Michael D’Amico, 22, just closed escrow on a condo in Simi Valley at the beginning of the year. It’s not a big apartment, but with some work, it’ll be home. In the bedroom, D’Amico is proud of the light he bought for the bedside table. It’s geometric and the colors suit the room, but the light bulbs irritate him. He wants more of a yellow light to match the walls and those are fluorescent.
In the room next door, his girlfriend chats with her friend while their 2-year-old daughter, Ava, watches Sesame Street. As soon as D’Amico walks in, Ava starts tugging on his jacket. She has an aversion to jackets because it means someone’s leaving, said Alysha, Ava’s mom.
D’Amico met Alysha when he started working at Starbucks. His relationship at the time wasn’t going well and he started talking to Alysha. Eventually, he broke up with his girlfriend and started dating Alysha.
“We had one sleepover night and the baby came,” said D’Amico. It was the first time either of them had had sex. “Who would’ve known that she was as fertile as the Nile Valley and I had bass instead of salmon.”
Alysha was on vacation in Hawaii with her mom and kept throwing up. She thought it might have been the food but went to a clinic when she got back just in case.
“She walks out of the room, I remember she had a big smile on her face and I’m like ‘oh thank god,’ she’s not pregnant, she’s not pregnant, and that quickly turned into a lot of tears and a lot of sadness because she was,” he said. “We sat in the car in front of the place. We were both in shock.”
He told her he’d support her whatever she chose.
“Me being the business analyst, I was trying to figure this out financially,” said D’Amico. “Would it make sense? It’s all on me and I already knew that and I could do it, but was she ready for it?”
When they found out about the baby, D’Amico put school on hold and took up a third job at his father’s company, one that he’ll probably inherit someday.
D’Amico is a business management major currently, hoping to get around to switching it to business administration. At the end of this semester, he’ll be done with his GE’s. He’s nervous about taking classes for his major though because of his schedule.
He works as a supervisor at Starbucks and has a full-time job at Wells Fargo. He’ll be finishing up training for a manager position at the bank in April.
“I always got back on the road. I never gave up. I’m on like the 15 year program to graduate though,” he laughed.
He’s not sure about the future about his relationship though. He said he loves Alysha but she still has personal things to work out before they can even think about moving forward.
“I literally lived in a box growing up. There was nothing out of the ordinary,” said D’Amico.
Alysha, on the other hand, grew up in a chaotic environment. Her father and brother are bipolar.
“I don’t want my daughter to live like that,” said D’Amico. “What lies ahead, I have no idea.”