Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mail Order Bride, Chapter 4, Jamie the Toy Boy

Jamie the Toy Boy

“It is divine providence, Jamie just came to the bottle shop, he was immaculately dressed, and he asked me, ‘Why are you scrutinizing me?’ ” Isabella told Imelda the chance meeting of her new boyfriend, “and I don’t even understand the word scrutinize and he said I was giving him the hots. What does he mean?”

“He means you are trying to seduce him.”

“He totally swept me off my feet. It was as if my Robert had come back from the dead, except Jamie is ten years younger than Robert.”

“You mean that he is half as old as you?”

Jamie was a struggling musician and Isabella told him that she was a singer.

“I was an entertainer in a karaoke lounge in Manila.” Isabella conveniently forgot to add that she was a bar girl and dance hostess.

She suggested they could jam together. Isabella bought a few bottles of DB beer and a pizza from Dominoes pizza next door. They walked down to the little park behind the bottle shop.

“We just sat in the park and talked and talked. He is a very sensitive person and he is very interested in Philippines. He knows how to make a woman feel loved and wanted. Jamie is a perfect gentleman.”

“Whoa! Hold your horses! Isabella or Emma, have you forgotten the big trouble you were in when you had Robert while you were still married to Norman?”

“It’s different this time, Gilbert is such a geek and docile person that he will never find out. He should be grateful I did him a favor and married him. With Gilbert, I am a living widow. Besides I won’t be deported now, I’ve my citizenship.”

Isabella continued to see Jamie and buy him beer and pizza or Chinese takeaway at Green Dragon from across Sandringham Road. Bored with sitting in the little park, and with Gilbert out of town delivering his frozen pies, Isabella invited Jamie to her house. It was a pleasant walk, and Jamie held her hand. Isabella felt an electric shock. Jamie wore a black leather jacket, black leather pants that were so tight that she could see his crouch and she wanted to brush against. In the house sitting on the couch, after a few drinks, Jamie became her previous lover, Robert. Butterflies were fluttering in her stomach. There was a quaver in her voice, and her heart beat very fast. She felt the sensual excitement which Gilbert could not arouse in her.

“Don’t worry, nobody will come home.”

Isabella was entranced by Jamie’s charm and sweet talk and his gentleness. She turned the CD player on and they started to drink and do dirty dancing. Jamie caressed her face and hair and breasts. He had his hand up her skirt and held her tighter and tighter whispering sweet nothings to her ear. Isabella led Jamie to the sofa and she twined her legs into Jamie and lolled her head against his bushy chest. She learnt in New Zealand to enjoy the chest hair of Pakeha men. Jamie lay on top of her groaning and crooning. His turquoise blue eyes pierced into hers, and Isabella let out all the pent out frustration she had with Gilbert and let Jamie take over her life. Jamie was a skilful lover and taught her ways to achieve ecstasy that even Robert and her previous one night stands could not.

The encounter was a repeat of the story of Robert and Emma. Holly wood would have made Part II, a remake of the old movie renamed: Jamie and Isabella. Isabella fell in love with Jamie and was determined to make him a permanent lover and not a casual one night stand.

“You better go now, I have to pick my daughter from school soon. I love you, so you must come again.”

“Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?” Jamie ask with a wink.

“Yes, I will love that.”

Isabella pleaded with Imelda to pick Christine up from school and take her to her home and have a sleep-over that night. Imelda agreed reluctantly knowing that Isabella was desperate. She also sympathetic and believed Isabella when the latter told her that Gilbert was so fat that he was impotent.

"Don't trust him, Jamie is only being nice to get into your pants or rather into your purse," Imelda warned Isabella.

“As a woman, I am sure you understand that it is natural for a woman to have needs, Imelda.”

Jamie came with a big bunch of roses and a soft toy and a big hug and kiss at the door. Isabella was worried that her nosey-parker busybody Jericho would see them, so she quickly dragged Jamie inside the house. As soon as they got in, Isabella pushed Jamie into the bedroom where she had a time of bliss. Jamie was a great lover, he was so young and strong, so unlike the old man Gilbert.

“Let’s not go out but stay the whole evening in bed.”

“Isabella, I have come to give you the best time of your life, we will go out and come back later. There is plenty of time for bed time games later in the evening.”

“You are so romantic and thoughtful.”

Isabella called for a taxi and Jamie directed the taxi driver down town to Auckland’s icon, The Sky Tower casino. She remembered Robert telling her of its phallic shape. They headed straight to the gambling floor without eating anything. Isabella had never been to a casino before, and she felt so loved sitting on Jamie’s lap as they played the casino slot machine. Jamie let her drop the coins in the slot while he pawed all over her. She was so thrilled and excited that she didn’t feel hungry. They did not win any money. But Isabella was so happy. She thought to herself, no wonder people say, “When you are in love, you can survive on water and fresh air.” When they got home, Isabella invited Jamie in for coffee. Without hesitation, Jamie accepted and stayed the night with her.

“I am very good in giving full body massage, Filipino style,” as Isabella stripped Jamie and squeezed his biceps and his bum.

“Jamie’s one in a million, where can you get a man like this?” Isabella reported to Imelda dreamily, “It was such a lovely romantic rendezvous, I wish it would last forever.”

The forbidden fruit was so sweet, Jamie didn’t wait at the bottle store on Sandringham Road near Edendale school. Isabella didn’t want other nosey-parker mothers to see them just in case they told Gilbert. Jamie waited at the Sandringham shops and became her toy boy. They often went shopping for expensive goods.

Isabella was very conscious that she was twice the age of the twenty something Jamie. She went to the chemist at St Lukes and got a plumping collagen lip treatment. She wanted to get fuller, sexier luscious lips for Jamie to kiss. She also splashed a fortune on anti-wrinkle treatment for her face and eye bags and dark circles under her eyes.

Jamie was always saying, “Let me buy this for you as a present, but I don’t have cash on me, will you please pay first and I will pay you back later.”

And of course, he never did. He was so proud that he was giving her the present and taking the credit. Isabella did not dare tell Imelda because she knew Imelda will give her a piece of her mind that Isabella is being used by a boy young enough to be her son.

Jamie was a surfie, he liked surfing at Muriwai and Piha beaches but he had no wheels to go forty-five kilometers from Auckland.

“It’s beautiful out there, the beach has black sand, the waves are so strong and beautiful.”

Isabella wanted go with him, more importantly she wanted to please Jamie and give him everything he wanted. She hatched up a good plan.

Isabella told Gilbert that it was really miserable to walk Christine to school in the cold winter rain and persuaded Gilbert to buy her a little car. Gilbert loved his wife and his little girl so he agreed. Gilbert sneaked off work one morning and drove Isabella to Turner’s Car Auctions at Penrose in South Auckland. There were cars galore

“If only I have a driving license, I would test drive all those big cars,” sighed Isabella.

Gilbert bid for a car, to Isabella’s disappointment, it wasn’t the big Mitsubishi Diamante she was eyeing for. He got her a two thousand dollar manual Ford Fiesta.

“It’s good enough for you to drive Christine to school, and it is no rust bucket.”

Gilbert gave Isabella her driving lessons when ever he could snatch some time from work. Gilbert was very patient and it was difficult because Isabella had difficulty in reading the road code. Eventually after many failures, Isabella finally got her license.

Now with wheels, Isabella and Jamie went places. Most of the time, Jamie took the wheel. They went to Muriwai beach. Jamie took her to see the gannets. Jamie told her that the birds return to New Zealand to re-establish contact with their life-long mates. With the squawking of the birds, Jamie whispered and did a male bird’s courting dance. Isabella laughed and responded to the dance and had a great desire to hug him tight. Jamie took Isabella to an isolated spot and they replicated the birds mating at the cliffs. After the romp, they walked hand in hand to the sea and let the giant surfs pound on them and roll into the black sandy shore. Isabella felt very safe with Jamie holding her hand to stop her from being washed into the sea. Then Jamie took his surfing board and ran down the black sand. Isabella sat on the grass, a brighten smile radiated from her naturally tanned face.

“I wish we could do this everyday.”

On Isabella’s birthday, Gilbert took her out.

“This calls for a celebration. Your fifth birthday as my wife, let’s go for a drink and then a meal.” said Gilbert.

They dropped Christine off at Imelda’s and drove to Henderson for a drink and a night’s out. After they entered the pub, Isabella wanted to leave. But it was too late.

“Ho! Ho! Ho! Just what did the cat drag in?” It was the familiar voice of Joe, Norman’s ex drinking mate.

“Hi Emma, the vicious vixen, I see you have snared another victim, you slut?”

Joe was drunk, he had just been made redundant at fifty. He was uninhibited in his speech. Joe was drinking with Gary.

“Hello everyone, here is the whore who made my buddy Norman a cuckold and had him killed. I am sorry for you mate, she will do the same to you,” and Joe gave Gilbert a push.

Isabella got hold of a glass of beer on the table and splashed it at Joe’s face, “Go to hell!”

The landlord told Joe to quiet down or to leave. But Joe was a regular in the pub, so the landlord told Gary to take care of him.

“Please, we don’t want no trouble, can you please leave with the lady. Obviously she is aggravating my customer,” the landlord directed this conversation to Gilbert.

Isabella didn’t want to stay. They came home. Gilbert asked what it was all about.

“Nothing! The drunk is mistaken.”

“Then why are you upset?”

“I told you it’s nothing, why don’t you shove it?”

“Nothing? There is no smoke without fire.”

“Shut up! Gilbert!”

“Let me tell you this, I have known your affair with a young punk for a long time. Jericho our neighbor, my one friend I grew up with, told me that you have been having a male visitor. Jericho had shown me newspaper cuttings of you and Norman and Robert. For the sake of Christine I chose to overlook your past, but now, it’s all true, isn’t it. You whore! You Slut! You cow! You’re always making your husbands a cuckold.” This was the longest speech Gilbert had ever made in his life.

“Jericho is lying,” shocked that Gilbert knew about her stinging betrayal and yet did nothing about it.

“I should have reported you to the police and have you sent back to the Philippines long ago, you bitch!”

Isabella became hysterical and threw Gilbert’s prized glass trophy that he got from school for his Math competition. It missed him by an inch and shattered into a million crystals as it hit the wall. Large veins started throbbing in Gilbert’s forehead. Gilbert was so angry that he came forward to punch Isabella.

“I have never hit a woman in my life, but you made me. You broke my prize trophy. It’s the only thing that reminds me that I have done something mum was proud of. ” As he lunged forward, his face became distorted. He held his hands to his heart. His face became distorted, his left face turned up and right side skewed down.

“Izzy Izzy Izzy, help…. help me….” and slumped to the floor.

Gilbert had a massive heart attack and a stroke. It left him half paralyzed. Isabella waited a long time before she dialed 111. The medic came in the ambulance and Isabella lied that she dialed 111 as soon as he had the heart attack. In fact, she was hoping by delaying, Gilbert would die. But he survived.

“Gilbert, I hope you understand why I don’t come to see you everyday, I have a phobia about hospitals and I get a panic attack.”

Isabella went only twice only after the insistence of Imelda.

“Isabella, you must at least put on a show, otherwise Gilbert will write you out of his will, then you will be left with nothing.”

After three weeks in hospital, Gilbert was discharged. Isabella packed him off to a senior citizen home and private hospital and refused to visit him.

“When is Daddy coming home?”

“Christine dear, you got to understand, Daddy can’t come home. I can’t handle taking care of him. He is incontinence, he can’t feed by himself, he can’t talk, he can’t walk. He can’t do no nothing.”

“Why can’t I go to see him?”

“No dear, he is in a hospice, a hospice is a place for people to die. There are a lot of dying people and lots of germs. I don’t want you to go there, and you won’t want to see the grotesque looking people. It will only upset you.”

Isabella was happy; she’d got rid of the old fogey. She was free to have Jamie coming everyday. To entice Jamie to move in, she asked him what he wanted as a welcoming present. Jamie told her it was his dream to own a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Isabella did not expect Jamie to ask for such an expensive gift, but she was afraid to lose him if she declined. Isabella went to the bank and cleared out all of Gilbert’s savings and went shopping with Jamie. Jamie cunningly registered the bike under his name while giving Isabella a long sexy French kiss. Isabella was so drunk in love that she did not think and paid for the bike, accessories and helmet. They went for a long ride with Isabella clinging very tightly to Jamie and dreamingly thinking this was worth every cent if she had Jamie for the rest of her life.

Jamie asked, “Don’t you just love being my pillion rider?”

“Yes, it is more sexy than sitting in the car,” as she moved her hands down to Jamie’s crotch.

When Christine came home, she saw Jamie in the bedroom with Isabella.

In a rage she flung, “You shameless slut, everyone laughs at me in school, and you have a gigolo in the house when Dad is so sick in the hospital.”

Christine slammed the door and rushed out crying bitterly. Jericho saw her and went to comfort her. Christine wanted Jericho to take her to see Gilbert. Jericho stupidly complied. Christine rushed to Gilbert who was sitting on a semi reclining chair with a blanket over his legs.

Christine went like a machine gun, “Dad, mum is such a shameless woman. She has Jamie coming to our house and staying overnight and sleeping on your bed. She used your money to buy him a Harley Davidson motorcycle.”

Gilbert tried to stand up and walk. He held his heart, slumped over and knocked his head on the dining table. His heart stopped.

Christine screamed, “Dad! Dad! Someone help!”

Jericho went to look for the nurses on duty. It was too late.

Isabella didn’t want to attend the funeral. She had no love for Gilbert, and she didn’t want to pretend that she ever loved him. But Jamie and Imelda told her to put up with a pretense for one last time. At least until the rumours died down. They buried him in Waikumate cemetery not too far from his mother. As his mates laid Gilbert in the freshly dug soft spring grave, Christine cried inconsolably. Gilbert had been the best father to her. Jericho told her that she was adopted, but Gilbert was better than her friends’ birth fathers.

Isabella went grudgingly and stood, with her big sun glasses and her big black hat. She pretended to dab her eyes every so often because she knew she was being watched and filmed. Imelda told her to act the role of the hapless grieving widow. The media was there again. The busybody Jericho had gone to the press that Isabella was Emma, though he could not prove it. The media had a write up on rumors that foreigners who were deported by New Zealand came back into the country under another identity.

The will was read, Gilbert had left eighty percent to Isabella and twenty percent to Christine. The old fool, thought Isabella, Christine wasn’t even his child. Isabella was Christine’s trustee until she turned eighteen.

After a short period the merry widow’s grieving lapsed. Jamie moved in, to the chagrin of Christine. Christine fought with Isabella. She said the house was partly hers and she decided who could and who could not stay in the house. Jamie and Isabella stood nonchalantly. Christine as far as they were concerned was just a kid.

Now there were three ghosts in Isabella’s life, the horrible tyrant Norman ghost, her sensual but jealous Robert ghost and the docile Gilbert ghost. They were tormenting her non stop, when she was awake or she was asleep. They were driving her crazy.

Jamie was also proving to be extremely difficult, he was behaving like a male version of a prima donna. He was making life miserable for her and was never satisfied with the gifts she showered on him. She bought him a Nokia cell phone, and MP3 player and a lap top because he hinted he needed them.

Christine was getting worse, sometimes she was sullen, often she was defiant and downright rude. She blamed Isabella for Gilbert’s death. She raved and rambled on and on like a broken recorder that Isabella was a merry widow and held no respect for her feelings now that her dad had just died. One day, Christine went into Isabella’s room and found a stack of Playboy and Penthouse magazines belonging to Jamie. She tore them up and shrew them in the lounge and called Isabella a shameless bitch and accused Jamie and Isabella to be fornicating canines.

“I am praying everyday for the spirit of Gilbert to punish you, you desecrate Gilbert’s shrine with your filth.”

Christine and Jamie fought on like dog and cat. Christine blew up a big photograph of Gilbert and put it on top of the fire place and lit candles in the evening. This was enough to drive Jamie into a rage and he wanted to throw the photograph out of the house.

“Go ahead, I have gone to a clairvoyant psychic and cast a voodoo spell on you two amorous dogs,” challenged Christine, though she dared not admit that she conjured up this idea from watching a television program.

But it was enough to affect Isabella, coming from the Philippines where black magic resulting in death was very prevalent. She was driven into deeper depression and she turned to the bottle for solace.

“Christine is an exasperating brat, she is always whinging and whining,” Jamie complained to Isabella.

“Give her time, she has just lost her dad,” replied Isabella.

“She is not even your kid, why don’t you leave her with the CYF? (Department of Child Youth and Family) I’ve had enough of her being a gooseberry in my own house.” Jamie nagged at Isabella to abandon Christine.

“I wish it was that easy, without her, I can’t get the DPB, (Domestic Purpose Benefit) then what are we going to live on?”

“Didn’t you say that Gilbert had twenty-five thousand dollars of life assurance?”

“I haven’t got the money yet, please be patient Jamie.”

Jamie said, “There is no way I am going to sleep in Gilbert’s bed, no black satin sheets, no sexy lacy red-and-black negligee would entice me, period. It gives me the creeps!”

Isabella responded, “When the things are settled with the lawyers, I will buy a new Sleepyhead bed from Farmers, Jamie.”

“Don’t you know that there is this thing: hire purchase?”

So before the money from Gilbert’s insurance became available, Isabella went to Farmers and bought a whole lot of bedroom furniture. As she had no collateral, the company charged her a high interest rate.

Then she wanted a complete overhaul of her house. She wanted to bury Gilbert’s mother’s ghost and her dreary stuff. She rang the Salvation Army and the boys came in the truck. They carried out the couch, the dining table, the dressing table with the old ugly oval mirror, the little cot that Christine slept in, and the double bed.

The Salvation Army boys commented, “These is good stuff, real old English oak, this Asian woman doesn’t know what treasure she has. Some lucky people will get them dirt cheap at our opportunity shops.”

What a row it was when Christine came home, “You gave away Daddy’s stuff. You horrible woman! You did this only to please your lover boy.”

“Please, Christine, these pieces of furniture are more than fifty years old.”

“I don’t care, they were Daddy’s, and you have no right to do it. I own twenty percent of them just in case you in your demented mind have forgotten.”

Isabella had no choice, she rang the Salvation Army and requested them to bring back all the furniture except the double bed. She was at least the madam in her own bedroom.

The Salvation Army boys laughed and remembered that they had come to this address before and performed the same charade when the old man was around.

“No worries, this happens all the time,” The Sally boys chuckled to themselves.

The new bed and dressing table and two lowboys chest of drawers came from Farmers, and Isabella asked the delivery men to assemble the bed for her.

“We are just the delivery men, you know.”

Isabella pleaded with them, “Please, I am alone.”

She had to bribe them with fifty dollars, they did it for her.

“Alone! My foot! Why would a single person need a queen sized bed? I bet you one hundred bucks that she has a boyfriend who is too lazy to help her assemble the bed.”

Isabella felt very pleased with the four-poster canopy bed. Isabella made the bed with new satin sheets, white screens and a blue duvet. Jamie liked the sea and he would like the turquoise color. She got matching drapes for the window. She was very pleased and proud of herself. It was very romantic and a love nest she had always dreamt of.

When Jamie came, he was so happy with the transformation Isabella made for him. Just for him, she said. After making out, Isabella lay in Jamie’s arms very happy with herself, she had finally exorcised Gilbert from the room with her new furnishings and her new bed.

The euphoria didn’t last long: the old bed might be gone, but Gilbert had not. He was all over the place. Isabella was seeing him, Isabella was hearing him when she was awake and when she was asleep. Imelda told her to go to see a doctor before she became a schizophrenic. Christine continued to taunt Jamie that he was in her Dad’s house and make him unwelcome in the house.

One moment, Isabella was hearing Norman’s thundering taunting, “You whore! All your lies, your deceit, you betraying bitch, you rot in hell.”

Another moment it was the groaning sound as Robert had his orgasm. “I love you! You said you loved me, but why are you sleeping with another?”

And then now, it was Gilbert saying, “How could you? I loved you and accepted you the way you are.”

She hyper-ventilated, she had panic attacks and insomnia. Isabella dared not tell this to Jamie, he wouldn’t understand and he might leave her if he knew she was becoming crazy. She looked terrible and she wouldn’t eat. On other times, she would gorge herself so much junk food that she was unwittingly going on a yoyo diet. As with the diet, her moods were going up and down like a yoyo.

The money from Gilbert’s insurance came at the right time. Jamie was turning twenty one. Isabella planned to give him a surprise. Jamie was an outdoor junkie so she went to Kathmandu at Broadway, in Newmarket. This lovely store stocked New Zealand made outdoor clothing and equipment. Jamie had been wishing for a pair of Colorado fawn coloured ankle boots. Feeling very much in love, and rich from Gilbert’s money, Isabella went on a shopping spree. She told the shop assistant she wanted two pairs of everything: a set of black Nike sweatshirt and pants with a white stripe that went down the entire length of the pants, a pair of expensive Ray Ban sunglasses, a fawn fleece jacket, thermal underwear and finally a double tent. She tottered precariously, gripping six stuffed shopping bags, when she came home.

That night, Isabella and Jamie left Christine at Imelda’s. Isabella took Jamie to the Cock and Bull restaurant in Newmarket which Isabella had discovered that afternoon. For entrée, they had a dozen of 'au naturelle' Bluff Oysters. Isabella squirmed at the sight of Jamie as he sucked the raw oyster with a dash of Tabasco sauce and a twist of lemon.

Jamie told Isabella, “Oysters are aphrodisiac and you should try some of them.”

“Huh?? What does apothesic mean?”

“Oh Isabella, you must go for ESOL class and improve your English. There is one at the Mt Albert Baptist Church which is not very far away from our house. My mum’s friend Kathleen Wilson is a teacher there. By the way, aphrodisiac means being very good in bed. You want some now?”

“Yes! Even though thinking eating the raw stinky oysters makes me want to puke.”

Jamie ordered another dozen and fed Isabella with a tiny fork, and kissed and slurped the juice that dripped from her mouth. They were showing a great public display of affection which was obscene to look at. But they didn’t care. They had a thick juicy T-bone steak, medium rare for Jamie and tender fillet minion, well done for Isabella: she could never stand the red bloody juice on her steak. They washed down the food with a couple of bottles of cabernet sauvignon red wine. For dessert, they had the sinfully rich pavlova topped with kiwifruit, passion fruit and strawberries and real fresh cream. Jamie scooped a dollop of cream with his finger and fed it to Isabella’s sensual button mouth.

“I have a surprise for you, but you have to wait till we get home.”

Isabella was drunk with happiness and love. When they got home, Isabella used her silk and wool pashmina and blinded folded Jamie. She told him to rummage through the shopping bags. Jamie was very happy to see all the expensive stuff that Isabella had bought for him but didn’t seem very thrilled when she said she bought them so they could go camping. She was in tears when he said she couldn’t come to his twenty first birthday bash. They quarreled but Jamie would not budge, he was adamant that he wasn’t taking Isabella to his twenty first bash.

“Isabella, you are drunk, go to sleep.” Then he rolled over to sleep feigning that he had a drop too much to drink and a bit too much to eat.

Isabella lay in bed, wondering if this was the beginning of trouble in the relationship. She went all the way out to please him and he was increasingly ignoring her and dragging his feet when it came to reciprocating her love. Something has changed. She slithered against Jamie, but he was dead to this world.

The next morning, Jamie woke up early and made Isabella breakfast in bed. He fried streaky bacon and two eggs, sunny side up. He stole a stalk of Calla lily from Jericho’s garden.

He kissed her and apologized, “Isabella, I am sorry about last night. I am sorry I took you for granted. I love you and want to make you happy.”

“Does this mean that I can come to your birthday party?”

Jamie raised his voice, “Remember this, Isabella, we are in this lewd and lascivious cohabitation because you invited me. You don’t own me. I don’t own you. You go your way, I go mine. In the mean time, you enjoy having me in your bed. Let’s just leave it at that and there is no commitment, OK?”

“What do you mean? Jamie. Are you leaving me?”

“No, I am not leaving you, just give me some space. I really can’t take you to the party.”

No amount of pleading by Isabella would change Jamie’s mind.

“Come on, Isabella, you will feel out of place among the young people. I promise I will take you camping another day.”

One day, tragedy struck New Zealand. It also struck Isabella personally. When Jamie and Isabella arrived at the car park at Muriwai beach in the morning, they were told a pod of fifty pilot whales had beached and stranded in the shallow water during the night. Rescuers, old and young and Jamie’s surfing mates were out there in the shallow water in a desperate attempt to save the surviving whales. Even school kids were given the day off school by their parents. The rescuers had covered the poor whales with beach towels and blankets and wetting them by scooping water to prevent the whales from getting dehydrated. Jamie told Isabella to bring her beach towel along as he raced to join the heroes and heroines in their noble attempt to save these beautiful animals.

“Take your beach towel.”

Jamie told Isabella to join the group of three middle aged women and a child.

“Hi! We are glad you have come to help. I am Grace, they are the two Anns. Ann without an E, and Anne with an E, and this is my daughter Jessie.”

“Hi! I am six.”

“Hi! I am Isabella.”

“Will you cover the whale with your beach towel at the exposed area?” requested Anne.

“No! I don’t want to get my new towel fishy and smelly.”

The two women and Jessie had been up the whole night and tempers were fraying.

“You have to scoop water on the whale and help us hold the whale up right. If not, their blow-holes will not be clear and the poor whale will drown,” said Grace.

“This is hard work,” grumbled Isabella when the whale blew water and drenched them.

“Why did you come? You knew this is hard work,” commented Ann.

“I didn’t want to come to help, Jamie told me to come.”

“Who is Jamie?” asked Grace.

“He’s my boyfriend.”

“You mean that handsome hunk?” asked Ann.

“Yes, the blonde guy.”

“You lucky woman,” commented the three.

After three hours, Isabella found the three women very friendly and they carried on a long conversation with her. She was surprised the extent they went in their nature loving activities like feeding and sheltering stray dogs and cats, planting herbs and native shrubs. She found them unpretentious and so different from other Kiwi women she had met. Isabella was happy they didn’t mind her Togalog English and the wrong grammar she used.

“What happen when we can’t save all the whales?” Isabella asked when she saw the dead whales.

“We use a forklift and a tractor to hull the poor whale and bury it,” said Anne.

“What, you mean you waste all the meat?”

“Huh?” asked all four of them in shock.

“You can sell them to the Japanese?”

“Isabella, you haven’t been in New Zealand long enough. The whole world hates the Japanese and their whaling,” said Ann irritably.

After twelve noon, under the hot sun, their poor whale died. Ann and Anne, Grace and Jessie cried openly. They christened him Moby. Isabella thought they were weird and gone soft in their head over a dead whale. Gordon came with the fork lift and hoisted the whale to give it a decent burial. Ann and Anne, Grace and Jessie followed as part of the cortege. The atmosphere was somber, there was so much death and sadness. The whales had to be buried quickly to prevent stench and spread of sickness.

Isabella chased the rest, and looked happy as if she had a brilliant idea.

“Wait, I want to lob off a chunk of meat to take back for my Filipino girl friends. It is such a waste of good meat.”

“Shit! Don’t you have any sense of decency? How can you eat whales?” shouted Ann.

“Whales are like people, they are not fish, they are higher beings, how can you even suggest eating them?” admonished Gordon.

Isabella quickly retreated with her tail between her legs.

But it was too late, Gordon and the women were so appalled by Isabella’s indecent proposal that they told everyone about this. Many of them were Greenpeace members and they told Jamie.

Jamie was diabolic and he shouted at Isabella in front of all the rescuers.

“I am so ashamed of you. You made me wish I had died and buried with the whales. Better still, you had died and we buried you.”

That sorrowful morning, twenty nine whales died and were buried in a massive grave: so was Isabella’s and Jamie’s relationship.

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