How We Met
The night Kyle and I met, I had plans to go bowling with friends. My friend Quinn asked if he could bring his neighbor, Kyle. When I got to the bowling alley, Quinn and Kyle were already there. Quinn introduced us, “Kyle, this is Melissa. Melissa, this is Kyle.” I kid you not, the first words out of my mouth were, “Dear God. Please, no.” because I had recently gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t ready to date. I immediately regretted my words. Kyle spent the rest of the night getting to know my friends but keeping me in the back of his mind.
Fast forward to the middle of the week. Kyle and I had exchanged numbers and we were texting. He asked if I wanted to go out for the upcoming weekend. I accepted but stated it wasn’t going to be a date, but instead a “get-to-know-you” event. Confused, but persistent, Kyle agreed. He surprised me by taking me go-kart racing because every time we had chatted earlier that week, I was playing Mario Kart with friends and he wanted me to experience it in real life. I knew at that moment, he was different than other guys. He had applied what little he knew about me and took me on an adventure. After racing, we went to the beach for some coffee. I had already made up my mind that I wanted this day to be more than just a “get-to-know-you” event. I wanted us to be something more. So, while we were in line, I leaned in to kiss him and that sealed the deal.
The next day, we met up with the same group of friends for bowling again. Everyone knew that something was different between the two of us; that we were both happy. Six years later, we are still together, still going on adventures, and still sweeping each other off our feet.
How They Asked
I was in Albuquerque, NM for externships for podiatry school for the whole month of July. I was lucky enough to have Kyle visit me for 2 weeks between water polo season ending and school starting.
ABQ is known for its hot air balloon fiesta. Kyle and I had talked about going on a ride for a few years and so he suggested we do a sunrise hot air balloon ride on the one weekend we had together in New Mexico. Little did I know, this wasn’t just a suggestion. He had booked it weeks before he even mentioned it to me. Funny enough, it took some convincing to get me to agree to a sunrise ride since I’m not really a morning person. But I caved.
The morning of Saturday, July 28th, we woke up at 4:30 am. We were both so excited to try something new, one of our favorite things to do together. When we were waiting at the headquarters, a guy walked into the room, asking for Kyle. They disappeared outside for a few minutes and when Kyle came back I asked what was up. He told me we had to switch balloons due to weight balancing issues, a comment I had made earlier in the morning. This made me a little nervous but still filled with excitement.
The balloon ride was incredible. The break of the sunrise over the Sandia Mountains is a sight I will never forget. We were at the front of the basket, closest to the pilot who kept making comments about how it was going to be difficult to get to the Rio Grande River from our launch site. We finally made it to the river. The reflection of the hot air balloon was gorgeous. We even got low enough to touch down on the water.
Then, the pilot took us to our highest elevation point. Kyle told me to give my phone to the pilot, so we could have a non-selfie picture taken of us. I was posed for the picture, when I heard Kyle say, “Baby, you’re facing the wrong way.” I turned around and he was down on one knee. And as tradition, the first words out of my mouth after realizing what was happening was, “No, no, no, no!” He said, “Melissa, the past 6 years have been the best year of my life. We’ve been such amazing partners through so much. There’s nobody else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with. Will you marry me?” The pilot had captured everything on video.
We had plans after the balloon ride to go to Santa Fe for the day. Kyle told me that he was sad to ruin my plans, but we had to pack to catch an afternoon flight back home to San Diego to see our families. Again, I was floored. That was my biggest wish for my proposal: to see our families on the same day. We quickly packed and then since everything had been such a blur, Kyle calmed me down with some waffles.
On our way to the airport, I thought we had gotten lost because we ended up in a neighborhood. Kyle looked at me and apologized for lying but said there was another surprise. Our families had flown into Albuquerque the night before and rented a house for the weekend to celebrate the engagement with us. My poor heart couldn’t take it. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend, Kyle’s parents, his brother, and one of my best friends were all there.
I was a little sad to find out that my best friend since 7th grade wasn’t there. I had called her on the car ride over and she told me she had just landed in SD from a flight home from NY. I had told her I was going to be in SD that weekend, not knowing that my family was going to be in ABQ. A few hours after I arrived at the house, she knocked on the door for the last surprise of the evening.
I got to spend the entire weekend with the love of my life, Kyle, surrounded by people who love each other and love us. It was the most unbelievable weekend and so much more than I ever dreamed of.