How We Met
Zach and I met almost 10 years ago during our freshman year at Miami Sunset Senior High school. I thought he was adorable and had an awesome sense of humor. I also loved the fact that everyone else at our high school liked him just as much. He has always had a very bubbly and charming personality. Zach was part of the WTKS team, which was the TV Production crew for our school that was in charge of morning announcements, videotaping special school events, etc. I was a dancer for the hip-hop competition team, Street Soul, so we would see each other often. Throughout the years we had more classes together and it definitely brought us closer. In the back of my mind, I always liked Zach more than just a friend but, he never mentioned or expressed feelings of wanting to be more than that. So, I moved on and dated other people but we remained best friends.
Junior year we had almost every class together and we also began spending more time outside of school with friends. At the time, I was in a relationship with someone else and had already given up on having any chance at a romantic relationship with Zach. My feelings for him never changed but I just didn’t see it ever happening. As the rest of the year went on, my feelings continued to grow to the point where I had no other choice but to tell him how I felt. It was eating me up inside not knowing if he felt the same way.
It was the last day of junior year and I was sitting down watching a Spanish show with my friend Adriana in the school’s auditorium. I couldn’t hold it in anymore but I was also scared to tell someone my situation seeing as how I was still in a relationship with someone else. Coincidentally, Adriana was dating his brother at the time. I thought to myself, “Maybe she knows something I don’t? Maybe he’s mentioned feeling the same way about me to her? I really just need to tell someone…”. So, I told Adriana during the show how I’ve been crazy about Zach for a long time but I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way. To my surprise, she says, “Bianca…are you kidding me? He’s been in love with you for years now.”
I was in complete shock, but also relieved that I finally knew how he truly felt. I decided that it was time for me to talk to him face to face. I sent him a message to meet me after the show when he could. As I saw him walking towards me from the school office, I became so nervous. I realized that this could either make things insanely awkward or end up in us eventually being together. Regardless of the outcome, I knew I would regret not telling him and never knowing what could have been. Let’s just say that is was about to be the best decision I could have ever made!
He nonchalantly says, “Hey! what did you want to talk to me about?”. In which I responded anxiously with, “Well…I’m not sure how you are going to take this but it is something that has been weighing on my heart for a while now. I really like you. I think you are so sweet, funny, and kind. I always have, but since you never said anything to me…I never knew if you felt the same.” He instantly turned red and had an ear to ear grin on his face. He says to me, “Bianca…I’ve always loved you. I think you are the most beautiful girl in school and no one makes me laugh the way you do. I think you’re hilarious. I can’t even believe this is happening right now…what?! You and me?!…we’re like…Lizzie McGuire and Gordo!” He and I laughed so hard after he said that. I don’t even think he realized what he had just said. We went back and forth expressing how we couldn’t believe that we were just now saying this after so many years.
I obviously parted ways with the person I was with at the time. Fast forward to the beginning of the senior year, he and I became inseparable. We were just talking and hanging out with friends outside of school but we still hadn’t solidified when we wanted to officially start dating. It was a weird stage for us because we were in the best friend zone for so long! A couple of months into senior year, homecoming dance proposals were beginning. On October 8, 2012, I was meeting Zach at our favorite spot in the hallway before the 3rd period. I noticed he was running a little late and I wasn’t sure if I was going to catch him before class started. All of a sudden, I see him coming from across the hall with a “Build a Bear” dressed as a luchador (keep in mind, our favorite movie is “Nacho Libre”). As he gets closer, I realize that the bear is holding a homecoming ticket. He gives me the bear and grabs both of my hands. His hands were shaking as he said, “Bianca…I’ve been in love with you for a long time now. I think you’re the most beautiful girl in school, you’re so funny, and I would love for you to go to homecoming with me…but I want you to go as my girlfriend.” Oct. 8, 2019, marked our 7 year anniversary.
How They Asked
Every year Zach and I visit his mom, stepdad, and two sisters in Texas for Thanksgiving. They recently moved to Arizona. We were very excited to celebrate Thanksgiving somewhere completely different this year. Since the year started, we have been counting down the days for our 5-day trip. We were thinking about where we wanted to go, what food we wanted to try, and how cold it was going to be. Zach and I have traveled a lot over the years to so many different places but Arizona was definitely on our bucket list. I remember telling Zach as we were about to take off, “Hey…I can’t wait to marry you.” I’ve said that a million times but he looked at me in a special way this time. We arrived in Arizona very early in the morning on Nov. 27, 2019. I had no idea that it was about to be one of the best days of my life! We woke up and discussed how we wanted to spend our day with his mom and sister. All four of us hopped in the car and began to drive to Sedona for breakfast. As we ate, Zach suggested we go to Sugarloaf Mountain for our hike. He didn’t want to do anything that would take to long since we had plans to meet his uncle for dinner later that night.
Before I continue, it is important to mention that Zach’s proposal plan was not going the way he had hoped. His original idea was to propose to me at the Grand Canyon during our romantic two-day getaway. This was intended to happen on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. We would drive from Phoenix to Sedona, to Flagstaff, to Grand Canyon, and the last stop would be Las Vegas. He had it all figured out: what he wanted to say, where he wanted to place me on the mountain to get the best picture shots, etc. The night before we arrive in Arizona, we get a bad weather forecast for Friday. The road to Flagstaff and Grand Canyon was going to be completely closed off due to the extremely cold weather and heavy snow. In Zach’s mind he was freaking out, but on the outside, he was completely calm and collected.
After hearing this disappointing news, Zach decides that he’s going to do it on the first day during our hike. He called my father immediately to tell him what his plan was and asked him for his blessing. My father of course could not have been happier. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity of proposing to me on this trip after waiting so long. The scenery on our hike was breathtaking, the weather was perfect, and this whole time my engagement ring is at arms reach in Zach’s jacket pocket!
We finally reach the top of Sugarloaf Loop where we begin taking tons of pictures. My jaw was on the floor as I was looking at this 360 view of Sedona. I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and happiness. Little did I know that those feelings were about to get a whole lot stronger. I start to notice that Zach looks very nervous and awkward. He kept asking to take a picture with a certain pose that we had taken like 10 times already. He just looked frustrated and we were getting ready to leave.
We proceeded to take one last picture with another view of the mountain in the background. He faces me then looks over to his mom and sister before he says, “Why don’t you guys get a picture of this…”. Zach gets down on one knee and looks up at me. My knees started to buckle and my hands were shaking because I was having a hard time processing what was happening. I see him take the box out of his pocket. I immediately turn to his just as surprised mom and say, “Is this really happening right now?!”. I must have said that 100 times. My reaction was a perfect combination of ugly crying and an irrepressible feeling of joy. Zach says to me,” Baby…I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” After so many beautiful fun-filled years together, we are beginning a new and never-ending chapter. I can’t wait to grow old with my best friend. He will always be my greatest adventure.
Here comes the kicker: The entrances to Grand Canyon and Flagstaff were reopened before Friday. I’m sure plenty of you are thinking, “Man! He could have done it at Grand Canyon!”. You know what? His spontaneous, unplanned proposal ended up being so much better. Our two-day getaway turned into our “engagement moon” and we got to see almost all of the places we wanted to visit. I can’t wait to go back and relive those memories with him.