Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless it's Marriage!

Living with someone you take care of and work for at the same time can be no fun at times. I had been working for more than two months straight, without a day off. I joined a dating site, I KNOW, I KNOW! Don’t judge me, I had no friends, no nothing! I talked to a few guys but the fact that I was doing a live in job (sleep in) was a deal breaker. One of the guys and I came really close. He was cute, really tall, with long-sh curly hair, green eyes, and had a soft, gentle voice. I like my men like I like my coffee, White and weak. Haha, Just kidding, I don’t drink coffee. My sister once said she likes her men like she likes her coffe: Blonde with blue eyes haha! Go figure! This guy and I talked for hours. I changed my mind about after talking about him with a friend, I heard how stupid the things she said when I retold them to that friend.

Then there was Nelson. An older The oldest man you can ever imagine on a dating site. He didn’t want to email back and forth. He wanted to Skype instead. I added him. We chatted for a few hours. He told me he wanted me to move in with him, He was going to take me to Vegas, where we would get married. Yeah sure, when? I went along with it, out of sheer boredom. He sat on the same spot everyday and wanted to do nothing but chat on Skype. He showed me the entire house on webcam. When I saw that huge, kingsize bed, I could’ve packed my bags and moved to Texas. I kid you not! I was that tired. I just wanted to sleep for days, nonstop! As If that man was going to let me sleep for days. I mean really now!

I had to block him when he started getting all dirty on me. I wanna Fck my baby, I wanna do this and do that to my baby. I started talking to another man from the site. He seemed nice and sweet. He’s going through a divorce, his wife left him in May. They had been married for 23 years. No kids. He wanted me to move in with him right away. He lives in California. It was just before Winter. I was excited by the idea of skipping the winter, and heading straight to  California where it’s always sunny. At least the part I was going to be at if I had taken him on his offer. He also proposed marriage, he said the day his divorce gets finalised, we’d head for Vegas and get married. All I want is to be married by an Elvis impersonator J . He has his own business, he wanted me to help him with that, he works from home. He made offers that were really hard to refuse.

The nurses were telling me constantly how Avon was going to leave us any minute. The end was near. One of the nurses told me, she’d be surprised if she made it to Halloween. That’s the end of October, as you well know. Gosh, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Where am I going to leave? I had been looking for a job since I started the job at Avon’s, nothing! I was beginning to panic! I had to do something, but what!

I was also chatting to a very nice gentleman from somewhere in the Desert. The first guy wanted me to move in with him ASAP. Some of the men I was talking to , just wanted to move in and get married. Nobody knows how serious they were. He sent me about  pictures per email. Awkward! I mean you get to the point where you run out of compliments. I mean really now! He called me once. He had a really REALLY nice voice! He sent me pictures of his house and car. Turns out, that’s not the house he was living in. That’s the house he lost. And the pictures were all old. I asked him for current pictures. He sent me a picture of himself, standing outside his apartment, that he was building all by himself, he had a walking stick in his hand. WHAT? He had very long white hair, he looked really scary. Something about his eyes. They are very deep and sad. He wasn’t smiling in any of his pictures. And I saw a lot of them! I freaked out and stopped all contact with him. He felt bad and sent me emails, asking him what he did wrong, apologising blah blah blah. I felt bad too but it’s what it is

You don't know Jack!

N called me daily, a few times a day. That was unusual for us especially with everything we went through. Most of what he talked about were other people, especially T. I wasn’t trying to get myself in no hot mess, so I would just go  really, oh no, what, omg,haha. That’s it. One morning, around five (T’s magic hour), I got a text from T. “Brook, I heard everything you have been telling people about me. I am begging you to stop. I don’t know what I did to you, but please stop now, I will do anything, please, this is too much!” I didn’t respond, I had nothing to say, just like I had nothing to say about her, I had nothing to say to her either. On our next conversation with N, who was the only South African I was talking to at the time, I asked her what she had been telling people I was saying about T. As you may well know, what one says and what people say you  said can be totally different. She told me she doesn’t talk to South Africans, plus there was nothing to tell them, she only talked to one lady, a South African friend of hers, and so and so and So and So, I thought to myself, I don’t need this. I’m sure N was happy to see that T and I had a falling out after both T And I were not talking to her, now that I am back asking her for a favour, with my tail in between legs, of course she’s gonna tell people about it. I wouldn’t blame her.

Time was flying and I didn’t know when I was going to get my stuff, Effie had suggested  I just forget about the stuff. The thing is, those were all the nice things I brought, a lot of them had sentimental value, my sister used to do my shopping for me. She bought most of the stuff overseas, Europe and The US whenever she went on vacation. I couldn’t just let all those go.

One day, before Liz left, I had bought myself a new leopard print bra. I showed it to her. After lunch, on her day back, she showed me her new bra, It looked exactly the same as mine. Apparently she went to all the stores I had been talking about, shopping at and shopped up a storm. We went upstairs for her to give me what she had brought me. It so happened that I may have mentioned my clothing size to her one day while talking. Which  I regret because she bought me a bag full of clothes IN MY SIZE, so that Excuse was out. Why was I going to say I wasn’t going to take the stuff. Darn it!

She took me to one of the common rooms, old, worn out, Shoprite plastic in hand and made me try all the clothes in front of her. Crap! I couldn’t get out of that one. I was busy thinking what  I was going to say, I couldn’t come up with anything. So I just said, it’s so nice of you to have done this, but I really don’t feel comfortable accepting gifts especially so much, as you know everyone who has been kind to me in this country, turned around and stabbed me in the back. I appreciate your friendship (NOT) and wouldn’t want to risk it going that way. Thanks though. DIDN’T WORK. She forced the bag in my hand and walked away.

In case you’re wondering what she bought me;  She got me EIGHT items of clothing! Count ‘em! Men’s t-shirts and one pair of pants. All from the thrift store (Second hand store)! No offence but they all smelled. She told me not to wash them, she and her cousins shop there all the time, the clothes are so clean, they never bother to wash them. I like how she went to the normal store, bought herself stuff that looks like mine, then went to the thrift store to buy ME stuff. Good Going Liz! I took the Shoprite plastic bag to the Apartment, showed the stuff to Avon, she was like “ohhhhhh mmmyyy Gosh, Brook, you’re in trouble! You know what this means, right?” No, I don’t, what does it mean? “You have a friend for life! She is buying your friendship. She can see that you’ve been avoiding her, now she’s buying you over.” I told her I wasn’t going to keep the stuff. I didn’t know where to put it because it smelled so much. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against second hand clothes, my mom sells them. I grew up wearing them. And selling them!  It’s just that, there’s something about someone who buys you a bunch of old smelly clothes.

We sat together at Dinner. She told me how nice she is, ‘you see Brook, not everybody is a bad person. I’m your friend,  I want only the best for you...’ I had to bite my tongue because I just wanted to ask, then why did you buy me old clothes. That’s your idea of nothing but the best? Earlier on, I had even told her that I had bought a whole lot of clothes online, which I was expecting anytime then Plus my stuff from Connecticut was on the way. I am not stable yet, I can’t afford to have a ton of things  I won’t be able to move around with. She didn’t care, she just wanted to be friends forever.

The next morning, I called her. She was in the old lady’s apartment. Before I could go there, she was calling me back, so excited that I had called. Crap, this is not the kind of news to be excited about. I had to go through with it! Walking towards her apartment, I was still trying to figure out what I was going to tell her, then she came out looking for me. Gosh, patience please! I gave her the bag and apologised profusely that I couldn’t accept the gift, she didn’t even let me finish, she grabbed the bag, rolled her eyes and said “Geeeezus!” I was happy to have been rid of the “gift” and walked back to Avon’s with a huge sigh of relief. “What did she say, Brook, what did she say?” Avon wanted to know!

Liz never talked to me again. I didn’t lose a wink of sleep over that, at all. Here’s the very person who told me she was a nice person, blah blah blah, that was a chance for him to prove how nice she was. If that were a test, she would’ve failed dismally. It’s just that I didn’t care. The next day, one of the nurses called me from the TV room. Avon wanted to see me. One of my online orders had arrived! I was so happy. The next day, I got more and more. I had bought 9 pairs of shoes and few tracksuits (sweat sets) for winter. Not too long thereafter, my stuff from Connecticut arrived. I was so in disbelief, I could cry! Reunited at last! Whew!

Immigrations officers and deportation

My boss had warned me that Avon’s health had already deteriorated and that I probably was going to be at the job for a month, tops. I prayed everyday for another job; of course I did apply as well, NOTHING! Most agencies require you to have a car. Which I hadn’t bought yet for a bundle of reasons. FYI I neither went clothes shopping nor Cellphone shopping. Mainly because I didn’t want to and because I never heard from T again. I was grateful for each day I had a job.

In October, my friend, Effie had to take time off work. An acquaintance found her a relief, She asked me nicely to help the new girl who we’ll call Liz. I remember, I was on my way shopping when Liz arrived. WE were gone for about an hour to an hour and a half. She and I talked afterwards. She seemed nice, she was Jamaican. My other Jamaican friend had left, she found a better offer. It was just this lady and I who were Private Aides at time, everybody else had left.

I love my friends but sometimes, I like to do my own thing, you know? Be in my head a little bit. Liz liked to hang out all the time, talking about how great a person she was, how great a friend, cousin, wife and all that she was. Her stories got tired FAST! I was ready to hide under a rock and never ever come back.

Out of desperation of wanting my clothes, I needed them, I was tired of wearing the same clothes for more than a month. I called N. She seemed happy to hear from me. The thing about N is, she seemed like a nice, sociable person, we had our fun times, she and I. When she wasn’t busy kicking me out of the apartment. T had told me never to talk to her again and not to tell her I had left those clothes of mine there, but turned around and denied it all. She was also not about to help ship the stuff to me. What I wasn’t going to do was to go to N’s apartment to get my stuff, AND SPEND THE NIGHT THERE, on T’s bed. There was nothing there for me! Everything had changed.

N was nice, she asked where I was and what I was doing. I needed a favour from her, the last person I thought I would ever ask for anything. She was happy to help. She told me she would do it as soon as she could. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t about to believe it until I saw the stuff on my doorstep either. I got a text one morning around 5 from T. It went something like this, “Brook, I helped you when  you had nothing in America, now that you have a job, you won’t even pay your share of rent for the apartment...” It was going to be easier for me to pay the money, instead of arguing that I was never there, not one day that month and she was the one who told me to leave some of my clothes. I prayed about it, and made arrangements with N as to how I was going to transfer the money into her account.

N told me T had paid a third of her share of rent. N texted her for the first time in months to find out what was going on. She told her Brook would pay the rest. Good thing I called N when I did. T told me to pay an additional $50  (R450) penalties for late rent. Great! Basically all the money I was getting for my first month was poof, out the window. Rent, gifting people for helping me with the job, shipping my stuff, birthday gifts. I had been talking to some man from New Jersey online. I asked him for a ride to run some errands. I also got a chance to deposit the rent money into N’s account. It came as a surprise to her, the whole thing did. She got to pay a bit less than she would normally have had because someone else was going to pay a third of the rent.


Weeks passed and N didn’t have time to ship me my stuff. My concern was that another month was going to go by and I was going to find myself having to pay rent again. It would have been better if I was renting an apartment in New Jersey, where I could go hang out whenever I had time. That one was just too far. I brought that up on one of our conversations, N said, you know you will have to pay rent this month as well, right? GREAT! WTF! She was doing a T on me. Promising to ship me the stuff, withholding it and then turning around and making me pay for it. I remembered an old “friend” of mine, Jack, remember him? Guy from the library, who took me out for  A SLICE OF PIZZA?

I called him, we talked about a few things. He offered to help me get my stuff to the post office. I would then pay him back whatever costs he would incur. When he had a chance, he liaised with both N and I and went over to the apartment to collect the stuff. Apparently N was at the library. Interesting because In the time I had lived there, N never went to the library, but okay. It was pouring outside. He called and told me he was going to WALK home IN THE RAIN, CHANGE  into DRY clothes and then WALK back to N’s IN THE POURING rain! I asked him to wait a few more minutes for N. He knew the library wasn’t far from the apartment, that’s where he and I met!

A few minutes later, I got a call from N. She was at the apartment, Jack was nowhere to be found, awesome! She had been trying to reach him on the phone, he wouldn’t pick up. I call and texted him too to no avail. Well, that was close! I almost got my stuff.  T put in her notice. She was moving out. That could really complicate things for me. My stuff being there, and her being gone. I had to get my stuff before she moved. Apparently she packed all her stuff and took mine off the hangers and piled it up somewhere in the closed. I have no proof of that though.

While Effie was on her leave, the old lady she was taking care off was complaining to anyone who would listen about how Effie left her without saying goodbye That was not true. Trust me! I know Effie and I know that lady. Old lady also told her daughter, who was there almost everyday, that she didn’t want Effie back, she was happy with Liz. Initially, Effie thought she was going to need only a few days off, she had to extend, so she told her boss, the daughter that. When she did, the daughter told her not to bother returning. They fired her and replaced her with the lady she got them as her relief! That was a slap on the face if there ever was one!

It didn’t end there. I got a call from Effie asking me what Liz had been telling me about the job. I told her Liz had been complaining from day one about how she didn’t like the job and how she couldn’t wait to have Liz back so she could go back home. I bumped into Liz in the hallway crying her lungs out. I asked her what’s wrong, but she just kept running, completely ignoring me. Effie called again, I asked her what the heck was going on. She told me that Liz had stole her job and she wanted it back. She had told Liz to tell their boss that she didn’t want the job and to leave the following day. On asking Effie if she was going to be back the following day, she told me, she couldn’t, she was very busy with her personal stuff but wanted the boss to find her own replacement, not someone she, Effie introduced them too. I was like My Gosh, these people don’t play!

Everybody knew about that drama! I tried to stay as clear of it as I possibly could. Effie was my friend, Liz was an ok girl, we were getting along. Plus, I didn’t know who was lying of the two of them. The daughter tried to talk to me about the whole thing and how disappointed she was in Effie, I told her, I didn’t want to get involved. That I wasn’t going to talk to her about my friend and then turn around and pretend that I didn’t have that conversation with her to Effie. Liz had told me that she had been in the country for five years. She was a permanent citizen. In the midst of the drama, she came to me in the TV room. She told me she was leaving. WHAT? WHY? WHAT’S HAPPENING? “Effie and ‘er friends ‘ave been texting and calling me threatening to turn me into immigrations” But why? You shouldn’t care cos you’re legal, right? That’s what you told me! “Let me tell you something, I’m ‘ere on vacation, my visa will expire in November whereupon I will go back to Jamaica, me now uhm, very scared! They said immigrations will be ‘ere tomorrow to deport me”

LORDA MERCY! She said her goodbyes, told me to stay in touch, the whole shebang. I was confused. Effie kept calling Liz and I back to back. I put my phone on silence and ignored her because the whole thing was getting out of hand. I wanted no part of it. The next morning, I was in the TV room. That was kinda like my office, l my chill place. I was usually by myself in there, I could Skype and do whatever in peace.  Liz came in, she is tall and walks very fast, her steps are really long, she rushed in there bearing gifts; a pair of earrings: silver hoops with green ball like decorative things, three on one hoop and two on the other. Don’t ask! And a matching ring, you know the ones that are adjustable? If you know me, you know I don’t feel comfortable when someone gives me a gift, Half the time, I won’t accept it, or I will take if it you force me, then give it back to you. Apparently that’s rude, I’m sorry but It’s just how I am.

I refused the gifts (for more reasons than one), she put them on the table next to me and walked out. I was tempted to leave them there. I showed them to Avon and tried to regift them to her haha, she wouldn’t take them. A few days later, I heard that Liz might be returning to work. Crap! There goes my peace of mind! I called to confirm the rumour, she didn’t know what I was talking about. The old lady ended up without an Aide now that they had fired Effie too. One day, I had a strange feeling while waiting in line outside the nursing station with Avon (see I did work, I wasn’t just chilling at the TV station everydayJ). I called Liz to ask if she was back, she told me no, but while we were talking on the phone, I was walking around looking for her at the dining room. THERE SHE WAS! She was so happy, jumping up and down for joy. She ran upstairs to tell me she had something for me, GREAT, more  presents!



Do you spit or do you swallow?

My new boss had told me he would give me money on my arrival at work so I could get whatever I needed around the apartment. That didn’t happen, I couldn’t even get hold of him on the phone when I got there. He had previously told me that he was on vacation in another State. He had also promised to pay me monthly. I’d have preferred getting paid weekly like everybody else in the United States of America, but ok. The first month was also T’s birth month. I was excited to be working so I could get her something nice for her birthday. I owed her a lot for all her help and friendship. Boss changed his mind and promised to pay me every other week. That was better for me!  I didn’t get paid the first two weeks . And the next.  I couldn’t get hold of my boss. There I was having just gone through a gruelling month at work, more like a boot camp and I didn’t even get paid for it! I could’ve quit but where would I go?

I stuck it out, with the hope that at some point, when my boss was back from his ever so long vacation, he would pay me. I did inform Avon, just so somebody knew about it. Her friend offered to pay me and have Boss reimburse her. I couldn’t let her do that. What if Boss had no intentions of paying me! God forbid. The other Private Aides (my job) were getting paid weekly, they were shopping up a storm, eating out, having parcels delivered for them, Nothing for Brook.

The other Aides were very nice people, Effie, from Nigeria, another lady from Jamaica, one from Cameroon, who was cool too but she quit soon after I started there and another one from Ghana, that one was a bit of a character but whatever, variety is a spice of life. Effie and I became closer and closer with time. She was my best friend there. I noticed my friendship with T dwindling from the moment  I arrived in New Jersey. The calls became fewer, more of my calls were not picked, whenever I got a call back, someone would coincidentally call and I would have to hang up and promised a call back which never happened. Also, the content of our calls was more of, “So what are you going to do with your money, when you get paid cos it’s gonna be a lot! He might even give you a bonus because he will be paying you late!” I told her I wanted a car, It was vital to that field of work. “Why would you want to buy a car now, you should buy clothes! Winter clothes are going to be on sale. I will take you to the stores, You can buy tracksuits, this, that and the other.” Uhm or I can buy a car!

“Brook, have you decided what you are going to do with your money? I‘ve been thinking; You should buy a new phone! Buy the latest Blackberry. You really need a phone!” Uhm, Well, I need a car, so I think that’s what I’m gonna buy! You don’t listen, blah blah blah! End of the month came and I didn’t get paid. I was sad because I wanted to surprise T and get her something nice for her Birthday. When she and I went to New York one weekend, we drove past Sunglass Hut. I took a picture and told her  I would tag my nephew on Facebook. He had worked at their Sandton branch and loved it there. She became interested in Sunglass Hut and asked her boyfriend to buy her sunglasses from there. Apparently he had told her they are unnecessarily expensive, and he wasn’t going to do that. I thought I would surprise her by getting her the sunglasses for her birthday.

I had left some clothes at the apartment in Connecticut, T’s idea. I needed some of the clothes and because I could see the friendship was going south, I thought it best to have all my stuff with me. I asked her to ship me the stuff as promised. “I never promised to ship you those clothes, Brook!”  Interesting! I remember very well having that conversation with her. The other idea I had was to go to Connecticut. Brad and I had been talking for two months. I thought I would take a weekend off work and spend it with her. I would also spend some time  with Brad AND on the way back, get my stuff from the apartment.

I called T, ever so excited to tell her about the plans. She cut me off,

T:            Why do you want to come here when you have an apartment?

Me:        I do? Where?

T:            In New Haven! That’s our apartment!

Me:        It is?

T:            Of course, your stuff has been there for an entire month, who do you think is going to pay your share of rent? Here in America, it doesn’t matter what you have in someone’s apartment, you have to pay rent. I TOLD YOU TO TELL N WHEN YOU WERE LEAVING, YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO ME. ADMIT IT, YOU WEREN’T LISTENING WHEN I TOLD YOU THAT!

Me:        You told me to leave the stuff there, you would ship it to me as soon as possible and then tell me how much it cost you so I could reimburse you!

T:            I NEVER SAID THAT.

After back and forth of he said, she said,  I had to go, I told her I had to go and hung up. She called me back.


Me:        I told you I had to go. (who’s not listening now)

That was a super awkward moment.  I sent her a text a few days later asking her to ship my clothes. She never responded. I GOT PAID! After working Five weeks with no pay, but I was happy to finally get paid. Because I had made a commitment, albeit to myself, I was still follow through. I ordered a gift voucher of $100 (R900) from Sunglass Hut. They had a Sale. Sunglasses were $80 and the ones T liked were $89. I had the voucher shipped to her work address, where she lived and texted her to the fact. I send her friend (a South African), who played a big role in getting me the job a $100 money order and mailed it to her address. She lived in New Jersey, so she would have  received it either the same day or the next. I never heard from her as to whether or not she got it. I sent it as a surprise.  I sent another lady, also from South Africa, a $100 gift voucher from Macy’s as a thank you. She sent me a very heartfelt text thanking me.

No word from T and her friend from NJ with regards to whether or not they got my surprises. I called them both, no answer. I sent her a text asking if she got it. She replied that she hadn’t. The friend told me she got it but forgot to let me know. WOW! I bet you she didn’t forget to tell T about it!

Brad, on the other hand, after telling him my plans of going to Connecticut, told me what he wanted to do to me, in fact, more like what he wanted me to do to him; “I want you to suck my this, lick my that, go down on me, lick MY TOES, let me f*ck you in the *ss and then  c*m all over your face. You can also swallow my c*m if you like.”

From Connecticut to New Jersey via New York

Getting the job was the best news I could ever get especially at that point in time. I had to be at work at 12 midday on Tuesday. They told me that Monday morning. Sam had offered to drop me off in New Jersey. I didn’t feel too comfortable with the offer knowing it was going to be a four hour drive one way and he didn’t make that much money PLUS this is the same guy who couldn’t afford a packet of potato chips just the other day. I called him out of courtesy to tell him I would be leaving the following day. He told me he had to be at work and wouldn’t be able to take me. Surprise! NOT. He did ask to see me one last time before that night (Monday night). We went to Burger King, it was nice/awkward/weird if there is such a thing :)

As  usual, I spent all day at the library. T and I had a talk on the phone, she said not to tell N that I got the job and how I got it. I had no problem with that. I didn’t have any intentions to tell her anyway. Because I was going to use public transportation, T told me I could leave some of my clothes at hers, stuff like heels and dress up clothes as I was going to be staying at work, and basically working 24/7. I wanted to take everything with me, once and for all. She convinced me to leave some, because I didn’t want any awkwardness, I did. She then, during the same call, told me to tell N about the job. I was like, uhm, I thought we agreed not to? ‘No, I said you should tell her. What if something happens with the patient and you end up needing a place to stay again?’ Well, then, I will have to find somewhere else to crash, This woman has been kicking me out as long as I have been here, she doesn’t care if I got a job or not. SHE WANTS ME OUT. PERIOD! T practically begged me to tell N, which got me slightly confused. I didn’t get the reasoning behind the whole thing of me telling N. Why would N care?

I didn’t want to pack that night and have N seeing my paced bags when she got home from work that night, So I quickly called it a day. I had to get up really early the next morning. I had never been to New Jersey and I was going to do so using public transportation and the fact that I had to be there so early was a major concern. Before I went to sleep, T called to remind me not to forget NOT to tell N about the job. Don’t ask! WE were both were so excited that I was going to disappear without N knowing where I was.

Tuesday Morning, I got up at 2 am. Nice and sleepy. N was asleep in the next bedroom. I packed, very quietly! I packed up all my groceries and put them next to the garbage cans outside for the homeless people. T even told me to dispose of some of the things she had left at the house. N got up just before I walked out. FCK! She went to the kitchen. My bags were packed. She saw them but said nothing about them. Talk about a big elephant or suitcase in the room. A few minutes later, I grabbed my luggage and went, “See you later”. I was OUT!

This was before five am. I rolled my suitcase to the bus stop and chilled there until the bus came. I was there for a while but I didn’t care. I almost missed the bus, apparently the driver didn’t see me. I got off in New Haven where I was going to take the train to New York. When I arrived in New Haven, I wasn’t sure how to get to the Train Station. I’d mentioned that to the driver who told me  I would be ok where he was going to drop me off. I WASN’T. I had to walk for about a minute. I dragged the heaviest suitcase you can ever imagine across the street in the dark, sweating like a race horse and proceeded towards the bus stop. I didn’t see any bus stop signs, so I kept walking. I ended up at the main bus rank. I thought it would be better if I asked someone for directions. There was nobody to ask. It was too early and too dark. I went back to my GPS and saw that I left the bus stop behind. I walked back and realised I just missed the bus. Great! I had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus. If I didn’t have all that baggage, I would’ve just walked to the train station.

I killed time by chatting my sister via BBM. Thanks to the time difference (South Africa is 6 hours behind Connecticut). A few minutes later I heard someone cough, turns out there was a homeless person sleeping right next to me at the bus stop the entire time! The bus finally arrived; it dropped me off at the train station. I missed the train I had planned on taking. I still had time though, depending on how the rest of the trip was going to go. Man, those trains are really busy early in the morning! I suppose there are a lot of people who do the two hour commune from Connecticut to New York daily.

I love Grand Central Station! I love New York City period! Whenever I am there, my heart smiles. I took a train from Grand Central to Time Square, another one to The Port Authority, Then one more to New Jersey, and finally a taxi cab to the facility. Good thing I left as early as I did, 4am, I still made it on time. When I arrived, everybody asked me who I was going to take care of, when I told them, I got a pat on the back and a “good luck, you’re gonna need it”. I was exhausted, it had been a 7 hour trip to New Jersey, I had been up forever and I just wanted to sleep. When everybody wished me luck, I knew I needed it for more reasons than one. They took me upstairs to, let’s call her Avon, Avon’s room. My heart beat fast, I was a little overwhelmed. Where am I, what am I doing here, do I know what I am doing, why I am doing it, am I prepared for this, what if I mess up, this, that and the other.

Everybody at the facility told me that she was in such a bad condition that there was a possibility she wasn’t going to return that day. I hoped that was true, that would have given me some time to rest. I had a sandwich in the dining room for lunch, and went back to the room. I turned the TV on, just as I did, the head nurse opened the door “Brook, She’s here!” FCK! Hi Avon, nice too meet you, I’m Brook! I turned the tv off and helped get her into bed. Her friend was with her. As soon as the paramedics left and the room was cleared, the friend wanted to have a meeting, she, Avon and I. Sure! I said. “First things first, the Television! That’s off bounds to you! This is Avon’s television. If it’s on, that means she wants it on, if it’s off, that means she wants it that way, never ever touch it!” etc.

The friend spent the entire afternoon there. I said just outside the room, not knowing what to do with myself. Praying, ENDLESSLY!

While I was downstairs having lunch, the staff introduced me to a very nice lady from Nigeria who was doing the same type of work as I was. She had a very nice vibe about her. I knew we were going to be friends. She was the light at the end of the tunnel that was my day. We’ll call her Effie.

In no time, the day was over, Avon went to sleep. I went to the TV room, to talk to T on the phone. Just to give her an update. The call must have been ten minutes, fifteen at most. When I got back in the bedroom, Avon complained about how I was gone for hours and left her all by herself when she needed me.