Illegal Alien – A funny thing happened after my grandmother’s death. For the next 8 months life got better. It was almost like my grandmother’s death gave me a new life.
I got a job working in the stock room at BJ’s wholesale club. They were very flexible with my schedule. I was going to miss Winne Dixie. They even had a little party for me on my last day.
I made some good friend there and I would miss them. I learned so much from Leroy about surviving as an illegal alien. He showed me the ropes. I loved working at BJ’s. It felt good to finally use my real name. I would finally be able to file a tax return.
School was going very well. So far I had all A’s for my classes. I loved learning and school here was easy compared to Jamaica. Most of the English and Math I covered in 4th and 5th form in Jamaica.
I made quite a few friends. Most of them were “uptown” Jamaicans. They all had their own cars, and did not work. Basically their parents in Jamaica took care of everything. They were jet setting to Jamaica on the weekends and on holidays. On the weekends and holidays they were in town, they would drink, play cards and gossip about who was sleeping with who.
In my third semester luck had it that Angela and I were in another class together. Lady luck did one better. She and I were in the same group for a project in class. The group had to exchange phone numbers. I remember the look on her face when she handed me her phone number. We both knew it would be the beginning of something. Within a week I called her. We talked about everything but the class project. I loved her Trinidadian accent. It was so easy talking to her. She would start a sentence and I would finish. I could start a sentence and she finished. She told me upfront that she was not leaving her boyfriend. I never told her I had a girlfriend. We talked for hours late at night. It was perfect because my sister was off the phone and Angela’s boyfriend was not there. When we saw each other at class we pretended we barely knew each other. We focused on only talking about the group project.
One day Angela’s boyfriend was sick and she asked me for a ride home. Our walk to the car was awkward. We were trying our best to look like acquaintances. We did not want to give anyone the impression we were more than friends. Ironically enough the song on the radio in the car was ‘Secret Lovers’.
We were silent through the ride. We made quick glances at each other but no conversation. We pulled up in front of her apartment and I walked her to the door. I don’t remember exactly how it happened but we were locked in a long passionate kiss.
She pulled back with a look of concern.
“My roommate is here, you have to go’’, she said.
She shared her apartment with a Bahamian girl who was also an international student attend Broward Community College.
“Will you call me later?”, I asked
“Yes”, she replied.
As I drove away all I could think about was her breaking up with her boyfriend for me. I was not thinking about how I would break up with Mary-Ann. I was counting my eggs before they hatched.
I could not wait for our call that night.
When I got home there were 2 phone messages. If my sister is home the messages are deleted before I hear them. Lately she has been coming home late. She has a few male friends.
I played the messages on the answering machine hoping there was one from Angela. The first one was from Charlie in New York. The last time we spoke was over a year ago when he got me the new social security card. He had disappeared for a while and re-appeared in time to get me the new card.
His message was brief, “Mi ave a link fi get yuh the full thing. Call mi tonight”.
To the normal person the message may sound innocent but I knew what he meant by the “full thing”. It was a green card.
He promised if he found a contact that could get me a green card he would call. As exciting as that was I wanted to get to the second message.
I was sure the next message was from Angela.
The call was from a girl, but not Angela. It was my ex-girlfriend, Sherri-Ann.
“I need to talk to you please call me any morning in the week at this number.” She left a phone number.
I was stunted. Why was she calling me? It has been over two years since we broke up.
As the message stopped the phone rang. It was Ritchie.
“Mi youth yuh wah go down south. Tonight is ladies night at Stardom.”
We went clubbing a few times at Stardom in Kendall. They played a good mixture of music and the latest reggae. There was always a mixed crowd. The majority of the people there were Jamaicans but there were some Spanish people. Ritchie would never go there if there were no any Spanish girls.
“Check back with me in an hour” I replied. I was buying time to see if Angela would call.
The phone rang again but it was Mary-Ann. We talked for a while. I kept waiting for the phone to beep from Angela’s call. It never did.
I needed to get out of the house. I called Ritchie and we went to Stardom. That night I partied “real hard” and a few drinks. I met and danced with a few girls but my mind was elsewhere. I don’t remember much about that night. I got home at 6.00 am and went to sleep. I had the day off.
I was awakened by a call late that afternoon. It was “her”. I wanted to say “What took you long” but held back. I was happy she called.
She explained her boyfriend came over and left very late that night. I did not need to know the details but I was jealous.
Then she got straight to the point. “I am in love with you but I can’t leave my boyfriend’.
“Why can’t you leave him if you love me”, I asked. I thought to myself. “Here we go again, the good with the bad. The story of my life”
“I think he would hurt me” she replied, “he has a very bad temper”
I was caught off guard but not too surprised. I saw the way he talked to her once when she was late coming out of the classroom. It was like a child throwing a temper tantrum.
Her next statement shocked me.
“He also promised to marry me once I complete my Bachelors Degree”.
She did not have to say it. She was an international student who wanted to stay in the US. She was getting married to get a green card. I could not compete with that. I had nothing to offer.
“But you have not given me a chance. I can protect you.” I replied.
I am not sure why I said it but it just seemed like the right thing to say. I never once had a fight at Campion. The last fight I can remember was with my cousin when I was 9 years old.
“Lets continue to be friends and see where things go.” She conceded probably hearing the desperation in my voice.
“Sure”, I replied.
We talked for a few hours. It was a very flirtatious conversation. We were at the point of no return. The relationship was never going to be the same.
That evening I returned Charlie’s call.
He explained that he found someone who could get me an authentic “green card”. It would be backdated, so I could file for citizenship within a year. It would cost $4000 and I had to do it within the next 3 months.
The only place I could get such a large sum of money was my father. I told Charlie I would get back to him.
My plan was to call my father later that night when Suzanne was at home. It also cost less and she could also speak to him.
No sooner that I put down the phone it rang. It was Sherri-Ann.
“Don’t hang up, I want to talk,” she pleaded.
“About what”, I asked. The memories of that last day were still fresh in my mind. We never spoke since that last day. I will never forget her screaming and telling me to go. There was never closure; that’s why it hurt so much.
“About us and what happened. About what is happening in my life.” she replied.
“Us, what are you talking about” I replied.
“I miss you. I miss they way you kiss me, the way you make love to me” she replied.
I think she was stroking my ego. I did feel good though. For a moment I was having some flashbacks. I caught myself. She did get my attention.
“Aren’t you married”, I asked.
“Yes, but not happily. He is very abusive.” she replied. She was crying.
I hated to hear women crying. I just felt the urge to try and console them. I am not sure why I asked the next question but I did.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
She started to tell me the story.
She married him because of pressure from both families. It started out nice and then he started to argue with her because she could not cook. Then he started to hit her.
The guy did not seem like the type. I looked like a nerdy “Chiney” man.
I thought to myself “Twice in a day I am hearing about abusive men”.
She continued to tell me about things he did to her. It sounded like it was a very abuse relationship. Then she asked a question I would never forget for a long time.
“I need someone to talk to. Can you meet tonight at 8.30 pm at Haulover beach,” she asked. She was still crying.
“Yes” I replied. Instantly I regretted not saying no. I wanted to take it back really badly. But I already said it. I started to rationalize things. I had to be back home by 10:00 pm to call my father. I would talk to her just for a little while and rush back home before 10:00 pm.
“I will be in a white Mercedes Benz” she replied.
The car she was driving did not surprise me. Her husband and his family had money. They had a few businesses here and in Jamaica. He was driving a nice BMW when I used to visit her at the apartment.
I ate something, showered and was off to the beach.
As I drove to the beach I was thinking about what to say to her about our past relationship and the breakup. I could not be angry because she was going through her own problems.
As I pulled up to the parking lot I saw the white Mercedes. I don’t remember the model but it was very big. I pulled up beside it.
The tinted window came down the there she was. She was beautiful. She was now a woman.
She beckoned for me to come into the passenger side of the car.
I did. The car was spacious.
The engine was still running and the AC was on. The radio was on hot 105 “quiet storm”, which was all slow music.
I looked over at she and she back at me..
The next thing I know we were locked in a kiss. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew we were doing something we should not have been doing. We did not talk. There was nothing to say. By the time I left it was after 10.00 pm. It would be too late to call my father.
As I drove home it hit me. I was with a married woman. I tried to rationalize it. To me she was never married. The marriage was a fluke.
No matter how much I tried to rationalize it I knew I made a big mistake.
The next day Sherri-Ann called and asked if I could meet her again.
I wanted to go. The excitement of the affair was amazing but I made up an excuse.
My sister was home so I called my father that night to talk about Charlie’s offer. He was very skeptical. The past incident with the social security card left everyone with a “bad taste”. My father would think about it and get back to me.
My sister heard the whole conversation.
“Jamaica sweet. I hope Daddy pay for this thing. I hope you can go home soon,” she said after she hung up.
Our relationship got better on her return from my grandmother’s funeral in Jamaica. I think she sensed the pain I went through during that time. She brought back pictures and told me everything about the funeral. From that day we started talking more and started to rebuild our relationship. It was nice. I hated the way it used to be.
It may be every man’s dream but trying to “juggle” between 3 women is not very easy. The good thing is that it was mainly on the phone. Sherri-Ann and I spoke during the day between breaks at school. Her husband was at work. Mary-Ann and I spoke in the evenings. Angela and I spoke at late night when her boyfriend was not there.
Mary-Ann sensed something was wrong. One night she pressed.
“Are you okay? You seem distant from me,” she asked.
“No, I just have a lot on my mind with work and school,” I replied. I thought to myself how difficult it would be for her husband to have an affair. She just has a sense that picks up on everything.
We still tried to get together for a date at least every 2 weeks.
It was difficult to put on a different “face” for each “girl”. The only one I felt really “true” with was Angela. I felt such a connection with her.
Sherri-Ann was still the same manipulative person I used to date. She once asked me to tell her about the girls I was seeing and if they were as pretty as her. I did not give her any information. She was very possessive of me. I got the feeling she would follow me if she lived closer.
Three weeks to the date of me seeing her on the beach the “bottom” of my love boat fell out. It was almost 9 months after my grandmother died.
Sherri-Ann left me a message to call her at 10.00 pm.
I was thinking it was a desperate call to set up a meeting somewhere. I was in for the ride of my life. She picked up the phone on one ring. She was frantic.
“I missed my period. It is 2 weeks late. I think I am pregnant,” she was crying.
“So why are you calling me”, I did not know what else to say. I was angry at her and myself. We did have unprotected sex, but that was only one time. She and her husband must be doing it weekly. It could be a ploy. How I wish I could turn back time.
“David and I have tried to get pregnant since we were married. We could not. I think it is yours.”
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