On Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 I was asked my Mr. Dawkins to accompany Ms. Green and Mr. Jones to Open Heart in Montego Bay to get a Mr. Rochane Ives and transport him to Mandeville. I was briefed about a call that had came in from Open Heart about Mr. Ives “acting out,” ranting gibberish and smashing things, saying that he wanted to go Mandeville. It was indicated that he might be unstable and warranted psychological assistance. Thus my purpose on the trip was to observe, stay on the alert and be ready to offer assistance in case he acted out during the operation of vehicle.
With great concern and brave hearts, we set out at 1:30pm. We arrived in Montego Bay after five. As we approached Open Heart Emergency Shelter, I immediately noticed a well put together young man, sitting off to him-self, patiently waiting for something or on someone. He was decked in pin stripe slacks, designer shirt and pointy toe dress shoes.
“Ah him dat?” Asked.
“I’m not sure? Ms. Green replied. She was not the Care giver on the trip the day before when Mr. Ives came in at the Donald Sangster Internation Air Port. “Dwight, is that Rochane?”
Mr. Jones looked. “Him same one.” He said with a slight smirk.
We alighted the Van. A man in his late fifties opened the gate for us.
“Him a gi trouble all day.” The man said to Ms. Green.
Mr. Jones. “Come we come fe him”
A female staff called Ms. Green inside, saying they need to talk. Mr. Jones went inside the Dorm to see one of the female resident. My eyes were on Mr. Ives the whole time. He was looking at the van real hard. I saw his eyes flickered as if he just remembered something. He got up and walked briskly, not wasting a step, over to the chain-linked and stared hard at the front of the van. He pulled away from the fence and went inside the dorm. He came back out shortly with his coat folded over his forearm, real proper like. He came over to the gate where I was and just stand there looking at the van.
Ms. Green came of out and gave hugs to two of the female staffs. Mr. Jones emerged from the dorm.
Mr. Jones. “Anjuline, you ago look fe Sarah?”
“Aint she working?
“No. She in deh. Me just go look fe her.”
“Oh. I didn’t know she was here.” Ms. Green started for the dorm. Sarah came out and greeted her. They spoke briefly.
Mr. Ives started pacing back and forth from the gate to the dorm where Ms. Green was speaking with Sarah. “Theresa May said it’s over. Then Mr Ives said you better talk you better talk before they say am mad you better talk. Ms. Green looked at me again, then we both looked at Mr. Ives bewildered.. “Don’t say anything, before they think I’m crazy.” He said, and stared off into the star spangled sky.
At that point, I was like , ‘shit, we in fe a long nite!’
As Ms. Green finished and turned away from Sarah, Mr. Ives said “You are one of them. Teaming up with the British to kill me on my own soil?”
Ms. Green, stunned “Pardon?!”
“Nothing. It’s fine, it’s fine” He looked back up at the sky and pointed. “See that drone?”
We all looked up.
Mr. Jones obliged him. “Yeah.”
“It’s mine.” He said matter of fact.
Ms. Green turned to me with concern. “It’s gonna be a long night.”
“I know.” I said.
As we got outside the gate, he turn back and said to the staffs. “Thank you. And don’t worry. I’m going to buy you a new shelter.”
We got in the van to leave. Mr. Ives buckled his seat belt. His posture struck me as one who was brought up in a well mannered home…where everyone ate dinner at the dinner table with knife and fork.
Ms. Green looked back at him. “You alright?”
“Yes.” He opened the window. “You see that drone? It’s mine. It’s going to be following us. Its mine don’t worry about it. Its mine.”
“Okay.” Said Mr. Jones.
“Just thought I let you know.”
Mr. Jones reversed the vehicle and pulled out into traffic. It was now six something…
“I’m a third degree Mason. Blow your horn.” He command.
Mr. Jones was preoccupied with Ms. Green, keying in the direction on the cell phone via the SATNAV software, so his command went unheard.
“See those stars. See that moon. See that drone. They all mine. They will be following us. Don’t worry, they’re mine. They’re mine. I’m a third rank Mason. Blow your horn” The horn still didn’t blare. “You not going to blow your horn… He refuses. He refuses.”
We were heading in the wrong direction. The voice on the SATNAV came on, instructing us to turn right. A car horn blew and Mr. Ives quipped, “Thank you. He wasn’t listening. “
“I’m a Mason. Are you a Mason” He said to Mr. Jones.
“I’m a Mason. I gave you an order and you refuse…”
The van fell into silent.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” We drove for a while before he spoke again. “Someone just became the richest guy in Jamaica?
“Who?” Asked Mr. Jones.
Mr. Jones chuckled. “That’s weh me a try do from me get deport. Ah mean, me woulda love fe be rich like Michael Lee Chin and dem man deh. You just come, wah…not even two day…”
“Never mind. It’s fine, it’s fine.”
“Me try find David Ives inna de book and him not in it.”
“It’s fine, it’s find. I can find my way.”
Mr. Jones navigated the van through Long Hill. We stop at a shop and Mr. Jones and I got out to buy inhaler. I noticed Ms. Green had a pensive look on her face when I got out, so I went back to the van.
“I’m not comfortable alone.” She said.
“You want a soda or something?” I said to Mr. Ives.
“Yes, please.” He said very politely.
“I’d like a Pepsi. A Pepsi would be fine”
“You can come inu.”
He unbuckled his seat belt and followed me into the shop.
Night had fallen on us. The narrow roads were over grown with pine grass and shrubs and dark. In Junction, St. Elizabeth, Mr. Jones negotiated a turn around a deep corner. A herd of cattle came out into the road way.
“Dj watch dem cow yah.” I said.
“Cow, cow, cow.” Ms. Green said like a mantra.
Mr. Jones slammed on the brake and swung the vehicle to avoid collision. The van hit the rear of one of the cow. Fecal matter splattered the wind screen. Mr. Jones brought the van to a stop and got out and assessed the damage. The cow kept moving like nothing had happen.
Mr. Jones got back in the van. “Nutt’n nuh damage.”
We continue on.
It was already after ten when we go to Mandeville.
“Rochane, we inna your place now. Sure you know weh you a go?”
“Me already know how dis ago turn out inu.” He turned to Ms. Green. “You, you jus’ love de adventure.
“What do you mean?”
“A mean. It’s a simple solution to it inu. Where you going, Rochane?”
“Anjuline type it in pon de satnav.”
Ms. Green tapped at her phone. “It’s not coming up.”
“Try Mandeville to havendale.”
“It still not coming up.”
“Rochane, weh we ago?”
“Take me to the college. I’ll find my way from there.”
“A lot of tings change in sixteen years inu, Rochane.”
“Did the college change?!” He said sarcastically.
Everyone burst out laughing.
Mr. Jones. “You, you got dat. I guess I walked into dat one. Ah bwoy!
When we got to NCU we turned left instead of making the right onto the campus. I noticed Mr. Ives peering astutely out the window to his right. So I joint in. Just Yards away from college there’s a signed that reads, “WELCOME TO AVONDALES HEIGHTS” I informed Mr. Jones that we just passed the turn. He reversed and we entered into the affluent, gated community of Avondales Heights. Mr. Ives was uncertain of which road to take to get to the house which raised some concern. However, after we got the first gate, he decided to try the other gate which is located on a hill on another street. He explained that the house belongs to his grandmother and father, and the latter entrance led to his grandmother house. We called and hunk the horn. No one came. After spell we decided to go back down and try at the first gate. The lower gate had a Hawkeyed security sign on it along with an intercom system. Ms. Green and Mr. Ives tried the intercom. No one answered. Mr. Jones blared the horn, still no answer. Ms. Green and I decided to go and knock on couple of the neighbors door and inquired if they know of a Dave Ives living at the house. One neighbor, a man said he doesn’t know anyone living in the community and the other didn’t bother to come out. I saw a couple returning from going out to grab a late night snack. I alerted Ms. Green to their approaching. Just then my phone ringed. It was Mr. Dawkins inquiring how we was doing. The couple informed us that people don’t come out of their house at night, and we were lucky to see them. They suggest we go up to the Guest House and asked. Mr. Ives and the young man head off to Guest House. By the time we get in the van to follow behind them, a car pulled up baring the Hawkeyed. Both occupants had their hand on their weapon. Ms. Green introduced herself and the organization to them. She told them the reason we are there and that relaxed them. They told us to follow them to the Mandeville police station for further assistant. We did. However, it was a waste of time. We ended up journeying back to Kingston were Mr. Ives was dropped off at the Open Arms Drop in Center. I got home ten minutes after one that morning.
While talking to the Hawkeye Security Officers, I noticed the damage to the right hand side of the van bonnet. I brought it to Mr. Jones attention and took a picture of it.
I was still asleep when Ms. Green called at 10:39am and informed me that we might be going back on a trip later that day, because she had made contact with Mr. Ives relatives. She had went on facebook and Looked up Mr. Ives. When his profile popped up, she then proceeded to prob through his friends list for a last name that reoccur frequent. When she came upon the reoccurring name, she instinctively in-boxed a male and a female, inquiring and expressing the nature of her communication, and then eagerly waited their reply. The respond was immediate, and it was from his uncle, who expressed grave concern and gratitude for Ms. Green adeptness and aptitude. She was also able to spoke with Mr. Ives mother and learned the circumstances surround his un-timed return to Jamaica.
At 10:44am, Mr. Dawkins called me to confirm the trip. I put myself together and went and met Ms. Green at her home and took her to Open Arms where we met up with Mr. Jones. We then started off on my second day journey with Mr. Ives.
“You ate?” Ms. Green asked Mr. Ives.
“You want a beef pattie?”
Mr. Jones interjected. “Juicy Beef or Tasty?”
“Juicy Beef… not tasty.” He replied undecided. “No, I take a Juicy Beef.”
I couldn’t resist letting a small smile creep over my face. Marveling at the fact that Mr. Ives had been away from the soil of his birth from he was 12 and are very much aware of the Juicy Beef Patti enterprise.
When we reached the Tasty in Cross Road, Ms. Green asked. “What kind of patti you want?”
“Chicken and beef.”
“Chicken and beef, please.”
We was traveling on the Manchester thorough way when he said to Mr. Jones. “You took the worst road in Jamaica to drive. Why you didn’t take the coast road?”
Ms. Green craned her head back at him. “Why? You wanted to see some scenery?”
“He should have drive Montego Bay way.”
“Dat too far.” I quipped.
“How. I see. Was hoping you’d go around the whole island.”
We all laughed out.
“Tell you what. One day we’ll come get you and take you on a tour.” Said Ms. Green. “ How ‘bout that?”
“Fine.” He started stare out the window. “Should’ve drive Helshire way though.”
“But we just did.” Mr. Jones chipped in. “Dat is where we was coming from. See dat high way we were on?”
“Really.” Mr. Ives cutted in. “I didn’t saw any sea on it.”
Again I laugh to myself.
We pulled up in the total gas station in Luana, Black River, about a mile and a half from where the van hit the cow the night before. Ms. Green called Mr. Ives aunt for direction. The aunt told her to come to the Luana Housing Scheme. I got out and approached and group of older folks and asked where was Luana Housing Scheme. I was told that it was three of them and the first one started directly behind the gas station. I got back in the van, and we drove three entrances down to Luana Housing Scheme III, where we met with Mr. Ives aunt who was on her way to meet us.
“Is this her.” Ms. Green asked.
Rochane stuck his head out the window. His aunt walked right up to him and smile that sincere smile of a caring mother. “Hey, Rochane. I’m so happy to see you.”
This is where I actually saw Mr. Ives smile for the first time, and I mean really smile.
“Come. Get in. We’ll drop you at the house.” Ms. Green said to the aunt.
I opened the door for her and she got in and hugged her nephew with warmth. She gave us direction to the house. The house was stately identical grill work to the house in Avondales Heights.
We got out and Mr. Ives hugged his aunt again. “I love you.” He then turn to us and said. “Thank yous for everything.” He stretched out his arm and gave me a pound.
Ms. Green said to the aunt. “So you’re good with clothes and stuff for him?”
“Yes, His mom send over some money earlier, and his room his all set.” Her eyes got a little misty. “I’m so happy to see him.” they both walked towards the house, while the aunt took out her phone and started taking pictures of him.
She resonated the sentiment in us. While each and everyone will not be as fortunate as Mr. Ives, it does brought a certain feeling of fulfillment when you know one is being embraced by their love ones and you know it’s genuine. Starting out, it seems like reuniting Mr. Ives with his family was a hopeless cause, because it was understood that he had been away for sixteen years and have not kept communication with anyone here in Jamaica and no one in the United Kingdom knew that he had been involuntarily removed from the country. When asked if he know anyone number he could call be it here or over there, to call and let them know where he was, he said no. Hence, we were left grappling with what to do. However, we have come along way from postmarked letters and rotary phones. Modern technology and social media, combined with our commitment to the cause kept us on the road into the wee hours of night, and the sweltering heat of the day to ensure that this young man reunited with his family.
His family’s happy, he’s happy and we are happy. Overall, it was a job well done.