How We Met
Gareth and I’s love story started 18 years ago, which is a pretty crazy considering we’re only 21! We met when we were just 3 years old, when we were in the same preschool class! We both don’t remember a whole lot about each other back then except for the time my friend dared me to kiss him. I guess it’s always been meant to be!
We didn’t go to the same elementary school so our love affair ended pretty quickly. Flash-forward to 6th grade, we were in all the same classes. I sat next to him everyday for almost an entire school year and I was enamored by him! I thought the world of Gareth. He could make me laugh like crazy (which ended in us getting in trouble for talking pretty frequently), he was caring, smart, and so cute! Every day when I would come home from school, I would have a new story about something funny Gareth did and I would tell my entire family (grandparents and aunts and uncles included!). I was so in love and I didn’t even know it. My family would ask if I had a crush on him and I insisted I didn’t, because we were only 12 years old and boys still had cooties as far as I was concerned.
After having every class together and sitting next to each other for an entire year, we went our separate ways when 7th grade came and our schedules were different. We didn’t talk much until we were 16 and about to be juniors in high school. In my head I still pictured Gareth as the sweet, hilarious, goofy kid in my 6th grade classes. One summer day I got a text message from a random number asking if I wanted to meet “me and Anthony at the river”. Since this was a random number, I had no idea who the “me” in the message was, but Anthony was one of my friends so I agreed before even asking who the number was! Probably not the best idea, but that’s besides the point. It ended up being Gareth who had texted me which was so out-of-the-blue because we really hadn’t talked much since we were best friends in 6th grade.
I showed up to the river and for a while it was just me and Gareth there. We walked around, swam, and enjoyed each other’s company. We picked up almost right where we left off. We’ve always been so comfortable around each other and looking back, he’s always brought out the best in me. Anthony showed up later on and we all hung out together. It was such a fun day catching up with old friends. I didn’t think much about hanging out with Gareth that day until school started and one of my friends Clayton came up to me after school. In true Clayton fashion, he was very blunt and asked me “Would you go to the homecoming dance with Gareth if he asked you?” and I said “Of course!” I still viewed Gareth as my 6th grade best friend who I have the time of my life with so I was thrilled.
A couple weeks later, I was running late for school but still decided to stop and get a coffee from my favorite coffee stand (priorities, right?). I had never run late for school in my life, but today was the exception. I got my coffee and still had to drop my sister off at the middle school. At a stoplight, I noticed my phone buzzing and I handed it to my sister to read. She told me I had several friends texting me asking me where I was. I told her to reply I’d be at school soon and I was so confused as to why everyone was texting me.
I finally got to the high school with 3 minutes before 1st period started (yes, that’s considered very late for me haha!) and I started walking up the steps with my coffee in hand. My friend Sarah saw me and said “Oh wow this coffee looks good!” and I replied “Yeah, want a sip?” and before I know it, she takes off with it, running into the sea of people heading to class. I follow her and once I make it in the cafeteria, I see Gareth holding a Starbucks coffee and flowers, asking me to homecoming. I had forgotten about my conversation with Clayton so it was a complete surprise to see him there! Since I usually got to school early, he had been standing, waiting to ask me for over a half an hour. I felt so bad!
The homecoming dance is what started it all for us. He asked me to be his date junior year of high school and ever since then we have been inseparable. Every night after football practice, he would come over and help (and by help, I mean do for me) me with my Algebra II homework and everything went from there. Every high school dance, family outing, vacation, and holiday we spent together after that.
how they asked
After graduating high school, Gareth and I both chose to move 6 hours away and attend the same university. We learned how to become a little more independent, how to go grocery shopping, how to rent an apartment, and all the other fun things that come along with growing up (sarcasm intended). He was my date to every sorority formal and I was his cheerleader at every rugby match. Going to college together has been some of our best memories and I’m so glad we made the decision we did. During our junior year of college, we decided we wanted to study abroad in Europe together. Going into senior year, we wanted to lighten our course load so we decided we would take a couple classes in Rome, Italy that summer.
Ten days after moving all our stuff home for the last summer we would be living with our parents, we packed up everything again and headed on a 12-hour flight to Rome for 5 weeks. I was so excited to be adventuring with him and Italy has been a place I’ve wanted to go forever! I was secretly hoping he was planning a proposal while we were there but I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high.
After we had been there for a little over a week, Gareth asked if I wanted to go to this really cool church that overlooked the entire city. He started talking about the history of it and how cool it was, which definitely isn’t out of the ordinary for him. He finds history fascinating so I wasn’t suspecting anything. I agreed and a couple nights later I went over to his apartment. After dinner as we were about to leave for the church, I noticed he had changed into his nicest button-up and khakis. Gareth doesn’t dress up often so I became a little suspicious of what exactly was going on.
Gareth’s roommate, Alan, came along with us to the church and to catch the view at sunset. When we got there, the view was absolutely incredible. The church had a beautiful garden and the most incredible view overlooking Rome at sunset. It was enough to take your breath away. Gareth handed his camera to Alan and asked him to take a picture of us and before I knew it, he was down on one knee asking me to be his forever. It turns out, Alan wasn’t actually taking a picture of us but he was recording the whole thing. I cried so hard and was in complete shock. I don’t even remember what either of us said! It was the most perfect setting and the perfect night.