We were going to meet for dinner at a restaurant at the Aventura Mall. There was a Bennigans near one of the main entrances of the mall. Rosa would wait outside for me. As I pulled up to the mall I was excited. I was going to redeem myself. I had the ring with me and by the end of the night she would be excited about the engagement. I even brought a rose from a street vendor on the way there.
Rosa had 2 years left to finish school and I know she wanted to wait. I as going to ask her if she would do it a year before she finished school. We would go to the court house and do a quick marriage. Then later when she graduates as a doctor we could do a big wedding. I think she would do it if she understood the urgency of Sue leaving and me graduating from college.
I was dreaming about Jamaica since hearing Sue’s conversation with Rosa. I was imaging a visit to Dunn’s River Falls. I could taste the fish and bammy at Port Royal. I was on the beach at Hellshire eating fish and festival. I would go to the ‘Blue Lagoon”, a place I had never been before but saw in a movie on TV. I was imagining going to St. Thomas and the little beaches along the way. I was picturing going out with my friends to the clubs I could not go to when I was growing up in Jamaica. I could imagine going to Jamaica carnival which was now a big event. When I left Jamaica there was only a small Carnival at the University of the West Indies campus at Mona. I could taste the real Jamaican food in my mouth. The smell of Jamaica. I also wanted to go back with a blast. I would buy the latest name brands to wear. I would be able to drive around town.
As I walked out of the parking lot I could see her in the distance. She was in a body hugging black dress. Her hair was following down her shoulders and “;bouncy’. She was drop dead gorgeous. I saw a few guys walking in the mall watching her. They were staring at her body. I always told her she had a “coca cola bottle shape”. She did not know what I meant when I used the term so I explained that a Jamaican DJ named Simpleton sang a song about it. I played her the song.
A jus de coca cola bottle shape,
A it a run de place,
Bruk out, Bruk out gyal a yuh ave de shape,
A just the coca cola bottle shape,
A it a run the place
Skin out, skin out gyal a yuh ave de shape
I was greeted with a big smile and a passionate kiss and hug. Her body was so closely pressed to mine that I could feel her heart beat. We were one.
We sat at a table for 2 by the restaurant’s outside patio. There was a slight breeze. We were lucky as it was not a humid Florida night. We ordered and started to talk.
“Do you know why I wanted to see you” Rosa asked.
I knew exactly but wanted to play along and replied, ‘No”.
I wanted to apologize for how I have been treating you” she responded.
No need to….” I was trying to say something but she cut me off.
“Stop, let me finish” she continued, “I know these last few months have been hard and I treated you like a tool for sex. It was not me. I was following the advice of some friends and not my heart. I truly never meant to do this. Please forgive me’
I was a little stunned.
“I… (Pause)..do..” I replied. I was feeling really great. She opened up to me. I knew the “friends” she was referring to was one friend. It was Sue. It was good to hear her apologize. But things would change with her next comments.
“I know you are feeling pressured to marry me.” She was starring directly at me and I was thinking it would be my chance, “I don’t want you to feel pressure to marry me. I want us to build back the relationship we had and take it from there. Let’s take it slow and see where it goes. You graduate in a few weeks and I have 2 years before I become a doctor. We have time to see where this goes.”
I wanted to explain that I was not feeling pressured. I want to explain that I wanted to marry her.
“But, I…’ she interrupted me again.
“I want us to do this right. I know you were scared and you need a green card but I now want us to marry for the right reasons” she explained.
She killed the moment. I could not propose to her under these circumstances. I was disappointed but could not let it show.
I agree baby, I found myself saying something I did not want to say.
“Yes. We need to start over and build the relationship”, I was lying.
I did not really think we needed to start over or build trust. We already knew each other. I did not know what she wanted but I know what I wanted. I kept thinking where do we go from here? It did not take long to find out what Rosa wanted to do. She was still in control of where the relationship would go.
“I want us to start dating again” she declared. Her face was glowing as she said the words with a big smile. “I want us to be like old times”
I thought to myself that it meant less time in the bedroom where we have been the past few months. It would mean more time going out.
That night Sue was waiting from me. She wanted to know what happened.
“None of your business”, I responded and went to my room.
I was happy that Rosa and I were back to some type of normalcy. That happiness was overshadowed by my disappointment in not being able to propose. My proposal would have to wait for another time. My plans for Jamaica in 4 to 6 years would have to wait. I could not figure out a way to speed up the wedding. She was right though. We needed time.
The last few weeks Rosa was a different person. I was hoping she could not be easily influenced by “friends” again. I believe she spoke from the heart but I could not trust her. I saw a side of her I did not like and was hoping it was a one time only thing.
It was frustrating not knowing where you life was going. I yearn for a time when I knew what my future immigration status would be. It is times like these I need a friend to talk to. Sue and I could not talk the way we used to. I had no true friend to confide in. It is times like this I think about the relationship I had with Angela. We were really good friends.
For the next few days I just went with the regular flow of life but I needed to talk to someone. I could not resist the temptation anymore. I called one of Angela’s friends for her phone number.
“Hi Janice how are you” I asked.
She recognized my voice.
“Hello” she continued “Why are you calling me?” She was always abrupt and to the point. I always liked that about her.
“Do you have a phone number for Angela?” I asked.
“Why?” she asked.
“We are moving to a new apartment and I found a book she left here while packing some boxes.” I was lying through my teeth.
“I don’t have a number for her, but if I get one I will call you back” she hung up on me.
I thought to myself. Why did she not tell me this at the beginning before interrogating me about my intentions?
Not getting Angela’s phone number was just another disappointment.
Will my life ever get better?
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