The thing they don’t tell you in sex education classes is what to do after. It’s all, “Don’t do this, don’t do that. And if you do do this or that, make sure you do it safely.” But what about when you screw up? Then what? Where do you go? Who do you tell? How do you act? Sex “education” prepares you for nothing.
Yes, what does happens once you've caught that unthinkable HIV? My Life After Now was certainly an eye opener on this topic. Everyone in school learns about safe sex and the risks that comes with being sexually active. From personal experience this isn't discussed enough. When it is, you usually often talk about pregnancies and not so much the consequences of catching an infection. My Life After Now doesn't hesitate to show these consequences, the consequences of being infected with HIV.
“So I freak out one time and now I just have to live with the consequences?”
Why yes, Lucy, yes you must. Meet Lucy. A normal sixteen year old with a rough week. Her dads - yes, dads, deal with it - invite her biological mother to live with them since she's pregnant. Said mother has been absent from Lucy's life more or less her whole life. Then we have Lucy's drama class. Her rival Elyse St. James is joining the club. Elyse gets the role as Juliet in the school's big production of Romeo And Juliet. To top it off Elyse is playing against Ty, Lucy's boyfriend. Things happen, and like that, Ty's now Elyse's boyfriend. No, this wasn't Lucy's best week. She decides to go a bit crazy, and she and her friends Max and Courtney go into town to a club. Introducing Lee, a hot musician Lucy goes home with, and yes, you guess it: they do it. Unprotected. And so Lucy's life is changed after an anonymus test where she is left HIV positive. Now the question is, what do you do?
On the other hand, if no one knew, they would still be expecting me to be the same old Lucy. But how do you play the role of yourself when “yourself” no longer exists?
Lucy is your typical teenager. A bit self-absorbed with no greater difficulties in her life, but still capable of overreacting. She's not easy to like at all times, because she stays quite the same in some ways even after being infected. But she is real and genuine.She could be anyone in your life. This isn't the story of a saint or a bad girl; this is the story of an everyday, flawed, girl. She makes mistakes. She struggles with accepting her fate while struggling with the question if other people can - and will - accept her.
How could I possibly confirm a truth so unbearable that he refused to even hypothetically consider it?
My Life After Now is a raw and touching story where we are allowed to follow Lucy's transformation. At the same time it gives insight to what HIV really are apart from what the statistics and clinical descriptions of symptoms sex ed. tells you. Mostly it is the story of Lucy though. It's about acceptance, of growing up, and of taking responsibility. It's also about the fact that this isn't so uncommon and that we're all so close to this but many are still choosing to ignore the big problem with HIV and AIDS. I will say this is a great book, one definitely worth reading for anyone! It's an eyeopener that will touch you, and remind you that we must all take responsibility of our actions.
He’d really had no idea. He’d been going around, living his life, playing his music, not having any idea that he was dying. And now here I was, the grim reaper.