How We Met
Back in 2003 being the dutiful college student, I chose an empty computer lab to work on a paper. In the midst of drafting the perfect paper René walks into the computer lab, passes row after row, after row (seriously seven rows) of empty computer stations and sits right next to me. He puts his bag down and asked me “How do I turn this computer on?” Of course I helped this cute guy turn on the computer…with the screens’ power button at the lower-left corner of his big brown eyes. We went on our first date, visiting Central Park, The Met and his first experience on the NYC subway but things ended terribly wrong and we became friends instead until the summer of 2014. We were now older, seasoned by life and more importantly, both single! Rene always says “every car has its driver”, we’ve been drivers for each other’s cars ever since.
How They Asked
I planned a birthday getaway to Anguilla for his 36th year of life once realizing he worked for two months straight without a weekend off, the timing would be perfect for his first weekend off during his birthday weekend. I planned so many surprises for him around Anguilla. One in particular, sabering a bottle of champagne at 6pm sharp and a romantic beachside dinner at 6:15pm. After enjoying the beach, we were running short on time to make our 6pm surprises. Rene insisted I put my heels on for dinner and I refused because I wanted to run to his surprises and be on time. I ended up rushing out our hotel room with the heels on. As we were headed to dinner I jokingly gave his pockets a “ring check” and commented “no ring?“. We arrive to his first surprise and he gives me the “this crazy Gemini” look at the saber technique I know he will master on his first try. He does. The cork is swiftly sabered like a pro. We then sit for our dinner and decide to change our seats to a more cozy setting. While having dinner we are serenaded by the honey sweet, angelic voice of a local Anguillan singer, Jenique. I take the opportunity to ask Jenique if she wouldn’t mind singing happy birthday to my boyfriend. She warmly obliges and her rendition brought tears to my eyes. Rene then started to smile profusely and I could tell he was consumed with a happy thought but wasn’t sharing. We continued to talk, have dessert and take in our surroundings. Rene then told me he had to go to the bathroom, but really Kelvis, staffer at the hotel took him back to our room to get the ring! As he was in the “bathroom” Jenique covered “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. I asked the male manager to grab Rene out the bathroom, not to miss one of his favorite songs. He misses the song. After five minutes went by I text Rene to see if he was ok, no reply. The same manager comes to our table and starts up a convo with me and he looks nervous, I chalk it up to being the season opening weekend for the hotel. While we’re chatting, I see Rene return from the “bathroom” and I hear his voice coming from Jenique’s mic. I look over and say out loud “What is Rene doing up there?” giving him the “this crazy Scorpio” look. The manager suggest maybe Rene will sing, to which I reply Rene doesn’t know how to sing. Rene begins to profess his love for me, apologizing for the interruption and asks me to come join him at the microphone. The manager tells me he will record the moment and picks up my phone. Still not suspecting a proposal, since I know Rene would never travel with something so expensive. I join Rene at the microphone. The other vacationers are cheering as I’m walking to face my love, the beach waves are dashing at the shores and Jenique has given up her prized possession microphone to this man who’s crazy in love. His words fan me with love and admiration, acknowledging who I am to his life, “the best partner” with this electrifying energy I’ve never seen before. Using my full government name, on bended knee, with the dark skies full of bright starts, Rene Osuala, the young man who sat next to me all those years ago asked if I would marry him.