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.
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’s 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.
When I came closer, I noticed her scrolled ears and her elegant nose. She nuzzled me with her nose, and I couldn’t believe it. It was the custom for her people. I reckoned. It was love at first light. 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.
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.
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.
“As usual, you are always quiet,” said the other 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 never 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.
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. They also may not want to shake hands.
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 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 about me and did not care about me, 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. One thing that I wanted right now was 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.
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.