by Davidson Bowen
November 30 for the last three years has not been about Independence, the parade, the flag or even conkies.
Well, at least not for Javier Carrington.
November 30 is now the one day he does not leave home. In fact, he just stays in bed, thinking about his childhood friend who disappeared under the water off Port St. Charles Marina.
It was a sunny day and Carrington, 14 at the time, along with childhood friends Kyle and Javon, decided they would go to the beach after they completed their chores.
Javon missed the bus and Kyle and Javier went on ahead, certain that he would join them and they would have a great time as they usually did.
“There was an area with some planks and he told me let we go out there and jump off. I told him I don’t think I can make that and just as he swim off he get into difficulty.
“I thought at first that he was making sport, but the sound of his voice the second time when he holler for help I know he wasn’t making sport. I start shouting for help and a man run and left his family and swim out to him but he went under. The man shout for somebody that could dive and that was it. Easy so. By the time Javon get there everything did done,” a sombre Carrington paused.
He added that he often thought about Kyle and laughed, but the memory of that day haunts him.
“We were really close friends; we went to Boscobelle Primary together and played football and cricket for that school. Although he went to Coleridge and Parry and I went to Alexandra we would meet in Speightstown on evenings and walk ’bout and catch the bus together. He was a real friend, a cool fella. He would always do something to make ya laugh; we used to get real sport together.
“The one thing I really don’t like is when the routes double up and the Boscobelle bus got to go Pie Corner first, ’cause the bus going pass there. Every time I pass down there I does get a foolish feeling,” he admitted.
Stressing that he hoped he never experienced anything as difficult as this again in his life, the 17 year-old, who is attached to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, said he also hopes no one has to experience it either.
“That whole thing sometimes is a blur. What I remember clearly is that my head start to hurt me so bad and I just wanted to sleep. Everybody wanted to know what happened, but I just wanted to shut my eyes and go sleep.
“The whole thing still unbelievable, but the hardest part was going and telling his mother what happened. The guidance counsellor took me and talk me through the whole thing,” he said abruptly looking up to the sky and then focussing his attention to the floor sorting out his jumbled thought there.
“Bad, I can’t really describe any of this. I used to blame myself at one point in time. I used to think that if I had taken him seriously the very first time he holler for help instead of the second time. But we were making sport and having a good time and quick so. He was just a little ways off from me and everything happened so quick,” Javier said slowly with his head bowed low.
He added that on Independence Day for the last three years he has done nothing other than think about the good times they had together and wonder why, rather than giving thanks that he survived.
“It is not that I wish it was me or anything like that, I just wish it wasn’t he either. He was a real good friend. We used to do nuff things together. We used to go all about riding and thing. All out Farley Hill and just have a good time and try not to get into trouble,” Carrington said as a smile peeped across his lips.
But a very solemn voice recalled how in a flash of confusion he went from laughing to crying and standing with hundreds who came out to bury his friend.
“All I remember about the funeral is that I just felt like fainting. He wasn’t far from me, I could have been me, but I survive. What I know though is that I don’t want that experience again or for anybody,” he asserted. firstname.lastname@example.org