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To See Life in Real - Part One

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The Start

When Glenn left Jamaica for England he felt the world was before him. He could do anything, be anything.

He was twenty years old. He'd held a few minor jobs, in Jamaica, but did not see a future. He wanted to go abroad where the money was. He thought of America but England was recruiting. He raced to apply, grabbing the chance to get away.

He'd been selected for one of those near menial jobs Brits weren't interested in doing. Achieving this possibility he felt it a stepping stone to a brilliant future.

He'd been born in a village on the North Coast. He'd gone to a Primary then a High School in walking distance of the little house he was born in.

To him, Port Antonio was a city and it wasn't until he went to Kingston that what he thought were cities were actually tiny towns of minor import.

He knew England would dazzle him, and it did.

The Choice

Glenn took up his job with gusto, mentally translating his pay into Jamaican value. But he wasn't in Kingston where 1 pound was $200 dollars, he was in England, where it was 1 pound.

A small room in a boarding house, daily meals, snapped much of his pay, but he sent home 10 pounds every month, for his parents.

He decided to get further education, raise himself up, but it was hard and expensive, and would take far longer than he thought.

And that is when he met Elaine.

She was nineteen years older than he was. She was not very attractive, but had money. She had money and wanted him. He didn't do 'the math'. He didn't wonder why this woman, old enough to be his mother, wanted him. He did not appreciate that what she saw when she looked at him, was a man she could 'own'. A man who had to obey her, or be swept out as garbage.

Glen didn't realise what she expected from him. All he thought was that he'd be married to an English woman who had money.

Life Moves

He continued to work, although he didn't have to, Elaine had enough money for both of them. But he did it. to limit her ability to 'own' him.

Saving his money he and decided to build a house for his parents. He wanted a two storied dwelling with bedrooms with their own bathrooms, a veranda and balcony.

He was in constant contact with the builder, someone he'd gone to school with, who sent him many images of the house in progress.

The house was not complete when his father died. He flew to Jamaica for the funeral.

As he began the long journey from Kingston to his village, he felt different. He tried not to long for the days of his youth, for being out of the control of Elaine.

He remembered, as the taxi spun through Portland, how it felt to be free and young able to go to the Cove every day.

As the taxi passed the house he was building, he realised neither his mother nor father would live there. It was his house. He would live there when he came 'home'.

Although selling it or renting it out was possible, he slapped those options away were they mosquitos. It hit him with the force of a punch in the face that He needed his own place, a place away from Elaine.

This realisation was overwhelming, but now was not the time for retrospective. Now was the time to mourn his father, comfort his mother.

But late that night, sleeping on a sofa his sister's living room he saw his life in England for what it was.

He couldn't afford to leave Elaine. He didn't make enough money to buy his own house there, not enough to enjoy his current live style.

He had become accustomed to expensive food, good wine, and being able to attend everything from a football match to the theatre on whim.

That Elaine smothered him, that she controlled him, well, he could put up with it. In England.

But he was here, now, in Jamaica, and could be his own self. Could retaste what freedom was.

Until Elaine demanded his return.

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