Peace & harmony
PNG memoir by Trish Nicholson tells tales of the unexpected

The tale of Jackie & James – the price of ignorance is high


“JACKIE, where have you been?” James questioned his wife. “You were supposed to be working but you weren’t there. I checked with your boss.”

“Excuse me, James, are you OK? You refused my suggestion so I made it my responsibility to seek medical advice,” Jackie replied.

“The doctor said I had no problem and can conceive a child. The doctor thinks the problem is with you. So make it your responsibility to see him.”

Jackie explained what she was told by the doctor. James swore and walked away. He showed no interest. He did what he did every Friday, got drunk and ignored Jackie.

One day Jackie’s cousin told her about James. He’d told several girlfriends that Jackie could not conceive because of infertility. He was looking for someone else to marry and and would divorce Jackie. Jackie thanked her cousin for the information but did not say a word.

James came home drunk. “So you are having an extra marital affair. That’s why you’re infected with all sorts of diseases and cannot conceive. Get out of my home.”

“James, you are drunk and I don’t want to argue with you. I have no grudge against you. You can’t understand things and sort them out in a proper way.

“You’re a police officer for nothing,” Jackie fired back at James. James left. He was away from home for two weeks.

Jackie read a notice pinned on a town noticeboard about a fundraising dance to be hosted by police. She made her way home, sharpened her pocket knife and hid it in her bag.

Inside the club she positioned herself to get a good view and spotted James as he walked in, drunk and with a woman on his shoulder. In the darkened room, he sat at the same table as Jackie, who pulled her wool cap low over her eyes

James bought some beer and he and his girlfriend gossiped about Jackie not knowing she was right there.

“So what’s in your mind, James?” asked the girlfriend. “Still dreaming of Jackie who is unproductive?”

As they chatted, a fight broke out inside the club and James went to support his mate.

Quickly, Jackie grabbed the woman at the table, tucked her head under her right armpit, pulled out the knife and pierced her right chest four times.

Jackie pushed the body underneath the table and walked out witnessed by nobody.

James was held responsible for the death. The case is still pending.


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