Alison and Nigel
How We Met
I met Nigel when I moved to Atlanta, GA from New York City. I was 19 years old at the time and I was visiting my cousin Kim at her dorm. Nigel came over with two of his friends & I was instantly attracted to him. My cousin didn’t drive at the time, so every time I saw Kim, Nigel was the driver & his friends were with them. When we both found out that both of us were from Trinidad, our American accents disappeared & we instantly started joking and talking in our native Trini lingo. The more I saw him, the more I admired him. He became the prototype of what I wanted in a husband. I actually remember looking at him and saying to myself, “Whoever marries him is lucky”. Of course, he had no idea that I liked him & I kept it that way because he wasn’t single at the time. I got to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore and to prevent him from finding out how I felt about him, I purposely disappeared. I moved back to New York City where I continued my education there.
With Nigel being my prototype, I searched for that type of man in my future husband. My great friend Stacey taught me how to pray & fast so that God would guide me with my major life decisions. At age 24, I fasted for 7 Fridays & I was clear about my next steps at the end. I needed someone whose personality type was perfect for my personality type. I took a leap of faith and decided to be single until God gave me exactly what I wanted & needed in a life partner. With that leap of faith, I changed my relationship status on Hi5 (remember that?). I knew that the man of my dreams wouldn’t come around if I was in a relationship.
Nigel, who I haven’t heard from in 5 years, reached out to me with a, “Hey how are you doing?”. I stared at the computer in shock & responded, “I’m ok! Thanks for checking up on me! I’ll be in Atlanta next Monday until the end of November. Be ready, I’m taking my camera! lol”. I assumed that there was NO WAY that he was single, so I spent Thanksgiving with my family and made no attempts to contact him.
After returning to New York, he saw my Atlanta pictures on Hi5. He sent another message asking me how could I visit his city and not reach out. Again, he asked me how I was doing. I said to myself, “he doesn’t sound like a guy with a girlfriend” & I instantly texted my cousin Kim for his phone number. She took too long to respond in my eyes (THIS WAS URGENT), so I called her to get his number.
I took a deep breath & called him. When I heard his voice over the phone, I melted and instantly turned it into a prank call. He laughed and asked who is this trying to prank him on the phone & I admitted that it was me, Alison. He said, “Alison Ryce? Hi!” in the kindest voice. After we got “how have you been” out the way, I learned that he was single.
I confessed that I didn’t reach out to him on my last trip to Atlanta because I liked him & I assumed that he was dating someone. I told myself that I did my job of letting him know that I was interested & if he was too, he’ll call me again after this conversation. I had no intentions of calling him again. Happily, he called me back the next day & we spoke every day after that.
We quickly started doing a daily bible study together. We decided to become a couple & we prayed to begin our relationship. After becoming an item, it was a pleasant surprise to learn that our mothers attended Elementary School together! OMG!!
A long-distance relationship wasn’t what we wanted, therefore we both considered moving to be close to each other. I eventually relocated to Atlanta where he taught me how to drive & helped me get my first job in Atlanta. He made the transition very smooth for me & gave me a new Church family.
As a couple, we learned together, failed together, won together, achieved degrees together, earned credentials together, and became better people together. Through deep prayer, we survived sicknesses, job loses, & everything else that the enemy threw at us.
Our journey together was epic! We’ve learned so many lessons along the way & our foundation is solid. I’m proud of the woman & man we’ve become; thanks to God & our relationship.
How They Asked
Our proposal took place in Jacksonville, Florida while we were vacationing & celebrating my birthday with 10 of our friends. Before going on vacation, Nigel made it a point to tell me that we were going to dinner on our second night of vacation. We spent the day laughing with friends, and Nigel seemed completely calm the entire time.
I had really no idea what was in store. That night, Nigel mentioned he wanted us all to walk on the beach before going to dinner. As we walked down onto the beach, everyone turned their phones in my direction & started singing Happy Birthday to me. After a few short minutes, I noticed a beautiful setup on the sand.
Once we walked up to the layout; I saw a beautiful carving with our names on it, a bottle of Champagne, two glasses, & a frame with our picture in it. Nigel started to thank everyone for coming out to celebrate my birthday with us. As he talked about the importance of family, my family members including our parents came to join us on the beach! I had no idea they were even in Jacksonville, so it was such a great feeling being able to share this special moment with our families!
Nigel turned to me and confessed that he didn’t come here just to celebrate my birthday. He told me that he came here to also ask me to celebrate life with him. He took my hand, got down on one knee, & asked me to marry him. After I said yes, we took pictures and were whisked away to a restaurant to celebrate.
At the restaurant, everyone there had on a custom tee-shirt celebrating the occasion. We ate dinner by candlelight while a slideshow of our pictures was projected on the wall. I was so happy and it was the best night of my life.
To wrap our amazing weekend, my family toasted us with a glass of champagne and savored the moment. I thank God for such an amazing adventure!