Thursday, December 02, 2004

Living with that moment of terror

I was invited to stay with my Sister in Jamaica for a month. Ross and I were best buddies and so I asked him if he wanted to come with me, he agreed. He was a little upset because he suspected that things were not quite as it seemed with his girlfriend Jacky. He had suspicions that she was playing away from home, many a time in the pub he'd be confiding in me telling me what he'd do to who ever it was who was shagging his girlfriend. I'd be sitting there knowing everything and just nodding "Yes Ross. Firm but fair. Broken bones? Crippled for life? They'd be getting off lightly. " I knew for a fact that Brian amongst others was getting his quota. I kept quiet.
So we packed out bags and flew out to Jamaica. Where we had a great time until...............

One evening we were all sitting round the dinner table. Me, Ross, my sister and my brother-in-law Phil. Now Phil is not reknowned for his subtlety. In fact his nick name in the Navy was "Foot and mouth". He is as subtle as a brick through your window. So we were chowing down on spag bol and between mouthfuls Phil pipes up.
"So Mikel....." chomp chomp " what ever happened to that .... " chomp chomp. "girl you were shagging?"
"What girl?" I ask.
"You know...." chomp chomp "Jacky."
FUCK! FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK! Dead silence.You could hear a pin drop. My sister threw Phil a filthy look. I was stunned. Shit I'm dead.
Ross slammed his knife and fork down and slowly stood up.
Oh my God! Oh lord forgive me for my sins, I've never been to confession, but in these last few moments of my life can you quickly absolve me of just about everything I might have done that wasn't quite kosher, but be quick 'cause I'll be dead in about two seconds from NOW.
When absolute fear, abject terror takes over, it's like you are a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Ross moves round the table and walks straight past me. What? He walks through the patio doors and goes outside.

Phil just sits there knife and fork in hand looking round as we both stare at him. "WHAT?" he says "WHAT?......What did I say?"
"Philip you can be so stupid." spat my sister.
"But what?"
"Jacky is Rosss girl friend."
"Oh.............. Sorry."
"You will be."
Suddenly no one apart from Phil wanted to eat anything. He carried on.
"So were you..."chomp chomp "...shagging her?"
"For fucks sake Phil."
"I just ...." chomp chomp " ....wondered."
I got up.
"Where are you going?" asks sis.
"I suppose I'd better talk to Ross."
"Don't you think he's better left alone for a while?"
"Great spag bol darling."
"Shut up Phil."
I went outside and found Ross sitting in the dark, the sound of crickets was all around. For some reason I wasn't scared of him anymore. He was my friend, he wasn't happy. I walked over to him.
He doesn't even look up, he's sitting with his head down and he says "Four years ago you'd have been dead in your chair already, where you sat."
"I know."
"I'm catching the next plane home."
"Bad idea Ross, you can't afford it, you've got a return ticket, you'd have to buy another ticket."
"I can't stay here now."
"Of course you can."
"After I find out you've been shagging Jacky?" he looks up for the first time and stares hard at me. I feel myself flinch.
"But that's the thing I never did, there was nothing between me and Jacky, I never shagged her."
"So what was Philip talking about?"
"His usual rubbish."
Well Ross agreed to stop and forget everything for the sake of the remaining two weeks of holiday. We carried on having a good time, but not great, there was always the Jacky problem bubbling under the surface. I don't think he believed me. So when we got back to England I loaded up my Fiat 124 sport coupé, moved out and headed off for Peterborough.

Years later I went back to visit Ross, with my new wife and child, he seemed pleased to see me. Jacky was long gone and he told me he knew how she was. But I'm still not convinced he truly believed me. So if there is a million to one chance that Ross reads this. I have to say that I really didn't shag Jacky. I preferred to have a good friend than a quick shag. But we had some great times and some great parties. It's a pity it all ended like that.

iPod now playing - (Sexual) Healing by Marvin Gaye

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