“Is Honey there the voice said…and as I turned to look outside.
There was a man with dreadlocks on a motorbike. He looked serious and as I stared at him, through the fence, I tried to search his features for recognition but there was none. I had no idea who the man was..
My aunt would not allow me to open her gate, and I could hear my uncle becoming irate at the idea that someone was outside on his lawn. I wasn’t sure if they were being overprotective or just ignorant, as my uncle scared me as a child; he was a strong disciplinarian, like my mother but a little more compassionate.
I forgot to mention he is my mums brother.
Well I approached the stranger on the motorbike. I tried to search his features for recognition but still even close up there was none. I was more curious as the man knew exactly where to find me, I didn’t think it was the brothers in Kingston as they didn’t yet know where I was. As I walked up to him he started giving me a half smile, you know the one you do when you not sure if you should be smiling, more like a grimace.
As I got closer he exclaimed
“I heard there was a person from England looking for me?”
Surprised, I waited for him to continue. “I am Desmond….(not real name)
Could this be the brother I thought was missing? My heart was beating in my chest you could almost see it through my clothes, but before I could answer he said to me.
“You look just like your sister”, he recoiled back as if in disbelief but kept smiling and shaking his head, repeating that I looked like my sister. He put his hand to his face and repeated the sentence again.
I recalled I hadn’t yet seen my sister, and I didn’t yet have a picture, so I was looking forward to see the resemblance myself.
“I am Desmond,” he said again. At first trust issues told me that he could be deceiving me , after all I was from United Kingdom with the diamonds on my thighs, and gold on my back. I smiled to myself, nervously and I tried to think of and ask a question.
“Do you remember when I was leaving for England,?” I asked.
“Yes as, if it was yesterday”. He said.
“You went in Papa van and I was running behind, holding my hat”. I was sad I never want you to go, and when I didn’t hear from you, I knew you forgot me”.
He went on to tell me exactly what clothes I was wearing and how my hair was plaited.
I did forget him to be honest, but I couldn’t tell him that due to memory loss, I had lost all recollection of him due to the catalogue of abuse I had endured.
Like in true movie style I quickly open the gate and ran into his arms, I had found my brother Desmond, (not real name), the one that was running behind the van when I was leaving Jamaica, the one my father said at the time, would miss me, the one my father said loved me. The one that was standing there in flesh.
It was hard to believe he was standing infront of me, and it wasn’t a dream. and for me he was the most handsome brother I had ever seen, (although looking back he really wasn’t). He was tough looking, he looked like he would defend me, he looked like the brother I didn’t want to be separated from. “D would be no match for him “, I thought. Firstly although D was a trainee boxer, Desmond was tall and slim and seemed like he was strong too, after all he was a dwelling Jamaican, living in the country.
And working in the mountains…
Instant love was born.
I hugged him so tightly shouting , “oh my God, oh my God”, Now there was that word again. “Oh my God”…. I noticed, like everyone else, I said those words often when I was excited or in trouble or just sad. But still at this time there’s was no understanding why. There was no redirection or direction to God or christianity. I guess the God word was just habit…at the time.
My aunt came outside to see what all the fuss was about, and said to him that she never knew Desmond was related to me. Desmond explained that his family lived less than ten minutes away. Well you can imagine, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was ecstatic not only did I find my brother, I was about to meet his family… He went on to say he had three daughters, ages eight, six and the baby one year old.
My aunt then said she never knew the three beautiful girls that she saw daily were his children neither did she know that Carly was his wife. I was beaming so hard I knew I must have looked stupid but I didn’t care. I was ecstatic and the good thing was that he appeared to share the same happiness as me.
Or was it because I was from UK, had I as a result become his prized possession?…
He said he had just come back from the mountains where he worked to make a living, he was a hard worker who provide for his family. D came out to meet him and explained to him that he heard a lot about him, but at least he could put a face to him. For some reason D had been actually fine with me whilst in Jamaica, although by now our relationship was going downhill, to many years of mental abuse and physical had taken its toll. But I thought whilst in Jamaica I would try and put that behind and focus on the current situation.
I found it fascinating that Desmond worked in the mountains, and I never questioned what he did up there….I was just proud to be apart of his world. I had this wonderful title of being his sister and I was proud.
I was to be called Desmond’s sister, from that day onwards. The words sounded beautiful in the air, I was someone’s sister, someone I could put a face to. It was ironic that I met him before my sister but for some reason a brother was far more important than a sister, at this time. After all how could a sister me a match for D?
I was thinking about me, as I turned and looked at D walking back into the home I thought.
“Yes, I would love for you to hit me now.”.. I smiled to myself.
This meeting felt very different than when I first met Rupert back in the UK. I assumed it was because Desmond was around my age, seven years older, or because I had sealed the memory of him running behind the van, crying or maybe it was my fathers words that he loved me.. Lots of maybe…
Whatever it was I felt safe in that instant. I felt a wall of protection had been built, or maybe it was what I wanted so badly that I created this sense of security in my mind.
After smiling so much, I thought my cheeks could have split away. When he said he would be back tomorrow and he would take me to meet his children. I watched in excitement as he got back on his motorbike and sped off, up to that point I had never seen a motorbike up close, but I was excited. I watched until he disappeared in the distant. The sound of his motorbike still in the distant long after he was gone from sight. It was a brief visit but I am sure we would be seeing each other again.
We turned and walked back inside, I could see D was upset as he knew he had never made me smile like that, oh well he’s only my brother after all….
The next day true to his word, my brother, he was back at the yard this time without the motorbike, he was dressed in a smart casual black suit with a white string vest, and had sun glasses on. I was unbelievable proud of my brother. D and I was ready and waiting when he arrived and we walked up the street, I realised as we reached his home that we had passed this house whilst visiting my father.
I was introduced to his family although they weren’t married, she was tall and very slim, I was quite surprised that he was with her as she seemed a lot older, but she was a nice person. His girls were very beautiful and well mannered. By now I was getting used to the homes in jamaica, They also lived in a run down building but unlike my father they were inundated with fruits on the land, and one could see my brother had provided for the family so they were happy, they had more than my father, but they were just as poor.
Happy but poor.
I was happy I had started to relax with my new family, but had not forgotten about my other family, my sister and the three brothers, they lived in Kingston which was over fifty miles away and unless they contacted me I had no way of contacting them, I couldn’t wait to meet them now, as my time in Jamaica was becoming better and better, naturally it was difficult for D to see his family as too many introductions were needed. Yes I had definately mastered my new word selfishness. In any case he wasn’t suppose to come, my aunt invited me. So you see resentment was definately kicking in.
Well it wasn’t my fault was it?
I desperately wanted him to leave and go see his family without me, yes very selfish indeed, but I was too happy, my father was here, my brother was here and now his children. Tearing me away was going to be extremely difficult.
As the days went by, I went back to meet the family, who always looked forward to see me excitedly running up the path shouting Aunty Honey! Aunty Honey! Even their mother and the girls were extremely beautiful each time. Their mum was always nice to me and she welcomed me into her home. She explained that my brother had not stopped smiling since he met me. After day three of spending all day with my new nieces and nephews. I was standing on the yard when a car pulled up, inside I noticed three men, the driver, and his passenger and another person at the back.