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Congratulations to Susette May for winning a $50 dollars book voucher and to Sheva Butcher on winning a $10 voucher. Prizes are redeemable at Jujube’s bookstore. (See new questions at end of this episode.)

Monkey Say Cool Breeze (Episode 20: The Ride)

By Marlon Bute

Ramnarine sat in considerable discomfort in the back of the police cruiser. Even his slender frame couldn’t adjust to the limited space in the cruiser, that he kept twisting and turning. Glass and mesh separated him from the driver and his partner. They were having a lively chat on a range of issues, but Ramnarine wasn’t in the least interested in what they were saying.

It was beginning to drizzle. One of the officers turned up the window and put on the AC. The cruiser started to slow down and through the mesh and glass, Ramnarine saw the exit. The cruiser climbed the ramp, headed south and made a left at the second set of lights, then a sharp right and descended to a grey building, below which they would park before taking the elevator to go to the 5th floor where he was to be taken to see Seetha.

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Ramnarine and the two officers walked briskly towards the elevator.

The underground parking was filled with ambulances, hearses, police cars, and dark sedans that Ramnarine figured were unmarked police cars. There must be over a hundred police cars, he thought. They reached the elevator. The elevator ride was quiet except for his breathing and his thumping heart beat. He wondered if any of the officers was hearing it. As the elevator door opened and they stepped out, Ramnarine started perspiring. He felt faint. The shorter of the two officers put his left hand on Ramnarine’s right shoulder. “Relax son, relax, and take a deep breath.”

Ramnarine and the officers walked passed the reception area. The taller officer nodded at the receptionist. They passed doctors and nurses walking briskly. They passed attendants pushing gurneys. The corridor was long. The walk seemed longer than the drive from his apartment. They stopped outside windowless double doors. “Here we are son, ” the shorter officer said. “Are you ready to see your wife?”Ramnarine didn’t hear the officer’s question. It seemed that he was lost in emotions. Because, he stood there and was even unresponsive when the officer touched him to get his attention.

It was after he was grabbed by both shoulders and shaken that he seemed to have reappeared from his reverie or wherever his mind had wandered.

“Are you ready to see your wife, Ramnarine?'”

Ramnarine was shaking. The tears swelled.

“Calm down son,” the officer said.

“Take a deep breath. Or, maybe you should do this a bit later if you are not up to it just yet.”

Ramnarine’s thoughts went back to when he first met his Seetha. She was young and beautiful and the woman that he had wanted to spend his life with. He had intended for them to have babies. He had intended for a life of happiness and prosperity with Seetha. He knew farming. He was a gifted farmer. It was in his blood and he knew that he could have expanded on the farm and farming traditions handed down to him by his father and grand fathers.

He had no babies and he had no farm. But, he had had Seetha.

He stopped shaking. He had questions to ask his wife. He wanted to know who she was and whether he actually knew her, and, if he did know her, he wanted to know what happened over the years.

Ramnarine took a deep breath and wiped his eyes. Why was he crying, he thought?

Shouldn’t he be indifferent at least? What did Seetha do for him? He was working steadily and being rewarded at his work place. He had met Christine. He had moved on with his life.

The closure will be good, he thought. Then he could move on with his life.

“I am ready to see her.”

The double doors were thrown opened and Ramnarine stepped inside to a sea of cadavers.

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(Next episode on Wednesday)

  1. What was Ramnarine doing when the police officers showed up at his door?
  2. Describe Ramnarine’s ride to his destination.
  3. What was going through Ramnarine’s mind on his visit to his destination?
  4. Where was Ramnarine going? Describe the building and name the vehicles that he saw on his way.
  5. Describe the attitude of the police officers towards Ramnarine?

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