The Peta-Gaye Harrison Back Story

Reads: 89  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Review Chain


Metals clang softly and sounds of cloth ripping had her mind wondering what was going on. Whatever it was, made her stomach clench nervously and a familiar foreboding feeling had her mentally
chanting reassurance in her head as she fumbled with the last piece of clothing in the darkness.

Submitted: May 16, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 16, 2018

A A A

A A A


Capture Land, Spanish Town, Jamaica- Nineteen Years Ago.


"Weh ya go, Oshane?" Peta-Gaye remembered asking her brother one night when the glow of something crossed her face from the living room, waking her from the sleep needed. Rubbing her eyes clear, the girl hopped off the only bed onto the red polished wooden floor, that creek in protest even from her weight. The dull glow came from a cell phone that broke through the inky blackness of the night in their tiny apartment as easily as a hot knife through butter. At the sound of her voice, Oshane turned the light in her direction, a splash of it illuminated his own face. Black eyes and an unreadable expression.

Anyone who's ever met Oshane Harrison would say that he's a quiet person who always takes his school work seriously. Never gets into trouble like the other boys in the community and a loving brother to his little sister. A man of the house when their mother was away 'working'.

Oshane Livingston Harrison never spoke above a conversational level.

Silence rivers always ran deep.

"Peta-Gaye," he said sternly, the familiar warning clear even in his whispered voice. He's always telling her that she was not like the other people where they lived so she shouldn't act like them.

"Just because we were born in the ghetto, it doesn't mean we belong here, so don't behave like you do."

This included the way she spoke and if she messed up then there would be the devil to pay.

"Where are you going, Oshane?" Peta-Gaye hurriedly corrected herself. Her voice was small and she tried to hide how timid she felt before him. Because of her mistake, her heart was thundering a staccato rhythm in she could feel through her nighty as she prepared herself for the punishment to come. A breath of silence past between them before her brother decided to say something.

"You're only nine, you don't need to know where a big man like me goes. And I don't have to tell you."

Maybe the punishment would come at a later time, Oshane was spontaneous in his delivery of punishments. Unpredictable as they come.

The phone screen said that it was two in morning!

Peta-Gaye frowned mulishly at him as he grinned back at her. Not a smile.

"You're not a big man, you're only seventeen." She said defiantly, surprising herself. This wasn't the first time she had caught her brother sneaking out at late hours of the night but this was the first she had grown enough courage to call him on it. But she had been worried that he was following bad company which wasn't uncommon. It was almost like a status quo there in the ghetto.

Father leaves: Boy finds one to replace him.

Unfortunately, the ones that they find are usually in the shape of a Don or Gang Leader.

Though they shared the same mother, Oshane and Peta-Gaye had different fathers. Both had not stuck around after their mother got pregnant.

A shadow crossed her brother's face dimming his wolfish grin a bit.

"You of all people should know that children can't be children forever around here, Peta." His voice would've sounded casual to anyone else but Peta-Gaye felt her heart speeding up again as dread settled in her stomach. She'd always feared her brother instinctively, learning early in her life that with Oshane, a smile was never a good thing and to take nothing as it seemed. She tried to put up a brave front nonetheless. Afterall, one doesn't cower before a wolf unless one wants to be eaten.

"Peta, the world doesn't look at you or me as innocents to protect as you found out most recently," He said still with that casual air while remarking on a painful event that happened to her just six months before; remorselessly retching up her anxiety and the scalding shame that came with it. Her eyes stung with the unshed tears that accompanied the memory but she raised her chin in defiance. Determined -in her own way- to have some sort of control and she felt something swelled within her when she was able to hold his gaze while keeping her tears at bay.

He tilted his head at her, studying her until the light from the cell phone died and he had to press a button to start it up again. When light invaded the darkness again he pointed towards the foot of the bed behind her then said,

"Get dressed," in his signature tone brokered no argument.

Spinning around she noticed that her black jeans pants and long sleeve black T-shirt was outlined on the mattress neatly. Her black sneakers were there too, lined up with the foot of the pant.

As she made her way towards the bed's end, she wanted to open her mouth to ask why she was getting ready in full black at 2 AM but experience told her not to. She had messed up on her vocabulary and she knew that was just pushed to the side and not forgotten like she was still stupidly hoping that it was. She didn't need to add more to her plate.

The light disappeared as soon as her fingers touched the waistline of her pants. Oshane must have needed it for whatever it was he was doing, she guessed.

Metals clang softly and sounds of cloth ripping had her mind wondering what was going on. Whatever it was, made her stomach clench nervously and a familiar foreboding feeling had her mentally chanting reassurance in her head as she fumbled with the last piece of clothing in the darkness.

"Done?" Oshane asked still with his back turned to her.

She was so nervous her head nodded instead of answering aloud. Anticipating that he would turn around she pretended to fiddle with the laces on her sneakers. "Almost," Peta-Gaye managed with as much nonchalance as she could muster, her head down as she bent to her shoes.

For as long as she could remember, her brother had always pictured himself as a soldier, a one-man army fighting against the world around him for his individuality and as soon as Peta-Gaye was born, she was drafted into the crazy. She doubted anyone knew her brother like she did, not even their mother knew him.

Oshane turned away from her then, putting the cell phone on the small nightstand at the end of his sleeping area. Rustling sounds coming from in front of him. More silence and clinging.

Peta-Gaye stood up, the pretense completed. Tipping to looked over his shoulder, she noticed that he was stuffing a duffle bag with things she couldn't see from her position behind him, the cell phone's muted light cast his profile in shadow; a perfect example of who Oshane Harrison was in her eyes.

Zipping the bag closed and slinging it over his shoulder, he rose to his full towering height of six feet. Though tall, he had an athletic build with wide shoulders and muscular arms and legs. People who knew his father said that he looks a lot like him, much to her brother's chagrin.

She tilted her head up to meet his eyes, a trick she'd learned over the years. Eyes up: Keep shoulders insight: Dodge incoming hit.

It was difficult to see the usual suspects in this light. Oshane's hands were at his sides, his shoulders covered with black clothes that blended with the darkness around them.

"Who are you Peta-Gaye?" Oshane asked looking down at her, his tone serious but she didn't understand the question.

"What you talking about?"

Mistake number two for the night.

"I'm Peta-Gaye Harrison?" When silence reigned she added. "I'm a student and your sister." She mentioned the last in hopes of appealing the humanity buried deep, deep, deep inside him somewhere in a box maybe.

The slap came faster than she could dodge. Her cheek stung and this time she couldn't keep the tears at bay. Peta-Gaye choked on a cry.

"You are a Harrison, yes," Oshane said with thinly veiled malice. "But you are also whatever I make you, Peta. Do you understand?"

She didn't but she didn't want another slap or something worse.

"Yes, I understand." She lied, her voice coming out watery.

In Jamaica, beatings are as much of a punishment as it is a training tool for children and some adults as well. Women especially.

Her dark skin was good at keeping secrets unless she was cut. Her school uniform and clothing would hide any rare cuts or welts she gets and of course, she would never tell anyone about these sessions that they had. She was trained not to cry out, not to scream, no matter much it hurt.

To tell anyone, even her mother was seen as an act of betrayal and to Oshane, loyalty above all else was everything.

"You understand what?"

Wiping her cheeks with the heel of her palms Peta-Gaye dutifully repeated. "I understand that I am a Harrison and whatever you make me."

"It's been seven months, three weeks and fours Peta, and I still can't forgive you for what you allowed to happen that man to rape you, as you claim.

By some miracle, she remained standing. Why was he bringing that up now? She would take a beating overhearing this. Over listening to him rip her apart from the inside out.

Her voice was screaming,

I didn't want it to happen! I didn't!

"And now that nasty johncrow is back and walking around because he knows no one can touch him. He thinks because he is brothers with a don he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants and get away with it? He has another thing coming."

Oshane was getting angrier now and Peta-Gaye was too afraid to move, to even say a word. She stood there waiting for the next hit to come. Waiting. Waiting!

But her brother just kept talking, not to her specifically, it was more like he was talking to himself, whispering dark things and she just happened to be close by to hear them.

"This place is so hypocritical." The cell phone light had died and they were standing in the pitch darkness. "If it were anyone else, the entire community under the word of the don would have beaten the man so badly he would be in the hospital drinking through a straw-if he got lucky. But Lance is the Dons brother so he gets to undo what I have done and turned you into a statistic?"

She felt him grab the front of her shirt, wrapped it around his fist until it was riding up her stomach. He pulled then lifted her until the toe points of her sneakers were barely touching the ground. When he spoke again, they were so close, she could feel his warm breath on her face. His voice filling with so much hatred she wanted him to just hit her, get it over with, anything to make it stop.

"Young girl gets fucked by man; turns teenage mother with absent father; another whore looking for the next man to take care of them. Is that what you want to be Peta-Gaye? Any of those fit what you're looking for when you went to that man's house."

"I didn't go there, a shop me go." Peta-Gaye cried softly in defense of herself to no avail. It didn't work the first thirty times either.

Oshane showed no signs of listening.

"Luckily you're too young to breed. But you see Peta, everybody expects you to be a product of your environment, to act accordingly," Oshane said through gritted teeth. "But let me tell this, the day you become officially like one of them,"

Oshane shook her, his fist hitting her chest hard then something cold and metal pressed against her forehead and Peta-Gaye knew she was dead. Oshane cocked a gun and the hammer sounded loud when it clicked into place.

She knew what it was because he had pressured her to study weapons of different classifications from the time she was able to distinguished number and letters.

"What's this called Peta-Gaye?"

"Knife."

"And this?"

"Dun."

"What kind of gun?"

"Duh know."

"You better know the next time I ask you and don't say anything to mommy, you hear?"

"Yesh, Otane." A three-year-old version of herself said,

Was this her life flashing before her eyes? Short trip.

"Turned out like one them and I will not hesitate to kill you."


© Copyright 2018 D.T Cecil Crazihartz2. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Mystery and Crime Short Stories