4:25 PM, Wednesday, July 15th, 2009:
I step out of my car and a man runs up to me.
"Adam Kontras?"
"This is from Donna."
"Is she OK?"
"Just open it. It's all in there..."
Thinking of The Journey, I grab my camera inside the house and return outside...
To explain this properly - I have to do a quick rundown of things with Donna since she left last May.
-We were on good terms for the first couple of months, and then she was kicked out of where she was staying and I helped her out for a month in which she was anything but appreciative (basically just embarrassed she needed my help so she was pissy). When she got a new place we kinda stopped talking. I was very angry at how I was treated after helping her ad infinitum for 2 years.
-In January she writes me a long apology and explains she went back to therapy in November after an 8 month absence and she's realizing just how horrible she was to me. It's incredibly sincere, we meet for coffee, and from January to early May we talk every week or so - see each other 2-3 times a month. Watch movies, wash our cars, play with the dogs... she's going through some intense therapy and clearly needed to talk with someone that knew her and I was happy to help. It was also helpful because we were approaching the 2 year anniversary and would have to go through an interview process with the INS to take the provision of marriage off her greencard. Meaning, until that interview - our marriage is the only reason she has permanent residency. After the interview, we no longer have to be married and she can stay.
Quick note -- the government doesn't force you to stay together just for the greencard if things go bad. You simply have to prove that the marriage was legitimate (which with all our pictures, videos, songs - no doubt how much we cared about each other), and you can be separated within those 2 years. Which, clearly, we were. So don't be concerned that I'm incriminating myself - there's no way in fuck I would lie to the government (or really anyone for that matter - ahem, this entire project).
-In May we were both really busy but went nearly the entire month without seeing each other. Last I heard from her she left a nice voicemail about me going to Africa. How I'd see some amazing things and she was really happy for me.
-Last week when I got back I had a letter from the INS saying it was time to file for the provision to be removed (which everyone does, marriage status notwithstanding) I wrote her an email and voicemail asking her what her schedule was so we could figure out the best way to proceed. I was also really excited to tell her about Africa considering it's where she's from. A day later I got this:
SUBJ: life's hectic
i'm alive. going through SHIT and don't wanna talk right now. don't worry about the ins stuff.
I responded with:
ok - i'll give it a week hon, but we have to fill this stuff out, we can't miss the deadline on this.
:( - hang in there... i love you dearly.
In the days that followed I have to admit, I was really concerned. I honestly don't even know where she lives now, she may not have her job anymore - and even when things were kinda bad last fall between us - we could always talk. She knew I loved her and just wanted her to be safe. It's why I took her in last August... I hold no hard feelings about anything - I know she gave literally everything she had. So something must REALLY be bad. And of course, certainly a bad time to lose contact - right when we have to file stuff with the INS.
So I'm sure you can imagine my utter shock. My first thought was that she was gonna try and take the house or something and that's why she didn't tell me - but she kept her word and clearly wrote on the paperwork that she wants nothing and that the house and car go to me. No lawyer involved on her end, very cut and dry dissolution. Once I made sure all that was in line it really hit me what she just set in motion. 'Cause from both of our understandings and conversations the year previous, you have to get the provision off rom the INS FIRST. So... uhm, did she just file herself a ticket to South Africa? And is she alright? I called several times and wrote her an email - but absolutely zero response. Clearly she doesn't want to talk... but something really, really bad must be goin' down right now.
Not knowing is really, really gonna give me some restless nights. I love Donna dearly. I really do. It doesn't matter how much pain she caused, it was all a result of her own traumas which are more than overwhelming. She's an incredibly sweet soul that must be going through some really intense shit right now and there's no way around it:  I will be worried and concerned for her until she makes contact. No hiding or running from that. That's the price of love. You hand someone the ability to hurt you.