Jasminn Wesley

by Josette

Sometimes storms turn out to be a lot calmer than you expect. Particularly when you're ready for them. When you have no need to venture outside anymore, you have your emergency supplies in case the power goes out, and you are finally well tucked away into your warm bed, looking off towards the window, and watching the transparent lines of rain run down the windowpane.

I have finally learned how to manage my life, so that work and romance can be included. I have mended the rifts between friends and family for years, and for the first time in my life I realize that I am an amazing person. Unique, talented, beautiful, and hell if I don't have it all!

His name is Lenoxx Wesley, and my name is Jasminn Wesley. They call him my Father. I call him absent. That's been his permanent position since day fifteen of my life. And I mean it literally. He left two weeks and a day after I was born. He had moved to Canada, to provide for us. My mother and I were to meet him there once he was settled. When we finally got to Canada however, he wasn't alone. He had already found a new woman. My mother and I stayed in Canada anyway. She kicked his ass out, and we struggled to survive.I thought a storm had hit my life three years back when my mother died. The doctors said her lungs just gave out. They hadn't known. It took me hundreds of dollars and almost two years to get her medical records from Jamaica. Through the records they found out she had had a lung infection when she was a teenager, which had never been taken care of correctly. The lung infection eventually came back to get her.

I have been preparing myself all my life to meet him. If I can ever be prepared enough. I have an old address. I have an old phone number, and Lenoxx Wesley was what they call him. I call him absent. As a child I made up stories as to the reason for his absence. As a teenager I dreamt up what I might say to him. As a university student I fought back the need to blame him for things that had gone wrong. And as a woman watching, as dirt was thrown over the mahogany casket, containing my mother, I wanted to question him. To ask him.

I hate storms. In love, in friendships, in families, and yes, even in the sky. Because when they come, just like the sky is lit with lightning; pain surges through your heart. He's the last member of my immediate family, the one who can tell me what happened. Why he left. Although, my mother was a miracle, she wasn't perfect. She did things her way, not always the correct way. And that was avoiding any topic of Lenoxx Wesley, as they call him. And surely by now, you know I call him absent.

The plane ride to New Orleans is full of mixed emotions for me. I hate him, I love him, and I need him. I just want to know him. I feel as though he has moved all the way to New Orleans just to be far away from me. But that cannot be right. Once I get to my hotel room, I drop my bag, and my suitcase, and change quickly. It is time to meet him.

There are angry dark clouds in the sky, and I want to either be safe in his arms, or back in my hotel room when it starts. Safe in his arms? I find myself suddenly on his doorstep, looking at the brass doorknocker. Number fifty-six. My heart is racing, my palms are sweaty, and suddenly my new Laura Ashley, black suit isn't giving me as much composure as it had this morning. In the cab I had thought it over, planned it, knew what to say, by heart, but now I have forgotten it all. I feel out of place in front of this large looming grand old plantation style house. I need to leave.Storms are frightening. I wish my mother was here with me. He looks up and smiles and even though I can see myself in the features of his well chiselled, face, he doesn't recognize me.

"Oh! hello." He said, and he has a deep commanding, yet warm and welcoming voice. "Are you one of Rakeem's friends?"

For a moment I can't say anything, I'm just looking at him, as he brushes past me, and turns to wait for my response. I turn for what seems like forever, and stare at him. He's here. The man who should have been Mr. Miracle. I wonder who Rakeem is? His son? My half brother? And that's when I did it, when I muttered.

"Y...yes! I'm one of Rakeem's friends."

"Well, I hope to meet you again sometime. You should get out of this drizzle, their calling for a storm." And he had his hand on the door, and was pushing it open, he looks back over his shoulder and smiles. I said something, what I don't know, nor care to remember, as he closes the door.. I think it might have been 'wait'. But of course it's too late. He's gone.

"But Jasminn, you came for more than that. You came for those answers. You came to question him. You came! Do it!" I say to myself. "Just friggin do it!" I stomp up to the door. Resiliently. I knock hard on the door. Before I have the chance to finish knocking, the door opens. He looks at me, and I knew he knew. I want him to pull me into his! arms. Sa

"You have her eyes." He says. My shoulders relax suddenly. A sigh of relief escape my lips.

"You recognize me." I whisper. "You recognize me."

"You have my nose. My lips." He says. I felt like I should touch him then. Reach out and feel his lips, and his nose. I want so badly to be in his arms, to feel that closeness, only a father can provide.

"Lennox. Who's at the door honey? Supper is ready." I hear a woman's voice call from somewhere in the house. For the first time I smell the aromas of an evening supper in the air. He begins to close the door a little tighter. He doesn't want her to see me. I am so tired by this point. That I don't even argue. I don't fight. As long as he knows I am here. As long as he knows he has not escaped. As long as he knows.

"I'll be in touch!" He says, almost afraid. It doesn't matter if he will be in touch. It doesn't matter anymore. He's seen me, and I have seen him. He closes the door a little more, yet lingers still, looking at me. When he finally closes the door, he whispers sorry.

When the storm finally comes, I'm still outside. Brushing a mixture of rain, and tears from my face, standing on the corner, wishing I had told the cab to wait. I am looking down the street, at the great big white plantation house.

When the storm finally comes it soaks my black Laura Ashley suit, which no longer makes me feel composed. My feet, poised in shiny black heels, are situated in a puddle of water. My heart, and my tears stop suddenly, as a flash of lightning rips through the thick clouds, and lights up the sky. I glance up fearfully. I hate storms. But here I am standing in one, and no matter how much I had prepared, I would never be ready for it.

Jasminn Wesley by Josette

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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