I loved my new routine of work and school. Most of my classes were late in the morning. I worked at night. I had time to run errands and do things I needed to do in the mornings at a time when most people were at work. I also could sleep later in the mornings if I chose to.
It was especially great because Rosa was not around to “use” me. I helped her move to Orlando and stayed the weekend. We went to Disney and our relationship started to feel like old times. Rosa was really happy. We spoke at least twice a week which was also strange. We were actually closer now that she was far away. Even though I missed the physical part of our relationship I enjoyed our conversations and the way we were rekindling our relationship.
I developed a close friendship with Steven, the Jamaican guy at work. He was an ex-basketball player for Florida International University. He came to the USA on a scholarship. He used to attend Kingston College (KC).
He was always bragging about KC and how they dominated school boy sports in Jamaica. I had nothing to brag about as Campion College won less popular sports like badminton, swimming and chess. He was very funny and was always “drawing cards” on me.
Steven was a womanizer and the store was where he found his “prey”. He would run to help any lady that came in the store and charm them. He would start a conversation showering his “prey” with compliments. This conversation would eventually lead to his conquest. Since we worked late nights it was not very busy in the store. He would disappear for hours to meet with his girlfriends. He would tell me about his parking lot escapades to avoid boyfriends and husbands. He had “girlfriends” of every kind; old, young, black, white, Hispanic. He would joke about being an equal opportunity lover.
He loved clubbing and would leave work and go straight to the club being that our shift sometimes ended early some days. The late nights/early mornings was the perfect to show up at the club looking “fresh” when everyone was winding down.
Steven talked me into going clubbing with him a few nights a week. I would take “party” clothes to work and change. The clubs he went to were different. It was not the usual reggae clubs that most Jamaicans went to. He went to clubs that played alternative and Spanish music. He was a woman magnet and some of it was rubbing off on me. At the club the ease of how Steven found women was uncanny.
One night he confided in me that he got his green card through a woman he met in the store. She was willing to marry him because she loved Jamaican men and wanted to help him. She was into him for the sex and nothing else.
Steven’s story inspired me in a strange way. It gave me the confidence that I needed to move on. Although the marriage was one of my main reasons for staying with Rosa, I think part of me lacked the confidence to meet another woman for a long term relationship. Hearing his story let me realize that I could find someone for a short-term relationship and marriage for my green card.
Now that I had made the decision to end the relationship I had to figure out how I would do it. What would I say? What would be my “break-up line”? It took me a few days but I came up with one.
I would tell her we were going in different directions in our lives and it was time for us to move on. I would tell her that I may be holding her back in her career and it was best for her.
I called Rosa but got her answering machine. I left her a message asking her to call me back as soon as possible.
She did not call until a week later.
The conversation started with us catching up with what was happening with us. We had not spoken in a week so there was a lot to talk about. She told me she was covering the late night shift of another doctor and was unable to call me sooner.
I was starting to feel bad about what I was about to do.
“What did you want to talk to me about?” I had left a message on her answering machine telling her that we needed to talk.
I hesitated. I was not ready. My life was flashing across my mind. Fear started to set in. How was I going to get a green card if I did not marry Rosa? All the time invested in this relationship was too much to throw away. Our relationship seemed to be moving in a new direction since she moved away. We have been closer and had more engaging conversations.
“I forgot what I wanted to tell you,” I was lying
“How could you forget, it sounded really important” she pressed.
She caught me.
“Oooh, I remember. I just needed to know if you would have some time off in 2 weeks as I may have some time to come visit” I was lying again.
My response seemed to trigger something in Rosa.
The tone of her response was surprising.
“No, I won’t have the time to see you”, she snapped back in a very strange tone.
“I had something to tell you” she said.
“What is it”
“I think it is time we end this relationship”
I felt nothing. I was not surprised. We both knew this was coming.
“Are you there?” she asked.
“Yes” I replied.
“Then say something” she asked.
“What do you want me to say” I replied.
“Do you want to know why I feel we should break up” she asked.
I did not but played like I did.
“Yes”, I replied “Is it me”
“No” she replied “I feel like we are going in different directions and we are holding each other back.”
I guess I was the one holding her back.
She continued “The last few months seemed a little different . We had been talking more and the conversations were better. But after thinking about it, I started to feel like we are brother and sister”
Wow. That was a low blow. I thought to myself. She was using the same “lines” I was going to use to break up with her.
I did not know what to say.
“So are you saying this is it” I was not sure why I asked.
“Yes, this is it” she replied.
At first it felt like her previous attempt to break up with me but I soon realized there would be a big difference. She was in another city.
It seems so sudden. There must be something going on. There must be someone else. I had to ask.
“Is there someone else?”
“No” she replied.
“Are you sure”, I asked.
“There is no one else”, she insisted, “I just think it is time we moved on”
Silence. I did not believe her. The snappy response to me coming there was a giveaway she did not want me there. Also the explanation that she could not call me back because she was doing a late night shift seemed like she was covering up something.
“I am going to hang up now. Goodbye”
I hung up the phone and lay in bed. Her voice saying “Good bye” ran in my head. The song “Careless Whisper” by Wham came to mind, especially the part about “truth”.
I’m never gonna dance again
guilty feet have got no rhythm
though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
Should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
and waste the chance that I’ve been given
so I’m never gonna dance again
the way I danced with you
Time can never mend
the careless whispers of a good friend
to the heart and mind
ignorance is kind
there’s no comfort in the truth
pain is all you’ll find
I was not sure how to feel. On one hand I was happy and other I was sad. Rosa had been a very important part of my life. I confided in her that I was an illegal alien and she accepted that even though she knew there were constraints. We were planning a life together. My family worshiped her. How would I tell them? Would they blame me again like they did before when the wedding was called off.
Sue’s hope for getting her green card through me was now gone. She was close to finishing her Masters. She had ruled our trying to apply for a student visa to study for a Doctorate as my parents could not afford it. There was so much riding on me getting married and now in a 10 minute conversation it was gone.
I started to grieve. I was grieving because my only “sure” hope for a green card was gone.
The one thing I could say was that I was not the one to break if off. Not the greatest consolation but it was something.