Written by Tricia
Erika: “What do you mean you’re going to wait for me?”
Trey: “Erika – I can’t do this. I just can’t do this.”
Trey goes back into the bedroom and grabs his belongings as Erika watched.
Erika: “Trey – this is fucked up…it is! But you know we gotta do the right thing.”
Trey: “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Erika: (Grabbing Trey and holding him still) “You gotta go get tested.”
Trey: (Punching the wall) “NO I DON’T ERIKA!!!”
Erika jumped back…realizing his temper was destructive and she didn’t want to be in the line of fire. She crouched down on the floor and buried her head in her lap and cried.
Trey couldn’t take it anymore and just decided to leave.
Over the next few days he put his mind on his upcoming mixtape – killing track after track. Before he knew it, he had 22 smashes to pick from. His Unit was amazed at how fast he spit those out. They kept trying to figure out the inspiration…Adadeus attributed it to some chick.
Adadeus: “Dude – u killed them tracks. My ass done lost 20 pounds drumming like that. So what’s her name?”
Adadeus: “What’s her name?”
Adadeus: “Hell…it might be two of em. Sound like one done fucked you over and one that did the damn thang on you. I see you keep checking yo’ phone. Who is she?”
Trey: “It ain’t like that.”
Adadeus: “This me you talking to bruh…I know better, but its cool. You ain’t gotta talk about it…I’ll just press play.”
It wasn’t like Trey to not joke back with him. Adadeus realized he was in deep thought and just decided to leave him alone.
Adadeus: “Aye CiCi – what’s up with Trey?”
CiCi: “Boy, I have no idea. He’s been in a funk lately. He’s been all business…maybe Kevin got in his ass or something.”
Adadeus: “This Kevin we talkin bout. You know he ain’t gone eva say shit to Trey.”
CiCi: “Well…I honestly don’t know. He snapped on the mailman the other day for bringing in the wrong mail. Dude ran out so fast. I was surprised when his ass came back the next day, but bets to believe he didn’t bring in anybody else’s mail.”
Adadeus: “Haaaa…that nigga. Maybe you should talk to him and see what’s going on.”
CiCi: “Naw…I’ll tell Tash to talk to him. We’ve been working with him for a long time, but Tash has been his right hand woman for so long that he feels extremely comfortable with her. I’ll call her.”
(Four hours later)
Trey was still in the studio writing and humming melodies while the band dozed off. Trey was holding them hostage rehearsing song after song over and over again.
Trey: “Aye yall…c’mon…let’s try to change this chord…I think we should go up an octave. My voice is smooth today, so I wanna try that. Let’s start at the bridge…
Adadeus: “Man, we tired. We ain’t got nothing major coming up right now…why we rehearsing like this?”
Trey: “You know what nigga…there’s the…”
Tasha: “Trey…cut it out. Come here…we need to talk.”
Trey: “Tash I ain’t got time…we got work to do.”
Tasha: “You can work when I’m done…come here.”
Trey: “You ain’t my momma.”
Tasha: “Keep fucking with me and I promise you I will call her. Get yo’ raggedy ass over here.”
Trey obviously frustrated with her threat to call his momma hesitantly got up and went over to see what she wanted.
Tasha: “Let’s go in the back.” (Pulling him by his hand)
Trey climbs atop of the desk and put his feet in the chair. He held his head down…trying to take his mind back to his music.
Tasha: “What’s going on with you Trey? People saying that you keep snapping on them. That’s not like you. And what’s with this rehearsal? Yall been here since 8 a.m. – Trey it’s 1 a.m. This is abuse.”
Trey: “It’s really none of your business Tash (looking down at his phone).”
Tasha: “This is my business…”
Trey: (Standing up and facing her) “No it ain’t. You must’ve forgotten but you work for me…not the other way around. I ain’t gotta explain shit to you.” (Trey heads to the door but Tasha grabs his wrist with vengeance.)
Tasha: “Trey – I love you baby, but if you ever talk to me like that it’ll be me and you…and I promise you that. You ain’t in this by yo’self. This is my baby too. I’ve put a lot of sweat & tears up in this just like you. Now you got three seconds to tell me what this is all about or I swear I will call April up here.”
Trey loosened his arm from her hold, checked his buzzing phone again, and went back over to the desk and sat down. He lowered his head in his hands and scratched in thought.
Trey: “I really fucked up Tash. I’m gonna lose everything.”
Tasha: “What are you talking about? What happened? Trey what happened?”
Trey covered his face, so Tasha lifted his face and saw tears draining from his eyes. She froze, not sure of what to do or how to handle this. She had never seen Trey upset to the extent of crying about it. She did what came natural to her…she wrapped her arms around him. He laid his head on her shoulder and cried. Once his cries subsided, she let him go and stepped back.
They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment…nothing but silence between them.
Trey: “I have some messages that I’m scared to check. They may ruin my life.”
Tasha: “What messages? Who are they from? What are they about?’
Trey: (Stalling…rubbing his head) “They’re the messages that tell me…”
Tasha: “That tell you what?”
Trey: “That tell me if I’ve been exposed to…HIV or not.”
Tasha gasped and then covered her mouth. She broke down in tears…dropping to the floor.
Trey stayed on the desk…joining in with her tears.
Tasha: “When did you take the test?”
Trey: “I haven’t.”
Tasha: “Wait…what? I’m confused.”
Trey: “Girl I was sleeping with probably got it. It’s bad Tasha. I mean…I’m pretty sure she got it. I’ve been praying like crazy about this…and something in me just knows she does. Her dude was messing around on her for a bit…I just know…I know it.”
Tasha: “Trey you don’t know nothing until you listen to those messages.”
Trey: “Tash I can’t.”
Tasha: “Give it here…I’ll listen.”
Trey gave her the phone and showed her how to check his messages. Tasha listened to call after call…most of them begging Trey to call her back. Finally she got to the last one…dropping his phone to the ground and it cracking into pieces.
Trey covered his whole head with his arms as his body shook. The evidence was all over her face. Erika was positive and so was he.
Tasha grabbed him and held him tight. Trey held her back, weeping in her embrace.
Tasha: “Trey…you still gotta go get tested. This doesn’t mean that you have it.”
Trey: “Tash…I can’t. It’ll kill me.”
Tasha: “Trey, what you putting yourself through right now is killing you. Not just you, but the people around you too. You killing them.”
Trey: “Can you tell them they can go? Tell them I’m sorry.”
Tasha: “Ok – I’ll be right back.”
Tasha: “They cool Trey. I’m making you an urgent appointment tomorrow. You are going to get tested. You just need to know Trey…rather you decide to tell people or not is up to you, but for your piece of mind you need to know.”
Trey: “Tash…I’m scared.”
Tasha: “Trey I’m scared too, but we’ll do this thing together. Go home and don’t think about it tonight.”
Trey: “That’s all I can think of…the only time I’m not thinking about it is when I’m singing or writing.”
Tasha: “Go home Trey…do whatever you need to do to get through tonight…within reason of course! I’ll call you first thing in the morning with your appointment date and time.”
Trey: “Ok. Thanks for listening Tash.”
Tasha: “You’re welcome. Look Trey…you know I’m not super religious and stuff…but I do believe in prayer. What’s that saying…if you have faith the size of a mustard seed that you can move mountains?”
Trey: (Smiling) “Yeah girl…that’s it.”
Tasha: “Well, I have faith that you’ll be okay. My grandma would always tell me that when two or three are gathered in His name, that He’ll be in the midst. We need Him like crazy right now Trey. I think we should pray together about this.”
Trey’s eyes watered at the woman that was before him. He didn’t recognize her…but she was a spiritual creature saying the exact things he needed to hear. He grabbed her hands and lowered his head.
Tasha: “Heavenly Father…I know I don’t give you the honor and praise that you deserve. I’m sorry about that, but please hear my prayer on tonight. Your son needs you right now. You are the King and that makes him a prince. It’s nothing we can’t ask of the father and being the King you are, we know everything is within your power. We may not have lived a squeaky clean life, and followed the rules that you have set for us, but Lord we ask that you give us another chance to get it right. We ask that you would move every obstacle, every roadblock, every hindrance… We ask that you would make Trey’s body whole again and give him the strength to endure every test you put before him. Lord we are claiming victory right now over HIV. Please let your will be done in Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
Trey: (Smiling) “Where is heathen Tasha?”
Tasha: “Boy…she left the building for a lil bit. You need the Tasha that was dragged to church and learned a lil something or two.”
Trey: “True dat.”
Tasha: “Ok – I’m out. Drive safe. Lonz is still out there waiting on you.”
Trey: “Ok…you too baby. (Kissing her on the cheek & giving her a quick hug) Thanks again.”
Tasha: “You’re welcome.”
Tasha picks up the phone to call Trey…
Trey: “Hey…what’s up?”
Tasha: “I spoke to Dr. Irvin and he can have a nurse come by right now to draw your blood. He said he’ll put a rush on the lab work and you can have it within an hour or two.”
Trey: “Tash maybe it’s better if I don’t know…I mean I normally strap up anyway.”
Tasha: “Trey, you can’t be serious! You cannot be out here having sex without knowing your status. You have to go to that appointment. I’m on my way to your crib right now…we gone do this together. (Hanging up the phone)
Tasha pulls up to Trey’s Atlanta home and let’s herself in with her key.
Tasha: “You look horrible…like you haven’t slept at all.”
Trey: “I haven’t.”
Tasha: (Grabbing his hand) “It’s going to be alright.”
They sat on the couch in silence until the doorbell rang. Trey got noticeably nervous, but Tasha just rubbed his back before going to open the door.
(Opening the door)
Nurse: “Hi. My name is Renee.”
Tasha: “Hi Renee…I’m Tasha – Trey’s assistant.”
Renee: “Nice meeting you.” (Walking over to Trey) Hi. You ready to do this?”
Trey: “Not really. I’m scared.” (Eyes watering)
Renee: “What makes you think you’ve been exposed?”
Trey: “I slept with this girl that just found out she’s HIV positive.”
Renee: “How long have you been sleeping with her?”
Trey: “Well that was the first time without a condom…but I haven’t been sleeping with her long.”
Renee: “I’m really sorry about that Trey. Nothing is really guaranteed, but what I can tell you is that it is a little more difficult for men to catch a disease than it is for a woman. The anatomy of a woman allows for them to take things in. That’s why so many people believed HIV for a long time was a homosexual disease, but with prolonged contact even for men, it has become everyone’s disease. Sometimes it doesn’t require prolonged contact though. So I’m just saying…don’t cast yourself out. You could be perfectly healthy…but do understand that because possible contact was so close, you’ll need to be retested in six months. In the meantime you need to either restrain from sexual contact or wear a condom. That is a must Trey.”
Trey: “You don’t have to worry about me. It will be so long before I ever want to see another vagina.”
Renee: (Laughing) “Well, just always be careful.”
Renee took his blood and went back to the clinic. She gave the sample to microbiology and requested an urgent order.
Results came back under an hour. She forwarded them onto Dr. Irvin who then called Trey to come in.
Tasha drove Trey to the clinic and then was escorted by his nurse directly to his office.
Dr. Irvin: “Hi Trey. Thanks for coming in.”
Trey: “I’m positive aren’t I?”
Dr. Irvin: “You’re not…but like the nurse explained, you need…”
Trey: (Trey broke down in tears) “I was so scared that I fucked up my life…I thought things were over for me.”
Dr. Irvin: “The HIV disease doesn’t mean that your life is over…it just means that you have to do things differently. Now you are not out of the woods…yes this is great, but this test was also very early. You need to be tested again in six months.”
Trey: “Why didn’t you just tell me this over the phone instead of making me panic?”
Dr. Irvin: “Because we need to discuss how you need to protect yourself. The next time you may not be so lucky Trey.”
Trey: “Dr. Irvin – I have condoms galore. I know better…I just messed up. Trust…it won’t happen again.”
Dr. Irvin: “OK – well I wish you the best and I will see you in six months.
Trey shakes the doctor’s hands and then lifts Tasha up off the floor into a warm embrace.
Trey: “Look at chu girl. You had the faith of a mustard seed…we moved a very big mountain Tasha. I love you for it.
Tasha was so overwhelmed with emotion that she just hugged him back, while thanking God for His mercy.
***For those readers that always need a little more. Trey was tested 6 months later and the results were negative. As for Erika, Trey contacted her after his initial negative result and apologized for ignoring her. Since then they have become friends – with Trey making big donations for AIDS/HIV research, prevention, and cure. Erika now travels giving lectures about how she became exposed and encouraging safe sex.***