Monday, September 05, 2005

Community Effort

"Me modder-in-law slap me. Throw me down. Say me thief money," Safeeya tell we when she come for help, sit in we verandah and shed a flood o' eyewater.

With every teardrop, one abuse, two abuse, three, four, five, six abuse pour out. Pour out hazza-bazza, confused and confusing from the scramble-egg-thought-factory in Safeeya brain.

Yes, on Tuesday afternoon, while them birds twit and flit in me mother garden, and the sun behaving vex and frowning fierce and hot, we listen to Safeeya with pity in we heart, 'bout all that she endure living with she Husband and he mother and father in the li'l shack-house.

Soon o' morning, Tuesday morning, Safeeya say, The Husband accuse she o' thiefing he money.

She say she ain't thief it. He ask she, if she ain't thief, where she get money from to buy things?

She say she sister from 'Merica give she money when she visit last month. That is the money she use to buy a small bottle coffee, peanut butter and hair colour.

And still he accuse she.

She cuss he.

He tell he mother.

The mother accuse she at the breakfast table.

She cuss the mother.

Whap! The mother slap she.

She tumble from she chair, shake the table, plops, hot tea fall on she lap as she land on the floor.

And she Husband sit down and all he say was, "Awright, awright, stop," in a frighten, frighten voice.

Then he tell he father, "See that there is no more fighting in this house. Put a stop to it." And he leave for work.

"What kind o’ Husband he be?" Safeeya say to we. "He no defend me when he mother hit me. Me no want go back there, me want to leave he. Let he find one o' them gyal he does tell me 'bout, one o' them gyal from Abroad who want to marry he. Me tell he, when he come home this afternoon, he no gon see me.”

Me mother explain, "If you want to leave, you gon have to make a report to the police, you gon need the police to go with you to take you things. Or you mother-in-law can make a report that you thief things from she house, and she can report that you thief the money too."

Safeeya face turn blank, she neck stick out, she mouth heng open, she eyes get dull and she eyebrows twitch into a slow frown.

She processing the information.

She look as if she ain't understand one thing.

I repeat what me mother say.

She eyebrows un-twitch, she eyes un-dull, she mouth close, she neck un-stick out, and she face show understanding, she say yes.

Off to the police we went, I go 'cause I ain't want to leave me poor ol' mother to deal with this alone. [Besides, I fass, yes, inquisitive.]

The police take the report, but not serious. They send for Husband.

Husband give he perfect English version, arrogant, stabbing counter with forefinger, he saw things coming into the house, and he wants to know where she got the money from, he does not give her much spending money, so where did she get the money from to buy the things, he’s not accusing anyone, and no, how can she say his mother hit her, there is no mark, no bruise.

He eyes bug out, he ain't even glance at he wife, she sitting on the bench, she head hanging low, low, she like a dawg that get a solid beating.

The police heart wringing with pity, sorrow all over they face. The whole police outpost get silent.

Then the Corp. in charge warn Husband about domestic violence, and he give orders to the other policeman to escort Safeeya to fetch out she belongings.

[The police outpost ain't got no vehicle, he went in we car, then we had to take he back to the outpost].

Well! If you see the young policeman like knight to the rescue o' damsel in distress, handsome knight with high cheekbones and shining dark skin.

He help she to fetch baskets, bags, big, round plastic tub o’ clothes, more clothes, and more clothes. All the clothes that folks send for Safeeya from Abroad.

The whole community raise they hands to help Safeeya on Tuesday afternoon.

Auntie M. who live in Safeeya village, she store baskets o’ clothes that couldn't fit in we car.

One other auntie, she find a job for Safeeya, as soon as Safeeya walk out o' from Husband and in-laws. Easy job, companion to independent, bright, alert old lady. If Safeeya want the job, we gon take she to meet the old lady mother the next day.

We phone Safeeya mother in the country. The mother ask if we can keep she daughter 'til she come for she on Friday. [Safeeya don't know to travel home by sheself on bus and ferry, y'see.]

Yes, the whole community turn out to help Safeeya start a better life.

How we could not help?


When a gyal like Safeeya is in distress...

...a gyal with a scramble-egg-mind, a mind that take two, three questions to tell the police she Husband real name, not he nickname; a mind that don’t even know she Husband age...and she still think she is 23 years old, though she is 26 now...or more...

...when we see a gyal like that in distress, how in all honesty, we could turn she 'way?


Dr. Sangreal said...

Quite sangreal of you. Keep up the good work.

Caribbean Colors said...

Eeeee gads Gyal. Mebee I cheer you oup wid my - nasty amerikan gial/ latte aint gotta nuf milk - story lata, but right now I have to go to work.

Icylyrics said...

Hey GG. How's it going? Feels good to be reading you again. Loving the stories as usual. Lots to tell. Will send you an email in a couple of days.


kfu mama said...

sigh...this fambly story nevah done... i got to print an gee Aunty A when i go see she next week

DCveR said...

You are a big softie GG, that's what you are. Heart as big as your writing.

Dan Flynn said...

Looks like everyone's on S's side. Good!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Safeeya is lucky to have so much support. I'm impressed by the whole story, and the police response in particular. I hope Safeeya finds happiness.

piu piu said...

did u ever see the 90s film 'fried green tomatoes' gg? i think the themes within it reflect much of what frustrates u about gyanese women today...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Thank you, Dr. Sangreal. New word for me there :-)

Caribbean Colors, one day I'm going to head over to Belize and sit in your art gallery, have some of that latte, buy some art. Dream, dream, dream.

Icy, mah gurl, you're back! I hope Noo Yawk is good to you.

Kf mama, yep, this house! Remember Michael the jailbird? Harry? Joe? Toolie? The never ending string of people father & mother used to help.

Dcver, was my parents' fault. Gave their offspring softie genes, one brother is the worst of all. My auntie M's children too, my grandfather was one too. We were doomed before we were born.

Dan, wait 'til you hear what happened :-(

Zinnia, the police was sweet. I couldn't believe. No-one gets to hear about this side of them.

Yes Piu, I saw Fried Green Tomatoes, and yes, I remember frustrated, angry women...I must watch it again, thanks.

kaiyareturns said...

wow I'm happy for safeeya she finally got out... scramble-egg-mind is such a great phrase... I was going to say to your last post, that all you can really do, is just to continue to be there in a way that allows you to continue living your life as well.

Because people have to learn their own lessons and I'm glad to see that you did continue to help her.

I just hope she can stay out of trouble or her husband will stay out of her way...

kfu mama said...

if me remember dem? sheesh... you right, we were doomed before we were born....every Sat morning gate knockin an is somebody will long long eye watah an story....

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ohhh Kaiya, wait 'til you hear what that girl did after all! Sheesh.

Kungfu mama, people still come knocking. Sometimes I grumble, no lie, sometimes I grumble.