Things seem to be looking up. Uncle Teddy has moved out to live with his wife. He needed to do this to make the “business marriage” look legitimate. His “wife’s” name was Debbie and was very demanding. She had children and wanted him to be a father to them. He was suffering because he could not womanize like he used to do. She “ran tings” and he could do nothing about it. She held the threat of reporting their marriage to the INS over his head. Even though Sue and I sympathized with him we were happy he was gone. In a weird way we missed his “drunken” story telling at late nights but we got the apartment back to ourselves. Our torturer was now being tortured.
It was over a year since Ritchie and Sue were dating. Everything was going fine. Things were about to change.
Ritchie’s ex-girlfriend, Mariella, came to shop at my workplace, BJ’s wholesale club. I was unpacking some items near the front of the store when I saw her come in. I could not avoid here.
She was pushing a stroller with a little baby boy. She did not have to say anything to me. I looked at the baby and it was “dead stamp” of Ritchie.
“Hey there, how are you doing”, she greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. Typical of the Latin community.
I was still staring at the carmel skinned tone baby boy. He was a miniature version of Ritchie.
“I am doing fine” I replied. I realized I had not responded. I was trying to recover from the obvious stare. I wanted to ask her whose baby it was.
I was staring again.
“His name is Ricardo”, she responded. I guess my stare was obvious. The name gave me a jolt. She must be giving me a hint. Ritchie and a child named Ricardo.
The baby was smiling now.
“Nice name and very cute baby”, I responded awkwardly trying not to seem too engrossed in inspecting his features. I was not looking her in the face. I figured her next question was going to be about Ritchie but it was not.
“How is your sister doing?”
She must know something. It could be innocent as she met my sister a long time ago when Ritchie came to pick me up to go clubbing. She came up to the apartment and met Sue. Still the questions about my sister seems a little sly.
She is doing just fine. I was waiting on her to ask about Ritchie. They did not have a very good break up. He said she stalked him. There was evidence of this as I remember her being at some of the same clubs we went to. She would stare him down. I even remember seeing her car following us one late night. There was one altercation outside the parking lot of a club called Lime Key where she got physical with Ritchie and a girl he was talking to. She had a temper. She moved away to Orlando to live with her parents a few months after that altercation; or so Ritchie had claimed. Doubts were now in my mind.
“Where can I find baby diapers?” she asked.
“On the aisle over there,” I was pointing her in the direction, but still glancing at the baby. It was if I was trying to find some other proof that this was, or was not, Ritchie’s baby.
“Thanks, bye” and she walked away pushing the stroller.
“Bah bye” the little baby said looking back at me.
As I continued to stock the shelves I wondered what should I do.
I was convinced it was Ritchie’s son but I know he broke up with her over 6 months before he started seeing Sue. I was not an expert on baby’s age but the child looked old enough to verify that time line. I never thought I would say this but I know he was not cheating on Sue.
If I told her about my suspicion it would break her heart. I had gotten so used to them being together. We have slowly been building back the trust we lost. I was even looking forward to them getting married after she finished school. They still had the obstacle of my parents to overcome but I thought it was possible. I also was thinking of myself. It sounds very selfish but her marriage to him would eventually get me a green card.
In 4 years she would finish school with a Masters. Ritchie would then file for her and in 2 years she would have a green card as he was a US citizen. She could then file for me and in another 4-6 years I could get a green card as long as I stayed unmarried. I learned about this and my uncle’s situation when I called an Immigration show on a Caribbean radio show twice. I called in with the typical “I have a friend or cousin” scenario with a disguised voice. Twelve years is a long time but it was better than my chances with my uncle. My uncle would first have to file for my father, which would take 10-20 years mainly because of martial status and age. On receiving his green card my father would then have to wait another 5 years for citizenship. My father would then file for me which could take 4-6 years. I did not understand this but the lawyer on the radio explained the age, marital status, family dependencies and financial status are factors. I could not compare with the lawyer being that this was a different person calling with a new question. He also did not want to elaborate and asked that I visit his office for further clarification
I had heard of other “bandoodle” opportunities but after my Bahamas experience I was very reluctant to do anything like that again. I was very close to taking Ritchie’s father up on his offer to make a run for him in exchange for papers but eventually declined it after some recent crackdowns on the Jamaican Posses across the USA.
I know some men have the “unwritten” rule to not do anything about another man’s business but this was my sister. I was also torn between my selfishness to get a green card. Maybe I should look into getting a bandoodle green card. If this thing “blow” up how can I approach Ritchie to have his father set me up on a “green card”. That option would be gone. He had many connections to other people who knew about bandoodle papers.
I did not know what to do?
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