In The Case of Dating An Alien: A Tale of Caution and Frustration

When I got out of my situation in late 2014 I promised myself to be happy. For me happiness involves being invested in good people, being loved, sharing insights and living life as intended versus whatever everyone else thinks. I put down my laptop for just shy of a month and I insisted upon meeting someone who could reward me for all my sacrifices. I looked for this said individual under every rock. I also told my mother and family friends that when I found him I would dedicate myself to settling down. I even threatened to marry the first man I met and have a child within one year of meeting him. The day I got back I met someone. In fact, the exact moment. While I was vague with him about my life, he was rather forthcoming with me. He explained that he had been on his own since age 14, estranged from his parents, had come to this country chasing a girl and now worked ungodly hours to make up for lost time. I understood everything. Or so I thought. Within weeks we were dating or "fake dating" as I called it. His European senses made everything so damn formal. I just wanted to get to know him and immediately it had to be dinner over a tablecloth. While it was unusual in my dating experience to be wined & dined, I'm not going to say I didn't like it. I loved it. He showered me in affection, we talked on the phone for hours and I felt I had met if not "the one" but a proper candidate as planned. 

And then the lights dimmed out.

He stopped communicating and I gave up. I felt awful about it but with my goal in mind I figured why waste time. We re-connected a few days later and chalked it up to some misunderstanding. Then after several weekends of nothing I cut my losses completely. I was stern about not seeing him ever again. I lasted one month. And in all these "breaks" I never sought any outside advice. I allowed myself to come to a conclusion and contact him. These were very hard decisions because I am never that party. After a while of trying to explain and apologize, he gave up on me too. Almost three weeks later he contacted me. His excuse? He had lost his work visa and could not only be out of job but possibly deported. He also revealed that this struggle had been on-going for over six months. Needless to say, I was devastated. 

I'd accused him of everything under the sun. It was almost good for it to be just this. Trust me, everything I could think about came to mind. Marriage. A child. In his eyes there was no commitment that could be made that could correct his situation. He had lost the ability to provide for himself let alone someone else and was now in the appeals process. Any sudden moves and even that could be over. He explained that if he lost this appeal he would have no method of unemployment, seeking another job or staying in this country. He would be immediately fired if his employer found out he'd lost his permit to begin with. The deportation would be swift and permanent. He would never be able to travel easily again. I was baffled. This was not how they do it in the movies. I also had friends who had dodged this bullet repeatedly. I didn't pressure him with my loose understanding of what may come. I just waited for a resolve. I've been waiting. I am.

We have both been distant. He is in a shitty mood of desperation. He wants to lay roots here and keep saving up for a life he has yet to begin. However, this has put a wrench in the cogwheel. He doesn't want to go out. There is no conversation that doesn't lead to a possible inevitability. He is hopeless. There isn't a strand of optimism in his voice. I get it. Then I don't. I thought in cases like this people just switch to being a student until their work visa can be approved. I thought employers sponsored bright minds and took care of all this paperwork. I thought bureaucracy worked for people from the European Union versus Africa or Asia. I thought marriage solved everything. This is my experience. This is why I have friends who years ago toggled with the system and remain here today. Hey, I even dated a Nigerian with a tourism visa so when it got close to 90 days I walked away not to be disappointed. I thought this situation was more secure. I never expected in a million years to have this conversation. Not with him. Not ever.

In all honesty these past few weeks have been incredibly hard. On top of everything I found out I have a cyst inside and above my uterus. My doctor is telling me I may need a hysterectomy. The only alternative at this point is to get pregnant. They believe if I have a child now there is a slight chance these issues would be corrected in the womb. They have given me a window and expect me to choose. I consulted with him. He immediately agreed to do whatever I wanted. However, if I do this I have to be comfortable with the possibility of being a single parent. I wanted to say all of this in person but we have been texting for over a week about it. Yesterday we finally spoke and it was the most difficult and bittersweet conversation. I found myself asking philosophical, life altering questions and him doing the same. It was a three hour call of revelations that I believe we called a draw on. I'm not exactly ready to be a mother. He prefers to be a present and providing father. I've avoided being a single parent all this time. He expected never to have children after coming here and losing her. I'm on a very tight and medical emergent schedule. He doesn't want to commit until he knows more. The outcomes are now so different then our elation just one week ago. Texts have no inflection. We are lost.

He told me a sordid tale of being detained at Miami International Airport. He sounded so violated and angry. I countered with my experience of being asked for my passport over and over again as if I was an illegal in my own country. We came to blows. He is so frustrated that America makes it difficult to stay. I am equally as frustrated because his country makes it so difficult for me to leave. We discussed a child that he may see every 2.3 years when I could afford to travel and meet him halfway. We discussed him walking the streets thinking about a child he couldn't raise. We discussed me coming to live wherever it is he settles since he's been a nomad since being a teen. We discussed his European instinct to never father a child at all. We finally discussed her. We finally discussed the what-ifs. It was harrowing to talk about the distance we'd created over all of this. There were so many "let me finish" and "wait a minutes" and then a sigh of relief on both ends of the phone. 

I go back to the doctor on Tuesday and I truly hope their initial plan was a mistake. In some ways I want his job to find out and assist him. However, I know how people and places can turn in an instant. Lately he's confided in me and a few friends. He escapes in bottles of wine and long fishing trips. I myself am constantly contemplating life with and without him. He promises to do what I want and what will make me happy. However, what makes me feel worse is imagining him thinking of what he can never have. His pain is duly noted before my selfish attempt at fixing things. Everything is a first for me. This balance of keeping each other grounded is entirely new. Although at times it came be refreshing and lovely to watch unfold. It is truly miserable to know oceans may keep us apart and be a deciding factor on our entire lives. At least we took time to convince each other that we aren't old and fat. We still have chances and choices - things that government and waters have no control over. Time. That's what is very uncertain right now in more ways than one. 

December 4th when someone messaged me asking if they were acceptable considering all their constraints and flaws I never imagined all of this. The moment we first talked I told him I liked him and I didn't expect to ever verbally spar with him. I imagined I'd travel with him but not to him or vice versa. I saw myself as a parent but not a wife. I never wanted to be an old parent but to me this is earlier than the imagined plan. I always had an image of my child in my mind and I don't recall this arrangement. I like to think of fate and destiny. So I do believe he was put in my way for a very distinct reason. I try to motivate myself with the belief that all of this is here to test us in very unique ways. Most people that know me would think of me making a different choice. He also thought he knew himself so well but oddly enough he is a new person with strange hope now. He had decided at 28 there was no way he would ever have a child. So instead of inquisition and rejection, he feels pushed to stay here. 

The uncontrollable method of outcome is what bothers him the most. He knows that he is ill-equipped to do whatever other people would do in the same scenario. He doesn't see himself being an illegal or crossing borders in extreme ways just for offspring and a lady. He has been there and done that. Yet another confession during "the talk". He also knows stories of how situations like this can go a rye. He told me of a sixteen year old born here who was deported because his mother was a defector. He said the boy wound up in Hungary not speaking the language or identifying with the people. I imagine this is someone he encountered as a wanderer. Again, so many revelations last night. All the confessions and tales of two people trying do what we wanted but now on a time crunch and not over a entree. I guess there is no easy way to talk about any of it. I know why he stands where he does. If we go somewhere public we could shout. If we go to a park we can't look each other in the eye. If we stand in front of each other we embrace. If we embrace then we can't let go. It sucks. Everyday I check to make sure he has not been fired, gotten a letter or is detained somewhere. Everyday he works under the gun and saves every penny for what may come. Everyday I wait until this consult where they tell me a final answer. Everyday draws closer to a decision be it negative or positive. It is all just a waiting, guessing, hoping game. When it was all so much more. Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. Or have no control in it all slipping away.

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