From as early as 8 am, people were gathering outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court on Prince Street in Arima.
“Did you all work with Andrea?”
“No, CEPEP, but something about this girl touched me.”
They weren’t the only ones.
Scores of women dressed in pink stood for hours waiting for Andrea’s motorcade to reach the court, the place where she worked, the place where her killer had to answer to his charge.
There was no court yesterday, though. Instead, Andrea’s co-workers stood outside the entrance to the building, wearing white T-shirts with the 23-year-old’s picture on it.
“RIP baby girl,” they read.
The crowd then made a hasty retreat, the motorcade hadn’t yet reached, it was running a bit behind time and even when the rain came, nobody left.
“I have three granddaughters. This hurt me boy,” an elderly man wept.
The team in white stood huddled together waiting out the rains. In that moment there were no tears. But then Donna Taggart’s voice pierced the silence that the rain left behind.
“There will be another angel around the throne tonight,” played on the music truck in the distance.
And with that came another downpour but it wasn’t the rain this time.
“Oh God allyuh, she coming!” a woman screamed out.
The police officers there immediately began telling the crowd to clear a path by staying on the pavement. They had no chance.
Her co-workers were the first to surround the white hearse. Clutching each other they formed a semi-circle in front of the vehicle, almost in a way attempting to stop Andrea from leaving them again.
But this wasn’t her resting place, and reluctantly, sobbing uncontrollably they allowed her to leave.
“She was such a kind person and hard worker,” one of them told us.
“Andrea would drop anything she was doing to help you. Her work ethic was her personality.”
They described her bright smile saying it was what greeted people when they entered the court.
Andrea’s father, Randolph Bharatt, was in the vehicle behind the hearse. He made a fist and held it in the air to acknowledge the support he was receiving from passers-by, some even rushing towards the car to hold his hand.
One man watched to the sky saying, “Watch how the weather set up, this child didn’t want to go.”
He soon left, so did the sea of pink and white T-shirts.
The music truck turned onto the Eastern Main Road and the song ‘Jealous of the Angels’ started to fade into “and tell me that I was only dreaming, you’re not really gone as long as I believe.”