I won third place at the 2002 Modesto Junior College “Celebration of the Humanities” contest with this story.
I think love is real and true when all those cheesy love songs on adult contemporary radio begin to make sense. My name is Francesca Miller. I am the product of an American fighting man and an attractive Italian-American. I’m twenty-four years old. I want to tell you a story about the One.
I first remembered Giovanni Paretti when his little brother Joey and my little brother Anthony met in choir class. The drama teacher at school had decided to do the musical, Picnic. That’s where their friendship grew and I got to know of Joey. Then I put two and two together. I realized that he was related to Giovanni and that Giovanni had been a teacher’s assistant in my sophomore English class. He was a senior at the time.
I did that whole turbulent “I’m stupid, fat, and ugly” teenage crisis during my freshman year. It didn’t take me too long to get over myself and grow up. During my second year in high school, I felt remotely self-assured and confident enough to stand on my own two feet, doing whatever puts a smile on my pretty face. Lucky (as people at school nicknamed him) never really stood out to me; he blended in with the woodwork. I mean that in the nicest way possible, of course. He was attractive, but not something I’d typically pursue. He was one of those clean-cut, friendly, easygoing, helpers of old ladies to cross crowded streets, and feed the homeless type of guy. I’m usually infatuated with a more streetwise kind of guy if you know what I mean.