Hi, peoples. Tomorrow will be my last day of blogging for a while. I'm heading overseas on a course and I'll be away for about three weeks. As usual, I like to leave you a little reading material, and during the day I'll post up a story I started a year go by the name of Ghetto Fabulous. I never got around to entering it for NIFCA, and it's still to be completed. I think I'm going to need a leave of absence from work to finish all these stories....
Ghetto Fabulous is the story of a Barbadian teenager named Allison Mayers who lives on the outskirts of Bridgetown. A bright and focused student, Allison yearns for more than her "ghetto" upbringing can provide, and some peace away from her dysfunctional family. But is the "fabulous" life of upper-class Barbadian society all it's cracked up to be? Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer. Ghetto Fabulous is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons is coincidental.
There has to be more to life than this. Lord, there just has to be.
I frowned at my reflection in the mirror as I dusted the shabby wooden dresser.
I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life in this place. Going nowhere fast.
“Wait Allison, you ain’t done yet? You does take long to do everything, then!” My sister Suzette barged into our tiny bedroom, hands filled with packages from her weekly Saturday morning shopping in the City.
“If you were here to help I would get through faster, disgrace.” I replaced the deodorant, body lotion and perfume bottles on the dresser and turned my attention to dusting my favourite possession in the room, my mahogany-finished bookcase.
My sister sucked her teeth. She hated when I used the nickname she had been saddled with in recent months. Suzette had delivered her third child, Davonne, three months earlier, adding to her brood of D’wayne, five and Damesha, three. Our grandmother said Suzette was not only a disgrace for having three children by different fathers at 21, but also for giving them all “new-fashion” names beginning with “d”.
“She’s a “d” word too, a disgrace,” Granny fumed. Nevertheless, because she knew it wasn’t her great-grandchild’s fault its mother had yet again brought shame on the family, our grandmother presented Suzette with a bag filled with diapers, milk and clothes.
“Where the other people that live in here?” Suzette dropped her parcels on the floor, spilling afro-kinky hair weave, styling gel and other cosmetics on the tattered bedroom rug.
“It’s Saturday. I’m the only idiot who gets stuck in the house on Saturdays,” I retorted, shooting a dirty look in the direction of the bags on the floor. Suzette saw the look and, muttering about my “neat freakiness”, began to push the items under the bed. I sighed. Sometimes I felt like I was the older sibling, rather than three years Suzette’s junior.
“Mummy took Damesha with her to work, Daddy down by Dove, the children’s fathers came for them and Colin went ‘town too.” I rattled off the whereabouts of our household as I straightened the books on the shelf.
“I hope dem clowns remember to leave the child money. I ain’ bout running down nuhbody today.”
I told her that her former boyfriends had indeed left their monetary support. Suzette grinned broadly and ran to the front-house and retrieved the envelopes that I had placed under Mummy’s plaster-of-Paris Dalmatian.
“Remember D’wayne needs new school shoes and Damesha’s preschool fees due!” I yelled from the bedroom. That sister of mine probably already had plans for the money, I thought. Along the lines of a hairdo and new outfit.
To say that Suzette was not a loving mother to her three children would be a lie. She loved her children immensely. However, she loved being a 21 year old, attractive woman just as much. She was one of those lucky women who seemed to revert almost instantly to their original weight after pregnancy, so much so that it was almost impossible to guess from her figure that she had three children.
Brown-skinned and shapely, Suzette tended to be the centre of attention wherever she went and men loved her. That was one part of her problem. The other part was that she never met a guy to whom she could say no.
First came Chris, who attended the same secondary school as Suzette and came from a well-off St. James family. To say that his parents were displeased was an understatement. By the time they had gathered up enough courage to come to our house on the outskirts of the City to convince our mother to intervene, Suzette was already ten weeks along. An abortion was out of the question, Mummy declared, stating that she would not be a party to destroying any human life. When D’wayne was born, Chris’ parents instantly fell in love with the baby and a truce was called.
Then came John. A gold-toothed sweet talker, he worked as a minibus conductor along the route Suzette took to her job as a receptionist in Christ Church. She fell for him hard and dumped Chris. John disappeared when he heard Suzette was pregnant with Damesha and the last thing we heard he had moved to St. Vincent.
Ryan the construction worker followed. I had hoped he and Suzette would work out because he was hardworking and honestly loved my sister and her children, but, as Granny said, Suzette only liked to look down and not up, and she had broken off with him just after Davonne was born. She told him she was suffering from “post parting depression”. He took a hint and moved on.
To give Jack his jacket, Chris and Ryan supported their children well, and Damesha was lavished with as much love and attention as possible to make up for her lack of a father.
I didn’t have a boyfriend. Not when I saw where men had gotten Suzette. I planned to study, get a good job and get out of the ghetto before it was too late.