Melissa and James

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How We Met

I was fourteen years old when we met at Tottenville High School. We were both heavily involved in the music program and met the summer before the fall semester began. He was a Junior and I was a Freshman.

Throughout the years, we never dated but remained as friends and always cared for each other. After high school, I went to college while James went on to serve in the United States Army.

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After his deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, we met again at an alumni event at our alma mater and were pretty much inseparable soon after that. James said to his best friend, “I’m going to marry that girl,” and the rest was history.

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We dated for a few years and knew we were going to be together forever. We moved into our first apartment together in May 2016 and planned to get married in the near future.

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How He Asked

On May 23, 2016, James went for a ride to see a friend on his motorcycle. He texted me saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back for dinner.”

Soon after that, I got a phone call from an unrecognized number at work. For some reason, I answered it and just heard a nervous, “Hello, It’s James. I got into an accident.” My heart completely fell out of my chest and I just replied, “I’m coming,” without knowing exactly where I was going.

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Thank God James was okay and got away with a few minor scratches and bruises. I picked him up at the site of the accident and was never more grateful in my life that he was able to walk.

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That was one of the scariest moments for me – thinking that the person who I love can be hurt and possibly taken away from me in just an instant.

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We went back to our apartment and I was planning on going to the store to get bandages and some medicine. Before I could go, James took me into our kitchen and gave me a huge hug – almost feeling like he would never let go. He told me he loved me more than anything and thanked me for picking him up.

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Then, somehow, he got down on one knee and asked if I will marry him. Hysterically crying from all of the up and down emotions, I (eventually) said “YES!” James said it felt like forever before I answered – but I was just so in shock! I knew a proposal was on it’s way, but I absolutely did not expect it to be the day he got into an accident.

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Later on, James told me he was trying to plan a whole spectacle – proposing at the Brooklyn Bridge, on top of a mountain, by a waterfall,

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etc. – but he said he didn’t want to wait any longer once he saw his life flash before his eyes. What if he wasn’t okay after that accident? What if he never got to see the look on my face when he got down on one knee? For us, that was the best, most real moment we could have asked for and I couldn’t be engaged to a more humble, wonderful and selfless man.

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Sometimes it’s not about the huge proposal and fireworks – it’s about the relationship you share with one another and spending your life with a partner through the good and bad times.

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We are getting married on October 21, 2017 and couldn’t be happier to spend our moment with our closest friends and family.

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