Jonathan Fernández Colón

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Romeo & Glorieta


Looking at the old wardrobe at home, located in the guest room, I found a small black shoebox. Curiosity made me open the box that seemed to be there for many years. The humidity inside the box released a horrible smell – like stinky feet – that made me sneeze. I removed many old photographs.

Inside was a cream envelope full of pictures of my mother. The one of her when she was a toddler captivates me. In the picture she is hugging a family friend, Michael, at a party in Villa España. On the other side of the photo is a message in red ink, “Glory, love of my life. I am always thinking of you. Memories of Michael Rivera.”

I could not help but open my eyes as big as an owl. This picture must have a story. “Mom, who is this guy? Why did he say that you were the love of his life?” I asked her, very anxious to know the answer.

My mother was surprised when she saw the photo. She was only a year old when it was taken. She sighed and said, “Sit down, it is a long story. Maybe for you, it is a love story, but for me it was a nightmare.”

I felt as if she were my grandmother telling me a story, because when I was child, Abuela always told me a story before I went to sleep.

My mother’s name is Gloria Colón. She was born on January 30, 1967 into a family that she would never know. When she was born, her true mother gave her up to foster care. She does not regret it, because it helped her become who she is today. It was while she was living with her foster family that she met Michael.

Michael Rivera lived near her when she lived in the Residential Villa España in Guaynabo. He proved to be a good friend. They shared many qualities in common and spent many unforgettable moments together like birthdays, trips, jokes, among others. They were like rice and beans most of the time. Michael was always there through stone and brick. He was always her best friend.

The nightmare began when he told her that he felt something for her. He loved my mom, but she did not love him. She just saw him as a good friend, not a boyfriend or a husband. Michael had wonderful qualities that distinguished him and made him a good person, but still not her type. Michael never understood that. He wanted to be Glorieta’s Romeo.

In 1980, he told her he loved her. My mother was thirteen-years-old and he was fourteen. From that moment everything changed and ceased to be rosy. Gloria tried to explain that she only saw him as a great friend but he never understood. Michael tried to change his personality to fit her desires. To her, he looked like a clown, acting as a character in a play. He was no longer the Michael she knew. He was a stranger.

The friendship crumbled, and he did not understand. Michael’s insistence became harassment, and the friendship was lost. The situation transformed into a nightmare for my mom. Michael began stalking her.

When she was eighteen-years-old, the communication between them was poor. She avoided talking to him because he was


no longer the Michael she knew in the past. Now she is the water and Michael is the oil in a solution.  They are close but separate. One night, a few weeks before my mom was leaving to study in the U.S., Michael came by with an old, worn, photo. Yes! It is the same photo in the envelope. He gave her the picture and left.

It seemed to me that Michael wanted to prove to her that he loved her since he was a little kid, and he was asking for another chance. My mom was saddened to know that his heart was looking for hers, but Michael was not her desire. When my mom went to the United States, he did not go to her farewell party. She did not want to think of the reason for his absence.

My mother returned home to find that Michael was soon to be married, which made her very happy. She hoped that the love between them was real, like Romeo and Juliette.

“My heart always saw him as a friend, because otherwise you would not have been born,” my mother concluded. Then she hugged me and continued washing dishes.

I think the heart is powerful. The heart is the one who decides the happiness of a person. I was delighted to hear my mother say that everything happened for a purpose. I was that purpose. I thank God who gave me the chance to be born. I’m sure Michael’s children will agree with me if they ever hear the story of Romeo and Glorieta.






  1. Amazing, this was a movie to me. As I kept reading, I kept imagining everything that occurred. At the end, I wanted to keep reading, I wanted to know more of what happened, but I am glad your mother followed her life to study and had you to give us this amazing story, thank you.

  2. :’) Tremenda historia mi hermano, me hizo la noche :aplausos:

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