His Story: It happened some 8 years ago. Fresh off of American Airlines, wide-eyed and filled with wonder, I was clueless. I walked the corridors of my new school wading aimlessly through a sea of unfamiliar faces. You could practically smell the newness wafting off of me. Before me led a fellow classmate of mine. I accepted his offer earlier to give me a tour of the school and its people – a decision I had come to regret. As my over-zealous “tour guide” waved his arms maniacally in an effort to part the crowd many things were running through my mind…but the amazing encounter I would soon experience was certainly not one of them.
A few hours had passed and things were quieting down. It was lunchtime and most of the students had gone to their respective corners to either avoid the heat or engage in juicy gossip. I was tired but my friend, sizable as he was, didn’t seem to be phased. “Ok thanks for the tour but I think I’m going to head back.” I said. He insisted that he had one last group of friends that he’d like to introduce me to. I let out a silent sigh and followed. What happened next I would never forget. My friend brought me over to a set of picnic tables where several girls were seated. Somewhere in my friend’s introduction to each of these girls I lost track of his voice and everyone else’s. As my eyes locked onto what I was convinced was the most beautiful being I had ever seen, my feet become stone. Her soft brown skin shimmered incandescently in the 12 o’clock sun. Her dark hair cascaded down her shoulders like an ebony waterfall. Suddenly I could hear again, “Hi! I’m Rayne’. ” As the words echoed in my mind I smiled and took her hand. “A pleasure to meet you. I’m Errol.” Our courtship blossomed from that point forward but as fate would have it, my graduation inevitably brought our story to an abrupt end – or so we thought.
Years later, during my college years, our paths crossed once again – an event I’m convinced was orchestrated by God. Things would not be so simple this time around, however. She had just narrowly escaped the clutches of a rather unscrupulous fellow and consequently closed her heart. We spent the next several months doing the tango, as it were. Slowly but surely, however, I broke away her shell, healed her tattered heart and reminded her of the noble man she met years prior. It was at that point that she made what she recalls “The best decision of her life” – to open her heart to me once again. The rest my friends…is history.
Her Story: Errol and I met in high school through mutual friends. The word around campus was that a new student had arrived from the Cayman Islands. As sociable as my friends were, it was no surprise that we knew who he was by noon of the first day he arrived. We were introduced, and I found his British- Caymanian accent to be rather cute.
A few weeks later, Errol expressed his interest in me to one of my friends. We had become good friends, and with his strong persuasiveness, we courted. Our relationship came to an abrupt end when he graduated at the end of that year.
Years later, our paths crossed again when we ironically ended up at the same university. Things were a little different this time around. After dating a rather insidious guy for a few months, I had completely given up on love. As fate would have it, Errol and I reunited over dinner one night. I was relieved to learn that he was still the same sweet and respectful guy I had known in high school. The familiarity of his kindness and compassion was very comforting during such a turbulent time in my life. Although I was slightly hesitant at first, I eventually allowed Errol to open up my heart again. This time our bond was stronger than ever. We dated for three amazing years before he popped the question. I strongly believe that opening up my heart to Errol was the best decision I’ve ever made.
The Proposal: A few months before my birthday, Errol informed me that he wanted to take me on a week-long trip for my birthday, but the destination would be a surprise. The only hints he gave me was that it was a location I’ve never been to and instructions to pack warm clothes and coats. The suspense was killing me! Being the romantic charmer he is, I had no doubt that this trip would be amazing.
Errol is an amazing writer and poet. A week before my birthday, he planted parts of a love poem he had written for me in different parts of my house. He sent me on a scavenger hunt to find and connect the missing parts of the poem. However, the final part of the poem had yet to be found.
When we got to the airport the Sunday before my birthday, Errol revealed that he would be taking me to New York City- the destination I had been dying to visit since my obsession with the Sex and the City movie. I was overjoyed! He arranged for us to stay at the Hilton in Manhattan, which gave us a beautiful view of Times Square.
After an eventful day in the city on my birthday, Errol insisted we catch a great view of the sunset on the rooftop of the Rockefeller Center. I had always wanted to see the gigantic Christmas tree and skating rink at the Rockefeller Center in person, so I completely supported the idea. Once we got to the Top of the Rock, we spent a few minutes trying to get the perfect view of the sunset. I wanted to capture a few pictures of us and the beautiful scenic view, but Errol seemed a little distracted. After taking in the gorgeous view of the city, Errol took my hand and pulled me towards the middle of the rooftop. He looked me in the eyes and recited the final verses of the beautiful poem he had written for me. Once again, Errol wooed me with his magical words. Then he began to profess his love for me, took a step back, took the ring box out of his coat, then got down on one knee and PROPOSED! At that very second, I felt as if time stood still. Words can’t describe how excited and happy I was. Through my tears of joy I managed to scream out “YES! YES! YES!” At that point a large crowd of onlookers gathered around us and cheered and clapped with excitement. Errol had hired a photographer to capture the entire proposal. I was simply elated- to say the least. I screamed, cried, and hugged him for a good 20 minutes.
Once I was able to regain my composure, Errol then announced that he also hired the photographer to take engagement pictures of us all over the City the next day. I began my bout of screams and crying again. I didn’t know which relative to call first! I found out that my entire family had known about the proposal, and was anxiously waiting to hear how it turned out. That day I felt as if all of my dreams had come true. I had never had a birthday so amazing.
Later that night, Errol took me to a luxurious restaurant in Tribeca. Once we arrived to our table he arranged to have a dozen pink roses waiting for me, along with a beautiful note expressing his love and anticipation for the bright future ahead of us. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. We spent the rest of the week touring the city. We visited the Statue of Liberty, the Met Museum, Central Park, Madame Toussaud’s Wax Museum and we even got to watch the Lion King on Broadway.
I couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to celebrate my birthday. Errol’s proposal is certainly one for the books! Just when I think he can’t outdo himself, he does! He is an incredible man, and I can’t wait to be his wife.