Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

Love Without Borders

Baileyton, AL | Ashley Sims

On December 31st 2006, at 11:59 PM I received a phone call from a boy. A boy who asked me to be his girlfriend. At the time I, Ashley Sims, was in my sophomore year of high school and the boy, Michael Pecina, was also in his. This is our story. I remember dropping the phone and running down the hallway of my best friend's house yelling at the top of my lungs that he had asked me out. My first REAL boyfriend. The first boy who ever asked me out because he truly liked me. Within a month he had slipped a small silver ring in my pocket with a little note wrote in pencil reading: I love you. The love was a drawn heart that was colored in. I still have the piece of paper to this day. Almost a year went by and we hadn't broke up.

But then our relationship became rocky and we decided to go our own ways. It was possibly the worst four months of my life. When we started school the next year was when I finally seen him. He had changed, gotten a little taller, different hair, but I still loved him. And the smile. We started seeing each other again, I would take him home after school.

One normal day in October, we were on our way to take him home when out of no where a guy in a pick up plowed into the side of my car. I don't remember much about that day, but what I do remember is how he held me after I walked out of my hospital room. I remember how he told me he would never go a day without telling me he loved me. And he hasn't. Like clockwork he calls me every morning and tells me he loves me. Then again when he is on his way home from work, and again when he goes back to work at night. And then at night before we go to bed. "I love you babe, night, night."

Another chapter of our life began when Michael told me one of his deepest secrets. He was an illegal immigrant. When Michael was nine his family crossed the border into Texas legally on a Visa that expired after six months. At such young age, Michael was unsure of what was going on. I remember him telling me how he was so upset when he found out they weren't going back home cause he left all his toys at home. It wasn't his choice to live in America this way, but I do no blame his parents either. America is the land of promises? The land of the American Dream? Do you blame them? I love him more then anything in the world. How could I let the fact that he didn't have a set of nine numbers come between our love? I couldn't and I wouldn't. On June 9th the state I have called my home for almost 21 years passed one of the most controversial immigrant laws in the history of the U.S. My state: Alabama the Beautiful. I am having a hard time coming to terms on it. I understand why there is a need to pass something, but honestly does it need to be so harsh? Immigrants are people too! And one of those people just happen to be my soul mate.

On November 21st of this year we will be making a step towards making him a legal citizen. We are going to get married. My family is excited, and I should be excited, except I am here writing this at midnight because I am so stressed out I can not sleep. Getting married is supposed to be a happy time, and fun time. Or maybe I am just living in a fairy tale. I am just waiting on the birds and mice to come and sew everything better. Maybe even a fairy god mother to appear? Neither or which do, which is why i am here writing. I am writing this to get something out of system. Maybe telling someone how scared I am to lose my soul mate will help relieve some of the stress. Or maybe that someone will read this and want to help. We are young, and only know so much. Lawyers and paperwork, interviews and more paperwork. I am scared and dont even know where to start.

Thanks for reading our story. We love you all, God Bless.

Let's Talk.

It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.

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