2003: A love story begins…as Adam tells it: Cypress Bay High School was just opening; it was the largest High School in the country. I was a Sophomore and Amanda was a Freshman. Every once in a while, after football practice, a bunch of the guys and I would go into the gym to watch the girls volleyball team. I always had a thing for the girl wearing the #1 jersey, but never knew who she was. A full year of school went by and I never saw her outside of the gym, because the freshmen had classes in a different section of the school. At the beginning of the following school year we had a pot luck dinner for the football team and the cheerleaders. Amanda was not on the cheerleading team the year before, because she played volleyball, so it was this night that I first saw her outside the school gym. Normally I am not a shy person, but there was something about her smile that was intimidating. Instead of my normal routine of walking straight up to a girl, I asked our mutual friend to introduce me to Amanda. Of course that didn’t happen right away….
I officially met Amanda in the lunch room one day. She was sitting with several of my childhood friends, so I knew all I had to do was walk over and say hello to everyone and that would be my opportunity. To say the least, nothing ever works out as planned. I went over, said hello to everyone and dropped a moronic one liner to her. We were 16 so everyone laughed, but looking back on it today… it was not my best material. We instantly clicked; however, we were young and our relationship underwent its ups and downs, but we always knew there was something special about us. We grew closer in college, as we both attended the University of Florida. We matured and learned more about ourselves and each other. We have been on an incredible journey together so far, and I CANT WAIT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH HER!!!
2013: The beginning of the rest of our lives…as Amanda tells it: I had just studied for two solid months and taken the two-day Florida Bar Exam. As a graduation gift from law school, our parents and Adam had planned a trip to Europe for Adam and me…
After a 9-hour flight from Miami to Paris, we finally made it to our quaint hotel overlooking the Champs Elysse. Our hotel room was not ready, so we strolled the Champs and took in the sights. An hour later, our room was ready. Adam seemed more eager than usual for us to get ready and explore the city. I was exhausted and a little less motivated, but his excitement spurred me into action. Adam, as per usual, had an itinerary set. It included an exact place for us to start our day’s adventure. As soon as we hopped into a taxi, Adam directed the driver toward the Pont des Arts, also known as the Love Lock Bridge. While en route to the bridge we passed several vendors selling locks to clasp to the bridge’s legendary chain link fence. I asked Adam if we could buy a lock. He told me we could find one once we were on the bridge. As we started onto the walkway, the sight of love enveloped us. Tens of thousands of locks representing those who had professed their love for one another, was overwhelmingly present. While I took in the moment, Adam began to open his backpack. He told me he brought locks for us. I thought to myself, this was just another one of Adam’s thoughtful moments. You see, Adam is so loving and so thoughtful. This was not an out of the ordinary gesture. The red, shiny lock he pulled from his backpack contained a beautiful inscription that read:
“Amanda Freilich – Adam Lickstein Loves You”
After an extensive search, I finally found the perfect spot for my lock. I secured it to the fence.
Adam pulled a second, blue lock from his backpack. He explained to me that his lock would connect with mine to symbolize our interconnectedness, our sacred, secure and undying love for each other. His lock read:
“I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
Love Always and Forever
After reciting this line over and over again in my head, Adam broke the silence and asked me to turn the lock over. The other side was inscribed:
“Amanda, will you marry me?”
I turned to him after reading the most beautiful words I had ever comprehended. He was on his knee looking up at me. It took my breath away. My heart raced. I was light-headed. I think I shouted “YES!” before he even spoke the words aloud. He asked me again over my cries of joy and then held me until my tears subsided. Once we regained our composure, Adam suggested we call our parents. They were all at breakfast together awaiting our call. We all laughed and cried as we enjoyed the moment together.
After the call, Adam introduced me to the photographer who had followed us and taken photos of us throughout our moment on the bridge. He also took lovely photos of us at many of the iconic sights in Paris.
…Soul mates do exist.