Monthly Archives: December 2019
There’s A Blessing In There
There is a new unknown beat
A simple test has revealed
It was not my heart
But the one which grew from the seed sown
What is this disgrace
That my mother would have me hide my face
Not letting me forget I was caught red handed
Embraced in my sweethearts arms
Captivated by his charm
Mother was remarkably candid
Not here in this home
If you are pregnant then find your own.
My news was difficult to share
I wasn’t sure of the response of friends I hold dear
But to my pleasant surprise
I came to realise
They love me dearly and showed they care
Does it really matter though?
I have my lover and best friend by my side
He says he’ll always be there for me
With him I shall grow and be free
We’ve created ourselves a new destiny
For who knows if this was meant to be
No longer touched indecently
But need to remove those sins from my memory
Tell me they will go away
When I close my eyes
And next to Ken I lay
Let my inner me see
A break in soul ties
Illegal touches and deafen my ears to pass lies
I slept for the majority of the flight. I couldn’t understand why I felt really bad from 3pm onwards and not only start but had gradually increased nausea until sleep fell on me… I thought morning sickness was called that because it was as its described ‘morning!’ Thank goodness I was always so tired also, which made it easier to sleep through the long hours in the air with that pungent smell; I mean was it just me or did the whole plane smell of ripe mangoes? The flight attendants served the usual rock hard cold muffins and finger sandwich which was a struggle to stomach at the best of times. I brightened up myself and put on my well trained mask for my mum, whatever she was thinking (or dreamt!) I needed to throw her off, until I was 100% sure at least. I did my best not to screw up my face about the smell as I saw her watching for my every reaction, setting up her own little test to justify hey suspicions.
At the first convenient moment I got as we reached home I went to get a pregnancy test at the chemist, my anxiety couldn’t wait to go to the doctors. I went to the toilet and read the directions over and over again and still read each step as I physically did the test. I still thought I peed too heavy on it to drown out the test; but no, after the required waiting time that seemed like thirty mins rather than three… there it was, the tell tale cross of confirmation. Positive.
There was no get out clause, no going back. I was happy, it was the nerves of telling my mother the news which was freaking me out. As for me I was ecstatic, I was waiting for mum to pop out to the shops in order to call Ken and the phone rang, it was him. Mum was still around and in earshot, Ken did the talking as he knew by the way I was talking I wasn’t alone. He asked and I answered ‘uh hum yes’ there was a slight pause and he told me everything will be alright and not to worry about a thing. He was going to come around later that evening, just the thought of him coming over helped me relax my nerves. I loved the way he was strong and mature, this is what I appreciated about our age difference, I felt safe.
Now you may wonder what the drama was with my mum finding out, why I was so scared?? well there is a little detail I missed speaking about and I guess once told it would all make sense…
So a few months back Ken & I went out to a party and came back wee hours of the morning around five. Mum and dad were awake as dad was working a six to two shift so mum was going to drop him to work so she could keep and use the car. I asked mum if Ken could stay and sleep on the sofa as he was mega tired and he lived too far to drive safely. Mum was ok with it, dad and I hardly spoke but when mum told him he didn’t mind either. Ken had built up a good relationship and trust with my mum since the time he came and took me out when I had that mini operation on my knee , she fell in love with him and came to terms I was no longer with Saul. I had gone upstairs and brought down a sheet, blanket and pillows. Our sofa was a sofa bed so Ken helped me to pull it out flat, I made up the bed for him and left him to it and went upstairs. My parents got ready to leave, mum said she’d be back soon and they left. My mind went into fast gear. Ken and I were restricted in where and when we got intimate as his parents were always home and I had to be an inspector in my home trying to work through my parents shift schedule of working. My brothers and sister had all left home.
It would take mum twenty minutes to drive dad to work and fifteen to twenty minutes back again. No one else was home, bearing in mind I had a few rums and my head was sweet! I went downstairs, Ken was already asleep; he had a few drinks too which had added to him being too tired to drive. I gently lifted the blanket and positioned myself right next to him, I was already naked and the alcohol had me more aroused. Ken awoke and stirred at the touch of my body. He was quickly aroused but came to his senses saying it wasn’t right as mum had trusted him yet he couldn’t keep his hands off me, we couldn’t keep our hands of each other. Our body heat grew intense, as usual images came to my mind of the past and I seemed to spend more energy brushing them aside. I had to keep my eyes open so the reality of where I was and with whom would stay. Making love with Ken was exactly that, we were making love. It wasn’t the ugly stuff of the past this was different, I didn’t mind being touched by him, he made it ok, clean even. Here you had it, two bodies that collided into a mystical dance and exploded with a gush of ecstasy. Ken had beads of sweat on him and I too. My body glistened with a shimmer of sweat that made me feel smooth all over, I breathed, I smiled and cuddled myself in his arms. ‘Maria go back upstairs before your mum gets back’ he whispered, I was in a cloud all by myself, making love to Ken tingled all my senses and I didn’t want the feeling to end. ‘I’ll go in a minute’ I replied, ‘I’m tired of rushing, I just want to lay next to you for five minutes more.’ I was intoxicated not only by his love, his touch but also by the drinks I had earlier. I snuggled up under his arms and just lay there drinking it all in and gently fell into a deep sleep.
There was a familiar rattling of keys that jolted me awake ‘ MUM…SHIT, OH MY GOSH!’ I shook Ken but he was gone, I had come downstairs with no clothes on except my knickers,which were now clearly somewhere hidden in the bed sheets. There was nowhere to run and definitely nowhere to hide. The dreaded footsteps came in the front door and I swallowed hard as her figure came in to the living room. She gasped at the sight before her eyes, a tremendous amount of shame clothed me. ‘WHAT THE HELL AM I SEEING HERE? KENRICK, MARIA, NOOO NOOO NOT IN MY HOUSE, TEK YOUR NASTY SELF UPSTAIRS I TRUSTED YOU BOTH AND LOOK WHAT I COME HOME TO.’ Well her shouting awoke Ken too and as his senses kicked in he soon realised what had happened he groaned ‘ Oh my God’ I sheepishly grabbed a sheet to wrap myself with and ran past my mother with fear, in my mind I was kicking myself that I had not listened to Ken and gone to my bed when he said to.
There was no way he could stay asleep now, mum was quarrelling with herself loudly about the disrespect and mistrust. I heard Ken getting dressed and he went into the kitchen to speak to mum. He had a calming voice and as he began to speak mum grew quieter. I came downstairs dressed as he was speaking, he apologised profusely and agreed that what we had done was a great disrespect and abused her trust. He said if he was in his right mind he would of never taken advantage of the moment but due to the alcohol it clouded our judgement. Mum turned and looked at me and I had sworn that this was the first time and it must’ve been because I was a little tipsy from the alcohol and I don’t know what came over me. Mum actually brought it! she was still mad but not enough to kill me mad. This all had quite sobered the both of us up… I mean, how EMBARASSING was that. Ken left after again apologising to mum and he said he would see me later, I dared not kiss him goodbye. As soon as he left I went straight to my room. Sleep was far from me now, all I could do is replay that mornings event in my mind and I shuddered with each recollection. Ken had come back later that evening as promised. He was so mature, he did wrong and humbly apologised; not even my mum could resist his smile and I thought more of him as most guys my age would’ve run and not look back. Ken had also chastised me for not listening to him, I accepted I was wrong and we put it behind us. Well Ken & I did, mum made a point to keep her eyes on us from then.
Now you understand my mothers eyes that became daggers in Trinidad! since that traumatic episode, I think she always suspected I would come home pregnant and three months later I did! Although she suspected I was pregnant in Trinidad, she didn’t want to upset her holiday I guess by bringing it up, but her actions spoke volumes. So there you have it. How was I to tell her now I was carrying Ken’s baby?
Days passed and Ken & I secretly enjoyed our own excitement. I had gone to the doctor and he did a urine test to confirm I was pregnant and almost by eight weeks gestation. Ok I came up with a plan, the ole people say ‘yuh catch fool to play wise’ I needed a way to tell my parents and I had a plan… Cam!
My sister was awesome but she was terrible at keeping secrets. I called her up on the phone ‘Hi sis how are you’ I began. ‘Hey I got a secret but you can’t tell ANYONE, not yet anyway. Me & Ken are expecting a baby’ she let out a scream of delight full of excitement. Cam congratulated me an asked who knew and how far gone I was. I told her our cousin Nik knew and that was it. She asked if mum knew but I told her no not yet, that it was a bit difficult. Cam understood that as mum had given her a hard time when she was pregnant with her daughter although that was ten years ago, still, it hadn’t changed how mum saw sex and pregnancy out of wedlock nowadays. Cam was genuinely happy for us and made sure I remembered it was she that introduced us… how could I forget!
I left it a couple days and waited for my mums countenance to change which was my signal that Cam had let the cat out the bag. The plan was if I told Cam and she then told mum, it would soften the blow when I told her as she’d already know, and it worked. Mum was in the kitchen so I waited for her to be nearly finished as the smell of cooking in the evening had me real queasy. Things were a little tense between mum and I but she was calm. Best I just get it over with, what could she do kill me?! beauty of it all was that I knew Cam had already told her… ‘Mum, I know you won’t like this very much but I am pregnant and Ken and I are happy and intend to keep it. I know you may be disappointed but I do believe we will cope just fine.’ The silence was deafening! she turned and looked at me and said she done knew already, (said she dreamt it!) and that I couldn’t hide very well always sleeping and not eating properly… ‘Well I hope you don’t think you can stay here, cuz I don’t want no big belly chile in my house so yuh better look for somewhere to go.’ With that she rose up and walked off. I guess that wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. My dad came to me later that evening to say mum told him and to never mind her, she’ll come around eventually, she was the same with my sister at first and softened after now look ten years later and they have a great relationship. This was true, I just had to ride it out.
After that I was free to tell everyone. My brothers were happy as well and my cousin Shantel, who I hardly saw but was still very close to was excited for us too.
I met up with the girls, Bernell, Toni and Kacee. Telling them was the hardest as to them Ken and I were together just a few months, considering also that about a month in the beginning was in secret whilst trying to break up with Saul without a mess. They were shocked and was a bit worried for me. What about your life Maria, holidays, travelling the world, your career, you can’t do it with a baby…they were concerned and I guess rightly so, they were just getting used to Kenrick and they were, we were, young and had our lives in front of us, young and free. I reassured them that I would be ok and Ken was right by my side. In turn they smiled and gave me hugs and we ended the night in good humour bussin jokes as we always did. As for Saul, Patrick and their parents, I let the girls break the ice on that one like I did Cam with mum. I was so close to Sauls family that I felt I let them down but when I saw them a few weeks later at a function, they were just as kind and loving to me. No hard feelings but just as the girls, they were a little concerned I had been trapped by this older guy that seemed to come out from nowhere. I also reassured them that I was very happy and Ken was a gem, he looked after me and treated me so good, I felt so special with him, he was my world. Saul was hurt I know but he was now dating again which I hoped cushioned the blow of my situation.
Days turned to weeks and weeks to months and mum still grunted the good mornings and never paid much attention to me. My aunts and uncles were very happy for me and Ken, they liked us as a couple and Ken was always respectful and social with them. Mum was just being stubborn and set in her ways, after my aunt Belinda had a word with her she came around, I was into my sixth month by then. My stomach was really showing now. Mum came home one day from work, she had made a maternity front fastening night shirt with a matching romper suit for the baby. It was unisex and it was beautiful. I was so happy and grateful for the sign she was talking to me now.
At the time of my pregnancy I already had six nieces, my half sister and Cam had a daughter each, my eldest brother Teddy had two daughters, Curtis had one and my other brother Lincoln who was the youngest out the boys had one girl too, so it was inevitable that I too would have a girl. I didn’t even consider that it could be a boy. A girls name was chosen but not a boys, that’s how confident I was. Ken couldn’t care less, he just wanted a healthy baby. Telling his parents wasn’t so bad, they liked me and I adored them as well as his sister and brothers.
Thee months to go and a few big changes were about to take place. For one, the council found me a Mother & Baby home. It was the start of moving out on my own. All of a sudden I was going from fancy free teenager to responsible adult. With Ken by my side and baby on the way, I was ready.
like an aromatic vineyard
Grapes bulging with rich ripe juice
My body ignited ignitions to reproduce
A seed sown and planted
Bodies embraced as hearts race
His touch is music
And I dance
I’m in a trance
Intoxicated by the essence of his love
He cups my breast
He hungers, I thirst
It is likened to an overdose of night nurse!
Ecstasy blows up, we burst
Then comes the rain
The drizzle of passion that drips soothingly off a leaf’s tip
All is still
Exhale… now breathe,
Tropical sun shows its face
Family and friends lovingly embrace
Out on the town, then home flat on my face!
What is this?
No to rum of the sweet Isle of T&T
Its the season for mangoes but not for me
Intense nausea as the fruity smell fills my nose
I’m hot, I just need the open end of the water hose
Suspicions has arose
Could it be there is a mini him, a mini me
Encased in a cell on a wall
clutching on so not to fall
Waiting to be fed and manifest
Then in nine months later await that first cry??
Stop. Breathe, Its ok
Bae I’m back from my holiday
Lets talk with words
That our bodies already spoke
Let this conversation confirm the revelation
Remember the Vineyard
the sweet fragrance of a full bodied yield
My body ignited
The seed that was planted has reproduced
My lover I am not afraid
I know you are with me to stay
No matter, come what may
We’ll bring a healthy baby into this world
Regardless if boy or girl
The rain fell
Now the sun is shining
engulfing every cloud with silver lining
Broth v Mangoes!
Weeks flowed into months and this cloud cuckoo land feeling did not fade. This was the most serious I’d been with anyone, I mean I thought Saul and I were a solid couple but this was way different. Meeting Kens family was not as daunting as I thought, I thought our age difference would be an issue with them but they all received me with warmness. It was at his sisters christening of her son that I first met most of his family, he had a sister, three brothers and a number of nieces and nephews. Oh and another thing, Kenrick had a son.
Well I shouldn’t be surprised really seeing as he was ten years older than me! Ironically his son was eight years old, ten years younger than me. I looked at him, thought of Ken & I and closed my eyes to extinguish the thoughts that passed my mind. It was crazy imagining him as a boyfriend to me, it was outrageous yet it seemed fine the older you were.
It was July and I was preparing to go to my cousins wedding in Trinidad with my mum, I was a bridesmaid so very excited. I was now in a relationship with Ken for just over five months but it felt like we knew each other for years. Again, being separate from him would prove to be very difficult and I know it is said absence makes the heart grow fonder, but how much more fonder could we be? we were surly at our peak! I was only going for three weeks and just hoped it would fly by.
Ken came to see us off and we promised to stay in touch (yes I know, it was only going to be three weeks!) Bearing in mind I loved flying, this flight was not enjoyable at all; the food seemed off and the turbulence was a lot to be desired. I was certainly glad when we arrived safely. It was good feeling the humidity and that tropical fragrance in the air. My uncle picked us up who lived in Town (Port of Spain, the capital), we were to stay by him a few days, climatize then head down south. I asked to use the phone as soon as I got there to call Ken and let him know that we got here ok. As usual my legs turned to jelly and my heart got full when he answered the phone. It was a very quick call as it was an overseas call and expensive. The next day I brought a bunch of international phone cards!
The first few days was spent getting over jetlag, seeing more friends and family, catching up with cousins and aunties and uncles marvelling at how much I had grown. It was mango season and the whole country seemed to smell of them, before long I had my gut full and couldn’t stomach to suck one more let alone to smell them. After a few days we ventured down south and it was a beautiful sight driving through the winding country roads full of tropical plants and palm trees, although you couldn’t get away from the sight of badly mutilated dogs laying in the roads from being knocked down. I wondered who had the awful job of clearing them up as when you passed the same place a day after they were gone! As we approached the house I saw my cousins and auntie waiting to greet us. There was excitement in the air, mum let out a giggle and I had the biggest grin; we loved this family to the max and they were very fond of us too. There was a jovial few minutes of multiple greetings and laughter. All talk was on the approaching wedding and my cousin Nikay beckoned me to come in the back bedroom to show me our bridesmaid dresses. I needed to try mines on as soon as possible in case any alterations needed to be made. To be honest, the dress wasn’t the greatest of designs and Nik & I weren’t to keen on it at all, the only saving grace was that there was another five of us that would be in the same dress on the day! we could cope with that.
Nik & I went everywhere together, she took me to all her hang outs and when we were at home, we helped with preparations for the wedding. Our family was huge and there was no need to waste money on outside caterers or wedding planners, we were all quite capable and from the youngest to the oldest there was something you could put your hands to. Before the wedding, we, my cousins and I; decided to have a girls night out. It was nice being with them as although we were all the same age, they were a year or two … or three older than me, so mum didn’t over fuss for my safety. The evening began with us liming in a couple bars before heading to where the soca fete was. By that time I had a couple of straight rums and was feeling kinda nice. As we entered the music was jamming and people were getting on real bad, the atmosphere was on fire. drinks round was being ordered and once again I requested my signature rum on the rocks. My cousin always ordered me doubles as she thought the drink looked so small. It was the norm for ‘ladies’ to drink their drinks through a straw, even with beer bottles… not me, I took my drink like a man, no straws needed.
Party was pumping but I started to feel a little off. I normally smoked especially when drinking, but the Benson & Hedges brand of cigarettes weren’t the same as in England, they were much stronger and I didn’t like them at all… I guess being in Trinidad would help me give up! After a coupe hours I was on water as I felt so queasy, I was so happy when we all decided it was time to hit the road and head home. My cousins was real kicksing and had a good laugh at my expense as they thought I was a little wasted. It just wasn’t like me, how much did I really drink?? maybe it was because I couldn’t enjoy a fag with it or maybe it was the humidity; whatever it was I felt like crap. Everything spun, I spun, I closed my eyes and the spinning was intense like a rollercoaster. Thankfully I didn’t feel to vomit, I think my body and mind know I have a phobia when it comes to vomiting so I switched off that thought, it wasn’t permitted! but the nausea was horrendous. I managed to fall asleep but sitting upright as I was scared of being sick.
In the morning, well mid morning, I awoke and I felt as if all my insides had churned over; that my body wasn’t my own. Who punched me, who did I fight, what did I eat, was this food poisoning?? This feeling was BAD. my cousins giggled but they were concerned on how rough I looked. “Maria girl wha happen to you girl, yuh cyant tek de rum; yuh gone soft or what?” and their giggling burst into laughter, I laughed too but my gosh it hurt. I was truly wasted and couldn’t function. Now there was a trick to getting over a hangover, it was to have a drink of what got you drunk. But I wasn’t drunk! I was in my right senses, I just started to feel real real bad. There was no way I could stomach a straight rum at this moment, so cure number two.. Fish broth! My older cousin Glenroy took pity on me and said “hold tight baby girl, ah go fix yuh up ah nice lil broth you’ll feel better in no time.” Knowing a cure was coming, that this feeling had an end, was the best feeling. I told myself there was no way I was having a drop more rum whilst on this holiday. I could just about move to go shower and let the barrel temperature water fall on me. As I came out the aroma of the broth filled the wood panels of the house. Nik chilled with me as we waited for me to function again. Gladly I wasn’t feeling as bad as the night before. Glenroy finally bought me a small bowl of broth, the medicine was the broth itself, no provision, dumpling or fish, just the water. I sipped it slowly and thankful with every spoonful I actually felt soothed.
I got my energy back within an hour, talk about happy, that sickness was nothing I felt before and it was now all over. Nik had some pineapple and mango cut up in a bowl and came back in the bedroom to sit with me but I had to beg her to take the fruit out… the smell was unbearable. She left momentarily then came back in the room looking rather thoughtful like Sherlock Holmes sidekick Watson! Nik looked at me as she approached the bed her eyes not leaving me, I was like “what??” “Maria maybe this has something to do with your periods,” I looked up” my periods? no I never get sick like this with my period, just slight cramps.” Nik frowned, ” that’s not really what I meant, I mean like when was your last period? Now it was my turn to frown… “I don’t know, I’m never regular in fact its very erratic.” My facial expression went a little blank as I began to see where Nik was going with this… “Nik” my eyes was in a fixed stare as my mind worked overtime… “think about it Maria, you real have a problem with mangos and smoking, I’ve never known you to get high on rum or ever seen you with a hangover and to top it off you can’t even remember the last time you had your period!” ‘Could it be, oh my gosh a baby?? naaa no way and besides, we only just decided for me to come off the pill recently, how quick did these things really take?’
I was flabbergasted, so many thoughts crossed my mind and a smile grew, there was actually a possibility I was carrying Kens baby oh my gosh and my smile grew even more. Then as fast as it grew, it vanished… my mum! How on earth, what on earth am I going to tell her? what will she do?? The feeling of dread was written all over my face. Nik looked at me and put her arm around me and with comforting words told me not to worry about it as we were only speculating. The best thing to do was enjoy the rest of my holiday and just watch myself to see if there is a pattern of weird things happening to me, it was easier said than done!
A few days passed and even though there was pure excitement in the air, I couldn’t help but have my mind on the conversation Nik and I had. Should I tell Ken? what was the point, tell him what? I wasn’t sure, no test was done, why worry right?! I noticed my mum was watching my movements a lot, she was not stupid and without asking me questions was looking at me as in a huff all the time. I never said a word and played like I was unaware. I had to suck it in, all these bad feeling of waves of nausea that seemed to creep up on me in the evenings and I was so tired all the time but my excuse was the sun was too hot and it was just sunstroke or something. After all there was a possibility that it could be my mind playing tricks on me and it could really be that I was too hot in the sun.
The day of the wedding came, everyone was running around doing what had to be done. Myself and Nik done our make up and put our bridesmaid dresses on with Nik moaning through the whole time how much she didn’t quite like how the dress fit her. I was concerned that my dress wouldn’t fit but that was now my paranoia thinking as even if I was pregnant, I wouldn’t be showing. The ceremony was long and the heat was unbearable, it didn’t help that every time I turned my head; there was my mother watching me. She suspected something was up but it was like she didn’t want to confront me and ask in case she heard what she didn’t want to hear… to hear what she already knew in her heart. Heels were not the one for the feet in that heat, my feet were beyond hurting. Straight after the ceremony we went to take pictures then on to the reception and more pictures were taken. Whilst the speeches were going on, my rebellious cousin grabbed me and said ‘lets get out of here cuz, our time and duty in these dresses are over’ so we snuck out to go home. The reception was just a five to ten minute walk away, so we got in, changed, chilled for a while as we were both tired, our feet were painful and swollen from heels all day and then headed back to the reception in time for when the speeches had finished and the music had started. The wedding was a huge success and was beautifully done, The dancing continued into the night and we all had a grand time. But my gosh I felt it the following day, I had a hangover and I didn’t even drink any alcohol! This was getting ridiculous, there was really no doubt about it now, no other excuses, no tests done only me observing myself; Nik looked at me and I at her and we smiled knowingly… I was pregnant.
I was so glad I had Nikay, one of my best cousins I could confide in. This holiday was the closest we’d ever been. She teased me about Ken, she knew all about us and thought the love we shared was so cute. If it wasn’t for her I don’t know how I would’ve coped these last couple of weeks but it was coming up time for us to leave and go back to England, I was sad to leave yet ecstatic to see Ken once again. He called again the night before we flew out, I couldn’t hold it, I told him of my suspected pregnancy and how mum was funny with me for days, he just said not to worry about it, just enjoy my last few hours and when I get back I can sort out a test and deal with all the rest.
Packed and ready to head out, we said our goodbyes with kisses and hugs. No more would I have Nik to protect me of my mums daggers and sarcastic comments. She actually packed the mangoes she was bringing back to England in the hold all cabin above my seat on the plane. Definitely done on purpose. So here I was stuck on a night flight with a sickly smell of mangoes above my head. I had my normal evening nausea so I just tried my best to sleep as there was nowhere to run and no seats to swap.
This was to be the longest flight taking me on a journey of life I’ve never known before.