David Bruce: Be a Work of Art — Husbands and Wives

Husbands and Wives

• On 29 September 2003, in Trinidad, Dale Ramnanan and his girlfriend, Lystra Ramkissoon, were accosted by bandits who tried to kidnap Lystra. Dale battled the bandits and rescued her. Two years later, they married. Dale said, “Our love grew. We became more attached. How could I marry someone else after that?” Lystra said, “I married my hero.”

Dale works as a chef at Imperial Garden Restaurant at Grand Bazaar, Trinidad, in the Caribbean, and at the time of the attack Lystra was a cashier there. Dale said, “We had just finished work around 10 p.m. and [were] waiting for transportation on the highway. It was hard getting a taxi. I wanted to drop Lystra home. A car pulled up. I sensed something was wrong even then, even as I was getting into the car. We sat in the back seat, I in the middle, a man on one side. We were driving along the highway and I watching these three guys, saying something wrong here. Suddenly, the guy in the front seat nod his head to the man in the back and push back his seat, pinning Lystra, and put a knife by her throat. The man next to me put a knife to my head and push my head between my legs.” The car stopped at Carlsen Field, a farming community.

Dale said, “The man next to me come out the car and drag me out. He say, ‘Run, boy, or I will kill you.’ But I was just coming at him. His knife was long, and he was running into me and I was stepping back. I didn’t want them to go with Lystra.” The car started driving off, and the bandit jumped in the car. Dale said, “I tell myself I not giving her up. I ran to Lystra’s side of the car. The [window] glass was halfway down. The car was speeding. I hold on to the door post and lock myself to the car. I was bumping off the road, so I climb a little higher, and put my hand in trying to open the lock, and the men only stabbing me on my arm to let go.”

Lystra said, “I was just whispering my prayers for the entire thing. When they stop the car and take out Dale, I see him coming back for me and dive on the car. I could see him trying to get the lock open. I heard this voice saying, ‘Lystra, open the door and jump.’” She did exactly that. After Lystra jumped out of the car, Dale also let go of the car door. Dale said, “As I hit the road, I got up. My little finger mash up but I ran to her. We started running, then she tell me her foot break, so we dive in the bush. The car stop and then the men ride out.”

Lystra’s foot was badly broken — bone protruded from her flesh. Dale said, “I couldn’t believe she run. She was bawling in pain, and I was trying to push the bone back in. When the car gone, I put her on my back and continued the journey.” They came to a house, and the residents allowed them to call for help. Dale and Lystra invited them to their wedding. Lystra has a permanent limp, and Dale has knife scars on his arms, but he said, “I would do it all over again if I had to.”

“One person, other than Lystra, who is proud of Dale is his father, Narais Ramnanan, who said, “What my boy did was very brave to stand up to them and defend his girlfriend. It was love in his heart. They [the criminals] pushed him out of the car, but he did not run. Love brought him back to rescue her.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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