Love can happen at any age. There can be young love and there can be older love. Love is all over the air, and can affect the young people the most. According to Merriam Webster dictionary “love is a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.” Mayor and Maribel love each other more than anyone else. There is a benefit and disadvantage when it comes to love. There’s the love where there together and there’s the part where they breakup. That is the problem where Mayor and Maribel have in the book. Mayor and Maribel were meant for each other. If it was not for Mayor’s family who introduced them to the neighborhood then she would have not met Mayor. It was said that Mayor was taking advantage of Maribel, but from what the book says is that Maribel has the same affection for Mayor. Mayor was not taking advantage of Maribel, they were meant for each other from the beginning of the book. It starts out as just being friends and then they take the next step towards their relationship. They will have there ups and downs throughout the book.
Mayor wanted to see Maribel, but sadly could not because they both went to two different schools. Which made it worse for Mayor. He had not notice her disability until Alma told Mayor and his mother about her condition. “Forget about how she was dressed-white canvas sneakers straight out of another decade and a huge yellow sweater over leggings-and forget about the fact that her black hair was mussed like she’d just woke up and the fact that she wasn’t wearing any makeup or jewelry or anything else that most of the girls in my school liked to pile on. Forget about all of that. She was fucking gorgeous” (Henriquez 41). This was the point where Mayor was lusting over her. He did not care about her clothing, He seemed to be interested with her looks. He wanted to her to be interested in Mayor that at one point he defended her from Garret (the bully). “She a good lay? I bet she is. I bet you can do whatever you want to a girl like that.’ ‘Stop it.’ ‘I’ve been thinking about all the things I could do to her. Tell her to take her clothes off-’ ‘Stop.’ ‘Have her suck my dick-’ And that’s when I punched him” (Henriquez 128). His love was strong and he had to defend her and his Mexican culture from Garret.
Garrett is a bad guy who bullies and no one likes him because of that. Maribel seems scared to be with Garrett and more comfortable with Mayor because Mayor seems to care for her. “Women exhibiting high attachment insecurity have reported experiencing significantly less comfort and support from their partners and significantly more depressive symptoms in comparison to securely attached women. More avoidantly attached men are less likely to provide support when their partners display distress” (Desrosiers et al.). Maribel does not want anything to do with Garrett. “He took my coat off and pushed me against the wall.’ And then somehow I got it. Prikle shot up the back of my neck. She was talking about Garrett Miller” (Henriquez 250).
Mayor’s love for Maribel is quite strong. He was grounded for punching Garrett and wanted to see Maribel. So he told his mom to invite everyone to their house for Christmas. When the Rivera’s came over, Mayor was excited. He dragged Maribel to the end of the hallway and gave her a present he’d been holding on for a month. It was a red scarf which she liked “Then, there in the shadows of the hallway, I kissed her. This strange electricity shot throughmy body. My first real kiss… She pulled away first, but she peeked at me and smiled” (Henriquez 142). Maribel seemed to like the kiss Mayor gave to her. “Should we visit it?’ ‘The car?’ Then I realized what she was trying to do. See, she was smart. She was way smarter than anyone gave her credit for” (Henriquez 171). It’s safe to say that Maribel wanted Mayor the whole time. “I closed my eyes and leaned across the console until my mouth found hers” (Henriquez 173). Maribel has a brain of her own and wants the love of Mayor. This shows us that Mayor is not taking advantage of Marigel because Maribel wants it, and this time Mayor pulled away. “I pulled back. I threw my hands over my crotch and angled my body away from her” (Henriquez 174).
Mayor could have been taking advantage of her because of her brain injury. In “ The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez, Maribel suffered from a serious brain injury. “I saw Maribel’s body tilt backwards. She let out a sharp scream. She reach her hand for the ladder, but her fingertips only grazed the rung. Arturo yelled. Maribel dropped two stories to the ground below. Her body smacked against the mud, sending it splattering into the air, all over me, all over Luis. Her neck snapped back. Her eyes closed” (Henriquez 100). Her injury had let to Mayor calling her a retard. “I looked at the girl again. Evers? That was the school for retards” (Henriquez 43). Which meant that Mayor could have taken advantage of her because of her brain injury.
Despite the injury and loss of Arturo, Maribel is feeling well. It was said that Garrett’s dad shot Arturo and that’s when Maribel and Alma has to go back to Mexico, because now they are considered illegal. Which means she is leaving Mayor and America. It is sad to see that the young couples have been separated. It was sad to see that the young couple we never going to see each other again. They were meant to be together and now they are separated. “You could come back one day,’ I said. ‘Or I could come there” (Henriquez 263).
Desrosiers, Alethea, et al. “‘Love Hurts’: Romantic Attachment and Depressive Symptoms in Pregnant Adolescent and Young Adult Couples.” Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol. 70, no. 1, Jan.2014, pp. 95-106. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/jclp.21979.
Henriquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans. Vintage Books, Knopf, June 3, 2014.