Loving you wasn’t hard; it also wasn’t something I had to think twice about. It was something that came naturally, like breathing. I’ve always loved broken things, ever since I was a child. If it wasn’t broken how could I fix it? Once I fixed it, it would be mine forever right? You were part of my broken collection. A young, handsome, damaged man. So broken his own mother didn’t want him, a product of foster care, drugs, and a fast life. You would be my biggest accomplishment, my greatest “fix” of all times. If love could have fixed your hurt, damage, and brokenness, I would have made you brand new within months. When I saw you; I saw forever, my entire life in one broken person. And like all little girls, I believed in fairy tales. Girl loves boy and boy loves girl, how much more complicated could it be? Well throw in a ton of daddy issues in a bag and call it baggage for the princess. Then throw on a Marine Corps uniform on the prince and BAM there you have it. No longer a love story, it’s more like a horror story now. But like all love stories, it didn’t start out bad, nop it never does. Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?
Like all good fairy tales mine also begins at a ball! But not the type of ball where the prince is there to find a princess. More like the drunken ball known as the Marine Corps Ball, yeah fancy right? Well there I am, wearing an uncomfortable dress, too much makeup curtesy of the makeup department at the mall and hair completely on point. Needless to say I was a sight for sore eyes if I do say so myself. And as I sat there with my boring date for the night, annoyed at his constant complaining about “chicken having skin on it” I began to zone him out. As he continued to complain about his food and his uniform, I began to get sidetracked by the constant laughter and excitement at a table nearby. Finally signs of LIFE! What I was able to see was a group of handsome guys, laughing, drinking and being much too loud for the quiet auditorium being bored to death by speeches. What did he just say? “Oh, thank god! Break time” A drink would be nice, but I’m only 19 years old so that’s not happening. As we walk into the crowded hallway of people my date decides he must go use the ladies room and asks me to wait. Like a good obedient lady, I wait. Next thing I know, there he is. The “loud one” from the opposite table, he’s smiling and walking well more like stumbling towards me. As he stops and stands right in front of me I can’t help but think how dang cute he is. And then he says it “Are you here alone?” Well handsome “loud one” why would a girl be at a ball alone? Anyways it doesn’t matter! The cute boy is talking to you! Focus Adriana focus. As I am about to reply, here comes my boring date; unaware I am ready to ditch him and this place with this fun, handsome, party boy right in front of me. Turns out, they know each other! Well FUCK! There goes that, but hey you can’t blame a girl for looking right? For the rest of the night there will be no dancing, no mingling, and more talk about the skin on the fucking chicken. Meanwhile behind me is a room full of handsome men, partying like its 1999! And while I am asked to take a few pictures of the cute boys in uniform, that basically sums up my night. As for this princess and her frog, well back to the hotel room we go.
The following day, I decide I am going to glance through all the photos I have taken of the night. There he is, the “cute one” smiling and being the life of the party. But wait… what is his name? and how am I supposed to get these photos to him? Well bring in good ol’ MySpace. Find the frog, look through the frogs friends and find the prince right? Sure enough “Dan”. And we have a winner, just a quick message, “Hey I have your photos from last night.” While I was hoping for “who the fuck are you? And why do you have pictures of me?” Instead I got “We should go to lunch and bring the pictures” ready and commence teenage girl high pitch screaming followed by jumping up and down and then a deep breath. “Ok, get ahold of yourself Adriana! God dammit, it’s a cute guy asking you to lunch, not to the alter. Calm your tits and focus” my reply was of course cool and collected “Sure, when?” his reply…. “Well whenever, but I don’t have a car or a license, so you will have to pick me up.” And so began the inner dialogue of a spoiled princess. “Ewww, gross! No car! No License! What kind of loser is he? That’s so gross!”
“So why don’t you have a license?” I ask.
“Dui’s, tickets, speeding, being reckless” he said.
Meanwhile in my stupid 19 year old brain, “Oh my gosh! He’s such a bad boy! And he’s sooo cute! I mean I can pick him up right? I mean there’s a first time for everything right? I mean he doesn’t have to be Mr.Right, just Mr.Right now.”
“Sure I can pick you up” I say.

At least 7 outfit changes later, I am ready to go pick up my bum prince charming. But where does a bad boy live? A place near the beach? A super cool bad boy house? Whomp whomp… The barracks, on base. Needless to say, he gets in my car. Queue in annoying teenage girl inner talk “OMG OMG he’s even cute sober, and out of uniform OMGGGGG!” yeah yeah, I annoy the shit out of myself. And so begins the drive.
“What kind of music do you like?” I ask.
“I like the hard shit” he says, in his deep bad boy voice.
“Like what I ask?” In my stupid, giddy spoiled brat voice.
“You know like, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, shit like that” he states.
Queue inner teenager again “OMG he’s so hot! I wish I was like a total slut so I could sleep with him! But I’ve only been with two guys in my entire life. Shit I’m such a prude Ok just play it cool, PLAY IT COOL.”
“I love Marilyn Manson!” I say, excited. Only because I have his CD in my stereo as we speak! (Hey I said I was a princess, I never said was wasn’t fucking cool one!)
He looks at me shocked and surprised and responds with a simple “Hell yeah!”
Lunch is full of simple, easy conversation. I tell him I have a son who is 3 months old, something I will touch on a bit later in this book. We take a walk down to the beach, we laugh, things are easy and fun. He tells me he’s from the country, from a town I’d never heard of. A place where the population is greater in animals than people. I laugh, call him a hillbilly, and he replies with “So! You’re a dumb city girl” Oh no he’s so handsome….. slow down my heart. The next three months fly by with countless parties, drinking, and loads of fun. I have decided that he will remain in a special place called the “Friend zone” While he is more fun than anyone I’ve ever met; young, respectable, Mexican girls don’t date or settle down with crazy white boys. So in the process I keep him around, tell him everything, party with him, and try and hook him up with friends of mine. All of which he seems to reject. Bring in Murphy’s Law, one night during an all-night binger with friends of mine, a girl approaches me and asks “So what’s your deal with Dan? You guys together?”
“No, we aren’t together.” I state, almost insulted. How dare she!
Off she goes to make flirty conversation with him. And while for the last three months, I have kept a friendly, flirty, no-sex rule, relationship with him, how dare this bitch steal my non-boyfriend right in front of me. One more shot of Patron down, and I’m off to get me my man… or friend… shit whatever he is. I decide to rudely interrupt his conversation with her, and ask him if he wants to leave? He says “no, I’m good, unless you want to leave, you drove”
“Of course I drove you moron, you don’t even have a CAR! But I’ll be dammed if she’s next to drive you around.” I say to myself.
And about 30 seconds into that conversation, I decide to say screw it and I kiss him. And that right there people, was the beginning and end of everything. With that kiss, I would seal the deal to some of the happiest moments of my life, and also the lowest. From the birth of my second son and wonderful memories; to the day I sat in the master bedroom we shared for years and held a gun to my head, and swore I would never take another breath.


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