Culture Memoirs of An Illegal Alien

Rationalization : Memoirs Of An Illegal Alien Part 39

Rationalizing can make you do just about anything. I made the decision not to tell Sue about Ritchie’s ex-girlfriends. I asked myself, “how was I so sure it was his son?”. The more she came to the store the more the baby looked less like Ritchie. I knew it was rationalization. I knew I was probably being selfish as I wanted a green card.  As the months passed and I saw how Ritchie and Sue were so happy together I was convinced I did the right thing.  I also realized how important it was to be with someone you love. She loved Ritchie and by all accounts he loved her. At times I felt guilt but that little voice of rationalization kept telling me not do to it.

Uncle Teddy was now divorced. His wife caught him in bed at their home with another woman. To make matters worse it was her cousin. She kicked him out of the house. He got his work permit and social security card but his green card status was now in limbo. He became depressed and was drinking heavily. He went to live with her cousin. His wife had threatened to report him to INS and tell them the marriage was a scam. He decided to leave for New York until things cooled off. His plan was to come back and make up with her. He was convinced he could sweet talk her into taking him back. My sister and I felt sorry for him but were ecstatic he went to New York. We did not want him to come back to live with us.

I was still in love with Angela. I have tried to wean myself off her. I tried clubbing and even went out on a few dates. Nothing could replace her or the void I felt. I know it was our friendship we had that kept the relationship strong. I often think of the relationship as one of my favorite TV shows from Jamaica – Remington Steele.  It started Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan. They were close and wanted to have a relationship but never did. The romantic and sexual tension was high in the show. You knew they loved each other. Every time they get very close to crossing the line, they went back to just friends.

I met a Dominican girl named Rosa. She was smart, beautiful, with flawless skin and a great shape. She was studying to be a doctor and was in medical school. She was not very forceful, very humble and willingness to do anything for me. My sister loved her. We had double dated a few times to the movies. Sue had been very caring during my time when my “friendship” with Angela ended. Ritchie was even giving me advice on her. He told me that she was the one for me and we were perfect together. He always liked Spanish girls. He liked Rosa.

She loved to cook. I would come home and dinner would be waiting for me at home. Sue and her would be on the couch chatting and watching TV. They would even speak on the phone. They  became girlfriends. Some evening I would come home and my clothes were washed and ironed. She was wife material as many would say. She loved me and I could do no wrong in her eyes. She loved the Jamaican culture like it was here own. She even bought a cook book to learn how to cook me Jamaican food.

She was totally in love with me but I was not in love with her. I loved having her around but there was still a void in my heart. Something was missing. When we started dating I contemplated breaking it off but I knew there would be a backlash.

Even though we were going out for over 8 months I was not calling her a girlfriend.

I tried to rationalize why I should like her more.  She knew almost everything about me and my family. She helped me with my school work. She really was perfect. It was really good seeing the eyes turn when we went out on our dates. Men were looking at her really hard. I had some jealousy but not much. I felt proud to have a girl this beautiful on my arm.

Sue trusted her so much that she gave her a key to our home. There would be evenings I come home and she would be waiting for me in my room. She was a romantic. I liked that about her. Some of the things she would do was like the movies. I would come home to a candle light dinner and wine. Her Jamaican cooking was really good.

One of my cousins came up from Jamaica for a short visit to do some shopping. Rosa took her around for that week. When she went back to Jamaica she spoke highly of her. My mother called and asked about her.  I think they loved the idea that she was going to be a doctor. It would be something to boast about in Jamaica.


One day I came home and she was speaking to my mother on the phone. They seem to get along. My mother told me she could not wait to come to Miami and meet her. Even my father briefly mentioned her on a call.

“I hear you have a beautiful girlfriend”.

The pressure was on. It was not even a year but everyone seems to think I should take this in the direction of marriage.

Ritchie pulled me aside one evening to say just that.

“My yout, di gurl love you bad”,

“I know”

“Maybe you should marry her and sekkle down. Yuh sure fe get yuh green card”

I was thinking to myself how he was supposed to be my “ticket” through my sister for a green card.

Rosa kept asking about visiting Jamaica and my family. She wanted to see the beautiful island I came from. She wanted to meet my mother and father. I kept telling her I was too busy at school to visit Jamaica and that eventually we would go.

Sue and I were both now at University. She was starting her Master’s and I was in last year to get my bachelors.

As each day passed it was easier to rationalize why I should “grow to love her”.

One night I came home and Rosa was sitting in the living room. There was dinner ready on the table.

She did not look like her “bubbly” self. I was not greeted with excitement as I entered the room.

“Hola Mama” I was trying to be playful in Spanish. I called her my “little mama”.

“Why did’nt you not tell me” She replied.

“Tell you what” I responded.

“That you were illegal”

I was in shock. She saw the look on my face.

“Your mother told me today. Please don’t say anything to her. She thought you told me”.

I was at a loss for words.

She stood up and gave me a hug.

“It will be alright baby. I will do anything you want to make this right”.

Again I was caught off guard. Was she saying she would marry me so I could get my green card?

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