My grandparents brought us up to show respect for other people’s homes and their privacy even as guests with standing invitations. Even if they told you that nothing was off-limits. That you didn’t have to ask. I was raised to show respect and consideration for them and still have the decency to ask, because sometimes, you never know, and it’s better to be sure than to cross a line you had no idea was there.
You made yourself comfortable in my home really quickly and had no noticeable conflict about moving and rearranging my things, about helping yourself to things that were in cupboards or closets and not easily in reach. You made yourself comfortable snooping around and searching for things for what was at the time an unknown purpose, shrouded in secrecy and shadows. Now that it’s too late, I know what you were doing: searching for things from my past with other men, one man in particular, that you could use as evidence that I am both unfaithful and untruthful about who I am and where I come from.
Our second argument, as equally ridiculous as the first that occurred over the positioning of my microwave on the counter in my kitchen of the apartment that I worked to pay the rent, water, and electric for, had its roots in your blatant disrespect of my space and my privacy. When I came home from work that evening, it was warm and sunny. The windows in the kitchen were open, but the blind was still down, and the breeze was blowing through the screen hard enough that the blind clacked against the window frame in protest. I rolled my eyes at you and asked what the point in opening the window is if the blind is down. You said you wanted privacy. From the neighbors that never failed in the past to respect others around them. Suddenly they were looking in my kitchen trying in desperation to see what you were doing?
I walked over to the window to pull up the blind, and then I noticed that the middle cupboard by the refrigerator was open. It was a mountain of bottles and boxes, all except for one shelf. I turned and looked at you and asked if you found everything okay, following it by an inquiry as to why it was necessary to destroy the cabinet and leave me the mess. And then you went off.
I stood in shock, staring wide-eyed, mouth open, as you gave me a dissertation on how I was a liar because you found a half-full bottle of Godiva liqueur in my cupboard. When I came to, you pulled me over the mess and redirected my attention to the bottle in the cabinet, and asked me why I was hiding it from you, hitting me with an interrogation that could only be rivaled by the Spanish Inquisition.
Busted! You found me out, Sherlock. I like Godiva. Call the newspaper and have them run a special edition, for this is clearly news of urgent import. The community must know about the lunatic in apartment C. Get the kids in the house, clock you doors, and black out the windows…. Now that my curiosity was peaked, I just had to find out what was so sinister about that one bottle being in my pantry. And I was not prepared for the random inferences, logic, and subsequent conclusions that followed.
Somehow, from this frosted brown glass bottle, you inferred that I was lying to you about where it came from, the men I dated in the past, and why I act the way I do. You did not go so far as to call me a whore in this argument, but the word you used made it clear. Your dominance and control should not have come as a surprise in the weeks to follow. The microwave and the bottle of Godiva were tests.
I failed to see why you needed to be digging in the cupboard in the first place, because it wasn’t even pushed out of view anyway. It was readily visible and easily accessible. You knew it was there. You just wanted to fight. This is first time you gave Kerwyn that name, Jamaica 2, and Marlon you dubbed Jamaica 1. I hate to break it to you, but your geography is slightly …. okay… seriously lacking.
The fact alone that their names are different should tell you cannot give them sequential monikers. Second, neither of them currently live in Jamaica. Or ever, actually. Third, neither of their families are from Jamaica. Marlon’s family lives in Canada, but they are very, very Bajan. As in Barbados. Interestingly enough, I am pretty sure that Barbados and Jamaica are not the same country. Kerwyn’s family lives in New York by way of Trinidad. You know, the West Indies? Correct me if I am wrong, but I think Trinidad is as much Jamaica as Barbados.
You weren’t very happy when I corrected you, and your only response was to imply that I was already cheating on you with….. Kerwyn. Yep, you got me again Super Sleuth. At night, when you are snoring loud enough to trigger earthquakes in China, I sneak downstairs, lead him up the stairs, handle business, and send him back to the City. Perhaps, I felt over-confident when I asked you if you were crazy. You glared at me, and only then did I realize that it was now 6:30 p.m., and you were still standing there in your robe.
Why didn’t you get dressed, and who said you could dig in my pantry anyway? I had a life before you, and I was allowed to. And I kept certain things partly because of who they were from. And I certainly didn’t have to explain it to you. A bottle of Godiva.
Thank you for that memory and the loud guffaw that came roaring out of my mouth when it strangely popped in my head about a half hour ago. I needed that.