I contacted my brother after a week as I wanted to keep the communication going. I also wanted him to be a part of the wedding preparations.. I was slightly disappointed with my brother only because I felt I was unable to tell him about D because, they both acted as old as each other. They also got along very well, it was too soon and I was embarrassed.
As a result I pretended that life was good and I was marrying the man of my dreams, maybe D.. would, change maybe I will be happy, and maybe his family would like me and I would be accepted. Although at the back of my mind. I knew I could never be accepted the way I wanted to be. I was always bombarded with these thoughts and no matter where I was or who I was with I always felt lonely. It was as something was missing from my life. But I didn’t know what it was, I was merely existing. My Life always seemed meaningless. Although I tried to work out what was troubling me.
I never could.
My neighbor had a sister that would visit often, and they were very close. My best friend had sisters too, I wanted that so badly and every time I saw them together I wanted what they had. It seemed crazy to be obsessed over someone I couldn’t have; but as hard as I tried to stop, I could not get rid of the thoughts. My heart ached, the same way it did in secondary school and I could never understood when they had arguments, I just could not understand why sisters couldn’t get a long but I had played out my life in the fairy stories I had read, where sisters were precious,but I had nothing to make comparisons. The longing for a sister in particular of my own continued to be an integral obsession.
But something was about to change…
After a forthright had passed, I called my brother Rupert and as I didn’t have a telephone he was waiting for my call. He said he now had in his possession a telephone number for one of the brothers whom he communicated with in Jamaica. His name was Vertel.
By now I really thought I was going mad and that Rupert was playing games with me. I had also started to experience anxiety, I wasn’t sure if it was the pending wedding or the fact that there was a possibility, the the jigsaw pieces were coming together. Nevertheless, I eagerly took the phone number down. I was told to call the following day at four o clock pm Jamaica time ; this would be one of the longest 24 hours of my life. I spent the whole day looking at the clock. I couldn’t eat that day. Most of the words I had learnt over the years were fitting into place nicely.
However, that day my new word was cautious.
Protect your heart said the voice within…The time came to make the call and I brought with me as much change as I could for the payphone. I knew by now to call Jamaica would be extremely expensive.
I dialed the number and waited. The ringing tone in my ear hummed, repeatedly.
But due to perseverance I continued to call. After several attempts a gentleman answered.
“Hello Honey”, He said. Sorry for the delay but it took a while to connect.
Honey!!. that was my nickname. The way he said my name, and without being sentimental, was nice. I was in dream land. We had a lengthy conversation. He called me his little sister, and said he never thought he would hear from me again. The words that were being used, were alienated to me, I couldn’t take it in, all my life in UK, I had waited for someone with my blood to want me to miss me, I had created a brother from photos I had cut from a newspaper. I had treasure RAS Kirby photo as if he was my real brother. Now here I am with a man across the water claiming to be my brother, and claiming to MISS ME!
How can this be?
He said I had five brothers and a sister who misses me very much. she was four years senior.
Everything else he was telling me sounded like a different language. but the word SISTER had a new meaning.
Oh my goodness! I had a sister.
A real sister, who knew me, he said she missed me and spoke about her little sister(ME) everyday. Now as I type these lines, my eyes fill with tears (RIP) this is my sister who I waited all my life for. who became my heartbeat. whom taught me LOVE… the missing link.
But here I was in alone in the UK…
“Please could you send me some pictures” I begged, before coming off the phone. It appeared that I was destined to be unhappy, the gypsy lady was right. As I recalled all that happened over the years, I started believing…
I was cursed.
I started wondering who could have done this to me…after all I was child when I left Jamaica.m I couldn’t understand how one person could be unhappy and abused for over twenty years and for every year of that twenty years.
Now at the stroke of a phone call my life Journey was about to take a massive leap.
“Maybe the curse was broken”?. I thought.
But was this worth waiting for?
That would be the question?
I was again surprised when true to his word, an airmail letter arrived, One month after our conversation. My postman was getting used to me standing at the door waiting for such letters. It had become an habit and on this day I had the biggest smile.
As usual I tore open the envelope and ran upstairs to the toilet my solitary place, As the photos fell out one by one, I saw her my beautiful sister. I fell on my knees and I wept, a gut wrenching cry. I cried for all the years of pain, I cried because I really had not one but several brothers, I cried because I wanted to go back home. But as I cried while flickling and flicking through the photos.
I had a flasback. It was gone with a blink, like a damage radio frequency. But flickers of colours came across my mind. I looked at the pictures again.
This was indeed my brother Vigg. I remember him, I shouted out I remember him, his name was Artrin. suddenly the memories that were suppressed for so long was coming back. Memories I didn’t know existed. I recalled he use to buy me icecream, it was like frozen vanilla ice cream on a stick they called it fudge, and he use to put me on his back, he was my favorite.
I also remember my father saying.
“Stop spoil the Pickney” speaking to Artrin.
The visions were becoming clearer. He had my dads ears that stuck out, I remember he had a nickname. The memories were coming thick and fast, as if I was watching a film played out in my mind.
I felt light headed and so I laid on the floor.
Suddenly! It dawned on me someone was missing.
I had another brother. I remember now, he was the one running behind the car when I was leaving for UK. I remember my father saying he loved me and that he would miss me. As my memory came back. I could now see my father in the car, clearly. He was talking to the driver. I even remember the car it was blue pick up van, I was seated at the back and my father was in the passengers side. I could see the prominent white mountains on either side as the car whizzed past to Kingston airport. This was now clearly etched in my mind just as it was on the first day of arriving to the UK in 1969.
My brother running, yes I remembered. It was as if I was in a trance as I tried to put all the jigsaw pieces together in my mind. But try as I might I didn’t recognise him in the picture.
I was a clever six year old, and for that day as I stood with the photographs in my hand. I was six years old once more and I was happy. I was wearing a white dress, I remembered.
I continued recalling the events of that day. I could see him with a rimmed hat, then I saw him put his hand on his head to steady the hat as he continued running after the van. Something told me there wasn’t a picture of him.
I needed to know who he was.
I needed to ask, I needed to find him.
“He was the one would protect me”, I thought. Not Rupert I felt he was too old and clearly not a rebel. In my heart this brother would, and I needed to find him.
My memories that been supressed for almost twenty years was not erased.
I ran outside and ran next-door.
“Matty Matty open the door” I shouted.
she came to the door and ask “who is dead” and we both laughed as always I showed her the pictures and she was so happy for me. She then said
“yes, Good Mr Man him will think twice about hitting you”.
I had stopped telling her after the last incident, but I think she guessed, and I changed the subject.
I was ecstatic about finding family but they were only pictures at the moment. Although at this time in my life they were enough. I no longer had to tell anyone I was an only child. It felt like I was part of a secret society. I was no longer alone. Even at my age with five children, I still had an obsession, but on that day I felt I was no longer in bondage in my mind.
It dawned on me I was never alone, I was stolen and brought to the UK.
Why? I found out much later.
The obsession I had felt was not an obsession at all, it was a child’s mind. I was so abused, beaten , sexually abused and raped I had become frightened. I had craved protection from the brothers and sisters I had left behind. The ones whom had protected me, when I was small. But as a child the abuse was too much to bear, the beatings had created memory loss for twenty years. The term was called disasociated amnesia.
The fake brother I had created, the one I had been bullied about, the sister I pretended to have, they were in my mind because they were very real. I had no time to think happy thoughts, and so the memories were suppressed.
They were locked away… the pictures I received today was the key to unlock the doors of my mind.
I didn’t mind performing my sexual duties that night, because now I had a new focus. As I laid there and felt the sweat from D drop onto my face, and smelt the Alcohol on his breath as he pounded away. I pretended I was back home walking side by side with my sister….
The next day I picked up the pen and Paper.
My dear Father, when these lines reaches you I hope they fnd you in the best of health, Papa, …………please tell me more about my brothers and sisters…. Rupert found them…