Raymond was forty five, married with children and lived just outside Cheedle. He caught Aids one afternoon in a plush hotel in Frankfurt through a site specialising in glamorous and adventurous Escorts for international businessmen.
Raymond reckoned he qualified. After all he was a long way from Cheedle. When he saw Ana’s photos, he decided to do more than just scroll through the site. He made the call.
By the time Ana arrived at his room, Raymond’s anxiety was at manageable proportions. Ana was beautiful and dressed in lingerie he had only seen in magazines. She slipped his money into her designer bag. Then she dropped to her knees
Raymond barely recognised the man in the mirror standing over her. Then he lay back while she applied a condom and straddled him. He became young again. Then as he withdrew to adopt a more adventurous position he noticed the condom had split.
He showed Ana in a panic but she just shrugged, said she hardly ever used them and threw it away. She drew him into her deeply and continued to ply her trade until she noticed Raymond was in a rictus of fear
She got out of bed and shouted at him. Did he think she was diseased? She had regular tests! Something was wrong with him! She dressed in seconds and stormed out. Raymond knelt on the bed in the first stages of Aids.
Back in Cheedle, Raymond wouldn’t go near his doctor because he couldn’t bear to hear the diagnosis confirmed. He wouldn’t go near his wife, because he didn’t want to infect her too. He couldn’t explain because the guilt and fear would break him.
So he went into a depression. And sat in it till he noticed the world had left him quite alone.