As the brothers became young men they had embarked upon similar career, landing them in the technical field --- Karl an Engineering teacher at the Prosperity College and Tyrone an Engineering manager at the Martini Resort.
Individuality varied. Karl was a soft-hearted gentleman, whereas, his brother Tyrone was proud, cocky and rough around the edges.
All hell broke loose when Karl's wife, Desiree began working as a secretary at the Martini Resort. As she stepped foot into Mr. Topping's office, sparks began flying as the devil in him began to unravel and conquer dangerous territories.
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By Melissa Sargeant-Questelles
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Melissa Sargeant-Questelles
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTwenty seven years later ...
Slumped in a green arm chair, Karl Alexander examined the thick ream of A4 papers on his desk top.
"Light-emitting diode, Resistor, Potentiometer," he muttered slowly, with profound interest. On hearing the nearby clock alarm, he rose instantly and switched the alarm off. Halting at the papers he scribbled, as he muttered to himself: "main capacitor, one thousand microfarad at twenty five volts, second capacitor, three hundred and fifty microfarad at two hundred volts, and number three capacitor, eight hundred and twenty microfarad at fifty volts."
Few minutes later he put aside the document and hauled off his blue boxers, casting it aside on the floor as he entered the master bedroom. Curled up in bed like a little child, was his wife Desiree, fast asleep, snoring mildly. For a brief moment, he looked at her. Her long, silky, black hair glowed against the white soft pillow, and her lips slightly opened.
'How blessed I am to have such a wonderful woman to share my life,' he admitted, as he continued to stare at her.
As though reading his thoughts, she tilted towards him, releasing a soft moan as she snuggled the pillow closer. He removed a strand of the black, silky hair from her eyes, and then proceeded into the bathroom. He turned on the tap and allowed the water to cascade down his naked body. Abruptly, a pain surfaced at his forehead.
Sap the pain away, Karl, his grandmother's voice penetrated his head. Those were her customary words when Karl complained about any pain when he was a child in her care.
'Such a wise old woman,' he thought.
Since he was an Electronics teacher for the past six years at the Prosperity College, Mr. Alexander ensured his research and lessons were properly planned and executed. The students were rather sharp and quick witted, he had to be on the ball, but he enjoyed living up to the challenges and high expectations.
He opened the door to the closet and selected a pair of limegreen pants, with a pure pristine white shirt which was decorated with black buttons at the front. Speedily, he got dressed. He wore a shiny pair of matching black shoes. Staring into the upright mirror, which stood in a corner of the room, Karl observed his appearance. His reflection was extraordinary. His coal black hair curled lazily inward; his nose was straight; his lips were dark and smooth, creating a teasing look of seduction. He was pleased with the maker's work of art.
As Karl retrieved his work bag, a miserable smile appeared on his face. Following his instinct, he opened one compartment, took out a pen and paper and scribbled the words, 'only you can make the darkness bright and set my heart aglow, you are my destiny sweetheart.' He placed the note on the table. Returning to the bedroom and peering at her one last time, he kissed her on the forehead. Still his gesture had not roused her. His wife was a sound sleeper.
He inserted the key in the door and opened it, only to close it quickly when the alarm went off. Sucking his teeth, he prayed the noise hadn't startled her.
Quickly, he made his way outside. A cool September breeze greeted him, sending his black curly hair into wild disorder. Taking the stairs, two at once he then hurried towards the Morgan's Gap. The breeze was so powerful and controlling that it blew his shirt close to his body, revealing a toned shape beneath. Others stared, but he did not notice. Many persons had already gathered at the gap seeking transportation to their various work places. Rushing and pushing was popular among the waiting passengers. Karl hated the situation he had to endure during the morning's rush hour.
They had recently built their home and couldn't afford a vehicle at the moment. On seeing a van speeding towards their direction, many began to ease their way forward in anticipation. Karl boarded it deftly. He looked as three women attempted to squeeze their way in. Unfortunately, there were only vacancies for two. The unfortunate lady sucked her teeth in disappointment and frustration. Placing her left hand on her hip, she swung her handbag as she looked up the road in anticipation of another minibus. The driver blew his horn and drove away dodging a few pot holes.
"Leave me at the bus stop," said a young lady who was sitting beside Karl. On seeing the minibus coming to a standstill, a young lady at the bus stop called to the conductor. "Is there room for two?" She asked holding a tiny, crying baby in her hands. A young boy with runny nose was clenching to her flimsy skirt, with an impatient frown on his forehead.
It's as though she had not spoken, no one paid her attention. The conductor was occupied collecting the fares and pulling up a seat that was blocking the entrance.
Karl disembarked, making way for the young lady, while the conductor assisted a young girl who appeared to be blind. Upon reaching the door of the vehicle, the girl banged her head, causing the driver to comment annoyingly, using creole. "Man, yuh can't see de girl blind? Yuh supposed to tell her to bend her head."
"Blind, and wearing shades," the confused conductor argued.
"Careful all yuh kill um, or all yuh go mek um back," said a lady, who appeared to be her mother.
Karl boarded the van again. Anticipation flooded him. He disliked being late. Shortly after, for what seemed an eternity, the driver ground the bus to a halt as they arrived at the 'Prosperity roundabout.' A plump police woman was directing the traffic. 'It seems like whenever you are in a hurry opposition tends to come your way,' he thought, looking at his wrist watch. He gazed out the window at the number of vehicles that were ahead. Shortly after, the driver was signaled forward. On arrival at the Prosperity College gap, he got off and deposited two dollars into the conductor's outstretched hand.
As Karl made his way towards the institution, he was aware of the many glances that went in his direction from a number of females. Looking at the bright, clear, blue sky, he noticed a large patch of feathery looking clouds cruising along. As he came in line with a group of young men smoking at the side of a shop which sells ital food, he waved and continued with his fast walking pace. He smiled as he by-passed two female admirers.
"Look at that handsome face, with those black charming lips and he's so tall," one of the ladies remarked chuckling, "he can feed me cardboard box for the whole night. I will eat just to be next to him."
For Karl, distraction had never been a hindrance; he was calculated and focused.
A few minutes later, he arrived at the institution. He smiled as he walked into the school auditorium, realizing that he was twelve minutes late. "Good morning to everyone," he said to the staff members who were hurrying into their classrooms as well.
"Good morning, Mr. Alexander," they chorused, smiling at the coincidence that all four of them were late that morning. He headed toward the classroom in the Electronics Department, where eighteen students eagerly awaited him.
"Good morning students, let me see who's absent," he said, taking out the register from the old, half broken cupboard in which he usually kept it.
"No one," Peter responded, as it was his custom to ensure that things ran smoothly.
"Thank you," said Mr. Alexander as he smiled graciously. "So how was your weekend?" he enquired, making conversation with his students, while marking the grey looking register.
"Sir, mi get up late from de girl, so me nearly nah come ah school this morning." Charles remarked, speaking in creole.
"Hold on, hold on Charles. Let's not side track the class down that route you are taking," said Mr. Alexander, who raised his head from the register he was marking.
"But sir, yuh nah ask how was man weekend?" Charles replied.
The entire class was laughing, even Mr. Alexander.
"Well, I can see everyone is happy now, so we can begin our session," remarked Mr. Alexander, smiling at the batch of young students.
"Today, we are going to look at one of the most critical topics in Electricity - Safety." He took a white piece of chalk and wrote the word, 'safety' on the large blackboard. He then turned and faced the students, as he began the lesson.
"Safety is everyone's business. Electricity is a good servant as a clean source of energy. However, it can be a deadly master if we don't adhere to the safety rules and regulations. Electricity is invisible to the naked eyes, unless we see it doing work, for example lighting, motion and heating." He wrote the information on the board for the students. The chalk made a screeching sound and broke in half. The attentive students took the opportunity to copy the information.
"Accidents can occur when we least expect it, so be prepared and stay aware," warned a concerned Karl. In recognition of Charles' raised hand, he allowed him to ask his question. A few looked around as Charles stood and began speaking with a sly grin on his face.
"Sir, if Electricity was a woman an ..."
"Charles!, Charles!" Mr. Alexander interrupted, cutting him off instantly. "This is not a circus; it's a classroom. If you are not interested in what I am teaching, please leave. Not because you think you may have made a few jokes on few occasions it's all well to behave out of order." Recognizing the seriousness of the session, Charles began to pay attention like his fellow classmates.
Looking at the alerted students, Mr. Alexander continued. "Even in the best- run work place, injuries can occur from time to time. Whenever an injury occurs, an understanding of first aid is critical, it may be you lying injured one day. As aspiring technicians, you should know the appropriate methods used in carrying out life saving procedures. There are possibilities that one of us can suffer from an electric shock. This can result in severe breathing problems or even death. In any event that such mishap takes place, what do you think should be the first approach?" Mr. Alexander questioned with an air of interest.
"Disconnect the source," answered Charles sharply.
"Very true," Mr. Alexander applauded. "If this cannot be done, push the casualty away from the contact, using something like a wooden broom which does not conduct electricity. Once the casualty has been disconnected from the live electricity, one must check and examine him or her immediately. If the person stops breathing, what should we do?"
Diverse answers came from the class. However, Mr. Alexander instructed them that starting artificial respiration was the best option. He then questioned. "Does anyone know what artificial respiration is?"
"Yes sir, this is where you do the breathing for the person," replied Charles.
At this point, Mr. Alexander invited two of the boys, Charles and Peter, to come forward. Clearing away his work area, he pushed his desk to the middle of the room.
"Get on the desk Charles. Please, everyone form a circle quietly," he instructed. "Take one of your hands Peter, tilt the chin upwards. I hope everyone is following." Looking at the attentive students, he raised a brow searchingly.
"Sir, man better you put Cherise to do this thing man," protested Charles.
"Cherise come, come," remarked Mr. Alexander motioning with his hand. "Push the chin upwards with one hand and press. Press the forehead downwards with your next hand. Students, this will open the air passage that runs from the casualty's mouth to the lungs or the airway as it is called. If there are any foreign particles, such as pieces of food, loose teeth or vomit in the mouth, you must remove promptly. Open your mouth and breathe in."
"But sir, she isn't demonstrating anymore. Loose teeth are in my mouth," remarked Charles passing his tongue over his teeth as though doing inspection.
"She's not supposed to do that. It is just the way you should tilt the victim's head and how to place a victim in the recovery position, I want you to grasp." Murmuring below his breath, Mr. Alexander remarked, "the Ministry of Education is taking too long to provide the dummy for these practical exercises."
Nearing the end of the lesson some students requested clarification of key concepts that they found difficulty in grasping. Mr. Alexander satisfied their curiosity, clearing any doubts they had.
"Your assignment for tomorrow will be, to list ten safety regulations which you should observe when working in the workshop." He could see frowns on a few faces as he spoke about the assignment.
Feeling exhausted after teaching for two hours, he deposited his tired body in a chair beside his desk. His mind drifted to his wife.
A smile of happiness escaped his black lips. He was interrupted by Charles' voice interfering with his thought.
"Sir, Cherise was a poor demonstra ..."
"Take down your assignment Charles," said Mr. Alexander dismissively, having grown accustomed to his teasing.
The bell rang. Karl Alexander breathed a sigh of relief.
This was a moment Karl dreaded, when everyone would be rushing to get transportation to get home at the same moment. He saw a few young ones crossing the street without precaution. Next, he heard a loud screech of tires and saw a driver chasing the offending children across the street. A boy in the small group opened his lunch kit and ate a few salt biscuits oblivious to the danger he was in.
"Gi me ah dollar," said a vagrant with an outstretched hand, drawing Karl's attention. He deposited a few coins in her hand. He looked as she strolled to the opposite side of the street. A crocus bag was wrapped around her with a sprinkling of blood stains. He looked, as she targeted another male. A minibus was heading in his direction. He stretched out his hands to flag down the vehicle. The driver blew his horn, indicating that the vehicle was filled. He felt frustrated after a long day at school. All he could think of were his bed and his wife. "Where are the vehicles when you need them?" He muttered in disgust. A loud honking caught his attention. A truck carrying a huge forty foot container sped along the main road. The exhaust from the muffler made him cough. A sudden gust of wind blew a nearby corn curl wrapper against his pants. It lingered until the breeze stop.
The street was packed. Everybody was minding their own business. Some were buying ice-cream from a nearby parlour, others flocked a lotto boot purchasing tickets. Some waited for transportation, while others looked at some fish from an aquarium display.
Another minibus approached him. He stopped the vehicle and got on.
"Small up yuh self, small up yuh self everybody want to go home," said one passenger to another, as Karl entered. He felt uncomfortable; his legs were in a twisted position.
"Leave me at the bus stop," shouted a school girl from the back. Six passengers exited creating a passageway of sorts. Some of the passengers sucked their teeth in frustration. Sensing the passengers were perturbed by the disruption, the conductor enquired where the other passengers were going and he packed the van accordingly, to avoid future disturbances.
The journey was rather silent thereafter, as the passengers listened to the soothing music played by the radio. Minutes later, as they arrived at Raton Mill, another female stopped the vehicle and exited. The driver waited as he fixed his gaze on the young lady who had pink lips, bold eyes and a bobby doll shape, crossed the street.
"Hi Sexy, look Snaky," called a seemingly excited passenger at the back. The shabby-looking dreadlocked man pushed his head through the open window of the vehicle, only to be ignored. "I could have sliced in two words and try me luck; I didn't even notice she was in the damn van," he said. As the vehicle began moving again, he hissed to draw her attention.
Minutes later, Karl disembarked and paid the fare. He looked at the traffic then walked across the street and up the steps to his home.
Lying on the bedroom rug with her feet upward and a pencil stuck behind her ear, was his wife looking over guest house papers for the Martini Resort where she worked. Papers were scattered on the floor. The radio player stood few inches away, while soft, mellow country music filled the air. She was so focused on the material, she didn't acknowledge his presence. He took the opportunity to look at her from the door way. Karl noticed that she was wearing his green boxers, the one with the tiny hole. He hated it when his wife dressed in his clothing. Often he complained to her, he preferred to see her in her own nice little short pants. Suddenly, her soft voice broke into his thoughts and reverberated in his head, 'for better or worse, till death do us part, we are one now, honey.'
Excerpted from Dangerous Passion by Melissa Sargeant-Questelles Copyright © 2010 by Melissa Sargeant-Questelles. Excerpted by permission.
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