I had to admit that Pug would not have made a “Good Wife,” not then nor ever for me. But then, I had to further admit that I had been looking at our lives through my own experience with women. The truth was that I was overwhelmed with that hidden side of my life, that I had been growing up with experiences gained mostly from Westindian women.
My previous life in Colon had allowed me to notice other girls as well as women, females that I might have chosen as wives and even as friends and companions. I might have found in one of them that “Good Wife.” At this juncture in my development as a man, I was tired of suffering break ups, like the one my parents had made us children experience at such a young age. It saddened me to see how Pug and I were replaying the same behavioral misshaps as a couple. Therefore, I felt that I had to be more cautious with how I handled my youth and manhood especially after being the brunt of Pug’s family’s rejection although they were all Westindian people.
It was now important for me to develop ways of seeing more with spiritual eyes than with what we all know as regular eyesight. I sought to place importance on making sound plans instead of being led by “love alone,” to seek ways of using my inner judgement which had betrayed me less. Meanwhile, I had just reached my ninethteeth bitthday when I had to appear before the Coregidor’s office to register the birth of the baby, and it had been the first time that I had taken a real look at the child, to see if he had any resemblance to me or part of our family. Despite what my eyes were telling me I decided to register the child as mine, and it suddenly felt like I had just put a damper on any hopes of having any permanency with his mother.
I moved, in fact, to shorten my stay in Baseline and work with a boss I really admired and respected since he had encouraged me to stay and wait out a permanent change of position. And so, I continued to work as if nothing was happening to me, almost sure that the boss would find a way to place me in a position where I could use my talents and end up making more money. I scrapped this line of thinking, however, and decided to pursue my secret plans to leave Bocas all together. I started hording money again for the return trip to Panama.
I tried not to appear too happy or playful with my family, preparing myself for the eventual emotional split. But, my love for babies made me accept my faith in God who had given me a beautiful family. The constant reminder of the bad experiences, however, had pretty much put an end to my feelings of being a proud father. And to confirm this Pug had been acting as though we where enemies. I felt trapped and somehow convinced myself that I knew that my father was looking for me back in Panama. The next day after arriving at this decision I appeared at work back in the fields and for two weeks straight I labored without saying anything to the one closest to me who was also the one farthest from me.
The following week after dinner I reached home and said to Pug, “My father is looking for me.” It was a lie, I know, but I continued to make arrangements to get back to Panama. My father, by this time, was living in New York and I doubt he had any idea of where I was or whether I was dead or alive.
Although I had felt the sting of Pug’s lies in the past, in that moment she showed absolutely no emotion at all to my story. She was completely cold. In a way I was hoping that she would understand how much I had been hurt by her many lies and somehow recalcitrate. True to what I now saw as her real character, however, Pug made no attempt at rectifying those falsehoods about me mistreating her in Baseline. We continued to live together in Baseline for another five months but she never apologised. We had no help from her mother either. Her mother had lived in Almirante for more than fifteen years before we had arrived, but she never appeared in Baseline to see how her pregnant teenage daugther had ended up. This story continues