General

Many Rivers to Cross Part 2

The story of a young single parent, Jamaican man; caught in the corporate Caribbean world.

The rigid masculine bachelor faces challenges that may tear his successful career into pieces. He has so much to offer a young woman but wrestles with striking the balance between being a great role model to his son and yet being happy with his total development.

Will our friend every find rest or will he become trapped in a world dominated by past flings and rising conquering lions?

Screen Two

Antigua Recreation Ground, St Johns, Antigua

In front of a packed Antigua Recreation Ground, on the first day of this historic test series, West Indies versus World Champions England.

Here is Bloom from the Vivian Richard Stand, in now to bowl to debutant Simon. He is up pass Umpire Ballentine… and Simon is wrapped on the pad… there is an appeal for LBW.

A ball pitched on the leg stump and which cut back sharply. The umpire is considering…Barrington Simon shuffled across the wicket…Ballentine is in fact raising the finger. He has given him out…much to the delight of the Englishmen. West Indies 63 for the loss of some 3 wickets after 27 overs… after comments from John Jefferson, Mr Chris Whittaker from RJR will be up with your ball by ball coverage.

What a way to start your test career oh well… I know Craig will be most disappointed. England has gotten their hands gripped on this match, I hope our boys can rebound and at least make a game of this encounter. So many have travelled so far to see this match up.

So where is your son…Kevon.

He is in the stands hanging out with his friends.

Told him I would be busy today. Old man Pervez hasn’t seen me yet, that’s why you see me here checking out the game.

Kevon, you haven’t seen him… he has been asking for you all morning…

He actually wanted you to sit with Duchess Katherine and Sir Lawrence Fernando, who are here along with the British Prime Minister’s party, seated in the Royal Box.

You must be kidding me…Richard why didn’t you tell me before.

I didn’t remember…I was over by the players pavilion talking with manager Lara, when I saw the old man looking all frustrated and anxious about how today’s proceedings were shaping up.

By the way… he said you are being rather carefree in how you manage the WICB’s most critical series in decades. I guess he came this morning and wasn’t impressed with the grounds and logistics and protocols for dignitaries.

We, myself and Pervez, along with Digicel Wireless Public Relations Manager Kandice Marshall, were here until late last night making final arrangements.

What’s Kandice doing here… I thought the contract was signed off on long ago…

So we all thought Kevon but you seem to have fumbled the contract.

Kandice arrived last evening from Kingston for the series opener and was actually threatening to withdraw Digicel’s sponsorship of this match and the entire series, if the grounds are not in immaculate condition with her company logo in strategic locations.

She really was difficult I must say…

But Richard, I had hashed out all the logistics with her and she said all was well…

Yes Kevon but that was months ago…

She actually said the way we were managing Digicel money was scandalous.

What does she mean by scandalous… this is news to me… So why didn’t any one call me…. there must be something going on that I don’t know about…

Kevon, you are the marketing guru, so I guess you should know everything…

Richard don’t be snotty, no one said to me anything to indicate they were dissatisfied. Neither Kandice nor Prevez.

Damn it… you know what I’ll see you later dude… Let me go make my way across to the Royal Box and see what this is about.

Yeah, yuh better young souljah for your job may well be on the line…

Don’t count on it…before I lose my job I will quit…No mix up and blender is going to take me down.

Richard we have to talk more on this later…cause I really thought we had covered all the boundaries.

We all thought you had, man, we all thought you had… Anyhow don’t worry yourself once you pull off a stampede here at the ARG, Pervez will be back to himself…

Duchess Katherine, I hope you and members of the Royal party, Sir Lawrence Fernando and Prime Minister Lord Britton, are enjoying the match and our Island hospitality.

Oh yes, we are Mr Prevez, it’s a privilege to have journeyed to the Caribbean to view this historic encounter. King Charles wanted to be here for the opening match but he decided he would rather be in Jamaica for the second match at the new Courtney Walsh Grounds in Caymanas, St Catherine.

That’s wonderful news, we know he was considering our invitation but with the political climate in Kingston, the press was reporting that the King would never fly to Kingston.

So, will you journey over to Jamaica next week too or are you heading back to London? We would be so happy to have you and Sir Lawrence at the gala dinner for the players on the lawns of Kings house.

It would be honour to be there but the palace had asked that we stay in St Johns through March 18th, as we attend a charitable banquet being hosted by the British High Commission. We had received the invitation in advance and since it is to benefit the Antigua and Barbado Library Service we thought we could not decline.

Yes, I hear you both are avid readers and a marvellous writer is Sir Lawrence. I have read his anthology of African writers.

Yes, Sir Lawrence lived in South Africa for much of his life before coming to England as a young man. He is still fond of his childhood years and the land that nurtured his ego.

Ha ha… I see… ah, ah whoa!!! Look at that massive hit, Russell hoisted that well over the long boundary that was six glorious runs.

The crowd really enjoying that… Ah, Kevon…

Here is the man that I wanted you all to meet… Mr Kevin Whittingham, our Marketing Director at the WICB.

Great to meet you all. It’s a silly time to be in here but I couldn’t have missed the opportunity to meet the Duchess and the entire Royal party in person. Having been communicating with the palace for months regarding your stay here in St Johns, I hope you are enjoying our genuine hospitality.

Oh yes, I was just remarking to Mr. Pervez of our deepest appreciation for being in this part of the world again. We came to the last series in 2006 and now some 5 years later

We are back in the Caribbean. Much has changed but then the beauty of the people still enriches us.

Glad we could help bring that all together…

Well hello, Mr Whittingham. I haven’t seen you since I arrived here in St Johns. Is either your boss has been hiding you or you have been awfully busy.

Excuse me, Duchess Katherine, Sir Lawrence, I don’t know if you have met Miss Kandice Marshall, she is Senior Public Relations Manager with Digicel Wireless Caribbean.

The Royals, how nice; great to meet you Madam, Sir…

This young fella is trying, however trying to weasel his way out of some pressing matter with his boyish charm and quite frankly I will not have it…

Dutchess Katherine, Sir Lawrence, it’s was a pleasure meeting. I am sure I will see you all later at the Diplomat Hotel where there will be a Government banquet in your honour; could you please excuse.

Miss Marshall, how could you be so rude, don’t create a scene please…not here… My boss is already up to his neck in crasses I am told because you went back on your word.

You told me that the contract was good and that your bosses at Digicel were happy.

No, Mr. Whittingham, maybe I was the one who was taken for a ride because you have not called me since our meeting in Kingston in early February.

I had no reason to call you… you stated that the contract was perfect and that you would sign it and send it to Mr Pervez.

I took you at your word… and look how nasty you have gotten… talking about the board financial handling being scandalous.

Don’t you realize that all this will fall on my shoulders. Kevon, I really don’t care who gets booted, I want some action and I know how to get it.

Ding a ring…I wonder who is this calling… It’s long distance, I better take this outside, excuse me please…

Just hurry it up…cause I am a woman who doesn’t like to wait, much less wait around among a bunch of hypocrites.

Just hold it down… I’ll be back.

Hello… is this Mr Kevon Whittingham?… We have here a collect call from Miss Rachel Stewart in Kingston, Jamaica. Will you accept the charges…?

Yes sure… Is wha this pon me Father… what Rachel want now…

Hello Kevon… It’s Rachel… I am sorry to be disturbing you… I figured you would be at the match… I had no choice but to call you.

I didn’t know who else to call; and I only have one call anyways…

Seh what… Where are you…it’s very noisy in the background…

Kevon, I am at Fort Augusta State Prison for women.

What the hell you doing there… don’t tell me… a must wan social visit yuh deh pon…what you big friend Marjorie inna crasses again…

I can’t tell you everything now but I was arrested last night and they won’t allow me on the street without me meeting bond.

Rachel don’t tell me this is happening… Oh my God…

The bond is set at 250,000 dollars, Kevon… I would call Mom, Dad or Jerry but I fear that I will break their hearts…or send them to Ward 21…

It’s that bad!!! What you want me to do… I have 4 more days that I have to over see the game and the grounds, it’s a bumper series… and what do I tell Craig… that I am going to Kingston to bail his Mom from prison? For what…what sort a slackness you go get yuh self inna again… Yuh know what, I don’t even wha hear…

To be continued…

About the author

Nicholas StJohn