Howard, my college roommate, should have kept his admiration of Angélica to himself. But he wouldn't stop talking about her. He was full of, as Rod Stewart might have put it, infatuation.
So he pestered me without mercy about his thoughts, his feelings, his dreams, his desires, his plans revolving around this ever so cute and reserved señorita, staying one dorm floor above ours. Her name fit her for she indeed was angelic in every way.
It was a gorgeous, cool summer in the wooded hilltops of Santa Cruz, overlooking the deep blue Monterey Bay along California's phenomenal Pacific coast, where I was spending my first college days back in 1984.
Angélica, Howard and I, along with over 30 other high school graduates had arrived from every region of the state to prepare during 6 summer weeks for our first year of college that would start in September.
This was no fun and games. If we failed the summer program, we would not be accepted as freshmen. I was 17.
But this was also the summer of Huey Lewis and The News and their "If This Is It", filmed right down the street at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This was the summer of "The Karate Kid" and its Bananarama's "Cruel Summer".
And indeed this was it and a cruel summer for Howard who, having driven me out of all studious concentration for weeks with his endless appraisal of the lovely Angélica, prompted me to visit with her to ask her point blank whether she was merely leading him on, only to learn from her that she was not even aware of his full intentions.
But having learned of the effect that his words had had on me, which had given me reason to visit with her to secure an answer that would put an end to his musings, the noble maid progressively welcomed me into her confidence.
And without fully knowing it, I slowly became enraptured by the soft cooing of her voice, the enticing flash of her smile, the simple mystery of her eyes...
When she gave birth to our third child 4 years later, I recall listening to one voice that I had come to associate that fateful summer in '84 with her love for me and my romance. It was Peter Cetera in Chicago's "You're The Inspiration", which she dedicated to me when, at the conclusion of our summer program, we had to return home to our parents for a time.
Now, as I held my baby daughter Priscilla in my arms, and kissed my beloved wife Angélica ever so gently, I could tell her of my love for her...Peter Cetera's way!
You bring out the best in me With love and understanding Any time I need some understanding You are always there
If I ever lose my way You're always there to guide me Anyone can see you're here inside me Everyone can see it...
You bring me feelin' You bring me fire You bring me love that's taking me higher Just goes to prove What one good woman can do
This year Angélica and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. This much commitment is what one good woman can do.
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