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.