Tales Of The Dales (Part 5)

Sister Sista!

“I haven’t time to waste my time with the likes of you!…”

I would think by now you’ve read enough to understand some of the reasons as to why mine and Dales relationship is the way it is. Since my teens there has been a steady flow and varying degrees of shit, so when the events of the past five years first unfolded the majority of it was of no great surprise.

However, what did take me by surprise is how the relationship between myself and my sister fell apart. To be totally honest I’m still flummoxed. It’s actually quite funny as the love and adoration I had for Dale as a child could not be said of my feelings for her.

Our sisterly bond didn’t really kick in until after she left home. Before then it felt like I was more tolerated than loved. She was always so bloody miserable! There were never any girly sessions or guidance from her. I actually struggle to recall any major bonding moments that didn’t involve me trying to garner some form of affection.

There is an eleven year age gap between us, so by the time I was 10 she was 21 and we had little in common. By then I was a typical kid into my pop tunes but had also been introduced to my Black side via my eldest brother. She was different. She had a Black side but it was more diluted.

Considering that she and Dale were born in Antigua they both spoke as if they were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Dale would switch it up every now and then and try and drop a little patois into the mix, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard her speak anything but the queen’s English and banshee.

She liked jazz, funk and soul, and I credit her for introducing me to the likes of Anita Baker, Maze, Roy Ayers and Tania Maria. My main impression of her back then was that she liked make up and shoulder pads, wining, dining, hobnobbing and white men.

I mentioned previously that she and Dale never talked when I was little. I used to think that part of the reason must be because she was so moody and uptight, but then I finally got it. She was bouji!, and I came to understand it was mostly frustration at her environment. For someone of her imagined stature living at home must have been torture for her.

It wasn’t unusual to have the smell of sweat and testosterone wafting upstairs alongside the grunts and groans of Dale and his mates working out. Not the greatest when you want to relax with a glass of wine and chill with Robbie Vincent.

She was smart (or so I thought), had good taste and liked the finer things in life, but we were flexing with Vimto money and she had champagne tastes! She tried though, bless her. I’ll never forget the time she bought carpet for the front room. Lovely, fluffy, deep pile CREAM carpet…👀

Even at my young age I knew it was a disaster waiting to happen!

It was lovely carpet for about a week. Then Dale came home one day and walked clean through the front room with his muddy Doc Martens and left a trail of destruction behind him. Understand the rest of us virtually hovered over this fucking carpet let alone sip beverages darker than water anywhere near it.

You have to go upstairs to enter the front room, so he had plenty of opportunity to take his boots off before walking on it but chose not to. He was basically saying fuck you and your carpet.

I remember the vexation from my sister at the time. I can’t be certain but I believe that was a turning point for her. She realised her efforts were not going to be appreciated within the house. I’m sure it helped to cement her decision to leave home and have all the cream carpet her little heart desired.

Well she did just that. Cream carpet an’ all! She was seeing her now husband at the time and they eventually moved in together. I remember Dave and I praising the Lord that she’d gone. The mood totally lifted and from then on our relationship was great. I’d literally never seen her so happy. Space was definitely what was needed all round. She was free to be as bouji as she pleased and was loving it, and most definitely living her best life.

On paper we were polar opposites. Looks, tastes, lifestyles – everything!, but we had at last bonded. We’d often talk about things going on at home and Dales behaviour. She was glad to be well out of it all and was in no way looking back. In fairness to her, despite not coming back to the house very often, whenever she upgraded anything she would give the old bits to mum to help spruce the place up. I say old bits but they weren’t old or battered. It was all good quality stuff and mum was grateful.

My sister was always adamant that she didn’t want to have children. They’d encroach on her lifestyle too much. Bali’s not quite the same with a bawling brat in tow don’t you know!? She was good with my two girls and her other nephews and nieces, but admittedly far from the motherly type.

Just after having my second daughter I discovered that I had two other sisters on my dads side that lived in London. I knew I had other siblings but didn’t have a clue that any lived in England. One of them happened to go on a trip organised by the Antigua Association and met a woman who told her she knew of siblings she had in Slough.

She took her number and passed it on to my mum who passed it on to me. Now after giving birth to my daughter, a week later I was in hospital with a headache I’d had for the whole week. I’d never felt anything like it. It was the worst and constant. It felt as if my brain was being battered inside my head and any kind of light was like torture.

As it turns out I had a benign pituitary adenoma, and after spending 2 weeks in hospital and having a fit, I came round to discover the headache gone and along with it all recollection of giving birth. I remembered being pregnant but not much after that and totally did not register my baby as being mine…sorry Sadé.

I’d had enough head fucks by then, so receiving a number from a sister on my dads side wasn’t really appealing to me. I had visions of her trying to get me to reconnect with him and I sooo wasn’t interested. I believe it was my husband who encouraged me to make contact…it’s all quite hazy, but I do remember the day we actually met.

I had to laugh. It was a lovely summers day and it was as if the higher power were saying, you know what girlfriend, you’ve done been through enough honey chil’! Have this on me!

They were like the sisters I’d imagined and never got. They were FULLY in touch with their roots and we all looked alike. One of them even had locs and smoked too! We clicked and bonded straight away. Like me they had Black partners and Black kids and all I kept thinking was why couldn’t I have met them sooner?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against mixed relationships and I have no issues with it at all. It was just nice to have females on my level who could relate to being my kind of Black. I never had that with my sister, and my mum and I were generations apart. The fact that they couldn’t stand our father either just added to the love.

My paternal sisters came to Slough and met the rest of my family and we’ve been in regular contact ever since. A couple of years after meeting them my sister unexpectedly found herself pregnant. That wasn’t just a shock to her but to all of us, trust me.

She was in her early forties by then and recognised the miracle that it was so decided to keep it. I was happy for her and especially her husband. As much as he was happy to live life as a twosome you could tell he’d love to have had a child of his own.

And I was pretty sure this child had come to fix my sister!

Whenever and wherever I could I helped out. I loved my niece and at that time my sister couldn’t drive, so if she needed anything or had to go anywhere whilst her husband was at work I would be there. When she went back to work I looked after her. She knew I smoked but it wasn’t an issue. She knew I wasn’t a junkie and wouldn’t do it around her daughter.

We were good. We were tight. I thought I knew her. Sure she was bouji and a little stuck up, but ultimately she was good people. Hear me when I say when the shit hit the fan I was totally blindsided by her and it cut deep. Real deep! Never did I imagine she’d be Pinky to The Brain.

She sent the opening quote to me. This was well after all of Dales escapades I’ve mentioned previously and after the majority of what you’ve yet to discover. For her to look down her nose at ‘the likes of me’ whilst backing the likes of him is to me beyond a joke.

As much as she may think cannabis has fucked me up in the head, it seems it’s not a touch on the gin that’s addled her brain! I promised her that one day I would remind her of everything.

Buckle up bitch!😂

R.I.P Diahann Carroll and all those who have passed away recently

R.I.P Joy Morgan. Now your family can finally put you to rest

Huge congratulations to Dina Asher-Smith, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Allyson Felix and Nia Ali for totally smashing it for black women in the World Athletics Championships!

You Live & You Learn, Stay Blessed & #CelebrateLife

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