Sure enough, I had an email waiting for me. My heart started beating too fast and I got that feeling I used to get in college when I was waiting for final grades to be posted. Kind of like I wanted to throw up and laugh at the same time. I fought Tank's kisses off with one hand as I opened his email.
From: email@example.com (Cayden)
Date: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 5:20 AM
Subject: Big day!
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (me)
Hope you had a good nights sleep.
So, I'm just going to get right to it, today didn't exactly go to plan...
No. No. No. No. No. I pushed my computer away and squeezed my eyes shut. I didn't want to read any more. If it was bad news, I didn't want to hear it. I wouldn't be able to comprehend it. I didn't prepare myself for anything but good news. I pulled Tank up closer and let him lick my face while I tried to read more.
So, I'm just going to get right to it, today didn't exactly go to plan... I got there, and was called to a window. The woman there was British, really friendly and said she could tell that I was in the military because my paperwork was all there, in the correct order and it made her job really easy. She asked me when I plan to travel, told me what I need to do once I'm married and then gave me a disk with my medical scans on it. She then said that when I move over, I'll need to hand that disk along with the full case file (which gets couriered with the passport) to the border control people. Then she said to just take a seat and I'd be called to the next window...
That was all I could take. I shut the computer and squeezed Tank against me. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay there forever. It was safe in there. I suddenly understood why bears hibernate in the winter. They stay safe and warm and protected. They can pretend like the rest of the world didn't exist. I decided to hibernate in the shower.
I let the warm water pour over me in hopes that it would wash away his words. "Today didn't exactly go as planned." I couldn't even find the energy to squeeze the shampoo bottle. "Today didn't exactly go as planned." I dropped from a standing position to a seated position and watched the water run off the ends of my curly hair. I was trying to prepare myself for the rest of that email. It all sounded to have gone as planned so far. But what happened next? Did a riot break out in the Embassy and they had to reschedule his interview? Or maybe, just maybe, they handed him his visa today instead of making us wait until they sent his passport back? Unlikely.
I felt numb as I dried myself off and wrapped the towel around me. Tank was waiting for me on my bed when I got back. His curly little face and wagging tale almost cheered me up. I set him in my lap and opened the computer in front of me on my bed. I took a deep breath.
I waited for about 45mins and then I was called up. I had to swear that all of the details were true, which I did, and then I signed the application and put your name on the form as asked.
She then asked how and where we met, so i said in New York, you kicked me in the ass and then we stayed in touch after that. I said that after about 7-8 months of emailing, you came over here and we decided to give it a go from there, and I've been going to see you ever since. She said, "I know you've been going over there but has she been over here.?" I said yes, apart from the first time in June 2010, you came over last February and we visited Rome for Valentines day. She then asked why I'm moving there and not you coming here. I said that your family are over there and you're close to them, so I want to move over there. She asked why you, and I said that, well, you're just the female version of me really. We really connect, you're ambitious and we are just perfect for one another in every way. She then said, "what do you intend to do as work?" so I said either IT or Business Consulting type work. She asked if I'm confident I can get a job over there and I said yes because your dad has many contacts over there and he's willing to put me in touch with people he knows to open doors.
So far so good. My breathing began to normalize. I read on.
She then gave me my passport back and said, ok, you can keep your passport, your case needs additional processing which will take a couple of weeks. We'll then contact you and then you need to contact this number on this form to arrange for a courier to pick up your passport, then they will send the passport, visa and documents to you.
They wouldn't say why it needs additional processing. She just said that all of your paperwork is fine, and we don't need anything further from you. You'll here from us in a couple of weeks.
I read the blue form that they gave me and it says "This office regrets to inform you that your visa application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act...
NO. NO. NO. NO. There's no way in hell. The word "refused" punched me in the stomach and I couldn't breathe. This was literally my worst nightmare. And just like in a nightmare, I couldn't move. It was like the boogie man was chasing me and I was stuck in quicksand. I couldn't feel Tank's kisses tickle my arm. I couldn't feel the water dripping from my hair onto my bare shoulders. I couldn't feel anything but my heart slamming against my ribs. I started to wonder if I was still sleeping, maybe this actually was a nightmare. There were no tears. My body couldn't even figure out how to cry. Or breathe. Or blink.
...Section 221(g) prohibits the issuance of a visa to anyone whose application does not comply with the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act or related regulations"...
I took everything I had not to slam the computer shut. I forced my lungs to inhale.
...below that, there are a couple of options. One says you can overcome a refusal by submitting additional evidence to this office, but that one wasn't ticked. One says your visa has been rejected and you can't travel to the US, but that one wasn't ticked. Then the one that was ticked for me says "Your application requires additional processing. We will contact you when processing is completed".
I'm thinking that it's probably because of my name but I really don't know, just gotta wait for them to get back to me now.
I'm just soooo pissed off right now, it's beyond belief. I've jumped through every single hoop they've asked me to do, filled in countless pieces of paper, provided them with a crazy amount of evidence to show we're legit, and they still feel the need to make be go through the agony of another 2-3 weeks of waiting and not knowing. They've done checks on the US side of things because that was done before it came to London. They should be aware that I had an above Top Secret security clearance with the NSA, yet it's still not enough.
What pisses me off even more is that this is our life they're fucking with, and I hate it. Things are probably going to be fine but that uncertainty just doesn't fill me with confidence at all.
Sorry for this email, not the best one to receive when waking up on a Monday morning. I want to try and stay positive, and it probably is just a few more checks and everything will be fine.
I'll call you at the normal time
I love you sooooo much baby. I wish I was there right now to be with you, I could really do with a hug right now.
I still couldn't feel anything. It was like I was reading someone else's story. Nothing made sense. The phone rang and I knew it was Cayden. It was 7:30, right on the dot. Poor Cayden. He'd be so worried about me, about how I'd handle this. I couldn't even begin to process what he was going through. I knew I had to be strong on the phone with him. I had to make him think I was completely fine and that we'd get through this, no problem. Was I OK? How was I handling it?
"I'm so sorry this is happening. This just sucks," I said on the phone.
"We'll get through this. We always do."
"We'll be together forever someday soon and it will be the most amazing feeling in the world. We just have to wait."
I knew I had to say those things. It's the only thing anyone could say. I assured him that I was OK and told him I'd call him on my lunch break.
It wasn't until I was driving to work that the weight of his email came crushing down on me. I broke down into uncontrollable sobs. I could barely see the cars on the road through my tears. I knew I should pull over, but I needed the wind against my cheeks to keep me from passing out.
What if they never approved our visa?? Who were they to say I couldn't be with the only person I couldn't imagine living without?? I was supposed to be getting married in two months. TWO MONTHS!!
I didn't care that people saw me crying hysterically in the car. I didn't even attempt to play "Life's Like a Jumprope." No lyrics would change the words of that email. "This office regrets to inform you that your visa application has been refused..."