Mr. Bowyer

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Trinidad has the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. I get that same chill up my spine every time I look at it. You know, like when you see some really fluffy clouds that make you feel like you want to reach up and grab them, but you can’t? Although the wind may push them away, it they stay on your mind…in your heart. If you do, you’ll know just how I feel about this beach; the way the waves crash against the huge rocks. And the way it glides on the sand, pulling away to leave ripples.
No one goes down there to the beach. Those waves are beautiful, but deadly. Get too close and they’ll swallow you whole. There’s a steep hill too, and it’s all sand, nothing to slow you down if you fall. A lot of people have died at the cause of that beautiful location. That’s why there’s a huge fence there now that wraps tightly around the shore; it goes from one end where the rocks are sharp and steep to the other end where the same type of rocks are just as bad. Of course, that doesn’t stop me. Nothing can hold me back from trying to push against my fence, to smell that salty air. There were only one or two spots in which you can enter. I have not yet been tempted to jump the fence.
I’m not supposed to lean against it. I do anyway, but no one really scolds me. Not until I try to reach for it (just like the clouds I told you about) then my Uncle Cletus yells at me saying: “You better get your butt down, child, before you fall over the fence!”
“I’m not going to fall.” I’d say leaning off the fence. “I’m being careful.”
“Don’t be taking no chances.”
“I’m not taking any chances.” I would tell him, correcting his English along the way. I would then lean back on the fence again.
“Maxine,” Trinity yells “You should listen to Daddy, ‘cause if you fall you’d have to get some braces on your bottom teeth too!”
Aunt Dorothy Ann shakes her head “If Maxi falls, she’ll tumble into the beach and swallowed under the waves—and we don’t want that, right Maxine.”
“Right” I say sadly looking out at the horizon.
I only get to see it once a year, because I don’t live there, my Aunt Dorothy Ann and Uncle Cletus live there with their daughter (who’s the same age as me), Trinity. Trinity, is eleven, but acts fifteen. I like hanging out with her though. It’s either that I don’t have any other cousins that are my age, or I just enjoy putting up with her constant insults toward my braces, frail, short black hair, and C average. I like going towards having no one else my age.
I felt so attached to that beach. It was right behind my family’s house, so I could watch it all day long. I realized that no one else felt that same way about the beach except me, and Ms. Bowyer, who lived in the house too. My Uncle owns a two family house, and Mr. Bowyer rented the ground floor. Ms. Bowyer had been a widow for thirty years, and lived with her son. I usually say her son lived with her, because she took care of him mainly. Mr. Bowyer was twenty-five, but lost both his legs in some freak accident and gets around in a wheel chair. For someone whop was immobile, he was sure mean to everyone, including his mother. He would always beat her. I could hear the yells from downstairs. Uncle Cletus would read his paper, Aunt Dorothy Ann would sew Trinity’s dresses, and Trinity would paint her nails Everyone acted casual.
I remember once when I was leaning against the fence, I turned and caught Mr. Bowyer’s eye. I jumped, and turned my gaze back towards the ocean. He scared me so. Even though I could easily push him away into a hole somewhere, I don’t think to. His gaze just put fear in my heart. Most of all, that cigar. He smoke cigars a lot, and the cigar at the side of his mouth reminded me of the mobsters, and all of those other tough guys. I took a deep breath before turning around again, and he was gone.
There were times when he would scream at Ms. Bowyer when she was with me from his bedroom window. Saying things like: “Did I tell you that you could leave?” and “Get over here!” She would go over without a word, no objections at all; silent and calm. She looked back at me and waved like she was a little kid, and it was time for supper. It was time for Mr. Bowyer’s supper.

A week later from that, there was a storm. The ocean overflowed flooding the streets. Mr. and Ms. Bowyer came upstairs with us and we filed up higher to the attic. When the storm was over, we went back down to our house. Everyone (except Mr. Bowyer) gave a sigh of relief to see all of our stuff bone dry.
“Can we go down and check our stuff now…together?” Ms. Bowyer asked Aunt Dorothy Ann.
“May,” Aunt Dorothy Ann said taking her hand in hers. “Of course”
“Ma,” barked Mr. Bowyer rolling over to them. “Where are my cigars at?”
“Cigars?” Ms. Bowyer looked down at him confused, “You didn’t tell me to bring them.”
He crossed his eyes at her.

“Sweetie, I’m sorry. God willingly they didn’t get soaked.” She reached down to touch him, but he slapped her hand away.
“Hey! Hey! Hey!” Uncle Cletus raced over to Mr. Bowyer and pulled his wheelchair so that he faced him. “I don’t know what you do in your house, but it not going to go down here. You need to show your mother some respect. Honor thy mother and father. Does it ring a bell, Kat?”
“I got no time for this.” Ms. Bowyer started to roll away.
We all did go downstairs together. Only a couple of their things got wet. Surprisingly there were all Mr. Bowyer’s stuff. He went into a rage, and rolled out the door. Ms. Bowyer tried to stop him.
“It’s slippery out, you should wait until the morning.” she said
“Mind yours, I’m a grown man.” he said slamming the door.
The next day, I knocked on Ms. Bowyer’s door so that we could both watch the sunrise. We did, and it the best time we had doing it ever. We watched the waves crash against the rocks, and just talked all day. I told her about America and my school and friends. She told me about how it was living in Trinidad during the 1920s. Neither of us paid much attention of the fact her son was still missing. It was about noon, and I went to tell my aunt and uncle I was spending tea time with Ms. Bowyer, but they told her that she could come have tea with us. That was even more fun. I left out to the back as soon as I finished. I inhaled deeply sucking in the seawater air. I leaned over the fence, enjoying my view. I felt the fence give way so I backed off. I stepped back and looked down the row of planks. It looked like a spot was missing. I walked toward the spot. It was planks missing. They looked like they were broken too. I peered out to see if I could see anything. Above the water, floated a wheelchair it wasn’t rusted so I knew it just go there. I gasped. Tears rolled down my eyes as I ran back to the house. I bust through the door.
“What’s wrong?” Trinity came running towards me “Did you almost fall? I knew it—You almost bust your behind and now you scared.” She hugged me.
I shook my head, and pointed out the door.
“What is it? Who is it? Um—is it me?”
I shook my head.
“Is it one of us, Maxi?”
I shook my head.
Then she gasped. “It is—Mr. Bowyer?”
I nodded and pulled myself away from Trinity. I ran out the door and they followed me. I looked and pointed to the wheelchair in the water.
“Kat!” shriek Ms. Bowyer she clutched the fence. I hugged her as we both cried. I didn’t know why I did though; I never really cared for him. “Why! Kat! Why!” Ms. Bowyer shook her head. Her hair flapped wildly in the wind, suddenly seeming longer than usual…It felt like a movie.

His body and chair was fished out of the beach. I didn’t go to the funeral, because I was leaving for home the day before. I came back that next summer to find that Ms. Bowyer passed away two months after I left. Summers weren’t the same there anymore, and no longer did I watch the waves crash against the rocks. Nor did I get that same chill up my spine every time I look at it. You know, like when you see some really fluffy clouds that make you feel like you want to reach up and grab them, but you can’t? Although the wind may push them away, it they stay on your mind…in your heart. I just didn’t feel the same about this beach; the way the waves crash against the huge rocks. And the way it glides on the sand, pulling away to leave ripples.





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