Emily and Alonzo

How We Met

It was May of 2012 and my grandmother was in and out of the hospital. Everyone at my college was celebrating that the semester was over and all my friends were asking if I was staying in the dorms until the final move out date before summer. After all, it was pretty much the most coveted time- no classes, tests, or papers and total freedom to do what you wish all while still living with your friends before everyone scattered for the summer. Meanwhile, I was already packed up and ready to move out so I could go home, visit my grandmother, and spend time with my family. My best friend from home came to campus to help me move out; I think we were on one of our final trips to my car when I was walking down the hallway and Alonzo (Zo), Cody (his best friend) and a group of our floor mates came out.

Where to Propose in our new home, we just closed on the day prior

Of course, they asked why I was moving out and Zo gave me all this trouble about how I was moving out without hanging out with him, thereby making me a bad friend. See, I knew of Zo and we had met a couple times, but he was the quiet mysterious one in the friend group so while I knew of him we really weren’t friends at that point- more just had mutual friends. I didn’t know how to react to his teasing because he had never really spoken to me before and I was so preoccupied with getting home to my grandmother. When I explained why I was leaving, he gave me a big bear hug goodbye and I proceeded to walk down the hallway. From behind I hear, “marry me”. Michelle and I exchange a glance and I pretty much just laughed it off and kept moving. Zo caught up pretty quickly and followed us into the elevator telling me that he couldn’t marry me if he didn’t have my number- after a quick mental debate I gave him points for persistence and gave him my number. He walked Michelle and I to my car, helped us load our final things, and hugged me goodbye again. As we pulled away from the curb, my phone pinged with a reminder of tips on how to be a good friend since I had apparently been a bad one all semester.

how they asked

On November 1, Alonzo and I closed on our first home. His parents flew in for his birthday, October 29, and also to help us clean, paint, and move in. On Friday, November 2, I took off work to spend the day at the house with his parents. We made a lot of progress cleaning, painting, and unpacking so after our families ate dinner together at my parents’ home I was eager to go back to our new home and show everyone the progress! My brother had come to visit from Philadelphia and had yet to see our house, aside from pictures, so when we arrived I quickly and excitedly started giving him a tour. I opened all the cabinets in the kitchen to show him that we actually had pots and pans, showed off the walls I painted, and literally gave him a blow by blow tour. Soon after, I realized that I was talking to myself because everyone was pretty much already downstairs in the family room and my brother was wandering down there as well.

So of course still in tour mode, I followed after him announcing “so this is the downstairs, here is the family room..” I walk in to see our families huddled to the side of the room… I turn around to see Zo standing in the center by himself. Behind him, on the walls we hadn’t painted yet is written: without you I am nothing, with you I am something, but together we are everything. On the other wall, it said my full name followed by will you marry me? In the center of the room, a vase of a dozen red roses naturally with a tissue box accurately predicting my reaction- I immediately started crying and cried the whole time he was on one knee.

After, I realized my best friend had driven from Long Island to help Zo set up the room and get everything ready; one of my other friends came too and they both took pictures and filmed the proposal!! There was even a corner on the wall where it said: check: yes, no and chalk for me to do so. Beneath that were candles with metal letters of what will be our married names! It was all so perfect. We took pictures, and then ate cheesecake and popped champagne, (I was told these were for Zo’s birthday!!) christening our new kitchen as one big family. The funny thing is, it was pouring out, that night so I was still in my raincoat when he proposed! He later told me, he hadn’t taken his off yet either because he was too anxious and didn’t want me to be suspicious that he was “settling in” when from my perspective we weren’t necessarily going to be at the house all that long.