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  • Love Story In Two Parts
  • Jacqueline Johnson (bio)

I see him that first morning chopping canes and say to myself, “yes Father God, that is the man I want.” To see him muscles moving with that cutlass; I couldn’t help but stand under the big cotton tree and watch that man work. I was on my way to Kingston that bright Monday and had on my wide brim straw hat, the one with the broad yellow and red ribbons around it, the ribbons streaming down my back; and I had on my white muslin dress, the one that draw in at my waist to show off my shape. Him tell me later that when him look up and see me that first time him heart nearly jump out of him mouth. Him say the way the sun hit my skin, him just never see anything like that before. When I see him looking at me, I turn my back so him could see how God bless me; fan and shoo mosquitoes, spinning and turning so him could see everything. And although him pretending like him not looking I could feel this man’s eyes all over my body, and just that feel of him eyes touch something buried deep inside me, a feeling I long forgotten I had. I was on my way to Kingston to collect a package that my daughter in America send for me, the one that work in the hospital in the South Bronx as Registered Nurse and have two children for a nice American man. On the bus my mind was rippling and bending like the tops of the wild cane plants, swaying back and forth with all the questions I had about this man. Where him come from? How long him working at the plantation? How can I meet him? I never did care that from the start people were saying him young enough to be my son, and I take the cussing from my friend Icie asking how I could leave my good-good husband for this little boy. I say, “Cho Icie you don’t understand, you see at my age (I was 57 at the time) I now just make up my mind to have some fun in the world, and I don’t care what people want to say anymore.”

So me and Mr. Landan bruk up. Him take all the animal them plus most of what in the savings book and move back to him mother house. I will always be thankful that Mr. Landan never make a scandal of the situation, just acted as if him expecting this move long time now. I get the house plus the old red open-back van. This was the van from the first years of our marriage when Mr. Landan would put me in the front and together we drive to market to sell the things we grow in the fields. This was before the children start to come; then the van start giving itself so much trouble after that, needing this part, needing that part, before it just one day break down and refuse to leave the yard. I then had to take the country bus to the market with the produce by myself. For years now no one so much as touch that van. The day Mr. Landan moving out him stand for a long time looking over the house and the land. Him eyes come to rest on the van, and ‘though I know him well vex, in him own manner him never say anything, just gather up the last of him belongings, turn, and walk out of the yard. [End Page 91]

The first thing David say when him come to the house is, “Mathilda, you going have to get rid of all these old furniture, too dark and heavy, even if is by my own two hands, you need some new furnitures.” So we fling out the old furniture and we start from scratch together. I felt like I was sixteen again and going to live with my first man. That night we sit down on the kitchen floor making new curtains. The next day...

Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6512
Print ISSN
0161-2492
Pages
pp. 91-98
Launched on MUSE
1999-01-01
Open Access
No
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