Monday, February 14, 2011


By Mageela Troche

The saying goes, "Love at first sight" but for me, I fell in love at first kiss. I was sixteen years old when I met Jose. He was too shy to talk to me so his friend, who was dating my friend, gave me his name. Three weeks later, I finally called him and he yelled at me for waiting that long to call him back. Of course, I yelled back, letting him know only my father and brother are the only men allowed to raise their voice at me. But through the craziness, we agreed to met up that night. I was a club kid, dancing every Friday and Saturday night away at Roseland, the Tunnel, Limelight or the Underground or whatever club sounded good that night.

Jose and I met up in Roseland. With the disco light swirling and the bass vibrating from the powered dance floor and up through the feet and along your nerves until you just have to dance, I stood across from him. We said nothing. We barely spared each other a glance. I was a snotty sixteen-year-old girl who was just to fly to talk. Then his friend called me over and asked why I didn't talk to Jose. I didn't take the blame and told him that it was Jose's fault. Being the Alpha Male Jose was, he came up and kissed me. The world actually melted away, drip by drip until it blurred and swirled like a LSD trip. His heartbeat synced up with mine. He wrapped his arm around my waist and held me close to him and I knew as I clutched his shoulders that this was the one place I wanted to be. For an Air Force brat, I had found my home and it was with him wherever he was.

Our arguments still continued but people who witness the equivalent of a New York teenage opera, it seemed we would break up at any minute. But those same people never saw the moments when it was me and him, sitting on a park bench planning our future. Or in the winter riding the number 1 train and he encouraging me to do any of the crazy plans I had. Or him questioning me about school and doing my homework, when any moment I had I wanted to be with him. Few witnessed his tenderness to me or his protectiveness.

Of course, us being two stubborn people we did break up but always found our way back to each other. The last time our relationship end, it was the longest separation, instead of the two weeks, it was two years. I went off to college and started making plans for my future when he came back into my life.

Both of us now older and more mature, our arguments ceased and he loved that I was in college. He asked me what I wanted out of life and us two being together. I shared my plans, college, law school, marriage and kids. I wanted the American dream. He wanted to rush to Las Vegas and get married that night. I thought of my financial aid, I had an almost full ride and without that scholarship my plans would crumble so we agree upon my graduation we'd get married.

Every Thursday during my Junior semester, he called and we chatted about everything in our life. We stayed on the phone for hours. His low voice that could only be compared to a sensual scratchiness with a Latin flavor always sent a jolt through me. If scientist could have harness the energy surging through me, I could have lit the world for a year. Those calls always made me feel that I can accomplish anything and I forged ahead because Jose believed in me and loved me. My life was perfect.

Then Columbus vacation came. I came home and called him upon my arrival. He worried that my friends and I were driving through crazy mountain towns in the middle of the night. I arrived back at the city at 2 am. We argued. Before we hung up, he said the three words he never spoken but showed in his actions, "I love you."

I didn't say it back for the first time. I was always the one who spoke those words.

Exactly seven days from that day, he was buried. Jose was murdered and bled to death in the street by himself.

My life died that day. I never went onto law school or marriage or kids. If I couldn't have him, I didn't want anyone else. He is the love of my life. I still feel the weight of his arms around me. I still smell the spicy, leathery scent of his cologne.

Oddly enough, the name Jose plays an important part of my life--my father, my maternal grandfather and uncle all share that same name. I had cringed when I first learned his name but each Jose has made me the person I am. But my Jose, he gave me the greatest gift of all, he gave me his love and accepted all mine. ♥

Mageela Troche has been published in short fiction by True Love and True Romance magazines. Visit her at


  1. How sweet and sad for Valentine's Day. Talk about true love.

  2. This is incredibly sad. I can't imagine, but I guess the only way to push through such an experience is to keep moving forward and take with you the happy memories.

  3. Thank you. I think that's why I love romance even more. I get to have the happy ending all the time. And the love I experience I get to relive it in my stories. Happy Valentine's day to everyone <3

  4. What a bittersweet tale, Mageela. I, too, lost a young love during my Senior year in college. I still think of him so often, knowing that our relationship was something very special - something that I never found again. But his presence touched my heart and I will always be able to remember his sweet smile and his warmth and the love we shared. And of course, I will never forget his kiss.

  5. Mageela, Such a sad and beautiful real life love story. I'm so sorry to hear of your great loss. On this Valentine's Day, I hope St. Valentine can help heal all the broken hearts by sending a true love to those who are ready for a new love and by sending peace and solace to those who are content with the lovely memories of their one true love. Karen K.

  6. Heart breaking and lovely. Thank you for sharing it with us.