The Pre-nup Agreement:
The Story of Evangeline (Part 1)
The Hook Up
It was in the summer of 2001 when the 24-year-old Evangeline learned that she passed the nursing board. She was ecstatic that her dream of becoming a nurse which she thought was her ticket to the U.S., was coming into reality. That night, she gathered her parents and seven siblings around the dining table and feasted on Jollibee hamburgers to celebrate Evangeline’s success. Evangeline and her family went to bed that night full of hope and promise.
The next day, Evangeline received calls from friends, relatives and classmates to congratulate her. One of them was her friend, Tessie. Tessie said that she will leave soon for the U.S. to join her husband, Tom, an American citizen. Tessie mentioned that Tom was coming to the Philippines the following week to accompany her on Tessie’s first flight to America. Tessie wanted to see her friend Evangeline before her departure. Tessie informed Evangeline that she was leaving in two weeks and she wanted Evangeline to travel to Manila to see her off at the airport and at the same time meet Tom.
Evangeline thought that it was good timing for her to travel to Manila since she was planning to process her nursing license anyway in Quezon City. Evangeline immediately booked a seat in a commercial ship that sails to Manila from Cebu. It was a lot cheaper to travel by boat than by airplane but it was going to be a 4-day ocean trip. Along the way, Evangeline had this optimistic feeling that she was ready to conquer the world with her nursing career which could bring her to America. Evangeline was also excited to see her friend Tessie and to meet her American husband, Tom.
The ship landed at Manila North Harbor at around 7:00 A.M. where Tessie and Tom were already waiting for Evangeline. Tom was immediately impressed at Evangeline’s beauty and intelligence. Tom said that he was going to introduce his buddy, John, a businessman from California to Evangeline.
The Internet Courtship
Tom did not waste time and showed Evangeline’s picture to John. John was intrigued and said he was interested in meeting Evangeline. John was a 45-year-old businessman from Los Angeles who just got divorced two months earlier.
In the meantime, Evangeline received a job offer from Philippine General Hospital as an assistant ER nurse. Her salary was just enough for her board and lodging in Manila and some extra money for her family in Cebu. One rainy morning in July 2011 at around 6: A.M., Evangeline’s phone rang with a number she could not recognize on the caller I.D. of her cell phone. She was half asleep as she worked late the night before and when she answered the phone, it was John. John introduced himself as Tom and Tessie’s friend from California and the courtship began.
What started as regular overseas telephone calls from John progressed into web cam conversations between the two. Evangeline would go to an internet cafe on her days off so she could have a talk to John while they could see each other through the video cameras in real-time.
The relationship developed very quickly as the web conversations became more frequent and intimate. John sent money to Evangeline to buy a laptop equipped with a camera and so Evangeline did not have to go to an internet cafe just to have a video conversation with John. John started sending money to Evangeline every month but Evangeline did not quit working as a nurse at PGH. Evangeline was saving money so she can take the NCLEX examination and if she passed, she thought that there was a good chance for her to get a working visa to the U.S.
By the end of December of 2001, John through video chat, proposed to Evangeline and the latter accepted John’s proposal for marriage.