This is the story of Sam and Rod.
I want to update all of you as to what as happened recently. As you may know, Samantha, my long-time partner, my lover and friend, died on the third of October after and illness. Her actual cause of death was severe pulmonary tuberculosis. However this was really a complication of HIV, in which her immune system had been compromised. It was what is commonly known as AIDS.
I was under no illusions. Sam had in fact told me that she was HIV positive in 2017. I was in the airport at Paris Charles de Gaulle with my baggage checked, when she texted me to say she ad just had a test and this was the result. She said that the cause was receiving a tattoo with an unsterilised needle.
By this stage we had known each other for nearly a year. For the previous seven months we had carried on a relationship online. This is no substitute for a face to face relationship but I had strong feelings for her despite that. I had thirty hours, more or less, including layover and transfers, to think about this. It was a tough decision but in the end I decided that I would at least come to see her, as planned, and we would take it from there.
There’s no point in being coy; there were other girls I could have met up with and possibly had a good relationship with, certainly some memorable sex. But sex was never the be-all and end-all for me and I really did like Sam. So, after clearing customs, I got myself a taxi to Angeles city, where Sam lived. (There is a coach service, but after a flight like that, no way.)
I’ve thought about this a lot. Did my fatigue cloud my judgement? Did my desire, be honest lust for Sam? She was one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever met and I big part of me wanted her. It doesn’t matter now, I decided on that taxi ride that I would give it a fair chance. I knew that if we had sex – which wasn’t really an ‘if’ anyway – we would have to use protection, but okay, I could accept that.
I arrived in Angeles just after midnight and coincidentally, because the driver was clueless, we stopped about a hundred yards from the Four Season Hotel, where I was booked for two nights. At least this saved more hassle.
I checked in and texted Sam. ‘Wait for me,’ she responded.
We met at reception and went for a meal in the hotel restaurant. I was starving, the rations on long-haul budget are pretty thin. Sam ordered. I was struck by how small and fragile she looked. She seemed worried, too. She hardly touched her food, to the point that I was embarrassed, but my appetite was bigger than my shame.
That is how it really began. I saw a vulnerable, damaged, frightened girl and I responded naturally to that. At one point she said ‘Are you afraid of me? You seem to be.’ And in truth, though I dissembled, I was. I could hardly touch her. Nevertheless I put that aside. I told myself that with proper care, she could live a long life and using condoms was not so onerous. I had recently read that in any case, a person on proper medication is hardly infectious, that the insertive partner was at little risk and so on. The list of justifications is long.
And so began the journey of the next five years, ten months and three days. In that time we did live. We were often happy but sometimes sad. There is no question that Sam was unstable and was prone to both living on the edge and frankly, lying. She was secretive, too. She had a complete other life that she concealed from me and I quickly found that asking the same question on different occasions was more or less certain to get different answers. I noted this because I was using her responses to find out more about ladyboy life in general, not just about Sam.
In the end, as you know, all of our dreams – certainly all of mine, were shattered. I am still trying to put together the truth behind what happened; if there is any such truth and that I cannot say. I will write much more about this in the future and might develop it into a book.
This I do know: I really loved Sam. Yes we had a turbulent relationship and in the last monthe there were so many rows. But I do think I know now why that was. I know Sam would not mind me telling the story of Sam and Rod.