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Windy Valley Secondary

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27.JUNE.08

TRIALS OF THE YOUNG AND RESTLESS

by Shane Ann Connell
(edited by Sharmal Connell)

“No Sharpie, put a condom on …please” pleaded Susan.
Sharpie sucked his teeth.. “What for?” the deep voice bellowed at her, “You know me can’t feel anything with that ting on.” {{more}}
“But Sharpie you nah hear of HIV?”
“You saying I have AIDS?” he yelled angrily.
“No…no… it’s…”
“Look nuh gel, just get up off me bed and go to school. Yo teacher them probably wondering wey you dey.”

As Susan dressed in her school uniform, the thought of unprotected sex hounded her. Her uncle had caught the disease from his wife. She could still remember his haunting dying words, “Protect yourself before you wreck yourself.”

“Look honey,” said Sharpie in his sweet sultry voice. “Me and you are going to be married soon, so we nah have to be bothered with dat.”

Marriage, contemplated Susan, sitting at the front seat of Sharpie’s van. She knew her father would never approve of their relationship. But Sharpie wasn’t a bad man, he was giving herself and her mother money. “It doesn’t matter what my father thinks”, she thought, “He’s never been around to look after us”.

Standing by the school gates, Susan saw her best friend, Miriam. Miriam envied her best friend. Susan had it all, the looks, the brains, and the boyfriend. She would do anything to trade places with Susan. If she were to find a way to take Sharpie away from Susan, then she could get away from home and the unwanted attention of her father. Something made the bottom of her stomach twist with disgust – her own father. She was safe at school for now. What she really needed to do was to find a way to break up Susan and Sharpie.

“Miriam?” a soft voice broke her train of thought. It was Ras – the brightest boy in the school. His neat dreadlocks were tied back to reveal his deep dark soulful eyes. He regarded her solemnly. Ras knew she was lost in her own world again. He traced her staring back to Susan and Sharpie.

“What do the girls see in that man?” he quizzed.
“He’s sooo loving” said Miriam dreamily.
“Looooooooooving every woman he can find,” Ras remarked. Miriam did not reply; she knew Ras was right. Sharpie did not believe in one woman to one man, but rather one man to many women. It’s a pity that Susan couldn’t see this.

Ras knew that Sharpie was a man who preyed on innocence. But why should he be surprised by Miriam’s response, he thought. She never considered him other than a friend, someone to do her homework, and she knew that he wanted more. Besides why would a respectable girl like her go out with him, a poor Rasta? Her father is a well known ‘respectable’ lawyer. Miriam’s father already had the notion that all Rastas were Ganja smoking troublemakers. But Ras knew that Miriam’s father would be wrong to judge him against the typical stereotype – this Rasta- he thought, – this Rasta is going to make it as a doctor.

“Oh no look over there, it’s Susan’s dad” said a worried sounding Miriam.
“Ley we go warn Susan”, Ras replied, “she would surely get in trouble for this.”

As Ras moved over to signal a warning to Susan, Miriam rebuked him, “No”. No, she thought to herself, maybe this is the way to break up Susan and Sharpie. Susan’s Dad was well known for his temper. “No, we be doing her a favour if her dad finds out. We both know that Sharpie is no good for her”.

Ras looked over to Susan. Whatever warning he was going to give her was going to be too late. He winced when Susan gave Sharpie a kiss. He looked over to Susan’s father. Her father had a look on his face that read murder.

As Susan motioned to step out of the van, she was shocked to find her father standing at the wayside. “Sharpie, it’s Daddy!,” said Susan panicking. “Drive.”

Sharpie refused to drive off. “Me nah ‘fraid of him” Sharpie said coolly. It was too late, the showdown between her father and Sharpie was about to take place right outside the school gates…

To be continued next week.

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