A month after Amber left I was due for another visitor. My mother called to let me know my father was coming to Miami on business for 5 days. He would be attending a business conference at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Even though I felt really badly about my father’s new alleged round of cheating, I was excited to see him. I missed my family. I missed Jamaica. Family visiting always brings back some great memories of Jamaica.
The drive from the airport with my father did not go as expected. I was not looking for him to give me a firm hand shake and say he was proud of me. I expected a better reception than just a casual hello and pleasantries that I could get from a stranger. There was an awkward silence during the drive. He seemed preoccupied. As I drove I asked myself,” I took the night off from work for this?”
The next conversation we had was in the house. He asked where the phone was, he wanted to call someone. I showed him where he would sleep and the phone. He was taking my room and I would sleep on the couch in the living room.
He went straight to the phone and closed the bedroom door.
I could not believe it. I had not seen him in years and this is the way I am being treated. No matter what happens in life, a child wants some approval from a parent. He did not say anything about the house. He did not say anything about me now being a college graduate. Nothing.
I was not going to enjoy the next 5 days.
For the next 3 mornings I took my father to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the business conference he was attending. I was familiar with the Miami Beach Convention Center as I I had gone to an auto show there with Steven.
My father had a colleague who was also attending who took him home the first 2 evenings. They would get in late as they went to the mall after the conference each day.
On the 3rd day I picked him up. He told me he was visiting a friend and needed me to drop him there. He gave me an address. It was in Little Havana.
I wondered who he knew there but did not ask. I dropped him at an old Spanish style home. He got out the car and told me he would get a ride back home. I would be at work when he would get in so I would not see him until the next morning.
The next day when I got home he was there. The door was closed so I knew he was still sleeping. The 3 day conference was over so we would have to find a way to communicate for the next 2 days.
The phone rang. A lady called and asked for my father. She had a Spanish accent. I was about to tell her he was sleeping when I heard someone on the phone line.
“Hello”, It was my father.
“Hello papi, you miss me” her voice went to a high pitch like she was excited.
There was a pause. He did not respond. He knew I was on the call.
I quickly hung up the phone.
I could hear him talking on the phone through the door.
Twenty minutes later he came out the room.
He started a conversation with me.
“That was a good friend of mine who I met when I came here the last time.”
I said nothing.
“She is really funny and loves to flirt”
He knew I heard the greeting on the phone. He was trying to find out what I thought. I already knew it was probably a lady he had an affair with. She was probably the friend he met in Little Havana.
He changed the conversation. He asked about my job and how I liked it.
I responded even though I knew the conversation was not genuine. He was showing interest in me to deflect the affair he was having with this Spanish lady. He thought I was still a child and could be easily distracted.
I had some errands to run and told him I would be back by 1:00 pm. He had mentioned there were some last minute items he wanted to pick up at the mall. I would take him there when I got back.
I was not going in to work that night as it was my father’s last day. I would take him wherever he needed to go. He had an afternoon flight the next day and I would take him to the airport.
I was on my way back home by noon. When I got back to my townhome there was a car parked in my guest spot. It was a car I did not recognize. I slowly opened the door and heard moaning. Then it stopped.
My father and a young woman were naked on the couch. As soon as they realized I was at the door there was a “mad dash”. The young woman quickly grabbed her clothes and headed to the bathroom. My dad went to the bedroom.
I knew he was having an affair but to bring the lady to my house. I was still standing at the door in shock. I was not sure what I was to do. Was I to sit on the couch where they were having sex and wait for them to come out? I could not go to my room as my father was there. I went back outside and sat in the car.
Maybe the young lady would leave.
I was in the car for 20 minutes when the door opened and they both appeared. The young lady was dressed very provocatively in a tight blouse, tight mini skirt and high heels. What was worse was that she was about 21 years old.
I was hoping they would leave but my father had the “gall” to tap on my car window beckoning me out. I was still in shock. I put the car window down. He and the young lady came to the car door.
“I want you to meet my friend, Juanita”
She extended her hand to me and smiled. I shook her hand through the car window. She was a beautiful girl.
My father really had “ba**s”. He was acting like nothing just happened. Shaggy’s song “ Was’nt me” came to mind.
“Juanita, is going to take me to the mall, see you later” my father said.
They got into the car next to me and left.
I sat in the car for another 5 minutes trying to process what just happened. I could not. There is no way to process seeing my 56 year old father on top of a 21 year old girl. The image would be etched in my mind forever. I needed to get some sleep as I had worked the previous night. Maybe sleep would clear my mind.
I was not sure how long I was sleeping but I was awoken by arguing in the living room. I came out the bedroom to see what was going on.
My father and Juanita were arguing. She had a deep Spanish accent when she spoke English so you could not understand her fully.
“It’s over papi, I don’t love you. I don’t want to see you anymore” Juanita kept saying.
My father kept telling her she can’t do this. He kept telling her she owed him and she would have to pay it back. He was rambling on about all he did for her. He sounded like he was drinking.
My father’s back was towards me. Juanita was facing me.
She looked up and saw me.
“Tell your father to leave me alone. We cannot do this anymore. ” she was crying.
“Stop talking to him. He has nothing to do with this” my father replied.
“I am leaving” she replied.
My father jumped in front of her and blocked the door.
“You are not going anywhere” he shouted.
It was getting physical. She was trying to get by him and he was pushing her back.
I was worried the neighbors would hear the commotion and call the police. I needed to do something.
“Daddy let her go”
He looked at me and then looked at her. He saw the look of embarrassment on my face.
He walked away from the door and sat on the couch.
Juanita quickly left. I could hear her car “peel out” in the parking lot.
“Come here. Let me explain” my father said.
I did not want anymore “drama” so I stood in the kitchen listening to him talking. From time to time I would say “yes” so he would know I was listening.
My father was drunk. People always say men who are drunk don’t lie.
He started to talk about his affairs and all the women he had been with. He talked about how much he liked Juanita and how hurt he was with the break-up. He did not understand why she wanted to break-up with him. He explained that he took care of her. He was hurt that he took her to a nice restaurant and they had drinks then she broke up with him.
It was very awkward listening to my father talk about his personal life especially about my mother. It was like a release for him. I think he thought I would understand being man to man.
Your mother is very frigid and that is why I strayed. I don’t love the other women it was just sex. You know men have needs. Your mother sees sex as a chore.
I wanted him to stop talking. I did not want to hear any of his justifications on why he cheated on my mother. After seeing how she has suffered all these years there was nothing he could do or say for me to forgive his cheating. Humiliating her with his public cheating was unforgivable. My sisters and I were no longer hurt by the whispers of his cheating but were more concerned about my mother. I know there are two sides to every story but the way I loved my mother there was only one.
I have been careful not to have any outside children although there is one that I wonder about sometimes.
That was a bombshell. He was talking about Amy who he always denied was his child. She and I kept in touch every few months. Well maybe I should say she keeps in touch with occasional calls. I am bad with keeping up with people.
Then he dropped a bombshell.
Juanita was supposed to help you get a green card.
I looked at him puzzled by this.
“How do you think she got here? I paid for her trip from Cuba to Miami”
He explained that there was a go fast boat that does regular runs from Miami to Cuba and back. Cubans who arrive on US land get to stay. If they are caught at sea they are sent back to Cuba. Recently on TV we watched and incident where 2 Cuban men tried to reach the shores because of this “wet foot dry foot policy”. They were on a floating raft made from tire inner tubeS ½ mile from Miami Beach. The Coast Guard ordered them to get off the boat and unto the coast guard Vessel. They refused to and continue to paddle towards shore. They were determined to get to shore. On live TV we watched as they fought off attempts by the Coast Guard to reign in their raft. They used the oars to fight of the Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard finally reigned in the raft the men jumped and started swimming to shore. Nothing was going to stop them from reaching the shore. They showed people on the shore line cheering them on. Smaller boats tried to cut them off without success. Then one of the men stopped for a moment to catch his breath. He was tired and was caught. His friend made it to shore, but he did not. On a go-fast boat they would have both made it. Not everyone can afford a go-fast boat because of the cost.
My father did. He wired $5000 to a guy in Miami to pay for her trip. He also set up a Miami bank account for her to live off while she was being processed for a green card. Cubans enjoy a special privilege that allows them to get a green card (us residency) after a year and a day in the USA.
I was still wondering how his mistress was going to help me. Then he explained.
“Do you know why I did it?”,he asked a rhetorical question then answered it “I did this all for her only if she agreed to marry you after she gets her green card.”
I felt it was leading this way but did not want to believe it.
He continued. She was to move in with me to make the marriage look legitimate.
I could not believe my father came up with this plan. What was in it for him apart from a green card I would get?
“I would visit from time to time to be sure Juanita was keeping her end of the deal.” He stated.
That was it. The advantage would be that he would be sleeping with my “wife” and having an excuse to come to Miami.
“Now you will have to figure out getting a green card on your own” he said very sarcastically.
He made it seem like it was my fault I did not have a green card.
I was not going to take his behavior towards me anymore. Even though I was an illegal alien I did accomplish some good things. I had a college degree and I bought my own home. It was time I stood up to him.
“What do you mean about me figuring it out?”, I asked.
No answer. Then I heard snoring.
I looked over at him. He fell asleep in the middle of our conversation.
I took my father to the airport the next day. On the drive there we did not speak. The only word we said to each other was “Good bye”.
He did not call to say he arrived back in Jamaica okay. It would be 2 weeks before I heard anything about my father. My mother called me. She told me arrived back okay and he was going to Cuba on business that week.
I smiled and thought to myself “business as usual”