Sherri-Ann gave me an ultimatum. I was either going to give her the money for an abortion or she divorcing her husband and I had to marry her. This is how it was with upper-class Jamaicans. If you get an uptown girl pregnant you had to marry her. This would be a little complicated with her being married already.
The thought of marrying her for a green card did cross my mind. I know she had “papers” because she mentioned going to the Dominican Republic for quickie divorce. I knew I did not love her but I would be marrying the girl everyone at school wanted and getting a green card. It was a stupid thought.
I told her I was not going to marry her. She was very upset. She then started to talk about an abortion. She tried to make me feel guilty by saying “I would be responsible for the murder of my own child. She said if she dies during the procedure it would be my fault. “
I also had a few weeks before I had to pay Charlie for the “thing”. I had a little money left saved and I had a choice to make. Use the money for the “thing” or give it to Sherri-Ann for an abortion. She was calling everyday. One minute she would call and talk about the joys of pregnancy. The next minute she was cursing me for getting her pregnant and asking where was her money for the abortion.
Every bone in my body did not believe her. She loved to play games and this was one. I still did not know what to do. If she was pregnant and this baby did not look Chinese there would be trouble.
She was even started talking to my sister, Sue. I think it was to keep “tabs” on me. I also think she wanted to have something “over” me. The fact that she could tell Sue at anytime was meant to put pressure on me. She insisted she did not tell Sue anything however they were becoming good friends. She even to the apartment a few times and took Sue to the mall. Sue would boast about the outfits she and Sherri-Ann bought. She mentioned she did not understand why I broke up with her.
“I broke up with her?” I asked. I knew Sherri-Ann would twist it.
“Yes, she said you broke up with her”, she replied.
“Okay”, I did not want to pursue it. I also did not want her going back to Sherri-Ann to discuss it. Sherri-Ann would probably make up more stories. If she got upset she may tell Sue she was having my baby.
A friend from work invited me to church. I went and it felt good. The music, the encouraging words and the people made me feel good. I felt nothing spiritual however I felt welcome. I just felt better at church during this time. However as soon as I walked out the church doors the “pressure” came back.
Mary-Ann was also going through her own “pressures”. She called me frantically to tell me that her family was moving to North Carolina in the next month. She did not want to go but she had no choice. She was not economically stable to live on her own.
“Why is your family moving?” I asked.
“My mother said jobs are easier to find there and you don’t have to know Spanish”.
Her mother had recently lost her job in Miami and could not find a new job. They had been struggling since that.
Everyone in Miami was talking about the “white flight” northward. As immigrants moved to Miami white Americans were moving out. It was becoming more important to know Spanish to work in Miami.
“I love you so much. I am going to miss you so much. As soon as I can I will move back here. It does not have to end,” she was crying.
She wanted a long distance relationship.
“I will miss you too. I know it does not have to end.” I replied. I wanted to say I would visit but that would not work. I knew no one there.
I was indifferent to the move. I was not in love with her but I cared deeply for her. I did not think it was going to work but I agreed to a long distant relationship because I did not think it would be a good time to break it off with her. Even though she had her own problems she was the only stable person in my life. I could depend on her being there. I also figured it was best to have a long distance relationship because nothing physical would take place. The fear of having a child was now clearly affecting my love life. I vowed not to get physical with anyone until I could change my status from illegal alien to resident or citizen. I know it was a silly vow but that one call from Sherri-Ann kept replaying in my mind. They also no protection is 100%.
My friendship with Angela was getting stronger. She and I talked everyday. With everything happening I did not pressure her to leave her boyfriend. She was a year ahead of me and was getting ready to transfer to Florida International University to complete her bachelors degree.
The pressure of everything was driving me crazy. It was almost 2 months since the “baby news”. I needed to get Charlie some of the money for the “thing” within a month. My father had agreed to give half of the money. I had to come up with the other half, which was $2000. Sherri-Ann kept pressuring me for money for an abortion. She wanted $1500. She kept saying she could not risk taking the money out her joint account with her husband. She needed to do it before the first trimester.
I needed to talk to someone.
I thought about telling Ritchie. He would probably tell me to tell her to have an abortion.
I could not talk to Sue, because it would get back to my parents. I could not talk to anyone.
I was at my breaking point with 2 weeks to go before Charlie’s deadline and Sherri-Ann was coming up to her first trimester. It was at this point it happened.
Sue came to my room one night and asked me what was going on. Why was Sherri-Ann calling me every day? Why was she suddenly being nice to her?
“Sherri-Ann is obsessed with you. She told me today that some day she would leave her husband and marry you. She says she will only have babies with you”
I could not hold it in any longer. I told her.
“Sherri-Ann is pregnant for me”
“What are you talking about?” she replied.
It was strange talking my sister about my love life but I told her the story.
She had a smirk on her face. The type she always had when she knew something I did not.
“I don’t think she is pregnant,” she declared with a smile.
”Why do you say that?” I asked.
”Once when we went shopping I caught her buying pads. She said she was sending it to Jamaica”
I was puzzled.
Sue saw the puzzled look on my face.
”Girls my age don’t buy pads for someone else. Plus if she was sending it to Jamaica she would have bought more”
I wanted to say, “Why didn’t you tell me this” but I realized she did not have any reason to tell me.
”When was the last time you saw her. You didn’t notice she has not gained any weight?”
”I have not seen her in 6weeks. You see her more than I do. I only talk to her on the phone” I replied.
”You are right. Most of the time she is here you are at work. She is really obsessed with you. All she does is talk about you and how great your relationship was with her. She has been trying to find out about your girlfriend. I can’t believe she is doing this to you. She’s crazy.”
I was still trying to absorb what Sue was saying.
“She has been using me to get to you”
”What should I do?” I asked.
”Tell her you have the full amount for the abortion and you would meet her at the clinic to pay to get it done. Trust me, she will not show up.”
It was a good plan.
”That’s a good idea.” I replied.
”Can I listen on the other line when you tell her this? ”, she asked.
“Sure” I replied. I needed no convincing. I was mad and wanted sweet revenge.
We knew Sherri-Ann would call later that night. We had about 2 hours to get a basic plan in place. I did not know finding an abortion clinic was so easy. Sue had a debate about it in a philosophy class and learned the details about getting an abortion.
We found a 24-hour abortion clinic in the yellow pages. Sue called the clinic. She used a fictitious name to ask questions, get pre-abortion instructions, address directions and make an appointment. It was amazing how quickly things came together. It was fun doing something together with Sue.
The phone rang 25 minutes after we finalized the appointment. I knew it had to be Sherri-Ann so I let Sue answer. She stayed on the phone line while I picked up the handheld phone.
The conversation started out with the normal niceties.
”I have some news on this whole situation,” I said.
She was silent.
”What is the news?” she asked.
”I have the full amount for the abortion” I replied.
When will I get it she asked? I could hear the disappointment in her voice. There would be no relationship. No marriage or children with me.
”I made an appointment for us to go next week Tuesday when your husband is in Jamaica” I replied.
Silence. She had no way to get out.
”Okay. I will meet you there. What is the address?” she replied.
Sue and I knew she would probably say yes. She loved to play games.
I gave her the address, the instructions for the pregnant woman and said good-bye.
Sue and I were smiling at each other. The next phase of the plan was about to begin.
Tuesday came quickly. The appointment at the clinic was 10:00am. The clinic was on Biscayne blvd in Miami. I would later learn the neighborhood by night had prostitutes and drug dealers.
At the entrance of the clinic a man confronted me.
”Abortion is murder,” he said as he handed me a pamphlet.
“Abortion is the excuse for pleasure without consequence. God loves you.”
I took the pamphlet and walked into the clinic.
The waiting area was filled with mainly women. There were not many men. Everyone was silent. Most of the faces of the women were somber. A few looked worried. There not many smiling faces.
I kept thinking “Why am I here. I should have waited outside in my car to see if Sherri-Ann showed up”
“Are you waiting on your girlfriend”?
It was the woman sitting on my right. She was about 30 years old.
I did not know what to say. She was not my girlfriend.
“Yes” I replied abruptly.
“You are a sweetheart. My boyfriend did not want to come with me. My girlfriend from work is coming to pick me once the procedure is done ”
I did not want to talk.
“Is she scared?”
“Yes” I replied. I was trying to end the conversation.
“This is my second abortion. She will be in pain for a week but then she will be okay”
“Oooh” I replied. I kept thinking how easy the words rolled off her tongue. How could she tell a stranger something so private?
The nurse called a name.
I thought “Saved by the nurse”.
At this point the conversation stopped. I was looking at the clock on the wall and counting down.
It was almost 10:00 AM and no Sherri-Ann. I would wait until 10:15 AM to be sure.
The lady started talking again.
“I am a little scared this time. If something goes wrong I may not be able to have a baby ever again”
“Ohhh” again my response was abrupt.
I did not know what to tell her. If she was scared why was she doing it?
I started to read the pamphlet the guy in the parking lot gave me. I was hoping it she would get the hint and stop talking to me.
It was shocking. There were pictures of aborted babies in the pamphlet. I wanted to close it but could not help staring at the pictures.
It did not stop the lady from talking to me. Now she was looking over my shoulder.
“Those pictures are awful. You should put that away”
I did. It was now 10:15 AM. No Sherri-Ann.
“Are you leaving” she asked
“Yes” as I quickly walked out the waiting area.
I walked out relieved. Sherri-Ann did not show up. I took a day off from work, but it was worth it.
Sue was right. She was not pregnant. What would Sherri-Ann come up with next? I knew this was not the end of it.
That night she called. Sue also picked up the phone.
She was crying.
“I had a miscarriage last night. The baby aborted itself”
I could see Sue’s face. She was smiling.
As I listened to Sherri-Ann’s excuse I was getting angry. I needed to end the conversation.
“Sherri-Ann you are a liar. You tried to use me and you put me through hell. Don’t call back and don’t come over here again.”
I slammed the phone down.
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