C hapter Four
On Sunday Morgana went to church in Havendale. Monique and Bev said that they were too tired to attend and Darren was fast asleep. She had to look twice to make sure it was really Brad and Dania who were there. She had never seen them there before. They seemed to have made up. They looked like the ideal couple. He was tall and muscular and she was of medium height. Both of them were good looking people and maybe would soon get married and start a family.
The church was packed as it usually was whenever Bishop Nugent preached and chairs had to be put on the outside of the church hall. She joined in the shouting and clapping. She was sure that Brad’s parents attended a different church so maybe he and Dania were just visiting. All the Simmonds’ children had been christened in this church. Morgana had attended church regularly before she went away but this was the first time since she returned home that she was attending. Maybe she should get Stewart to start coming with her as part of the preparations for them setting a date for marriage.
She looked at some other young couples sitting together. She knew only a few of them, but for them this was the first few months of married life. She thought about her own situation. Here she was engaged to this man and didn’t even know where he was or what he was doing. She put all thoughts of Stewart out of her mind and concentrated on the service. When church was over she went and greeted some friends and Brad and Dania before driving home.
Rick had taken Celia to visit her mother, Velma, in Runaway Bay and was driving her home. They had agreed to live together and Celia would be moving into his townhouse on Kings Avenue off Hope Road before the week was out. They had been lovers since high school and they both could remember the love letters they had written each other and how passionate their lovemaking had been. Rick had negotiated the rental of the townhouse before he returned home and had finally tied up the deal a few days ago.
Morgana was having some coffee and her office door was open when she saw Brad going past and she called to him.
“Brad, I have to congratulate you and Dania. You looked the ideal couple. Did you remain after the service for counselling?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m asking you about Dania. I’m sure you’ll soon make her your wife.”
For a moment Morgana wondered if she was talking out of turn, but in the short time that she knew Brad she felt that he wouldn’t be offended.
“You’re teasing me, Morgana. That’s a giant step to take and I’m not ready yet.”
“Just asking, but the two of you looked like a husband and wife team that I’m sure I’m not the only one harboring those thoughts.”
“I thought I would have seen you and your other half there as part of the preparations for your marriage celebrations.”
Morgana bowed her head and Brad thought that maybe he had said something wrong.
“He’s not the church going type, but I suppose I’ll try to get him to go a few of these Sundays.”
“I believe I’ll see you more often in church, then.”
“I’m not a Christian, but if I find the time I’ll definitely go.”
“I’m going down to the cafeteria to have breakfast so I’ll see you around,” he said going out of her office.
Monday evening, Rory came to visit Bev and they were
talking in the garden of her home.
“Rory, I’m sorry, but I don’t think this long distance relationship is going to work.”
“I hope you aren’t thinking about Glen. I saw him looking at you the whole time we were at the party on Saturday night. He must have danced two times with Leona. If I wasn’t there he would have abandoned her for you.”
“Glen is just my friend and he has his girlfriend as you know. I’m sure he danced more than two times with her. But let me ask you a question. I’ve asked you about this girl, Brittany and you’ve denied that she and you are friends, but you’ve been in the States a good while now. Are you sure you don’t have a woman over there?”
“I don’t like American girls, so you don’t have to worry. Brittany is just a girl living in my block. Sure, I talk to her, but we’re nothing more than social friends,” he assured her.
Bev wanted to ask him why he didn’t like American girls, but she couldn’t be bothered or to ask any more questions about Brittany.
“There’re thousands of Jamaican girls over there.”
“But when they come over here they get Americanized and behave like the locals.”
“How’re you sure that when I come over there I won’t behave like those American girls?”
Rory laughed and hugged her.
“I know you too much. I know you would never change your accent and that’s why I want you to come over there so that we can live together.”
Bev pushed him away from her.
“I told you that I can’t live with you. Why should I live with you when we would be seeing each other regularly?”
Rory wished that she didn’t come to the States. It would be better to have Brittany over there and she down here so that they wouldn’t know about each other. If only Brittany hadn’t refused to take any of those morning after pills and waited until it was too late and then refused his offer to do an abortion everything would be all right.
“It would make it easier for us to get married. At least we’d know everything about each other.”
He didn’t want to sound like he didn’t want her to come over there.
“But then if I live with you, you might just decide that you know too much about me and move on to live with another woman.”
Without giving him a chance to reply, she continued.
“Rory, I don’t know why, but you’ve never asked me how I’m coping with university and all that and with you so far away.”
“Why do you think I came out here to look for you?”
“I’m always happy to see you. I’m glad for the times we spend together, but sometimes I get really lonely, especially when I call and don’t get you.”
“Maybe I’m in a meeting. At some of these meetings they insist that we turn off our cell phones.”
He drew her closer to him and kissed her.
“Suppose somebody sees us,” she protested, but made no attempt to pull out of his arms.
“That’s nothing, couples kiss on campus all the while.”
“So aren’t you jealous? Your classmates and co-workers are playing around. What about you?”
“I just think about you and that’s why I want you to come over there.”
Bev looked at her watch and saw that it was after eight o’clock.
“Remember I told you that I have an exam tomorrow.”
Rory stood up.
“Remember that Wednesday is a holiday. Let’s go clubbing tomorrow night and we can go to the beach the next day. I can’t believe it’s Friday I’m returning home.”
They took up their chairs and walked back to the house.
“That would be great and I’ll come to see you on Thursday,” Bev told him.
Rory said his goodbye whereupon Bev departed to her room to study.
Rory was at home that Tuesday evening and he had his
hands under his chin. Sooner than later he had to let Bev know the truth about Brittany if Roxanne didn’t beat him to it. So far he had enjoyed having two women in different countries being in love with him. But as Brittany’s belly got bigger, things would begin to get more complicated. His mother had called her sister, Sydonne and told her about Brittany.
She also told her about her eldest son, Lance’s behavior. Lance was twenty seven and was in the States for twelve years now. He had dropped out of school and only occasionally got a job, but for the past two years he had been involved in gang violence. Rory knew that his mother was deeply worried about Lance. He went inside to get ready to go for Bev.
Robert Parsons arrived from Miami on Wednesday evening and immediately headed for Bobbette’s apartment. Now he was stretched out on a couch in their bedroom after another passionate session of lovemaking with her. She had promptly dropped off to sleep. As he watched her naked body on the bed, he couldn’t help wondering. Did she have another lover besides himself? One of his female employees had told him that she saw her talking to a guy by the name of Stewart Brown on campus. When he asked her about it, she told him that they were just good friends. One Saturday afternoon he had come home earlier than expected and caught her talking to him in the car park. He had warned her about what would happen if he came and saw him down at their apartment again.
He rememdered how quickly she had sent the guy she had at the time, packing when he told that he wanted to be friends with her. Come to think of it, try as he might he couldn’t remember the guy’s name. She had told him about two other ex-boyfriends and why she had broken off with them and he believed her.
He loved her body, which was in great shape. At twenty
four Bobbette was a real bombshell. She had a slender waist, but wide hips and firm breasts.
"Robert, I feel so tired, you've really worn me out," she said as she opened her eyes.
Robert’s face lit up and Bobbette could see his broad smile. He always beamed with pride whenever she said things like that to him.
“I’m going to have a bath.”
“Want me to come and soak you up? Your body is so big and thick that I don’t know when I’d finish.”
“You love riding it though.”
“Go and take your bath. I know if I go into the bathroom, you are going to want to do it with me again.”
Robert laughed and asked.
“Don’t you love the ride?”
“One session with you is enough. I feel like sleeping until tomorrow afternoon.”
Robert laughed again and went to have his bath. When he returned, Bobbette asked.
"Why don't you spend the night with me, honey?"
"I can't, baby, I have this early morning meeting with some suppliers."
“I feel bored being alone in this big apartment and it’s only on weekends that I see you and occasionally during the week.”
"I keep telling you all the time that you should have a baby,” he said as he finished dressing.
"And who’s going to give me that baby?" she asked, hugging him as she fixed up his shirt collar.
"Me, who else are you thinking about?"
She moved away from him.
"If you want to give me a baby, you have to marry me first. It seems to me, that you want to have two baby-mothers at the same time.”
"You have a son with that girl, Jenna Marsden. I didn't even know until it was too late. I should have stopped talking to you.”
"I keep telling you that it was a mistake. I just give her a monthly allowance. You know that she had Jaimie before I met you.”
“Are you sure she wasn't trying to trap you?"
"Of course not, I don’t know why you should think so."
Bobbette didn’t reply.
"I'm leaving now, but I’ll come to see you tomorrow evening. I would gladly spend the night with you, but for those meetings," he said, drawing her to him and kissing her.
Stewart drove his 2002 Suzuki Baleno motor car into the parking lot of Bobbette’s apartment complex and saw
Robert's 2005 Honda Integra motor car parked behind her car. He reversed out and drove away. He had to do something about that guy. But what to do had occupied his thoughts ever since he first met her and learnt about Robert. The man had spoilt her with his generosity. Some of his friends had even wondered why she would have any time for him. He knew that he shouldn’t have been here so he had nobody to blame but himself.
As it was Ash Wednesday he had spent the whole day sleeping. Why hadn’t Morgana called him? On these short holidays they normally didn’t plan anything but if she had called him, they would have gone to a nearby beach, probably Hellshire. It showed that she had something planned and didn’t want him to know about it.
When he reached her home her car was in the driveway so were her mother’s and sister’s cars. He parked on the sidewalk and got out. As he got out of the car, Monique came out. Both Morgana and her sister got their facial features from her, he had always thought.
"Hi Stewart, Morgana went out for a drink with Brad. Apparently she didn’t know you were coming around."
"Oh, well, tell her that I came."
"Won't you come in for a drink, Stewie?"
"That's okay, Monique," he said as he made his way back to his car.
He wondered what was really going on. How could Morgana have gone for a drink with Brad without telling him? When next he spoke to her he would lay down some rules as to how he wanted the relationship to work. What the hell was Brad trying to do? He wasn’t worried, because try as that guy and others might, they stood no chance of taking away Morgana from him. They must have seen how easily she returned to him on her return from the States.
As she hadn’t told him where she was going he didn’t want to call her on her cell phone. Should he return to Bobbette’s apartment and find out if her boyfriend had gone? The danger there would be that maybe she wouldn’t entertain him since she hadn’t sent him her usual invitation.
He decided to call Sadie Mc Intosh. He had met her through his friend, Jose Maragh. They had gone to bed several times before her boyfriend returned from England and she told him that it was too dangerous for them to continue their twice weekly meetings. She had come to him half a dozen times after that, mostly at his apartment, but once at one of those guest houses on
Sadie was tying a scarf over her hair when he called. She was expecting her boyfriend, Chester Binger, to come in from the country for a night of some passionate love making. At the ringing of her cell phone, she picked it up.
"What’s going on, Sadie? Aren’t you longing to see me?"
"Stewie, is that really you? Your voice sound so sweet that if Chester wasn’t coming to look for me, I would just come down to your apartment and spend the night with you.”
"So when is he returning? You have to make some time to get some of the good loving.”
"Mind you make me get into trouble."
"Just hold tight and try to enjoy it. Call me when you’re ready for me to send your body wild with some good loving,” he sang into her ears.
"Go away Stewart, you're too bad. You wait until I catch you,” she said, laughing as they both ended the call.
He called Yasmin Weeke’s number. Yasmin was a tall, leggy girl, whom he had met again through Jose. She cursed him for waking her up. But the memories of what Stewart had done to her body the more than a dozen times they had been together, started flooding her thoughts. She knew she couldn’t resist another night in bed with him and invited him over. Stewart smiled to himself, he had hit the jackpot at last. Damn Morgana for going out and not telling him where she was going.
Brad Newman decided to try his luck. At six feet one inch tall, he considered himself a good looker. Wherever he went women were always casting admiring glances at him. On his last visit to his doctors he had been given a clean bill of health. He had played hours of squash, badminton and lawn tennis in the States to maintain that regime. He guessed Morgana to be at least twenty five years of age. He had told her that he wanted her to go out for a drink with him and she had agreed. She told him that she hadn’t been impressed with their behavior during that first week. He told her that for his part he had been overawed by her looks to the extent that he couldn’t take his eyes off her. They had a few drinks, but she refused his initial request for a dance, but later relented and showed him again how good a dancer she was.
They were at the Doyin’s complex in Liguanea. Brad had on a white sports shirt and jeans. Morgana was also wearing jeans and a blue blouse. Her hair was pinned up and she had in a pair of huge earrings. She was wearing brown lip gloss.
"Why did you decide to go out with me?"
“Because I wanted to know more about you. I've heard so much about you and Rick that I was very curious to meet you both. Everybody at the office believes that you two guys will take the firm into the twenty-first century.”
"More like Rick will and I’ll be the one to destroy it."
"I don't think I heard it quite that way."
They got up to dance again.
When they returned to their table, Brad asked.
"Are you and Stewart still together?"
"Sure, we are, remember he's my fiancé. We may have our differences, but we always make up in the end and he’s a great guy. What about you and Dania? Both of you looked so smug in church the other day that I couldn’t help but ask those questions.”
"She's very jealous, if she ever saw me and you here, she would probably go ballistic.”
"The same could be said about Stewart," she replied looking at her watch.
"I don't want you to believe that this is a date. As I said before, I just came to know what type of person you are. I’ll probably go out with Rick too, just as good friends and seeing that all of us have our own special person, I don’t see what’s wrong.”
At the mention of Rick's name Brad opened his mouth to protest, but thought better of it.
"Wow, what a girl you are. I wouldn't expect anything less from such a lovely girl as you.”
"I'm a very frank person and a loyal one too. If I found out that Stewart was two-timing me, I would dump him immediately."
Brad thought that Stewart must be very smart to be hiding his various cheatings or Morgana was very naïve.
They got up to dance again. When the song was finished Morgana looked at her watch. It was twenty minutes to midnight.
"Brad, it's way past my bedtime. I don't want to sleep in the office tomorrow, so we had better go.”
"Remember, you're a manager so what are you worried about?"
"I like to get my sleep and besides, I don't want mummy to miss hers waiting up on me.”
"Wait, I didn't know you had to get your mum's permission to go out.”
"It's nothing like that," Morgana said as Brad paid the bill and they got up to leave.
That morning, Rick drove into the company's car park just as Morgana was getting out of her car.
"Did you enjoy yourself last night? He phoned me, boasting that he had gotten a date with you and that I had no chance.”
Morgana slammed back the car door and sat there fuming. Finally, she opened it again.
"I don't believe this. Did you say Brad phoned and told you that I went out on a date with him?”
“He wasn't exactly boasting, but I called him last night and didn’t get him. So when I called him this morning he said he had been out with you."
Both of them had finished locking up their cars now.
"I don't have to explain who I went out with to anybody," she flung at him.
Rick jerked back his head at her remark.
"Did I ask you anything?" he asked, as she stamped her feet and walked away.
Brad, who was returning to his car, saw everything and came over to Rick.
"What have you done to annoy Morgana?"
"I didn't even open my mouth. Maybe she's stll ecstatic after that date with you.”
"Who said I went out on a date with her?" Brad asked as he opened his car trunk and took out the things he needed.
“Listen, I'm going up," Rick said and disappeared up the steps.
Morgana had just put down her bag and car keys when the telephone rang. It was Stewart.
"How was your date last night?"
"What date are you talking about?"
"Oh come on, you know what I'm talking about. I slept the whole day yesterday. Why didn’t you call me or come down to my apartment?"
"Don't be ridiculous. I just went out for a drink with a colleague of mine, there’s nothing more to it. And just like you I slept the whole day too."
“Why didn’t you tell me that you were going out for a drink with Brad?”
“Brad is a colleague of mine, I don’t see why I should seek your permission to go out for a drink with him.”
"I don't want my fiancé going to have any drink with that guy. Suppose any of my friends had seen you two together?”
"What could they have said? Why are you so uncomfortable about me working with both Brad and Rick? Remember, it was you, who encouraged me to apply here for a job."
"I’m not afraid of those two guys. It's just that they don’t have good reputations with women.”
"I don't see why you're worrying so much. I can take care of myself."
"I’m not worrying. I'll come up to your house this evening,” he told her and hung up.
Morgana sat back, thinking. Had she made a mistake in going for that drink with Brad? Maybe she shouldn't have danced with him. She got up and made her way down to the cafeteria to have a cup of coffee and some pastries.
The rest of the morning passed off without further incidence. At lunchtime she ordered from the cafeteria and ate it at her desk having refused Brad’s invitation to have lunch with him.
Stewart put down his lunch tray on the table where Bobbette had just started eating her lunch. The girl looked at him, but continued eating.
"Am I interrupting something? It seems strange to see you here alone.”
"I could say the same thing about you. Where's your fiance?"
"She must be at her office. I heard that she was out last night with Brad."
"You can't be serious, and what are you going to do about that?”
"I'm cool, that guy is just trying a thing, but my woman won’t fall for his tricks.”
"So what about me? Here you are worrying over her. You know how many lies I have to be telling Robert about us.”
"Not enough, I passed by and saw his car parked at your apartment last night.”
"Stewart, Robert is my man just like how Morgana is your woman. You want me to give him up, but you aren’t prepared to give up Morgana. And I want to know why you were coming to my apartment when you know how we’ve always operated?”
Stewart looked at some other patrons having their lunch. He didn’t try to meet Bobbette’s eyes, but looked down at his plate. He hoped she didn’t think that she was the only woman apart from Morgana, with whom he was sleeping. He decided to ignore the question.
"I just don't like the guy, that’s all."
"And I'm supposed to treat Morgana like my long lost sister?"
"Maybe we shouldn't have started this in the first place," he said.
"What are you trying to do, dump me?”
"Who said anything like that?”
They continued eating in silence. When they finished, Stewart asked.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“Listen, I'm late for a meeting. I’ll give you a call later on.”
Bobbette watched him go before getting up and returning to work.
Rick and Celia were lunching that afternoon at Dodd’s restaurant on Trafalgar Road.
"I heard that Brad went out on a date with Morgana," Celia said.
“So he told me, seems as if he can’t get over it. I saw him smiling to himself."
Celia burst out laughing.
"I wonder what Dania would say if she found out?"
"I'm not even sure of what's going on between them."
"I heard that a lot of guys on campus are going crazy over Bev. At least that’s what my friends tell me.”
"I'm not one of those guys going crazy over either of them. The only girl I’m crazy about is you.”
"Maybe they'd like to try after you but they know too much about me to even think about it.”
"Both of those girls have their boyfriends. I don’t see them stealing another girl’s boyfriend.”
They continued eating in silence. When they had finished Rick paid their bill and then dropped her back at work.
Brad was playing six-a-side football that afternoon in the Constant Spring six-a-side football competition. Rick and Alex were also on the team. They had beaten the opposing team. Morgana and several other staff members went to watch the match and to cheer on the team.
Brad took Dania down to Bob's entertainment complex later that evening to have drinks. There was space for dancing, in the complex. Dania wore shorts, a tank-top and slippers. Brad wore jeans and a blue sports shirt and sneakers.
They danced several times and were now back at their table.
"Up to now I don't understand what you and Morgana went out to do. You’d better tell me what’s going on between you and her and don’t let me have to ask her.”
"I just went out with her to get a better understanding of what’s going on in the firm. I thought I told you that already."
"Morgana has just joined the firm. You are new too, so what could she know about the firm that you don’t know? You’re treating me as if I don’t have any sense."
"Let's do some more dancing."
They had just returned to their table when Rick and Celia entered the sports bar. Celia was dressed casually in a white pants and pink shirt and slippers. Rick wore a short jeans pants, a sports shirt and sneakers.
"Brad, what's going on, hello, Dania," Rick said, greeting them.
Brad sensing an opportunity to end the argument that Dania had started and continued on the dance floor beckoned them over.
"Why not share our table, how about it, Dania, Celia?" he asked.
It was about eleven o'clock that night when both couples left the entertainment complex.
Bev and Rory were lying in bed enjoying the afterglow of their lovemaking. They were at Rory’s aunt, Cydonne Ambrose’s house where he was staying. Bev had gone there right after classes that afternoon.
“After what we do to each other that’s why we shouldn’t stay apart for long.”
“I’ll always love you. That’s why I’m not interested in any other guy.”
Rory held her in his arms.
“I’ve told you hundreds of times how I feel about you.” He tried to kiss her but Bev pulled her face away.
“Rory, not again, after what we just did. I want to lie here and relax and talk to you before taking a bath and go home.”
“See what you’ve been missing by us being apart for so long.”
“I suppose you see what you’re missing, by staying away from me for so long,” she said looking up into the ceiling of the room.
“Bev, you look so stunning that sometimes I worry that I’ll lose you to one of those campus money guys, especially Glen, who would be around you all the time. He must spend all his spare time on campus with you.”
“How many times have I told you that Glen is my friend? If you must know, I’m in love with you, not Glen. Let’s concentrate on us.”
“I don’t see why you should be so worried about Glen when I’m here lying naked beside you and we’ve just made love.”
Rory didn’t reply immediately.
“You’re the only girl I know anything about. Maybe there are girls over there who want me to be interested in them, but I always turn them down. That’s because I know I have you out here waiting on me. I know I’d be doing something wrong if I went with one of those girls. I want you to be mine and only mine.”
Bev threw her arms around him and started kissing him and Rory responded and their lovemaking started again. When it was over, Bev said.
“You tempted me and I told you that I was finished after we did it first.”
“I know you weren’t finished and I think you enjoyed it the last time better than the first.”
“The amount of passion that we stir up in each other, can’t you stay longer with me? At least you could stay another week.”
“I can’t, remember that I have to go back to school plus work.”
“We’ll have to make love over the phone,” Bev said and Rory laughed.
“That wouldn’t do anything to a hot blooded woman like you.”
Bev didn’t reply at once. She and Rory had been friends since high school. They had made love on countless occasions. She didn’t know how much longer she could deal with his absence. She didn’t want him to return home and to her when he needed a woman. She felt she needed a full-time man.
She and Glen were very close and could have started a relationship had she wanted. But although she liked him she was afraid of his rich kid’s image plus he had his girlfriend.
“Rory, if you know how passionate I am then you wouldn’t stay away from me for so long. Don’t forget that in another few months I’ll be over there with you. That’s when we’ll really have to begin to take things seriously.”
“As I said I’ll be glad when you come up. At least we’ll get to see a lot more of each other.”
“You’ll always be my man but I don’t want to come over there and get jilted.”
“You’ll always be my woman. You can rest assured that when you come over there you’ll find that I’ve not changed one bit,” he said, but Bev wasn’t listening. She had dropped off to sleep. Rory watched her fall asleep with some amount of anxiety. Tomorrow he would be returning home not sure when he would see her again. He was afraid of getting trapped in a marriage to Brittany. He would have to play his cards right, ensuring that whatever happened between him and Brittany, Bev was kept in the dark. But how would he do that with Roxanne around? Rory began scratching his head, but couldn’t come up with an answer and knew that he was in trouble in more ways than one. By five o’clock he had woken up Bev as Aunt Cydonne and her children were due home shortly from Hope Gardens. She took a bath and drove home in her car.
Friday afternoon Cydonne dropped him at the airport as Bev was still in class. He called her that night after he reached home and she told him that she was glad that he had a safe trip home.
That night Celia moved to live with Rick as they had agreed. She had been living with a friend in Queensborough Gardens. They agreed to share the rent and utility bills and Rick would give her a monthly allowance to maintain the house. Mrs. Donaldson, Celia’s mother, warned her about the dangers that could befall her in living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Celia told her that was what she wanted and the middle-aged woman resigned herself to the inevitable. She also told her that they were lovers and had been so since she was in her teens. Mrs. Donaldson wondered where she went wrong. Nevertheless Celia was now a big woman and capable of making her own decisions. To be continued. Please visit my blog at: http://stredwick.blogspot.com