Adriana loved the United States and told everyone she’d never return to Colombia except to visit. She was studying advanced English in an adult school and planned to start a business after she met the right American man. She believed many would be interested since she’d had two husbands and numerous boyfriends in Colombia.
Her first man in the U.S. was a big cowboy, not a professional but one who rode horses and wore a cowboy hat after work as a carpenter. He took her to dinner and dancing and several times to his home, and always told Adriana how beautiful her two blonde daughters were when she displayed pictures on her cell phone and said, “I looked like that twenty years ago, maybe better.”
The cowboy stopped calling so Adriana said yes when a married insurance agent asked her out. Now she quit school to work as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant and earn enough to move out of her sister’s family home and rent a small apartment in an unpleasant part of town. The agent didn’t mind. He parked and rushed to ring her doorbell.
On her television rested two large color photos, one of each daughter. Before leaving, the agent gazed at the images.
“I was like that before I gained a little weight.”
“Quite a little bit.”
“I’m going to diet.”
“That would help. When are your daughters going to visit?”
“When their husbands aren’t so busy.”
Adriana saw the agent driving with a woman and next time he phoned told him, “Don’t never call me again.”
She arranged to work the late lunch and regular dinner shifts so she could return to school in the mornings. She thought one of the custodians was cute and, after a brief conversation, she said, “I finish work at eight tonight. Can you visit me?”
He could and did so a few times. After that he told her, “I’m just too busy.”
“What’s wrong? I don’t understand American men.”