Love, Marriage, Pickney & Bruk Foot: Memoirs Of An Illegal Alien Part 22

The relationship between Sherri-Ann and I was still going strong. She was “playing” the Jamaican Chinese fellow from South Miami on the side to keep her father happy. She said he was a decent boy and never tried anything. Not even to kiss her. Just holding hands and hugging. She said he really enjoyed that. At first I did not believe her but I was also feeling guilty for my close friendship with Mary-Ann. The charade with the guy had been going on for almost a year.

I went by her house one day not knowing he was there. She introduced me as a friend from school who was there to pick something up. His name was David Chang-Sheng. He was short, a little stout and wore glasses. He was very nerdy looking and seemed anti-social.

She excused herself to get the “item” I was there to pick up. It was a little awkward as she took a while to come back. The TV was on but there was tension. I started a conversation.

“David, how long you leave Jamaica?” I asked.

“I left Jamaica in 1975” he replied in a short abrupt tone. It was obvious he did not want to talk. He was engrossed in the TV.

I kept quite after that. I had felt sorry for him when the plan was hashed but now after meeting him I felt no mercy..

Sherri-Ann called out.

“Come here for a minute. Take a look at this and let me know if this is what you need for class”, she beckoned me to her room which was down a hall near the living room but not visible.

I was relieved to get away from the living room.

I walked to her room. As soon as I entered she jumped on me and we started to kiss. Realizing that David was still out there I protested. It did not work.

When we finally emerged from the room he was still sitting there staring at the television.

“Nice meeting you” and I left.

That next day Sherri-Ann called frantically.

“My father says I am to return to Jamaica when I graduate”

I knew it would come but didn’t expect it so soon. Her graduation was 3 months away. I think we both thought she would do some more schooling here. The first thought that ran through my mind was maybe David heard us in the bedroom and got word to her father. I did not want to mention as she was already very upset.

She did not want to go back to Jamaica. She was crying. Then she mentioned we should get married. She was under the impression that I had a green card so marrying me would get her papers. I never told her the truth.

“Can you come over tomorrow” she asked still sobbing uncontrollably.

I had a feeling it was a bad idea but I could not resist the tears.

“Yes” I replied.

Maybe I should have told her everything before this all came up.

We met the next afternoon at her apartment. I was expecting to see her very sad but she was a little more frisky than usual. As soon as I entered the door she was kissing me. I had no problem with it but then she whispered in my ear.

“Lets have a baby and get married”

It killed the moment.

“What” I replied

At this point we were sitting up facing each other.

“The only way we can get married is if I get pregnant” she replied. “My dad would have to accept you. He would force us to get married.”

My head was spinning. My mind was racing. She wanted to get pregnant and get married so she could stay. The only way I would be accepted by her family is to get her pregnant. This was a little too much to handle. I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to ask her if she was crazy. None of us were ready for a child or even marriage. In fact I did not know if I loved her that much. I was more intrigued by the idea that Sherri- Ann was my girlfriend. It was the bragging rights with my friends in Jamaica.

“Sherri-Ann, you know that will not work. Your parents will never accept me not even if we had their grandchild” I said.

Her eyes were starting to swell up with tears.

“I don’t make enough to support a child and you. Plus it will take a while before you get a green card if you marry me.” I was trying to sound reasonable. I also wanted to avoid talking about my green card situation as it would be the perfect explanation to end the conversation.

“What if we just get married. If I marry you in 4 years I can get a green card. You know I love you.” she replied in a solemn voice as tears streamed down her eyes.

“Sherri-Ann, you know it will not work. We both are not ready. Let me ask you this….Where would we live.” I was trying to get her to think.

“Here, my mother would have to allow it because my father would have it no other way if I was pregnant” she replied.

“You know that would not work” I said “Your mother would never allow it”.

I tried to hug her but she pulled away.

“You don’t love me. If you did you would do this”

“You know that is not true” I replied.

“You don’t love me. Please leave. You don’t love me at all.”

“But baby, you know I do.” I replied.

Suddenly she started screaming at me. She was throwing a temper tantrum.

“Leave me alone. Just leave. Don’t call. Don’t come back here. I never want to see or hear from you again….never… never loved me as deeply as I love you”

She ran to her room and closed the door.

I froze. I sat there for a while in the silence staring towards her room. I wanted to ask if she was okay but knew it would not make a difference.

Slowly I walked out the door. I knew it would probably be the last time. I was feeling really bad. There was a pain in my chest I could not explain. There was nervousness that was not going a way. As I walked to the bus stop I just kept wondering how could I make things right.

As I sat at the bench to the bus stop a car pulled in the parking lost across the street. It was playing loud music. It was a slow song. I have heard people say that after a break up every song is going to relate to your situation.

The song was “Goodbye Love” by Guy. They were getting very popular and every minute you heard their songs on the radio. I had heard the song before but the words were clearer than ever.

Even though I hate to leave you girl,
Cause cry as I walk out the door,
Temptation is asking me to stay,
But we been through the same thing before,
I can’t believe that this is happening to us,
We made a vow to never depart,
I turn my head to see if your hurt,
Cause I also feel it,
Deep in my heart,
Baby, you said you’d never leave me
I said I’d you never leave me
But fairytales don’t always come through

I promised to stay with you
You promised to say with me
I guess you knew and blew a good thing, Baby

Causing I am saying “bye bye”

As I listen to the song, I felt worst.

My bus came and as I got on I surveyed the area. It would probably be the last time I come in this neighborhood. As I sat down I was in deep thought. I kept asking myself why does everything thing seem final. Maybe there is hope. Should I call her tonight? Should I wait for her to call? Her word “never…ever” and the whole scene just kept replaying in my mind.

I was like a zombie. I got home and just laid down on the bed for a while staring at the ceiling. I still shared rooms with Andre. He was now 15.

He walked in to the room with his boom box on 99 WEDR and on que another song love song came on to take me even deeper down the road of heart break. It was the master of begging. Keith Sweat…How deep is your love was the name of the song.

Is your love
How deep is your love
Is your love
How deep is your love
How, oh, how
How deep is your love
Oh, how’s your love

Been all day thinkin’, all night wonderin’
Why love has to change
You kiss me, but it’s not real
Tell me what happened

Are we living a lie, baby
Is that magic gone
Ooh, do you feel the same way you used to, girl
Ooh, tell me is it wrong for us to love like this

How deep is your love (How deep is your love)
How deep is your love (How deep is your love)
How deep is your love (How deep is your love)
Oh…ho…oh…oh… (How deep is your love)

Now I was replaying her words about my love never being that deep for her.

Aunt Fern called out “The phone for you”

My heart skipped a beat. Was it Sherri- Ann? I rushed to the phone with great anticipation. It had to be her. Mary-Ann never calls this early.

The voice on the other end temporarily “bus mi bubble”.

It was Mary-Ann.

“I know I normally call you later but something just told me to call. Are you okay?” she asked.

That was all I needed to hear. Mary-Ann has always been there. She did not know my secret but she knows everything else about me. I told her Sherri- Ann and I broke up. She did not “gloat” but I could sense some relief in her voice. She sympathized with me and tried to cheer me up. It worked until I hung up the phone.

I had to face the facts. I was hurt. I never thought I would feel this way as I thought my feeling for Sherri-Ann was superficially. When the phone rang I kept hoping it was her. Two day, three days, a week, 2 weeks… She never called.

Mary- Ann sensed I was really hurt and the frequency of her calls increased. She never pushed anything but mentioned if I need to meet and go out that would be fine.

Exactly 3 weeks after the break up Richie called me at home. He knew Sherri-Ann and I broke up. He has been trying to set me up with the sister of one of his Spanish girlfriends.

“My boy, mi ear sinting mi cyan believe.”

“What?” I asked.

“Sherri-Ann is engaged to yout” he replied

“What” I replied. My heart sank.

“Yes, my boy. Mi ave a bredrim down south dat know de yout. His name is David Chang-Sheng. Dem a get married next year”

I almost dropped the phone. This confirmed what I thought when Sherri-Ann called to tell me her father wanted her to come home.

It was set up by David Chang-Sheng.

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