The Oarsman

Love Stories

Humans of Venice High

Alicia Valenciana and Julissa Ventureno

Humans of Venice High is a series of photographs and personal histories, revealing the hidden emotions. Two Oarsman staffers, Alicia Valenciana and Julissa Ventureno, went around school campus, asking couples if they would mind being interviewed regarding their love stories.

Julissa Ventureno
Audree Beltran and Ryan Parker look at each other during the interview.

When asked about their first date, Audree Beltran, a senior, said, “I felt like I had known Ryan my whole life. Except it was the first I’d really met him.”

“We went on our first date on September 19, 2017. On my birthday. It was an early day that day.”

What do you love about him?

“Every little thing about him, like the way he is, like characteristics and his appearance, obviously. Everything about him- the way he thinks. He’s not like closed minded. He’s really like open-minded and really optimistic.

How do you feel when you are with him?

“I feel like nothing is wrong, like I’m on the top of the world, like I’m happy whenever I’m with him. He’s like my best friend. On our one-month anniversary, he bought me a single rose and I still have it.
“Love is always wanting to be around the other person. Even when you’re away from them for a second, it feels like you’ve been away from them for like a month. There’s been times where I’ve seen him on a Friday per se, and the next day is Saturday and I don’t see him and I feel like it’s been years since I’ve last seen him.

What is love to you?

“Always wanting to be around them, always wanting to know how their day is, like wanting to know if they’ve eaten at all or taken their snack or medicine or whatever. Always caring for them like they’re your other half because at the end of the day, they should be your other half.”

“Well, whenever I have stuff going on, he’s always the one to be positive and try to cheer me up and then always trying to make me look at the bright side. We laugh together all the time. Little things. Big things. Mostly just stuff that he does or says makes me laugh like a lot for no reason.”

“I think of him all day. Especially when I’m in class. When I’m with him, I feel like he’s my home. I feel safe when I’m with him.”

Ryan Parker, Beltran’s boyfriend, commented that, “I don’t think it’s weird when others find her attractive because it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s like a compliment because I never really thought I’d end up with her and I always had my eye on her. She always caught my eye. I mean I can’t believe it either.”

Julissa Ventureno
Nevan Campos attempts to carry Evan Holter during the interview.

Junior Evan Holter, Nevan Campos’ boyfriend, said, “ We started dating Jan. 30, 2017. Nev and I have been together for a year and two weeks now. We celebrated our anniversary last January. It’s like having a loving, kind person with you all the time…who also has some great hair.”

“When I was a freshman, a friend of mine got out of class (his name is irrelevant to the story). He and Nev were talking to each other. They were kind of in the same friend group. I came over and said hi to him and I noticed Nev there. I just kind of said ‘Hi, cute boy. Bye, cute boy’ as I walked to my locker to go get something. It turns out that he actually did like me and he did think I was cute. Because I had no phone, at the time, or social media, I gave him my email.”

“I was a stupid freshman at the time. I screwed things up. But eventually, when I got a real phone, I sort of reached out to him. I apologized for the way I had acted as a freshman. I told him about how things were going in my sophomore year and we just kept talking and talking and pretty soon he asked me out.”

“Most definitely, I love how he’s so kind and he’s always so near and dear to my heart. He always finds a nice way to comfort me whenever I feel down. There’s always an understanding between the two of us. And the nurturing nature that he has, I love that very much.”

“When we first met, he first seemed emotionally distant, but now when I see him, I can see that he opens up a lot more to me. And I like that. I feel happy. I feel comfortable with him.”

“On my 17 birthday, he showed up with a lot of balloons, including a silver one and a seven. He had stayed up the night prior taking duct tape and he duct taped the two together so they never changed positions. They were stuck as a one and a seven. That was really cute. That was really one of the best things he’s done.”

“Love is the ability for an individual, or others, to feel as if they are more of themselves and to, through the relationship, become more of who they are than they were before. I definitely feel a lot less sad when I think of the future when I’m around him. He’s what I wake up thinking about. I always leave a little cubbie in my locker available for him to keep all his little artwork that he gives me.”

“If someone told me they found Nev attractive, I would probably just say, well guess what? He loves me more! Even though there are days where both of us have kind of been pushed to a bit of a limit, we never end the day angry at one another. We always find a way to make each other’s day better.”

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