We got Amy’s picture in the mail a week after talking to her. She had a friend who was coming to Miami mail it to us. Sue pressed her to do it as she wanted to see if she looked like my father.
The picture was all the proof we needed. She had my father eyes and her face was shaped like his. She was my father’s child. Sue wanted us to confront my father. I wanted to stay out of it and told her that. To me it made no sense as he would deny it and it would be a fruitless conversation. I also did not want to stress him out as he recovered from his sickness. She was not happy that I did not want to confront my father.
Sue called my father that night and asked him about Amy. He denied it as I suspected he would. He told her to stop talking to Amy and that it was a scam. He told her that Amy was just trying to get an inheritance. Sue was persistent and said she looked like him. He became angry that Sue confronted him. He told her she was ungrateful and threatened to stop funding her college studies then hung up on her.
My mother called back the next day. She was angry because we had upset our father. I think she liked the idea of him being dependent on her. It was the first time in a while she had control. She was the wife in control, the main focus. He could not stray being he was sick and in recovery.
My mother wanted Sue to call my father back and deny Amy. Sue and my father were alike. They were both very head-strong and stubborn. It was always their way or the “highway”. Sue was not going to call him back. They stopped talking to each other.
I did not like the situation. I was caught in the middle. I was concerned about my father’s sickness and also Sue not talking to my father. On the other hand I believe Amy was our sister.
A few days later my mother called. She called on a day when Sue had a night class. I think it was a calculated call. She wanted to talk to me. The conversation started with her asking about the wedding which was now 8 months away. I was never one to discuss the wedding plans as the “women” took care of that. She and Rosa talked about 3 times during the week about the wedding during that week. I knew there was a reason for her calling. She was beating around the bush with the “small talk”.
Then it came.
“Can you get Sue to drop this ridiculous notion that this girl is your father’s child?” she asked.
I was again being thrust in the middle of the argument. I wanted to stay out.
“Mommy, you know I can’t do that. Sue has a mind of her own”
I was trying my best not to hurt my mother feelings as I was also convinced that Amy was our sister. I agreed with Sue.
“Can you try” she asked. “It is really affecting your father. He was not been able to sleep and he has been very agitated since she called. You have to help”
I was silent. I did not know what to say. My mother pressed.
“She should call and apologize”
I wanted to laugh. Not at my mother but at the thought of trying to convince Sue to do anything. I know I was not going to convince Sue to do anything. She would not apologize.
I tried to pacify her with a lie.
“I can try” I replied. It was a very feeble response. My mother picked up on the response.
“You don’t sound convinced. Do you believe this girl is your father’s child?”
It was a defining moment. I could continue lying or I could take a stance with Sue, who was on her own all this time. I felt bad for getting involved but with good reason. I could tell her I believed it was our sister. It was no fault of her own that she was born. It was no fault of her own that my father was her father.
At some point in my life I had to stand up to my parents. Was this the time to do it?
“I think she is my sister” I replied.
There was silence on the other end. My mind was racing with different thoughts.
My mother would have to face the truth at some point. My father was a cheating man. She avoided this reality for years and brushed over all evidence that pointed to that. She painted the picture of a happy wife with a faithful husband all our lives. She had been in denial and hurting inside. She did not have to say it. I knew it.
Cheating was the thing that uptown men did while their well kept wives were at home making “house”. They took care of the children, looked good at functions and got together at tea parties with their friends. It was time for reality.
“That is a lie. She is not your sister” my mother was not crying. “I can’t believe you think she is your sister”
She continued “Her mother is a little whore who tried to flirt with your father. That is why we fired her”
In my mind I thought “How did she know who Amy’s mother was?”
I was speechless and shocked at my mother statements. I had never heard her so angry and emotional before. She then started to ramble about other women who claimed my father had affairs with them or had babies with him. She said they were liars.
She was having an emotional breakdown on the phone. She was releasing the “floodgates” of secrets. Every statement was meant to defend my father. It was to show he was a good man, a good father and a good husband.
Then secrets were not only about my father. She then started to compare my father to some of his friends and neighbors telling their secrets.
She mentioned out next door neighbor Mr. Richards wife caught him in bed with 2 young women one night when she came home early from a church service. She stressed our father never did that and she never caught him before with other women.
She talked about some of our other neighbors. She mentioned Mr. Emory and how he sent his wife away so he could host his gay friends at the house. She stressed our father was not gay and was a good man.
Then she talked about Mr. Raymond a good family friend. She said he was a molester and people kept quiet about it.
She stressed the only thing bad our father did was a little drinking. She was trying to prove to me that out of all their friends and close neighbors our father was the best. She did not care that she was tainting my opinion of the people I grew up admiring.
I listened to everything she had to say. She needed to vent.
She was crying the whole time. She kept repeating people are liars and cheats.
I heard my father calling my mother in the background.
“I have to go she whispered”, and she quickly hung up.
I hung up the phone feeling guilty and shocked. I felt guilty because I just destroyed my mother’s “fairytale” world. I burst her protective bubble. I was worried as she just had a breakdown.
I knew I was taking a stand but I also knew I was doing it out of resentment for our “uptown” lifestyle which was no real. Once I moved to Miami I saw how “uptowners” felt like they owned everything with all their connections. They talked about their father and mother like it was the best marriages in the world. They talked about what they owned in Jamaica and how they were going back to run their parents business. . They did not work at school knowing that there was money back home to support them. I think part of my resentment was because I knew I could not go back to that lifestyle being that I was an illegal alien.
I was shocked because of all the things she said about the people I knew.
Mr. Richards was known to be seen with young schools girls in his car. He would go out of his way to offer rides to school girls at bus stops.
Mr. Emory loved playing with children. Whenever there was a party in the neighborhood, he was the only adult paying attention to the children.
Mr. Raymond was very effeminate however no one would accuse him of being gay because he was married. Growing up in Jamaica if you were married you could not be gay.
Everything my mother said about these people could be true.
Sue and I had now totally alienated our parents. She did it to my father and I did it to my mother.
My mother used to call twice a week. There were no calls in a week.
Rosa also became “collateral damage” in the family dispute. She and my mother were close. They spoke often each week. The wedding drew them close but my father’s sickness drew them even closer. Once Sue had learned my father was sick she asked Rosa to help my mother with advice. No call in a week. Rosa was concerned.
I met Rosa at her apartment. I was sleeping over as we had some wedding errands we had to do together the next morning.
“Is something wrong with your mother?” she asked.
“No” I replied with a straight face. I was lying.
“She has not called me in a week. Are you sure? This is not like her” she replied.
She knew something was up as she was staring at my reaction. She gave the look that said, “Spill the beans”.
I could have continued lying but I knew that Rosa and my mother had a good relationship. Rosa was clearly concerned. I had to tell her something.
“My mother and I had a disagreement” I was trying to give her limited information but I knew more questions were coming.
“What type of disagreement?” she asked.
“A family one, nothing important” I replied. As the words came out my mouth I wished I could take them back.
Rosa had a look of anger and frustration at the same time. She wanted an explanation.
“If I am going to be your wife don’t you think I have the right to know about family disagreements? “, she asked.
She got me with that question. She was absolutely right. Like a dog with his tail between his legs I start to explain the situation to her. I told her about Amy my new sister.
As I spoke I was watching her face. I was trying to read her feelings. I was confused. She seemed to be getting angrier as I told the story. When I was finished she asked questions. Most of which I was not prepared to answer. The first question was a bombshell.
“Did you know that Sue told me about your sister?”
“No” I replied.
Then she asked another tough question. It was blunt.
“Why would you hurt your mother’s feelings by telling her this lady is your sister when there is no real evidence?”
It was another question I could not answer. I was feeling guilty for what I had done to my mother but not guilty enough to say I did anything wrong. I tried to explain to Rosa.
“She looks like my father” I replied.
“But that is not evidence. Did you do a blood test?” she asked.
Rosa cut me off. “If you are not 100% sure, why would you have said something so hurtful to your mother?”
I had no response. She was defending my mother and if I got too defensive it would seem like I was against my mother. It seems she would defend my mother regardless of what I said. I remained silent and listened.
“You never tell me anything. You always hold back. It like there is a part of you that I can never have”
Those words were etched in my memory. It rung in my ear and it would be replayed in my mind for a long time.
She continued staring me in the eyes.
“The club you never included me. All your decisions you never include me”
She started to bring up things that I thought were long forgotten. She brought them up to provide examples of me not sharing things with her.
I wanted to leave but could not. I was staying the night for our errands in the morning.
That night she slept on one side of the bed, while I slept on the other. The space between us on the bed was wide you could spark a truck between us. It was a cold night and a cold feeling. Her words still were on my mind. A song by a group called Guy came to mind.
PIECE OF MY LOVE – Guy
I Do Looove Yoooou!!!
You Can Have A Piece Of My Love
It’s Waitin For You
Girl It’s True
You Can Have A Piece Of My Love
It’s Waiting For You
Girl It’s True
You Can Have A-of my love
Baby You Can’t Have All Of Me
‘cuz I’m Not Totally Free
I Can’t Tell You Everything That’s Goin On
There’s A Few Things In My Past
That Should Not Be Explained
I’m Askin You Baby
Be With Me-For A Lil While
No Questions Asked
Lay Back And Relax Girl
Now Kick Off Your Shoes
Now Put Your Head Down
Since We’re Here Now Baby
I’m Givin You A Piece Of Me You Can’t Have
There would be more drama. When Sue learned what I told my mother she approached me with some news. Apparently Amy call was not totally random. Amy would be traveling to Miami next week. She did modeling and was coming to shop.
“When were you going to tell me?”
“You were not supporting me, so I was going to meet with her and then tell you about it”
Things were moving fast.
We agreed to meet her at the Omni Mall in Miami. As she walked up to us at the agreed meeting place there was no doubt in my mind she was our sister. No blood test was needed. She was the splitting image of our father.
We “hit it off” with her. She was smart, beautiful and confident. Our meeting got a little awkward when she asked about our father. She wanted to know about him and his side of the family. I could not imagine growing up without a father so I understood her questions.
Amy did not want to affect our family. She did not want to meet our father unless he was willing to meet her. She mentioned she knew about a blood test that could prove if she was his child but would not do it. She was confident in herself and did not need my father to complete her life.
Once we got past the awkwardness of these conversations about our father we were fine. We walked around the mall and talked for hours. She was only there for 4 days. Sue and her made arrangement to meet at Aventura mall the next day. I had to go to work.
Rosa called me the night Amy left to go back to Jamaica. She admitted that she went to the mall with Sue and Amy. She was also convinced that Amy was our sister based on the resemblance. She did not take back what she said about me not sharing things with her. I understood that because she was right. I did not fully share everything with her. There was still someone who I had a piece of my heart.
I think I closed some of my “heart” when Rosa was studying and not around that much. I had no one to talk with and share things at a moment’s notice during that time.
It was a month since my mother called to speak to me. She spoke to Sue a few times but not to me. Sue did not admit to her that Amy was our sister so she was okay with her. She also started calling Rosa again. I was the only one she would not speak to.