Anna-Lena and Anas
How We Met
Anas and I met in November 2012. I had just moved to the UK a few months ago from Germany. I lived 1 hour outside of London at the time and I wanted to meet my girlfriend who lived in London. She also previously moved to the UK but we hadn’t seen each other much cause of our different work schedule. On November 22nd our work schedule finally matched and we decided to meet up in London for a fun girl’s night out. I didn’t know that this night would change the rest of my life.
We walked around Soho unsuccessfully trying to find a nice bar, but all the places we went seemed fairly empty. We were just about to give up when my friend suggested an Irish pub called O’Neill’s which was just around the corner. I agreed but my expectation for the night at this point was already low. Once we entered O’Neill’s we went straight for the bar to get drinks and made our way upstairs on to the second floor where a live band was playing.
When we arrived on the second floor I noticed straight away a guy in a white shirt standing in the crowd looking at me. At the time I didn’t think anything of it and moved on having fun with my friend. We danced and enjoyed our drinks until it was time for us to take our obligatory “going-out selfies”. The guy in the white shirt I noticed previously came over and ask us if he can take a picture of us. We obviously agreed, I gave him my phone and we started posing for the camera. He then returned my phone and introduced himself as Anas and we started talking. To be honest, the rest of the night is a blur for me (I blame it on the alcohol). But we talked, we danced we drunk and had fun.
When it was time to go home Anas asked me for my number. I gave it to him but didn’t really expected to ever hear back from him. I mean how many times did you gave a guy you just met in a bar your number and he actually messaged you? Yes, that rarely happens. So I went home with my friend that night, telling her I had a really fun night even though I don’t think I will ever hear back from Anas. Boy, was I wrong! He messaged me the following day and we had our first date 3 days later. The rest is history now.
How He Asked
Five years later and 5000km away from where we first met, we are now permanently based in Toronto, Canada.
On a regular Sunday (or at least I thought it was), everything started off as normal, we slept in, had breakfast and relaxed. Anas had told me that his parents, who are currently visiting us from Libya, wanted to invite us to lunch. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, even when Anas told me I should wear a dress. I mean he always tells me I should wear my dresses more often, so this comment was nothing unusual. So around noon I slowly got ready and took my time with hair and make-up. I liked to get dolled up for any occasion, so I was in my element.
Anas seemed very loving that day, but still nothing unusual for him that would have tipped me off what was going down later in the day. He also seemed relaxed and even took a nap before we had to leave for lunch. We left our apartment around 3.00pm to pick up his parents. He told me they are waiting for us in High Park. Again nothing unusual because I know that his parents love the nature here and like to go for walks. So we parked the car and then he called his parents and spoke to them on the phone in Arabic (I didn’t understand a thing). He then apologized that his parents walk so slow and that they are just down the hill by the lake. I told him that’s fine and even made a joke that his mother is probably taking hundreds of pictures of the ducks and swans.
Even though I felt a little overdressed in my dress and heels we made our way down the lake and I started to look out for his parents. He started making conversation about our relationship and how the past 5 years just flew by. Again my alarm bells were not ringing because we talk about this stuff all the time. We then stopped by the lake and he said let’s take a selfie, also nothing out of the ordinary for us as we take photos all the time.
So we took one selfie and before I could even register what happened, Anas went down on one knee and asked me to marry him and I, of course, said YES! The surprises didn’t end with this, after we hugged, kissed and put the ring on we turned around and I saw the photographer who took photos of the whole proposal.
The next hour we took some more photos around High Park before we went home where Anas surprised me with not one but two rose bouquets, one with red and one with blue roses (my favourite). We toasted with champagne to our engagement and called Anas’s parents who were in on the whole thing. Afterwards, Anas had planned a romantic and intimate dinner at a cute French restaurant in downtown Toronto.
I couldn’t have asked for more and I am excited to start this journey together with Anas.