Elise and David

How We Met

My now-husband and I had known each other for years, technically. We met the first time when I was thirteen years old and he was seventeen. He thought I was a wild child, I thought he was…kind of a square (but a handsome square). We met at a church youth retreat, just a weekend long. After that we didn’t see each other for years, though we connected on Facebook and had a few good conversations. When we finally made face-to-face contact again, it was unexpectedly, through a group of mutual friends. After getting to know each other a little bit better, David invited me to get ice cream, visit an art museum, and see an outdoor Shakespeare play. I said yes, we had a great time, and…the rest is history!

How He Asked

I had a blanket wrapped around me on top of my coat, so I was cozy though I could feel the air’s crispness on my face. The stars were beautiful, as always, my hanging diamonds in the blue-black sky. He came around to face me and slipped his arms around my waist. The starlight had turned us to ghostly outlines of ourselves, our angles washed in a thin blue light; our hollows blended by the shadows like charcoal, artfully smeared. Heads bent to touch foreheads, we stared into the shadowed places we knew each other’s eyes to be.

“My girl is like the sky,” He began. I smiled as he continued, “When she’s dark, the stars shine through her…” A rhythm of silver words came then, soft and slow, weighty and enveloping. Rounded words, tinted-glass words; words containing brilliant light within a shroud of solemn dignity and grace. Velvet were his articulated thoughts, deep and rich and inviting.

I nearly interrupted, opening my mouth to ask where they came from, but thankfully he continued on and I was silent.

“…the Father of Lights rains stars down after, for He knows she likes sparkly things.” He concluded.

In his hand something glinted faintly. For a moment I stood staring, unsure of what it was. I don’t remember if I said anything the moment I realized it was a ring. I remember my heart leapt; I remember putting it on my finger immediately so that I wouldn’t lose it in the dark. I was speechless. I felt as if it were a star dropped from the sky and onto my hand, like in his poem. My heart bounced off the walls of my chest and he knelt down. Thoughts like a hundred pinballs ricocheted around inside my head. Is this really happening? This is too good to be true. This is really happening!

Then he asked, “Elise, will you marry me?”

“Yes!” My voice was high-pitched and excited; my stomach flipping, my heart in my throat. The blanket fell from my shoulders as I tried enthusiastically—but only half-successfully—to hug him while he was still kneeling. The logistics of a proper hug had escaped me in my desire to be closer to him. The man I love—my fiancé—rose to his feet to wrap his arms around me, and the night blazed with the concept of forever.