Monday, July 5, 2010

Coming of age story of my St. Lucia Trip (Part 6)

My lips pulled away from Evelyn’s lips. My eyes were still closed and a rabble of butterflies had erupted in my stomach and they were making their presence known.

I had never kissed a girl before. And here I was locked in a small supply box outside the school with Evelyn, my hands on her shoulder, our legs crisscrossing each others, and believing I was in Xanadu listening to an Abyssinian maid sing her joyful song.

“…nine, ten…your time is up!” said voices from outside the closed box that was just big enough for the two of us to fit comfortably in. Their intrusion into my virgin kiss shocked me back to reality and forced me to open my eyes. Evelyn was looking at me as if I had pierced her heart with my tongue and allowed every measure of her love to find the nearest boy – me. Everything moved in slow motion, the door opened, our heads turned in unison to the peering eyes that emerged in the daylight, and slowly turned back to gaze into each other’s eyes once more to acknowledge the reality of what we just shared.

“Thanks,” I said and crawled out of the box that sat atop a similar sized 4x4x4 foot box.

My friends started asking me to tell them the details as soon as my foot hit the ground.  Without paying them any attention, I turned and reached for Evelyn’s hand to assist her in getting out of the box. She was my friend and at that point the most important person who made me happy.

Up to that point in my life, I had never experienced such feelings. It made every dendrite in my body come alive. It was as if I had discovered some unique ability that was hidden deep within me. I realized I was still holding Evelyn’s hand as I walked past my friends whose mouths were agape and eyes wide open.

For the next few days, Evelyn and I were inseparable. We did everything together. Her mother and brother did not seem to mind that we spent every waking hour in each other’s company. Even when I had to engage in Cub Scout duties and activities, Evelyn was not far.

We talked about everything from school, to friends, cricket, and football. She asked me questions about my parents and how it felt living apart from them. She appeared truly concerned and offered suggestions to ease the pain of my separation. I thought she was coolest person on earth.

My male friends were never that curious about my feelings. My conversations with my buddies always focused on sports. How much did Garfield Sobers hit for the West Indies during their test match against England? And how many wickets did Viv Richards pick up?

My friends did not bother with me too much. I believe they too wished they were in my shoes. Joseph had given me a dirty look and cut his eyes on one occasion and I quickly went up to him and told him that if he wanted to talk to Evelyn he could. I told him that I did not want to lose his friendship. I was not being very honest at that point for I would have dropped every friend on earth to be with Evelyn.

The next few days were the happiest I ever remembered being. The girl in the white dress had faded from my memories and the preadolescent clowning of my Scout members was long gone. The green lush surrounding of the school seemed to invite Evelyn and me into a paradise of naïve pleasures. We would steal away behind the school and hide ourselves behind broad banana leaves and embrace.

As time drew near for us to leave, we started to acknowledge the reality of the impending separation. Soon we would not see each other every day or even on a regular basis. Her brother, Erik, was not even in my class and furthermore they lived in Tunapuna on the other side of Port of Spain from Maraval – my village. And she attended Tunapuna RC girl’s school.

In the end, we made plans and promises to see each other as best we could. But we both knew that it probably would take a miracle for us to be friends forever.

The day we left St Lucia en route to Trinidad was a sad day in my life. I felt that I was losing a dear friend. Although we were on the same island it felt like we were separated the same distance as I was separated from my parents.

I felt sad when I returned to Trinidad. My grandmother continued to prod as to my time in St. Lucia. I responded that I had a great time and asked how far was Tunapuna from Maraval.

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