NOTE: Story dialogue is written in Jamaican Dialect or Patios, it is not bad English it is also not using the formal and official Jamaican Written dialect. This is informal. If you have any concerns contact or leave a comment. Thank you.
What was I used to? Even I could not answer that question, sitting outside my zinc-roofed, rundown, termite infested house. Wondering if this was what I should be used to. The cool orange burn hit my body, which was considered weak. Maybe that was why I was being crushed by the superior foundation superseding the weaker one.
A nudge brushed me fiercely and pushed my body forward, almost off the boarded step. Venomous eyes of mine touched my sister, swinging her hips in ignorant glee. It reminded me of when I was ignorant. The eyes died and returned to worry as quickly, I could not hate her, in fact I was envious.
A girl who knew poverty, but did not understand it, she could ignore it, play a game to avoid talk of it. Such luck evaded me, at an age becoming of a man, just out of high school in the desperate Island of Jamaica just after Seaga’s second win. The people were not winning the game played that is sure.
Mother told me constantly my best hope was jobs in the hotel business, yet my current GCE passes would not be enough. Following up one rumor, I went to a construction site that just opened, but the jobs were already taken up.
I was silent in thought.
I might as well entertain her on this lovely day.
”Yes mother, comin’” stalking into the house slowly because I lacked the energy to run. Her face was as hard as I assumed it was at my birth, no endearments came from her to me. Especially in these times, she knew well enough young ones run furlongs away from the truth. Men stay away from children so I never knew a father, me being, the only one she talked to.
Watching her in that colored frock and long hem skirt down to her knees. Her eyes were avoiding mine, something was wrong.
“Do you have money to buy….some meat, Miss Don is not giving me, any more credit. I owe…her too much.”
Surprise, no it could not be that, to be honest I predicted this day would come. Yet something seemed unnatural within the instant of that question. No it was not surprise it is something worse. What money I had left was some savings I had been storing. In time I could foresee myself using those funds to secure a house for myself and my girlfriend.
But did it matter if my mother starved to death, what is a home without the person who loves you.
“Yes I have some.” I said with a tone of regret.
Her eyes had a serene ambiance.
“A just for this one time see, I will pay you back.”
Who was she kidding, she could not pay me back with the weight of expenses for her to pay. It was never supposed to be like this and that was what was unnatural about that event, that question. It was never supposed to be this bad.
“You can decide what you want to buy, I have some breadfruit already roasted. Buy what you can afford and we will share it.”
Moving to my room, taking some of the national heroes in my hand, I could not help counting it. Replacing back my stash into its hiding place, was it really hidden came to mind. Heroes hide their true identity for good reason then.
It was just as well as I passed the kitchen in the tight living space of the house. At that moment my resolve was written before it was believed. Someone asked me where I lived and what I was used to just because I said I was going to get a house in the constant spring area. They had laughed at me.
Well soon I will be laughing at them, because I will not accept my status and my current position. No, I will shoot beyond that and never again will I have to see my mother’s face like that, never.
To accept it, means I am used to it. So the answer is no, I am not used to poverty and subjection, never will I be.