Walking into the supermarket where Juliet and I did our grocery shopping as pretend love mates was weird. It felt like I was at a crime scene reliving the “what happened”. This is where Juliet met the Jamaican security guard she ran off with. I had not been there in a few months. I purposely avoided it. I had shopped at other places. This time I needed groceries and it was the closest to my house.
At times I was still bitter about Juliet running off with my money. I have thought about finding her many times and confronting her for the money. I had no legal backing so if the confrontation got physical I could not take my case to the police.
Losing that much money left me in a real bind. I had to start looking for a renter for the front room.
As I shopped, the memories left my mind. I put those memories in a “box” in my mind and focused on the groceries I needed. That box of memories was closed until I passed some of the young men who were working in the isle stocking the shelves. I heard one of them snicker and said, “Guardy bruk im foot” (Jamaican for stealing someone’s girlfriend or wife). I looked around and they looked away. I knew they were talking about me. I am not sure if they knew I was Jamaican and understood what they were saying.
I could not explain to them that Juliet and I were not in a real relationship but a “business” arrangement because I was an illegal alien. However, I decided I was going to “mess” with them. I walked up and asked.
“Unnuh know which isle dem ave de pickapeppa sauce”
The shocked look on their face was priceless. They just pointed me to the isle.
It was at that moment I realized something. Jamaican men have a swag where we believe we can win over anyone. I lost a little of that swag while looking for a wife for a green card.
Now that the green card issue was resolving itself with the pending government action, it was time for me to get my swag back. It was time to get my love life rolling again.
I wanted Nicola back. I did not care if she had a boyfriend. He was just an obstacle in my “challenge”. She was the closest thing to love I felt in a while and I was going to win her back even if it meant “bruking”another man’s foot. It’s only fair since the Jamaican security guard supposedly”bruk” my foot.
Where would I start. Could I start without being too obvious that would cause an issue with her boyfriend. Then it came to me. I would call her for advice on decorating which she told me was one of things she would have loved to do if she did not study law. I was going to hit her with something she was passionate about to get an inside track. Women love when men are helpless as it is not natural for men to ask for help.
I also had a legitimate reason as I was getting ready to rent out the room that Juliet left.
It felt good hearing Nicole’s voice on the other end of the line.
“How are you doing?”, I asked Nicole.
“Good” she replied.
“How is your Aunty doing?” I asked.
“She is fine!” Her answers were quick and abrupt.
It has been 2 months since I last saw her in that very awkward encounter.
“You sound pre-occupied. Is someone there with you?” I asked as I wanted to be sure that I had her full attention.
“No, I am by myself”, she replied.
“Ok, I know you are wandering why I am calling”
“I guess I am curious about why you called”
“I need advice. I am redecorating the house and I remember it was something you liked doing.” I went from a room to the whole house. Why not? I was going for the big guns to get her attention. It worked.
“Do you know the theme you are going for?” She asked.
I could hear the excitement in her voice. She asked more design related questions and then made some suggestions. She led the rest of the conversations and I barely said anything as she discussed budget, colors, furniture, accessories and a design theme. She sounded like the home designers I had seen on TV. It was obvious she was very passionate about decorating. Then she asked me the question I was hoping to ask her at the end of the conversation.
“When can we meet to discuss my ideas. I will draw up a rough sketch of things that we can do”
“How about next week Saturday” I replied. “I would come pick you up on campus”
“Sure. Thanks for thinking of me to help you with this”
“I needed help and you were the only person I thought could do this.”
I hung up with a big smile on my face. The bait was set. I wanted to high five myself.
Nicola called on Wednesday before we were to meet. I thought she was calling to confirm our Saturday appointment.
“I can’t see you Saturday” her tone seemed “stiff” and business like.
“Is everything okay?” I asked.
“Sure. Things are okay.” She replied.
“So why can’t we meet.”
“Something came up.” She said.
“Are you sure you are okay. Can we meet another time?” I asked pressing her for answers.
Then I heard a male voice in the background. The voice was saying “hang up now”.
“Thanks for understanding. Bye.” she replied sounding like a phone customer service representative talking to an difficult customer.
I expected there would be pushback at some point. I was still going to move forward. Based on the call it sounded like her boyfriend, Richard, was controlling. In our brief meeting he looked geeky and not very much the control type. Women hate controlling men. This is the vulnerability that I would attack. I now had to come up with my plan.
Nicola called a day later. I was a bit surprised as I thought I would have to make the next move. This was perfect. It actually helped me with my plans of reaching out to her again. She had called to explain her previous call.
“Richard got upset when I told him about my meeting to help you” she explained.
I was about to ask her what changed but she explained.
Apparently they had an argument the day before I called. She explained she may have acted quickly to meet me because of that argument. She said he was furious that she was going to meet with me. Richard accused her of cheating because she did not tell him immediately about the call and the plan to meet.
“I had no intention of causing issues with your boyfriend.” I said lying. “Is there anything I can do to help”
“There is nothing you can do. He say he knows how men think and that you are still in love with me and want to get me back.”
She made the statement like she was probing to find out how I felt about her. I was not going to take the bait. If I expressed my feelings and she told him then he would be right for being suspicious. I had to play this like she was telling him everything. But I need to let her know that I care and can be there for a jealous and controlling boyfriend.
“Sorry this caused problems for you and Richard. It was not my intention. I wished you could have helped with the remodeling but I understand. Can you send me your ideas and I will see if I can do it. Also, if you ever want to talk you can call me.” I replied.
“I will mail you the design,” She replied.
“Thanks. I will look out for it in the mail” I replied.
There was a brief silence. I got the feeling she was carefully thinking about what to say next.
Call me when you get it so I can explain it.
It was clear she wanted to keep her options open. She left the door wide open.
I was already planning to walk in that door.