The Amateur Investor and Baby Father

by Stredwick
The Amateur Investor and Baby Father
Austin Mitchell
             Philbert felt relaxed as he lay in his sofa in his rented small side of house in Cassia Park Gardens. It was a Saturday morning and he had eaten his breakfast already. His woman, Yasmin, had gone to the market, Downtown, Kingston, to buy food. Phil didn’t think he was the marrying kind. He had three children with three different women. He didn’t know how he could be relaxing when he had to virtually support three other women besides the one he lived with. None of the women who had children for him was working. Though they had children for other men he knew that he was the only one who was giving them anything substantial for his children. His cell phone rang and he picked it up and pressed the call button. Sedeka  was on the line. His daughter, Deka, with her was three years old and going to basic school.
          “The little money, you gave me finish already.
           “It was supposed to last for two weeks. How come it finished so quickly?”
           The money had lasted five days to be exact.
          “Mean guy, you are spending money on your other children. I’m not going to stay and let Deka go to school hungry and without clothes or books.”
          “You’ll have to wait until I get paid in two weeks time.”
         “What will happen to her in the meantime?”
         “You should have thought of that before you spent off the money.”
        “If I don’t get some money from you by Monday, I’m going down to the family court,” she threatened.
          Yasmin returned from the market just as Cassie called. He went to the back of the house to answer her.
              “Worthless guy, the little money that you gave me finish already. When can I come for some more?”
            “I don’t have any money and I won’t be getting paid until month end.”
         “So what do I give Kira to eat until month
end? Why do you go about the place getting women pregnant and you know you can’t afford it?”
        “You knew how many children, I had before we started talking.”
       “So, now you’re blaming me. I’m coming for some money and I’m bringing Kira with me. If I don’t get the money, I’m leaving her,” she told him and ended the call.
         When he came around the front, Yasmin asked.
       “Who were you talking to on the phone?”
       “Nobody, that would interest you.”
       “It’s my money I have to be spending to buy food for the three of us. Ariela isn’t your child and you’ve never given me anything to give her. Sometimes I’m tempted to go to Waynie for money for her. It’s only because I don’t want anything more to do with him why I don’t do it.”
           “I give you enough money. It’s you who don’t know how to spend it.”
           “That little money can’t do a thing. I’m sorry I took you up with all that baggage.”
            Phil hissed his teeth and went to sit on the back veranda. He was in deep thoughts as to what would happen to his investment. When his mother died seven years ago she had left him and his brother her house in Pembroke Hall. He and his brother were always at odds. They had agreed to sell the house and share the proceeds equally. This was completed eighteen months after her death.
              A year later Phil heard about Dickson
Chung Investments. He checked it out and realized that in another three or four years he could double his investment. So he had taken the plunge and was please that he had take the plunge and invested in Dickson Chung.
          He was in negotiations to buy a house Uptown, but the sale fell through when the owner who lived abroad, said she wasn’t ready to sell as yet.
            People had recently become very jittery after several such schemes had gone under. Only last month Notice Investments, reputedly one of the best run schemes on the island went under. When he went up to Dickson for his money they told him to come back in a month’s time.
          Sedeka, Raine and Cassie all threatened to take him to the family court. In fact they threatened to bring the children down to his workplace unless they got money for the week.
          Raine actually brought her son, Dominic, down to his office. He had to whisk her away, borrowing some money from one of his co-workers.
           When he got paid that month-end the women were down on him for their allowances.
           On Monday of the following week there
was a bombshell announcement. Dickson Chung Investments had gone under! The next morning when Phil woke up, he was in a hospital bed. He was on a drip and his head hurt like hell.
             Visiting time, Yasmin and Ariella came to look for him as well as several of his work colleagues. Yasmin gave him the good news, he hadn’t suffered any psychological trauma and would be okay.
            Lying in his hospital bed he had time to reflect. After the house was sold and he got his part of the money, everybody told him that Dickson was a good prospect. So he had put all his money there. Within two years friends were urging him to pull his money. But the turnover was huge and he knew that if it stayed another two years he could buy two houses. That was what he had always dreamed about, having a house in Portmore and one Uptown.
             He was released that Thursday and was back at work by Monday. He showed no ill effects and for that he was thankful.
           Sedeka and Cassie took him to the family court. The female judge admonished him for having so many baby mothers. She ordered that a social inquiry be done.
           Two weeks later he was back in court.
          “You actually have three baby mothers.
What’s the matter with you, young men? Why are you fathering so many children?”
         Despite his protests the judge set the payments so that he could barely survive. She paid scant attention to the fact that he was just a junior broker at Daniel Wesley Insurance Brokers.
        “That judge is a wicked woman. Those girls have children for other men. I can bet that you’re the only one giving them any money.”
           Just like the judge, she blamed him for getting so many women pregnant.
         The weeks came and went until one day he was called to the
offices of Dickson Chung Investments. The clerk gave him a check for just about twenty percent of his money.
       “When  will I get the balance of my money?”
       “I can’t tell you that sir, the best person to talk to is Mr. Chung and he’s off the island.”
Phil took the money, he wanted to see Dickson in person to call him a thief.
           Just as he was getting into his car, he heard a car horn behind him. The car pulled in front of him. It was Junklin, his brother. They hadn’t spoken to each other since the bust up over their dead mother’s house. They shook hands.
          “So how is it going, Phil? I was coming to look for you, but I heard that you had left hospital.”
          Phil didn’t know whether to believe him or not.
         “I’m all right. What happened to me with Dickson Chung was a real shocker.”
        They were now having a beer at a nearby beer joint.
       “I have five taxis on the road. I’m still working, we have a small office and Veinice manages the fleet from that office.”
       “I lost all my money in that crook, Dickson Chung Investments. I just got back some of it today.”
          He told Junklin how much money it was.
         “Why don’t you come into the taxi business? With that money you should be able to get two units to buy.”
          “I heard that it’s a difficult field because you have to pay off so many people.”
          They had another beer before they parted. Phil told Junklin that he had to do some more thinking before he made his move. Junklin told him the amount of money he was making from his taxis on a daily basis.
           It took Phil a month before he made up his
mind. For all intents and purposes, he wasn’t going to get any more money from Dickson. The man had run away to the United States and was living under a false name over there.
           Junklin put him in touch with a man. It took him another  six weeks before he got two drivers with clean police records, good driving records and experience. Within another three weeks he had to change one of the drivers.
           Phil knows that the taxi business will be a hard grind. It’s hard out there and the drivers no matter their background and demeanor are hard to deal with.
            Sometimes he wonders why he was not like Junklin. Venice was his high school sweetheart and they were actually building a house together and would soon be getting married.
           He knows that he is caught in a vicious trap and blames it on his father. Though the man never fathered many children he had always seen him talking to many women. Before her death, he had always heard his mother quarrelling with him over the amount of women he was keeping with her.
             Sometimes he is tempted to go after other women and has in fact gone out with a few of them. He always uses protection as he doesn’t want any more baby mothers. A few of the girls object to him using a condom, but for Phil it’s that or no sex.
             Another thing worrying Phil is that his baby mothers have found out about his taxi business. They’re always complaining that the money they’re getting is too small and that they want the court to set a higher amount. Phil has voluntarily increased the amount he is giving each of them, but he’s fearful about the future as the children grow bigger.
            Yasmin has decided to stick  around, but
she says, no children until they have their own
house and both of them are married. Phil knows
that it will be some time yet. He’s hoping to get out of the taxi business in another five years or so and buy a tour bus. He has heard that that’s
where the money in the transportation business is.The End.

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