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.
Seeing her again was my desire. It could not be helped, my desire was the driver now. The question of whether I was a good driver or not would have to take the backseat.
Scolded by my parents for letting it reach this far, but I was speeding I did not take care of where and what was happening. Enjoying the ride that was treating me royally.
Smooth, no dents, in a dark tint. Some people gasped at her envious of a careening rainbow, she had that effect. She was the full package in her native form, no fancy accessories were necessary.
Yet I ruined the new paint, I am ashamed of how I reckless I was. The debt was levied, I was responsible for it, I took the news badly. Being young why should I imprison myself to that logic.
Accept that, never, I disowned her and ran, no I did not look back. Rain fell on that day, in droplets becoming of torrents that gathered into many ponds. The once beautiful smooth road was submerged in the unwelcome raging fury of water.
It shocked me how it looked calming but deep down it could swallow me whole. Such dangers men naturally knew to leave alone but what flowed was life. It was life to me no matter how far I ran, I would return to drink from its elixir like many other fools.
And here I was knocking on the gate of her home. There were people on the veranda staring at me, they must have thought I was a crazy man. Ignoring them, I still kept calling her name, knocking the gate in synch.
Eyes peering at me through windows. Her mother came at the door then and seemed to be on her worst behaviour, the frown on her face prominent.
Her eyes were laden with much poison and malice, all of it aimed at me. The gate slid open, looking down I saw Chaniece was pulling open the gate.
“Hello, why you open the gate?” the mother of both daughters said as she strode down to us.
“Mama, she seh let him in”
“Ya mussi mad, she who?” grabbing the keys from Chaniece. By this time I had slipped in.
“Oy where you going!?” To look at medusa was not going happen. To see that girl had to happen, I had to drive on. If I crushed I would prefer dying at her feet, not her demon of a mother.
I walked with big steps, quickly and flowingly swayed around the bodies inside until I saw her and stopped.
Looking up at me from some dining room chair she was sitting in. No feeling, no warmth, it showed. Thoughts distraught, what she was thinking, yet I still pondered what I was going to say to such a face.
This emotionless appearance by her crushed my confidence, I was not used to this. Being a man that always had something to say, but now I knew no words to speak to a broken heart.
As the despair dawned on me, I heard a laughter, I dared to move my eyes and saw in a bundled heap of towels a little baby lying on the lap of Reina’s father, Old Ben they called him.
He sitting astride from her in another chair. Both next to the table, chairs were facing out. Her cousin was also leaning against that table with its assortments of fancy glassware and earthware plates.
Was this what I wanted? What I wanted was Reina, the child was only but another factor. A factor I created but would it not be in this little one’s best interest to have someone who truly wanted both?
That person was not me I reckoned, but anyone was better than no one at all.
Looking back at Reina, I knew now what had to be spoken.
“Reina…I made a lot of mis…”
“Oy dutty gal cum out a me house!”
Like a frighten mongoose I swung round to see her mother stepping up right at my face it was so close, I stumbled back.
Wage a defence I had to, I cannot be move now. A high-pitched knocking sound echoed throughout the room.
Old Ben with his stern composition and serious face, a pen which he laid down behind a glass cup before he leant back relaxingly.
“Now I know it is just morning and the sun is hot, but let us not make the place any hotter with all that air you shouting into the room.”
Reina’s mother swung round beside me, with a stern and vicious look at Old Ben.
“Yes is you me a talk ba ba ba ba, me nah wha hear it”
“Shudup woman, let the man talk, me want to hear whe him about fi seh.”
Old Ben gave me a lifeline, demons scatter from its headlights. The dread revealed Reina’s mother giving me a cold look. Averting those eyes least I turn to stone.
The room was silent for my next response, from her cousin Lori astride the table next to Ben.
Behind me her sister Chaniece and her aunt. Looking at Reina only to see her shift in her seat, preparing herself for what my mind had already decided.
Reina’s eyes looked different this time it had a feeling, but I could not tell what it was. I remember it but my memory was failing me.
Deeper I stared within the pitch dark that was on the surface inside the colours were clearer.
Her iris swirled into the darkness with a cascading rainbow of colours in a slow torrential wave. Leaving a dull light reminiscent of the moon but it seemed to be closing and a dying flicker as a grey glow dissipated.
The same day, the same moment I almost hit her. It was fear, but of what? What was I going to say? Or was it fear of me?
The thought killed my confidence but not my duty, which was important and had to be said.
“I am an idiot, fool whatever you want to call me, I made the wrong decision back then, I am making the right one now, I want to see my child please.”
Her face dissolved into a frown. Then she leant back and came forward quickly.
No seat belt could soften that pain, I twisted my lips, crushed. I turned slightly to see her mother’s dark scowl, which seemed to hide a smirk. Cutting my eyes, I swayed towards the exit.
“Whe you a go?”
Reina’s carefree face entered my sight again, looking back.
“A joke me a make gwan see him there.”
Her mother shot an incredulous look at her Reina and was about to open her mouth.
“No do it.” Old Ben chipped in just in time, as she shrunk back at his reminder.
Making my way to the child as Ben held his hands. Thick sheets surrounded him, I scooped him up with a lot of effort. Heavier than I thought and yet so small.
A fat face so brown and full of light. Tongue plunging out of his mouth, hands jotting wildly. Black dotted pearls moving around the room like a tornado. When it focused on me, his mouth closed, no movement, he was at peace.
Breaking the eye contact, baby looked away to welcome his mother coming near. Everybody was looking on intently with a smile, even her mother seemed to be looking repentant as she saw this child and me.
Staring at Reina’s dark beautiful face brought dread to me, I knew It could never be the same again. At least I can make amends and take care of my responsibilities. One question was bothering me though.
“What’s his name Reina?”
She snickered a bit, with a snide look, head thrown back.
“What’s your name?”
I lightened at the question, did she really do that, after everything. My shoulders relaxed, with a smile I could not hide out of pride.
“Davario.” The name of my child.