|Bloom © 2011 Ricardo Lira Acuña|
Broken-hearted for two years after my arrival to LA and several bad dates later, I had already given up on finding someone, that is, until I met Love. She ignored me for about a month after I first met her. Then one night at the Bigfoot Lodge we just clicked, and she wrote her number on the back of a Food 4 Less receipt. We started going out and seeing each other every chance we got.
A few months into our courtship, she called me up with tickets to a Ricky Martin concert in San Jose. I really wasn’t interested in going, but for the love of her, we drove up to San Francisco, stayed for the weekend, and caught the concert on Sunday evening. Driving back to LA after midnight, I was speeding over 90 on the I-5 to get us back as soon as I could because we both had to work the next day. It had been the perfect weekend.
But it only took a split second, when I thought the car wheels had hit dirt in the island between lanes, for everything to go wrong. I swerved, slammed the brakes, and we spun out and flipped over several times. Time slowed down as glass and dirt flew everywhere, and I put my arm out to protect Love fearing the worst ending. We landed in a ditch by the side of the freeway. My scalp was badly cut, making me look like Stephen King’s bloody Carrie. Miraculously though, Love was unharmed and able to run up to the freeway, inbetween checking up on me to make sure I didn’t go into shock, until she was finally able to flag down a trucker who called 911. I was sewn up at the nearest ER, and we had to spend the night in some hotel in Los Banos because my car was totaled. I told Love right there and then that she could leave me, and there wouldn’t be any hard feelings. We took a Greyhound bus back to LA, and she stuck it out with me. I proposed to her on Valentine’s Day 12 years ago.
Poor Love, don’t know how she puts up with me, but I’m glad she does. I’m still a kid at heart who doesn’t want to grow up. I’m also struggling as a writer, my mind always preoccupied with what I’m writing and not necessarily the daily obligations, responsibilities and chores. But I do know this, my Love brings out the best in me and teaches me to be a better husband, father and person. She inspired many of the poems in my second book of poetry and photography, Greetings from Heaven & Hell, about falling in love and the realities of marriage and growing up. I owe my beautiful children, my life, everything to Love. I love you. Marvilla.
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