Category Archives: Memories
To be or not to be
Either be locked up in your inner me
Or rejoice in being set free
Can joy be found in rain?
The constant sound, pitter patter
Increasing louder as it hits the windowpane
Joy knocking on the inner pain
Breaking down walls of shame
Let me go
Is it I who holds you, or you me?
There is an exit door that lights the way for you to see
But your eyes are wide shut!
Still trying to figure out how to fight your enemy
It is in fact a memory
You have found love in your new family
A sweet love that beckons and asks politely ‘marry me?’
Did I hear correctly?
You said yes wholeheartedly
Well I’ll be…
Footsteps walking out one two three
The day draws closer
It’s the month of September
Heart tremors as you think no one remembers
Walking down the aisle wearing a watery smile
It is just life trying to steal your joy
Playing with your mind like a lifeless toy
Turnaround and see
The pews are filled with friends and family
Do not let your mind attack you so ferociously
Declare your vows, exchange of rings
Say I do and hear your heart and spirit sing
Embrace this next stage in life
Beware, It will not always be free of strife
To have and to hold until you grow old
Will be your greatest testimony
To be or not to be…
It is time to set yourself free
Now joined together in holy matrimony
To walk in fair weather between anniversaries
But remember the rain
Not every shower is a blessing
In your joy, be ready to face the pain
For in these times you will need to press in
To be or not to be…
Real love is the key
Unlock your inner me
Sweetheart, love and be loved and set yourself free
Nadia was my everything. I stayed at my parents home for the first two weeks and mum pampered me. She did all the cooking, all I had to do was sleep, breastfeed and get used to motherhood. I had friends and family visit us over that time and my bedroom soon looked like a florist! Ken was besotted and displayed more love to both me and Nadia. She was so small, weighed six pounds four and a half ounces at birth which was a perfect little new born size.
I moved into my new place after a few weeks passed, and Ken finally moved in also. We were finally cohabitating as a cute little family and I was more than happy.
Kens son Daniel visited every other weekend and in the summer we all went to see Ken play his beloved sport of cricket if the weather wasn’t to bad. There was a day that we drove to take Daniel home and as we journeyed back Ken & I got into a conversation about life, our wants and desires, what we expected out of our relationship. I loved speaking about the future, it all seemed like a fairy tale, me, Ken & Nadia and no doubt a couple more children. As a young teenager, I always imagined having five children because I felt I wanted to form a happy bond like my siblings and I finally had once I grew up; but my children would be different, I would make sure they bonded properly and played together nicely from an very early age and have them close in age so one would not be spoilt over the others or teased and left out as I was. Ken wanted to get a degree in his field of work and eventually get a promotion. I wanted to return back to work as a Chef once Nadia was walking and talking. He also spoke of his parents looking forward to retirement in the West Indies but there one desire was to see him settled down. They were really happy that we had become our own little family and seemed to be getting on quite well. His parents loved me too, we got on rather well and Ken and I visited them often as well as spending time at his sister and brothers respected homes, they were all married. Ken mentioned that his parents expected the same for him and as we had Nadia he didn’t want to be anywhere else with anyone else but me.
‘So Maria look you know how I feel about you and I want to make this more solid especially to make my parents rested before they leave. I know your mum has also been making a lot of hints also about us getting married, so how about it… do you want to put up with me for a lifetime and get married?’ What did I know at nineteen about proposals? I knew there should be some magical experience surrounded by romance, flowers and the man down on one knee, but this was Ken; the man that took my breath away and had my legs like jelly for months, the father of my first beloved child. How could I possibly say no. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I sat in the car speechless, literally. I said yes but it was a yes with disbelief that I heard correct; did he really ask me to marry him? I searched his face for clues trying to read his emotion, was this a serious talk, real talk, just a chat talk, talking thoughts or was he actually asking me…ME! Who would want to marry me? Was he having me on? Immediately I felt unworthy. Ken felt and saw the doubt in me too, he knew I struggled with self-confidence at times when it came to relationships due to my past. Then I heard his firm voice that resonated down into my soul which took the fear and disbelief away ‘I love you Maria, will you marry me? ‘a smile broke out of my face and I felt my eyes fill with water ‘Yes, a hundred times yes, off course I’ll marry you, I love you so much.’ Ken reached over to his glove compartment and took out a small box, he opened it and there it was, the most beautiful gold diamond cut ring with a single diamond in the centre. He planned this, he brought a ring with intentions to propose, he meant it. Why would he spend money and go through so much trouble had he not wanted to do this? It was no act, this right here, right now was happening. One of my memories in life that will never fade. Ken placed the ring on my finger and kissed me gently but passionately.
Our parents were most excited at our news and marvelled at my ring. My mum looked somewhat relieved and I’m sure it was the fact that I would no longer be a young lady with a child out of marriage, although she loved Ken, deep down she did not like our lifestyle (not that she was a church goer) but she was set in old school ways. Kens parents were staunch Christians and attended church every week without fail, so they too were relieved and pleased. The wedding was set for later that same year to make sure Kens parents would still be around. I spoke to the vicar of mums local church which happened to be the same church my sister Cam and also my brother Teddy got married in, he was happy to do our ceremony.
What were we doing? I relied on Cam and mum to put all things, Ken was in charge of sorting out the reception… music and drinks. Our parents paid for the hall, there was no need for caterers back in those days, the best cooks out of our family and friends were designated a dish to cook. Just the basics in everything, no fancy table pieces just a nicely decorated top table and gift savers on each table setting which was normally gift-wrapped sweet almonds was needed.
My cousin Shantel was to be my chief bridesmaid and my niece Cams daughter a bridesmaid, Kens son Daniel was our pageboy and my two little cousins who were twin girls were to be my flower girls. Mum and Cam went with me to a bridal boutique to try on some dresses to see what complimented me. The dress we all liked had a price tag that made us hold our breath! We left smiling knowing that mum was going to make my dress and she would add the gemstones and pearls to the dress which was lacking in the dress I tried on. Cams job was to make the bridesmaids dresses. I was such a lucky girl to have two seamstresses in my family.
Over the months that followed we fell into a nice routine and grew in our parenting, loving each moment with Nadia and filled with happiness at her growth and little milestones expected at her age.
My paternal grandfather passed away. Did I feel sad? Somewhat I guess, after all he was still my granddad, but news of his passing brought back visual memories of his indecent kiss and the fear I felt towards him afterwards. Questions yet again arose, why? Why would he do such a wicked thing and abuse the love I had for him? There was an avalanche of stories that fell out the closet after he died and the true revelation of the life he lived was exposed. My poor grandmother was such a sweet woman and to think that she lived in a kind of bondage under the umbrella of her marriage made me sad. Granddad had done many sexually indecent acts as a spiritualist minister by ‘anointing women’s bodies with oils!’ well you may think what’s wrong with that? It was the kind of anointing that was the problem.
Grandma had never travelled on a plane in her life and my dad sent for her to come for my wedding. She was to come for three months to give her a well needed break and for us to shower her with love. Everyone was excited about her pending arrival; she was loved dearly by all.
She arrived in time for Nadias Christening, which was a very small occasion, mostly because I’ve never believed in big parties for such a holy event. The church was the same that would be used for our wedding and afterwards we came back to my parents home for refreshments.
Two months after the Christening, it was to be my special day. The day I waited patiently for. I was to become Kens wife. I was not just a ‘baby mother’ just a girlfriend or fiancé, I was about to have status. I knew of quite a few school friends that had babies but were just in a boyfriend girlfriend relationship living separately, more often the girl still living at her parents’ house.
The night before our big day, Ken left to be with his mates, and I stayed at mums. Bernell and Toni came over and we had a girlie night helping Cam and mum hand sew on the last of the diamantes & pearls to the bodice of my bridal gown The girls got ready to leave so I could settle down to sleep as I had a huge day ahead. But how could I sleep, I was so anxious. I couldn’t think, was everything ok? And then a frightful though came, what if everyone forgot and didn’t turn up! Cam laughed and said we will still have a big party and eat all the food… I knew she was being funny, but the butterflies prevented me from laughing. Mum ushered me out the room and told me everything would be just fine and to stop worrying and get to sleep and to remember how happy I shall be. Now that made me smile. No sooner than my head hit the pillow, I was asleep.
My eyes opened with the burst of light through the curtain, it took me a few seconds to recollect my thoughts and realise that the day was the ninth of September, and the biggest grin lit my face and I bounced out of bed. Cam stayed over too and I ran in her room shaking her awake giggling. She turned and smiled as she saw my excitement and said, ‘let the day begin.’
Bernell had taken Nadia with her the night before and Ken was with his best man. It was decided by us both that we would not call each other under any circumstances unless however there was an emergency with Nadia.
First stop was the hairdresser, and as I feared, things started to go wrong. I stood at a locked door, I mean shutters down kinda locked and I began to panic. Where was Donavon? We spoke about this day, the time I would come, the style I would have, oh and tat was another thing; I forgot the tiara at home. He had told me to bring it along so he could style my hair around it. Oh well what could I do. I just had to wait; I mean how late could he be to open up??? My appointment was booked for 8.30am and here was Donavon strolling towards me at 9.15am with a smile that told me he had no clue he was late.
‘Hi morning darling, how yuh going, have you been waiting long? I tried to breathe in a less frustrated rhythm as I answered, ‘Don we agreed 8.30 remember? It’s my wedding day and I’ve been a nervous wreck waiting for you.’ ‘Oh Shit!! Oh Gosssh, Maria I sorry eh, come come farst leh we do dis quick, nah worry yuhself, girl I clean forget.’ Dons Grenadian accent was singing through with his excitement. I smiled as we were now on the same page and he knew my schedule. Well a bride was meant to be late right!?
I called my brother Curtis to pick me up to save time on the train. He drove just over the speed limits to get me to mums to dress. I had no complaints with his crazy driving at all.
Mum stopped me in my tracks as I raced through the front door, both hands on my arms and she told me to stop and breathe, just breathe. I took a couple of deep breaths in and exhaled. There, calm. We went upstairs and I showered. It was refreshing feeling the water cooling my skin, I was relaxed somewhat once more. I sat on the stool for mum to fix my hair with the tiara and I did my makeup myself, I didn’t want or need a lot. The dress was on, I turned and looked in the mirror and all I saw was a black fairy-tale princess. Mums eyes was springing water and I had to look away as I felt mines about to, but my makeup!
Kens brother in law Elijah was my driver as he had a Seven Series BMW but where was he? I was running really late now, and the panic started to creep back into my nerves. Kens sister Stella came running in panting saying Elijah was stressed that the car needed washing… washing, now?! What the heck was really going on, I couldn’t wait for a car to be washed and then fluffing around trying to fit its ribbon. No no… ‘Curtis I beg you, use your car it’s 1.35 and the wedding should’ve started 5 minutes ago! Stella wait here for Elijah and meet us at the church.’ Dad and I went in Curtis’s car and mum drove her car with the bridesmaids. As we turned into the church gate, Curtis in his fluster, crashed into the gate pole. No damage was done but it was a scene from a ‘Carry On’ film! Hilarious. The Vicar was outside waiting, we apologised, and he hurried us into the reception area where we composed ourselves and my dressed was smoothed out.
The organs started playing and the doors opened. There before me was the longest aisle, each bench of seats was decorated with posies of flowers and as I looked to the rows of seats there was hardly anyone there. I choked back tears thinking people really did forget and didn’t come. I walked slowly down the aisle behind the flower girls, Daniel and the bridesmaids, which felt like a long walk of shame. I smiled the tears away as the guests took pictures as they gasped and smiled as I walked past them. I wanted to run but I fixed my gaze on Ken who looked the most handsome he has ever been and, in my mind, all I could think of was how empty the church looked, there would hardly be any wedding presents and all the food will go to waste. This day was going from bad to worse.
My mind was so preoccupied with these thoughts that the words of the vicar flew over my head like a soft breeze, but I do remember the vicars voice raised as he proclaimed ‘As you have exchanged vows before God and witnesses, by the giving and receiving of rings, I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride.’ Ken raised my veil and tenderly kissed my lips and I felt I melted like I did the very first time he kissed me outside Panamas night club. Everyone cheered, the sound made me look towards the guests and I couldn’t believe my eyes, the church was packed! I chuckled inside and the relief was immeasurable. Typical… black people and time keeping!
There was a short musical interlude as we signed the register and after the vicar said a few words we turned to leave as Mr & Mrs Sajor.
My fake smile I had walking into church hiding tears was replaced by a huge grin, all teeth shining, holding Kens hand and feeling like his queen. The church had a beautiful garden where we took all our photos. Elijah was waiting by the front of the church with the shiniest ribband car that looked spectacular. Inside there was a small pale with a bottle of champagne on ice and two champagne glasses. We escaped the noise of voices, the greetings the extensive smiling, I honestly thought my face would stick! I didn’t realise how much being a bride had you as the centre of attention and this was just the beginning.
The speeches were heartfelt, and my dad had a few dry jokes that everybody seemed to laugh at. Ken’s uncle Sam’s first words were to shout out ‘Who Made The Saltfish, it was absolutely amazing?’ my uncle had made it and it truly was delicious. In fact all the food was amazing and there was enough for everyone and more.
After we cut the cake and took more pictures the tables were cleared, and a dance floor was made visible. Ken and I had our first dance, then everyone joined in. The rest of the night was simply wonderful. Good music and lots of drinks, Ken did so well sorting that out with his brothers and his bonified group of friends.
The reception had finished at 11pm and Kens best man and friend from school days Mark suggested an after party back at our flat, and so a group of friends and family gathered back at ours and partied until a little after 3am. I had conked out by then I was totally exhausted. What seemed to start off as a disastrous day soon overturned into a glorious one. Everyone eventually left and Ken threw himself on the bed next to me and we looked into each other’s eyes, we both smiled in silent agreement, no wedding night specials tonight! We fell asleep cuddled up close and slept sound into the next day.
I awoke first and the whole world felt brand new. I was new, yesterday I was Maria Skinner and today I awoke as Maria Sajor. I woke up Ken with breakfast in bed, I couldn’t wait to go pick up Nadia and head to my parents to open all our gifts as I saw we had loads.
Ken had other ideas, he set the breakfast aside and reached over and caressed my body from my neck down to my toes, my mind slowed down as I became intoxicated by his touch. Our breathing escalated into a deepness that you eventually could no longer hear. There was silence, the only thing I heard was the friction of the silk sheets. I knew I was alive by the surrender of my body that danced in according to his.
Let the music play.
Are we ever ready?
When our parents are too strict
You want to talk but the atmosphere is thick
Best leave the boat to rock steady
No sense moaning about sitting alone
I wanted this
To feel like a woman loved
Now my womb is in bloom
But lonely in the days stuck in a bedsit room
Rubbing my belly I smile
New keys and I have a place of my own
Dookie Dooks look how far you’ve come
I didn’t think you could be decently touched
And loved by a genuine man
What they did was meant to scar you
You don’t fool me though
I am you
And feel everything you go through
I am a crying soul
Your inner me
Fighting off your enemy
Yes all those untold memories
One man comes along
Singing a new song
Hypnotises you to think all wrongs have gone
But have they?
Let that pain strangle your brain
Don’t let those images stay to drive you insane
With every contraction let it be a distraction
Oh the pressure, the pain the strain
Again again and again
Breathe in a methodical rhythm of Entonox
Float in another universe
Separate from the excitement
Loosen your body
Let it pass through
If I let go
You can let go to
It is not just new life that disconnects from you
One last thrust
All the pain of labour and the past
She’s here, at last
What joy, the unbelief, you gasp
How can such excruciating pain birth happiness?
Your lover wipes your brow
Surly it will all be okay now
The pushing has ceased
May the beauty of love increase
And your innermost find peace.
I went to view the Mother & Baby home, although I couldn’t see the point as I had no choice but to move in there. It wasn’t ideal but it was temporary. Apparently, it was just a pit-stop for those women that needed emergency accommodation, and I guess mum wanting no ‘big belly woman’ in her house meant I was under the classification of an emergency. I was told that the policy was that it was not permitted for a mother to stay there once their baby reached three months old so that was encouraging. Soon I’d have my own place, officially a grown up!
A lovely lady opened the door of a large three storey house, once inside I saw it was a home of multiple occupancy. The lady was middle aged, Caucasian and greeted me warmly introducing herself as the landlord and lived on the top floor of the building. She took me down to the basement where there was a double room in which had a stove, a single wardrobe, fridge, a table, chairs and a bed. It was clean and tidy. The bathroom and toilet were in the hallway and was to be shared with another girl who had the room next to mines. Everything was clean and tidy and there wasn’t many house rules but two stood out. All male visitors had to leave by 10pm and boyfriends were not allowed to sleep over. Great! I was handed the keys, all that was left to do was move in.
I hadn’t a lot of items, I mean I was only moving from mums and the only belongings I had was my clothes. I couldn’t bring that much with me anyhow as most didn’t fit for obvious reasons and the room didn’t have much storage space other than a small wardrobe and kitchen cupboard and draw unit.
I loved it, there were only two rooms in the basement, mines and a girl called Mary had the other. There was also a side basement door that we could use to come in and out. Myself and Mary quickly became friends and made a pack to watch each others back regarding our men as the ‘no men after 10pm and the no sleeping over’ didn’t wash to well with us or with our partners. To wait so long to finally have my own space, no sneaking around parents or finding a ‘lovers lane’ I had my own pad even though it was temporary…and still not be allowed for Ken to stay over, no way.
You’d think I would be glad to stay on my own but it became lonely as I was in my seventh month and on maternity leave from work, I was restless. Ken was at work all day but joy was listening out for his distinctive car engine and timing from when the engine stopped to him reaching the door. I enjoyed this change, in my mind I felt like we were a couple living together which we were in a way as Ken hardly ever stayed home at his parents anymore. It was nice not having to sneak around to be together in an intimate way, we were free. Yet I missed my friends, I missed the part of me that was still a teenager. Bernell had taken up a new catering manager course, Toni was working full time in the city and Kacee had gone away traveling on a working holiday, so I was pretty much friendless during the day. I spent my days shopping for groceries, we couldn’t do a big shop as the fridge was just a small single one fit enough for one person. There was a day that I spent watching tv, this baby had me like a sluggard the closer I got to my due date. The hours went by with me watching the omnibus of ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Home & Away’ I heard the sound of Kens car and timed it as I usually did for him to reach the door and opened it. Moments later he walked in to see me with the carpet sweeper in hand and one hand on my back. ‘Here baby leave that to me go rest’ I smiled, said thank you and sat down. I didn’t feel bad as I had washed the dishes earlier and I had to carry this baby twenty-four seven.
A few days later there was a knock on my door, it was Mary and the landlady. Mary was trying her hardest to hold back a grin, the landlady the landlady explained that the council had found me temporary accommodation. It was apparently a large house divided into two flats which was offered to Mary first as she was at the home before me. Mary requested that I took the other flat as we got on and the landlady agreed. There was no viewing as it was that or nothing, once you were offered a place that was it, if you turned it down the council would not offer another, you were on your own.
Moving was easy as it was a small room, it only took a couple of car rides. After moving we decided it would be best to spend a couple weeks at my mums as I approached my thirty-ninth week and the baby could’ve come at anytime and my parents home was much closer to the hospital.
I hardly saw Berns and the girls, one night they were going out to a local club where our mutual friend was a DJ. I was not only forty weeks but it was also my due date. Bernell thought I was crazy but they knew they couldn’t stop me, I was so bored and fed up I needed an outlet. I also hoped by dancing it would cause labour to start! The music was pumping when we got there, it was so good seeing Jimmy on the deck spinning tunes. He was happy to see me and surprised to see me pregnant. When he asked when I was due, his eyes nearly popped out his head. I danced until I ran out of steam. Did it cause labour to start? no, did it cause excruciating back ache? most definitely yes and swollen feet, but it was worth it, I had a great time.
A week later as we were waiting a first tinge of pain and my appointment to be induced; mum, Ken and I decided to have a video night. I needed some fresh air so opted to go to the video rentals shop. Heaven knows why I chose ‘The Adventures Of Babysitting’ and Three Men And A Baby’ obviously I had babies on my mind! We finished watching one and I told Ken to wait until I got back from the toilet to put the other one in. I’m not sure if I was bursting or the baby was resting on my bladder but I was getting these weird sensations ever so often and I couldn’t concentrate on the movies.
Typically there was a trickle of pee which meant the baby was resting on my bladder. As I wiped myself the tissue seemed to have a pastel pink colour to it. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me so I wiped again and there it was, a streak of mucus with slight blood on it. I grinned with a fear under tone. This surly was it, what a doddle; if this was labour then it was a walk in the park! There, again I felt that sensation ring across my back. I’ve never been pregnant before so what do I know?! I assumed as the baby grew in the stomach area, that’s where the pain would be. Not wanting to panic mum and Ken and make a false alarm, I called down to say I won’t be long and got ready to time the next sensation. Seven minutes… ok cool. I went downstairs and Ken started the movie. and seven minutes later there came another sensation but this one was a tiny bit more prominent than the one before. Even I got a little panicked and blurted out ‘I think I’m in labour!’ They both looked at me startled. I told them all what happened upstairs and reassured them both I was fine. Mum suggested I go have a warm bath and call the hospital to let them know what was going on.
As I ran the bath I called the labour ward. My voice was calm yet a little excited. I explained in detail and they were quite happy for me to stay home as things were moving slowly along. Ken was pacing up and down, I grabbed his arm gently and kissed him on his cheek letting him know I was ok, he smiled ‘This is it girl.’ Mum and Ken left me alone to bathe, mum was fussing around making sure my bag was packed. Her excitement made me giggle.
I stood up to get out of the bath, took hold of the towel and took a step out the bath when a pain out of nowhere struck me so powerfully that I couldn’t move except to scream out. Mum came running up the stairs and barged in the bathroom, she helped me out the bath and looked at the time…five minutes since the last one… I dried myself and again I was hit with a piercing pain that crippled me. I opened my mouth but not a sound came out, I was breathless… four minutes since the last one. Ken rang back the labour ward to tell them I wasn’t coping, they couldn’t quite believe it considering they spoke to me just thirty minutes beforehand. Ken passed the phone to me and I spoke through gritted teeth, the transformation was astonishing. Again the pain shot through, Four minutes since the last one passed I was told to come in straight away. It was a struggle to dress, mum helped me whilst Ken went out to warm the car. Down to every three minutes and the pain was so intense.
I’m sure Ken broke every speed limit to get me to the hospital, mum sat in the back with me with one hand on my stomach saying ‘hold on hold on’ every few minutes. Looking back now the whole scene was like a comedy sketch.
Finally we arrived and by that time I was in a mess, the pain was unbearable. I forgot all my breathing exercises from prenatal class, that went out the window, I just could not think. The midwife, a lovely oriental looking lady gave me some ‘Gas & Air’ and I floated! bring on the pain, now I’m in control. There didn’t seem to be a gap between contractions and I hung onto the gas & air tube for dare life. I was attached to a monitor beside me that had numbers which increased when a contraction was detected. The midwife was concentrating on the numbers and telling Ken to get me to let go of the mask, but I was having none of it; I know what I was feeling and I was ahead of the numbers. She kept on saying ‘that’s enough now, stop now, that’s enough’ until her voice irritated the life out of me and I screamed out ‘GIVE ME THE F***ING GAS! The room became still and I opened my eyes only to see my mother at the foot of the bed, mouth so wide open you could’ve fit a fist in it. I sighed as I closed back my eyes not being able to retrieve the cuss word that escaped my vocal chords. Mum had picked up her bag and as she turned she snapped ‘I never knew Maria used words like that’ and with that she left the room. I felt bad, but here came the pain and I took back my ‘friend’ and breathed the pain away as I floated into a legal high.
My midwife Jan, bless her was very patient with me. She had the most annoying soft baby like voice that really was grating on me. She said ‘Now Maria you’re nearly there, do a big poo and push,’ was she for real? I refused, what did she take this for, why would I do such a thing? she kept on and on till I thought in my head if this poo is the barrier between my baby staying in or coming out then so be it… she wants me to shit on the bed then fine, and I pushed with all my might until I felt a huge release. I waited for the embarrassing smell to rise, but instead I saw huge smiles from Jan and Ken, he beamed ‘its a girl’… huh! I was so confused, ‘it’s out? a girl? It’s out? Jan wrapped her and placed her in my arms, there before me was the cutest dolly faced baby and I cried with happiness. Ken went and got mum, she still had a vexed face but it soon melted when she saw her fifth granddaughter. All was forgotten, even the pain of childbirth. three hours and forty-five minutes and here she was…
Nadia. Her name means The Caller, The Beginning, First
My first baby, our first. I was now a mummy at nineteen years old. A teenager/ young lady with a huge responsibility.
I was ready.
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
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.