Author Archives: Maria
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
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.
My mind runs to and fro
Can’t step forward, yet I refuse to step back
Passion runs high but I’m stuck to let go
I can’t seem to get my heart and mind to comply
I’ve reached an unnatural high
How do I tell a fading love goodbye
Living a lie yet living a truth
Sitting back and waiting, my whole body inhales then sighs
Intimacy has birthed a soul tie
Attempts to cover up hurdles into more lies
Dookie dooks has a new outlook
No longer the stench of impurity
But an intense sexuality
Could this be due to maturity
His hands, his kiss, his lust
Stripping away years of indecent touch
My body screams out in delightful pain
Fill me again and again
These wanton thoughts drives me insane
I’ve got to speak out and get rid of this hidden shame
I got to tell Saul I don’t feel the same
Without revealing my lovers name
His hands, his kiss his lust
Our lust, our kisses, our hands
We nestle and entwine in invisible wedding bands
What was it that Jesus wrote with the stick in the sand?
I am not a married woman caught in adultery
But a young woman crying out for love
Not the descriptive love of my youth
That interpreted an ugly false truth
Now a need manifests in me
A desire to cultivate my lovers seed
My heart pulsates
My mind is over ruled
Passion is about to map out my fate
Pray this new love does not have me fooled
This is me…
A new feeling has arisen
Dookie Dooks, you are entering a new season
Life as you know it is about to be rearranged
Get ready for the change.
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.
Same old issues throwing my feelings overboard
Complaints from my frustrated heart
Things that did not seem problematic at the start
His voice, my voice I’m sure the universe have tired heard
Need to air out,
Get dressed and go out
Partnered with sister, brother in law and friend,
I intend to shack out
Standing dressed to impress
No longer feeling irritated and stressed
This is not the place to think of relationship mess
I look up, our eyes meet, all of a sudden I can’t feel my feet
Who is he?
Has he been sent to change me? rearrange me? complete me?
My life will never be the same
So starts my journey of unforgettable Joy, exposed shame of past pain,
Seasons of sunshine, seasons of rain
Seasons where love abound
And my womanhood was found
There is a tingling in the atmosphere
Goosebumps arise like chicken pox
My heart beats louder than a door knocks
Hello Dookie Dooks
Real life is about to begin
You were charmed by his looks
Now you are well and truly hooked
Two years you were with Saul
You have to face him and start talking
Little white lies
Your movements turn as you conjure up alibies
To kiss away teenage love
And embrace this sweet, handsome, dougla man
He looks like the real deal, well kind of!
Only time will tell.
Is THIS love that I’m feeling?
Dookie, you gotta know now…
I rummaged through Cams wardrobe, she had amazing clothes which I may add made all herself as she was a seamstress. My hands rested on a wicked olive suit, it was a pencil mini skirt and front buttoned jacket/top. With my size eight self, I would rock that with a pair of black stilettoes (which Cam had and we were the same size). Make-up, hair curled, I was ready.
Pearl, Cam and Patrick were also looking real good. I felt beautiful and looked beautiful. I made up my mind to forget about earlier that day. Cam was irritated by Saul and also encouraged me to forget him that night, ‘yuh too young to be so stressed over man, time to move on.’
Patrick drove us down to Panama Night Club. The mere fact we found a parking space pretty quick was an indicator that the club was empty! Panama was accustom having a slow start, but once going it was a pretty decent club. I felt eyes on us as we walked in and I knew the men in there wondered which one of us was with Patrick. The music was pumping good though and so we found a space on the wall facing the door to lime and have a good view of who was entering in.
Every now and then we nudged each other to have a giggle at a mismatched couple, an ugly brother, a badly dressed woman… passing time as we do. The dance floor was getting full and things were livening up, but we were still kinda disappointed that not one single good looking guy came through the ticket area, not that Pearl and I wanted a new man, more like we just wanted a good night of dancing with someone.
Cam wanted to go to the ladies, we normally all go together but we didn’t want to lose our space, Patrick had already left to get our top up of drinks so Pearl and I stayed put. Standing and gazing around at the dead action with the lack of unattached men and the undesirable single ones, we simultaneously froze and all we could is pull at the side of each others clothes excitedly, hot flushes and an uncontrollable grin as a prince charming stepped into the club with a few other guys. ‘Peeeearl oh my gosh looook at that fine Godsend’ Pearl responded without a breath between her words nearly tripping over her tongue, ‘I know, I know, I knoooooow, Jeez where’s Cam, trust her to miss this.’
He was of average height, dougla (mixed Indian / South Asian and African descent more or less), HANDSOME, dressed in a suit looking sharp, a smile to melt your heart and straight yet naturally curled hair…Saul, Saul who?! Cam appeared from the corner and we pulled her in quick ‘look to your left slowly, DON’T look obvious but clock that fine brotha oh my gosh’ so Cam waits then casually turns and it doesn’t take rocket science for her to know who we were drooling over, ‘Who him?’ she asks casually with no expression. ‘Yesss’ I reply still trying to compose my grin to a smile. Cam then spun around completely at the same time as she said ‘oh him’ and walked towards him leaving Pearl dumbfounded on the spot, mouth opened with a 101 questions flooding, She knows him, he’s a friend of my sister, how have I never seen this one… ‘Pearl I thought you knew Cams friends? how do you not know this guy? Pearl couldn’t even answer as she watched on in disbelief shrugging her shoulders.
Trying not to look bait, myself and Pearl kept peeking at them, Cam and that guy was having a conversation and sharing a laugh. After a while they turned and started to walk over to us, no doubt for introductions.
It took everything within me to breathe with precision and look un-phased by what stood before me. Cam had this grin on her face that I couldn’t read as my mind was in a tizwas, how could anyone think in this situation; “Kenrick this is my friend Pearl” he smiles nods and says hello… “and this is my sister Maria, Maria meet Kenrick” my smile breaks in a grin I just couldn’t keep it in. He looked me dead in my eyes as he said hello. My legs where’s my dam legs for they felt like jello. His smile was in his eyes, they sparkled every time a smile hit his face. He was breathtakingly handsome. In my mind rushed a million and one questions… ‘where did my sister meet this guy, why have I not seen him before, I knew her friends, well most of them; surly I would of remembered him.’ He was well dressed in a fitted suit, a little goatee beard that matched his jet black curly Asian type hair, his skin looked smooth without blemish and his smile was like a firearms as they shot bullets in me I felt weak,
He asked me to dance, like I was gonna say no! we danced and spoke about so many things that I didn’t realize we moved away from my party and him from his, just me and him. He asked me if I wanted a drink and I asked for a rum on the rocks. He brought me quite a few that night. I had relaxed and we spoke like we knew each other for years I learnt he was going to n holiday to Trinidad in a couple of months time for the first time. I had already been so was telling him of all the places to go. I clean forgot about Cam, Patrick and Pearl and likewise, Kenrick never went back to his friends he came with. The music played, we danced we spoke, it was a perfect end to a rotten day.
The lights were turned on, the club was about to finish, the last tune was being played and it was time to say goodbye. Its then that I realized we spent all night together wow and what a night it was. Kenrick asked for my number and I gave it to him without thinking twice. Cam said they’ll be by the car as they said their goodbyes, it was just parked across the road. David walked me to the car and we stood there for a moment, he said he would call me at 6pm the next day and I smiled in agreement, he then leant over tome and gave me the softest smoothest kiss on the cheek and smiled as he saw me into the car and walked away… Cam and Pearl looked at me cracking up laughing as I was in a daze, he kissed me, I could still feel it on my cheek. No way was I washing my make up off that night as I wanted that feeling to stay. I stared out the window on the way to Cams. I asked her like three times ‘where did you meet him and how long you’ve been friends’??? All Cam kept saying was ‘I’ll tell you when we reach home.’ so I gave up and starred out the window for the whole drive with a nerdy smile stuck on my face and I couldn’t even hear their conversation.
As soon as we got inside and took off our coats we badgered Cam to spill the beans…’Where, when?? stop stalling.’ Cam turned around with the most peculiar grin like the cat that swallowed the canary and said quite frankly “I don’t!” ‘Okay don’t what, what’s that supposed to mean??…Cam stop messing,’ “I mean just that” she said still smiling and by now trying to hold in a laugh. When I came out the toilet and you guys were going crazy about this guy and you showed me, on impulse I turned and walked straight to him and said ‘excuse me my sister over there really likes you, I wonder if you will do me a favour and come over and meet her?’ and he did, the rest is history. Myself and Pearl froze, mouth open catching flies. Cam you didn’t, you mean you never knew him, he’s not a friend of yours?? ‘nope, you need a man, get out of that relationship you have as all you do is argue, time to move on.’ gosh so cut throat. Well the ground could’ve opened up and swallow me in. Cam I would’ve never spoken to him if I knew that was what you were going over to do. If I was a white girl I would be beetroot red with embarrassment, what must he be thinking. As I replayed the evening in my mind I sunk deeper into my imaginary whirlwind hole. And to think I had asked him ‘so where do you know my sister from? his reply was ‘ask her when you get home!?’ awwww no wonder, what a plot, Cam was in stitches whilst Patrick and Pearl was chuckling and saying how Cam move quick to think of that plan and be so brave in a matter of minutes. Well it was done, it happened, it worked, I got a kiss and I had a phone call to receive 6pm the following day. ‘Well thanks a lot sis, it sure paid off.’ I laughed but I still felt like an idiot, how embarrassing omg.
Time to sleep… so tomorrow will come faster!
I love this
It has my heart reeling
There is no inappropriate touch
He would never think to put a hand on my crutch
Imagine, he loves me that much!
At first his tenderness mystified my mind
His mannerism always kind
Holds my hand while we walk
Looks into my eyes as we talk
Never will he disrespect me
We laughed and I felt somewhat free
Years before faded and seemed somewhat insignificant
But sadly I wonder…
If this is true love, is it meant for me?
Is this how love is meant to be,
Displayed in such a way like golden daffodils
And a sea of Lilies in an untouched valley
No… this is not right
I question these new waves in hindsight
Surly there is something wrong
This relationship is lasting far too long.
Dookie Dooks you’ve grown used to the other kind
Sour filth that clothed your mind
Incense of sex and betrayal inhaled clouds your thoughts
This new experience has caused you to come of the familiar trail…
Pain so intense
You couldn’t scream out
Dogs on heat and you are caught in their fence
Spiritually you put up a wall of defence
Dookie girl its not been a kind world
Can you not accept that there is another side where true love resides?
Presented with bouquets of roses
Kissed gently on the lips
No tongue exposed
Buttons on your blouse stays closed
Oh if I could of let you see
That reliving ugliness was because of me
I couldn’t let go of all we learnt
Life now was too lazy
Going out with friends
Naaa that’s crazy
Pretending we exchanged wedding bands
This kind of love suffocated your inner self…
The abused me,
Cast out hidden behind the vase of flowers on the shelf
No thank you
I can’t do this
I want intensity
Wake up the inner me
Am I dead?
No longer do I feel the slanderous touch
This kindness shown is too much
I need to break free
I’ve been inactive sexually
And I don’t know how this could be
Is this love
Is this love
Is this love
Is this love that I’m feelin?
Like Bob, I wanna Know now.
Although part of me was willing
I was just not able
Poor soiled tainted me
Blinded by the past,
I grab hold of my other half
No longer hidden on the shelf
The flowers have died
The vase put aside
No matter how I tried I just couldn’t hide.
Was this love?
When I grow old and look back
Hopefully I will let you all know.
The new term began and with that came new changes. no longer were we based at Kilburn, but in an old building called Dollis Hill House situated on Dollis Hill. Nowhere near to Kilburn Poly for a quick trek between classes for a round of Black Jack. This indeed was going to be a very difficult year.
Dollis Hill House, the name was fitting as the house was literally on a hill! surrounded by houses, no shops, no fast food joints… we were stuck, I was stuck. This was a year that truly was about getting serious. Our tutorial kitchen was huge with many workstations with individual cookers, cupboards with pots, pans and utensils. It was very professional and I can’t lie, it made me feel very prestigious like I was on my way to becoming a big time chef. I was on my way to being somebody, not just anybody, somebody.
Our year group settled down in our new surroundings quickly and got our heads down as we were taught more technical skills in culinary art. All the basic cooking skills in year 1 had equipped us for this next stage, things were about to get interesting.
To my surprise Bernells mother worked in the students cafeteria and she made the best food, from Jamaican patties, English pies to Cornish pasties, it was all so tasty. She was so funny too with her unique sarcasm and had a hearty laugh that cheered you up on dull days.
Our timetable allowed for long periods of free-time which I didn’t expect and was very grateful for. Bernell took me to her old high school where some of her best friends were studying in sixth form. I had lost touch with all mines except one Jane Wilcock.
Bernells friends were super cool, there was the twin brothers Saul & Patrick Clackston and her best friends Toni Jacobs & Kacee Rogers. It didn’t take long for me to be part of the group, after all I was kinda the outside girl coming in. The jokes the laughter, I fell in love with them all. I got on especially well with Saul, we kinda clicked and our eyes always caught each other that made us blush. Berns not being no fool, saw the connection and one day pulled me aside for a little iddy biddy chat. She knew my track record and Saul was like her brother, no way in hell did she want him to be hurt/used by me. I reassured her that I liked him and I wouldn’t do anything bad (not intentionally)! Anyway, me and Saul talked but nothing was really going on.
There were two days that we had had classes at Kilburn Poly. I was upstairs when Bernell entered the room and said Saul was downstairs in the lobby to see me.. Me, not Bernell, wow my heart started to skip. I felt good, I felt special, he wasn’t like the other guys I had been with, he seemed ‘genuine’ kind, respectful, interested in me and not necessarily my body. I loved being in his company, I smiled at everything he said even if it wasn’t meant to be funny.
I went down to the lobby and there he was with the sweetest smile. He asked if we can talk outside, not sure what to expect I agreed and went outside with him. Standing at the side of the stairs he looked at me for what seemed like ages then he said it… “I’ve come to ask if you’d go out with me, if you’d be my girl?” In my imagination my legs turned to jelly it was swaying like I was a wave on the shores of the Caribbean Sea! I tried my hardest to look cool, holding… no sucking in my extended grin, I managed a decent enough smile as I said yes.
I had a pep in my step, I smiled all the time. Saul was so mature and spoke about stuff that was interesting. My mum was a seamstress and literally made all my clothes. Saul was my greatest fan, he loved fashion and was very particular in how we dressed and every time we went out we would be ‘thee couple’ best dressed in our own fashion. It wasn’t until Bernell made a joke about me still going good with Saul, that I realised we had been going out with each other for over four weeks.. four! and the biggest shock was we hadn’t even had sex. Everything about this relationship was strange, different, special. It was real, I was a grown up teenager. Not abused, not used, I knew he liked me a lot however I’m not sure if it was love. I mean what was love? after all the boys/men that I’d been with or had me, wasn’t that love? and if that was what love was then why didn’t Saul do to me what they did? yet he treated me like I would imagined REAL love to be. I was confused
College was going good, I engaged in most of the lessons. I always struggled with the theory but I was better at it than I was at school. Our weeks and months were much of the same, studies, hanging out, chilling with friends. I had a bestie outside of the group my cousin Shantel. Shantel lived in East London and nearly every weekend we would be in each others houses, mostly me at hers.
Our parents, well our mums, allowed us to go out on a Friday/Saturday night but at a price! no matter what time we got in we were either awoken early in the morning to either clean on Saturdays or cook Sunday dinner.
There were times we joined together with Bernel, Toni, Kacee, Patrick and Saul. Going out as a group was a blast but overtime I began to resent it all. Why? well it was the only time Saul & I went out!
Months turned to a year…can you believe it? one year, same guy, not swayed by another. I was in love… wasn’t I? I had a great relationship with his parents and brother and extended family, I just became part of their family and I think that’s mostly what I loved. I belonged.
I went to his house often and stayed for dinner. Saul loved cooking and often started off the cooking whilst his mum travelled home from work. There were times he came over to mines…along with the rest of the troops! to be honest there was no way I would feel comfortable if it was just me and him at my house. Mum really liked Saul and his parents and they were invited to my mum and dads random house parties all the time. If there was one thing my parents could do, was hold the best of the best house parties. My dad was neither here nor there when it came to Saul. I had grown to dislike my dad anyway, our relationship was made up of two words, ‘morning’ and ‘night!’
Seriously though, as much as it annoyed me, it made no sense anyone of my friends let alone a boyfriend come over to mines as we weren’t allowed to be in my bedroom. Our house had a through lounge so there was no privacy to just chill, share jokes and just be ourselves. At Sauls we were allowed to chill in his bedroom. It was so much fun and we talked for ages about anything and everything, and that I guess was where the glitch was. It was like we were just best friends, the only thing that made us seem different from the rest was that we held hands, he put his arm around me when we walked and we kissed on the lips… literally! no intimacy, no tongue in cheek, just an extended long peck on the lips. Which however felt awesome, I felt special and warm but in the past, that was just the starters, now it was the three course meal in one! I hated the way men/boys treated me in the pass but I shamefully missed it, I missed their touch as it meant I was desired, attractive. This new kind of love I just didn’t understand. But I was getting fed up, bored, my last couple of boyfriends (if I can call them that) had cars, at least we went out ON OUR OWN… you know, parties, clubs, wine bars. All under cover hiding from my mum. I was in a safe place with Saul, too safe. Was this what married life was going to be all about???
Little arguments started to happen between Saul and I, silly things but I was starting to get resentful. Deep down I liked the parties I went to with my older brothers and sister. I started going out with them as I had gotten to 18, they allowed me to tag along. Mixing with their friends was so much more cooler. I realised what my problem was…. immaturity! hanging with guys my own age was not cutting it with me, they were not mature enough and most of them were not driving…Lord how I missed not riding in a car to go out on a date or be picked up or dropped off. Oh and I smoked, Saul didn’t and I always felt bad about that. Truth be known, it was weird not having more intimacy, I was grateful I guessed that I was left alone but yet my body seemed to cry to be touched. I became angry within myself for this to be even confusing me. Why?
So it was Saturday and once again there was bad feelings between Saul & I. Heaven knows what the difference of opinion was this time, I just remember us being snappy and sarcastic and leaving his house VEX. I felt so trapped, to break up with him was like breaking up with his whole family and I hated the fact everyone would see me at fault. I mean, what was the matter with me? why could I not be satisfied with ‘simple, routine, pecks on the lips?’ after all we were only eighteen.
I could feel the hot tears falling from my eyes as I walked the long winding road towards the bus stop. WHYYY was I feeling like this? I couldn’t put a finger on just one thing as it was a multiple of small things that was making the HUGE thing. I was tired, I wasn’t Sauls girlfriend, I was his best friend!
I was in no mood to go home and mum to be demanding housework. Being on my own was not an option, I would only sit and cry. There was no point going to Bernell, Saul was one of her best friends and her voice rang in my ears all the time from the very beginning.. ‘don’t hurt him’ No point talking to Toni or Kacee as even though we grew to be close, I still saw them as Bernells friends first and foremost. How could I possibly say I was falling out of love with our golden boy? Great.
Just then my sister Cam called, she heard how fed up I sounded and her upbeat conversation was just not cutting it. She didn’t give up, in the end she talked me into going out with her and her best friend Pearl that evening to some club. Awwww music to my ears, I needed to dance this off with a straight rum & ice.
Cam called mum to let her know she was taking me out and that I was fine ( no mobile phones back then). So I re routed and off to my sisters I headed for a night out. Little did I know that this night would be life changing in more ways that I could ever understand.
I was on a high, I was so happy that I could at least make my mum relax to know that I had made the right decision in leaving sixth form to go to college. A grade like ‘distinction’ and ‘good pass’ would definitely have her overlook the terrible letter of a ‘U’ on my CSE maths paper.
I turned up at my high school well dressed and my first year certificate in my hand. There were a few essential subject teachers I had to see… RE, Maths, History (as Miss Harper always was nice to me), Home Economics and Mr Pratt, more so to show him I DID do well and also to apologise and admit he was right, I did need maths.
I ended up giving the class a sort of lecture letting them know that by trying to fit in and hang with the cool crowd, was actually what caused me to fail maths. I explained what I thought about maths and the real world, that I thought being a chef was just about cooking and had no idea how much maths was a key part. They listened attentively as I continued and afterwards advised them that the only way forward was to just get on with it, learn well, listen and do their best in exams as its a rough world out there. I felt so good. Mr Pratt smiled and said “I new you were a good girl at heart, well done and keep up the good work.”
No longer did I hear their negative voices telling me what I would be, instead I felt rather important, grown up, I was asked to speak to a class, wow me, and I really think I made a difference, well I hope I did.
Seeing Mr Pratt made me feel even more confident to go see the other teachers. My R.E teacher had no hope for me, I just had to find her. There she was in the staff room, I called over to her and she was shocked to see me. Miss got up and came over with such a smug look on her face that I was about to wipe off. “Maria, what brings you here today? needing a reference for work?” This was It, the door way was open for me to score a knockout… ‘No actually, I go to fulltime college and got a distinction and ‘good pass’ in my first year. I came to let Miss Gardner know as I’m studying City & Guilds 706 1/2 Cooking for the Catering Industry.’ Oh the grin that automatically grew on my face was immeasurable, “Well imagine that, who would’ve thought ay, good for you, I secretly knew you had it in you, you just needed to dig deep and find it for yourself. I hope this means you have chosen your friends much more wisely than you did in school. I must say I am proud of your success, keep it up.” ‘Thank you Miss.’ and with that I said goodbye and walked away with my eyes popped open in disbelief… did I just hear right?
My goodness, the two teachers I was cheeky to the most, the two that told me if I’d continued in my path I would amount to nothing… their words back then stung and I guess its what pushed me not to be who they said I’d be, but be who I know I am. I am bright, creative, polite, kind and eager to learn and do well. They knew all along, wow, they really did believe in me, maybe it was I that needed to believe in me, that without trying to fit in with ‘the crowd’ I can be anything I wanted to be.
Oh my goodness
Can it be?
I am the queen of Black Jack
And it sets me free.
Drowning out the voices of past
Voices that said in education I would not last
Telling me my life is a waste with an empty head
So what was the point then?
Why was I born? I should be dead.
Teachers had no idea
Neither did I, in some ways I didn’t care…
Yes I did
I wanted to prove I could be loved
But these guys I was with made me…
And made me see
That real love just seemed not to be attached to me
Keep them keen but treat them mean
That way I give them no time to affect me
Voices of high school that followed me
Stalking me like the grim reaper
Waiting for me to fail my exam paper
Literacy, language barriers and numeracy
I needed to attend classes consistently.
Focus and psychologically tell myself I have a purpose
And there you have it…
I did it…
Passed with a distinction
Amount to nothing they said
Now I can dig a whole and put those dead voices to rest
Look ahead my soul tells my head
Yes I am walking in the right direction.
The teachers that first caused negative affliction
Smile as they see a less rebellious me
They pat me on the back and say they’re proud of my results
In a moment, I forgot all their past insults
The plan now is to study hard against all possible contingencies
Which means I must behave and attend classes with consistency
So I can receive all that’s in my ordained destiny.