A Walk For Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I did a walk for AIDS called "From All Walks of Life" and as you read this now, a number of months after the walk, and say it doesn't matter, who cares, the walk was only 10 kilometers, only 6 miles. Why not do something worthwhile, like the Walk for Hunger? And I tell you that an estimated 35,000 people walked and they were friendly and nice and caring and some were sad. Some carried signs with the names of their friends who had died and some pushed empty wheelchairs recently vacated due to the death of their occupants. And you say, it's a gay disease and it won't happen to me. And I tell you it's not, it may have seemed that way and it may have been that way, but it's not that way now. And you say, it's preventable, people bring it upon themselves and why should I help them, they deserve it. And I tell you that condoms are not fool-proof. No, because you trust and you believe and you could be drawn in, suckered and drawn in and then ... not boom, not quick like a rifle shot, but slowly like air leaking out a balloon, you die. It could be 20 years, it could be three. You could pass the HIV virus on to your children without even knowing. And then it's their problem, too. Because every time you have sex with someone, you're also having sex with each of their previous partners and each one of that partner's partners and so on. So it goes. And you never know, you never really know.

But AIDS matters and it could take control of you, if you do not gain control of it. And it could take your friends and your relatives, regardless of whether they are "good" people. And it could take you, far away from peace of mind and a strong body and a working immune system and everything you know and love. Because AIDS is real and it is here and it could happen. And you scream out and I hear you scream, but I can do no more for you. And the word you cry, in a voice aching with fear and despair, is NO! But it is too late. Because you did not listen, because you never listen, it is too late. It is too late. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 12 at 2:02 am
i love this so much!
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