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Election Day



So shall a woman lose her soul and gain political power?

It is so typical of us humans to salve our conscience by blaming someone else for our transgressions….

…Still I think if Christopher had not staggered back into my life, drunk and hurting… that night his father passed away… if I had not tasted and become addicted, I would have taken a different path….{{more}}

…I had stood with him… at his father’s grave. I had seen the battle in his eyes; as he warred with the demons that had been trying to destroy him all his life. I had felt a sense of responsibility to save him. I had ignored the guilt of our unauthorised union – which had become a regular occurrence….

…My school work had started to suffer. I would skip school to meet him. I would even sleep out. In the end Mrs Cooper pulled me aside and warned me to be careful. I didn’t listen to her. She came home one day and found me and Christopher in a compromising position. Needless to say, I got kicked out and had to end up living with Mommy again….

…It was like I was hypnotised and as I walked blindly into the arms of destruction; I had to be snapped out of my mesmerised state by something or someone…. That someone… that something would come when I least expected it….

I had never been a Carnival girl, even before I became Adventist. I never really liked crowds, so you would never find me in a fete or any of the Carnival shows. But now I had, as they say, ‘broken away’. Thanks to Christopher.

“Ah taking you to Queen show,” he had announced without really giving me the option to decline. Of course I could have turned him down; but at the time, I was like a puppet on a string. I was terrified of doing anything to rock the boat… terrified of losing him. So my submission was more or less indiscriminate and he was leading me into all ‘manner of evil’. That is, according to Sister Joyce – who had given me a good scolding one Wednesday night when, instead of being in church, she had found me at the roadside liming.

Anyway on a hot Friday night in July, I was walking into a crowded Victoria Park in an uncomfortably revealing dress that Christopher had purchased at one of the Syrian stores.

As I walked across, I scanned the crowd for familiar faces. I half expected Sister Joyce or one of the other church members to suddenly jump out of the dim and shout “what yo doing here?” Then I thought, well if they were here we were probably all merrily on our way to hell. Still I watched the show on edge.

“Relax,” Christopher had said at one point, stretching his arm around me; but I was as stiff as a board.

Afterwards, I was supposed to meet my cousin Brad, who was going to give me a ride home and save Christopher the trip to Mespo.

Brad was just approaching Sion Hill when I realised that I did not have my house keys. Hezron was not at home and I did not, under any circumstances, want to wake Mommy.

“Shucks Brad, ah tink ah lost me key.” But the very words sparked the memory of me handing the keys to Christopher when I had stopped outside my house to fix my shoes. Brad turned back and took me to Christopher’s rented flat in New Montrose.

Later I would sorely regret doing that. Why? Because I preferred to live in blissful ignorance…. Oh, the curse of being a woman, of feeling so incomplete without a man that one would do and endure a mountain load of grief and heartache – if it meant hanging onto hang on to that oh so invaluable commodity.

Tonight as the midnight hour of my election day approaches and I reminisce on the journey that brought me here. I ask myself the question again – should… can a woman be a good leader? I had googled it once and found an article that said that we were terrible at leading for a number of reasons. The most interesting ones: we are notoriously known for sleeping our way to the top; we have lesbian tendencies; we are not ruthless enough; our performance is linked to our menstrual cycle; we take business issues personally and we are too emotional i.e. we make decisions with our hearts instead of our head.

They are right about one thing; for the most part, my heart has been leading me. Almost every pivotal decision that had led me to running had been ordered by the heart.

That night when I had gone back to Christopher’s, my heart had been in charge. Even as my cousin had rolled up to his driveway and I had recognised the parked car from school. Even when my head should have added one and one – my heart had been busy inventing other explanations, other possibilities.

Maybe if my head had been leading, I would have saved my heart from the hurricane wreck that followed….

More next week….