Hailey and Jeffrey
How We Met
Jeffrey and I first met seven years ago at the alumni cross country meet for our high school. I was a freshman runner on the team and his dad was an alumni runner. He came out to support his dad and current runners on the team that he knew at the time. We were introduced at the end of the meet and immediately hit it off. We got to know each other over the next few months, but the timing wasn’t right so for the next year we were just friends. We remained friends, and a year later the timing seemed right, so we started dating my sophomore year of high school. Jeffrey, being two years older than I was, started college in Chicago that next fall, so beginning six months into our relationship, we have done long distance, never being closer than 4 1/2 hours apart. For the next two years we saw each other once a month and on his breaks, not making our relationship very easy. When I graduated high school two years later, I chose a college the opposite direction in Tennessee, so until he graduated college we were nine hours apart and rarely saw each other. I also chose to play college softball, so I get to go home every three to five months depending on the semester, which makes long distance even harder. After he graduated college, he moved back home for graduate school moving us back to 4 1/2 hours apart and seeing each other once a month. Because of this, the majority of our relationship has been spent on FaceTime or on a softball field when he came to visit.
How He Asked
Fast forward to the end of my Junior year of college. Two of my best friends and college teammates were graduating from college, and I had planned on being there when they graduated. Jeffrey showed up to my house that morning already dressed up, which was strange because we had a 4 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. When we got to Jackson, I stayed at the hotel to get ready for graduation while Jeffrey went to Walmart. What should have been a fifteen minute trip took him almost an hour. The only reason he got away with this, without any suspicion on my part, is because Jackson traffic is horrible on a Saturday afternoon. When he got back we left for the softball field on campus because my best friend, Kelly, was supposed to be there with her new puppy. When we got to the softball complex and start to walk towards the softball field he starts talking about how eighty percent of our relationship has been spent on a softball field, and I am totally clueless as to what is going on because this is normal conversation for us. We get to the field and I start to look around for Kelly’s dog Max when the song “All of Me” by John Legend starts to play over the loud speakers. Jeffrey leads me over to the mound where a softball is sitting with the ring inside of it, and while I don’t remember everything he said, I do remember him saying he wanted to be on the same team for the rest of our lives. I’m still so amazed at how well he kept this a secret, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.