Getting My Freedom Back

I was struggling ti get free of this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.

I was struggling ti get freedom  from this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.

Throughout this time of setting up my garage routine and taking in new customers I never lost sight of regainng my freedom, I had placed Pug- La China- on the back burner. She had, however, been stepping up her visits from Colon to see me to pick up money for herself and the baby. Her attitude hadn’t changed, however. She continued to generate stories about me mistreating her- all lies- just to hold it over my head. Remembering how she had damaged my peaceable relationship with the whole of the Westindian community in Bocas, thus forcing us to leave, I tried to keep her visits as short and cool as possible. I would just hand her some money for the baby on the nights that she did come as I saw her step down from the bus in front of the garage. 

I had been keeping the letter from my father a secret from everybody, including her. Whenever I saw her stepping off that bus from Colon it would bring back memories of Baseline and Bocas Town and how my West Indian community had been like a family to help me out in everything possible to adjust from a troubled teen and new father to a responsible working man. It became my refuge until I brought Pug up there to live with me. I was determined that this would not happen to me in my garage. I was going to recover my freedom and soundness of mind even if it meant extricating myself from this Chinese girl.

Working the long hours both day and night would fill me with joy especially after seeing Pug leave the garage or take another bus into the city for transportation back to Colon. If she only knew about the letter from my father- a letter probably offering me a way out of this bad situation. Meanwhile I had been quietly making tips at the garage which I used to feed myself and to save some money to buy my freedom back and finally get Pug out of my life. I was just so thankful for what I did earn as it was a small miracle at that time of our lives to even have extra cash to keep from looking ragged. It was amazing what you could do with a little money in Panama-

On one of my trips to Colon I arrived at a new address of one of Pug’s aunts- the one she called her grandmother’s sister. Finding her there I handed some money to her and chit chatted briefly about the kid, who kept looking me over as if he knew who I was and that I was his father. He bounded off to play with the shiny new red fire engine that I had brought him. Just before leaving I started to kiss Pug, just to confirm to myself if there were any feelings between us but, she acted as though she wanted nothing more to do with me again in her life. Despite the rejection, I felt as though I was gaining back my life. What a great feeling!

3 responses to “Getting My Freedom Back

  1. Does this story has a ending, I found it extremily interesting as a panamenian born in Bocas del Toro in 1954 and raised in Colon from the age of 5, the author has trasnported me with his writing to a world I did not get to now.
    Gracias Sr.Roberto Reid por su contribution a nuestra Etnia negra ha sido para mi un inmenso placer leer su escrito y me llena de orgullo saber que mi Panama si tiene personas educadas y con valores que nos inculcaron nuestros abuelos afroantillanos.
    Espero poder leer el final de su historia. Gracias y qu Dios lo bendiga siempre.

  2. Hi Sela!

    I’m so glad to see one of my paisanas visiting our blog and finding it so enriching. My story as well as the story of our people in Panama and abroad does not really have an “end.” Our stories are continually evolving.

    Thanks for your comment and please come back.


  3. hi,
    to deny the history of the West Indian Caribbean black man and woman and genocide against them in the original construction of the Panama Canal should be told to the world of the racial discrimination imported to the isthmus to demand reparation from the govt. of the USA for damages suffered by the surviving families of many of who are US citizens. It’s reparation time. Our history is being swept under the rug and our children don’t know of our world known existence.