I ended up in San Jose, California a few months after I had graduated.
I had met a guy online. I decided to move to a new state where I knew exactly 1 person. Not one of my brightest moments. My mom told me not to go but I was stubborn to say the least. I guess I had to learn the hard way.
So me, my two suitcases and a headfull of dreams ended up at SeaTac airport. I remember boarding the plane thinking “this is the best decision I’ve ever made”…The plane landed and reality soon set in. Long story short, the guy and I didn’t work out. Surprising right? Yeah, I know you are thinking “should’ve listened to your mom”. Well I didn’t.
I moved out of our apartment shortly after and got my own place. I began to branch out and experience new things. Throughout this time, I began making new friends. One of my first friends upon moving was Joseph. He was a flamboyant little guy that liked to have a good time. He invited me to his birthday party and me being new and not knowing many people, I obliged. This is where I first met Alphonso. He was standing back and observing the debauchery that was occurring. This was no ordinary party. Joseph did a nice little song and dance to Cher’s “Do you believe” song…that was something I never saw before. I quickly realized I was not in Washington State anymore. Welcome to California, where the strangest things WILL happen.
I soaked everything up like a sponge. The culture, the people, the newness of everything. I loved it. I felt I belonged here more than anywhere I had ever been. I began dating and really enjoyed traveling around and seeing things for the first time like Alcatraz, sightseeing in San Francisco and hanging out on the beach.
On one occasion, I was invited to San Francisco by a coworker. I didn’t really look at it as a date more like just hanging out with a friend. He took me to all the sightseeing attractions in San Francisco. We spent the whole day there. By the time we got back to San Jose, it was pretty late. He insisted on me spending the night at his house but something inside me (what I now know to be intuition) told me to not go. I insisted he take me to my car, which was at the Walmart parking lot. I convinced him that I needed to get some stuff out of my car. The truth was I wanted to get away from him as soon as I could. Just this feeling of “get the hell out quick” came over me. He pulled up next to my car in an almost dark, empty parking lot. I got out and said I will be back in a minute. I got out and he must’ve caught on to me, he got out and grabbed my coat. I pulled my arm back and quickly got in my car. Thank God for car remotes because I fear that if I hadn’t unlocked my car prior, it would have turned out much differently. I jumped in and locked myself in the car. He began banging on my car window and telling me he just wanted to talk. I started my car and got the hell out of there. I remember shaking with adrenaline, realizing what I had just escaped from. God only knows what he had in store for me that night.
A few weeks later he was arrested at the store. I’m not sure what he did. Part of me didn’t want to know.
One of the better memories of this time is when I met Freddie. I had met him the very first day I started at the San Jose Wal-mart. He was tall, dark and handsome. He was soft spoken and had eyes that were so kind. I remember the first time I left Cali to fly home for Christmas he gave this cute little card inside it read “ To you and your family, Be careful when you are at the airport, don’t talk to any strangers, Love always Freddie” This is when I knew he was the one for me. So thoughtful, so amazing in every way.
Soon after he asked me out on our first date. I was so nervous. He picked me up and we went to the movies. I had not dressed appropriately for the weather and found myself freezing. He gave me his sweater to wear. I can go on and on about him, but I’m sure you can guess how the rest went. I fell in love with him. We did everything together. We talked about getting married, having kids and spending our lives together. Well, just my luck. It didn’t turn out that way.
After two years, I became homesick and missed my family. Yeah I visited every 3 or 4 months but I felt like I was missing so much. I decided to move back to Washington. We talked about having a long distance relationship or him moving to Washington State. The night before I left, he gave me a ring. He promised we would figure it out. I believed him.
So as I loaded my Sentra and picked up Alphonso, my heart was telling me to stay.
I left anyways.