Fiction Friday: Reunion by Chantel DaCosta (Part Three)

 

Happy Friday! Hello guys.

Hope all is well on this lovely Friday, I am so looking forward to getting some rest this weekend. I hope to get to bed early tonight, because I have to wake up super early tomorrow because I am participating in the Jamaica Reach 2 Recover Pink Run.

Today, I am sharing part three of Reunion, and I feel like I need a little advisory. On wattpad I have switched on the maturity button for the story. So please be advised this has strong language. Happy reading.


reunion

 

 

PART THREE

Two Truths And Lie

Jon-Michael leaves immediately, with an off-hand, “Lill, out front when you ready.”

And Mo and Mamma are busying themselves with food, serving, planning and cooking, so I guess I should follow, leave in formation, jump to her demands but I can’t seem to move. I am stuck.  Maybe this is petty, but I am stuck here, standing in this corner watching my mother. And as I watch her I feel a shitload of anger. And also I am scared, so I stand there, waiting and watching her, waiting for my mother to see me, to acknowledge me as me, to see that I am here.

But Mama continues with Mo, and Aunt Melba interrupts as soon as my courage to say something resurfaces. And as Mamma and Melba discuss the mento funeral band fees, Mo pauses and smiles at me.  Her sad smile that I have seen a hundred times. It is the smile of apology from someone who has done nothing wrong. A telling smile that those in the wrong will never acknowledge their guilt.

I rise and leave.  Outside of the kitchen, dining and living area, which are pristine and wide open, something out of lifestyle magazine, the rest of the house is a maze. This house built, redesigned and then transformed slowly into a mansion of sorts without any official permits, without any master builders’ vision, block by block, bags of cement, 4x4s, year by year, is strange puzzle piece. The original National Housing Trust standard two bedroom bungalow is swallowed by this two-storey fortress. I am lost in this space, housing three generations of Goldsons. I make my way through passage ways of bedrooms, bathrooms, many of empty and sparsely furnished, a single bed in one, another with just old stuffed chintz sofas, some the walls are bare, unpainted  and these rooms are empty save for a few boxes and a blankets.

Intuitively, I find my room. It is at the back of what was the original house, my room was the first addition to be made to the house. I smile at the memory of the thrill I felt at 13 when I first got my own room. I relished the freedom and privacy after years of sharing everything with Mo and Jon.  The room is a closet really, tucked away from everything else, I push back the pink door and step into 2002. Nothing seems changed. The frayed plum comforter is still on my bed, the room smells the same, lemongrass and furniture polish.

I sit on the bed, and try really hard to feel centred. I can do this, I can manage this weekend with my family. Hurriedly, I change into clothes that Mamma will deem appropriate ̶ loose slacks, long sleeved Henley cotton blouse and trainers. Covered and modest, as if modesty ever saved a woman from being violated.

I re-enter the kitchen so that I may secure Mamma’s approval. Begrudgingly she hmmm and nods in my general direction and I shocked as how easily I have fallen in line, again reduced to needing her attention and approval.

Outside and free from Mamma’s eyes and ears, Jon is emboldened.

“You no hot inna dat?” Jon asks while assessing my clothes.

“I’m fine.”

We all grew up being just fine. Fine when Daddy disappeared for weeks. And we were fine when Mamma ranted and raved at us. Fine when she condemned us as lazy, nasty, cussed our inability to keep the house clean. Fine when a whisper, or a laugh, or one of us getting sick ticked her off. At times it seemed that our very existence set Mamma in a rage. But the vicious verbal attacks and the thumps, switches or cables to our backs, arms and legs were better than the other side. The icy silence. The change was always so instant. Mamma raged on while cooking, cleaning, as she did the laundry and then out of nowhere the quiet would descend around us. In these periods Mamma simply stopped and we did too. We did not speak, did not touch, we did not eat. We waited until things were loud again because it was safer.

 “Jon. Wait.” I shout suddenly.

Before Jon can react, I am out of the car running up the hill, I dash through the house into the kitchen.

“Mamma why did you let him fuck me?”

Melba gasps and Mo is shaking her head a steady stream of nos.

“Mamma, why?” I am shouting now as I move toward her. Mamma seems unfazed when I strike her clawing her face.

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