I had never done anything like this before. Yes I had gotten into fights, told lies and other things too painful to give words to right now. But this! I walked away and I could not look back. I felt hot, I felt like a fool. I must have done the right thing? But who just gives a stranger their hard-earned money. Tomorrow I would know the truth and the truth shall set me up with a job or set me back my five thousand dollars.
“Lady you going to juk out mi eye”
When did she open her umbrella? She could have walked out into the road and not even noticed. Just like the sun pelting down from above her thoughts were now attacking, making her delirious with regret. This was Spanish Town, she could not afford to be distracted while walking in the streets. Looking to her left, the guck in the gutter reminded Sophie that she had to be alert to possible dangers. As her surroundings came into sharp focus, she noted all those busily going about their business and wondered if they could see the big duncebat sign flashing all over her.
“Excuse mi.” The impatience emanating from that voice reminded her that she needed to get it together. Like a beaten dog she scurried along trying to get to her taxi stand.
“Hyacinth, Haycith! Purple Hyacinth Avenue young girl?”
Why do taxi drivers always rush at you, as if you have no clue where you are going? This one turned her off immediately, looking like a criminal. The car looked even worse. She had to be careful, she thought, who she took, too many reports of women missing after taking a taxi from Hyacinth Avenue. For the hundredth time, she wondered why she had to be born in this hellhole. No that was wrong, she felt. There were good things about Spanish Town, she just felt cantankerous all of a sudden, she felt like a hedgehog in danger. What to do?
“Coming miss?” She realised she was standing at the car door. But when did she move?
“No, I not ready”. But she was, so why did she lie? Since she had already done so, she had no choice but to walk around until he left. After all, she did not want him to know she was lying! How would that look?
Now she was on Martin Street, the loneliest part of the town, adorned with old decaying buildings forgotten in the push to modernity. They stood as relics that condemned the citizens of the town for their lack of foresight and planning. However, if you look closely, beyond the ugly visage, there were flashes of past grandeur and pride lost to the hell of time. Who could believe that at one time in the country’s history, this town had been the focal point of its political, economic and social life? The square was the only area that had been successfully preserved and one could not help but admire the architectural details reminiscent of its Spanish and British heritage, the most impressive of the West Indies. But this meant nothing with it being situated in a town now at the mercy of natural and manmade disasters and most crushing of all rampant criminality. She wondered if she would be celebrating tomorrow as the ex-enslaved Africans did here in 1838 when they were finally given their emancipation. Since Sir Rodney couldn’t tell her she decided it may be safe to go back to the taxi stand.