Write Start (11-15): Amayiah Joseph bets on Keshorn Walcott, but it won’t be easy to collect

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“[…] ‘Trinidad and Tobago will perform a Javelin throw at 2pm!’ the television interjected. 

“‘Jav- what? That is not a European ting? We does do that?’ Mom stormed off to a pot of spicy aroma of delectable, seasoned meat…”

Twelve-year-old Holy Name Convent (Port of Spain) form one student Amayiah Joseph is our fifth shortlisted fictional writer for the inaugural Wired868 Write Start competition. Her essay is in the 11-15 category entitled ‘The day I met my local hero’:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Javelin star Keshorn Walcott.
(Copyright Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“Two Chocolate Digestives!” badgered Mike. 

I shook my head in disagreement, my cornrows following my little head. “If my swimmer wins, I want a Chubby!” 

We sat down on the living room carpet staring at the flickering screen.

It was the historical afternoon of 11th August. Trinidad and Tobago was participating in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Njisane Phillip, our cyclist representative, placed fourth. 

“Bovell, play yet?” inquired mom. “Bovell is meh boy you know! He win Bronze 2004!” 

“George Bovell in seventh place!” asserted the broadcaster.

Mom sprung up from her seat with such rage, giving a hostile glare to the television. She immediately dialled an overseas number. “Val Girl! you see that?” she lambasted.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell waits for confirmation from the judges on his finish in the 50 metre freestyle event.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“Marjorie! Tanty Girlie say it have one more Trini to play!”

“Steups! What you talkin’ about?! It don’t have nobody else!” hissed Mom.

“Trinidad and Tobago will perform a Javelin throw at 2pm!” the television interjected. 

“Jav- what? That is not a European ting? We does do that?” Mom stormed off to a pot of spicy aroma of delectable, seasoned meat.

“What you have to lose?” I smirked at Mark, rubbing my hands mischievously. 

“Mom, come quick, is’ our turn!” I summoned. 

“Representing Trinidad and Tobago, number 3-0-5-2 is up next,” announced the CNN broadcaster with an American accent. 

A towering, firm male confidently bounced onto the red stadium. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago javelin star Keshorn Walcott examines his equipment.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Hmm! Some young boy!” Mom rolled her eyes. 

“Keshorn Walcott!” Mike clarified.

“Kesh- who?” puzzled Mom, “I never hear about him!” 

Keshorn held the javelin stick. Mom bit her nails nervously. Walcott straightened his back, pulled up his red t-shirt sleeves, sprinted and released the javelin into the air. His jaw dropped and his eyes glinted with shock. He scored 84.58 metres. 

“W-what that mean… w-we win?” stuttered Mom.

“Gold to Walcott!” the broadcaster roared jubilantly. 

Photo: A heave to the heavens…
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Keshorn beat his chest pridefully. Coach Ismael Mastrapa embraced his champion. Mother squeezed us with glee and shrill alto screeches filled the room. 

“Walcott is meh’ boy you know!” Mom boasted with hypocrisy.

When Keshorn stood on the podium, his eyes became attached to the medal. “It heavy boy!” Keshorn’s lips murmured. 

Thousands of camera lights flickered. Hundreds of Trinbago flags wavered. Suddenly, the smoky smell of burnt peas filled the air. 

“D’ Pelau burnin’!” Mom sang in soprano tune, while running in the direction of the kitchen. Mike snatched my Chubby and disappeared into his secret hideout! I squealed a complaint to Mom.

Image: Amen…

The following week into my August vacation, my mother and I were set to visit Aunt Val in America. At Piarco International Airport, we picked up some duty-free items. Mom walked up to a huge glass window, and I obediently followed.

“That’s our plane!” she pointed. I’d never seen an actual plane except in television shows. 

“It’s enormous!” I gasped.

On the way back to the seating area, I became paralysed with disbelief. “Look Mom! That’s the man from TV, who won!” I tugged on her long pink dress. Mom took sight of the slender man in the distance. 

“What man?” she teased. “Do you mean T&T’s Olympic gold medalist?” recollected Mom. 

By now, I had caught ‘the man’s’ attention and he lifted an eyebrow. My mother quickly steered me into his direction. “We just want to say congratulations!” rejoiced Mother. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott plays with his gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, only the second for T&T after Hasely Crawford’s 1976 Montreal 100m win.

“Thank you, it’s very nice to meet you!” 

“I tell them, you would win!” Mom boasted. 

We were on the same flight, and I couldn’t believe it! A distinct call came from the Caribbean Airlines’ boarding terminal, “Mr Keshorn Walcott, Gate 10.” 

I bravely hugged him goodbye. I was in titanic shock that I’d just met my local hero. I couldn’t wait to gloat to Mike.

I boarded the aircraft with great enthusiasm. Suddenly, it hit me that I did not have proof! It felt as if someone popped my bubble. 

Six hours later, the airplane landed at JFK. I was awakened by the chatter of busy travellers, and immediately scanned the airplane with futile results.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago javelin star Keshorn Walcott.
(Copyright Telegraph.co.uk)

We cleared immigration and still no Keshorn. A feeling of disappointment crept over me. As I embraced Aunt Val, she beamed, and her mouth opened into speech. “You won’t believe this! I just got a picture with Keshorn Walcott!” she pointed to her left. 

Instantly, I felt a stab of hope. I began running in his direction, while screaming at the top of my lungs. “Keshorn, wait! I want a picture!” 

My cries fell on deaf ears. My eyes welled up and I bit my bottom lip. I watched the back of a large black Escalade, disappear into the very busy streets.

Although, I felt a heavy weight of disappointment upon my shoulders, contentment warmed my tiny heart, as I felt confident, I would see him again. I pressed my lips together and smiled.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 will announce the winners of the inaugural Write Start competition on 13 December 2021. The first place winner will get TT$6,000, a six month mobile plan from bmobile, and two complimentary movie tickets to CinemaONE.

Click HERE for more information on the Wired868 Write Start prize structure and do share your favourite essays!


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