Insight (in mind)

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When he had turned the corner, Scrampie straightened himself up. Out of sight, out of mind, his mother always said. He never wanted to be out of Miss Evans’s mind, but knew that there were more pressing things ahead. The Dancehall would wait, but would Agatha Evans. He had heard that she was going over to England. He would have to be quick. As he climbed the hill, and Pastor Evans’s Tailoring shop skulked into view, he started running, until at full pelt, he dipped like a sprinter reaching the entrance.

‘Boy, you late again,’ Pastor Evans said, looking up from his sewing machine, checking the clock above the front door. ‘How many times must me tell you that you start work at midday? Twelve o’clock. So, me does need you here at twelve, boy. Twelve. You hear me? Father Cuthbert Brown did need his suit thirty minutes back. I told you yesterday. Take it up the cathedral, now, and come back straight. I have something I need you fi do for me,’ Pastor Evans pointed at the brown checked suit he had made before Father Brown had left for England. It fitted him properly then.

‘I did see your daughter at de Nursing Agency, just now.’ Scrampie said, standing by the door; suit in hand, but disinclined to move.

‘I haven’t got time to talk about Agatha, and you ain’t got no time to tink about she. She na tinking bout you, Jacob,’ Pastor Evans said and waved Scrampie off again.

‘Who say I was talking about Agatha?’ Scrampie said and was gone, back down the road to the Cathedral.


 ‘That boy sweet on you Agatha,’ Roslyn said, watching Scrampie as he swayed into the road, but righted himself before a Blue Ford Anglia clipped his right leg.

‘That boy born doltish, me na bodder wid him no more. Stop smiling at me like dat so,’ Agatha said as she checked her reflection in the shop window and laughed hard.

‘You never did answer my question,’ Roslyn said looking at her wristwatch. ‘When you next have to go back to the Agency?’

‘Me seeing she again nex Tursday at half-pass-ten, but me have fi get me tests and dem and go to the Passport Office first. You have to do the same?’ Agatha relaxed Roslyn’s grip and looked back at the disappearing Cathedrals and the retreating St Vincent and the Grenadines Nursing Employment Agency, her ticket to another world. Her passport to Wales.

‘Yes. Me too, I’ll see you then. Wait, I’ll see you at Church on Sunday. Is your farder preaching? I have fi meet my mudder, now, in the market we need pick up some provision. Bye. See you Sunday morning,’ Roslyn released her hold and, without looking, crossed the road again.

‘Yes. Bye.’ Agatha Evans stood on Main Street, she would continue up Granby Street, and into Halifax Street. Who were these people they named roads for? Roslyn continued to duck in and out of Main Street’s traffic. ‘Do you want to meet up for a cup of tea before we go in…’ but Roslyn couldn’t hear her. She waved, nothing came back.

Agatha could hear Roslyn cussing the driver of a Ford Anglia as she reached the other side. Ford Anglia man, stopped, gestured at her and cussed her stink. That a man would cuss a woman so close to the Cathedral amused Agatha greatly. As he drove off, she thought she recognised him, but couldn’t think from where. It was the white streak, in his side-parted afro, she had seen somewhere. Forget about it and it will come back, she thought, as she took a last look at the Agency and trudged her twisting path home.


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