Anna and Matthew

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How We Met

Unofficially, Matthew and I met in second grade. We went to different elementary schools, but our classes were pen pals, so at the end of the year we got to meet each other. Of course, neither of us really remember much from this day!

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Officially, Matthew and I met at freshman orientation for high school. It was my birthday, I knew just three other people in our freshman class, and I had come straight from 5am conditioning for volleyball. To say the least, I was not in a good mood, and had no interest in being there. In addition to that, I was extremely shy, so we didn’t really interact. We just went though the motions of the ice breakers and writing letters to our future selves, and started our first year of high school just days later.

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The first two years were the epitome of Taylor Swift’s song “You Belong With Me”. We became good friends, and I developed a crush, but he saw us just as friends. Finally, when junior year arrived, he came around. I still to this day have no clue what changed, but something did! But one date at a Colts game in October started it all, and we’ve been together ever since.

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When it came time for college, we committed to two different schools in different states. While the drive was only five hours, our busy schedules prevented us from being able to visit much. It was (and still is) really hard. I won’t lie, there were times when I started to question why we were doing it, but somehow we’ve managed to defy those long-distance relationship stereotypes.

How He Asked

Normally, my mom comes to school at the end of the year to help me move my stuff home for the summer. However, she was busy the normal weekend that we do that, so I asked Matthew to come help. The day I was hoping he would come up was also his birthday, so I figured that we could go for a nice dinner and celebrate it together for the first time since we were in high school. Little did I know, he had a surprise planned for me instead.

It started the previous week when he texted my best friend asking for her help with everything (bold move considering she can never keep secrets from me). He asked if she and a couple of my other friends could handle the photos, and also make sure that my nails were done. I give them big props for this one. I RARELY have my nails painted nicely, but when they suggested to take me to get them done to “celebrate me finishing the MCAT” (which I had done earlier that weekend) I did not suspect a thing. So on Tuesday my nails were in perfect condition, and I was completely oblivious.

Two days later, when he got to my school, Matthew asked if we could go for a walk. I would now like to point out that it had been raining all day, was extremely humid, chilly, and windy. So, I shot down the idea pretty quickly. However, he kept pressing, saying he wasn’t hungry enough to go to dinner yet. Despite how stubborn I was being about it, he was not giving in. So I succumbed to his pestering (it was his birthday after all) and went for a walk with him, arms crossed the whole time.

He kept texting as we were walking, which made me even more frustrated about the walk. He claimed it was for a group project, but actually he was texting Megan to make sure they were in position before he directed our walk towards its final destination. There is this beautiful arch on my campus that my school is known for, and he wandered over there with me trailing behind, arms still crossed. Once we got in the arch I kept walking through, claiming that it’s a wind tunnel in there and I was getting cold. But he grabbed my hands and told me to wait a minute. I can only imagine how frustrated he was probably getting about my cooperation thus far.

He then dove into a speech outlining our relationship. I don’t remember everything, as my mind started racing, but it basically consisted of how things haven’t been easy, but that we’ve only grown closer as a result. We had really grown together through all the major changes in our lives the past five years. As he struggled to get the ring out of his pocket (it got stuck haha) he told me that when he wrote the letter to himself freshman year of high school, one of his goals was to find someone to fall in love with. Little did he know that that girl was sitting at the same table he was writing at! Once he finally got the ring out, he dropped to one knee, and using my full name asked me to marry him! To which I responded yes, of course!

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And if the day couldn’t get any better, my closest friends came filing out of the building and their hiding places in bushes, screaming in excitement. I was so surprised!

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I knew Matthew always wanted it to be a more private moment, but the fact that he knew how much it would mean to me to have these people that I love there afterwards as well just made it that much more special, especially since my family wasn’t able to be there.

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The whole moment was surreal and perfect, and now my school, a place that usually meant being apart, has a very special role in our relationship.

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