The Official Writing Challenge
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Whether this is true or not (and I suspect it is!), this situation, I'm sure, is completely commonplace in Africa. You hit the heart of the issue with this piece - and you GAVE it heart, which many fail to do. Wonderfully done.
Unhappily there will be many more "Richards." To those who work on a daily basis to change the terrifying statistics, may God give wisdom, grace, and love in superhuman measure. Thank you for this up-close-and-personal reminder.
You described a tragic situation through the life of you mc. I wondered what happened to the daughter.
You put a face on the reality of AIDS/HIV. Such a destroyer!
The truth of this is heart-wrenching.
The further tragedy of the AIDS pandemic is that the people are raised as Richard was, and learn the "facts of life" as Richard did - through the examples set by their elders. I thank God for people like you who are there to teach "fidelity within marriage; celibacy outside marriage." Sadly, there are not enough of you.