I was still half-asleep. I was not sure how to answer the question Rosa asked. I figured the best way to answer it was to ask my own question.
“What do you mean I am being more attentive?” I asked.
“The Sue told me you bought roses for me but never brought them over” she replied.
I was caught off guard. The one thing I learned from experience and Uncle Teddy is that women have a sixth sense when a man’s behavior changes. Some women will not confront it and ignore the behavior changes. Some women will confront it head on and ask questions. Rosa is the latter. It was obvious that all my attention made her suspicious enough to confront me, however now I was going to put her in a corner. Most women claim men are not attentive enough. I was going to use that to my advantage even though I know my guilty conscience over my emotional affair with Angela, was the reason for my behavior change.
“I was going to bring them over but they started to wither, so I put them in a vase here. I was going to get you more,” I replied before she could respond I asked another question “ Don’t you like the extra attention?”
“I do but you seem overly attentive recently with flowers, gifts and calls. Almost like you are….” She paused. I think she was about to say “cheating”.
It was awkward so I finished the sentence.
“… A man who is falling in love all over again”
It worked. She giggled.
“Mama, I am just excited as we get closer to our wedding” I continued, “I can’t wait”
She giggled again.
“If you think I am attentive now wait till we get married”
“You are too much, but I love you”, she replied.
There was a sense of relief in her voice.
“Sorry for waking you up baby” she apologized. It was now 1:45 am.
“No problem, mama, I just wished you were here to really wake me up”
She giggled and replied “Oooh really!!!”
We talked a little “big people talk” for another hour.
After I hung up I could not go to sleep. I felt guilty. Rosa knew something was not normal but it was the only way I could fix things. I then started to rationalize why I had to play this game with her.
As an illegal alien I had become a natural liar especially when it meant getting something I needed to survive. But my lying was mainly to people I work with, at school and casual acquaintances to “throw” them off the fact that I was an illegal alien.
It was difficult to lie to someone I cared about. In this case I had to do it. As the proverb says “a bird in hand is better than two in the bush”. I will do everything possible to keep that bird in hand as the two in the bush was not a sure thing. If it meant lying then so be it. I was getting married and eventually will be getting a green card.
I did not like who I was becoming. My need for a green card was more important than the love I had for Rosa or Angela.
My thoughts turned to Sue. She is an “instigator”. She started this. She was the one that told Rosa about the flowers. Can I blame her for looking out for Rosa? Like me she has a lot invested in this relationship working and us getting married. Eventually this relationship could lead to her getting a green card too. It took her a little longer to start the doctorate as there was a mishap in the credits she needed for the masters. She did not mind as it actually gave her more time to stay. She was working part-time on campus on a research project. She was also working off campus part-time at Walgreens. She had a social security card which she received through the school and a driver license which she got using her student visa. She was delaying her return to Jamaica so my future marriage was important. Her boyfriend, Sidney, was close to “getting through” as his business was doing well and he met the entire criterion for the special green card program for business owners. He had offered her a job at his import export business but she declined. She was very independent after the whole Ritchie “thing” and did not want any man “tying” her down. I was convinced she would only marry him as a last resort.
There was no reason to confront Sue because we had the same goal in mind. Get a green card.
The phone rang. Sue and I picked it up simultaneously.
“Hello”, I answered.
“Hello” the voice over the phone replied. It was Angela. I had not seen her since the “kiss”.
“Hello, who is this” Sue replied.
“Hello” Angela replied.
I kept quiet. Then I heard the phone “click”.
Someone hung up. I was not sure if it was Sue or Angela.
“Hello, Hello” Sue kept replying on the phone. She probably thought the click could be me hanging up.
I quickly did. I could hear Sue in her room still on the call saying “Hello”.
Sue stormed into my room.
“Do you know who that was?” she asked.
“No” I replied. Looking up from the newspaper I was reading.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes, that is why I hung up when you came on the line”, I replied in an exasperated tone which meant leave me alone while I read. I was lying. I figured I would use the multiple hang-ups to my advantage being she does not know who hung up first. “I thought it was someone you knew.”
She turned and walked out “No, I don’t know her but she sounded very familiar”.
I had forgotten that Sue knew Angela. She came to the old apartment a few times, however not enough for them to develop a friendship. I started to worry about Rosa. Was Sue going to tell Rosa about this call? Would I have to make up a new set of lies?
She did not have any real evidence. We did not have any of the new phone features to trace calls. Sue wanted them on the phone but I refused. I am glad I did.
Once Sue walked out the room my thoughts turned to the call. I was panicking.
I gave Angela my phone number when she told me about the problems with her husband. I told her to call me if there was an emergency. I wondered if there was an emergency. Was she okay? Did her husband do something to her? Did he hit her or try to hurt her? I had no way to contact her as she never gave me her phone number. I was happy that she reached out to me after not hearing from her since the “kiss” but I was very concerned. I replayed the tone of her voice on the phone to see if there was anything I missed. I felt helpless. I would have to wait till tomorrow to see her. That was if she was going to show up.
I spent a restless night trying to figure out what was going on.
The next day I waited in the lobby for her. Maybe I would see her today. It’s has been weeks since I last saw her.
I was not disappointed.
Angela appeared at the glass lobby doors. She was wearing a tight long dress. Appropriate for an office environment, but it was also very sexy. She was walking with a confidence I had not seen in a while. Her hair was down. She was walking towards me. I started to walk towards her. With each step I felt my heart tingling. I was excited. It was like I was seeing her for the first time. Our eyes met. There was magic.
The moment felt like something out of the movies. We would run to each other and embrace. We would then kiss passionately like in the romantic movies. That was the picture in my mind.
Then something strange happened. She turned around and started walking back out the lobby doors outside the building to the right.
Should I follow her?
A little voice in my heart said “Yes”
I quicken my pace to the lobby doors. I did not want to run and draw attention to myself.
I went through the doors and looked right.
It was weird. She disappeared. I felt abandoned and embarrassed. I looked around to see if anyone saw me following her to the doors. There was no one paying attention to me. They were all going about there business to their jobs.
As I walked back to the elevator I had mixed emotions about the situation. Why the heck did she call me if she was going to do that? Why is she playing with my mind? If she truly loved me why play these games? Who did she think she was? Why does she have this type of effect on me? I was angry. I vowed to get her out my mind and move on with my life.
Good thing I kept the “bird” in hand.
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