A Glance (and a Rooster) That Changed Everything – The New York Times

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 9:53 am

The jobs not all she got, my mother said, mentioning my white boyfriend.

My grandmother said she had never associated with a white person outside of church, and she didnt think they were all that friendly.

She returned a few weeks later with her boyfriend, Emwa. They had been dating for 20 years and she wanted him to hear the story. Afterward, she insisted I bring Xander to their house for a visit. Emwa was worried about the bad road, the long hike and the sorry state of the house, which had become infested with termites.

If he truly cares for her, my grandmother said, hell come.

The invitation was a test, one I worried Xander would fail, not wanting to trek into the mountains to visit my poor grandmother. But he said he would come.

On Sunday, we left town in a taptap (a little truck) and made our way to my grandmothers house. I was ashamed of the dirt floor, but Xander didnt seem to care.

Our relationship deepened as the strife around us grew worse. Cholera ravaged the tent camps. Hundreds got sick, filling the morgue. Xander and I would meet for lunch, scrubbing our hands with Clorox soap, and then he would put his head in my lap, and I would play with his hair. He extended his stay once, and again, until his visa was about to expire.

The first thing Xander did when he landed in Miami, before he called his own family, was to call me. After that, we spoke for hours every day. Neighbors told me he would never return, that I was just a way to pass the time. But on the phone, he asked if I wanted to come live with him. I didnt know if he was serious. I had never left Haiti or even flown on a plane.

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A Glance (and a Rooster) That Changed Everything - The New York Times

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