How We Met
I (Alie) was living in Nova Scotia and feeling pretty stuck. I wasn’t where I wanted to be financially, career-wise, romantically, and I craved something more. My sister, living in Fort McMurray Alberta, invited me to live with her for a year, to make some money and have an adventure. I decided to go for it.
One night, at a church young adults group, my sister’s friend was pointing out some people around us, giving an idea of people close to her and pointed center stage to where Ricardo stood, with a spotlight on, in front of the mic, guitar in hand. My eyes widened a bit but I kept my mouth shut the whole time I watched him sing during the worship service.
Sometime later my sister had gone on vacation, and her floors were being redone in her house, so. I had to go elsewhere.
Her friend, the same one from the young adults night before, invited me to stay with her.
One of the nights, the church band was coming over to practice in the basement, and I knew Ricardo would be there.
He had no idea who I was but I paced around upstairs so very nervous to meet him, fixing and re-fixing my makeup and hair. I went downstairs and met everyone, and smiled sweetly at Ricardo. Who had his eyes hard fixed onto mine.
After practice, a few people stayed behind to watch a movie, and Ricardo stayed. We sat just near each other and casually talked. Slowly, everyone left or went to bed until it was just us and one other person. I could feel the tension in the air.
It was the worst movie ever, I’m pretty sure it was a parody of fast and furious but so low budget and not funny at all. But even when the last person left, and we sat in silence, we didn’t want to turn it off just to have an excuse to be near each other. He stayed until around 2am, and casually mentioned we should grab coffee sometime. I later found out he had to get up at 4 am for work! Commitment!
Time went on and as we got to know each other he discovered I had never been taken out on a date. Never one that the guy planned, and I had no part of. So, of course, one day he simply says “I’m picking you up at 8, wear something nice.”
He took us to a beautiful dinner and asked me out. It took me weeks before I said yes, but it was the best choice I ever made!
When time passed and he finally said I love you, he brought roses to my door to say it, because he always said it was more than words, and he wanted to be sure his heart was in for the commitment before he said it. (I still have a dried flower from that bouquet in a shadow box!)
Fast forward to 7 months later, he wanted to move to Vancouver to leave his high paying job and instead chase his dreams in music and attend the recording arts school, Nimbus.
With my families approval, I took a leap and moved to Vancouver with the love of my life.
How They Asked
I had been waiting my whole life for my “Champagne Birthday” the day I turn 26, on the 26th of September. I’d had in my head since I was a little girl that I would get 26 presents wrapped in gold, similar to my sisters had when they were younger.
On the day, my alarm went off for work and as I hit snooze, my boyfriend announced I didn’t have to work today, that he had gotten the day off for me. I was so happy and fell right back asleep. A few hours later, he told me to get ready for a surprise. “How should I dress?” I asked. He said, “Oh, don’t worry, we will be indoors.”
Little did I expect the “indoors” to be a helicopter ride! We flew over Downtown Vancouver and over the mountains and ocean. He then took us to our favorite park when we first moved here where he gave me a picnic with wine and pulled out a little gold box with a new rose gold chain on a necklace he had bought me last Christmas.
Later after returning home for presents, he announced we were going to dinner. Because he was so casual about how I should dress, and that this day was to celebrate an important birthday for me, I was completely in the dark about what was coming next!
After our meal, he talked about how today was full of so many firsts for us, and I excitedly joined in, naming all the bucket list things we did that day. Finally, he said “I would love to have one more first for today..” and asked me to stand. where he dropped to one knee and proposed in front of a full restaurant. I blushed as I heard the “awws” and applause when I cried “Yes!!”
Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, the waiter delivered champagne and my final gold wrapped present.
Inside was a wooden box with a poem from my favorite poet Lang Leav called “Keys”. Under the poem was a bright blue lock and pair of keys engraved with our names and the last line of the poem “never forget your words.”
We walked to these beautiful wire couples that are at the edge of the garden, covered in locks from lovers, and locked ours on. We then threw the key down the heart and key-shaped hole provided, so our lock can never be undone.
(I have been experiencing PTSD from a recent event in my life and all the anxiety and depression, therapists and hospital tests and visits you can imagine for the past 6 months… I asked him afterward. “Are you sure you want this? I could still end up in the hospital, worse than before, anything could happen.” He said “and I would be there, beside you, battling anything that comes our way. I’m here to support you forever.”)
I have never felt more wholly loved.