- Spert (for Maureen)
It is notit is notit is not enoughto be pause, to be holeto be void, to be silent. . . .Kamau Brathwaite
Mi and Tony never have nutten, him was just mi frien’. Him use to drive a mini-bus pon the Kingston-Portmore route and him use to save seat fi me every morning. So we kinda turn frien’. Him use to tell me say him love mi and that mi should come and live with him, but them days all mi use to think ‘bout was school and plus mi use to live with mi sister and mi never have no spare time.
When mi leave high school, mi sister get tired o’ me. That is the only thing me can say, she get tired a feed mi. When Mamma dead, she come down a country and ask me to come and live with her and help her take care a her children and she would help mi finish school. But when mi leave high school things start go bad till one day me and her just mash up. Just like that, without any warning; one evening wi have one big quarrel over nothing. Even now mi still can’t remember what we quarrel ‘bout. But we quarrel so hard that the neighbor them start gather at the gate a wonder if wi was goin’ to kill one another. Then after that she go straight inna the room and pack up all mi clothes in one bungle and throw them out a door. When she run mi out, mi never have no where to go, so mi pick up mi things and go straight a Tony house. Mi never have nowhere else to go and him was the only person me know who could probably help me. Me never have much friends. So when mi sister run mi out mi go straight a him yard; and when him see mi in the doorway with mi two bag, him never turn him back. Him just stan’ up there, you know, with him eye them open wide, repeating every thing mi say, like him couldn’t understand and him have to hear it two time fi it make sense to him.
“Where yu going this time of night?”
“Tony, mi sister run mi out.”
“Yu sister run you out?” [End Page 212]
“Yes, she throw out mi tings and say mi mus’ go look man.”
“Throw out yu tings say you mus’ go look man?”
“Yes, but mi no have nobody to go to, mi a beg you put mi up few days.”
“Put you up few days?”
Mi start cry again and him take mi bag them and show mi where the guest room was. Just like that, mi start live a Tony house. Him never molest mi or nothing. Him never even try a pass or nothing. Him just make me live there. That is when everything start, that is when life start plan fi play the biggest trick pon me.
Them time deh, Tony was startin’ him auto parts business. And him use to go Miami all the while. Him was hardly in the house. Him use to leave enough money to take care of the house and mi use to keep the place tidy till him come. In the mean time mi use to look job left, right and center. Mi write application after application. Mi go interview after interview.
Then one day mi get a letter from Scotia Bank say mi must report to work. A never so happy inna mi life. The day when the letter come Tony was in Miami and me one was at the house. Mi was so excited that a couldn’t stay inside. Mi just put on mi clothes and walk out, and jus’ wander up and down Kingston looking in shop windows and smiling at every body. Now mi would really have a chance to be what mi really want to be, to do what mi really want to do. A would work mi own money. A would pay back Tony and find a little place fi mi self...