Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Yanique's Quest: The Uniform

Published:Monday | March 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I have never had any interest in policemen or soldiers. This wasn't because of any bad experiences, but it had more to do with how their career choice would affect me and my family.

So when a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) invited me out on International Women's Day, I had my own reservations. The main reason I accepted was because prior to knowing he was a member of the JCF, he seemed quite nice. I wasn't looking for a date or expecting that it would turn into a date, but it happened.

How it started ...

When my office moved to its current location, we found ourselves having system issues every two days. We finally gave up trying to fix it ourselves and decided to call in the professionals. I had a friend in the IT business, but he was totally swamped and recommended Junior* to us. I called him and he promised to be there in an hour, and to my surprise, he was.

When he arrived, the first thing that stood out to me was how mannerly he was. He was courteous, polite and well-spoken. He wasn't anything like the other workmen who usually pass through my office. He asked us a few questions and went to work immediately after. A little after two hours, he was done and we went back to work.

That evening while exiting my office, he was driving in. I knew we hadn't called him, since everything was working fine since he left, so I knew he wasn't looking for me. I gestured to him and asked if everything was OK, and that's when I learnt that he had a small office on the first floor of my building. We said our goodbyes and I remember saying to him that I knew where to find him now.

Two weeks later, I would found myself in need of his assistance. I had seen him during that time either on my way in or out and we would say hello, but that was it. I walked down to his office to ask for his assistance, but he wasn't there. His assistant told me that he hadn't been there all day and she doubted he would be in at all for the day. I told her what the issue was and she promised to call him.

On my way back to the office, my phone rang and it was Junior. He was out of town, but he could stop by early the next morning if I didn't get anyone else. Since it was already after 6 p.m., I told him I was just going to close the office and would really appreciate if he could be there by 9 a.m the following day. He promised he would.

When I arrived at work after 8 a.m. the following morning, he was already there. He apologised for not being able to help the previous day, but he worked out of parish most of the week. That's when I learnt that he was a member of the JCF and the business he operated

was a partnership between him and his brother. I asked how he managed doing both and he explained how they worked out the schedule.

It didn't take him long to decipher what the problem was this time, and he informed me that I would definitely need some parts. I worked on my laptop for the day, while he worked on my computer. He was there all day and we started talking about our lives. He didn't have any children and still lived at home with his mother. A man living at home with his mother at 43 years old was a no-no for me. He must have seen the look on my face because he laughed and said he was used to that reaction whenever he mentioned that he lived with his mother. He clarified that his mother lived at his house and not the other way around. Her health had been deteriorating for the past two years, and he hired a caregiver and took her in. He explained that was the main reason why he went into business for himself- because the JCF's salary wasn't enough to take care of his mother's health issues.

It wasn't often that you found men caring for their ailing parents. It's usually the daughters who found themselves with that responsibility. He spoke very highly of his mother who had raised him and his three siblings without a father. I liked that, and it got me thinking of my boys and hoping that they would do the same if I ever needed it.

When he called to invite me out, it was the last thing I had been expecting. He called and asked if my system was working properly and then he asked what I was doing on Sunday. I was caught a little off guard, but I had no plans. He said that since Sunday was International Women's Day, he was inviting me to a brunch and concert. I asked him if I could call him the next day with an answer and he said that was fine.

Junior seemed like a nice guy, but I had stopped accepting dates from other men since Jason. I was not in a relationship with Jason and I am almost sure that he was possibly seeing other women, but I had only been focusing my attention there. I started to think about Jason and the path we were on. I wasn't even sure what path we were on, none of us had made any commitments to each other but we spent most of our time together. Since I wasn't committed to anyone, I called Junior back and accepted his offer. I had nothing to lose ... only to gain.