As I step out of the US Consulate building, relieved to be done with the nerve-racking interview, I’m pleasantly surprised to see Heleena waiting for me. I met her briefly for the first time at the long queue snaking its way into the interview section so I wasn’t expecting to see her again.
“Did you get the visa?” she enquires.
“Yes. What about you?”
“No.” But at least she’s smiling.
“You certainly are handling it well. A lady had burst into tears when she was denied a visa.”
“That lady is silly! What is the use of crying? Is America heaven? Why should she be crying like a small baby?” Heleena quips.
“Maybe she has family over there” I try to reason with the poor lady but Heleena isn’t buying any of it.
“She didn’t have to cry. Just apply again next time, simple!” She’s clearly irritated, so I hold my tongue from aggravating her any further.
Heleena asks me to accompany her to the car park, her driver was on his way to fetch her. On our way there we bump into “Mr. Briefcase” who was also waiting for his lift to arrive.
Unsuccessful Visa Applicants Let Off Steam
“Did you guys get the visa?” Mr Briefcase asks.
“She did” Heleena smirks in my direction. “Not me.” I can sense the frustration in her voice.
“Americans are full of shit! They didn’t even tell me why they denied me a visa.” Mr Briefcase laments.
“That ugly blonde lady asked me only two questions: my name and reason for visiting America. Next thing, she says I don’t qualify. I ask her why? She gives me a piece of rubbish paper to read. I will not read it. She’s just jealous because I’m prettier than her.” Heleena fumes.
Mr Briefcase and I burst out laughing. Heleena is pretty, with flawless skin the colour of warm honey and a slim figure accentuated in a black pencil skirt. She has the type of runway look that takes you places – just not America, unfortunately. I gasp at the length of her high heel shoes, the perfect recipe for an ankle sprain! And who in their right mind bothers to paint the bottom of shoes red?
I suddenly recall having spotted a white guy in the queue wearing flops and a rumpled pair of shorts. I wonder if his looks played any role in the acquisition of a visa, or the lack thereof.
“Do you know she gave a woman visa but denied her husband?” Heleena jolts me back from my reverie. Indeed I knew, the couple had been standing ahead of us in the queue. What can I say? Their turf, their rules mos?