Dhember and Jesse
How we met: The first time Jesse and I met was kind of at a distance. The communications department at my college put on an event, where his band was asked to play and I was asked to photograph. I sat in the front row to take pictures. Jesse and I would exchange these prolonged looks while he was up on stage playing and singing. My stomach would do little flips every time we’d look each other in the eye, I caught myself smiling about it for days after that. I mustered up the courage to message him and tell him how great I thought they did, which eventually led nights of riding around the small town we were in, buying capri-suns and gushers at the Bi-Lo, staying up until 3 in the morning laughing, singing and sharing stories about our childhood and our friends.
How he asked: I still get really giddy when I think about that day. He really had it perfectly planned. Jesse was in town for the weekend and specifically told me that he wanted to just spend the day with me. When he picked me up, he asked if I was hungry and since I knew his best friends Luke and Sarah (who took these photos) were in town, I asked why didn’t we all go out to lunch instead? He answered with a smile and a “I’d like to spend the day with you.”
We drove to the grocery store and picked up a loaf of bread, hummus, a red bell pepper and a bag of grapes and planned to go out to the boat docks to eat together. He drove through the most beautiful back-roads of town, trees and grass were green and lush, windows were down, and Johnny Cash’s “Flesh and Blood” was playing through the speakers. We sat on his sleeping bag, and ate bread with hummus. He did a couple of weird things, like dip a grape into the hummus (which he now says was the moment where he got really nervous.)
We drove out to the train tracks – and he asked if i’d like to walk with him. Which never struck me as weird, being that we always go on random walks around secluded parts of different towns. Hand in hand we walked on the train tracks, rain sprinkling from the sky, and a big smile on his face.
We would take little breaks, where he would ask me what life with him looked like, and what it was I wanted in our lives together. I gave some lengthy, choppy explanation as I always do. I finally said something like “A simple life, is a good life.” (We’re both really big Thoreau fans) and he smiled.
We finally walked a little further down until we got to the actual train station – I turned into his arms to give him a hug and heard him yell out, “a little help!” I turned around to look what he was talking about and saw our best friends.
When I turned back to Jesse he said “flesh and blood needs flesh and blood, and Dhember, you’re the one I need.” I was feeling very lightheaded and dreamy as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Through teary eyes, I said of course I would.
Photos by Sarah Becker Photography