Ritchie’s father had a source for US birth certificates and he was not going to give it to me for free. He had some requirements for me. I had to make a “run” to Washington to the source. I was between a rock and hard place. I had to make a decision soon.
Ritchie and I were not going to the clubsas much. I was very busy at work. He seemed to be pre-occupied with this new girl friend. I had yet to meet her. Actually I was not looking forward to meeting her because I knew that within a few months he would be bored with her.
I joked about it with him.
“How long yuh keeping dis one”
“Mi really like ar”
For some reason he seemed different. It was almost like he was in love. We would go out once a week to a club but he would only flirt. He was not picking up any girls or taking any phone numbers. I knew he was not going to admit he was in love. He kept talking about the challenge of taking away his new girlfriend from her boyfriend. He was putting on a tough image even though he kept saying how beautiful she was.
I was happy for him but I wanted to know more about his father’s offer.
“Was the birth certificate really good?”
I asked him if any of his father associates had ever gotten one. I asked if they ever used it. He told me about a few Jamaicans he knew that used it from the Bahamas to get to the US. He explained it was legit and that some of the people he knew even got passports. Ritchie was the only friend that knew about my situation. Because of that, I trusted him.
“Yuh eva go pon a run fi yuh father”, I asked.
“Yeah,” he responded, “It is easy. Yuh jus affi dress nice and drive at the speed limit. Yuh cyan draw nuh attention to yuhself”
I kept wondering why his father wanted to use me for a run. He must have many other associates. Why not just charge me for the “birth certificate”.
Ritchie knew what I was thinking. We were like brothers.
He explained that I was probably going to make a delivery and pick up over $1 million US dollars. It was easier for him to get me to help because of the profit. He also mentioned there was a crack down on many of the associates. I remember seeing the crackdown on the Jamaican posses on TV. It was over the news for days. They arrested members from the Spranglers and Shower posses that were in Miami.
I struggled with the decision. I had no one to talk to.
My sister Suzanne had become very secretive lately. She would come home and lock up in her room. Sometimes I would hear her whispering in her room . Her boyfriend from Jamaica has stopped calling. Some other guys were now calling. One of these guys became a “frequent caller”. H e had a black American accent. I did not press her about anything as we were both “stressed” with our uncle living there with us.
The pressure was going to get worse.
Angela was in the midst of finals. It was her final semester. She was probably going to get married soon after. I did not want to lose her but what could I do. I was really in love with her. We had grown closer since I came back. We had not crossed the line but we knew the chemistry was getting stronger. The only reason she was with her boyfriend was because of his promise marriage. She would not have to go back to Trinidad.
I tried dating a few other girls but nothing serious. She was the only one I loved. I know they say you yearn more for the thing you can’t have. She was my best friend even though she did not know my situation. If I had a birth certificate maybe things would be different. I could probably give her some indication on how serious I am about her.
More pressure. I was not prepared for what would happen next.
I came home early one afternoon. As I opened the door I could hear music and moaning. At first I thought it was Uncle Teddy but the music was coming from Suzanne’s room. I will never forget the song that was playing. It was “In between the sheets” by Isley Brothers.
I walked up to my sister’s door and looked in. She was in bed with some man. His back was turned to me but he looked very familiar.
She looked up in shock.
He jumped off the bed and faced me.
It was Ritchie.
I was in total shock.
He calmly started to put on his clothes.
I was frozen.
He was talking to me but I could not hear him.
“My yout, mek me explain”
He said a few more things but I was still frozen. I just stood there by my sisters room door. He walked by me and out the apartment.
I don’t remember when I went to the living room couch.
The next thing I remember was my sister talking.
“I love him and he loves me”
”Do you even know Ritchie?”
I wanted to tell her he was a “dog” but the look on her face was one of concern. He was my best friend. I did not sleep around like he did but recently my behavior was similar. I tried to hold back.
“Ritchie is a dog”
“Not anymore” she replied “he told me everything. Since we have been going out he said he would change”
I could not rebut her. She was right. Ritchie and I have gone out a few times and he never took a girl home.
“When did it start?” I asked. I was trying to find a reason.
It started when you were away and he took me to school. He was really sweet. We fell in love. We tried to resist but the attraction was there.
I was angry. “What you know about love?”
“This is real” she replied “ We were going to tell you”
She was still speaking but I was not hearing her.
Ritchie was like a brother. It felt like this was an incestuous relationship.
She continued to talk about Ritchie. I don’t want to know anymore details. Everything just seems wrong. She is not his type. He loved Spanish girls who were not seeking hire education. He always wants to be the smarter one.
I locked down. I did not want to hear anymore. I walked to my room leaving her crying on the coach. I could not deal with it. How did I not put the dots together?
The more I could think the more it kept coming back to me.
I remember seeing a car that looked like Ritchie’s was parked near the house. The black American voice who called sounded familiar. It was Ritchie. He knew how to jump from Jamaican Patios to an American “twang” really good. The voice in the room the night I came back with Uncle Teddy was Ritchie’s.
The last time Ritchie was at the house to pick to me up he was friendly with her. I remember them laughing while I was getting ready. I never suspected anything. I was angry because I was caught off guard right under my nose. Two people I trust. They may claim to love each other but this relationship is a mismatch. I was going to do something about.
I went back to her room. The door was closed. I knocked.
Nothing. I did not hear her leave so she had to be in her room.
“Sue, open the door”
I waited for a few seconds.
I knocked again.
I was starting to get worried.
“Sue, Mi nah play. Open the door”
I tried the door it was locked. I was sure something happened.
I went back to the kitchen and got a screwdriver.
I “picked” the door and rushed into her room.
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