Jasmin and Stephen
How We Met
We met at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I’d seen Stephen around campus before, and thought he was so cute. He was always clean from head to toe, and when he’d walk pass me, he smelled heavenly! I remember the 1st day we spoke to each other so vividly. It was early in the morning before our classes started and I was chilling in the canteen with one of homegirls, Iman. I saw Stephen walking up to the door, he came in and randomly tossed a bundle of quarters and half-dollar coins on the table, then proceeded to sit at different table. Iman asked “who is that for?” and he replied, “who ever wants it.” It was very strange but I later found out the story behind it. As we continued to get to know each other, we discovered we also went to the same church, and orthodontist. Three is my favorite number so after three connections I knew he was special.
How He Asked
While I was away teaching dance at Impulstanz in Vienna, I received a group text inviting me to Darryl’s going away movie night in Prospect Park. Darryl is Stephen’s best friend who is like a brother to me so I was definitely going to be there no matter what. The movie night was scheduled on the same night I got back from my trip. As my plane landed it started storming and I got a text stating that the movie night was postponed until tomorrow due to the weather. Darryl picked me up from the airport shortly after that. Stephen was upstate on a business trip and wouldn’t return until that morning. The next morning, Stephen returned home and we began to plot a special surprise for Darryl. Little did I know, this was all a decoy and I was actually plotting my own surprise. Stephen asked me to sneak away and get Darryl a cake. The plan was to have Darryl’s long lost sweetheart who moved to Asia, surprise him with the cake. I was hype! By the time Darryl, Stephen, and I got to the park that night, our friends we already there setting up. Once everything was ready, Stephen pulled me aside and asked me to get everyone seated while he went to get Darryl’s surprise guest. Then he ran off. Once I got everyone seated, Darryl gave a heartfelt thanks to us for celebrating his time in NYC. He then explained that we would choose a movie from 1 of the 3 previews he had selected. He played the first 2 previews and they looked pretty cool, then the 3rd one started and something felt a little different.
The preview starts with an unfamiliar Chance The Rapper song, and there seemed to be an artist gathering supplies to work on a painting. As it continued, I started noticing some familiar body language but wasn’t sure who it was. Then the artist popped open some paint and poured it onto a pallet, I started to get more suspicious, but thought, “no…that can’t be him, this is about Darryl. The artist began to paint a rose, still not fully revealing his face, then he painted the date, “6/9/18.” I gasp for air and tears start to stream down my face.
It’s happening! It’s happening right here right now. The video ended with a reveal of Stephen as the artist, standing in front of his completed work. The words, “The Art of Love by Jasmin and Stephen” displayed across the screen and I was weak.
Still trying to take deep breaths, my friend Stephanie escorted me to a pile of shrubbery that sat on the grass behind us. Hidden beneath that shrubbery was a planted white rose, identical to the one shown in the video. I picked it up to find a string attached that lead off into the dark distance. I pulled the string and Stephen appeared out of the darkness, wearing the same white outfit from the video. At this point I’m in full out ugly cry. He says to me, “I need to ask you something” and I reply, “Ok!” He then got down on one knee, pulled out the most beautiful white and black box, and said, “Jasmin Sierra Simmons, will you marry me?”
I was overwhelmed, I could only shake my head and muster up the softest, “yes”. He kissed me and I completely melted in his arms. It’s happening! “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” I couldn’t stop saying that. We turn to our friends and family who all have their phones out videoing, then Darryl holds up his phone and says, “I got New Orleans on Facetime, Ms. Marie, Ms. Jackie ya’ll around here, huh?!. Stephen turns me around and our moms aren’t in New Orleans, they’re actually there! Running towards me with long stem white roses. The surprises just kept coming and my knees couldn’t take it, Stephen had to catch me as I fell to the ground. By the time our moms reached me I was a puddle, they all scooped me up and gave me the biggest hug ever. I couldn’t stop crying and couldn’t believe I got to share this amazing moment with the people I love the most.