Weak In One Week
The phone rang at 18.05. It was in the dining room and mum was in there doing some sewing, how on earth was I to talk without baiting myself out? I didn’t rush for the phone either like I was expecting a call.
Mum was upset with me for going out all night, leaving from Cams to head to Sauls house to show my face for his mums birthday (in which I prematurely left as 6pm was all that was on my mind) I made up some excuse that I had to go home early as mum was fretting about me not helping her with Sunday dinner, which led to them (Berns and crew) asking how come I went out and never even told them? gosh they made me feel so hot that I answered falling over my tongue! ‘ look my sister decided last minute, didn’t really think as I wasn’t home’ it was accepted with no further questioning, phew! Saul was still a little sour with me and to be fair I was also, especially as I had Kenrick on my mind and he weighed heavier on my scales.
‘hello’ I answered the phone and casually excused myself from the room swiftly explaining I couldn’t hear properly. Mum gave me a cut eye that can cut me in two but it went over my head as I heard that familiar voice from the week before reply… ‘Hello’ It’s like I could see his smile through the phone carried on his voice. We spoke for a long while and I had a fixed grin on my face the whole time, broken by my mums voice interrupting the call telling I’ve been on it long enough as she was waiting on a call. No she wasn’t she just had sharp ears and must’ve realised it wasn’t Saul I was talking to. Kenrick and I swiftly made arrangements to meet up at Panama night club the following week and promised each other we’ll both be there.
I hung up the phone and took it back in the room. Mum was looking for a reason to have a go at me but I moved so fast, before she asked I quickly said it was an old school friends brother I met up with out the blue last night. She blew hard through her nose like a bull looking to attack, if mum was a looney tune she’d have steam coming from her nostrils. Did I care? nope, my mind was full of Kenrick and our pending meeting. What was I going to tell the crew, how was I going to explain going to Panama for the second time in the space of one week, how was I going to see Saul in the same way, what was I to tell Bernel, Toni and Kacee???? good Lord!
As the week passed I spent the time like a script writer! trying to orchestrate a storyline that places Kenrick in a good position of why I know him, he was definitely older so he couldn’t exactly be a school friend, so I kept with what I told my mum; he was a friends brother. Bernel wasn’t easily fooled and was a little suspect of the whole going to Panamas, I mean it wasn’t the greatest club but I told her I was meeting one of my sisters good friend there… ‘really Maria, your sister?’ So far fetched it had to be true right! I was mixing up my story already, I couldn’t lie to save my life.
Bernel knew things weren’t right with Saul & I for a while, I’m sure she saw the old me creeping back. Saul was boring me, no that’s not true, I really loved Saul, nope that doesn’t fit it either, I think Saul and I grew into a ‘best friend’ zone. I cared deeply for him but at 18 did I really know what love felt like? we had started dating when I was 16 and I was in awe that I stayed in the relationship judging by my track record. Saul looked out for me, he was caring, loving, sensitive, laughed at the same jokes and we enjoyed the same things…yep, best friends! I was fed up of the going out in a group thing, never on our own, the long walks to his home, the buses everywhere and when we kissed it was ALWAYS a kiss on the cheek or a peck on the lips, never an intimate deep french kiss that defined us as a couple. Guys I saw before all had cars. Yes I was spoilt in some ways, but mostly I was just use to hanging around with older people due to going out regularly with my older siblings, not too old, around 20-28 kind of ages. Things were changing, I was changing, I was moving forward but it seemed like vertigo where I was pulled forward and my friends seemed to be way back and Saul further back still.
Saturday arrived and I was excited and anxious. It was proving impossible to shake off my friends and I was spiralling in a well of lies to cover the fact I met a guy, a guy that in just one week stole my heart.
Panamas was rocking good, it had a nice crowd. I kept scanning the room and every now and then turned behind to look by the door. Berns was watching me and it seemed I was annoying her. She and I were great friends but so was she and Saul, she knew him longer and didn’t want to see him get hurt, he was like a brother to her. Berns and I had spoken about the cracks in my relationship with Saul and she said she would be there for me if I stayed with him or if we broke up, what she didn’t want was for me to two time him.
At the side of my eye I saw Kenrick walk in and the smile I practiced to hide burst through like the sun out from clouds. I went towards him forgetting who I was with, I willed my legs to keep me up; he had me spell bound. Ken kissed me hello with a smile that radiated his face. We spoke briefly and I brought him over to introduce him to the girls. As I imagined they were all mesmerised and Berns smiled like she understood why I was the way I was lately. The atmosphere moved and we continued to enjoy the evening. I did notice that Bernel was a little edgy and often looked towards the door but I just assumed she was amusing herself as we normally did, looking at who guys were walking in with and what other women were wearing and why!
A gentle tap on my shoulder and I turned around only to see Saul standing behind me with a sort of smile that I wasn’t sure if it was a smirk that said ‘caught you’ I smiled in surprise. Hey what are you doing here, thought you said you weren’t coming? ‘Well I changed my mind,’ Saul was smiling as I looked at Kenrick but I held it together and introduced them. I luckily spoke to Kenrick about Saul, he knew he was a present boyfriend I was about to break up with; so to him he wasn’t entirely surprised. I realised Bernel knew he was coming and also that they planned to do this as they were trying to sus out my off movements lately. Nevertheless, I felt betrayed to know they would scheme this.
The rest of the night I played yoyo! I wanted to be with Kenrick but I obviously had to stand with the guys and Saul. Luckily Kenrick realised my predicament, we had already spoken a couple of times in the week about my relationship with Saul and what my friends were like, he kindly said goodbye and that it was nice catching up with me…loud enough for them to hear. He turned to the others and said his goodbyes and it was nice to meet them and he left.
I refused to look flustered, the shear annoyance I felt that my friends would even think to set me up was enough to keep me un wavered by the whole thing. They couldn’t read my body language I was like Morse code! The rest of the night passed a bit dull as I had nothing much to say to any of them to be honest and I was upset with Saul, not from that night but just in general. We left soon after Kenrick, shared cabs as usual and as usual I was the last drop. As I rode home looking out the window at the droplets of rain and the dazzled images of the street lights, I wondered where this was going, someone was going to be hurt, either me for living a life that I was stuck in because of extended friends and family, not really getting what I want; or Saul and our friends if I broke up with him… Arrrrrrggggh this was too much, I need to sleep and hopefully it will all be made clear in the morning. All I knew at that moment and time is that I was bewitched under Kenricks spell, his smile, his touch, , his eyes, his voice. I wanted to see more of him.
The weeks that followed I did. Kenrick came down regularly to see me, we went for long drives, pulled over in country lanes and we passionately kissed, I mean REALLY kiss! not the pecks on the lips I got for two years, I mean intimate tongue in cheek kisses that repeated three words over and over again with each touch ‘ I want you.’ It wasn’t long before we actually went all the way. I felt tense like a virgin but he was gentle with me and took the lead. His flesh was soft and warm, his hands gentle and soft. My mind raced ‘Oh my gosh Saul’ This was it, kissing was one thing but I over stepped the mark when I allowed Ken to penetrate me sexually. Saul and I wasn’t married but I felt I committed adultery!
I didn’t know how to tell Saul I wanted to end our relationship, I was definitely living a lie now, definitely cheating on him and distancing myself from him and my friends as my face couldn’t lie. When they spoke to me I felt hot and I felt heat rise to my cheeks.
Kenrick and I made wild passionate love every chance we got, as soon as we saw each other its like he undressed me with his eyes and I became weak as my legs always turned to jelly when I saw him. Realising how intense we were, we both decided I should go on the pill as we took risks every time. I soon became desensitized to Saul and what my friends thought. I longed to be touched like this, this was different from the sordid hands that used to grope me and make me ashamed and disgusted way back in the past. Maybe I was grown and being eighteen made a difference to my mindset. I also met some of Kens close friends and they met up ever Friday night (lads only) but I became Kens right arm so to speak and I seemed to have broken the mould of that when he started taking me along. They didn’t seem to mind as their night consisted of games of dominoes and black jack which gave me the chance to show my skills and laugh about the competition of the game, I fitted inn just fine.
It was a couple of months into the relationship that Ken was heading off to Trinidad for the first time. It was the longest three weeks without him but I used the time to spend more with my friends. I hadn’t spoken of Ken much after the night in Panamas, I needed that dust to well and truly settle. I became satisfied with my double life and mum started to get used to Ken as he started to come around more. The thing that made her change was that I had a minor knee operation which had me bed bound for a few weeks and I became depressed. Mum didn’t see Saul set foot once to come and see me but Ken had come everyday. He drove over 20miles to see me every night. One night he lifted me out the bed and carried me downstairs into his car to take me for a drive. Oh yes mum loved all that and started to like Ken very much.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, my gosh wasn’t that the truth! Whilst he was away we spoke on the phone daily every time he got a chance. I just knew I would end up solely being with him, but when was I going to pick up the nerve to tell Saul and explain to the guys why I broke up with him. I didn’t want to be seen as a two timer (although I was big time), I needed a reason like ‘we drifted apart, or we’re more like friends’ kind of reason. It was the longest three weeks.
Ken came back and as my home was en route to his from the airport, he stopped by before heading home. Oh my smile, his smile, it was obvious how much we missed each other. He didn’t stay very long as he flew all night and hardly slept but he and I both knew we couldn’t last another moment and it was highly unlikely, had he of gone home that he would’ve made it back down to mines due to jet lag. It didn’t matter now, I saw him and that’s all I needed.
I was heading into a tornado the more I delayed speaking to Saul about breaking up the harder it got. Kenrick was okay and understood in the early part of our relationship but things were more serious now and he was starting to get a little edgy about the whole thing and couldn’t understand why I was delaying. He said it felt like I was seeing the both of them at the same time, was I? I know I kinda wasn’t but then truth be known I kinda was.
I rang Saul and told him I wanted to meet and if he could come over. I had to make sure and tell him to come on his own as it was standard that one or two of the gang would be tagging along; why was that I never knew but it irritated me and made me feel resentful about the whole relationship. I was just tired. Saul and I met near my house as again I was fed up of taking a bus to his and walking so long to his house. It wasn’t normal for me to ask him over so he knew something was up. I didn’t want to stay home so we took a walk outside, there was a long silence before I just came out with the fact we needed to break up as we obviously weren’t how we used to be and it was just frustrating and I didn’t feel we had the same love for each other anymore.
Saul didn’t agree, he liked our relationship and thought we could make it work, he even apologised for not showing me the attention he should do as a boyfriend and he’ll change, he even suggested that we get engaged after christmas. None of it could change my mind, who plans an engagement anyway? It’s supposed to be a surprise to the girl right! Somehow, I knew I would’ve softened and agreed to it all but there was one thing that stood in the way, Kenrick. I wanted him, he made me feel like a woman, he drove, he was older, more mature, took me out and we were sexually attracted to each other. Saul just didn’t weigh up. Then he asked about Kenrick and if I was seeing him, is this what this was all about? I didn’t dare admit it and say yes, I couldn’t let them all know I was seeing Ken all this time; it so wasn’t like me to two time. It wasn’t my fault, I didn’t plan it, it just happened, I got in a whirlwind and got trapped in the spin.
No matter what Saul suggested I had no choice but to stick to my guns; no! He then kept on about Kenrick and I said time and again that yes he liked me but we were just friends. ‘How could you be friends with a big man like him, what could be his interest in you but to take advantage. Why Maria?’ ‘How old is he?’ I stuttered, he was asking too much questions and I didn’t like being cornered. ‘He’s not that much older Saul he’s’…. How old was he, I had no idea, I hadn’t thought to ask! I made up an age, ‘he’s 23 and I don’t see why we have to keep talking about him. Look Saul we’ve changed it’s not like that I’m just fed up and I don’t want this anymore, can’t we just be friends? I mean that’s how we behave already; nothing will be different will it? be honest.’ There was silence, Saul hung his head. I felt a wave of sadness but at the same time I felt relief it was finally done, I told him. I walked him to the bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive. I said I was sorry, but we will be good friends as I didn’t think why it should change. He got on the bus and I turned and walked home. A burden was semi lifted, all I had to do was to tell Bernel and the rest.
Saul and I was an item for two years, seeing us together was just the norm and expected so going out together now seemed weird. Like where do we stand when we were in a group, do I laugh at his jokes, do we complement each other like we use to do when we were dressed to go out? It was harder than I thought at first, but we got better at it. Kenrick and I blossomed, I still kept our relationship on a down low as I didn’t want my friends to think I broke up with Saul to go out with Kenrick… which I did, I was in denial.
I told Bernel that same evening as I wanted her to hear it from me first. Surprisingly she was quite sympathetic and understood. All she wanted was for me to break it with Saul if I knew my heart wasn’t his, Berns was no fool and I said no more to pretend I thought she was.
Kenrick and I grew inseparable, he came around and chilled with me at home near enough every evening. Sometimes we stayed home and sometimes we went out, just me and him, no friends tagging along. Many times I went with him to his Friday nights with the lads and I became one of the guys. No other woman ever attended I was privialedged.
My friends got to know about Kenrick, I couldn’t hide it anyone. Sauls brother wasn’t impressed neither was his parents but they got over it after a while. Our group still met up from time to time; a little awkward but we all were just great friends for my actions to fringe on that. Bernel, Toni and Kacee got to know Ken and grew to like him very much.
I felt grown, I asked Ken about his age; he was twenty-eight Twenty Eight and I was just eighteen and gobsmacked! I had no idea he was THAT old. a whole ten years. Did I care? no, we were too far gone in our relationship and I loved him, his maturity, his smile, his ways, the way he handled me, made me feel clean when he touched me, it wasn’t dirty. This was it wasn’t it… love? it wasn’t nasty, I consented, I said yes, he touched me intimately because I allowed it and not because he was a greedy old man wanting a grope
Months passed and we started talking about the future. Conversations about children and marriage. I’ve always wanted it the right way. marriage first and then babies. I didn’t want to be like some school friends I met over the years that had babies and were single mothers because their boyfriends bailed out and I didn’t want to be like my sister Cam who was forced to be married due to her being pregnant. But the heart and passion grew with a force, Ken & I made a decision for me to come off the pill.
And I did.