~Written by Arose N Daghetto
        Former Dancehall King turned Satellite Installer, Prince “Debo” Marley IV was a man in his late thirties who finally decided to settle down and live a more righteous life. His enormous music career gave him everything he ever dreamed of accomplishing fast cars, huge homes, and obliging groupies. His dream career also gave him everything he didn’t want such as backstabbing friends, crooked business deals, numerous baby mammas and more missed bullets than he could count. Quitting the music business to settle down in a low-key lifestyle was his saving grace.
         Prince stood at the altar waiting for his bride- a woman was with him when he was a minimum wage fisherman working on the shores of Ocho Rios, Jamaica- to be escorted down the aisle. Dressed in a tuxedo with his long dreadlocks pulled back neatly, his cocoa skin smooth and soft under the church lights, he indeed made a handsome groom. He didn’t believe in marrying in the church, but in respect of his girlfriend’s strict Seventh Day Adventist family, he was willing to honor their wishes.
       Prince struggled with committment during his wait.  He didn’t feel at peace with his decision to be a one woman man. His past life of heavy partying and reggae to the dawn kept him divided.
       Prince’s quiet fidgeting. An old heart to heart conversation Prince shared with his dearly departed Uncle quieted his fidgeting. His rigid posture softened as he reflected on the conversation his uncle shared with him a long time ago. The playback of his uncle’s heart to heart conversation sounded like he was in the sanctuary, still speaking life lessons over his twitching shoulder. The words penetrating Prince’s ears instantly took him back to his adolescent years in Ocho Rios.
       Although he strayed from his Uncle’s sharp cutting words of discretion, Prince never ceased to share his Uncle’s words of wisdom to several of his estranged sons, nephews and cousins during their rites of passage over the years. He would speak to the boys with the same spirit of his uncle.
       Prince’s eyes settled on the lavishly decorated altar. The chestnut table was the old load dock where he and his uncle shared many Sunday afternoons fishing on. The glare coming from the well polished golden cross blinded him at first. His eyes later adjusted as he saw the silhouette of his uncle standing on the dock.
        He could see his uncle raising his hand, bringing an index finger to the back of his ear. For the first time in decades, he heard his uncle’s words…
Look bwoy, he say
Come dung, sidung…
You waan be a man?
First you gotta establish a reputation
The more fresh fish yuh bring in
The more credit is added to yuh name,
But not to yuh pocket
 You waan prove you tough?
Then yuh gotta hab a stomach fuh booze
and da lungs fuh ganja.

Yuh muss prove you got di stamina fuh di ladies,
Be har winji or swatti, nedda dehya-
If you never got one dem yet, den act like yuh did.
Ooman like har man tan pon it lang,
So make she proud an’ har girls dem jealous
By acting like yuh pack di wood dat make dem good babies
even if yuh neva father one a day in yuh life.
These rules were muh bread in muh days of yuut.

Look bwoy, he say
Coo yah!
You waan win an ooman’s heart?
You muss learn how ta show yuh love to she
without weakenin’ di knees.
Keep har in check
When she begin ta tink she da boss!
Dat shows har you in charge.
Nuh make dem see yuh wutless, bwoy!
Always be two steps ahead of da sistren…
Ovastan, be nuh easy
Cah mi naa waan find yuh ass a chi chi.

Ooman, she cleva ya kno’…
She baan baby in di world…
Your bredda be da one ta cock it up,
But all di while baby callin’ you daddy!
Ya mon, Yuh nuh see it?
Kill mi dread, mi nuh lie!
Di gal dem give yuh sweet agony when she wanna
but she wicked as da ‘gator when she naa get har way
Ooman caan bruk a brudda
That’s why yuh muss hab plenty of ready on di side

But behold young soldier,
Set standards in life
Lay down the fuckery an’ follow Jah
Always give thanks fuh all tings Jah blessed
‘Cause Jah kyarri yuh closer dan yuh mudda o brudda.
There be no I an’ I when it come to Jah.
‘im naa lead yuh stray, bwoy
Jah know, mi tell di trut,
dey nuh odda way!

Hear me, bwoy,
I’m gwan put di fiya in yuh…
Yuh muss never forget who you are
fuh you are an example!
Always give utmost reespek ta yuh elders
for they paved da way
and make you the person yuh oughtta be.
Be nuh saap fuh nuh wan
Or let sum skettle’s punaani put di Obeah pon ya
an’ shame me to da grave!
Be nuh eaz haad to di lessons I tell yuh
I-diate on wat I taught you
Follow every principle to a T
Fuh dem i-tal necessities to yuh manhood.

      Prince felt the warm of tension as everyone’s eyes set heavily upon him as the altar faded back into view, this time with the Pastor standing in front of it.  His eyes swept the sanctuary to see horrific expressions of concern and gaped open mouths.

      The room was so silent he could hear a pin drop. He realized that the Pastor just asked him the same question a third time. His eyes rested on those of his beautiful yet worried bride. Prince flashed his signature lady-killer smile, gave a firm nod and said, “I do.”

Short Story (not picture) © Copyright 2010 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.