Jennifer and Horatien
how we met
It was a few weeks before my first semester in college. I was walking through Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York with a mutual acquaintance on a hot August day. He stopped a guy he knew who was passing us by, who happened to be Horatien. They exchanged greetings and said “By the way, this is Jennifer!” to a clearly annoyed Horatien who wanted to escape this heat as fast as he could. I said “Your name is Haitian?!” He said “NO… Horatien”. He barely glanced in my direction and my first impression of him was that he was RUDE.
We crossed paths again in the financial aid office at the New York City College of Technology. He had a warmer demeanor and we made small talk while waiting on a line that would make any DMV office look like a ghost town. Later that week, he sent me a message through MySpace (yes, the modern dark ages of MySpace!) and we chatted for weeks until he invited me to our first date; a matinee of the opening of American Gangster starring Denzel Washington. He remembered my love for turkey sandwiches from the bodega and snuck one into the movie theatre for me! Shortly after, my mother became gravely ill. I would go to the hospital every day to care for her and Horatien would always come as well. I once told him “You don’t have to be here, you know” He said “I know I don’t, but I want to.” That’s when I knew he was a keeper and we’ve been joined at the hip ever since.
how they asked
It was a ridiculously wet and cold Christmas Eve. I was a little under the weather when Horatien walked into our bedroom and said “Get dressed; we’re going to a restaurant”. I insisted we stayed home, but he was very persistent about going out to eat on Christmas eve because it was a holiday. He came into the room wearing his Sunday best to check to see if I was getting ready and I said “OMG, why are you so dressed up? It’s not that serious!” I reluctantly got up and got dressed. I was quiet during our Uber drive to downtown Brooklyn as I look at the Yelp reviews of the “restaurant” we were heading to.
We got out the cab and sat by the Brooklyn Bridge Park carousel and watched a couple get married and I said “awe, look at that, they’re getting married! (but little did I know what would happen to me) He finally said “Come on, let’s go.” I followed him onto the walkway and he turn left towards the water. I yelled after him “The restaurants are that way, your GPS is wrong; you’re going towards the river!!” He said “I know” and continued to walk anyway. I said “I guess we’re having a picnic in the cold!” He said “yup” and starting playing my favorite song.
I immediately became confused and as I turned pass the bushes, I saw the most beautiful display of pink roses, candles and picture frames along the waterfront representing memories of milestones in our lives and in our relationship.
He walks me towards the stunning presentation as I said things such as “OMG, what are you doing, what’s going on, etc. and he said “Jenny, I know we’ve been together for so long and been through so much…I became so overwhelmed and my eyesight became blurry from the tears that we’re coming down my face. I wiped my face and saw him down on one knee as he’s saying “Sooo, is that a yes?” I said “Yes, of course! So… we’re not going to eat?”