I had 2 days off from work. I would not have to see Steven and pretend I did not know what happened. I was happy for the time but it went by quickly. I was back at work.
It was awkward seeing Steven at work after hearing what he said on the phone. I felt betrayed. He approached me as soon as I clocked in. He wanted to talk. He knew what happened. He knew she left the phone on.
“Mi neva mean it. I was jus trying to get her off you. I did not know she left the phone on to bait you. That girl is crazy”, he explained.
I did not know what to say. He then explained that she would never be bothering me or him again. I did not know what happened and did not care to.
I felt relieved that he came and spoke to me. I know he was a dawg and would do or say anything to get into a woman’s panties; even if it meant “dissing” a friend. He got rid of Elena and that was fine.
It was forgiven but not forgotten.
I had to move. It was too costly to rent a 2 bedroom apartment. The lease would be up in 2 months. My parents at one point had looked into buying a house in my name since I had all the required documents. I did not need to furnish citizenship papers to purchase a house. It was a great idea as they saw it as an investment. If had to go back to Jamaica they would rent it out. They abandoned the plan as they had the expenses of putting Sue through school and Kerri attending UWI. I paid part of the bills and some of Sue’s schools fees.
With Sue back in Jamaica I was able to save a substantial amount in the bank. This money saved could be a down payment.
Before the “incident” with Steve, he had introduced me to one his friends who had a real estate company. His name was John Gordon.
For the next few weeks I would spend a lot of time with John looking for a condo. He was a great person. When you hear his story you cannot help but like him and appreciate what I had when I lived in Jamaica. He grew up in Denham town, a Kingston inner city. He did not know his father. He had six siblings. Each one had a different father. His mother left them with her mother and went to New York when he was 3 years old. For 7 years he heard nothing from her. Then she wrote a letter giving them hope. He wrote letters to his mother for years asking to file for his green card. She never responded.
He remembered for years how he thought she was going to take him and his siblings to New York. He hated living in Denham town. He had seen guns, drugs and even murdered people in the street. His grandmother tried her best to keep them out of trouble. He said she would always say “stay on the straight and narrow”. She worked hard and had a stall on Orange Street downtown where she sold different “wares”. She also did “days work” when she got it. She sent them to church every Sunday.
He excelled in school and attended St Georges College and eventually UWI. He was in the newspaper in Jamaica for his academics and leadership of various church youth groups. His mother reappeared and filed for him. He eventually got his green card and migrated to Miami where he had an Aunt living.
He got his real estate license and finished an MBA at the University of Miami. He married a Jamaican girl from his church and they have a 3 year old son. I met his wife a few times as she worked at his office as the office manager. She was beautiful and one of the nicest ladies I ever met. You could see she looked out for her husband’s interest. Their little son was sometimes in the office and you can the love they have for him.
He was not the typical Jamaican who was late. He dressed sharply and He was always on time for our appointments to view places. He was just not my realtor, he was now a friend. He would tell me all the time that I was smart and that I should start my own business. He would ask me jarring questions about my aspirations. He challenged me to do better. He also spoke about spirituals things. He did not try to force me to attend his church.
I admired him. I would wish I could have a life like his in the future. He was my role model and what I aspired to be if I ever got a green card.
The pressure was on. I had 3 weeks before the lease on the apartment was up and we still did not find a place. Each time I found a place I liked and could afford, someone came in and outbid me, or my offer was rejected. I was stressed out about the situation but John was calm. He kept saying God will make a way.
I was living out of boxes as I had started packing weeks ago.
The apartment manager asked me what day I was moving out as they wanted to rent the apartment.
I was worried. I kept calling John asking him to find me more places to look at. He kept saying we can’t rush the process. He assured me he knew what I was looking for and had some places he was researching.
He did. He picked me up at the apartment one evening. He drove a Lexus. I loved his car.
It was 10 days before I needed to leave the apartment. We looked at a place in Hollywood. It was a 2 bedroom town home. It was in a great location. I knew when I walked in it was the place. I wanted a place where I could rent one of the rooms. This place was perfect. John knew it too. He was so confident that he had already drawn up the papers for me to make an offer before he showed me the place.
The offer was accepted. within days I was at the closing and had the keys to my new home. The seller was a single mother who was moving out of state. She agreed to move out within 3 days. They promised they would clean. Based on my observations, she kept the place in immaculate condition. I had no time to worry about painting or cleaning. I was moving out in 2 days before my lease expired.
I rented a U-Haul truck. Steven and John volunteered to help. My mother also wanted to fly up to help but I told her it was not necessary.
The night before the move I reminisced over all that happened in the apartment. I had some great times there but also some bad times. I thought when I left this apartment it would be my marriage to Rosa and I would have a green card.
I was excited about the idea of being a home owner. It was the American dream even though I was not American. I could do everything an American could, except travel.
The next morning Steven and John helped me pack the first load into the truck. We drove to the new place.
I walked up to the door as Steven and John opened the back of the truck to unload it. My heart was beating fast with anticipation. I put the key in the door and turned it. I pushed the door open.
I was shocked. It was the way I left it when I first came to visit. The old owner had not packed anything.
“Hello,” I shouted cautiously walking in. No one was there but it was obvious that someone was still living there.
John was coming up the walk-way with a box. When he got to the doorway he was just as shocked as I was.
“We have a problem” I said.
“We certainly do,” he replied. It was the first time during this whole process that I heard concern in John’s voice.
“What are we suppose to do?” I asked. I rented the truck for a day and had only 2 days to move out.
When John is silent that means there is trouble.