Adrian Garcia knew Leslie back in high school and they followed each other on Instagram, which for a while meant little more than throwing each other an occasional like on their photos. Adrian would do the usual, scroll through his feed, notice a photo of hers, maybe daydream about her for a little bit, then go back to his day.
But one photo of hers really hit him and made him think about his family roots. Leslie posted a shot of her quaint grandparents’ home back in Cuba, which stopped Adrian’s scroll. It turned out to be the right photo at the right time to take their IG friendship offline.
“It was something that hit home for me,” Adrian said. “I told her it reminded me of my grandparents’ house, and we started talking. One thing led to another, and I asked her to hang out. It was just perfect timing. I was looking for somebody, and she was single.”
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That all went down in March, which is right when the COVID pandemic started to spike in Miami. Quarantines and social distancing put serious limitations on how much fun Adrian and Leslie could have, and where they were allowed to have it.
They did movie nights and occasional dates out, and they made the most of the summer when restrictions were loosened. But in general, Adrian and Leslie only had each other at the phase of young relationships that are usually about late nights, long weekends, shopping and vacations.
Adrian came to find in Leslie exactly what he thought he would when he saw the photo of her grandparents’ farm.
“We connected, and she listened,” Adrian said. “It’s pretty simple. We went on this date, and it just clicked from there. I noticed how different she was from all the girls I dated in the past.”
Different enough to put a ring on her finger.
They’re engaged now and looking a couple years into the future to get married, hopefully with all their freedoms in a post-COVID world. In the meantime, Leslie has shown Adrian substance and depth, and she has been incredible with his 4-year-old daughter, Mia.
“It’s obviously very important to me that she treats her in a positive way,” Adrian said.
Just as importantly, Leslie is also bringing stability to Adrian’s life and helping him realize more of his potential. She loves and supports him, and she’s now his “Why” for stopping smoking, which is going on five smoke-free months for him.
Adrian and Leslie are enduring the complications of the present, and they’re doing it by sticking together. But they’re both looking forward to making up for lost time in the years ahead.
“She means everything to me,” Adrian said. “I love the way she treats my daughter, and I’m excited to have our own family some day. I’m excited about our future. It’s not been an easy road for me, but knowing that you would always be there for me at the end of it, makes everything OK.”