Becky and Brian
How We Met
Brian and I met in the spring of 2005. He was a senior at Deering, a high school a couple towns away. I was a junior. One of my best friends on the track team was dating one of Brian’s best friends at the time. One weekend, I was supposed to go to a Green Day concert with a boy that I had liked for most of my adolescent years. I didn’t know it at the time, but being ditched for that date was one of the greatest things that ever could have happened to me. My friends saw how sad I was and invited me to a party hosted by one of Brian’s friends. My parents were usually very strict, but even they knew that I needed something to lift my spirits, so they uncharacteristically allowed me to go.
This story doesn’t go as you might think. I ended up dating a different friend of Brian’s after meeting the “Deering boys” that night. Brian was the third or fifth wheel the entire summer of 2005. But, with the end of summer and the start of college for them, came the heartbreak of realizing Brian’s friend was just a summer fling. I would come to find out in the months and years that followed, that those “Deering boys” would be my best friends for a very, very long time. All of the nights playing whiffle ball, poker, and playing on the jungle gym where we would say goodbye at the end of the summer, would eventually amount to some of the strongest friendships and relationship that I will ever witness in this lifetime.
In the fall of 2006, it was my turn to leave for college and start a new chapter. For no particular reason, Brian’s number seemed to be first on my speed dial after a late night out. He was about a six hour drive from my college, yet talking to him always felt like home. We stayed in touch and our friendship grew over the next several years. Boyfriends came in and out of my life as Brian always stood by, usually telling me his true feelings about them when no one else would. “This guy is too weird, this guy is too mean to you, this guy is too pretentious, this guy drinks too much.” None of them were right for his best friend, none of them except for him.
One night in December of 2012, I was crying over yet another boy (story of my life). Brian was still the person that I called to talk to, to try and figure out where all of the good guys were and why it seemed like I repelled them. For the first time, I looked up and realized that the good one had been right in front of me all along. Brian kissed me that night. It was the end and beginning of an emotional rollercoaster that would last the next few years. In the summer of 2016, after eleven years of tiptoeing between the lines of friends and lovers, we finally decided to stop pretending that we were tortured star-crossed lovers. We got back together for one final time, bought a house in the suburbs, took cute family pictures with our rescue pup, and the rest is history.
How He Asked
For a couple that had a rocky romance over the course of a decade, it was only fitting that the day a girl dreams of her entire life was rocky too – literally. Over the years, I developed a passion for hiking. It was an escape from the real world that I shared with very few people. Brian was perfectly okay with this, because hiking is pretty much last on his list of things he enjoys doing. However, I bugged him for years to hike Mt. Washington with me. After all, how could he live in Maine his entire life and not hike that iconic mountain?
It was nearing the end of summer and we finally took some time off to enjoy the warm weather. Brian and I planned to hike on Monday August 7th, 2017. The weather had different plans for us. It was a cold and dreary day with an even colder and windy forecast for the summit. At about 7:00am, we decided to go for it anyway. We hopped in the car, got into a usual little argument about my Grandma-like driving, and reached the base at Pinkham Notch.
The climb up went by relatively fast considering it’s the highest mountain in the northeast. Brian and I talked about silly things and we attempted to play 20 questions before our lungs needed a rest. It was extremely casual. There were no complaints, we weren’t tired, and we barely took any breaks – even after a near death fall. This happy-go-lucky behavior was definitely out of the ordinary compared to our usual strenuous hikes together. Strange.
When we reached the top, Washington was completely surrounded by cold mist and clouds, we were unable to see ten feet in front of us. I apologized a thousand times to Brian, saying how the view is usually breathtaking and how I wish he would have been able to see it. We got in the long line to have our picture taken at the summit sign, with the wind howling and our hands slowly becoming as numb as they will ever be on an August afternoon. It was finally our turn to take a picture with the historic sign, a reward for a grueling climb – or a lazy yet terrifying drive to the top. Two nice strangers offered to take our picture. I couldn’t figure out why they had each of our phones, as Brian isn’t usually one to volunteer his phone for a photo-op. After about ten seconds, it was clear that the girls had taken enough pictures, one of them must have turned out okay. Then Brian asked them to take one more. That’s when I knew my life was about to change forever. This was one boy that would be the last person on Earth to ask someone to take another picture, especially on a freezing summit with a line of people shivering and waiting. I watched, big-eyed with my mouth wide open in shock, as my best friend who I had know for twelve years knelt down on a jagged-edged rock and with frozen hands, opened up a beautiful small box and asked me to marry him. The first words to come out of my numb and silly smile were, “Oh, you stinker!!” From that moment on, two old friends were literally on top of the world.