In my hand was the last lab test result needed for my baseline. My head was swirling for seeing another "Reactive" again on the paper. I thought the last "Reactive" I'd like to see was on the HIV test. This was too much.
The downpour of rain cinematically coincided with the fresh wave of torment in my chest. Inside the cab on my way home, the driver might have noticed my peculiar silence. Normally, you would command the driver where to turn, especially in the innards of a district. But this time, he did the initiative in asking me if we'll take a left or a right or just straight ahead. He might have read on my face and the way I stared blankly beyond the pane of glass my anxiety.
"I have Hepatitis B. I have Hepatitis B? How? Perhaps he had too. Why? Just live with it."
The small "Reactive" sent a rally of declaratives and interrogatives in my head. It was just interrupted when the taxi was at the corner of our street. Salamat, he said as I handed him my bill. I caught him smile at the rear-view mirror, a smile that seemed as if he vicariously felt the pangs gripping over me. It was also a smile that wanted to console me. Kind driver, I thought to myself. I stepped outside. The rain just ended—the sky stopped mourning.
I feigned a smile when my mom greeted me. As I dressed down, I looked at myself in front of the body mirror only with my boxers on.
"But I do look healthy. HIV. Now, Hepatitis B! Would I believe that inside my body is an ongoing war? A protracted war?"
I decided to side with my T-cells and lymphocytes. "If this is a war, I'll fight." I turned on the computer. Hooked on the Internet. And typed keywords at the search bar of ever-reliant Google. Seconds after, I was at this webpage. Gotcha.
I pulled out the lab result. Checked line by line and compared it with the data in the Internet. When I found my match, I heaved a sigh of relief.
"Interpretation: immune due to vaccination."
I asked my mom if I had hepatitis shot when I was young. She answered in the affirmative.
For a while, I thought I was damned again.