How We Met
Alika and I both attended a small private Catholic University in the south suburbs of Chicago and we were both in the nursing program. We actually had our very first college class together and sat right next to one another! At the time, we always conversed and encountered one another but it was always casually. Alika was from Hawaii and played baseball. So everyone knew who he was in our small school and was always intrigued on why he moved all the way out to Chicago. I always thought he was a very attractive guy and had a fun and radiant personality. Throughout our college years, we would occasionally hangout together but it was always in a group setting and usually for school occasions. Nothing really progressed until the very last semester of our senior year! That semester, a group of people in our class had planned to go out for drinks and dinner after our final exam to celebrate. As the day of that final exam approached, more and more people began to back out of our plan. Next thing you know Alika and I are the only two left in the group willing to still go out after our exam. Being way too excited about finally being done with nursing school we both decided to go to dinner even if it was just the two of us. And well I guess you could say the rest was history from there. That day we instantly clicked on a whole different level. Our conversation flowed as if we knew each other our whole lives. He somehow made me smile like no one else had and always had the right things to say. We laughed the night away and eventually planned our next “official” date. Since then we have gone on so many adventures together. Now here I am three and a half years later engaged to the man of my dreams.
How They Asked
So my birthday was this past August and I was on track to graduate from my Masters Degree program in late October. Around the time of my birthday, Alika had surprised me and told me that we were going to New York in early October as a late birthday gift and an early graduation gift. I was extremely excited as I have always told him that I wanted to visit New York one day. As it got closer to the date of our departure, Alika began acting very suspicious. When I asked him questions regarding our trip like where we were staying and what are some things we should plan to do, he would stumble on his words. He would answer with responses such as “do not worry about it, I have it all planned out”, which is never his usual response as we usually pick our hotels and excursions together whenever we travel. The last major red flag for me was when he asked me if he could pack my bag for me. He NEVER asks me anything of that nature and he usually never really cares on what I wear. So I decide to look more into this “trip to New York.” When he originally surprised me with this trip he didn’t send me the flight itinerary which I didn’t think too much of at the time because he was the one who typically managed our flight information. However, with all the red flags and him acting suspicious, I looked more into it and I ended up finding out that we were actually going to Santorini and New York was just a layover! I confronted him about it to see if it was true as Santorini has always been a life-long travel destination for me. And well lets just say it was true but he wasn’t too happy that I ruined the surprise with only a couple weeks left before we were scheduled to leave. Despite the surprise being ruined (ooops) we arrive to Santorini and it is just magical from the start. The views and the island itself are absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The pictures on the internet and on social media don’t do it justice. The first couple days go by and we go about exploring as we normally do when on vacation. On the third day we went on a winery tour which we had booked together prior to arriving to Santorini. The tour was amazing and we were able to visit three different wineries. When the tour finished, we arrived back to our hotel and I walked into our room which was decorated with rose petals and candles. Alika had our hotel decorate our room while we out on our tour.
I was in utter disbelief and had no idea what was going on. I originally thought that it was just another one of Alika’s kind, loving, and thoughtful gestures. However, as I explored the room more there was a note on the bed which read “Dear Ola (my name in Polish), I can’t wait to spend forever with you but this is just the beginning. I have a special day planned for you. Please be ready by 1530 as there is a driver waiting for you to take you on a day full of adventures. Dress casually, nothing fancy is needed. Love, Alika.”
Being more distraught and confused, I still had no idea what was going on. The driver ended up taking me to a private salon where I got my hair, makeup, and nails done. After doing so, the driver drove me around the island of Santorini for about thirty minutes which made me even more anxious. Finally, we pulled up to a destination where a lady (who I later found out was the event planner) greeted me and walked me up a pathway. At the end of the pathway was a TV projector that started playing our favorite song and was a video that Alika made of all our prior adventures over the past three and a half years.
That point is when the water works began and I couldn’t contain my excitement! When the video ended, I walked through a pair of doors that stood adjacent to the TV projector. On the other side of the door stood Alika in front of a big sign that said “MARRY ME” and overlooked the entire island of Santorini. That is when he got down on one knee and asked to spend forever with him. After I said YES, fireworks went off in the background! We were then able to have a private dinner and watch the beautiful Santorini sunset while celebrating our engagement. It was truly a night I will NEVER forget!