My time in jamaica went quickly.
It appear I had a strong memory…or maybe love conquers all.
During the last few days I spent it at my brothers house (Desmond that is); he lived the nearest to my aunt, as a result we became closer. His children loved having me around and I loved being with them too. This was indeed a short visit especially as I had met so many of my family, that I couldn’t spend as much time as I would have liked; but I knew it was not going to be the last time I came to Jamaica.
D and I also spent a fairly good time together in Jamaica there was no violence and there was very little arguments if any. Although by now our relationship was just a regime, I was able to hold everything together especially as I was his wife and I knew my role. I was unhappy but I didn’t really see a future without him.
I guess I knew no better and was not mentally stable enough to do anything about it, after all where would I go?
As I wondered about my future my thoughts always went back to the fact that I would in any case be leaving for UK soon. I was determine to make the most of the few days that was left. As a result I visited kingston again to see the other brothers and spent quality time there getting to know the others, I spent a lot of time with my sisters two children a boy and girl they were young and we bonded straight away. I also met my other nieces and nephews, what was great they had all heard about me. In fact they grew up knowing about their Aunty in foreign…I was not forgotten. We would go kingston market together, taking in the sites like a real family. Yes, most times D came too, but like I said before I didn’t tell tell them what our relationship was like….
My sister well we were inseparable, from the day we spoke in the UK onwards we were so similar it was actually unbelievable. It was as if we were never apart. The brothers constantly made reference to how alike we were and they were so proud. What was particularly great was that I was able to spend quality time with my eldest sister alone; though not so much with my youngest sister. It was as if time stood still as my eldest sister had kept all my baby clothes and the pictures of us when we were small. She was such a sentimental person, and I enjoyed talking about old times. She showed me where I was born and talked about how I looked when I was born and how she had missed me as much as I had missed her, it was if we were twins, I couldn’t believe there could be another human being that was so much like me. Luckily my memory had return despite the years of abuse.
Time flew past quickly but we made sure we spent time with my father. I could tell by my fathers smile that this made my father extremely happy, having all his children around. I knew I had made his dream come true. During those times we created many memories and took many photographs. D and I also went back to see his own family and to be honest life was good.
Only problem was….
During this visit! I didn’t spend as much time with my younger sister, jealousy was still rife but I knew I would make it up to her somehow, I just needed to adjust to the fact that my dear father may have loved her more than me… But I will deal with this later I thought….
The days drew near until…
Sadly the time had come to an end as we made preparations the night before. My sisters wanted me to have the world, she made fish and pickle she gave me mangoes, we laughed at how it was not possible to bring it all to UK. Instead we sat and ate most of the sweet things. She bought souveneirs for all my children. she brought me clothes, it was crazy the love she showed me. She helped me make preparations for our flight back to the UK.. Oh yes…my brothers and sister gave me many things to take back to England, these items were treasured indeed.
I took an old rusty tin opener belonging to my father just to have something belonging to him. Of course I bought him a new one.
Desmond was sad to see me leave and he too gave me things to take back to the UK, with the promise we would correspond regularly. I somehow knew he would, the other brothers you could tell were not writers but I knew they would call…
One again I arrived at kingston airport’ different emotions this time and much older, different emotions than it was 1969. I recalled getting in the plane and refusing to wave to my father back then, even though I was six years old that memory had never left me, as I have regretted it ever since. This was especially as at the age I never imagined I would not have seen him for a long time. I looked at all the visitors with their luggage and children in tow, yes many emotions crossed my mind. This time as we embarked on our journey I made sure I waved to everyone, even though after a while I couldn’t see them, I continued waving frantically.
And with that the departure gate closed.
It was a smooth take off and with the plane now moving slowly and steadily we were able to relax as we journeyed on. I pressed my head back into the seat whilst looking at the images and videos I had taken over and over. D also remained silent., drinking his free alcohol that British Airways served in abundance so D was in his element. I had hoped that our journey would have changed him, that he would be more of a husband…but time would tell. We were both in thoughts, and I wandered what he was thinking about but I never asked. Maybe it was time for me to perform my duties and there was a lot of catching up to do.
As I drifted into deep thoughts I also thought of my children…. I knew they were looked after well…as I smiled to myself and quickly drifted off to sleep.
After a while we were woken up only by the instructions to put on our seat belts as we had hit turbulence. We passed throught this and the remainder of the journey back to the UK was quiet; I was relaxed and I felt like I had filled some memory gaps, in that short time in Jamaica. It was also like I was given new battery’s to face my life in the UK. I was also filled with much excitement too as I couldn’t wait to tell my neighbour and my best friend my experience..
I smiled to myself.
My thoughts also went back to my mother and how easily it was to have spent my life oblivious to the fact that I had a family after all. However, I still couldn’t understand her rationale for allowing me to grow alone. During my time in jamaica I knew that there were still many questions unanswered but I was sure in the time the jigsaw would fit into place.
I intended to find out…one of them was…
Why she wanted me to be alone? When I was not the only child in the family…what could have happen to her? Many thoughts continued to bombarded my mind as I drifted back to my sister again , I was happy at how easily it was to catch up on lost time it’s like we had never parted. What also made it easier was because she was six years my senior she was able to fill in all the good times of my life in jamaica… She too had an unfilled void I was her only sister.
My mind continued to be jumbled and cluttered with unspoken words, phrases my father used, the things my brothers said, laughter from my neices and nephews, the food, I recall thinking, I did not have a break at all, I was exhausted as there were too many thoughts coming through too many questions. After several hours of flying I also drifted off to sleep, this time from mental exhaustion …I was only woken from the sound of the captain voice saying..
“Welcome to the UK,
“those of you who are visitors, hope you enjoy your stay, and those who live here welcome home”.
This would be the first time I felt sad. England was not my home…I just lived there. I felt trapped.
We had arrived…I thought of the UK, and my children. My best Freind my neighbour; But I knew life in UK for me would be different, I was somebody, and as I started to plan my next journey to Jamaica without D… I thought
“Which brother would come to England with me” … I needed defence,…