Tuesday, 27 March 2012

No last kiss

AMIDST the sounds of chirping birds and tiny, noisy insects came the constant and annoying beep that pleaded for my immediate attention. Scantily dressed in a red and white negligee that I received at my recent wedding shower, I hesitantly crawled from under the covers and sleepwalked towards the alarm clock; the culprit that invaded my private moments and interfered with my slumber. It was 5:00 am but still my head pounded from too little sleep. I was exhausted from the activities of the night before and really preferred to be undisturbed.

Turning off the alarm, I lay flat on my back in the middle of the king size waterbed and listened to the soothing sounds of the waves splashing just moments from the back door; kicking up the ocean against the seashore. I inhaled the fresh summer scent of the morning dew and was captivated by the melodious love songs being chirped out by the nightingales.

This is all thanks to my cousin Barry who graciously invited Kevon and I to honeymoon in his beachfront bungalow, nestled on a tropical island off the coastal shores. Hiding away in our private rendezvous, we enjoyed each other for 14 days, undisturbed by the rest of the world, experiencing the true meaning of oneness.

With the sun now peeping through the make-believe stained glass windows, reflecting its rays on the chandelier replica above my head, I became fully conscious and smiled to myself as my eyes caught the remnants from the night before. I could still smell the sweet aroma of the dainty lavender candles that burnt throughout the night. I glanced at the empty champagne bottles, the stained long-stemmed wine glasses and the little cherry stems. I viewed the empty ice cream plastic containers, the chocolate wrappers, the half-eaten strawberries, the whip cream that melted on the floor, the fading red roses and the red and white comforter that was still crumbled in a corner, to the left on the floor. Oh, what a night it had been.

Lying beside me was the man with whom I enjoyed the pleasures of the night, he planned the whole thing. He called it Episode One. I lay there admiring every inch of his six feet two inches, one hundred and eighty-two pounds. His complexion was that of olives, and the hairs on his chest, arms and legs could not hide his toned biceps, triceps and other muscles which bulged from all angles. "When you are blessed you are blessed", I thought, laughing. In that instant I remembered my youthful wishes about what my husband to be would look like. I prayed that he would be well proportioned, well endowed -- my dream was now my reality.

As I watched him fast asleep, my heart palpitated with the movements of his chest as he breathed. My mind raced back to the wedding when he stood tall and proud waiting for me at the altar. Hundreds of invited guests and curious onlookers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the bride and her entourage. Though it felt like I was in a daze, I can still remember the stretches of white limousines, the bright lights of the camera flashing in my face, bottles of exquisite champagne, the gold and white decoration that seemed to be everywhere, the milky white wedding gown with the never ending trail. I can still picture the polite pilot in the gold and white private jet that eventually carried us away, across the deep blue Caribbean Sea.

We got fully acclimatised to the tropical island of Bermuda, and soon we were jetting back across the ocean to Jamaica. Though I enjoyed every moment of the honeymoon, I was excited that any minute now I would be home. Gazing through the plane window, the familiar landmarks caused me to forget the knots in my stomach that I usually experienced when preparing for landing. As the pilot guided the plane to a touch down, I silently thanked God for a safe flight, a safe landing and a splendid honeymoon.

Our chauffeur was already waiting to meet us and he spotted us quickly in the crowded airport. Within twenty-two minutes I was turning the keys to our front door. After collecting our suitcases and thanking our chauffeur, we hastily went upstairs, showered and changed in matching blood-red, skimpy night clothes. After a long night of Episode Two, sleep was still eluding me. Maybe because I was overly anxious for the morning to break, so that I could be reunited with my family and riends.

I tried to hide my exhaustion as I went downstairs at the break of dawn and headed to the kitchen to fix Kevon's favourite breakfast. For the heavy eater that he was, I was surprised when he only picked at the food, complimented me for the sumptuous meal and excused himself from the table.

Within minutes he was dressed and ready. He prepared to leave and I was devastated and disappointed that he did not kiss me. How could he think of leaving home without kissing me at the door, without a peck on the cheek, without giving me something to take me through the day? I gathered the courage to bar him at the door and begged one last time for a goodbye kiss. He did not oblige. This has never happened. Although we were so close, almost touching at the door, he said time was going and he did not want to be late on the first day back at work.

All the ladies surrounded me at work; they wanted to hear all the juicy details. They wanted to see the wedding pictures and find out how I was coping. I laughed at their jokes, I appreciated their thoughtfulness and read their welcome notes that were placed on my office door. At about 9:00 am I settled down in my comfort zone.

The phone on my desk rang. From reflex, I took up the receiver, and in my sweetest 'just-married' voice I said "Hello". The caller said he was sorry that he had to call. He said he just got the news and he wanted me to know. It was my cousin Barry and his voice was very low. He said it was an accident, no one saw how it happened but Kevon's car got out of control. His car went over a cliff, and turned over. The car was engulfed in flames. He said he was not sure if Kevon escaped, but most people thought so. They searched the scene but his body could not be found. Some eyewitnesses said he should still be alive as they were almost sure that they saw a man escape through the car's back door, just as it overturned. Between his sobs and tears, Barry asked if I could get a ride and come down to the police station.

My head swirled, as Barry's voice faded into a distant whisper. Flashbacks of Episode One and Episode Two flooded my mind and the picture of our last kiss grew hazy, as nausea and darkness engulfed me, I took a deep breath and fell to the floor.