Maddison and Zach
How We Met
It was the weekend before school started for CSU Chico in 2010, and I (Maddison) had my friend Miranda that I knew from homecoming to town to visit. She arrived at my house on Friday afternoon and my roommates and I were going to have some friends over that night. Miranda told me she knew a boy, that boy being Zach, who had just moved to Chico to play baseball and told me we should invite him and his roommates over, so we did! After the boys had parked outside Zach had texted Miranda to tell her that they had arrived. Before Miranda walked out to get them, she looked at me and said: “He’s totally your type.” A few moments later Zach and his two roommates, Matt and Trevor, walked into the house. The moment Miranda introduced me to Zach, we made a unique eye contact and there was an immediate connection. From that weekend on we were inseparable, and here we are 8 years later!
How They Asked
It was Thanksgiving and we had plans to be with my family for Thanksgiving dinner, but he had invited his mom and sister to join us, as he has a super small family. According to Zach, he didn’t think they would be able to make it, so he told me his mom and sister were going to come to our house that Sunday after Thanksgiving to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. This was nothing out of the ordinary because with Zach being a firefighter and his mom being a flight attendant it is often difficult to find days that they both have off.
Sunday morning, I had to go water my dads plants because he was out of town. I told Zach I would be going to do that, and he told me he would go to the grocery store and get a few things we needed for dinner. On my way home from my dads, Zach called me and asked me if I could stop at the store to get the groceries we needed because “he had stopped to get his haircut” and it was taking longer than expected. So, I did. I did the grocery shopping and headed home.
When I got home I realized I had forgotten a couple things at the grocery store so I let Zach know. He offered to go and get all of it, but his mom and sister, my mom and step-dad, and my best friend were going to be arriving at the house any minute. He told me he would wait and say hi to them and then he would go to the grocery store. After everyone had showed up, Zach told me he was going to run to the store. I didn’t think anything of it because I was the one who had forgotten some of the things we needed.
Shortly after Zach left, my stepdad came running into the kitchen where we were all standing around talking, “You guys the garage is full of smoke, it’s coming down from the attic, there is a fire, we need to grab the dogs and get out quick!” My stomach sunk, I was immediately shaking and devastated.
hen we got outside I saw that all the neighbors were outside. Zach’s mom was “calling 911”. I was trembling, crying, silent, not knowing what to do as smoke was pouring out of all the attic vents on the exterior of the house. I looked up and saw a lady hiding behind my neighbors truck with a big camera. Me being a die hard fan of KTLA News (our local news station) I thought it was KTLA that was already at our house because our home was burning down. Yes, we live in Ventura, and yes, Los Angeles is an hour away, but that’s immediately where my brain went.
Next thing I know, a Ventura City fire engine comes flying down the street. The captain and one of the firefighters jumped out of the engine, I knew the first fighter, Austin Ariza, and next thing I knew, one of Zach’s best friends, Brian Mulvehill, came around the back side of the fire engine. This was not a surprise because he works at the fire station right next to our house. Austin immediately threw the ladder and was going to get up on the roof. Brian pulled the hose up to the front door and yelled “WATER!” I felt so helpless.
Right at this moment as I thought my house was going to be destroyed. Next, I see another fire fighter walk over and come up behind me. I was confused because I knew hardly ever are there 5 firefighters on 1 fire engine. The firefighter was fully masked and in his turnouts. I assumed he was just there to help (obviously). As I turned back to look at the house, I felt hands around my waist that started to guide me to the middle of our lawn. The firefighters had slowed down their process of their work and when I turned around there was a face behind that mask that I did not expect to see…. it was Zach’s.
He took his mask off and got down on one knee. I was so confused, I still thought our house was burning down but here he was asking me to marry him. It was a wave of emotions that I had never felt in my life. I thought it was going to be the worst day of my life, yet in a matter of seconds it was becoming the best day of my life! As I responded, “Yes! But is our house okay?!” Everyone started laughing and cheering in so much joy! As I looked up, I saw the lady who I thought was KTLA News up close and personal with us, taking photos. She knew our names and was capturing the entire thing. I found out this was a photographer, Elizabeth, that Zach had hired to document our special moment. It obviously took me quite some time to process what all had happened and to come down from my high, such a whirlwind!