To this day, I’ll never understand why Tom sent for me. The wedding was planned to the tiniest detail long before I ever arrived in England. The fares had already been paid months in advance for me to travel by Royal Mail Lines, but since I had no wish to leave from Jamaica to England by sea, I paid the difference myself and flew with British West Indian Airways (BWIA). If I had boarded that ship, I might have had more time to reconsider my choices in life.
Category: Love and Marriage
He never said it was love. It may have been the name Veronica Pettigrew—a Catholic—that clinched it. Most Jamaican Pettigrews are Roman Catholics, and my husband’s sister Veronica Pettigrew-East (mother of Ermin Goode, Teresa East-Headley and Howard East) died in the Kendal Train Crash on September 1st, 1957, together with her husband, two brothers-in-law, and the beautiful daughter of Mrs Clark. Only the presence of the good Lord saved Mrs Clark’s only son, Earl, who had bawled so hard and refused to board the train that they eventually left him indoors.
One person can make a difference, Mama said. That’s what my stepmother Anne-Amanda Bennett did every day of her life. She died alone in an Almshouse because I was too poor to find the cash for my kids, a home, and her out there in Jamaica. I cry whenever I think of her, but she left me such a legacy that I will end this chapter of my life with the best and most enduring memory I have of her.
I never dreamt I had a sexual relationship with anyone in 1966. The Deerstalker Story was a lie Alice told to get Tom and me to fight. What I said to her is “I dreamt that a white man washed my feet.” Out of sheer blasted spite, Alice turned and twisted things to suit her means. I didn’t even know at the time that she and my husband were carrying on.
It has always been my ill-luck that not many people have been there for me when I needed someone. Maybe it’s because I am the sort of person who does not ask favours. Nor do I even look as if I might need a helping hand. My husband left me alone in England, after a decade of marriage. He went back home to Jamaica, taking our three-year-old son with him, alongside his mistress. The same woman I used to call my best friend.