I Finally Realize It
By Roldens Paulynice
Was I a famous and a friendly guy? Yes, I was. At school, I was known by everyone. I was smart and friendly. But I was not a lucky guy in terms of romantic relation. I had always fallen in love for girls who did not even care about me or who would cause me pain. Especially for these girls, I used to wear my heart in my hands. That was, I used to fall in love easily for them.
I was funny, and that helped me to have all those friends who would later cause me pain or cause me to face humiliation in my life.
But those pains and those humiliations helped me to grow. They helped me to become a better man, and I learned from them.
They inspired me to write me this.
I had just graduated from a community college. I attended a public university. During the first week of school, everyone who lived in the dorms, as usual, would stay outside to meet new people and get to know them.
I was outside, sitting on a black chair in front of my door apartment. As I sat, I saw two girls passing by. “Hey,” one of them said. “How are you doing?”
“I am doing great,” I responded. “What about you?”
“Normal, as usual,” she replied. “What is your name?”
“Nicky!” I said.
Nicky was a nickname that everyone used to call me; as a result, it became my preferred one. That meant, if anyone asked me what my name was, I would say that my name was Nicky.
Usually, even though I was friendly, I never initiated a conversation with someone that I did not know. I was shy when it came to that. People that I did not know usually were the initiators of almost every first conversation.
When those people became my friends, they would feel surprised because they did not expect that I would be so open with them like that.
“My name is Sarah,” said the girl.
Sarah was beautiful. She had long hair. To me, she was one of the most beautiful girls that ever existed on the face of this earth. However, she did not impress me that much because I did feel more attracted to the other girl, the girl who was with her.
“What is your name?” I asked the other girl.
She smiled and said nothing.
Sarah said to her as Sarah petting her right shoulder, “He is talking to you.”
“Mhmh,” she mumbled. “My name is Jenny.”
“Why you give him the wrong name?” said Sarah. “Her name is Camellia.”
I responded to Sarah, “Thank you.”
Sarah was twenty-years-old as she told me. She was a junior at the university, majoring in communication. She lived in the sixty eighth apartment. “I like your dress code,” said Sarah. “I would like to become friends with you.”
As usual, I liked to dress. I was known by everyone as a great dresser since back at my community college. A lot of girls had liked my style because of my dress code. As a result, many of them became my friends.
I told Sarah that I was twenty-two-years-old, a junior, majoring in business. I had passion for writing. “I live in this building,” I said to Sarah.
I exchanged phone numbers with her. Before she left, she gave me a hug.
I tried to shake hands with the other girl. “I don’t shake hands,” she said as she placed her hands in her pocket.
“Shake hands with the man Camellia,” Sarah yielded. “Don’t do something like that.”
In a desperate way, Camellia handed me her left hand, and I shook it tenderly.
As I shook her hand, I could feel something. I could feel that there was something that was beating and transforming within me that I was incapable of describing. I felt so blessed that day to shake hands with her. However, I also felt that a part of me seemed to tell me that something between me and her wasn’t common.
The moons delicate light had just turned the world a-flame with silver when I shook her hand. She had a comely figure, which was stem-thin. Her curvilinear waist didn’t surprise me as much as the saffron tint to her complexion. She must be a native, I thought to myself. Her crescent shaped eyebrows inclined slightly as she saw me staring at her. I yelped at being caught.
When I came closer, I noticed her scrolled ears and her elegant nose. I felt somehow different. It was love at first light that I felt. Her luminous, heavenly-white teeth flashed as she pawed at me with her film star nails. Her hair was a glorious tumble of star beam-gold and her virility-brown eyes set my heart a-thump.
“Good night,” said Sarah.
“Thank you,” I responded. “Have a great night.”
Sarah gave me a hug again before she left. She waived her right hand at me as she walked to her apartment.
During that night, I had met a lot of people, especially females, but unfortunately, Camellia was the one who preoccupied my mind.
Before I left home to go to the university, my mom told me something. “Be careful with people, especially girls. In this country, they have all the power,” I remembered she said to me.
I had just been hurt in the past by someone who did not care about me. All I wanted at that time was someone to cure me, someone that my heart and my soul would really want. I was looking for someone who would show me what love-something that I had never really experienced for a long time-was all about.
I did not want to get hurt again because I knew how it felt. “It is painful,” I said to myself.
Even if I had been hurt so much in the past, I still believed in love. I wasn’t trying to be revengeful. I was ready to forgive all the ones who had been hurt me so that I could start all over again.
There was something that had always happened to me in my life. The people whom I truly loved never felt the same way that I did and never cared about me, but those who did love me and care about me, I did never feel the same way that they did.
There were times that I wondered, was it my destiny?
I did not decide that for myself. It was the heart that decided.
My destiny simply did not give me the chance to avoid those pains, those tears.
My heart was ready to love, but unfortunately, it could not find the right person.
The next day had come. In the morning, Sarah called me and asked me about how I was doing.
I told her that I was great. “How are you doing?” I asked. “How is your friend?”
She responded, “I am doing okay, and she is doing okay.”
“That is great,” I said with a joyful voice.
Sarah said that she spent the whole night thinking about me. She thought about calling me, but she did not want to disturb me in my sleep. “I thought that you were sleeping,” said Sarah.
I told Sarah that I was thinking about Camellia. I wondered, how could I get close to her ?
She laughed desperately on the phone. She said in a desperate way, “Okay.”
As usual, since back home, I liked to watch sport, especially basketball and soccer. One day, I went to the main room of the village. A lot of people watched a football game final on a big TV screen. I watched the entire game with them. Everyone was noisy. Both teams were playing very well. That satisfied almost everybody.
I was the only one who was quiet in the room because I did not like football. I did that also because I did not like to talk around people I did not know that much.
Since that day, it became usual for me to go to watch sport in that room. There were times when I was in that room, I used to see two policemen. I never talked to them. I was always quiet in the room.
One day, one of the policemen asked me what my name was. “Why you never talk?” they said. They told me their name. I gave them my name in return.
Even still, anytime I went to the room, I always was quiet. I never had a deep conversation with them.
There was a time that Sarah called me. She told me that her father was a billionaire. He owned many businesses, encouraging her to major in business, but she was more interested in communication or journalism. She told me that her father paid for all her school expenses.
“What is your father's name?” I asked her.
She told me that her father was named Christ.
When I asked her to tell me a little bit about Camellia, she responded that Camellia was a multimillionaire. Her father was a football player, and her mother was a singer; as a result, that made her judgmental or snobby. “That may be why she did not even want to shake hands with you when you first meet her,” said Sarah.
After Sarah told me that, I could feel something within me. I felt intimidated and petty. From there, I started thinking about how I could get in contact with Camellia. I had found no way despite all those deep thoughts.
When it came to me, I was intelligent , but I did not have money. I came from a poor family. I relied on my parents to pay for my education. I did not receive any grant from the government, but I received one from the school that I came from because of my intelligence. My father was a farmer, working all day and all night to educate me. My mother was a merchant, selling candy down the street.
There were times that I struggled financially in the dorm. After I paid for all my school expenses, I had inadequate money to keep up for the rest of almost every semester.
I did not have a car, not even a bicycle for little.
My father's name was Jean Jacques. Being a farmer wasn’t a big deal for my father because he believed that he was doing this type of job to educate his children. He was sixty-five-year-old.
For that, I had much more respect for my parents, and I made a commitment to myself not to disappoint them.
As usual, at the university, I went to the pool every afternoon.
One day, on the afternoon, as I was plunging in the pool, I saw Sarah, Camellia, and a girl were coming.
When they arrived, they said to me, “Nicky! How are you doing?”
“I am doing great,” I responded to them as I got out at the pool to come to shake hands with them.
The pool was white-lined like a sheet covering its bottom. The shape was that of a rectangle with its edges smooth and rounded. It was filled with glittering water clear as the sky, not murky anywhere. It sloped gently, going far down enough that I couldn't guess the depth. Some parts were tiled, and the tiles glinted in the sun, making the water glint and shimmer even more. There were no waves-all was still. The water was so calm. It looked like I could walk out on to it and just keep walking forever, never getting wet at all. Like a silvery blue sidewalk, it was straight and formal looking. When I looked at it, my instinct was to dive in, dive down, down, down...all the way to the bottom, however far that might be. As I looked closer and my first awe wore off a tiny bit, I noticed some peculiar things. One was that there was a little ledge right before the water began, and water was constantly rushing into it and falling down into. I also saw the walls-they white, true- but. They also had little markings on them, mostly crosses and thick lines. I saw that these markings continued on as tile down the way on the bottom. These were the tiles I had seen before, and I wondered about them.
“Her name is Betty,” said Sarah as she pointed one of her fingers at the girl that I did not meet before.
“My name is Nicky,” I said to Betty.
Betty was stunningly gorgeous, like a painting of a goddess brought to life. She smiled sweetly at me, and her eyes sparkling like stars flaunted on the night sky. She was a girl’s honey-sweet voice. I looked at her leisurely, and there she was. She was one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever seen. She wore a simple white dress with a gold braided belt. Her hair was long, wavy, and golden brown, falling brilliantly over her chest. The girl’s face was milky white, with large dazzling chocolate brown eyes and kissable cherry lips.
After a while, I was looking at Camellia. She stayed speechlessly. She did not want to get in contact with me. But I knew. I knew better why.
Without hesitation, I dove back at the pool.
After a couple of minutes, I talked to Betty, exchanging phone numbers with her. She was welcoming me as her friend.
Even if I was talking to Betty, although camellia saw that, she did not say a word.
It was time for the pool to clean. The guy who was in charge was coming. He was big and had strong muscle. He came with a lot of materials including a pool cleaner machine to do the job.
“Hey guys, I am not going to be there later,” he said. “May you do me a favor please? May you let me clean the pool ? I am sorry for the inconvenience.”
“Yes,” we responded.
Camellia, Sarah, Betty, and I left the pool. I headed to my room. When I was about to arrive, I said goodbye to them and got inside. Camellia, Sarah, and Betty walked to their apartments.
After a couple of hours, I went to class.
The class was now over. I headed to the village's main room, the IVP room, to watch TV.
The heat was playing. The room was full of people making noises. Usually, it had been for years in Florida since most people were heat fans.
“Why you never talk?” asked one of the officers.
“You are always quiet,” said an officer.
I laughed secretly to myself.
I was quiet not only because I did not like to talk but also because I was thinking about how I could be in a relationship with Camellia.
The officer said that his name was Lieutenant Roro as he shook hands with me.
“My name is Evens,” said the other officer. “You are welcome to talk to us anytime. You cannot be quiet all the time.”
When the game was over, I shook hands with them and said good bye.
I was going to sleep.
The next day had come. It was a Saturday morning. Sarah called me, inviting me to go out with Betty, Camellia, and her. She advised me to call Betty to confirm to her that I was going to the party.
I called Betty. I told her that I was going to the party.
“Great,” she responded.
Betty profited this occasion to tell me that she was twenty-years-old. She was a freshman at the community college of the city.
I told Betty a little bit about me.
After an instance, Sarah was coming with a 2012 BMW. It was the car of the year.
Betty, Camellia, and Sarah were extremely beautiful. They got out in the car. They dressed extremely proper.
“Hey Nick,” I remember Sarah said when she got out in the car to come to hug me.
She kissed me on the front head and on the mouth. She opened the car's door for me so that I could sit in. She closed the door after a while.
“How are you all doing?” I asked Betty and Camellia in the car.
“Great,” responded Betty with an exciting voice.
Camellia, on the other hand, responded with a little voice as she did not want to respond, “Okay.”
“Are you ready for the party?” asked Betty.
“Yes,” I said. “I am ready.”
Sarah said, “Let’s go.”
She started up the car and drove it.
When we arrived, we got out at the car and headed to where the party was.
The party took place at a pub, a drinking establishment, which the local folks came to relax and socialize after a hard day of work or enjoy the weekend with friends and townsfolk. The selections of beers were varied as the local customers, and there were many brews that originated from the local area, and there was a brewery behind the building with its metal exterior hidden from the street. The walls were a variety of brown hues that glowed golden from the yellow lights hanging from the rafters. The interior had a warm glow to it that had a homey feeling. This homey feeling caused the people to forget their worries and chat with the locals. The pub was a place that was not too small, but not a nightclub either. Some people enjoyed the beer, wine, and spirits, but a few overdue it sometimes if they got rowdy and had to leave. It was peaceful and homey once again. Eventually, the townsfolk left the pub for what some of the men call "their other home" with their wives and children. After a while, music was playing.
As I was at the party, “Would you like to dance with me?” Sarah asked me.
“Yes,” I responded.
As I was dancing with Sarah, I could feel something. I could feel within me that she felt something for me. She felt something that seemed to be special. She danced with me in a way that no other girl had ever done before. Like I was more than her boyfriend, she was dancing with me. She hugged me and kissed me as she definitely wanted to give me something that was holy during that night.
As I was dancing, Camellia was the only one who was in my mind. I kept looking at her as she sat somewhere with Betty.
“Why you keep looking at her?” said Sarah.
“I want to get in contact with her,” I responded.
The music was now over. Sarah and I stopped dancing.
“May you do me the favor to dance this new music with me please?” I tenderly demanded Camellia.
She responded, “I do not want to dance Sr.” But she danced the music with Betty.
Soon, the pub was empty and then was closed for the night, only repeating the same pattern for tomorrow.
We left the pub to go home.
Still, I did not give up. I always wanted to talk to Camellia. She humiliated me sometimes, but I continued to persevere.There were times if I tried to talk to her, she would walk away without saying a word. When she did that, I would follow her for a second chance. I would say to her, “Please talk to me. Why you don’t want to talk to me?” She would use profanity to disrespect me.
Camellia thought that I was crazy. She thought I did not have shame. It was not that I did not have shame, but it was something that was extraordinary inside of me that stimulated me to act like that. I simply did not understand or did not know how to control it. It was something that I knew that almost everybody felt and experienced before. It was the soul that directed me to where that it wanted. There was nothing that I could do but obeyed it. It was a heart that beat within me. I needed that heart so that I could continue to live. I had to please it. I did not want it to fall apart. I was trying to do what it told me to do.
I was so thirsty of her love. I consequently looked naïve, but I wasn’t stupid. I looked desperate.
I was so patient and tolerant toward her.
Seeing her made me feel so blessed and so alive. I would sit by her class everyday just for that.
She used to work at the university. I would sit outside of the building that she worked at so that I could see her or get in contact with her. When she got out, there were times that I would say hey to her. If she did not respond, I would say to her as I followed her for a second chance, “Please talk to me.” She would ask me to leave her alone or to stop annoying her. Sometimes I would tenderly respond, "But I do the things that I do because I care about you." Sometimes she would get mad at me.
In the country that I went to study, it was against the law to contact someone consistently or too much especially if the person did not want to get in contact with you. It was a crime; as a result, they would consider you as a criminal. Following someone was also unsuitable especially when you inappropriately pursued the person when she did not want you to.
Back in my country, it wasn’t that much a big problem, particularly if you loved the person, unless you tried to harm.
It was also a good thing in my country to hug anybody even if the person was a woman. When you hugged or kissed someone on the cheek, especially your parents or family members, you showed unity, friendship, love, and respect.
Men kissed men on the cheeks and hugged as a way to show love and unity.
Like any Haitian family, it was mandatory for children to kiss or hug their friends, the adults of the community, or their family members after coming from to school or church. If they did not do it, their parents or the adults would beat them up. They would consider them as disrespectful children.
It was also awkward and offensive to shake hands with a woman. You had to hug or kiss on the cheek.
It was offensive because when you shake hands with a woman, it simply meant that you considered the woman as a malgason.
"Malgason is a creole word that means gay or lesbian," an Haitian would respond to you if you asked one question regarding this word or its definition.
Most Haitian women or rarely, if ever, all of them, did not like to be called by this name.
Homosexuality was almost unacceptable in Haiti, and almost no one wants to be considered as such, but there were few women and men who were gays. However, most women may not want to accept a handshake from anyone to avoid being considered as such.
You had to hug or kiss on the cheek.
However, in the United States, it was different. It was against the law to do something like that. Shaking hands with somebody could even be against the law depending on the circumstances, a hug was a bigger deal, and a kiss was the worst thing that you could do.
It was considered as sexual harassment.
Police would arrest you as a sex offender. A sex offender was a person who committed a crime involving a sexual act, such as harassing men, women, or children sexually.
As a sex offender or once you had sexual harassment charge filed against you, you would not allow to stay around females, especially kids. Convicted sex offender faced notably strict probation. You could not visit any public park. You would be forbidden from owning a smartphone or using the Internet or computer and not allowed to talk to anyone younger than 17, even immediate family. You would ban from going to any establishment that served alcohol, and you had to be home before 8 p.m. every night. Sometime it may be before 5 p.m. Convicted sex offenders were forbidden from visiting any public areas where there might be children, so a convicted sex offender also wasn’t allowed to live in his or her parents’ house or any family member’s house if the house was 800 feet of a public boat ramp, just shy of the 1,000-foot distance minimum. They may force you to leave jail, go to a house, and be by yourself, and be lonely basically. It may be hard to find a place to live either. I meant because of all of the restrictions. You almost could not live in any city in the country at all because you had to be so many feet from a school, a church, and a park. You had to stay in a place that like a desert in any city that met the distance requirement. They tried to make you felt like you were less than a monster. They wanted you to be a monster. You got treated worse than a murder.
An action was considered as a type of crime if the other person saw it as such type of crime.
Any unwanted touch was considered as a battery or an assault.
The law was too excruciatingly complicated in this country.
Contacting someone too much was considered as harassment or stalking.
However, unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of those.
I became more unaware of those especially when my female friends at the university would jump on me to hug me and kiss me. It wasn’t one or two friends. It was more than many.
As a result, when I saw them, I would do the same thing in reciprocity. I would give them a friendly hug, an innocent hug, even if their boyfriends were there. Their boyfriends would not care. They knew me as a friendly guy. It wasn’t only my friends and their boyfriends who knew that. It was almost everybody.
I would friendly hug them in return without expecting anything bad in reciprocity.
At that time, Betty and Sarah were my best friends.
There were times that I used to talk to my father, Jean Jacques. He used to tell me that he had been going through a lot with females. He knew how they were.
“Females, especially those who are your friends, are hot and cold at the same time,” my father used to say to me. “When they are with you alone, they would do anything with you. Hug you. Kiss you. Play with you anyhow. When they are with their boyfriends, they would pretend that they do not even know you.”
He used to tell me things also about romantic relation.
He said to me one day, “Sometimes the way that you feel for a woman is not how she feels about you. When a circumstance like that presents, all you have to do is move on. If you continue to stay, you will get hurt by almost every single thing that she will do to you.”
What my father used to say weren’t big deals to me. I did not believe in them. I rather believe in perseverance. No matter how hard was it for you, it was better to persevere. I did believe in friendship.
My friends would hug me and kiss me. I would do the same thing in return when I saw them. Even in front of their boyfriends, they would do it. I would do it too sometimes.
Even if Camellia showed me that she did not feel the same way and did not care, I did not surrender.
Sarah, on the other hand, would do her best to listen to my voice at least once a day. She used to sit in front of my class every morning, waiting for me so that she could at least see me or get in contact with me. She would call me every day, asking me to go out with her sometimes.
I could not even say hey to Camellia. She would get mad if I did. But she was the one that my heart and my soul wanted.
I felt that I got comforted from my pain when I said hey to her.
On the other hand, I would ignore Sarah sometimes when she asked me to go out with her. There were times when I decided to go out with her, she would pay for everything.
She said certain things to me sometimes to impress me or to stimulate me so that I could make the first move. “You look cute," she said sometimes. " I like the way you dress. Is there anything that you like about me?”
I would respond, “Thank you. I like all my friends, and I like everything about them.”
One day, she said, “Nick, don’t you know that someone is dying for you?”
I laughed. I knew for sure what she meant, but I used other statements to contradict hers or to fight against what she really wanted to say to me.
I would even ask her sometimes, “How is Camellia?”
She would laugh and said to me, “Camellia does not care about you. There is someone who cares about you. Try to make the first move instead.”
One day, I called Betty and told her that I had been going through something in my life for so long. I told her that I wanted to get in contact with Camellia.
“I am going to try to help you out,” said Betty.
The next week had come. It had been the end of Spring Break. I went to my economics class. After the class was over, I went to sit in front of the class of Camellia.
As she got out in her class, I stood up and said, “Hey Camellia! How are you doing?”
“Don't talk to me,” responded Camellia. “Can you leave me alone please?”
As I tried to approach her, she slapped me in the face.
This day was one of the most painful days that I ever had in my life. I cried secretly to myself. I let her go.
I went to my room. I took a shower. I laid down on my bed, thinking about what had been happening to me and about some possible course of actions that I could take. After a couple of minutes, I fell asleep.
The afternoon had come. I woke up. I took a shower again. I headed to class.
It was becoming more usual for me to go to sit by Camellia’s class every day. I did it just to see her, and that helped me to cope with the tribulation. Seeing her pleased me and lessened my pain. When she got out, I never said a word to her because I took deep and great cautiousness. I was afraid of receiving a slap from her again. The first one was painful.
Betty told me one day that Camellia wasn’t interested in me. However, I did not get discouraged by what she said.
The summer just came. It was very hot. The sun was blazing that day; its unbearable heat kept me within the confines of the air-conditioned house. No one could bear to be outside. I felt as if I was in an oven every time I stepped outside my door. I stood behind the glass doors and watched the roses sway gently in the breeze outside. I placed my hands on the warm glass and tapped my painted red fingernails against its surface. I remembered watching my gardener earlier that day back home, working hard at weeding despite the heat. I smiled appreciatively. I had done a great job. The lawn was neatly mowed, the grass as green as grass could be.
After a while, I went to class. After a while, I went to sit in front of the class of Camellia. I tried to talk to her. She got mad. She closed the door on my face.
Hours passed by. I went back to class. When I got out, I saw Sarah sitting on the floor. She was waiting for me. As I got out in the building, she walked quickly. She hugged me and kissed me.
“How are you doing?” she asked.
I responded, “Terrible.”
“Sorry to hear that,” said Sarah.
I said nothing.
She said, “Is there anything that I can do to make you happy today?”
“Nothing,” I responded. “The problem is Camellia. Unless you can help me to get in contact with her, my day will be great."
“Nick, my honey, there is nothing that I can do about that,” responded Sarah. “Camellia does not care about you. But don’t you know that there is someone who cares about you and loves you? She feels pain for you. She suffers for you. She is ready to show you what love is all about.”
“I don’t know,” I responded.
“If you do not know,” she responded as she got closer to me to touch my chess, “I am the one nick. I have been suffering for you since the day that I met you. I used many different strategies to show that to you; you could not get it. You could not understand.”
“It is okay,” I responded to her. I did not want to hurt her. There was nothing else than that I could say at that time. I kept imagining about what it had been like to see that I could not get in contact with Camellia. That statement kept going through my mind, or I kept saying to myself, "I love Camellia; I love Camellia; and I love Camellia."
She smiled. She hugged me and kissed me.
I called Betty. Betty told me that Camellia was great. “She is not interested in you, “said Betty. “There is someone who cares about you. She loves you. She is ready to do whatever it takes to fight for you in whatever circumstance.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Would you like to know who this is?” said Betty.
“Not really,” I responded suspiciously.
"Anyway, I am going to tell you. I can not keep this secret to myself anymore. It had to be revealed. Sarah is the one my friend,” said Betty. “She loves you.”
I responded, “I have to take some time to think about that.”
" I know that," said Betty.
"Okay," I responded to Betty.
The next day had come. I stepped by Camellia’s room. I wanted to talk to her. After less than a quarter of an hour, she got out. She was about to go to class. I knew. I knew better. I knew for sure how she dressed when she would go to class.
“Hey,” I said to her as she walked.
“Hey,” she responded. “How are you doing?”
I responded, “I am doing wonderful."
I was smiling as a way to show my happiness to her. I could not believe that Camellia talked to me. I had been looking for that for a long time. My day would be great. It was the best moment of my life so far. That was, I got in contact with a girl who made me feel somehow different that any other girl never made me feel and would never make me feel.
“May I talk to you for a while?” asked Camellia.
I was happier when she said that. As a result, I said to her with a smile on my face, “Yes, it is a pleasure.”
“I talk to you today,” said Camellia, “because of Sarah. I feel someone’s pain, and I want you to take that in consideration. I feel my friend's pain. I feel Sarah’s pain.”
Camellia told me that she was talking to Sarah yesterday. Sarah told her that she was suffering for me. Camellia went on to say that she could feel, perceive, or sense Sarah's pain when Sarah explained that to her. Sarah's eyes were watering with tears. "She really loves you Nicky," said Camellia.
I said, "Okay."
“Please do me a favor,” said Camellia. “It is painful to me to see that my friend is suffering. Please her. Do something.”
I took a deep breath and said nothing. “Just give me some time to think about that,” I responded after a couple of seconds.
“Take that in consideration please,” said Camellia.
I said nothing. I took deep breath. I stayed speechlessly.
“I have to go to class,” she said. “We'll talk later.”
I went home. I laid down on my bed, continuing to take deep breath. I kept thinking about what I should do in a situation like that.
The comforter on the bed was so fluffy and soft, the pillows on the bed were overwhelming, and the softness against my skin was unbelievable. As a result, I fell asleep.
Camellia and I became friends. She became friends with me because she wanted me to go with Sarah. We talked to each other on the phone almost everyday, going out sometimes. We talked to each other about our personal experiences. I used to tell her about how I had been hurt in the past. She used to also tell me about how she had been hurt. As a matter of fact, she continued to try to convince me that I should go with her friend, Sarah.
“I have to think about that,” I used to say to her.
It felt like I had found a piece of me that was missing the whole time when I was around Camellia. I felt complete. My heart beat as if it wanted to come out of my body so that I could hand it to Camellia. I was blind to the bad qualities of Camellia. The qualities that I saw were all good and beautiful, and I did not care if she did not have a nice smile or clear skin; I looked beyond all that. I seemed to appreciate the smaller things in life when I did them with her. I felt like I would want to give to her everything, things that I did not even possess, no matter how much it was, and I did not expect anything in return from her but her love, her heart. The sound of her voice pierced me every time I heard it. But I felt embarrassed when I was around her. I felt petty. I felt embarrassed to tell her how I felt. I wondered, what would she said if I told her how I felt? How would she react if I said those three magical words- I love you- to her? How would she feel around me? Would she feel comfortable? Would she feel uncomfortable? I felt embarrassed to tell her how I felt. That became the most painful thing that I could ever experience in my life. That was, I felt incapable of telling her how I felt, how I loved her.
I called my mother one day. I told her that I fell in love for a girl, but I felt intimidated and petty to tell her how I felt because she came from the upper class. I came from the lower class. I felt embarrassed. “I am a poor," I said to my mother. “She may belittle me.”
“Do not think like that," my mother responded. “Love does not know if you are a poor or a rich. It does not have any barrier. It does not care who you are. It makes all of us feel the same way. It makes us blind, making us forget about status or social class. If she loves you, she will not care. If she belittles you, she does not love you.”
“Okay,” I said to my mother.
She said, “Tell her how you feel. Tell her that you love her. Do not be embarrassed. Do not feel petty.”
I usually called Betty, telling her secretly that my heart did not belong to Sarah.
I could feel within a part of me that my heart made the wrong choice. Another part, on the other hand, felt that it belonged to the person that I truly admired or loved.
Betty used to tell me that Camellia did not like me. I made the wrong choice. “She is now friends with you because of Sarah,” said Betty.
One day, I called Camellia, and I told her that she was the one that my heart and my soul really wanted. She was the one who preoccupied my dreams. I felt that my heart did not belong to any other one. I could not help myself. I could not fight this feeling anymore.
“I love you,” I said to Camellia. “I have been suffering for you for so long. Since the first day that I met you, it has been. I need your love to survive. I need your love in my life. I need your hands so that I can move on.”
“Laugh out loud,” responded Camellia. “You fall in love for the wrong person. I am not the one. Sarah is the one. Go tell her those sweet melodies. They are not for me.”
“Please take that pain and that love in consideration,” I said to her.
“I am going to do something. I will call you tomorrow,” said Camellia.
The next day had come. Sarah called me and told me that she knew what I told Camellia. That would not stop her from continuing to love me. She would stand until the end. She would like to have me one day and fall in love with me until the end of time. She would wait until she had to use her last breath to tell me that she loved me.
I said nothing.
After a couple of seconds, “I'll call you back,” I said to Sarah.
I called Camellia. I continued to pursue her. She told me that she did not even like me. She wanted me to leave her alone.
“Sarah is the one who loves you,” said Camellia. "I am not the one."
Camellia went on to say that she talked to me because of Sarah but not because she wanted to hear the stuff about how I felt.
“If you do not stop,” said Camellia, “I'll stop talking to you. The only thing that I can do is that I can stay friends with you. Leave me alone.”
After a couple of weeks, on a December day, Sarah called me and told me that she could not help herself. She needed my help. She could not wait on me anymore. Her heart was currently breaking into pieces. She definitely needed me in her life.
“I am coming to see you tomorrow,” I said. “Please give me this short period of time so that I can carefully think a little bit about everything.”
I called Camellia. I kept telling her how I felt. She got mad. She hanged off the phone on my face. I called her back. She did not answer.
Sarah called me. I chose not to pick up because I had my own problem. She came to knock on the door of my room. I acted like no one was in the room. I did not say a word.
I did not know what I would say to her. I had promised her that I would call her.
Still, I did not give up in Camellia. I called her. She never picked up. I texted her. She did not text back. Nothing worked. I tried to contact her on Facebook. She did nothing in return.
I called Betty. The first thing that she told me was that Sarah was in tears. Sarah said that I never called her. She never heard from me. She called me. I did not pick up. She texted me. I did not text her back.
“I have my own problem,” I responded to Betty. “I really do not have time for thing like that.”
I told Betty that I never heard from Camellia.
"The girl does not like you," said Betty. "Leave her alone. Sarah is the one who loves you. If you want to get in contact with Camellia or stay friends with her, you have to stop annoying her."
After a while, something came to my mind. I was confused. I felt pain. I was desperate. My eyes were watering. No one could take off the tears in my eyes.
It could be painful to stay friends with her if I could not have her. It could be worse if I could not talk to her at all. She could comfort me if I stayed friends with her. But if I stayed friends with her, it could be difficult for me to express my feeling to her. “I do not know what to do,” I said to myself.
One day, I was in my room. I took my radio and a disk. I recorded my voice. I wanted to say something to Camellia. As I listened to the recording of my words, I could feel all my pain. I felt my tribulation. I felt my anguish. I perceived my deepest pain. I felt that my life was in darkness. I needed Camellia’s presence to brighten my life.
After a couple of days, Betty was at the university. I gave her the disk. I said to her, " May you give this disk to Camellia for me please.”
She took it. she said that she would give it to Camellia.
“Thank you,” I said.
She responded, “You are welcome.”
Betty said good bye to me. She left.
After a couple of days, I received a letter.
I went to my room. I opened the letter. The letter was from Sarah.
As I read the letter, I felt not only Sarah’s pain but also my pain. I could feel that it looked like that we both were going through the same situation. Unfortunately, I could not help her out. I had to take care of the problems that I had. My paramount goal at that time was having Camellia. I felt that being friend with Camellia would not be adequate for me to ease my pain, but having her would completely change my life.
After I read that letter, my phone rang. It was a call from Camellia. I felt so happy. I thought that the words that I had recorded persuaded her.
“Camellia,” I said. “How are you doing? It is wonderful to hear from you. ”
“Are you crazy?” responded Camellia.
Abruptly, I felt pain again.
“I want you to stop annoying me,” she said. “Don’t ever presume to send anything from any other party. Leave me alone. If you do not, I will put you in big trouble. I swear. I swear. I swear the God. I promised.”
She hanged off the phone on my face without any excuse.
After that phone call, I felt more pain than ever before. My face showed distress, and as I closed my eyes, drops slowly ran down my face. I had wiped my eyes so much; as a result, they were red and swollen. When I went to look around, my vision was blurry; it was difficult for me to see clearly. I was the blank, emotionless expression swept over my face as the realization of the moment gradually seeped in. The fear seemed to rise behind my eyes. Like a caged animal, I laid there. Paralyzed by the tragic feeling of isolation, I closed my eyes and gazed into fields of nothingness. I felt the water creep out of my eyes, and I gently whispered to myself, "I will die."
I could not believe that I was in a reality. “What should I do now?” I said to myself. “I will continue until the end. No matter what happens, I'll take it.”
The next day had come. I woke up early. I took a shower. I wore the clothes that I liked the most. Everyone liked it when I wore it. After a while, I walked quickly. When I arrived at the communication building, I sat on the floor, waiting for Camellia in front of her class.
The communication building was built in a manner that nobody would want to take their eyes away from looking at it. It was a ground floor building. By looking at it, everyone may feel that the building was too gigantic. But as someone entered the building, he or she would come to know that it was very spacious, but the classes were next to each other. The interior looked so beautiful. The bottom half of the building were the restrooms, and the top half were the classes. The classes were amazing because their locations and views make them very desirable. The floor had been decorated by greenish color marbles, and the top part of the building was decorated with palm trees, which were made out of cement. It was very beautiful. Everything had been arranged properly. The sequences of the rooms were really good. All the classes were placed where they were supposed to be, so they added to the beauty of the building. The building had gardens all around it. Anyone who looked at these gardens would really enjoy the beauty of the nature too because it was in a hilltop and because it provided a beautiful view of the city. It was marvelous. It was the tallest building in the city, with about 50 floors. It had a huge glass tower, but it definitely stood out. It had become a famous building in the city and at the school. You could see it as you approached Manchester, and it was an easy place to meet people because it was so distinctive and easy to find. The most interesting thing about the science building was that there was a bar restaurant on the 23rd floor, which had spectacular views of the city and the school; it was definitely the best vantage point in the city because there were no walls, only huge windows, so you could look out over the city in any direction.
It was my last semester at the university. I did really want Camellia . I wanted to have her before I graduated. As a result, I did all I could.
Camellia was getting out of class. I saw her. I stood up. “Hey,” I said to her.
“Leave me alone,” responded Camellia. “I am going to put you in big trouble. I did promise you. You will be in big trouble. I promise you.”
She walked away. She said nothing. I was alone. I was sitting in front of the class. I felt that I got humiliated by the one that I loved, the one that my heart and my soul really wanted. I put my head down.
Another day was coming. I was alone in my room. The pain was still there. I did not know what to do. I laid down on my bed, taking deep breath to comfort myself.
I felt so sad and uncomfortable. I called Camellia. Unfortunately, she did not answer the phone. I tried to sleep, but I could not sleep. I tried to eat, but I could not eat. I tried to watch TV in order to entertain myself or to ease my pain, but nothing worked. I listened to love songs in order to alleviate or to lessen the pain, but it became worse and more severe. I did not know what to do. The pain was complicatedly excruciating and was absolutely incurable.
After a while, my phone rang. It was a call from a police officer at the university. He told me that he wanted me to come to see him at his office now.
“What is your name?” I asked him.
He responded, “Captain Ferdinand.”
“What is wrong?” I asked.
“You know what is wrong,” he said. "You look suspicious. I want you to come to see me now.”
From there, I knew that something was wrong.
He went on to say, " I am not going to kick you out at the university, but I want to talk to you."
The deeper moment of frustration came after that phone call.
For all my life, I had never been confronting police before for something that was wrong. After the police officer told me that he wanted to see me, I did not know what to do. I did not know what I would say to him. I decided to call my father as a result to demand him for some advises.
“Stay quietly,” said my father. “Don’t say anything to them. Anything that you say can be used against you. Don’t let them self-incriminate you. That is, they may take your words and use them against you. They are not your friends. Police are not people's friends. You have the right to remain silent.”
I said good bye to my father. I hanged off the phone.
I took a shower, dressing professionally as usual. I went outside of the village, waiting for someone to give me a ride.
I saw one of my class mates. I asked him for a ride to the police station at the university.
When we arrived, I shook hands with him. I said thank you to him. He made a u-turn with the car and headed back to the village.
I headed to the station door, opening it. I entered in the station. There were many chairs that were made for people to sit down. I sat down on one of them. Many people were sitting also. I did not say anything to them because especially I wasn’t in my mood.
As I sat on the chair, Evens, one of the police officer whom I used to watch basketball with, was coming. When he saw me, he turned around without hesitation. After a while, another officer came and said, “You can come to see me.”
I stood up. I went to see him.
"It is not like you get in trouble,” he said.
I smiled hopefully to myself, but I did not say anything.
“We receive many complaints from many females against you,” he said. “You jump on them, hugging them without permission. You kiss them. You follow them. You stay around their classes, waiting for them.”
The captain said that he had to take his responsibility.
“This is the thing,” he said. “First, you have no friend at the university. Don’t hug anybody. Don't hug even people that you consider as friends. If someone doesn’t say hey, don’t say hey. If someone says hey, walk. Don’t sit around any class that is not your class.”
"Now, I want you to sign that for me," the officer said.
He handed me a blank sheet and a pen.
I took them.
He said, "I want you to write, 'I have been made aware not to get in contact with any girl on campus.'"
I wrote the statement in the blank sheet.
" We are going to kick you out if we receive another complaint against you," said the officer.
The other officer said, " I want you to write, 'I fully understand.'"
After I signed the paper, I was so anxious. I remained speechlessly.
“You have no friend at the university,” said the other officer.
The captain abruptly took the paper. He said nothing. He stood up. He went straight to his office.
Now, it was time for me to leave. I had to go to the village. I did not have transportation. I asked Evens, the police officer that I used to watch basketball with, for a ride.
“You don’t have a car ?” he said.
I responded, “No.”
He took his car. It wasn't the police car. It was a private car. It was a black one. He opened the right door for me.
"You can sit in," he said.
I responded, "Thank you."
After a couple of seconds, he started up the car. He drove it.
As he drove, I was speechless. I did not say a word. I wondered, what was wrong?
“Why you don’t talk?” asked the officer. “Why you are always quiet?”
“It is how I am,” I responded.
“I did not want to be in that thing,” said the officer. “What about if the person does not want someone to think that she is in something with you? Don’t you see that I was the one who was coming to you? I went back when I saw that it was you. It is because I know who you are.”
I said nothing. I just listened to what he said. I did not want to get self-incriminated by the officer. My father had told me that. As a result, I did not trust the officer.
I just listened to what he said. That was all I did. I did not share anything with him.
“Do you have a car?” he asked.
“No,” I responded. “That's why I ask you for a ride.”
“Get mess up for a girl who is not even my girl,” said the officer. “If I have to get mess up, I will get mess up for someone who is my girl. I will get mess up for a girl who cares about me. I will not get mess up for someone who tries to mess me up or who is not even my girl. If someone doesn’t say hey, don’t say hey. Someone says hey, walk. If it is not your class, don’t sit there. You are my brother. I am trying to help you out.”
I said nothing to the officer. I did not trust him. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to self-incriminate me or help me out. I just listened to what he said.
Here in the car, I saw it. I recalled it. I learned from what the officer told me. I realized it. So I recalled what my father used to tell me. “Females, especially those who are your friends, are hot and cold at the same time,” my father used to say to me."When they are with you alone, they would do anything with you. Hug you. Kiss you. Play with you anyhow. When they are with their boyfriends, they would pretend that they do not even know you.” I realized that it seemed to be my friends who reported me to the police. My father had used to also tell me, “Sometimes the way that you feel for a woman is not how she feels about you. When circumstances like that present, all that you have to do is move on. If you continue to stay, you will get hurt by almost every single thing that she will do to you.” I realized something. I realized that it seemed to be Camellia or Sarah that reported me to the police, but I wasn't sure. I realized that I had to be careful around my friends. I had to be careful with Camellia especially.
“What is wrong?” I asked the policeman.
“Nothing,” he said.
The car arrived at the village. The officer opened the door for me. He shook hands with me. He left.
As I walked to my room, I felt different than I had felt before. I felt more fearful. I just kept thinking about how I could go to jail, get mess up, have no chance to graduate, or get kick out of school.
School was something that I liked a lot. That brought a new type of fear in my life, the fear that I may get kick out of school. I felt sad. I wasn’t only afraid because I knew that I could go to jail or get mess up. I was also afraid because I knew that if I got kick out of school, I deceived my parents.
That would be a broken vow.
Where would be the value of all the hard work of my father, the man who worked hard in the garden to educate me, if I got kick out of school? Where would be the value of all the hard work of my mother, the lady who sold candy down the street to contribute to my education, the lady who used to wake up early every day morning to walk me to school when I was little? How my father, the man who preferred not to satisfy his needs or to pay his bills to pay for my education or to provide for me, would feel if he heard a news like that?
"They would feel bad," I kept saying to myself.
That became a new type of fear, a new type of pain, in my life.
I did not that much feel bad about all my hard works in school but my father 's and my mother's hard works.
"I made a commitment to myself not to disappoint them," I said to myself. "I don't want to break that vow."
After a couple of days, the dean deferred me from suspension to let me graduate because of that event. That was, I would be officially suspended at the university, but the suspension was deferred. If anyone reported me at the university and the university found that I was responsible for violating the school code, I would be immediately suspended at the university in addition to all the subsequent sanctions. Unfortunately, finding responsible for violating the school code was based on a preponderance of evidence. It was not based on fact. It was not a legal thing. That was, someone could lie and report me, and I still could violate the school code.
Usually, the university may not disclose the student's name for protection reason.
After I got deferred from suspension, I was so sad. I kept thinking about how anyone could cause me pain or trouble at the university at anytime.
I never talked to anybody, especially females, at the university. I was alone. I always sat somewhere quietly by myself. I was always in the right corner of my room.
Now, if I looked guilty or looked like a criminal, it was mostly because of love.
It had been weeks. I did not have access to talk to any female at the university.
One day, I was at a party at the school. The party was made for all the future graduates.
The captain saw me sitting. I was alone in one of the corners of the room. He laughed at me because he knew what he did to me. He went outside, laughing at me. I felt pain because of that. I was alone. I was alone in the corner of the room.
As I was alone in the corner of the room, I felt it again. I saw it and recalled it. I realized it again, and I learned from it. So I again recalled what my father had told me. I kept thinking about what the police officer told me. When he told me, "You have no friend on campus." I realized that it was my friends that caused me all those troubles. I recalled what the officer said. He said that I should not get mess up for a girl who was not even my girl or who tried to mess me up. As a result, I learned from what my father used to tell me. He used to say, “Sometimes the way that you feel for a woman is not how she feels about you. When circumstances like that present, all that you have to do is move on. If you continue to stay, you will get hurt by almost every single thing that she will do to you.” I realized again that I had to stay away from Camellia especially. I had to stay away from all the friends that I had.
Everybody was dancing, partying. Almost everybody was going to graduate. Everybody was jubilant. Among the future graduates, I was the only one who was sad, not participating that much in the party. I was thinking about what could happen to me if someone reported me.
After a while, I decided to leave. I did not stay at the party because I was trying to avoid trouble. As I walked to my room, I felt pain, humiliation, desperation, and isolation.
I felt like my heart had been ripped out. Suddenly, there was an aura of grey around me. It was a mist that wouldn't raise, a state of depression that I couldn't help through. I felt a terrible weight on my shoulders. It was as if a giant boulder was laid on me, and I couldn't straighten up or catch my breath entirely. A single tear rolled down my cheek. I should have been crying, but I was too numb to even think about crying. There was a giant hole in my heart, and I knew nothing would ever be the same. I looked like death, and I didn't care. My eyes were puffy from
crying because I couldn't stop crying. I was dehydrated and sore. Sobs raked my body, and no one should be able to cry that hard. I hadn't even cried that hard when one of my sister had died.
When I arrived, I turned on the light of my room. My room was beautiful. Two opposite walls were light blue, and the other two were hot blue. I had a queen sized bed. My carpet was white. Curtains were white and blue. I had a bulletin board with my medals and ribbons up on it. I also had a vanity style dresser with some of my favorite pictures all around it. I had another dresser, a tall one, with my TV on it. My TV had internet on it, and there was also my PS3. My dressers were made of white marble. I had a walk in the closet that contained my dresses, purses, and laundry baskets. I had a shelf containing my books and my photo albums. There were Christmas lights up on the ceiling around the perimeter of my room, two Marilyn Monroe posters, a sketch, a painting of Jesus, and a portrait of my mom drew of me on my walls. I had a white five bulb lamp glowing in the dark stickers on my ceiling. I had two wall black quotes on my walls. I had a few stuffed animals.
Right now, as I was in the room, I absolutely knew the complete literal definition of isolation. I also knew the meaning of humiliation. I knew the meaning of pain. It wasn't the pain that I used to endure when I could not get in contact with Camellia, but now, it was a new type of pain, the pain that I could not even get in contact with any girl at the university. I felt isolated. I felt humiliated.
Graduation was coming in two weeks. I was prudent. That was the best thing that I could do at that time.
The officer denied my access to get in contact with any female at the university, a university of thirty thousands students in which more than twenty thousands were females.
I stayed away from all females at the university. I did not talk to them. I did not talk to Sarah. I did not talk to Camellia anymore. I chose to do it. I tried to protect myself.
Friends were coming to hug me. I disappointed them. I chose to run away from them. I walked away from them. I stayed away from them.
I talked to only Betty because at that time, she was not at the university. She was a sophomore at a community college. I talked to her only on the phone. I did not talk to anyone at the university.
The most painful thing that I could experience in my life at that time was that I did not have access to talk to even my female professors.
I did not tell my mother and my father about all the things that I was going through at the university. They had told me to be careful. My father used to tell me things about friends. My mothers used to tell me about how women in this country were. I could not tell them anything. I felt embarrassed to tell them that because they told me to be careful. “Be careful,” I remembered that my mother especially told me before I left to go to school.
It had been two days away. My graduation was coming. Betty called me.
“How are you doing?" she asked.
I responded, “I am doing terrible.”
“What's wrong?” she asked. “When is your graduation?”
“Two days away from today,” I responded. “I have an invitation card for you.”
“Okay,” said Betty. “Thank you.”
“I got reported to the police for the first time in my life,” I said.
“Everything is always?” she asked.
I responded, “Not really, but I am okay.”
She laughed on the phone suspiciously.
She told me that there would be a party at her house at the day of my graduation.
“Will you like to come?” she asked.
I responded, “Yes.”
“Can you come to pick me up?” I said. “You know that I do not have a car.”
“Yes,” she said.
“I will call you,” I said, “when it is time. When I am around the street, I will let you know so that you can come to take the card.”
“Okay,” responded Betty. “I will come."
"Okay," I said.
“Sarah is still suffering for you,” said Betty.
I said nothing.
“Good bye,” said Betty.
“Bye,” I responded.
The next day had come. I met Betty down the street. I handed her the invitation card.
Despite the pain, the humiliation, and the isolation that I faced at the university, I did not give up. I stayed strong when it came to studying or focusing. I passed all my classes. I was totally ready for graduation.
I remembered that I had called my father one week before my graduation to tell him that I was ready. I had also called my mother.
Now, I felt pain. I kept thinking about how I would get in contact with my mother at the university at the day of my graduation. I was fearful. I was desperate more than ever before. I kept thinking about what may happen to me if I got in contact with my mother at my graduation on campus. I was thinking about how easy that it could be for me to go to jail or get mess up. I may not even have chance to participate in the ceremony. Isolation, suffering, or humiliation, once an intangible, was now something that I felt deeper. It wasn’t the one that I felt before. It wasn’t the type of isolation that I used to face at the university when I used to be alone in the corner. It wasn’t the tears that used to be in my eyes when I felt pain, but now, it was more than tearful eyes. It was a new type of humiliation, the humiliation that I could not even get in contact with my mother at the university when she came to my graduation. That was something that I could not believe.
I would feel pain and humiliation again at my graduation. As I got at the auditorium, I saw beauty. The entire auditorium was decorated. Thousands of people were standing to cheer the graduates who just came in. The parents were making noises. Everyone was boisterous in the auditorium. After a while, everyone was singing the national anthem. Now, it became time for everyone to sit down. As I sat on the chair, I cried secretly to myself. At that time, I kept thinking about how I did almost not have chance to be in an event like that. I had been waiting for that event since the first day I went to school. My ultimate goal was graduating from a university. I was sitting between two girls. Frustration used to break my heart into pieces. Now, it was killing me. I kept thinking about what could happen to me if one of the girls reported me. They talked to me. I chose not to respond. I wasn't an assault. Now, I chose to be one. I did not do it with all my heart, but I had to do it to protect myself. I did not respond to any word that the girls said.
I would feel deeper pain and deeper humiliation when it was time for the graduates to walk across the stage. As I walked across the stage, I felt frustrated. My heart was beating rapidly. I felt pain. It was really cold despite that it was May. The deeper fear came when I had to shake hands with all the faculties at the stadium. I kept thinking about what could happen to me if I shook hands with a female faculty. I reflected something. So I chose to shake hands with only the male faculties. I skipped all the female faculties. It was time for me right now to shake hands with the president of the university.The president was a female. She would be the last person that I had to shake hands with. Also, I had to take a picture with her. Instead, I ignored her on her way. I walked straight without hesitation. I did not say a word. I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes. I talked silently to Jesus, saying thank you to him for helping me to achieve this goal. He saved me from all the potential negative consequences. I pointed my hands on my face. I made a cross-the father, the son, the Holy Spirit, and the amen. I went to sit.
As I was sitting on the chair, I remained silently for a couple of minutes to thank God for giving me the chance to participate in that event. I prayed him.
I would feel it deeper, deeper, when it was time for the graduation to over. Now became time for the graduates to leave the room. The audience would follow them as usual. My mother, the lady who sold candy down the street to support me so that I could see that day, the lady who carried me for night months, the lady who faced a lot of pain and humiliation in her life because of me to let me see that day, came to my mind. How would she feel if I did not hug her, kiss her, or take picture with her? As I walked out the auditorium, I saw my mother looked at me with a smile in her face. My father was happy.
When I was outside, I was thinking about going straight home because I did not want to offend my mother. As I headed home, friends were waiving hands at me. I ignored them. I ignored the backstabbers, the people who I thought were my friends but then they attempted in causing my downfall. They tried to hug me. I chose to walk away from them. I did not get in contact with them at all. I ignored them. I did not want to get in trouble.
Evens, one of the policemen, saw me. He said, "Good job." And he patted me three times on the shoulder.
My mother was coming to me. I felt desperate. I felt pain. I did not know what to do. I did not want to hurt her. But it was at that time that I did know what it meant to be a mother. "Mothers are not friends who attempt in causing your downfall. Mothers are not backstabbers who try to hurt their friends," I kept saying. At that time, I knew the definition of the word mother. I knew what DNA meant. I knew what ancestors meant. I recalled what my father told me. "Mothers are not friends who are cold and hot waters," I kept saying to myself. I felt my blood was running so fast in my vain. I felt somehow different. I recalled what the police officer said. I said to myself, "Mothers are the ones who care, not the ones who try to mess up." I remembered that my hands were in my pockets. But when my mother was coming to me, I put them up. I resigned to all the things that may happen to me if the police caught me. My mother hugged me, and I hugged her. I kissed her. She kissed me tenderly.
That's what we call cultural difference! What a complicated thing!
“Good job Nicky,” she said. “I am very proud of you my son.’
“Thank you mother,” I said. “I value your hard work.”
I hugged my father, and he hugged me. I kissed him on the forehead.
My phone rang. It was a call from Betty. She asked me, “Where are you?” I told her that I was home. I would meet her down the street in half of an hour.
I did that to Betty because I knew what may happen to me if they caught me with her on campus. I knew that I could not get in contact with her. I saw her coming outside the gymnasium; I went to sit by one of the corners at the school.
As I was at the corner, I thought about all the pain that I went through. The corner helped me to remember all the isolation and all the suffering that I faced at the university. It was where that I used to sit when I felt lonely, when I felt pain, and when I felt humiliated.
I saw that Betty got in her car. She drove.
I left the corner. I told my mother and my father that we had to leave.
“Can we stay for a while?” asked my mother.
“We have to go,” I said to my mother.
I knew. My mother did not know why I said that. But I knew. I knew better why.
When we arrived, I got out at the car. I left mom and dad in the car.
I went to my dorm. I took my suitcases. I gave my room's key to the resident assistant in the front desk of the IVP room, the main village room.
The suitcases had roulettes. I rolled them. When I arrived in front of the car, I opened the door. I put them in the car.
I remembered before I put the suitcases in the car, I had called Betty and told her to come to pick me up.
“I am coming,” said Betty.
“If you can come in a quarter of an hour,” I said, “it will be great.”
“Okay,” responded Betty.
As my father drove the car, I told him that my friend would come to pick me up for the party, the party that I had talked to him about, so he had to stop for me please by the store down the street.
I called Betty. I told her that I was in front of the store down the street.
“I’ll be there in less than five minutes,” said Betty.
After a while, as I sat in the car, I saw that Betty was coming.
“I saw her coming,” I said to mom and dad.
I got out in the car.
My mom and dad also got out.
After a while, Betty was with us. She opened the door of her car to waive her hand at me before she stepped out.
When Betty stepped out, she hugged me. I did not want to hug because I remembered my terrible experience at the university, but I had no choice. I had to receive the hug. I could not deceive her.
She also hugged mom and dad.
I introduced mom and dad to her, and I introduced her to mom and dad.
I told my parents that I had to go with Betty. I would be home tomorrow. Betty would drive me.
“Take care of the suitcases for me please," I said.
“Okay,” they responded.
I hugged mom and dad before they left.
They got in the car. They drove slowly. They waived their hands at me as they drove as a way to show to me love or affection or to congratulate me for my accomplishment.
The way that they showed me love helped me to cope with the isolation, the suffering, and the humiliation that I faced at the university.
Betty drove the car.
When we arrived, we parked in front of the garage.
Betty got out in the car.
“Betty,” I heard someone said as I was in the car. “Where is Nicky?.”
“He is in the car Sarah,” responded Betty.
As I got out in the car, Sarah jumped on me as she said loudly, “Nicky! Nicky! How are you doing?”
She hugged me and kissed me affectionately.
“I am good,” I responded.
I did not want to hug or get in contact with her, but I could not deceive her. If it was at the university, I would not get in contact with her.
“I have been thinking about you for days,” she said. “It's been a while since we haven’t heard from each other. I called you. No one picked up the phone. I went to your room, knocking on your door. No one responded.”
“I am here,” I responded. “I had some stuff to take care of.”
“Anyway, it is wonderful to see you today,” said Sarah.
I responded, “Okay.”
“It is time to get inside,” said Betty.
Betty locked the car’s doors. She said, “Let’s go.”
She walked. Sarah and I followed her.
We walked slowly. Sarah was escorting me as I walked, telling me about a lot of things that she had been going through. She told me that her graduation was tomorrow. “I know that you are going to leave,” she said. “Tonight, we have to make up things.”
When we arrived, Betty knocked on the door. As the door opened, I saw that it was Camellia who was coming to open the door.
She did not say a word to me, but she talked to Sarah and Betty.
I got in the room. The room was fully decorated. Music was playing. People were dancing, drinking beer, and eating on the tables. The tables were full of food. They had a lot of cups. People used those cups to drink. Some of the cups were on the table alone, containing drinks or alcohol. Some people left them on the table to go to dance. There were more than five tables in the room. Some of them had fruits. Some had cakes. Some of them had rise, pizza, or chicken, and others had flowers that were used for decoration.
Different colors of lights brightened the room. The music playing was wonderful. You could hear the music even if you were outside. The party was outraging. Couples were making out. The entire people at the party dressed professionally. They wore business attire. As I walked in the room, “You can sit on this chair,” said Betty.
I responded, “Thank you.”
“How was your graduation?” said Betty. “I was there. I saw you when you walked across the stage. There was a big screen. Everyone could see.”
“Really,” I responded. “The graduation was great to me. I had been waiting for that day for so long.”
“That is good to hear,” said Betty.
“Okay,” I said.
“Camellia is there,” Betty said. “ Today, have you ever talked to her before?”
“No,” I responded. “I do not want to.”
“Why?” asked Betty.
“I have some circumstances upon me. I can’t get in contact with her. I talked to Sarah because she was the one who initiated the conversation. I talked to her also because I was not at the university. Otherwise, I would not. I did not want to talk to her. But I could not deceive her because of the way that she approached me. She came too strong, and I could not resist," I said.
“What's wrong?” asked Betty.
I responded, “None.”
“You can serve yourself,” said Betty.
I grabbed a cup, opening a bottle of Barbancourt Rhum. As I drank , I looked at attentively the people who were dancing. After a while, Betty asked me, “May you dance that music with me?”
I did not want to dance, but I responded, “Yes.”
She took my hands. She stood up. I stood up. We started to dance.
As we were dancing, Betty said, “Nicky, you are my friends. I have something that is very important that I want to talk to you about. I hope that you listen to me. “
“Okay,” I responded.
“You know that love is powerful," she said. “Don’t you know how painful that it is, especially when the person does not take your feeling in consideration?”
“I know,” I responded, “and I experienced it."
"It had been a long time since Sarah had been suffering for you," she said.
“I know,” I responded.
“You have to take that in consideration. You cannot do that to someone who really loves you or to someone who is dying for you,” she said.
“I am not interested in dating right now,” I said. “I have been going through too much. Right now, I am trying to cope with the pain that I have been going through.”
The music was now over. Betty and I went to sit back in front of the table after a while.
Sarah and Camellia were on the other table that was next to us. They were talking about their personal affairs. No one could know what they were talking about.
After a while, I grabbed a plate on the table. I put some food in it. I stood up. I passed from table to table. I put many different type of fruits in the plate. I ate. I could not eat the entire food on the plate. I was still trying to cope with all the pain that I had been facing in my life.
I stood up. I threw the rest of the food in the garbage can.
On my way back, I went to another table. I took another plate. I put cake in it.
Cake was something that I had liked a lot since I was a child. I took some liquor and some cream.
I ate everything.
As I sat in front of the table, Sarah said, “May I dance this music with you please?”
I did not want to dance, but I was obligated to respond, “Yes.”
As I was dancing with her, I was too fearful, fearful. I did not trust any friend anymore.
“You know that I am dying for you Nicky,” said Sarah. “I love you.”
“I am sorry,” I said. “There is nothing that I can do at this time. I have my own problem. I am not interested in dating anybody right now. My heart doesn’t belong to anyone right now.”
After I said that to her, I could feel that she was in tears. “I’ll be back,” she said with tearful eyes.
She went straight outside. She did not say a word to any other one.
I stepped outside after a while. I stayed in front of the door, watching people who passed by. I could not hear anything but the music playing.
As I was in front of the door, I saw that the Sunset fell past the horizon, as a black haze fixed itself over the sky, perilous lightning strikes filled the sky, and the moon glowed over the sky, creating a gloomy look over the waxing sky. Black cloud loomed.
After a while, I went in back and sat on the chair.
As I sat on the chair, I saw a man coming to talk to Camellia. He said something in her right ear.
Without hesitation, Camellia stood up and went outside.
Betty and I were sitting in front of the table.
“Why are you so quiet?” said Betty. “Talk.”
“Nothing,” I said. “I feel that something doesn’t go well.”
“ You were dancing with Sarah,” said Betty. “There must be good news.”
“None,” I said. “You know that if there was something, I would let you know.”
“Okay,” she replied. “I hope that everything is okay before you go back home.”
I responded, “Okay.”
Camellia was coming.
“Betty,” shrieked Camellia as she walked. “Come outside! I need your help! Come help me please.”
Betty abruptly stood up. She said to me, “I’ll be back.”
I left alone on the table. As I was on the table, I recalled all the pain that I went through at the university, starting to think about my voyage for tomorrow morning. I realized that no matter where I would go, no matter where life would put me, or no matter what I would become, I would never be too friendly anymore so that I would not fall in a hot water like I fell at the university. I would control my feeling and would not fall in love for people who would not feel the same way that I did. I knew that I would get hurt by almost all the things that they would do to me as my father told me. I would be careful even with any body that I may feel who may not like me. I would be careful, especially with females. I knew how dangerous that a female could be, and how easy that any female could mess up any man's life in this country. Now, I finally realized it in a better way, through deep pain, through bad experience. I recalled what my father had told me. I realized it. I realized it. And I better realized it now. I recalled also what the officer had told me. From there, I knew better how painful that it was to love somebody and not be loved in return.
Now, I became a changed man.
Love-the intense natural feeling of deep affection-the bad necessity-the gambling game with no guaranty-caused me pain.
In this gambling game, today, you may get blessed. Tomorrow, you may be in pain, in tears, or someone may break your heart.
But without it, my life seemed to be senseless. My life was like hell.
My friends, the backstabbers, caused me trouble.
Cultural difference seemed to also be a part of the problem, apart from my friends.
Was discrimination a part of the matter? It may. It may not, but I had no clue if it was such. However, the policemen or the people who were in charge of the school may know. What could we say about that? Was it fair? It may. It may not. I have still had no clue.
Let think deeply about it. So we may be able to come up with a probable reasonable response.
"I will be careful," I kept saying. "I will be careful. I will be careful."
I took a deep breath.
“Why am I the one who always get hurt by the one whom I truly love?” I asked myself.
Something came to my mind after a while.
"I will not continue to allow the weak and irrational heart to take precedence over the rational mind," I said to myself.
As I was in the room, people were going out one by one. They were coming in and out. After less than a quarter of an hour, everyone left the room, but I was alone in the room. The music stopped playing. As a result, I decided to step outside. I opened the door. As I was in front of the door, I heard a voice. I heard someone crying loudly. I heard a female's voice.
I felt remorse to ear someone crying. I felt frustrated. I felt pain.
I decided to step outside. I wanted to know what was wrong.
After a while, I was on my way to go to see what was happening.
I wondered, was someone dying? Why most people left the room? Did something wrong happen to someone at the party?
“What's wrong?” I asked myself. “What's wrong?”
As I approached, I could see a lot of people at the party at the parking garage. I wondered, why were they here? What was this? Was someone dying? But I knew. I knew for better sure that something was wrong. I did not know what it was, but I knew that someone was crying.
When I arrived, I saw that Betty and Camellia put their arms around the person who was crying to comfort her. Her head was down. Camellia in an intelligent way tried to use some good persuasive statements to convince her. “You will have him. Don’t let your heart drive you crazy,” I heard Camellia said.
"He will leave by tomorrow to go home ," I heard she responded.
A lot of people put their hands up on the top of their heads. Even Betty’s father put his right hand on his face.
“I love him,” I heard she said. “I do not know what to do. I cannot fight this feeling anymore.”
“What's wrong?” I asked. “What's wrong?”
"Close your mouth,” said Camellia.
“Nicky! Nicky! I could hear your voice,” I heard Betty yielded. “She is crying for you.”
“Who is crying for me,” I responded.
Betty said, “Sa…”
As I approached, I saw Sarah crying. Her head was down.
When I arrived, I put my right hand around her right shoulder to comfort her.
“What's wrong?” I said. “Tell me what happen.”
She was crying, sitting on the floor. She could not say a word, but I could hear that she was crying. She was in tears.
I tenderly used my right hand to lift her head up. I felt pain to see her crying. As usual, I did not like to see people suffering, especially my friends. Sarah had been a good friend to me. I really loved her as a friend.
“What's wrong?” I said to her. “Please tell me what happen. Don’t you know that it hurts me so deep down inside to see that you are crying? I cannot see my friend crying. Please tell me what happen.”
“I am suffering for you,” she said as she was crying. “It is love that I feel for you. It stays love. And it is powerful. I know that love is pain. That's why I am crying right now. That's why I feel pain right now. My love for you is powerful. Nick, I love you, and I cannot help myself with this feeling anymore. I can’t help myself. I can’t fight this feeling anymore.”
As my knees were on the floor, I felt it again. And I knew how it felt. I experienced it before. Someone was crying for me. Someone cared about me, loving me. I felt pain in my vain, in my own flesh, or in my blood.
I recalled again what the officer had told me. He had told me, “If I have to get mess up, I will get mess up for someone who cares about me.”
I felt pain to see that someone was crying for me. I knew. I knew better how it felt. Sympathy, once an intangible, was now something that I felt for Sarah. I felt compassion.
“Please don’t cry,” I tenderly said to her.
“But I need your love to stop the tears,” she said softly. “Nick! I love you. I love you. I love you Nicky.”
“I love you too,” I tenderly responded.
She abruptly hugged me and kissed me. She said nothing, but she cried softly as she affectionately hugged me and kissed me.
We were in the middle of the people who were at the party at the parking garage. They encircled us. They applauded as they felt happy that help was coming.
Betty was on our right side. Camellia was on our left side.
“I am happy for both of us,” said Camellia. “Nick, now, we can be friends.”
"Okay," I responded.
Betty smiled suspiciously; she looked at Camellia, Sarah, and me as she knew something.
The next day had come. As Betty drove me home, she secretly told me that Camellia was the one who had reported me to the police. She did that because she did not want to talk to me. "You kept annoying her. The girl doesn't like you," said Betty. Betty went on to say that Camellia also did that because she had her own problem at that time. "Camellia's problem was that Sarah, her friend, was in pain because of you," said Betty. "She wanted you to go with Sarah. She said that she had to do something with you so that you could leave her alone. She told police that she was a victim of sexual harassment."
I said nothing, taking deep breath.
"Good luck with her," said Betty. "I hope that you stay friends guys."
"I knew. I knew that somehow, but I wasn’t totally sure," I said. "I realized it. I realized. I realized it. But I was just not totally sure."
When we arrived, I said thank you to Betty. She gave me a final hug. I did not want to hug, but I could not deceive her. I was trying to be careful.
I said good bye to her before I headed to my mom’s room.
“Good luck with Sarah,” she said before she left.
After a couple of weeks, I received a letter from the university police. As stated in the letter, "We trespass you at the university campus because you were getting in contact with a lady at the day of your graduation."
“I knew, and I knew better,” I said to myself. “I know better and realize that it was my mom. It's not a big deal.”
I had realized it. I knew that that could have happened. I knew it somehow, and I was trying to be careful. I had realized it. I had realized that it- anything thing- could have happened to me. It was my mom, my blood who loved me unconditionally, my ancestry who was ready to sacrifice for me, my own flesh who carried me for night months and who gave me life, my sincere courageous and industrious woman who sold candy down the street and who faced a lot of humiliation in her life because of me that were worst than the ones that I faced at the university.
"It's not a big deal," I said to myself. "It's not a big deal."
I could not cause my mom, my everything, the one that I loved the most than any other one on the face of this earth, the pain. I could not cause her the pain. I could not do the contrary. I could not cause her the pain.
I finally realized better! I learned better! I knew better!
About the Author
Roldens Paulynice was born in December 24, 1990 in Gonaives, Haiti. He has published many short stories and essays, especially about relationship or love, literature review, education, and politics. Think before You Act and What Causes Many College Students to Fail or Drop out are two of his works that he likes the most. Fortunately, in February 2009, he had the chance to come to the United States, attended Glade Central High School, and graduated in May 2010 with a 3.08 GPA. In May 8, 2012, he graduated from Palm Beach State College with an Associate in Arts Degree. In May 2014, he graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He had recently graduated from Lynn University with an MBA in Hospitality Management. Right now, he is currently attending NOVA Southeastern University, pursuing his doctorate in education leadership. In the near future, he wants to become a CPA. Being a writer is something that he has a certain zeal to become in his life, but right now, he is trying, hoping to become a famous one day. He is the author of Teenage Marriages Are Likely to End Unhappily, Think before You Act, What Causes Many College Students to Fail or Dropout, Many People Get Married for Foolish Reasons, An Essay about the Tell-Tale-Heart and The Black Cat, and many other works.