There was a girl who had grown increasingly disenchanted with love.

She was worn thin by the lies, the secret Facebook pages and popped collars.

She was exhausted by the perpetual showering of cheap ‘I love you’s’, the mind-boggling pro’s and cons lists and the overlooking of flaws.

In her sad state, she fled hedonistic, superficial Miami to Tampa with high hopes of finding new meaning in life.

There was a man in the new city, lured by her song, A Sunday Kind of Love.

Their eyes met, or his met her profile picture, her tush squeezed into tight capris.

He made the not-so-bold move and wrote the girl a message. It was no love letter, but it was articulate, humorous and a breath of fresh air.

She was already dating someone else, a “Go Gators” kind of guy, but the “conversations” with this mysterious man were too compelling to ignore.

When they finally met, she saw him across the patio of a crowded restaurant. The jazz music played as she spotted him, looking cool and serious. A Cuban James Dean with nothing to lose.

There was some awkward conversation, mostly carried by her as he stared disinterested at the bar behind her.

She thought the date was over when he turned to her and said, “I thought you said you were going to drag me to some dirty blues bar?”

She grabbed his arm and smiled and they rushed to the bar where the thrill grew and the fun began.

He tried to give her a fist bump and she had flash backs to jocks past. She said she’d rather be spanked as a salutation, so he did.

As they closed down the bar, they ended up having a chat with the dirty blues band singer, his Captain Ahab beard catching the ash from his cigarette.

The Captain said unsolicited, “You guys are gonna make cute babies.”

The mysterious man performed an impromptu Judo throw on the girl as she walked to her car and they kissed.

It was brief, but the spark was there.

As he drove off in the opposite direction, the girl felt the rush of excitement, the feeling of knowing, the visions of a future all laid out like a dream come true.

She saw herself living in his loft in Ybor, nights spent cooking together, drowsy mornings cuddling in the dappled sunlight.

ybor loft

Once that became a reality, it wasn’t long before she saw the wedding, their 1920’s bungalow and a baby.

wedding

Before she could hardly realize what had happened, she was married to the man who spanked her on a first date and they were raising two very cute babies together in yet another home in the suburbs.

It hasn’t always been easy. Those cute babies can be demons. Work paired with infants can be a major impediment to romance.

alma and huck

But, she still sometimes has to pinch herself when she realizes she has married that mysterious man, who can still surprise her with his wit.

Now, there are day care date nights, sneaking “quality time” in before commandeering the jukebox at the bar and catching up over dinner and sometimes… sometimes, they still laugh so hard in bed at night their cheeks hurt and fall asleep soundly with the heat of their bodies to keep each other warm.

rolando and I

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