Special Feature
February 11, 2011
Election Day

A fictional series

Last week:

…Before you knew it, Christopher’s name was all over the place….

“Me hear he tief an get send back,” I overheard Miss George telling Mommy….

…Christopher had given me his version the other night.

“My aunt threw me out,” he’d explained….

“I started smoking pot and I dropped out of school…. Then I got arrested for shoplifting…. I was fifteen at the time so I was handed over to social services. They put me in a home…I hated it. I ended up being bullied and getting into fights…

A few weeks ago I met with my social worker… I begged her to send me home… I just felt I needed to come back to try and figure out everything. I need your help…{{more}}

I went to talk to the head teacher at Kingstown High and she kindly agreed to allow me to attend form five and sit my O’Levels….”

In the weeks that followed, Christopher didn’t seem to have time for anyone else…

Everybody had assumed that we were an item; but the truth is our relationship remained platonic for a long time… until the evening of my sixteenth birthday…

My name was not read out in assembly. I had slipped all the way down to fifth place in my class.

A few months before, I would have felt like it was the end of the world; but school had begun to play second fiddle to my relationship with Christopher. Suddenly, people who had never bothered to give me the time of day were inviting me to their parties. I had had an intoxicating sip of what it felt like to be accepted and part of a group; but tonight it was going to be about just the two of us.

It was my sixteenth birthday and Christopher had promised to take me somewhere special. We were still just buddies. Though we spent so much time together, he’d never asked anything more of me than friendship.

We’d spoken about the day we’d lost our brothers… the day the river almost took us away. We had visited their graves. He’d held onto my hand tightly and we had both cried.

The truth is that I was madly in love with him and every time we were together I wished with all my heart that he would ask me to be his girlfriend – but it never happened. I certainly was not going to be the one to make that move – because it was ingrained in me that that was unladylike. We damsels were to wait patiently to be asked. So I did.

Then the night of my birthday came and he took me to Rooftop and bought me a roti and a red JU-C and afterwards we strolled down to Bottom Town and sat behind Tokyo wall – looking out at the black sea and listening to the sounds of the sleepy town behind us.

We ‘d started talking – a haphazard conversation that had no theme or purpose other than to try and get a steer on the invisible attraction that was pulling us together like a mega strong magnet.

“You remember how we used to hold one another when we were too scared to sleep,” he had suddenly said as he’d drawn me into a close embrace. My stomach had done a thousand cartwheels. Anxiety and joy had heralded the grand arrival of my first kiss.

Then as soon as it had started… it was over. He had sprung up from his seat as if he had been burnt…. The sudden distance had confused me and caused a sharp pain to knife through my heart…. Suddenly all I could see was his back as he stood and faced the sea in front of us.

“Kita I can’t do this to you. I care too much about you…”

His words were like giant hands shaking my world out of orbit. I was dumb. When my silence persisted he’d looked back at me. Even in the dark I could see the shine of tears on his eyes.

“I’m a mess and I am going to just end up making a mess of you too,” he had declared.

“You are not a mess… I love you,” a second after I’d sputtered out the words I was mentally kicking myself in the shin.

“Kita I have son in Canada.”

His announcement ended with a firm full stop that crashed into my dreams and hopes and crushed my heart into tiny fragments.

“My life is just too complicated and I don’t want to hurt you or for anything to affect our friendship.” Talk about bolting the stable door after the horse was already gone and ‘pelting’ down the road.

It had been a sad end to what was supposed to have been an exciting evening. He had taken me home and as we had said goodnight…. I had said goodbye to him in my heart.

After he’d left I’d gone walking in the moonless night. I had ended up outside the Adventist church where the crusade was still in full swing and the voice of the preacher was echoing past the boundaries of the church.

“I know there is somebody out there who is tired of fighting… broken!

There is somebody out there who has been trying to fix everything themselves and who has finally realised that they can’t….

Well guess what… the potter is waiting with open arms – to put you back together again. To replace your broken heart with a brand new one and to provide a bed of spiritual rest…. Won’t you accept his invitation?”

His words hit a pause button and I stood in front of the church entrance surveying my life… tempted to run away and equally… tempted to walk inside….

More next week…