I was in a car leaving my partners house in Arima. I had stayed too late, but it was her parent’s house so sleeping over was not an option. We ordered a car, said our goodbyes and parted till the next time. The moon was bright overhead- wide and full. The music in the car was perfect for the light mood of the evening. I said to the driver, “Do you see this moon?” after hitting the highway, the moon seemingly following us. He cleared his throat and spoke, “Uh yea”. I complimented his playlist and asked if he curated it himself. He said with some pride and now with interest in his tone, “Yes, I sing so I like to listen to all kinds of music to practice”. My curiosity peaked and he got comfortable. We talked for the remaining hour long drive to my home in Barataria.
When I got home, I paid him most of what I owed, and we exchanged numbers. As I typed his name into my phone I caught a shadowy glance of this fella and thought to myself, “eh , he looks nice and seems like a sweetheart, maybe we’ll make good friends”.
Our relationship was easy. We went out on dates, took vacations and met up casually often as we worked walking distance from each other. He was politically intelligent, sensitive, talented, fun, financially secure and was in it for the long haul. I was enjoying his company. There was other things too like possessiveness, pettiness, crossing boundaries, and an imbalance of power in the relationship which he couldn’t acknowledge. He was comfortable and I was just getting by. I felt unsure about whether I wanted to settle with him. The only way he would accept my polyamorous lifestyle was if it was a female partner. That was not how I wanted to be in a relationship so we knew we were not going to be together forever. He thought he was the obvious choice for a woman to match with. *Eye roll* The entitlement.
“Don!” I yelled from the kitchen. The door to my room remained close and no movement seemed to be happening. I was in a struggle with a relative. A knife in his hand and vast dead space in his eyes. I was losing my grip and coaxing wasn’t working. I called again in desperation but this time the door opened. He walked out sleepily dragging his feet and rubbing his eyes. The lights revealed what all the commotion was about. I shouted impatiently, “Don, do something!” I was about to be stabbed in my own home by a family member I had cared for and sheltered. My heart and sense of safety was fracturing by the millisecond. I was falling apart. He was a trained firefighter and a grown man he could handle this damaged teenager right?
In one move there was oil on the floor from a nearby pan and I was loose but now worry rose like an air balloon in my chest. There was a knife between the three of us and a slippery floor in a small apartment kitchen- anything could happen. Before my cousin could be subdued he managed to jab Don right in the chest. The combination of the jagged blade and the heated fight caused blood to flow out his chest like a steady leaking faucet. The match came to an end finally and the assailant found some sense in his defeat. The high was over and I could see him come down from whatever demon had possessed him. He left cursing and slamming things into a backpack, burning the bridge behind him.
Don and I visited hospitals, completed a police report and I seeked counselling for the incident. He got 3 stitches and had to take off from work for a few days while the pain subsided. But we were never the same. He wanted us to go steady. After all he did take a knife to the chest for me. I felt guilty but didn’t want to compromise on my sexuality
Don is by no means a villain or a victim in my eyes. The way I see it we were, like most relationships, exactly what the other person needed at that time. We made an impact in each other’s lives and we are better for it.
We were in a mall walking one day and he saw a stall selling crystals. Knowing about my witchy ways insisted I pick one out to wear. I asked which one he liked and he choose a clear crystal quarts, cracked and warped with smooth edges. He said it reminded him of me. I looked at the other stones amoung them was my birthstone and many other beauties. But his choice was unmistakably perfect like the playlist singing so sweetly on the first night we met. I like to think this stone has continued to protect me and purify the energy I take in.
I know he is not the same man either. He has learnt a lot about feminism, processing grief, how to be a better kisser and that a relationship doesn’t have to be physically abusive for it to end. I think about him now and then and hope he is well.