Denys and Ceylon

Denys C. and Ceylon N.'s Engagement in Washington, D.C.

How We Met

As the esteemed prophet Yo Gotti once declared, “It goes down in the DM.” Indeed, it does. The day was Christmas Eve 2016 and I enjoyed the time and space of my loved ones in Florida as did my future fiancé with his relatives in Alaska. Our mutual friend posted a status on none other than Facebook, our generational, cultural centerpiece. She and I attended undergrad together at the illustrious Howard University and, years later, the two of them attended graduate school together at the flagship state institution, the University of Maryland, College Park. Among the countless “likes, loves and comments” her status garnered, there sat my little response. He thought it was cute and quirky, so he “liked” it and sent a friend request. I accepted the request, which was followed shortly thereafter by a direct message (DM) with my future fiancé declaring, “It’s nice to meet another young Black professional in the District.” By the way, that lovely Facebook status-updating friend is now known as our “Pathway.”

So, he and I began messaging back and forth and connected immediately over the grave contrast of being a Floridian and an Alaskan. Also, we were amazed at the fact that we both had one sibling — a bossy big sister — and they were both active duty Air Force! Fast forward: quite naturally, they’ll be the two standing at our sides in sparkling rose gold gowns on the day we say “I do.”

Back to the DM, he asked if I would be interested in meeting for lunch on a date of my choosing. We decided on December 30. Little did I know that he had taken a 9+ hour red eye flight across the country (Alaska to DC), arrived at the airport to find his SUV with a flat tire; changed the tire, switched sweaters and rushed to meet with me all in no less than 15-minutes behind schedule. Lunch turned into happy hour, which turned into dinner. The sun met the earth and dusk was upon us. As we transitioned to the ending of this most memorable day, he asked to take a selfie, which, in all transparency, I initially declined. After all, I was the Saucy Socialite and this was only the first date. Fortunately, I later obliged. Beyond my knowing, he forwarded the picture to his father with the brief message: “Dad, I think I found her.”

Hours passed and New Year’s Eve was now before us. I submerged into my lavender bath at 11:59 p.m. encircled by the loveliness of aromatherapy, incense and the highest vibrations of my own making. I emerged to a text at 12:01 that read: “I am looking forward to new beginnings with you and all that shall follow. Happy New Year.” And, well, as they say, the rest is history!

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How He Asked

“If touching love is touching God, no wonder I’m in heaven when I’m holding you,” is one of the most beautifully written love song lines in all of modern music. The day was February 14, Valentine’s Day, which doubles as my birthday. This wasn’t just any old birthday though, the year 2018 marked my 30th birthday: the Design of a Decade. My future fiancé and I enjoyed a lovely day of lightness from watching the sunrise in his eyes to the Happy Birthday flute concerto that awaited my arrival upon my return home later that evening.

Following my favorite flutist’s performance, we quickly dressed and headed to our favorite restaurant. All was well when suddenly, no less than an hour or two later, he was ready to go. Oh so ready to go! I wouldn’t oblige and, instead, ordered more wine and took my precious time deciding on a birthday dessert. Once we finally departed the Brazilian steakhouse after beau’s continuous plea to part, we listened to our favorite podcast all the way home whilst pausing to respond and reflect on the discussion about the intricacies of intimacy and the interweaving of race and romance.

Upon our return home, he had the camera and tripod setup along with my favorite wine. In addition to being a professional, classically-trained musician (#CeylonMitchell), my man is also a super-techie digital media marketer (#M3Musician), so this setup was not unusual. One of his closest friends from undergrad whom I now have the pleasure of knowing and loving, too, soon joined us. Again, as the Saucy Socialite of downtown Silver Spring, this was not unusual. I gifted us all a generous pouring of my favorite wine despite my man asking me to “save some.” But this was a celebratory affair, so turn down for what? Little did I know that there was a heightened moment that awaited me no less than twenty minutes away for which my lover wished to toast. The friend agreed to take pictures of us posing stylishly in my chic apartment with sparkling images of downtown glimmering through the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Well, he was actually recording.

We danced to one of our favorite songs “Touching Heaven” by Johnnyswim, which is mentioned in the opening line. I was counting my lucky stars whilst he was counting down… And then, just before the clock struck 12:00, my man got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. If not for the video recording, I would have no knowing of the words he said as he whimsically dipped me in dance then took a knee. I said, “Yes.” I saw the pretty, sparkling rose gold ring and thought, “This is the most beautiful thing, second only to my man’s pure, sweet soul.”