My dad, whom I am just like was a professional boxer his entire life until he fought Antonio Tarver. (Antonio Tarver is most known to me for killing my dad’s career and starring in Rocky Balboa.) I say this to say again, I am most like my dad, a fighter. When I felt that spit on my back I didn’t know or care who did it for sure, but let me tell you – I spit back, good and long on to everyone. Then I ran up those stairs and everyone followed me.
I remember getting outside and not seeing Jay. I just kept running. I heard Jay scream “Yo, Gambino, get her in my car!!” I do not know Gambino, never seen him before and I still haven’t. I was suddenly in the air and thrown in a car and the car was then locked.
At this point, everyone knew I was in the car and were trying to get inside it and trash the car entirely. About 15-20 people were picking up logs and hitting the car, cracked the windshield. There was a huge brawl outside between Jay, Fred and these people as they were doing this to Jay’s car! I’m still thankful these people heard sirens from miles away and dispersed because Jay and Fred were able to get in the car and drive me the hell home!
But that was just that. I was hurt, I went home and showered and just continued on with life.
Fast forward – three weeks later.
It’s about eleven in the morning on a Sunday. I don’t remember what I was doing but I got a phone call on my cell and it was my friend Sarah. Sarah was the girlfriend of Paul’s best friend, she and I were still close.
Sarah: Paul’s dead.
Sarah: I don’t know what happened but Paul’s dead.
I had to call his mom. I tried the house phone first and Paul’s little brother answered. I told him to tell his mom to call me once she got home but then I tried her cell. How do you wait to tell someone their son is dead?
Me: Where are you?
Paul’s Mom: At the market.
Me: K, call me when you’re home I have to tell you something.
Her: No, tell me now.
Me: I can’t. Call me when you’re home.
Her: Tell me now.
Me: I don’t know what happened but Paul died.
Her: What did you just say?
Me: Paul died.
She wasn’t going to hear me anymore. All I heard was her distance herself from the phone and scream in agony.
“MY SON IS DEAD! MY SON IS DEAD”
Paul as an adolescent pictured with his younger sister Alecia.
She didn’t even know what happened. All she felt was the pain.
About twenty minutes later I get a phone call from Amy…
“OUR KIDS HAVE NO FATHER”
That’s all she kept screaming into the phone. I didn’t get any information other than that she wanted to call a truce and bring her son over to meet his sister.
When she arrived she had brought about six friends and she had two black eyes, bruises, and goose eggs all over her forehead.
The kids met for the first time and Amy and her crew left.
The truce lasted about three hours. Amy had already told Paul’s family and everyone who cared for him that it was my ‘boyfriend’ Fred who killed him.
This was the first time I found out how he died.
Fred had stabbed Paul to death.
To this day I don’t know how it started. I don’t know what happened. All I know was that my love had died. And death is so fucking final.
I watch crime shows daily wishing there was a special on what happened to Paul. All I’ve ever known is that he’s gone and there is no bringing him back.
It turns out Fred had run away to Brampton after the fight and when he got news from Jay that Paul had died, he came back to Kitchener and turned himself in. He was sentenced to seven years after being charged with manslaughter and was out in four years. Still, nowhere to be seen.
For years, I was to blame for this. There was no one else to blame. The world ganged up on me and swore that I had schemed to kill the love of my life with my ‘boyfriend’. Little did these ignoramuses know that Fred was the furthest thing from my boyfriend and I still had no clue what had happened.
And I’m the one who has to explain to my daughter why and how her father got taken away from us.
Kaleesa with Paul at three months. The only photo Paul and Kaleesa have together.
November 2009 was just horrid and nearing the end of it was when we said goodbye to Paul. After the service, his mother and I were the ones to say goodbye to him last. The last people to touch his skin, his afro, glide our fingers over his eyebrows. When I kissed his forehead goodbye, my tear landed on his forehead and his mother told me later that day that when she kissed his cheek, my tear was still there and she just couldn’t bring herself to wipe it off.
Kaleesa and her aunt Alecia at Paul’s funeral.
The story continues with more blame, death, and heartbreak. It took six years for the reality of Paul passing to actually hit me. I still get a smack of the reality of it some days.