Turtle, Under Cover

Saved by the Message by Shanell Kitt

I never asked her to come out and dance with me again, but by then I had learned how careful gay people had to be on the island. Truly might come out and dance, but she’d dance with the guys she’d gone to school with. Or even with the expats. Truly was a good dancer. If I was busy behind the bar serving drinks or in the corner taking on the role of DJ, I would lift my eyes periodically to watch her dance. Dancing with Truly was a little fantasy of mine that spiced up my otherwise placid island life. Doing any more than that was definitely out of the question.

“So, who else can we catch up on?” I ask. “I’ve been thinking of some of our old neighbors and wondering where they are and how they are doing these days. Remember Truly? Truly Corey? What’s she up to?”

I am surprised but pleased that, under the lip of the bar counter, Lincoln pats me on the thigh, not as a warning, but in a supportive way. 

Zella looks across the room toward a man who is methodically eating his way through a huge pile of ribs. Must have been a double order.

“Hey, Clive – wasn’t she some cousin to you?”

“Who that?” He is concentrating on his meal and not listening to our conversation. 

“Truly Corey.”

“Yes. Yes.” He wipes his lips with a napkin. “She my father’s sister’s daughter.”

“What happened to her?” Hyacinth asks. “She die?”