The sound of a turbocharged car caught his ear, and Dominique turned and watched as the black four-door Sedan in pristine condition with chrome rims, roared past them. It instantly brought back memories for Dominique. He smiled.
“Hey, what are you smiling about?” Marsha asked.
“I have never told you this before but when I was 16 years old, my friends and I used to steal cars and sell them for scrap.The first car I stole was a grey 1998 Sedan, just like the one you just heard and saw. I killed the alarm by drilling through the battery and shorting out the electrical system. I planned the job for weeks and had a spare steering wheel and a battery as a backup. The sound of a turbo-charged engine brought back memories of the night I saw a beautiful Indian girl peeping through her bathroom window as I hid under a mask stole her parents’ car.
That night changed my life and I decided that I wanted that girl. At nights, I would look upon the lights on the side of the hills surrounding the capital and dream of owning a house overlooking the city. I bet that you didn’t know I was teenage Al Capone? The thing about it was that I was good at it too. I attributed my criminal success to keeping a cool level head while following the principle of demand and supply of the market with diversification and therefore; the sale of small bags of weed for $50 in school was a lucrative business. It took maturity and nerves of steel for a teenager to earn the trust of the local Don and to negotiate deals in the underworld. Organising a gang while being the head boy at school was not an easy feat.
Marsha, life was not easy; however, with an exemplary academic performance, strong leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit allowed me to provide money to sustain me and the household without a father. Growing up in my neighbourhood, I earned the reputation of being tough, smart. Once, Scotty Barnes stole my weed and I confronted him, taped the conversation on my brother’s Walkman and played it back for the Don to hear the entire conversation. Scotty Barnes was found the next day in a barrel near the waterfront with his throat slashed. Especially based on the fact that I gave the Don his share, nobody messed with me, and after that I knew the life of crime was not for me.”
“Wow! What a confession! Shit, Dominique that was you that night?” Marsha responded.
“Hey, who says crime does not pay, especially since I got the girl.”
Marsha was disturbed from her slumber at 6:00am by the persistent ringing of her cell phone.
“Who the hell would be calling me this early on a Saturday morning?” she mumbled and reached for the cell phone on the bedside table.
“Shoot my eyes feel as if they are filled with gravel.”
She glanced at the number on the phone’s screen. It was Daphne. So darn early it must be life or death.
“Hi Daphne, this better be important,” she said.
“Marsha, you know Mr. B, once he wants some thing he wants it now and so I have no choice, he wants your hubby to pick up a client. He is Chinese and he must be picked up at the airport on Saturday at about 11am, then take him to Mandeville. He will give you the name shortly, as his contact overseas has not yet provided the name of the person. I have to call you with more details later.” Daphne responded in her raspy voice that always annoyed Marsha.
When the call ended, she turned to Dominque and said, “Sweetheart, I need you to collect a client at the airport and deliver him to Mandeville this morning.” Marsha tried to mimic Daphne’s raspy voice; however she had left out some details about the job.
Upon hearing the raspy voice imitation, Dominique knew immediately that some drama would be close by, but from the description of the trip it sounded relatively simple. He was familiar with the route having made quick runs between Kingston and Mandeville for church camp.
After some thought, Marsha, shouted to Dominique who was in the bathroom, “Dom it’s better that I come along, from the sound of things the client was Chinese, and I speak a little Mandarin.”
Dominique was shocked that Marsha actually wanted to come along for the ride; it was extremely rare that they spent any time together on the road, especially as it related to the business.
By mid-afternoon, Dominque was feeling extremely lazy and wanted to see the T20 cricket match between the West Indies and India. At the sight of Marsha in the red mini skirt he loved so much, and the way it made her legs seem as if they could go on forever, he said to himself, I need to enjoy that now. He drew some deeply calming breaths and thought about the quick job. It would be a short trip, just from airport to Mandevillean hour, so it was a half round trip. What could go wrong? He would be back before 2 p.m. as it was only a 50 minute ride and back home with his gorgeous wife.
He knew red was her favourite colour, but the makeup and the outfit made his heart skip beats and flutter. She had his heart, mind, body and manhood all wrapped up. She looked as fine as a freshly minted $1,000,000.00-dollar bill. Her beauty was matched by her brains, and her presence commanded the attention of all who were around her. Dominique was already dressed in his white, designer, short sleeve shirt and black pants which madehim look very elegant and smart, especially with his recent haircut. The two complimented each other like two halves of a perfect circle.
He knew all the shortcuts between their home and the airport, so the drive from home in Havendale through the back roads of the capital, Kingston, to the airport should take them nomore than 30 minutes.He had spent the better part of Friday night washing and polishing the black High End Luxury SUV with the full sports package; the rims were like mirrors so that he could see a pimple on his face. The black leather interior and plush carpeting were free of dirt and dust and still had the new car smell.
Dominique had left the windows down as they drove out through the gate at home, and the sun was warm across their faces. He loved the feel of air conditioning, but Marsha always complained about being cold whenever she drove in the car and so, he decided to make her feel the heat of the morning sun. The peaceful suburbs gave way to the hustle and bustle of the main road leading to Half Way Tree, the robot taxis plying the route overtook them randomly, even around a blind corner along Molynes Road, making Dominique swing the car, slowing down to give him space in the line to avoid an accident.
“Damn asshole!”Dominique shouted through the window.
“Hey Dominique, we did not say a prayer before we drove out and we will need God’s guidance and protection on our journey,” Marsha said after his outburst.
‘It’s never too late, let us pray.”
“Father thank you for this life and the skills and blessings you have provided to us. We thank you for the job at hand and ask for your journeying mercies and bring us all home safely. Amen.”
“Amen!” he replied.
The traffic was congested, even on the expected shortcuts through the inner city that were normally empty for a Saturday morning. It annoyed Dominique.
“What the hell was causing this traffic, Marsha? It’s really strange for a Saturday morning to have traffic as if it was 9a.m. peak hour traffic on a Monday. I can’t take his miserable traffic, we have been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for the better part of 10 minutes Marsha, and the only people that seem to be getting anywhere are the motorcyclists who weave through the traffic. I don’t know which group is worse, the pedestrians who seem to just dash through the cars or the motorcyclists. Look how the roads are riddled with pot holes. Why do we even bother to pay taxes Marsha?” Dominque ranted.
“Dominique, you can’t make it get to you. Why don’t you just try and relax?” Marsha replied.
“Just look at this next hole! I swear I drove on this very road yesterday and this huge crater was not here!”
He scowled as he took his shiny shoe of the accelerator to allow the car to slowly crawl through the huge pothole that was at least 4 inches deep.
“I feel someone goes out at night and digs new holes in the road.”
“No, Dominique look down the road. It seems men are working I can see the cones along the centre line,” Marsha replied.
“So, do you really mean that the authorites wait until you and I have to go somewhere that they choose to fix the pot holes causing the bumper to bumper traffic?”
Finally after 45 minutes, Marsha and Dominique could see the ocean and felt the strong, salty sea breeze staining their faces the car as theywent around the round-a-bout. Dom was cheerful and playing Fire 105. The radio was so loud that the speakers vibrated.
“You must be blasted deaf!” Marsha said.
“I can’t take the boring music from your favourite station,” he muttered under his breath perhaps hoping that she wouldn’t hear his response.
There was the usual playful banter among them as they drove and laughed, but quietly she was concerned about his relationship with God, based on the type of music he found entertaining. She tried to blockout the music by looking through the windows at the variety of blooming bougainvillea plants with red and pink flowers, and she could have sworn she saw one with blue petals which blended in nicely with miniature oleanders that were also blooming in the median. They were beautiful and the palm trees were lush and beautiful. The blooms had transformed the once bare embankment into an oasis, memorable picture for the new arrivals to Kingston or for locals that traversed the thoroughfare.
“Hey Dominique when you are driving along this road aren’t you reminded of a plantation with royal palms with painted trunks lining the driveway to the great house?” Marsha asked.
“Yes, it's true,” he responded, “it really makes you feel as if you are driving through paradise and you get a warm feeling inside and you just can’t help but to smile when you look at the colours. It gives me this wholesome country feeling.”
Dominique had a playful look on his face.
“Honey, I’m extremely hungry,” Marsha said.
“So, where should I go?” he asked.
"Let’s try the shopping centre you just drove past, somewhere in there must have breakfast at this time.”
“Turn around? But that was ten minutes ago Marsha!”
Steam was literally coming through Dominique’s ears but he tried to keep calm as he went around the round-a-bout.
“Why didn’t you say something earlier Marsha?”
“I just felt for something now. You know why you’re getting an ulcer in your stomach, Dominique? You internalise your emotionstoo much,” Marsha chided him.
“Marsha how did you know what I was thinking about?”
“Dominique, I know everything about you even when you’re lying. You do the same thing over and over when you are annoyed while you driving, you stew and tap the steering wheel. Being angry with me and tappingon the steering wheel was just one way you show your feelings. There is very little that you can hide from me and you know it. You are so miserable Dominique, and for no reason; just look how empty the drive thru is.”
She could hear the crickets chirp in response.
“Honey, what do you want for breakfast?” Dominique asked. Then he blurted out, “Look they have hominy corn!”
“Why do you believe you always know what I want Dominique?”
Dominique was distracted by how cute the cashier was and seemingly paid no attention to Marsha’s question, she had dimples and Dominique winked at her and asked with his huskiest sexy voice, “Can I have two medium hominy corns please?”
Marsha poked him in his side; he winced with pain and smiled.
“That is because I know what you want before you even want it sweetheart,” he responded quickly, still smarting from the pain.
“This porridge is delicious! Why can’t I get this quality at home Marsha?” he asked.
“Until you teach me how to make hominy porridge, you willnot be able to get this quality porridge at home any time soon. Yes, it’s really delicious,” she responded. “However, I would have preferred mine much hotter, so next time we come here, please tell your new girlfriend to make sure your wife’s porridge is hot.”
Dominique laughed out aloud.
“Marsha each time we have porridge together I think of you as Goldilocks sampling the bowls of porridge in the bears in the cabin trying to find one with the temperature that was just right." He chuckled as he spoke, causing few kernels to leak between the cup and lip falling on his white starched shirt.
“Oh yeah! How did you manage that miracle Dominique Martin?" she enquired. “You know what, don't tell me. After hearing about your past earlier, I changed my mind.”“Haha!” he laughed “I had a link at the Firearm Licensing Authority who had managed to get my application approved for a small fee.”
The words Ming spoke resonated in Dominique’s head as he turned to Marsha on the drive back to Kingston.“Babes I can see a fleet of black high end Luxury SUV’s driven by men dressed in black pants and white linen shirts with 9mm handguns tucked into their waist bands and offices in Kingston and Montego Bay.”
"Wow Dominique you seem to have been spending time with this machine!” Marsha replied.He remained silent as he knew that any response would lead to further questions and there was no way he was going to set up himself to fail later by giving away too much information. He was relieved when she changed the subject as the recently constructed; six lane North Coast highways gave way to the three lanes of Mandela Highway.
Excited but apprehensive were just some of the emotions that Dominique Martin struggled with as he left the shopping centre.He was not yet 100 yards from the gate when his cell phone rang.“Hey Bimbo. What’s up?” he asked.“Dom, the next ca
Dominique heard her sigh and watched as she shook her head and walked over to the chair and took up his pants and shirt that were neatly folded and covered his firearm and wallet and phone. "Dominique here, if you had just gone straight home but I see why and what you had to break your neck to come to the bar. Put on your clothes and come."
Dominique was taken aback by the statement, seemingly it was not a good idea to come back here and even though Yanique had the qualifications for the job as his office manager as well as the looks her tongue had confirmed that nothing good would have arisen if he continued to associate with her. However, curiosity was still gnawing him and he needed to talk to her in private."Yanique can I have a word in private,” he asked.
Dominique could see Marsha smiling as she looked through the window of the living room to see him walking up the driveway.But with each step he saw the smile turn to a frown. Then she rushed towards the front door. "Where have you been? And why are you walking like that?” she shouted as she ran towards him, "I turned back earlier trying to find you after you jumped out of the car. I was not able to call you becauseI was not able to make any calls or open any messages and then it just went black!"