Austin and Thomas

How We Met

When we were 15, Thomas and I worked as junior counselors at a day camp. We were a part of the same circle of friends and would hang out frequently. Toward the end of the summer, he worked up the courage and finally told me how he felt. Awkwardly, I tried to turn him down nicely and suggested that we should just stay “good” friends. We went to separate high schools and during our senior year, he got over me (or at least tried to convince himself and everybody else that he did) and grew out his hair. I remember seeing a picture on facebook with his long, blonde hair and was hooked.

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I tried to reach out to him again, but he had wanted nothing to do with me and told me he’d see me in a few months when camp started again. Little did he know he would see me just a few weeks at his surprise birthday party. The party was awkward at first, but I think it’s when some feelings started to come back. Senior year ended and we were both at the same high school graduation party (class of 2010!). I may have had a little too much fun and suggested that Thomas jump in the pool with me. Knowing that I was going to school three hours away in just a few short months, I asked him if he wanted to be my “fling” for the summer. This fling quickly turned into way more than I could have ever imagined.

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We were inseparable that summer and spent every moment together- at camp, on the couch, at the movies, or on the boardwalk. After all summer together, I left for college central Pennsylvania in tears. He went to school hours away in New York. Despite the distance, he would drive to visit me at least once a month. We’d FaceTime constantly. There was never a day where I was unsure if we could make a long distance relationship work. And I was right! But after 4 years of college, the long distance still was not done.

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I decided to make things even harder and took a job with Teach for America in North Carolina. Finally after 6 years, countless weekend trips and FaceTimes, we were finally living in the same state! Ever since that first summer of 2010, Thomas has been my very best friend and my biggest supporter. I am able to be my weird, silly, and sometimes awkward self around him. Ever since that summer of 2010, I knew that he was the one.

How They Asked

Earlier in the week, one of my best friends asked if she could stay at my house on Friday to break up a road trip. I was so excited to see her, so it was easy to tell Thomas that I couldn’t do something that night. When Friday came around, she told me that she would get to my house earlier than she expected and told me that she made dinner reservations for the 2 of us. It was getting close to our reservation time and I couldn’t wait for her to arrive. My phone began to ring and I figured it was my friend calling me to tell me that she was lost. Instead, she told me that she had been lying and that she was not really coming to see me, but that I had to go to my front door. I was confused, but I listened.

When I opened the door, I saw Thomas standing holding a handwritten sign with music playing on the background. Every Christmas time, I make Thomas watch Love Actually with me, so I knew exactly where he was coming from. For the next what felt like an eternity, he showed me signs that told our whole love story with pictures! I laughed, I cried, and through it all, I could not believe that after 8.5 years, it was finally happening.

In the end, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth, but I have never been so sure of something in my life. Minutes after he placed the ring on my hand, my family pulled into the driveway with no idea what was happening! I could not have asked for better timing or more perfect proposal!

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