Desesperada – Part 1
By Sinmisola Ogúnyinka
America! A woman’s dream come true.
Sofia had a new place of her own, and a job in a company. That was far more than any woman could want. I was tired of my existence and this chance visit – must become permanent! I only needed to figure out a way to do it.
My cousin wasn’t better off than me, but she won the visa lottery, and see her now, living the American dream.
She placed a mug of steaming hot chocolate on the table before me and sat across.
“This should keep you warm, Maria,” Sofia said.
“The mere thought of being here with you keeps me warm!” I giggled. “This is the life, Sofia! You are so blessed.”
She shrugged. “Life is good, but not easy, Maria. The dollar is not easy to earn.”
Hmm, that is what they all say so we won’t ask them for money, selfish goats! I thought but I beamed instead.
“But you are earning it. That’s what’s important.” I gripped her hand. “You need to show me the way. How do I live here, get a job?”
“You can’t overstay your visa, Maria.” Sofia wringed her fingers. “The dollar may not be easy to earn when you are legal, it’s outright tough and near-impossible when you are out of status.”
“But many people are doing it! Why can’t I?” Self-righteous fool.
“I can’t be party to you staying here illegally.”
I snickered. “You will chase me out of your house? Send me back home?” I got on my feet and began to pace. I can’t go back. There’s nothing there for me. “Okay, so how do people get legal. At least there must be a way. Besides the lottery, which you got.”
“I’d say keep trying with the lottery. God is still faithful.”
“Hmm, so faithful in ten years since everyone in our family has played it, only you won. And you can’t even file for any of us.”
Sofia rolled her eyes. “God is still faithful.”
“Anyway,” I returned to my seat and watched my drink cool down. “What ways can someone get a green card here?”
Sofia shook her head. “The only other way I know is if you marry an American—”
I jumped back on my feet. “Didn’t you say Lorenzo lives here too? Is he married?”
“Lorenzo?” Sofia laughed. “Why would you think—Lorenzo, my foot.”
Lorenzo was our neighbor back home. One of those really nasty ones. He just disappeared one day, and some ten years later when Sofia won the lottery, she found Lorenzo was in America. Living the dream!
Sofia continued talking. “I don’t even know if he’s legal or not. Married or not. He dresses like a rock star and drives fast cars. For all I know he’s dealing drugs. I don’t relate with him at all, Maria.” She stood. “Don’t be desesperada.” She walked out and came back with her coat. “I’m going for prayer meeting down the street. Wanna come?”
I drank from my mug for the first time. “Pray for me.”
She shook her head and left.
I just arrived today. And I had no plans on returning. Even if I had to marry Lorenzo.
About the Author
Sinmisola Ogúnyinka is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer and movie producer. She has a university degree in Economics and is a Craftsman of Jerry B. Jenkins’ former Christian Writers’ Guild. She lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA.
You can read Sinmisola's flash fiction on the 4th Tuesday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette. Part II of this story will be published in Sinmisola's column next month.