I picked up my two girls and started walking again. After walking for ages I arrived at my destination, ironically it was on the same road as my first school. (Remember Princess Frederica). It seemed like yesterday that I was at the school. my mind wandered onto my best friend. I had not seen her now for three years. I had learnt a new word though courage and I used that word to walk to his house; two kids in tow and a black bag. After two days I must have looked a mess.
I knocked the door, with courage, and D answered. “Can I stay with you a while please” I asked. He looked shocked but I didn’t know why, I thought it was because I was at his front door. Naturally he said yes, there was no hesitation. There was just a few questions. like “what happened to your face” “did he do that to your eyes”. I said nothing. The first thing I wanted was a bath in my Dettol of course. After I had settled the babies down. I asked D, if I could have a bath. I went in the bathroom and set the bath, while he played with the babies. Once the bath was set, I took off my clothes and stepped into the bath. The water was too hot to begin with, so I sat there until my body became use to the bath water. I was just thinking as usual. The smell of the Dettol lingered in the air. I lay down in the water but jumped back out quickly. This wasn’t because the water was too hot, but the water and the Dettol was stinging my body as if there were open wounds.
I wasnt able to observe my wounds, over the last few days. In fact I was oblivious to them. However, now I was relaxed I was aware, I was in pain, I went to the mirror and then I saw my face. I had no mirror before. I was shocked, to say the least, at the stranger looking back at me. My eyes were bloodshot, my cheeks were swollen. My neck had marks from where he grabbed me. I sat back in the water in pain and cried my eyes out, I cried from the belly like a wounded animal.
I didn’t want to come out the bathroom, now I knew what I looked like. Eventually I came out, D said nothing, we sat in silence. I then got up and bathed my babies. It was a good moment, I remembered how my babies laughed as if they were also free. D. gave me one of his shirts to wear and prepared food for me and warm milk for the girls. It was the first time they had anything warm to eat in two days. I had walked to D.. the only place I knew.
I recall I was comfortable with D. He seemed like such a kind person. I was determined I was not going back to Eric. D was able to make me feel comfortable for the first time in a while. He was the opposite. He didn’t smoke marijuana and he wasnt a gambler. It felt like I was living with a big brother. It was almost like a safe house.
After spending a few months with D, we became an instant family of four. It wasn’t planned, I think D was just glad I was back. I felt like I was on a roller coaster as my life was moving so fast. I tried to get a property from the local council. It was easier than and luckily no questions were asked. In any case as mentioned I was afraid of authority. I thought I could move in with D if I got my home. This meant D would give up his property. I recall his mother was far from pleased, and she referred to me as ” eat and left”. “Gwann back to you eat and lef” in Jamaican patois, she would tell her son when we visited. I felt so dirty. She meant I was spoilt like an apple that was eaten and left on the shelf . I was very scared of Ds mum. I often also felt younger than my 17 years, especially around her. It was as if I was always that seven-year old, only this time I was a seven-year old with two children.
There was still one major thing missing from my life. I wanted brothers and sisters, and just to make my pain that bit unbearable. D had many brothers and sisters. In fact he had five sisters and three brothers. He was the first son for his mum and dad. So it was difficult for dirty me, the 16-year-old with two children. I felt very uncomfortable around the family. I knew I was not good enough for D. The family also made it very clear.
I recall many times I would look at myself in the mirror in the toilets, with tears streaming down my face. I would laugh at my crying reflection. I would tell myself you are ugly, you are a fool, you have a big nose, nobody loves you, I would constantly torture myself. I then started self harming, I would pick at my skin until it bleed. Was I on the brink of madness? I never found out. I do know that my friend anxiety had been around over nine years, and since my mummy forced me to see the dead body. It became difficult to suppress her most times. Although being with D somehow helped.
After tasting a bit of the so-called good life with D. I felt it was time to put my plan into action, crazy as it seemed I had this plan from I was in the past abusive relationship. I wanted to be pregnant. I didn’t want to be pregnant for Eric though and at the time my immature mind didn’t think it was wrong. I thought a baby with someone else would keep him away.
However, before I could put my plan into action. I missed a period. I wasn’t happy but I knew it was me and my children’s meal ticket to freedom. “I must be pregnant again” I thought. A tiny smile appeared on my face. This time there was no nurse Dowling to help, so I did what I thought was right. I dressed my two children, I never went anywhere without my babies, and I went to the bus stop. D was at work. So I followed the bus route……I knew exactly where I was going….