Once I was outside the airport terminal I looked around for a taxi. My heart was beating so fast I could hardly breathe. I had to act fast as I was sure I heard someone say “stop that man” as I was running out from the immigration area. My heart was beating so fast I think I was going to faint.
I saw a taxi behind some of the buses that were outside the airport terminal. I jumped into the taxi.
‘Where are you going?’
For a moment I did not know what to say.
“Can you take me to the Cable Beach Hotel”, I replied. It was the only place I knew.
“Okay”, replied the taxi driver.
I was not sure what I would do at the hotel but I knew I had to come up with a plan.
My head felt like it would burst. My heart was still beating rapidly. I was sweating all over. The loud calypso music playing in the taxi did not help.
I was about to ask him to turn the music down but decided not to. I did not want to draw attention to myself in case the police came looking for me. I slowly took out the cap I had in my bag. I put it on to try and disguise myself.
We arrived at the hotel in less than 10 minutes. I paid him cash trying my best not to make I contact.
As I entered the hotel lobby I tried to figure out what to say to them. I wanted to get the same room rate for at least another night until I could figure out what to do.
“Hi, may I help you? “
The young lady at the front desk was friendlier than any of the others I encountered while I was there. This helped to calm my adrenaline.
Yes. I missed my flight back to Ft Lauderdale. I was here for the day on casino junket. Would it be possible to get a room at the same rate I paid today?
“Hold on sir, let me talk to my manager”
She turned started to back to and office behind her.
I had a flash back of my incident at the airport. This time I did not run.
She was back in less than 2 minutes.
“Sir, our manager has extended the rate. He suggested that you either play someone of the games in the casino so we have a record of you for future junket”
“Thank you”. I replied. I guess they wanted me to gamble to continue to get discounts.
“How many more days will you be staying?”
“Yes” I replied. I was not sure how long I was going to be here so it was better to be safe.
“How will you be paying?”
“Sir we need a credit card for any charges you may incur over night. You can pay cash when you check out”
“Okay” I replied.
I had applied for a student credit card a few months ago and got it.
I never used it before. It was suppose to be for emergencies only. I had the feeling that I would be using it quite a bit while I was here.
It took me about 15 minutes to check in. It seems like an eternity. I have to get to a phone and call Charlie.
“Here is your room key sir”
Finally the magic words I have been dying to hear. I rushed to the elevator to hear up to the room. I was on the 8th floor.
As soon as I entered the room I went straight to phone. I quickly read the instructions on how to call international calls then I called Charlie.
He picked up the phone on the fourth ring.
“What yuh mean sey yuh stuck?”
I franticly explained to him the situation in a “coded” way.
“Okay, call da youth ya and tell him sey a mi send yuh and I will pay him”
His friend was a smuggler. He took people from Nassau to Miami on his boat each week.
I hung up and called right away.
The phone rang with no answer. I was getting very worried.
I hung up and tried again.
A gentleman with a thick accent that sounded like he was from Haiti was on the other line.
“I am a friend of Charlie in New York. He told me to call. I need to get to Miami”
“How much do you have?”
“Charlie says he would pay you”
“Charlie owes me money. I need to be paid upfront”
“How much will it cost?”
“I don’t have that type of money. Can you call Charlie?”
He sounded frustrated and angry.
“I am not calling Charlie. You tell him to pay me what he owes me”
He hung up.
I put the phone down and laid on the bed. My mind was racing. I don’t have $3000 to pay the smuggler. How am I going to get back? What about school? What would happen to my job? Should I call my parents? I felt like sleeping but felt I had to do something.
I called Charlie back.
He was not picking up the phone. I tried about four more times. No one was picking up. I am sure he knew it was me. He probably was trying to avoid me.
I lay back on the bed and tried to think of something. Then it came to me.
I could call Ritchie. He is not aware of my situation but I am sure he knew something was up. He always asked why I never visit Jamaica. He used to mention his father traveling to the Bahamas each month. I know he also visited here a few times.
It was late on a Saturday night and he was probably getting ready to go out. I could get him on his new cellular phone. His father had gotten it for him recently. He loved to walk around with the phone.
Let me try Charlie again.
This was my last hope. I called Ritchie.
“My boy whey yuh deh?, Mi call yuh house an yuh sista seh yuh was coming to check me tonight”
I did not know how to tell him.
“I am in Nassau”
There was a pause.
“Whey yuh a do deh?”
“I can’t explain it over the phone. I need your help to get back”
I think he picked up that it was an immigration issue. I was always taught not to talk talks immigration issues over the phone.
Okay. Mek mi mek a call. Gi me till tomorrow mawiing. Call me about 9:00 o’clock.
I walked over to the sliding door the hotel room. It was an ocean view room. I could see the shoreline. The sea was calm. I opened it and sat outside. I need the fresh air. I tried to relax as it was difficult to do.
I went back in the room took a shower. I had carried only one change of clothing. I needed it for the next day. I had to sleep in my underwear.
I could not get any sleep that night. All I could think about was my life in Miami. How would I get back? I was worried about my job. I was to report to work on Monday. I also had classes on Tuesday. How would my sister get to school on Monday? I don’t remember when I fell asleep but I was up by 7.00 am the next morning. I turned on the TV. I flipped through the channel. It was mainly religious programs. I finally settled on a preacher who was talking about Joseph. He explained how Joseph went through trials and came out on top as Pharaoh’s right hand man. I was thinking one day God would have me triumph like Joseph. Then the preacher said God would only give those who are born again great victories. I thought to myself. I am a good person. God will have mercy on me. I just know it.
I called Ritchie at exactly 9.00 am.
“Alright. Mi ave a way to get you back. Tek this number”
“What do I say when I call him”
“Tell im seh Devo Greene sey him mus gi yuh a ride to Miami pon the next run”
Devon Green was Ritchie’s father. I did not need to ask what was going on. His father was a “jugglist”. The Bahamas must be one of his shipment points. I did not care. I just wanted to get back to Miami.
I hung up and called the number. The man who answered the phone was Jamaican.
I told him what Ritchie said.
“Where are you now” he asked
“I am at the Cable beach hotel,” I replied
“Meet me 10.00 pm on Silver Cay on Friday. Look for a white BMW.”
“Yes Friday night is the next run.”
He hung up.
The words Friday were replayed in my mind.
I would be here almost a week. I need to get back today!!!
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