Satan is a Trini
During my final year at COSTAATT I did an investigative report on a 20-year-old nursing assistant by the name of Sharday Emmanuel, who went missing about four years ago. While doing the report I came to the conclusion that she may have been killed by a man she knew, who was close to her. Somehow, the police were unable to apprehend anyone, or get the necessary DNA results to find out exactly what happened to her. To this day she remains missing.
Before she disappeared Sharday left a series of voice notes to someone she knew describing an abusive relationship she was in. I was able to obtain the voice notes. The following is a portion of what she said: “It (the relationship) worse than even licks...and it’s not the first time...and if I talk nobody doesn’t listen because as you see I always happy, I not going to pour out that side of me like, how you always sad so girl? How you always depressed. I don’t want people to know my problems. I don’t want people to know what I going through so I just hold it inside and just eat it up and as time goes by I just be normal. I don’t want to be the girl crying to everybody my problems and this and that. Everything takes time and someday it will end. Someday it will end. I just praying it ends soon because I feeling like I can’t take no more. I take all I can take and after last night I feel like I can’t take no more. I sorry. I can’t take no more.”
Ever since I did that report, I cannot forget Sharday. Even before the news of Andrea Bharatt broke, I woke up one night just thinking about her. There is something terribly frustrating not being able to find closure. Sometimes I want so badly to call Sharday’s father, to tell him to keep strong. But what do words matter? What does me writing about this even matter? Another girl has died. Another light has been snuffed out. The darkness continues to win.
The vigils that took place for Andrea came at exactly the time Carnival would have kicked off. It seems that no Carnival has forced citizens to face reality. People can’t vent through revelry. No. The place bunning down, but this time we couldn’t jump up or wine away the anger and fear and pain. Instead of lining the streets in celebration, T&T was plunged into national mourning.
Andrea’s death is a failure of every aspect of life in this country. From the innate violence in men, to the breakdown of the family structure, to inept legislation, to a failed judicial system, to politicians who care only for themselves, to the families of monsters who keep breeding a cycle of evil – everything has failed. We have arrived at a point where two suspects had to fall off some very tall chairs while in police custody for there to be any semblance of justice.
And to anyone who wants to stick their nostrils to the stratosphere and declare that the Police Service is on a slippery slope, I will ask if they have never been close to a situation that Andrea found herself in. Just think about the fact that one of the men who was a part of Andrea’s murder had over 70 charges against him, yet was able to walk freely. Think about how terrified Andrea would have been during those final moments of her life. Read the second autopsy report and really think about how that girl died.
Unfortunately, despite the candlelight vigils and groans of sorrow, nothing will be solved. This is a world where nothing is ever solved. Women in this country have always been abused. From my grandpa’s time, till now. In many cases the very women you know have been the survivors of sexual of physical abuse. They just learned to cope by smiling the pain away. We are trapped in a cycle of violence and abuse and it will keep repeating itself again and again and again. As time continues devouring itself, we will continue to experience tragedy. What happened to Andrea will happen again and keep on happening. Forever. We often use the expression ‘God is a Trini’ to describe good fortune that comes our way. Well, after all that has taken place recently, I think we need to rethink this position.
But all is not lost. Sometimes in death a person can achieve something far greater than they would have while alive. As it stands, the Government is making moves to implement the use of pepper spray. And the Opposition for once, supported a bill that claims it will be a step in the right direction against fighting crime. Most importantly, Andrea did what no other citizen of this country ever did before – she forced us to collectively acknowledge our failure as a nation. I just hope that Andrea’s death will leave a deep scar on this country. I hope her death will remind us just how fragile life really is and how much we should value it. As Cormac McCarthy once wrote, we live on “borrowed time in a borrowed world with borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”
Written February 2021