Jillian and Steven
how we met
We met when I won “Artist of the Year” over Steven at our high school. Roughly three months after Steven and I first met, it was my 18th birthday. I was in Health-Tech class having a pretty low-key day and I heard a knock at the door. Without waiting, in walked Steven holding a couple of items in his arms. He then asked the teacher if it was okay to give the presents to me for my birthday, and because we weren’t doing much that day, she allowed it. Steven took a seat in front of my desk and turned himself to face me. He handed me the first present with a “Happy Birthday.”
The first present was a drawing of InuYasha in his red Kimono turning into his “other-self”. Beautiful bright reds and purples. Gorgeous drawing with fine lines and shading like I’d never seen before with colored-pencils. I may have squealed a bit. Then I open the second. It was a picture of Kagome and InuYasha in a full naked embrace. I immediately got embarrassed and excited simultaneously. I tried my best to look at it but keep it hidden it from the teacher’s view all at the same time. Of course all the Health-Tech girls were not making it easy to hide what it was with their giggling and their ooohhhing and ahhhhing. The drawing itself was executed beautifully. The shading, the anatomy, the detail, but most of all, the way they were looking into each others eyes… Then he handed me a pocket-sized flat present.
When I opened this one I saw a four-leaf clover with colored paper behind it and laminated. I had never seen a four-leaf clover in real life, so it was very thoughtful that he made this little keepsake for me.
That night, I was looking at the drawings and at the little laminated clover when an idea popped into my head. “I want to be able to put my clover in my wallet!” I tried fitting it in, but it was just a bit too big. I then noticed that there was a quarter of an inch of laminate on all of the sides. “If I just trim it a little bit then it would fit perfect”, I thought. I took out my scissors and started carefully trimming when “POP”, it burst open!
“I ruined it! Maybe I’ll tape it back together. He will never notice,” I immediately thought. (Obviously I didn’t know him very well back then.) Once I stop scrambling for a minute, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that there was writing on the inside of the paper where they had just been sandwiched together… It read, “Will you marry me?”
Shocked isn’t the word for it. I had just met him a couple of months ago, we were not dating… In fact I was dating someone (who hadn’t proposed yet). It was all overwhelming and sweet, and awkward, and romantic and… Just… Confusing. Steven later on told me that his plan was to have me open it years later and tell me that he knew from the beginning that he wanted to marry me, but I ruined that plan.
Three years after we first met, Steven brought me to the North Brookfield Apple Orchids. As we sat at a picnic table reminiscing our friendship, he pulled out a box containing a silver and peridot bracelet and asked me to be his girlfriend. That day, we carved our names on our apple tree, and every year on our anniversary after that we freshen it back up.
how they asked
On our 6 year anniversary (in 2013) we traditionally went back to the Orchids to refresh our carving once again, grab some more penny candy (of course), swing on the swings and just enjoy our time together.
Steven took me back to the same picnic table and made such a beautiful, heartfelt speech about us. I wish I could remember it word for word. It came out easy for him, poetically even, like he had it memorized from years past. He got down on one knee and ended the speech with, “Will you be my wife?”
He pulled out a small black box from his pant pocket. He opened the box and there sat a dainty Victorian ring shining back at me. There was nothing in life that I wanted more.