It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. Not even my “ill planed” adventure to test my green card stamp was as hard on me as this was. It was probably harder because I did not have any control.
“We are postponing the wedding” I announced over the phone to my mother.
There was “dead” silence on the other line. Time seemed to stop as I awaited her response. The few seconds seemed like hours.
Her response was understanding but also strange.
There was laughter then she said “You’re playing a cruel joke, right?”
“No, it’s true” I replied wishing it really was a joke.
“Why is it postponed, are you still together?” she asked with concern in her voice. She was looking for some hope.
“We are still together but we need to work some things out before we set a new date” I replied. I was being very diplomatic. It was not up to me if a new date would be set.
Next was a barrage of questions. None I wanted to answer.
“What do you mean when you said you and Rosa were working out some things” she asked.
“It’s private” I responded. I did not want to discuss it and got defensive.
My mother then went on the attack.
“I spoke to Rosa last week and she gave me no indication of anything going on. What did you do to her? Did you cheat on her?”
At first I was surprised but then I realized that this is what my Dad did to her. The man is always wrong in her eyes. It was the same thing with Sue. I wanted to tell her that her “dear Rosa” was the one calling things off. Her “dear Rosa” did not have the guts to tell her the “wedding was postponed” even though they spoke often.
“No, No, No” I was getting agitated. I wanted to get off the phone.
Then she asked who would tell the relatives traveling to Miami for the wedding.
“Rosa bought cards and will mail them this week. We are calling immediate family first,” I replied.
Mailing cards was a smart idea. I did not want to call and face the questions. It would be hard especially of the questions were like these. Rosa seemed to know exactly what needed to be done to cancel the wedding. After everyone was informed we would cancel with all the wedding vendors.
“Is money a problem? Your father and I can help”
My mother was now trying the money “angle” to find out what was wrong.
It was also a “slight” to Rosa’s parents. My mother thought they were poor because Dominican Republic shared the same island with Haiti. Rosa’s parents living in the countryside of the island also did not help my mother’s perception. Typically I would defend Rosa’s parents but I had no energy to do it as Rosa was the one who caused this. It may sound vindictive but they never may become my in-laws so no sense in defending them.
“No, it is not money”
She then started to cry. “What can we do to help” She asked.
“Nothing, you can’t do nothing.”
“Are you sure” she asked.
“Yes” I replied.
I hung up a few minutes later thinking of how this was affecting my mother. She loved Rosa like a daughter. They were very close. She was looking forward to having her as her daughter-in-law. My mother also probably boasted about the wedding to everyone and would have to “eat crow”. She would have to explain something that she did not have a clear explanation of what happened. She was in a tough situation.
How I wished I could explain what was happening but I was not sure either.
Two weeks into what I thought was a “reconciliation” turned out to be something else. That “something else” I cannot really explain.
I should have picked up on the signs right after our “reconciliation”. We were having “sex” not “making love”. This type of arrangement is probably great for most men but not for me. Women are emotional and tie feeling to everything. Rosa seemed to lack that feeling after that night of “reconciliation”. The physical act seemed disconnected with no emotion. It was not like she was performing a duty but it felt like if she was fulfilling a physically need. There was no cuddling or talking like in the past. No discussion on the approaching wedding date.
At first I was enjoying the “reconciliation” because it felt like I had a new Rosa. She was a different woman. She wanted me to stay every night. She was really wild. I soon realized that something was going on. I said something about the wedding one evening as we lay in bed. Her response was not what I expected.
“I still want to call the wedding off, as we work out things. We need time to build back this relationship”
She was in control. I had to bite my tongue.
“I understand,” I replied like a dog with his tail between his legs.
I wanted to scream why are we sleeping together if you are still trying to figure out what you want to do. I was the victim of what many women go through; confusing sex with love.
Then came the dagger to my heart.
“We have to start plans to cancel the wedding”
I did not want to hear that. I knew it would lead to the conversation I just had with my mother.
I told Sue first. She seemed to be prepared for it even though she knew I was sleeping at Rosa’s more nights than I used to. Sue mentioned she was “over” us getting married from the first time I told her about the reconciliation. She told me that us sleeping together is just a “booty call” that always happens with couples. I did not want to believe that. I felt that anyway we connect gave the relationship hope. I refused to give up as I invested too much in this relationship. Getting a green card was a part of the investment. I was convinced that eventually we would have a wedding. I was not going down with out a fight.
After telling my mother about the situation I had to tell the 2 people at work who I invited to the wedding. They would get the card in the mail but I know they would eventually confront me. I felt it was best to talk to them first.
First was Seth who had joined my team 9 months ago. He was in his lat 30’s and came from the Midwest. He was one of the nicest guys. He covered for me a few times and was my right had man. He was married before and got divorced after 5 years. It was a nasty divorce. He always teased me about getting married too young. He moved to Miami to get away from his wife’s family but mainly because he heard about the hot “Spanish women”. His response was not surprising. He told me it was probably the best thing as marriage is not that easy. He offered to take me to South beach to drink my troubles away.
Next was Charlene a supervisor on another team. She was an older heavy set black woman who was my “mother” figure while at work. She used to check on me each day to see how I was doing. She would always ask if I am “eating right”. When I told her we were postponing she asked what was wrong. I told her we were working on the relationship before we got married. She wanted to help. She did not know Rosa but wanted to meet her. She wanted to talk to us both. I told her I would get back to her. I knew Rosa was not going to meet with her.
As the months passed I was losing hope. I was now feeling as if would be is easier to cut the cord completely rather than hanging on by a string.
This is what this new “arrangement” felt like. I had to give, share my thoughts and be on my best behavior while being broken hearted. I felt I was on audition but never getting a grade.
It would have been easier to end the relationship and go through the pain of been broken hearted not being around Rosa. Each time I saw her it was reliving her canceling the wedding.
I had no choice. If I tried to cut things off it would seem I was going out looking for the next candidate to marry for a green card.
Rosa did not want to go out. We spend most of the time at her apartment. We only saw each other in the evenings. We barely spoke in the day.
It was a lifeless relationship of sex and I was depressed. I went through the motions of work, home and sleeping over at Rosa’s apartment. She refused to talk about how the relationship was going. Each time I mentioned it she would say things are “okay” and we don’t need to rush.
My mother called me every week to ask if we had set a new date for the wedding. She knew I was a “regular” at Rosa’s apartment as she heard me in the background one morning she called. This gave her hope. She thought things were back to normal and that we were living together to see what marriage would be like. I think she got the “living together idea from Rosa who mentioned it a few times when I talked about the relationship. In my opinion it was a “pacifier” for me and my mother.
It was one week before our originally scheduled wedding date. The pressure was getting to me. I was not sure how to cope with the situation. I had to talk to someone or I would lose my mind.
I caught Sue off guard one evening when I came home.
“What should I do?” I asked.
“You should end it” she responded firmly.
I was a little surprised she would say this. Her life also “hinged” on this marriage and me getting a green card.
She saw the puzzled look on my face.
“Rosa is my friend but she is playing you. She does not to want to continue the relationship but she does not like being lonely. I think it is because of her previous relationship when she lost her boyfriend and best friend. She had no one. She likes having a warm body around. You are that warm body. She is not going to marry you” Sue was blunt.
“How can you be so sure we can’t get back to where we were?” I asked. I was looking from some hope. Sue and Rosa were now talking more often. They were close again.
“I am sure. Trust me on this”, she replied emphatically.
I did not want to believe it but Sue is typically right when it comes to advice on my relationships with women. I figured I would continue. I just cannot believe there was no hope.
Maybe it is better to keep hanging on a string than to have nothing to hang on to.