Page 3 - index
P. 3

Uncle John and Sister Martha had their own children, my half-

brother William and half-sister Jess, who were five and three respectively.
They were well fed.

Sister Martha would give me just enough money to get to school
and back. I couldn’t have walked and saved the bus fare because the

school was just too far away. Besides, with no breakfast, I probably
wouldn’t have had the energy.

Lunch only cost about two Jamaican dollars, but Sister Martha

didn’t give me anything for it. A typical menu included delicious Jamaican
patties––a kind of meat pie the thought of which would make my stomach

bellow. As for the sight or smell of them, I did my best to avoid it. I’d have
loved to have found some evening job to earn money to buy food;

however, I was just a school child, and I couldn’t have found anything at
that age which would have earned me more than it cost to get to work.

When I was young, I really believed that Sister Martha didn’t have

sufficient money to give us two dollars for lunch. But I know now that what
she was telling us was a lie. She did have enough for the cheap yet

nourishing food you could get in the school canteen; she just didn’t want to

give it to us. I’m not saying she actively wanted us to starve. It was more
that she didn’t care enough to be bothered. The way she saw it, we

weren’t part of her life; we belonged to the past, and if she’d heard
sometime during recent years that we’d died in Friendship in some

accident or another on the farm, I don’t think she’d have shed too many

Maybe she’d have secretly been glad that we were out of her life.

However, we were there, in her life, in her house, and disturbing the
security of those who mattered: William, Jess, Uncle John, and her. At

least that is how it seemed to Sheron and me because that was how she
made us feel.

So when my classmates at the Donald Quarrie Secondary School
went to the canteen to eat, I walked outside alone to look out to the sea,
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7