Tola and Peter

How We Met: I met Peter in October 2010 at church (RCCG Jesus House Toronto). He was the Youth Leader and one of the first people to welcome me to the Church and the youth group. We saw each other at church and whenever we had our youth meetings and events. Overtime, Peter and I became friends, we were not very close, but we always said hi to each other and texted once in a while. I won’t deny checking a brother out once in a while and just maybe I had a crush on him too.

In June 2013, Peter moved to the United States for his Masters, and we texted each other a few times. However, the turning point for us was the fateful evening of September 7, where a simple “hey stranger” message led to an 8 hours conversation and we have talked every day since then. I guess distance does makes the heart grow fonder.

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how they asked: June 14, 2015 was two days after Peter’s birthday and the day of his family’s thanksgiving in church. That whole week Peter was acting weird, his phone was a “no go area”, secret phone calls, he had more meetings than normal, and he planned his birthday party without my input (which turned out to be our engagement party). He was also trying to convince me to anchor the testimony section of the thanksgiving, and I didn’t seem to understand why.

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The day (June 14) started out normal like every other Sunday. Peter barely sat in church that morning, he was in and out of church, and I thought he was finalizing plans for his birthday party that night. His family thanksgiving was to start at 2pm, and at 1:50pm Peter was nowhere to be found. His family members, and close friends were asking me about his whereabouts (In retrospect, maybe they were thinking he bailed on his plan).

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When Peter arrived at about 2:15pm, he was in a suit, clean shaved, and he seemed all over the place. He was basically a nervous wreck – the only time I had seen Peter close to this, was when I met his parents. When it was almost time for his testimony, I saw him wearing a headset microphone and when I asked what that was about, he laughed and said he is singing a special number.

As an usher, I was standing at the back of the church when one of the ministers handed me a bible and asked me to give to Peter’s Dad when he gives me a signal. When it was time for his testimony, my friend, Mimi came to stand beside me, which I didn’t think was unusual. Apparently, she was trying to prevent me from wandering off.

I was given the signal to hand the bible over, so I walked forward to give Peter’s dad the bible and he asked me to give it to Peter. I gave Peter the Bible just as he said “God has given me my best friend” and he was like “hold on one sec”.

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At that point, I was confused and the next thing I see is him going down on one knee. I was shocked and confused at the same time. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, I guess I chose the former. At the end I saw some of my family members and friends I didn’t realize he invited.

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Photography: Seed Kennedy