I am out on the town again. This partying business is getting tired. I see the same people every weekend, whether in Unity, 3C’s or like tonight, Prince Hall. Kros Fyah are performing at this Red Fete (a party where you must wear red). Because there is a Bajan band performing, the club is not as packed as it normally would be. This Trinidad vs. all the other Caribbean countries foolishness annoys me to no end. Boston Trinis basically blank any other island. This is also reflected in the music the DJs play. 3 songs from Crop Over repeated all night long but that is it. The rest of the night we are “treated” to Trini music from every possible decade in lieu of newly released music from Dominica, St. Lucia. anywhere other than Trinidad.
I am in my usual fete uniform – a pair of tight jeans, a red shirt with a slit cut from collar deep into the chest area to draw eyes to the boobs and a pair of red Nine West heeled sandals. God, I am so basic.
Because of the crowd is unusually sparse, the bar service is fast, which is great for me. I don’t need to double up on drinks and can casually mosey to the bar for my rum. Back and forth I go, allowing me to socialise – chat to the DJs, catch up with high school friends and flirt all about.
I see Chad, a friend from high school who is Bajan. Cool guy, nothing romantic ever transpired between us. We chat for a bit and I buy him a drink (I must be drunk because I am buying someone else a drink!). We part with a plutonic kiss on the cheek.
Kros Fyah performs well as usual. Anne and I hang about for a bit. Since there aren’t that many people out tonight, we skip the usual post-fete pleasantries and make our way home.
The night was pretty much unremarkable.
I’m in the parking lot at the apartment complex where I live. Jesus, this car is so damn filthy. I’ll clean it detailed tomorrow at the Dominican car wash.
Oh, there’s Sal, we were introduced by his cousin and have fallen into a weird space – we’re friends (at least in my mind) but I think Sal wants a lot more from me, lust that I reserve form the Jamaican. Sal and I have spent a few minutes chatting. I excuse myself (1. I have to pee (rum bladder is the worst) and 2. I don’t want Sal to get the wrong idea.).
I am starting to remove my jewellery before the Jamaican calls me. My Nextel phone is holding on for dear life – I’ve thrown it so many times). He is outside and wants to come up. Here we go.
Of course I let him in. We get to my apartment front door. He tries to kiss me with weed and Hennessy laden breath. I am hesitant, which is unlike me.
“I am tired of you disrespecting me” he says
“What are you talking about?” I am so confused
“I saw you giving that corny mother fucker a drink”
“He’s my friend from high school”
“So? I know you bought him a drink to spite me”
“You’re high and delusional”
He punches me dead in my face.
Is this really happening Reds? Is a guy you have known for over ten years and been in and out of a relationship with in the process of hitting you?
Snap back to reality and I punch him back but my small framed fist is no match for his that labours daily as part of work.
“You can’t beat me. Who do you think you are?”
I hit him again as he continues to hit me.
“You CAN’T beat me”
Here we are. Engaging in something I have never previously experienced and vowed that I never wold. An activity that judged many women for enduring. I cry only just, not because of pain but because of shame.
“Let me see your face”
I turn to him.
“There’s no marks”
I remain silent.
I think the sun is beginning to rise outside. He was dropped off here by a friend.
“Reds can you drive me home please?”
We’re in my dirty car, driving back to his place. Floetry is playing. I am crying. He is talking but I can’t hear him. Why do I continue to disrespect myself by staying with him? He’s not the best looking man (he isn’t ugly either), he’s not the kindest and he certainly very cheap. I am not the prettiest of picks but I am not ugly. I am small again, having recently and consistently lost weight. Is this what some of my friends feel like? Is this normal? Is this what an adult relationship feels like? I know that I can push people, I know their buttons, I know their absolute triggers. But I don’t think I deserve this. What I have stooped to?
I bring myself back the present again.
“Reds, come inside”
Are we really at his house already? I don’t even recall the 20 minute journey and I am driving.
He grovels, insisting that we are supposed to be together and highlighting that I must be tired.
I leave him in front of his house and drive off, analysing the despair I willingly dragged myself into.
My friend asked me to write a narrative piece. This is the result and is fourth in the short story series, The Jamaican.
If you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, please get out and talk to your friends and family to get out. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, please seek help.
And please, if you are driving, don’t drink!
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