I spent a lot of time thinking about that divorce certificate. Was it real? If it was not real, did M know? What would happen to the case if it turned out that the certificate was a fake? Were we not really married? We had used the divorce certificate M's family sent us as proof when we got married. I was exhausted after the interview. I had only slept for about two hours during the snowstorm because I kept tossing and turning. I wanted to make sure I woke up early enough to make it to the interview and now, one of my "worst case scenarios" had actually come true. There was absolutely nothing I could do but wait.
What if the divorce certificate was real, but the consulate wouldn't accept it? What if we couldn't get M's family to obtain the real certificate? We'd already looked online for ways to obtain it and it was not a possibility. Would M have to go back again to Pakistan just to get the certificate? What would happen if he went? What if, he was still married to that woman, he went back there and obtained a better fake divorce certificate. . .
I could. not. sleep.
Two weeks later I was back home in the US when the letter from the consulate arrived. The certificate we had submitted was not enough. We would have to submit a certificate from the Union Council over the area where the woman lived, hundreds of miles away from M's family and thousands of miles from where I sat at that moment, angry and crying. I called M and yelled at him.
It was the last week of February, my work contract was up in June. As a teacher, the contracts are renewed year by year. I hated the school where I worked. The county didn't allow first year teachers to transfer and I was lonely. I made a decision that I was moving to Canada. M was certain he could get the certificate, but I had no faith. I typed up my resignation and started making plans. I would move the furniture from my apartment to M's barren apartment in Canada. I would get out of my lease early and save a little bit of cash to make a start. I would spend the summer in Canada and we would start the paperwork for my immigration. We would not stop M's paperwork, but it would be our own little "race" to see which would finish first. We still didn't have the new divorce certificate from Pakistan and it had been nearly four months.
I would come back to the US and work as a Paramedic while we waited. June came, and I drove straight to M's home from work. We were going to live together for the first time as husband and wife and I was excited, we had been married more than a year.