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Election Day

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A fictional Series

Last week:

Two more seats!! Oh my goodness I might actually win this election. Then what?

“You have to sell your soul to the devil to be a politician…” my brother had said when I’d first told him I would be running.

Does he have a point? After my campaigning experience, I am beginning to think it is a camel and a needle eye scenario.{{more}}

…It was actually active Christianity that had sealed my decision to run…. I became Sabbath school secretary and joined the community outreach group…. I gained a new perspective. I made a decision that one day, by the grace of God, I would make a real difference.

…I continued to excel at school…. I ignored Christopher…. He had tried on many occasions to repair our friendship; but I had continued to give him the cold shoulder.

…I was glad when high school was behind me. I had done myself proud with 9 ones… I was desperate to get out of St.Vincent. I wanted to go to university in America; but I had no money for that – so I had to go to sixth form.

…I was determined to get an Island scholarship; but as always, things get in the way. In this case the ‘thing’ was just over six feet tall with curly hair and a heart-melting smile….

It had been a year since I had been attending A’ level college. I was a straight A student; despite the fact that my economics teacher Mr. Jarvis had left us high and dry in the middle of the term to take up some big job in Barbados and the college had not managed to find a replacement.

I didn’t mess about with school and I was finally able to really focus on my studies without interruption. This was mainly because one of my teachers from High School, Mrs Cooper, who was single and lived in a three bedroom house in Ratho Mill all by herself, had taken me in. Actually, she had more or less adopted me – without the paperwork. She did not have any children of her own and she liked the fact that I was quiet, respectful and bright.

What a change it was from the cramped, filthy, smoke-tarnished dwelling in which I had spent most of my life. The house was always spick-and-span and smelling of Mr Clean and freshly done laundry. For the first time in my life, I had access to healthy, balanced meals; a computer and the peace, quiet and space I needed to study. But the best thing about living with Mrs Cooper was that I had my very own room with pink curtains, a small double bed and a cupboard with more space than I knew what to do with.

The first few nights I had gone to stay with her, I hadn’t slept. I’d felt out of place… too dirty to live in such pristine conditions. I had also felt guilty that I had left Hezron behind. It seemed wrong – like I had betrayed and abandoned him. I’d felt ashamed that I did not miss the sight of my bedraggled mother. But then I had reminded myself that her condition was not my fault.

I used to go home every weekend – mainly to attend church and see Hezron. It was on one of these visits that my paths would once again cross with Christopher… one Saturday night. I should not have been home; because it was Easter weekend and church had a camp in Sandy Bay – which I should have attended. Hezron, who had recently been baptised, was at the camp. Mommy was over by her boyfriend. I was home alone and quite alarmed when I heard a banging on the front door.

I unlatched my bedroom window and looked out. I saw the figure of a man, slummed against the door. I was scared; but he suddenly staggered back into the weak glow of the crested moon and I realised it was Christopher. He looked across, in the direction of my window.

“Kita?” My name was short and breathless. “Open ge door nuh,”.

‘Oh my goodness he is drunk’, I thought, as I ran toward the living room to let him in. My hand paused over the door handle. I wondered about the wisdom of opening the door. I had not seen him for months. He had buckled down at school, passed his subjects and was working at the Treasury. Last I heard he was trying to get to go and study.

“Kita pleash le me in nuh…” he begged again. I turned on the light and opened the door and he stumbled in – almost knocking me over.

He was renk. Alcohol and some undefined but offensive odour charged in with him; assaulting my nostrils and churning my stomach. His clothes were wet and muddy. It was not raining; so I could only assume that he had just crawled out of a ditch – literally.

“Shorry Kita, but ah had to shee yo tonight… he gawn ah nuh… deh tek him” I was just about to ask him to clarify the nonsense he had just uttered when he suddenly lunged outside gagging and retching….

More next week…