Sydney and Ryan

Image 1 of Sydney and Ryan

How We Met

On August 4, 2018, I went to a bar formerly known as the Satellite with my friends. Not long after being there, I met Ryan. He had recognized me from Tinder as a fellow Chapman alum, but I had ignored him on the app. Within minutes he asked me out to see ELO at The Forum the next day with him (thank you for the extra tickets, Emil). We danced to Robyn and Tame Impala and bought PBRs that we never actually finished and he asked for my number. I didn’t remember this until months later but I wrote on his phone “Sydney Jacobs U LOVE ME” in the contact at the end of the night. Turns out I was right.

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How They Asked

While visiting his family in Washington, Ryan suggested we take a hike to the top of Mt. Si, the GIANT mountain beyond his mom’s backyard. Not much of a hiker, I was a little nervous staring up at it, but Ryan told me he was going to cash in on the homemade coupon I had given him for his birthday: “valid for one tear-free hike”. Needless to say, I was determined to make it to the top of that mountain without so much as a sniffle.

Early the next morning, Ryan noticed me throwing on one of my old black Star Wars t-shirts. “Are you going to wear that”?

“Uh, yeah — why not?”

“Would you mind changing so we can take a nice photo at the top?”

Fine, sure. But then he took it a step further– he asked if I would think about showering. Before a 3-hour hike!? No way. We compromised. I agreed to at least blow dry my bangs – again, for the nice photo. Somehow, none of these asks raised any suspicion.

We hiked for hours through a forest engulfed in a cool, grey fog until we finally broke through to a rocky summit. The mountaintop was bright and warm. A sea of clouds stretched to the horizon, completely covering the landscape below in every direction. I gave myself a pat on the back for making it to the top in one piece, albeit a sweaty one. I looked over at a shirtless Ryan pulling a fresh clean nice sweater from his backpack. “What are you doing?”

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“For the picture!”

With his ridiculous mountaintop sweater, Ryan aimlessly guided me around looking for the ‘perfect spot’. I have never seen Ryan this determined to get a photo. Finally, we came into a private clearing with a bench. “This is the spot,” he said. He set down his camera and walked over to me.

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I posed with him, smiling, but something seemed off. My hand was on his heart and I could feel it pounding violently. I looked at him confused. Voice shaking, he told me there would be many more mountains to climb together, both real and metaphorical, and got down on one knee. I guess I still owe him one tear-free hike.

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