How We Met
Kris and I actually met at Applebee’s; romantic right? The two of us were both working as servers in between college semesters, so naturally our schedules matched up. We became pretty close friends instantly and hung out both on and off the clock pretty often. The thing is, we both were happily dating other people, and the thought of anything more than a friendship never even crossed our minds. Heck, my boyfriend, Cody, even worked with us; we were all friends!
Fast forward a year or so… I’m back in Orlando attending the University of Central Florida, and Kris tells me he is transferring from Broward College to UCF that semester! He and his girlfriend weren’t able to make it through the long distance and ended up breaking up. Now, my story is a bit more traumatic. Cody and I had made the decision to move in together in Orlando, but unfortunately, he ended up passing away unexpectedly the summer before the move. It was the worst and hardest time of my life. My main light during this period was my friendship with Kris. Anytime I wanted to stay in and sulk, he’d pick me up and take me to lunch, the pool, the movies, wherever. Anytime I needed a laugh, he’d pull off some silly stunt and I would find happiness in the moment. I found myself able to smile again with Kris and began to feel emotions I never imagined I would feel again.
Overtime, things continued to escalate, and Kris continued to amaze me. We started to “date” over the fall semester but nothing serious, until New Year’s Eve came along. His childhood neighborhood had an annual block party that we traveled home for, and unbeknownst to me, anytime Kris was alone with his friends and family that night, he had been asking them “so, what do you think of Ashlei?”, “should I ask her out?”. The consensus, thankfully, was “yes!” and shortly after midnight, it was official, Kris was my boyfriend.
Our relationship continued to grow over the next six and a half years. We both graduated, started new jobs, ended up moving in together, traveled together; he even took me to meet his family in Norway! The only thing that could make our lives better at this point would be the official commitment to continue through life together for the rest of our lives.
how they asked
It was an elaborate plan. Kris had booked a day trip with Miami Seaplane Tours to fly over Miami and Fort. Lauderdale, our old stomping grounds, if you will. The trick was getting me on that plane without allowing me to suspect a thing which is tricky because, like most girls, I am very inquisitive. His dad wins incredible things all the time, for example a brand new Mustang, so my mom derived the plan of telling me this was just another one of Alf’s winnings.
I believed it, check. Next was getting me to think I was the one who invited my brother to join us since we had three seats on the plane.
When in reality he was in on the whole thing and had already planned to attend; oh, and by the way, he would record the entire thing. Believed that one too, check.
Everything was lining up perfectly, that is until we woke up to the sound of rain that Saturday morning. After several weather checks and conversations with our pilot, the storm had passed, and we finally received clearance for takeoff. It was beautiful!
The weather, the water, the city, the entire experience. Kris organized a special low flyover just off of A1A. As we were approaching Las Olas Boulevard, our pilot points out a “party” in the water. I look down and see five people splashing and holding up a banner that reads “Ashlei, will you marry me?”.
Kris then taps me on the shoulder, and when I turn around, I see the perfect man holding out the perfect ring. The plane engine was so loud that we couldn’t hear a thing we were trying to say to each other, but between the amount of happy tears, the size of my smile, and the number of kisses, I think he got the point that I said “yes”!
I later learn that those five people holding up the banner were some of our closest friends from all over Florida that Kris had coordinated with weeks before. Everyone was in on it, even those that weren’t able to be there.
Turns out, he’s been “lying” to me for months… I’ll allow it though since the result was, hands down, to this day, the best day of my life!
Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!