Disclaimer: Face Value is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons is coincidental.
This frigging woman goin’ bankrupt me if I doan be careful. Why the hell she would want flowers imported from Martinique? Flowers don’t grow in Barbados?
I slapped the bills on my desk and picked up the phone.
“Cherie,” I yelled as soon as my wife came on the line, “wuh de **s you think it is? Two thousand dollars for flowers? The guests gine eat them?”
My wife sucked her teeth. “Please, Patrick. As if we can’t afford it. Even without the raise you’re getting we still have the money Daddy left for me.”
“Exactly. For you, not for me. I had to work hard all my life for whatever I want. I ain’ had no rich parents to leave no inheritance for me!”
“Watch your language, darling. When you get upset you lapse back into dialect so horribly. What would the Attorney General think if he heard you now?”
It was my turn to suck my teeth. “Wuh foolishness you talking? You spending too much time wid those West Coast expats you work with. I tell you already, you might be selling villas but you ain’ got neither one, hear?”
Cherie grumbled her goodbyes and exited the conversation hastily. She hated to be reminded that she had not yet achieved her ultimate aspiration: to be the equal of the rich, white British women who owned the real estate agency at which she was employed.
I shook my head and replaced the receiver. Those foreign women were a bad influence on Cherie. Their false sense of entitlement was rubbing off on her. Though to be honest, Cherie had possessed that sense before. The only child of a prominent landowner family, Cherie grew up with maids, housekeepers, and nannies at her beck and call. While the majority of Barbadians were outside squatting on pit toilets, Cherie’s plantation home had three indoor bathrooms.
However, bad investment decisions drove her father into debt and the house and its acreage were snapped up to Trinidadian conglomerate. My father-in-law regained some of his faded glory before passing away from a hear attack, but he never again became a plantation owner. The house was later torn down and multimillion dollar condominiums were built in its place. Ironically, the company Cherie worked for managed that property.
My poor wife. She want to be back on top of Barbadian society but she can’t compete with this new high class with its pounds and US dollars.
Worrying about Cherie’s lavish spending was the last thing I needed right now anyway. My recent promotion to Director of Public Prosecutions meant that my workload had doubled and was directly in the line of whatever fire was blazing through the Attorney General’s Chambers.
A few more years in this job and then I could start thinking ‘bout running in the elections. The Party wants me now but I need to establish myself more publicly first.
I glanced at my wife’s photograph on my desk and sighed.
Whatever stress you put me through is my fault ‘cause I ain’ had no right marrying you in the first place. If I wasn’t such a coward I would have Peter’s picture on my desk now, not yours. But I know there ain’ no way Barbadians goin’ vote for no bulla man.
“Jesus Lord, it ain’ no wonder people so poor now, they got to buy everything they want. You think we had any right buying lettuce in a supermarket? We should be growing it in the backyard at home!”
Cherie cut her eye at me and grabbed the iceberg lettuce out of my hand.
“Trust you to turn shopping into a sociological debate! Look around, this isn’t Budg Buy or Julie N’. High end goods cost money!”
I grunted and pushed the trolley towards the frozen foods aisle. “Fair enough, but if I serious ’bout representing the masses I have to see things from their point of view.”
She rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Once you don’t expect me to start bargain shopping, dear.”
“Never, Cherie, I wouldn’t want you to go against your principles,” I mocked.
She walked away in a huff and I pushed the trolley slowly after her. Sometimes I wondered why she put up with me. If I was honest with myself I would admit that I often tried to see how far I could push her, to force her to make a decision that I was too cowardly to make.
Just then my cell phone rang and I halted the cart and glanced at the caller-id. I smiled and flipped it open.
“Hey love what’s up?”
“F**k you, Patrick, you lying, two-faced w**re. You have the gall to be promising me that you breaking up with Cherie and throwing a big bash to renew vows! How you could do this to me!”
I hastily scanned the supermarket for Cherie but she was nowhere in sight. “Pete, let me explain…,” I began, but he stopped me in my tracks.
“Explain my **s. You go long and have your renewal of vows. It’s only a matter of time before she finds out what a down-low piece of sh**e you are. Forget you ever knew me.”
He rang off and I disconnected dejectedly. Oh Jesus what I gone and do now? I gone and wreck the only worthwhile thing in my miserable life. And what if he tells somebody about us?
That's it for now folks...to see how these crazy characters end up you gotta buy my book, haha. Take care for now!