How We Met
Melissa’s side: Mina and I met 10 years ago in 2007, at an engagement party in Los Angeles. At the time, I was a freshman in high school and Mina was a sophomore in college. There was a pretty stark age gap between us. We exchanged a few Facebook messages, which we go back to and read from time to time, and we both went on with our lives. We ran into each other a few times after that over the course of the next five years or so before Mina began medical school.
Fast forward 8 years later, in 2015, on May 27, at 6:42 am, Mina reached out to me, claiming he had just had a dream about me. I found it a little odd at first, but I eventually responded to see how he was doing. We exchanged messages over the course of the next few days and I shared with him that I was planning on attending law school in the fall. A few days later, I received my acceptance from Harvard Law School. Mina was shocked. He had matched residency at North Shore Hospital in Salem, MA – 20 miles away from Harvard. We were very stunned by the coincidence, but also overwhelmed with excitement. We met up for a quick sushi date, and the following day, Mina began his cross-country trek to Salem from LA. He had just graduated from medical school, and I from college at UC Riverside. We kept in touch over the next few weeks, and when I flew out to Boston to begin apartment hunting for law school, Mina insisted on picking me up from the airport.
Over the next few days, we saw each other periodically. The most memorable part of the trip was my last night. Mina made plans to take me somewhere that would turn out to be very special for us. He took me to Seaport in Boston – which featured the Boston harbor and incredible city lights at night. Throughout the course of our relationship, we often return to Seaport to enjoy the breeze and the beautiful city lights.
Mina’s Side: I met Melissa at my friend’s engagement late 2007. We stayed in contact briefly thereafter over Facebook messenger.
One night 8 years later I had a vivid dream about Melissa. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. In the dream, it was once again someone’s engagement. Melissa was sitting on the other side of the room. She was smiling and waving for me to come sit next to her. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking “I definitely like that girl.” I laid in bed for the next few hours contemplating whether to reach out to her. Finally, I opened my FB messenger and began to type. Included in the message was the fact that I had a dream about her so I thought I’d reach out and say hi. It was definitely random after not speaking with her for years. A few hours went by and there was no response. It was driving me crazy, I just wanted to know if she was weirded out by the message or whether she was just busy. A few more hours went by and I thought, well can’t say I didn’t try. I decided to send her one more and final message sort of apologizing for the unconventional borderline creepy message, but I made sure not to apologize about my dream because it was true. I closed my computer and went on with my day. To my surprise, a few minutes later she replied. I was so eager to see the message. I quickly unlocked my phone and read her message. There you have it: the start of something beautiful.
At the time, I knew she was going to law school in Chicago because of recent FB posts. I had just matched to Internal Medicine residency in Salem, MA. About a day or so later we were talking and we got to discussing our careers. Then she told me that she got accepted into HLS.
I had to read that message twice because I couldn’t believe the coincidence. Harvard law school in MA?? I asked. Yes. Boston, MA? Yes. MA for MASSACHUSETTS? YESSS! Then I told her that my residency is going to be in Salem, MA.
That dream was not a coincidence! All these years this was meant to be. We were meant to meet at that time and develop a relationship together in Boston.
how they asked
On Saturday, August 26, 2017, we attended church just like any other Saturday morning in Boston. My sister was in town and Mina thought it’d be a good day to do a scavenger hunt to explore the city. This didn’t seem strange to me since Mina had purchased the scavenger hunt the February before for Valentine’s day, but due to Boston’s amazing winter weather, we had to keep putting it off. We started the Freedom Trail Scavenger hunt. Half-way through, my sister left to grab lunch with a friend she had met during her previous trip to Boston…or so I thought.
We were on the tail end of the Scavenger Hunt when Mina insisted that we head to Seaport for the final part of the tour. When we got there, there was a gentleman who was taking photos of people. He noticed us and asked if he could take a photo, as he was new to the area and promoting his new photography Instagram page. We had no objection.
After taking a few shots, he insisted that we take a photo in front of this layout that he thought would be really nice. He walked us over to a heart made of flowers. We got in and as he took a shot, Mina held my hands and began telling me how special this place was to him.
The next thing I knew, he was on one knee. Without hesitation, I knew this was the man I was meant to walk through life with. And my best friend and sister was there to witness. She hadn’t left for lunch after all – she went to make sure this moment would be perfect for us. This was the beginning of our fairytale.
On Sunday, November 19, 2017 we celebrated our engagement with all of our closest family and friends in Long Beach, CA.
As Copts, during the Orthodox Christian Betrothal, the couple makes a public declaration confirming their engagement to marry. The ceremony is initiated by the couple entering with the woman standing to the right of the man, as Eve was created from the right side of Adam.
During the ceremony, the couple exchanges what will become their wedding band at matrimony. The bands are made of gold, as gold is the purest, most valuable and durable of metals. As gold endures and does not tarnish, the gold character of the bands symbolizes the bond of holy matrimony, which is incorruptible when founded on true Christian love.
During the engagement period, the rings are worn as a sign of the couple’s commitment in accordance with Haggai 2:23, which states “I will make you as a signet ring, for I have chosen you.” After the priest blesses the bands, the couple places the band on the right finger of the other until marriage. Upon marriage, the same rings are then worn as wedding bands on the left ring finger.
To this day, we are amazed by God’s work. Placing us on each other’s paths at the beginning of a new chapter in both of our lives. We have less than a year remaining in Boston. I graduate from law school in May 2018, and Mina completes residency June 2018. Our plan is to return to LA to be with our families and live the rest of our happily every after.