How We Met
I left the simulation clinic to go to the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity meeting where I would be presenting to the first-year dental students. As I stand amongst the incoming class, I notice a guy who seemed to be very curious about what I had to say. After my presentation, several students came up to me asking me for advice. Amongst the crowd, a guy walks up to me and introduces himself as Angelo Cacciatore. After introducing himself, Angelo decided to join the Alpha Omega Fraternity and we exchanged numbers. As a dental student, I spend countless hours studying at libraries. He asked me if I wanted to hang out sometime and I told him I spent the majority of my time in the library. He smiled and said, “what time do you get there?” I told him the library opens at 9 but I always like to get there early. I was always the first person to arrive at the library but the next morning he was already there waiting for me.
I had a great time with him that day and our library study dates soon became a regular occurrence. A month later, he randomly asked if I could go to Sequoia with him. I was apprehensive at first, my busy schedule coming to mind, but I thought it would be a nice escape from the stressors of dental school. During our hike, I realized how much I truly enjoyed his company. He brought out a good side of me and taught me how important it is to have a healthy balance outside of my busy school life. He told me “you may not remember every Sunday you go to the Library but years from now when you look back you will always remember this trip to Sequoia National Park.” It was a perfect Sunday full of laughter, fun, serenity and beautiful vistas. As we were finishing our hike a couple asked if we could take a picture of them with their two children. Then they insisted on taking a picture of us and as he captures that moment, he states “you guys make a beautiful couple.” Angelo and I looked at each other and laughed.
Our friendship continued to grow, and he became my biggest support system in dental school. The days became weeks and the weeks became months. Winter break quickly came, and Angelo left for New York. His family invited me to come to New York for a couple of days and I decided to visit. When I arrived at his parents’ home, everyone welcomed me with open arms, hugs, and kisses. The entire family was so loving and caring. I genuinely felt at home. Angelo took me around the city and since he knew I loved libraries and cute study spaces, he decided to take me to the New York Public Library. I absolutely loved it. I did not want to leave and wished that we could stay longer. I told Angelo that the library was my favorite place in New York City, and I could not wait to return again. Little did I know what the future had in store for me.
How They Asked
During our most recent winter break, I traveled to NY again to visit Angelo and his family. He informed me Christmas morning that had planned an evening for us as my Christmas present which would involve dinner at an upscale restaurant. We arrived at a parking lot around the corner to Bryant Park. Wondering what he has planned, he states “for Christmas this year, I have arranged a tour of the New York Public Library for us.” Instantly, I was full of excitement. It was such a thoughtful present! As we rush inside, we are greeted by Peter, (a friend of a family member) who was standing next to a bench right behind the Christmas tree. The library was beautiful as always and I couldn’t wait to learn more about its history. Peter, our tour guide greeted me with a warm smile, and we spent a few minutes introducing ourselves. After introductions, Peter mentioned, that Angelo hangs up the coats while explains to me what the tour will involve since he already knew what it entails.
When Angelo left, Peter told me not a lot of young people ask for private tours, so he was excited that we were so interested and began to brief me on a little of the library’s history. Then, Peter pulls a book out of his library bag and directs me to a bench. The cover is a picture of the New York Public Library. When Peter opened the book, the first page displayed the New York Public Library logo followed by a page that stated “A New York Public Library Experience for Yescenia and Angelo” with a picture of us directly below it.
Then, Peter flips the page and I see a picture of Angelo in his white coat next to a picture of myself in my white coat. I read the first two pages and instantly start crying. I was so happy and grateful to have someone that is so loving, caring, thoughtful, and romantic in my life. The book contained some of my favorite pictures of us, from various points in our relationship and was a story of how Angelo and I met. Angelo went on to write what I meant to him, what the relationship meant to him, and what he looks forward to as the relationship continues to grow. I was so happy and amazed that he had taken the time to construct this incredibly thoughtful gift. The book ended with some promises he makes to me moving forward.
to respect you
to always be there for you
to always remain positive
to be my very best with every obstacle we face
to always support you
to be a faithful and loyal teammate
to be open and present with you
to not shy away from challenges
to always push us to excel individually and together
to lift you up when you are down
to always try to make things fun and interesting
Above all, I promise to love you as you are
The last page had a map with a “You are Here” symbol and directions to meet Angelo in the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room. Once I finished reading the book Peter told me the tour will begin a few minutes but to walk down the hall and enter the last the room on the left so that I could begin the tour with Angelo. I continue walking down the hall with my purse and book in hand. I could not stop crying. I was just so grateful and so happy. As I reach the end of the long hallway I turned to the left and open the two big wooden doors. I look up and there he was standing waiting for me. That’s the moment it finally hit me. The man of my dreams, my best friend, and my soulmate was going to propose. I walked up to him. He got on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. I could not hold back the tears and stated “yes.”
It was the greatest night of my life. Angelo arranged for us to take pictures with the professional photographer who captured the moment. After taking some pictures, Angelo informed me with still had nearby dinner plans that we needed to attend. Upon arrival at the restaurant, Angelo surprised me with his family, waiting for us at the restaurant. On each table setting was a cookie with our faces on it.