How We Met: My fiance and I have known each other since we were in high school. He was a Senior and I was a Junior when we first met, back in 2001. My fiance has always been that stand up kind of guy. He has all the great qualities anyone would want in a friend. He’s compassionate, caring, understanding, helpful, loyal, really he’s the kind of guy anyone would want to call their friend. These are all the qualities that attracted me to him of course, and it was just a bonus that he was as big of a geek (bigger) as me. I liked him so much so that I made it a point to tell him so, which I had never done before. He turned me down, he didn’t want to start a relationship in High School, he wanted to wait till he was off to college so he could concentrate on his studies. He liked me, but he wasn’t ready. So we stayed friends until our early / mid twenties.
how they asked: This is not your typical proposal. In September 2013, my boyfriend and I were driving back from a camping trip in Colorado, and decided to take a detour through New Mexico to stop at some of the places they filmed Breaking Bad (it was two eps. away from ending). It was dark, close to midnight. The road we were on had just been paved. My boyfriend was driving, we had just passed another car on this very deserted road, going 65 mph when we hit something very large in the road. Our car flew over it, and landed in the lane to us, where the other car was. It slammed into my door, sending us rolling. We rolled who knows how many times and landed on top of a guardrail, and then slid 100 ft. down.
My boyfriend’s airbag had gone off, mine had not but lucky for me our sleeping bags had landed right in front of me, protecting my face from being bashed into the dash. I immediately started calling to my boyfriend, but he wouldn’t answer. The airbag smell was choking me so while I was still calling for him I tried opening my door. I couldn’t open it normally so I spun around and kicked it open with my legs.
I turned back around and started removing all the camping equipment that had been thrown between us, still calling to him. When I finally could see him, he was slumped over the steering wheel…there was blood all over his head. I didn’t even have time to touch him, when I noticed the flames shooting up from the window on his driver side door.
I freaked…I yelled at him to wake up, I shook him for about 10 seconds when I realized he wasn’t going to wake up… so I started unbuckling his seat belt, but in my panic I plunged my left hand into the fire, on the wrong side. I didn’t feel it at all. I realized my mistake and went for the seat belt again, unhooked him. I saw smoke coming from the seat belt on his neck…
I tried pulling him over the center council in the car, but his legs where still in a sitting position, the fire was already touching his left pant leg. I put my hand back into the fire to take his legs out…
All this time I was either talking to my boyfriend telling him it was going to be OK, I could do this, or I was yelling like a crazy person for help. When I think back on it, I can’t even recognize the person screaming…it doesn’t sound like me.
I was able to get him out of the car, about 10 seconds before the side I was pulling him out of was completely engulfed in flames. Honestly I still have no idea how I was able to or how the fire never spread to my passenger seat until the last few moments…
My boyfriend did wake up about 2 minutes after pulling him from that car. The car and everything in it was gone…but we made it. He had burns along the left side of his body 1-2 degree (because his clothing protected him some what from the flames). He also had a broken clavicle. I only sustained the burn on my hand from pulling him out (2-3rd degree).
The EMT with us told my boyfriend he was lucky “Your girlfriend saved your life, man, you are one lucky guy!” My boyfriend got very still all of a sudden and looked up at me.
“You really pulled me out of a burning car babe?” He said. I looked down at him “Ya I did.” I said, and awkwardly smiled as I kept myself from crying. “Marry Me?” He said. “What?” I was taken off guard. “You just saved my life, if I don’t ask you to marry me now I’m an idiot. Marry me? Say yes?” He said. I nodded “Yes”, I said. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
It was a few hours later when I found out exactly what had happened. We had indeed hit a bear going 65 miles an hour. The bear had been big enough that my hatchback had hit and sailed into the air. The SUV behind us had no time to react as our car sailed into his lane. He had hit my car, my side between the front tire and front door. Both of our cars had then rolled, his stopping at its side, ours rolling on top of the guardrail and then sliding 100 feet, tearing up the gas tank. The car had been on fire when we stopped, but I hadn’t seen the flames till they were in the driver side window. The bear was killed. The car and everything in it was a total loss. We literally got out with just the clothes we had on…well I did, my boyfriends clothes were cut off of him.
I hope that reading this story encourages you to be fearless. Fearless in life. We all only have so much time here, and if we are too cowardly to pursue our hopes, dreams, and love what are we really leaving behind? Don’t be afraid to tell that person you secretly crush on that you care about them, because the worst that can happen is they will say no, and you will move on. Trust me you will. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams, because the worst that will happen is you might fail, but you will learn from it, and move on. Don’t put things off for tomorrow, because it might not come for us all. Live now, because its all we really have.
After almost 15 years, I’ll be marrying my high school crush. There is no happier girl alive.