THE END OF THE LINE
by Anton Wills-Eve
answer to a prompt in which I have chosen not to use the letter ‘U’.
THE END OF THE LINE
When we first met at the railway station at Oxford I clearly remember the color of that almost jet black hair. I was taken aback as I had never seen a Chinese person before and was finding it hard believing it was really shining, black and so pretty all at the same time. I was both mystified and captivated.
My good friend, Leroy, was with me; he was descended from West Indian grandparents. He told me the only Asians he had ever seen were Indians and Pakistanis. We both agreed that this was very odd. I mean, think of it. Arriving in Oxford from London and we had never seen a Chinese! Well that was one for the record books. However, I decided to get to know my Asian girl as well as possible that first term at Balliol College, and Boy! did we have a great time.
Remember that party at Jimmy’s? Everybody can recall the first time they had alcohol, but in this case it was very strange. We had three dances to a Chinese pentatonic beat with me doing a dance nobody had ever seen before. The lyrics were a joke as we didn’t know them properly and some lines were almost obscene. And as the weeks went by something lovely began to happen. We went to the same concerts, gigs, parties and had dinner together more and more.
By this time we called each other by tender nicknames. I was ‘Peter the Great’ and was falling ever more deeply in love with my ‘Come What Mai’. I wondered what a Chinese family might make of me when I met them at Christmas as we had arranged. Mai told me not to worry. She was certain their love for her, added to my smiling and cheerful personality were going to make us all hit it off really well together.
However, I’ll never know if we might have done for a week before the end of term I received news that my mother had died and I had to go back home to Barbados at once. Apparently, when Mai’s relatives heard she had fallen for a West Indian they forbade her to go back to Oxford or even get in contact with me ever again.