By the time I was 13 years old the need to belong became and obsession. I desperately wanted what others had that was a brother or a sister, an aunt or an uncle. A FREIND.
This is when I found a new word. Deceit.
I knew now what I had to do, I will tell others that I have a big family in Jamaica. That’s what I will do, I was excited with my idea. As a result my plan went into overdrive.
I went to one of the neighbors house, she had some beautiful daughters what we would term ” coolie”. In Jamaica. That was when a black man had a child with an Indian woman, or vice verse.
I found pictures of when they were young and I took them. I went to school the next day and told people that was my sister or cousin though I couldn’t remember. But, guess what the sister called Maureen, she found out what I did and told the children. I became a laughing stick. I didn’t stop there. A few months later. I saw a picture of a hound girl she may have been about 18years old. I decided to cut out the picture and again I took it to school.
Whilst sitting in the dinner hall, having my free dinners, I said it. “This is my sister”. “Oh, I know her, she was in the sixth form”, “that’s Sammy” was her reply. My lies was revealed. This time I abandon the conversation by saying, “I know! everyone tells me they look alike”. I said. That day I ate my lunch very quickly.
However, the need to belong was still there, so what did I try next? I found a picture of a man, this time. It was right there in my mummy’s Jamaican gleaner. She used to buy this paper every week to catch up on the Jamaica news. I noticed underneath the caption, was the name RAS KIRBY.
I carefully cut out the picture, then I got a piece of plastic and I carefully folded it over the picture to protect it. “My new brother”. i happily went to school the next day and told everyone that I had six brothers and four sisters. It sounded like a good number. I will definitely get the status I needed. In class that day I took out the picture, that was carefully placed in my jacket. “This is my brother”, I said. Not everyone believed me, but the ones who did made me happy. After a while of saying this was my brother, I actually started to believe it and I continued to live the dream. RAS Kirby was now officially my brother. I treasured this picture for a while. So today, I would like to thank RAS Kirby wherever you are, you helped me to have a temporary identity even though it was just deceit.
I almost fitted in with the children whom had siblings, but I was never able to let him collect me from school. My brother was at work was always my reply. It became harder to make up the stories about my brother and I. The next time they asked where my brother was. I told them he had gone back to Jamaica. After all, everyone who loved me was in Jamaica. I thought to myself. I hoped he would write to me..