February 1, 2010.
It was a bright Saturday morning. My parents had gone out on a date. Lisa had gone to visit one of her friends. I still call her my best friend though she is technically my sister now.
I did not go with her because she said it was going to be ‘a girl thing’. Trust me, when a girl says something like that, you don’t really want to know what they are up to. This situation left me with no option than to follow ‘The Gang’.
Now let me tell you about The Gang. They are a group of boys who like to have fun usually by pranking other people especially when they are not involved in the game of football – in other words, they are notorious. They invited me to play football with them. I knew they were bad nuts but I did not realize that I was being lead into their broth. I said to myself: “After all, this is a harmless invitation.”
So I followed them.
It was a fantastic 90-minute game but I only played for 10 minutes. The other boys said I had not trained enough so I deserved to be substituted. It was a draw in the end. I believed both sides played well. After the game, The Gang told me about their agenda.
They had scheduled a meeting at Elsie’s house along with other girls (Elsie was our classmate). They asked me if I would like to come. Because I did not want them to think that I was not brave enough to go to a girl’s house, I took up the challenge and replied in the affirmative. We all went to our various homes to freshen up and arrived at Elsie’s house around 5pm. She was left at home (alone), just like me.
It was there and then that someone revealed that we were going to play Spin The Bottle.
Spin The Bottle is a party game which is mostly played by teenagers. In this game, the players sit in a circle and each player is required to spin the bottle and must kiss the person, (usually of the opposite sex) to whom the bottle points to when it stops spinning. If the two people involved do not kiss within 10 seconds, they would have to French kiss.
For fear of being labeled as a scaredy-cat, I told them I would play the game. I knew that everybody thought I would run away because they don’t see me as someone who is used to playing these kind of games.
Patricia set the ball rolling and it fell on James.
They followed the requirements within 10 seconds. Ironically, I was the next person to play. So I spinned the bottle and watched it rotate about an axis. Not that I doubted the principles of circular motion, but I was more concerned with who I was going to kiss.
This was going to be my first kiss and I wanted it to be the girl I liked. I thanked my stars, when it fell on Jessica. She was one of the prettiest girls in my class and I still had a crush on her. Even though I liked her, I was still skeptical about having to kiss her in front of all the other ten players. I was so confused and did not know how to proceed.
Little did I know that as I was plunged deep in thought, the 10 seconds had elapsed so we were basically left with no option than to French kiss. This made the task even harder. However, we eventually accomplished the mission and the game went on smoothly. I returned home after 7pm and did not mention a word of this to anybody.
The thing about disease is that, during it’s incubation period, the pathogen behaves like a baby and most of the time does not reer its ugly head till it has caused enough damage.
Well, several days elapsed and I was still reminiscing the event without any sense of regret till I woke up one morning feeling less than a fiddle.
At first, I thought it was just a flu.
Then, I began to have a fever, sore throat and swollen glands around my neck. It was like a plague.
I was taken to the hospital and quarantine after a thorough hospital examination. I was asked a few questions about who I had been in contact with.
It took me a long time to narrate the whole story to the doctor. In the end, it was revealed that the girl I kissed may have acquired the Epstein-Barr virus during the course of her life but this virus may be still dormant in her and that was why she did not show any symptoms.
I was diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis.
Some people call it glandular fever, Pfeiffer’s disease, Filatov’s disease. Others also call it the kissing disease because it can be contracted through contact with saliva. But however you choose to call it, it does not take away the horrible feeling of being quarantined and barred from playing any sport lest I end up with a ruptured spleen, although unlikely.
As if that was not enough, I earned the nickname mono (short form of mononucleosis) and Lisa had a good laugh as well because I refused to tell her when she asked about how I spent that day with the boys.
I was put on some medications: Paracetamol (to relieve the pain), an antibiotic (to prevent secondary bacterial infections), an anti-inflammatory agent along with two other drugs. I got better each day but I would rather prefer to describe my victory over this disease as a Pyrrhic one.
Bottom line – my first kiss landed me a spot in the isolation ward. Who knows where unprotected sex would have landed me? Don’t get me wrong – kissing as well as sex, has some great merits as well as demerits.
I am sure you have heard about the ABC rule from time immemorial. Make sure each contact you make during this season of love is a protective and wise one. The ball is in your court; however you decide to play is up to you.
Stay safe during this Valentine season.
This is a continuation of the series from this author.
The series continues. Naa Adzoa can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or her blogadzeleydeluxy.wordpress.com