Jessica and Maru
How We Met
Maru and I met three years ago when she travelled from Miami to Olympia, WA for a wedding. Her dear friend from Miami was marrying my dear friend from Olympia. We met at the bachelorette party, a baseball game, a few days before the wedding. I was feeling a little salty and was extra sarcastic that day and for some reason this charmed her!
We danced around our flirtations and became fast friends. The day after the wedding, she invited me to join her and our friends in Seattle to explore before her flight later that night. The drive, which usually takes 45 minutes, took four hours! Weather and sporting event traffic made the drive a nightmare. But I was determined to spend more time with this girl.
I think our friends must have picked up on what was buzzing between us because they artfully arranged for me to be the one to take Maru to the airport. And so I did. Wanting to get in every second I could, I parked and walked her in. The security lines were obnoxiously long, so I asked a family if she could get in line in front of them so she wouldn’t miss her flight. And then regretted it because that meant goodbye.
At the time I was working a second job to save up for a trip to Paris, which I had been dreaming of since I was a teenager. So when she asked me, as we were hugging, to come visit her in Miami, I blurted, “but first Paris!” “Miami,” she said. One more squeeze and she was off.
I stood and watched as she made her way through the security line and I started to feel a sadness creep into me. When she finally made it through, we waved one last time and I turned to walk back to my car. With every step I took away from her I felt my heart stretch like taffy. I saw a sign that read “Wrong Way” on my way to the car and I took a photo of it because that’s truly how I was feeling! I sat in my car as we texted, heart aching, hoping her flight would be cancelled or she would miss it.; fantasizing of running back in after her. She later told me she took her time getting to her gate and tried stalling, also hoping she would miss the flight!
But she got on her plane and I had to drive home. I felt so, so sad as the miles began to stretch between us.
We texted the whole night through as she travelled back to Miami, and the texting didn’t really stop after that. After a couple days I knew I was hooked and worked up the courage to say something. I was confused by the intensity of my feelings for this girl I had just met, but I believed them to be true and knew there was only one way to find out if she felt the same. So I leapt! I confessed my feels and was grateful to hear she was feeling the same. She confessed she had been researching return flights to Seattle and articles about long distance relationships while flying back to Miami! We decided in that moment to give it a try and I bought a ticket to Miami the next day. We haven’t looked back since!
We dated long distance for a whole year, alternating trips between Miami and Seattle… 3,000 long miles! And after that long, bi-coastal year and after a combined 52,752 miles in the air, I decided to put Paris off and move to Miami. We had an amazing road trip across the country and I settled into my new hometown.
How They Asked
Fast-forward another year and we finally made my Paris dream come true! This is where my love surprised me with my ring and asked me to adventure with her forever! I had picked out my ring and knew she had it… and I was really hoping she brought it along, but I didn’t know for sure. Knowing I’m a sucker for a gorgeous bridge, she kept telling me about this bridge she wanted to see and so we went to see the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. What I didn’t know is that she had schemed with a photographer to capture our visit to the bridge and her proposal!
While we were both over-the-moon to take this next step in our relationship, it was a little bittersweet. Until six months ago, Maru was working as a teacher for a religious organization that could fire her for being in a homosexual relationship. So while we were able to celebrate our engagement with family and close friends, we couldn’t shout it from the rooftops. We took this step together knowing we’d have to be careful until she found another job. This really put a strain on us. In the spirit of hopefulness, made plans to marry in March, expecting she would have found another job by then, but as March approached, and a new job hadn’t come along, we called it off. Shortly after calling off our wedding, another teacher in the organization was fired for marrying her partner.
Relieved isn’t a big enough word to describe the weight that has been lifted since she found a new teaching position for this school year. I can finally love my girl out loud and she can finally be her true self in all areas of her life. We couldn’t be more excited and we’re looking forward to our New Year’s Eve wedding!