket for them to sit on although it was not necessary. The grass was comfortable and clean enough.
He handed her a cold beer. Clare gulped it. Although the breeze had been keeping her cool, she was thirsty.
They chatted about the usual.
Mark was a salesman selling exotic sportscar. The Ferrari was his, not from the showroom.
Clare laughed. “I believe you.”
Mark looked into her eyes and said, “Do you believe me if I tell you that you are the most beautiful and sexy woman I’ve ever met?”
Clare laughed again. “Maybe.”
Mark leaned close and their lips touched.