Hard Luck – Short story; adopted from the book The ORIGINAL JAMAICAN Patois

Rudolph was twenty-one, and still a virgin. There were two reasons for this; one, he was so ugly that no girl in his home town wanted to be seen with him, much more to sleep with him. Two; he could not afford to pay the prostitutes even though he offered them more than what he thought was the going rate.
He read the newspaper column for ‘Pen-pals Wanted’, picked out some names and addresses, and wrote to a number of girls all over the island. He sent them money and asked them to spend time with him. They all took his money and denied his request. These money offers lasted almost a year before one girl replied, and invited him to her house for an up-coming holiday. She sent him a picture of herself and asked him to send her one of his by mail before she visits. He was ashamed to send his picture, so he asked one of his male friends for one of his, and sent it to the girl.
At the appointed time of the visit, Rudolph with his bicycle boarded the only bus that passes within three miles of the girl’s house. He left on the bus at two in the afternoon, and would not get there until after five.  He was hoping that it would be dark enough that the girl at first sight of him wouldn’t notice that he looked different from the picture he sent her
It was still daylight when the bus reached where she had directed him to get off. He rang the bell, and the driver stopped right where two teenage girls were standing. Rudolph got off, secured his bicycle, and as the bus drove off, he went to the girls to ask for directions to his friend’s house. He did not know that one of the girls was his pen-pal waiting there for him with her best friend. She had showed the picture to her, and they were there waiting for the person on the picture.
“A who yu be,”  “Who are you?” asked one of the girls.
Rudolph replied, and explained his mission.
Promptly, the girl pulled out the picture, and asked him who it was. Rudolph was ashamed and embarrassed. He tried to explain, but both girls called out, Cunu-munu, cunu-munu, teef, re-ape murda”.  “Ugly, ugly, thief, rape, murder”, as they ran from him.
Some men who were playing dominoes under a tree in the back of a grocery shop, heard the girls screaming, and saw them running with Rudolph in chase. They beat him severely, and bent his bicycle wheels. He was rescued by a passing motorist, who watched him as he walked away with his bicycle on his shoulder.
In the scuffle he lost his wallet, but he dared not return to search for it. He walked all through the night and most of the next day; more than thirty-five miles to his house. When he got there, his feet were swollen and he was tired and hungry. He vowed to himself that he would stay a virgin the rest of his life.
The months went by, and Rudolph stopped writing letters. Then out of the clear blue he received a letter from one of the girls he had written to more than a year before. She sent a picture of herself that he had requested when he sent her money. She asked for him to send her his picture. He remembered what happened with his friend’s picture that he had sent a girl earlier, so he decided to be honest with this one. In his reply to her he stated that he was too ugly to have his picture taken. He also remarked that anyone who tried to take his picture would have their camera broken. There is a common saying that ugly people break cameras.
This new girl was only about ten miles away, so armed with her picture he decided to play sleuth to find out who she was before they meet. He sure did find out that she was as pretty as her picture, and she worked as a live-in maid for a government civil service couple.
Over the ensuing months the letters went back and forth, and he eagerly wanted to get to meet her. Finally, he insisted on not only meeting her, but for them to spend time together. She told him in one letter that her employers spend one week-end every month at a north coast hotel, leaving their house Saturday morning and returning Sunday night. She thought this would be a perfect opportunity, if he could get to her by Saturday mid-day, so they could have some fun before nightfall. He wanted to make sure that she did not see his face in daylight, at least, not the first time they met. He replied that he would be there on the appointed Saturday, but that he might be arriving a little late.
It was between seven and eight that Saturday night when Rudolph got to the girls place, and he was glad that the kerosene oil lamp was dim, so that she could only see the outline of his face. He insisted that they turn out the light and go to bed right away, but she was determined on enjoying the ice-cream he bought her. He stripped down to his boxers and jumped into the bed.
“I wouldn’t do that,” she said.
“May I ask why?” Rudolph said, wryly.
“Mi bwoyfren caa come anytime”, she said. “Im know when mi bosses dem gone. Das why mi tell you fe come early, so dat wei caa ple-ay befoe night come.”
“My boyfriend could be here at any time. He knows when my bosses are out of town. That is why I told you to be here early, so that we could play and you leave before nightfall.”
Before she could finish talking, a car pulled up into the carport right across from the maid quarters’ front door. In a rush she opened the window to the back of the building and told Rudolph to jump. He did jump, wearing only his boxers. He told himself that he would wait until his rival leave, and then he could return to what he was about to do, but up to midnight he was still waiting, and the mosquitos played a number on his bare skin. Finally, he walked home, half naked.
Again, Rudolph vowed to himself that he would stay a virgin for his whole life.
One Christmas season a girl in her late teens moved into his neighborhood to spend the holidays with relatives. Rudolph wasted no time in offering the girl twice what the prostitutes were charging. Although she was not one of the so-called working girls, she gladly accepted the offer, and a date was set to be Christmas Sunday when she would be home alone.
 The week leading up to that Sunday, Rudolph started to prepare himself for the rendezvous. For four days straight he had turtle soup, laced with White Rum. He bought Chinese-brush, Spanish-fly and Coolie-ring. On the Saturday he inveigled a horse stable helper to sell him some horse tonic that the locals called ‘thanatology’.
Some of the boys in the neighborhood got wind that Rudolph was preparing for a woman. They badly wanted to know who she was, so that they could have one up on her, or scandalize her.
The Saturday all day and into the night they watched him discreetly. Nothing happened. None of them suspected that it would be the new girl, whom many of them also had eyes on. However, this girl had tricked Rudolph, because while he was dodging in the bushes, waiting for the family to leave for church; he noticed that the girl also left for church with them.
 Later that day, some of the same boys had to take Rudolph to the hospital for him to get medical care to relieve his penis of a phenomenal erection. All his extremities were also stiff. He remained in the hospital for three days to enable medication to bring him back to normal.
 Again he was disappointed and repeated to himself his vow.
Note: If it wasn’t for bad luck, some people wouldn’t have any luck at all.

About the Author
Laxleyval Sagasta is a freelance mixed genre writer from Jamaica. His books are on sale at leading booksellers; online and in stores. Like him on fb. Laxleyval Sagasta or Laxleyval LLC. Visit his page SAGASTABOOKS.COM. Join his book club and receive free books. Contact by Email [email protected]

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About the author

Laxleyval Sagasta