Nicola Roche, was making my life very complicated. She was not the “last hurray” before I got married. Nicole was more that a fling in my life. I was in love with her.
After that first kiss things started to move rapidly. Not towards sex but we were spending more time together. We did not need to rush into sex as I was really enjoying who she was. Sex with Nicola would be making love. It’s not like I did not want to, as I was on “dry dock” for a while. There was the complication of finding a place. I had my future “wife”, Juliet, living with me and Nicola has a dorm roommate. I was also thinking that at some point she may house sit for her Aunty. We would have the place by ourselves. I was not in a hurry.
I travelled down to Coral Gables to see Nicola daily and was coming home late every night. I would call her when I got home and we would talk until the wee hours of the morning. She was like a drug that I could not get enough of.
“Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill.” – Seal, Kiss From A Rose.
I was tired every morning and had a difficult time waking up for work. I was late for work a few days. The store manger came to me one morning and asked if I was okay. I told him it was due to wedding planning, as everyone at the store knew I was getting married. I had made it public to add more credibility in case the immigration authorities needed any proof. I could easily get affidavits from my co-workers about my marriage.
I was tired and “dragged” through the day yearning to see Nicola. I needed something for energy during the day. I know caffeine could get me the energy boost I needed but I was not a coffee drinker or smoker. In Jamaica I know men would have the Dragon Stout mixed with raw egg or Irish Moss for an energy boost.
On the way home that day I fell asleep for a few seconds while driving. I turned down a street that I did not remember doing. I knew I was asleep. I turned on the radio and put the AC on high to keep myself awake. I was shaken by the incident. I was thankful that I never had an accident but knew I had to do something. There was no way I was going to tell Nicola I was not coming down to see her that day because I was tired. I knew I needed the rest but my ego was not going to allow it.
Steven used to talk about an energy drink he would take daily called Red Bull. On the way down to Nicola that day I stopped at a gas station and bought a Red Bull. I drank it on the way down. It kicked in after about 20 minutes.
“You seem very upbeat today” Nicola mentioned.
“I was looking forward to seeing you” I replied not mentioning my Red Bull drink.
The next morning I got another Red Bull just before I got to work. I was buzzing away all day and had the extra energy I needed. The problem was I crashed after it wore out and felt more tired than before I drank it. I had to have more.
Red bull like Nicola became an addiction. I had it at home, in the car, at lunch but never around Nicola.
Juliet was going to be away on Saturday. She was working with another friend at school on a research project for a faculty member. She was going to sleep overnight at the friend’s house.
It put in to get that Saturday off from work and it was approved.
It was the perfect time to bring Nicola to the house and make love. I would pick her up on Saturday at 1:00pm; we were first going to the mall as she had some shopping to do. Next we would go to dinner and a movie. She would spend the night at my place.
When I got to Nicola she was not ready. She was running late doing laundry. The laundry room in the dorms was flooded the day before so it was packed.
“Why don’t you bring your dirty clothes up to my place and use my washing machine & dryer?” I asked.
At first she was reluctant but eventually she agreed.
So the plan was back on track. We made a detour to the house before the mall.
I gave her a quick tour of the place except Juliet’s room. She started her laundry. We would wait until the clothes were washed and put them in the dryer before leaving for the mall. She would “re-spin” the dryer on our return to warm the clothes again.
The day went by quickly. I had a great time except for the mall. I hated shopping. I excused myself while Nicola went into a women’s clothing store and went back to the car for a Red Bull. Dinner and the movie went great. I was excited with anticipation on the way home. This would be the night we finally make love.
We pulled up by to the house and opened the door. From the door I could see the light in the dining area was on. I peeked in while Nicola stayed behind me. Juliet was sitting at the table eating. My evening was ruined.
Nicola whispered to me, “Take me home”.
“Okay, let me go grab your laundry. The car is open so you can go back in”, I replied.
I walked by Juliet and greeted her. I went to the laundry room which was behind the kitchen.
Nicola’s clothes were neatly packed in the basket she had brought. Juliet must have done it.
How nice of her I thought.
As I was walking back to the door I realized Juliet was not at the table. She was at the door in a conversation with Nicola.
I was hoping she would not greet Nicola. As I walked up I overheard the conversation.
“Great to meet you, how did you and my fiancé meet?”, Juliet asked.
I was frozen in my tracks. The look on Nicola was one of calm.
“He is a friend of my Aunt” she replied very composed.
“Ooh, well it was great meeting you” Juliet replied. She walked by me as I took the basket to the car.
I was getting ready for Nicola’s wrath as I stepped into the car with her. She was silence.
I was about to say something when she said “don’t say anything, just take me home”.
She was not emotional.
I kept thinking I should have told her from the beginning.
Nicola stared out the window. I was waiting for her to cry or say something but she never did.
We were half way to UM when Nicola finally said something.
“When were you going tell me you were engaged?”, she asked.
“It is not what you think it is” I replied.
“I know. There is something strange going on”, She replied.
I was shocked. She was very calm. She was not reacting the way a typical woman who was cheated on would.
Before she could say anything I explained my situation to her. She was still calm. It was almost like she knew. Then she said.
“I knew something strange was going on. There were no signs in your house that this was your fiancé or girlfriend. Her conversations about you were distant as were yours about her. Your home is distinctly divided into two with the way things were laid out. Not the sign of someone in a relationship”
“Wow”, I thought to myself. I felt like I was listening to a lawyer or cop on Law and Order explain the scene. It was mind blowing all she had observed in the little time she spent at the house and with Juliet. I know Nicola was studying to become a lawyer but her observations were mind blowing. It was also a relief that she understood that I was not cheating on her.
We sat in the car in the parking lot by her dorms and talked. She seemed to sympathize with me and my situation but then she asked a question that changed everything.
“I love you but I am not ready to get married. So Juliet is your only option at this point. Obviously you both have invested in this and will not allow anything to get in the way. I am not going to sneak around with a married man regardless of the situation. Are you willing to give up on getting a green card now for me?”
It was a question I was not ready to answer. I was not prepared for it. Love versus getting my green card.
“I love you too, but don’t know what to do, “ I replied.
“We have both had a long day. Sleep on things and call me tomorrow.” Nicola said as she exited the car.
“She wanted an answer tomorrow”, I thought to myself.
I watched her walk away thinking that this maybe the last time I would see her.
Juliet was waiting for me when I opened to the door to the house.
“We have an agreement and if you want to go have affairs while we are in this business marriage I need to know now. I am not going to be a “good wife” for anyone while people are talking behind my back about the “other woman”. I don’t care if it is a real marriage or not.”
“Juliet, I am tired. Let’s talk to tomorrow.
No. I need to know now of this is what I am to expect.
I had to say something to ease the situation. I also just wanted to go sleep and drown in my sorrows. I had to make a decision.
“I will keep the agreement and not make you look like a fool. Good night”
“Good. I hope you fix she business”, I heard her mumble in her Anguillan accent.
I walked straight to my room, closed the door, showered and crashed.
The phone rang early the next morning. It was Nicola. I thought I was to call her. She calling me must be a good sign. It got my hopes up that she would allow me to get married and still continue our relationship.
“Who folded my clothes and put them in the basket?” she asked.
“I think it was Juliet” I replied. It was a strange unexpected question.
“Well I also thought that was strange. There was a strong scent coming from the clothes that had me coughing. I think she put some type of pepper sauce in my dark panties.”
I was at a loss for words. I had never heard of anything like it before. Why would a woman do this to another woman knowing the pain she would feel. I could not understand it as men typically cringe seeing another man hit in the “nuts”.
“Ooh…I am so sorry. I did not have any idea.” I replied trying to find words to express my regret for the awkward thing Juliet did.
“I know did not know. Your situation is complicated and I don’t want to complicate it anymore. I think it is best we just be friends,” Nicole replied.
“But…”, Nicola cut me off.
“You and I both know you want the green card more than anything else. I will only complicate things and jeopardize what you had planned. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Maybe in a few years we can pursue this depending on where we are in life. Anyway, I have to go study. Take care.” Nicola hung up.
That was it. As quickly as the romance started…it ended. Project green card was back on track. I needed a Red Bull.