He stared at an HIV worker’s worst nightmare.
Why hadn’t he felt the needle prick? Was it with the needle that had the virus on it? Or was it the control needle with no virus? Had it just happened or was it several seconds ago? For 10 years he had advised people on codes and rituals in case of accidental exposure, but now, Jatin sat there stunned staring at his smudged gloves, his mind benumbed like a gasping garbage disposal, blood dripping on to his wrist and staining the cuff of his sleeve, precious minutes ticking by.
It had been a long time since Jatin felt his wife’s hands caress his body.
He remembered their first night, the shy gliding fingers that shivered and hesitated. He had thought she was braver than what her conservative wedding manners suggested, more beautiful than in her pictures where she was stiff like dried rice, seemed bored like a captive tarantula. Every little accessory in the room played its part perfectly that night; the tired jasmine flowers on …