Bella, MJ and the epic Valentine’s Day surprise

Ella Schuellerman, Arts & Life Editor

Let’s give a shoutout to all the mothers who help us, even if we do not realize it. Sometimes they don’t even know what they are doing for us. 

MJ Bronsky `20 has a mother who urged him to sign up for another extracurricular activity after he stepped back from hockey during his sophomore year at John Carroll. Bella Carlozzi `21 has a supportive mother who signed her up for the Student Union Programming Board email blasts. 

Though Bella rarely opened up SUPB’s emails, her future boyfriend was the one spamming the school with them. Thank God for our mothers, right? But this story isn’t about them. 

“I initially thought this ‘Bronsky’ writing the blasts must be a professor or something,” said Bella. “So I got on Google and then Instagram. I immediately followed this guy, and he followed me right back.”

MJ Bronsky and Bella Carlozzi during a visit to the Columbus Botanical Gardens. (Bella Carlozzi)

“Please put this on the record that she followed me first. It is a vital key to this story of ours,” MJ emphasized. 

While Bella was not looking for a boyfriend at the time, everything fell into place. MJ and Bella had a mutual friend in her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and they were both preparing to work Celebration for the class of 2022, an event held each March to welcome potential new students to campus. 

“We talked and talked then decided we would meet up at Celebration since I was working the Leadership Scholars table and he was working for SUPB. We were so busy, though, that we ended up not meeting at the event and made a plan to hang at the Tween,” said Bella. 

The couple has been together ever since the meet-up at that booth. A month and a half into strictly hanging out, their friends started to ask, “What is going on here? Is this your boyfriend? Is this your girlfriend?” The thing is, neither Bella or MJ really knew. 

What they did know is they loved spending time together, hanging around campus, watching movies and going to hockey games. The first time they went off campus together was to Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Legacy Village. But let’s be clear, that was not the first date. 

“The fact of the matter is that I was not looking for anyone at that point in time and that is why I was so myself around MJ,” said Bella. The official first date beyond the undefined friend zone consisted of the gentleman MJ picking Bella up at her dorm room and dropping her off at the end of the night. They went to Aladdin’s Eatery in Cleveland Heights. 

On May 5, 2018, they made things official, and the two have been inseparable since. They have spent nearly every day during their time at John Carroll together since then.

MJ graduated from John Carroll in May 2020 and now works from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bella is finishing up her undergraduate degree this spring with plans to attend nursing school at Ohio State in Columbus this fall. 

Since transitioning to a long-distance relationship, Bella commends their communication and MJ values their foundation of friendship as some of the strongest pieces of their partnership. 

The couple visiting MJ’s hometown of Buffalo, New York. (Bella Carlozzi)

“Bella has taught me to be selfless and really pivoted me to caring for others more than myself,” said MJ. “I think having someone you want the absolute best for, someone that you can share everything with, is special and rare.”

The Carroll News asked the couple about their most special or memorable moment together. They recalled their first trip to South Carolina in the summer of 2018. It was the first time Bella had ever traveled without her family, and it was on this trip they realized they were in love.

Returning to Cleveland after a beautiful, special vacation, Bella and MJ boarded the plane. It was quieter than the flight down, with barely anyone on the plane. As they flew back, the plane followed the sunset, and light pierced through the windows. Bella began tracing words on MJ’s back — something they did when they first were together.

Bella traced an I, a love and a you

This is where the interview and story ended, or so The Carroll News thought. 

Last night, on Feb. 11, nearly two and a half years later and countless more adventures since, MJ boarded another plane. This time, he wasn’t with Bella watching the sunset through a small airplane window. This time, he was flying from Florida to Ohio to surprise her for Valentine’s Day 2021. 

Bella and MJ’s liveliness, laughter and banter are infectious. They are the kind of people who will do absolutely anything for one another. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, MJ and Bella.