Jennifer and Chason

How We Met: Although Chason swears to me that he has loved me since he saw me standing in the hallway of Churchill Junior High, Chason and I “officially” met at Skyline High School. It was our first year in high school and being a squashmore was terrifying. We had two classes together during the first half of the year: health and driver’s education.

One day during driver’s ed, what seemed like a cramp in his style turned into some sort of fate. Coach Dupaix made his whole row change seats in class, which is when a friendship blossomed among four of us. Chason, his friend Danny, my friend Emilee, and myself quickly became the four best driving buddies. Where memories were made from stealing gum from Danny’s backpack while he was in the driver’s seat to magically moving side mirrors. We took every opportunity to practice our driving skills together in the same car.

For myself, the friendship between Chason and I grew into a liking. Our health class was right before driver’s ed and we started walking to class together. I realized that I missed talking to him when he would be absent from class for a golf tournament.

I didn’t get to really know him until we took our driving state test.

You see, Emilee’s birthday is in December and she wanted to get her permit as soon as possible. So, she took the state test before the rest of us. Since I didn’t want to take the test alone, I asked Chason if he would want to stay after school one day and take the test with me. He said yes and I couldn’t have been happier. Once our test was over, I had to wait for my mom to come pick me up from the school. By that time it was pretty late and no one seemed to roam the halls. He and I walked up sophomore hall taking, laughing, any getting to know each other.

It was never hard to talk to Chason. On the outside he looked intimidating, a kid from West Valley low riding his pants who had his posse with him at all times, but on the inside he truly had a heart of gold. It was like our souls instantly connected. When I left that late afternoon, I was smiling from ear to ear.

I started liking Chason more and more as we continued to spend time together. There was just one problem. I had no idea if he liked me as much as I liked him. I would often talk to Danny to ask if Chason liked me. To say the least, he wasn’t very helpful. I never really got a straight answer. In May, I decided that it was time that I took matters into my own hands. I asked Chason if he wanted a ride to the bus stop that was just up the street. Well, he said no. However, I didn’t let that get me down, I still wanted to be friends with him even if he didn’t like me. I asked him again the next day and he said yes! He was polite and shy as I dropped him off. And I gave him rides for the rest of the week.

On Friday I thought for sure that Chason would ask me to be his girlfriend. It really seemed like we were on the same wavelength. I dressed up in my cutest clothes, went through the day, took him to the bus stop… nothing. Taking my mom’s advice that whenever you’re dealing with a guy, you have to be direct. So, once again, I took control of the situation. When I got home that day, I called Chason. It went to voicemail and I left a message saying that I really liked him.

Once I hung up the phone, I was so embarrassed. I mean, how foolish could I have been? I should have just left well enough alone. I waited the whole weekend for him to call, text, anything. Eventually, I just got the hint that maybe he wasn’t feeling the way I was. I went to school on Monday determined not to see him because I was so embarrassed. Until our paths crossed in the hallway…

“Chason, did you get my message from Friday?”

“Yes, I did.”

“I am so sorry, I shouldn’t have even called you…”

“Jenn, stop. I liked it.”

“What?”

“I like you too.”

“Really?”

“Yeah and I wanted to know if you would be my girlfriend.”

“Yeah, I would really like that.”

From that moment in Senior Hall at Skyline High School, my life changed for the better. To this day, we still laugh and tease each other about the events leading up to May 16, 2011. I still can’t believe that it has been four years since that day. I would never have imagined that I would have met my soul mate in high school, but I guess some of us are just that lucky.

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How He Asked: In the morning, Mom and I were on our way to our favorite day spa we stopped at Starbucks to pickup a cheese danish and a chai latte (coffee for mom). It was quite exciting to go to the spa. We have always gotten pedicures but never manicures. We loved being pampered for the morning. When we were done, it was all paid for by non other than Mr. Chason S. Heywood. What a sweet surprise.

We left and I got ready to spend the afternoon with Chason to celebrate our 4th anniversary. I really didn’t know what we would be doing. The only hint I got was that we would be reliving some of our first months together. I just decided to roll with it.

He picked me up with flowers in hand and dressed so very handsomely. As we drove he told me we would be having a picnic just like we did for our one-month anniversary. Yes, we celebrated our monthiversaries–come on, we were in high school. It was very sweet, I promise. He took me to Churchill Junior High where he claims he first saw me to have our picnic. Evidently it started to rain and we ended up finishing our meal in the car. Everything we do ends up being quite the story.

When we finished eating he told me I had to be blindfolded. I laughed and looked at him like he was crazy. I didn’t believe him, but he kept insisting. I let him have his fun and I let him blindfold me. Since I knew the area pretty well, I started feeling the corners and where we were on the road. I kept narrating where we were going and he didn’t appreciate that at all. So, he stated to drive like a crazy person. Making all sorts of turns and U-turns to get me confused and it worked.

He pulled up to the place and had his best friend take me to the place we were going. One thing that doesn’t go well together is a girl in a dress, wearing high heels, blindfolded, and being lead by a boy. There’s a high potential for falling. Thankfully I didn’t.

Chason took my hand and set me in the place I needed to be. He wasn’t saying anything and he seemed to take forever. Finally I heard him say how nervous he was, but I still didn’t know why. When he told me to take off the blindfold, I looked around and took in that we were standing in the halls of Skyline High School in the exact same spot four years ago where he asked me to be his girlfriend.

He told me that he loved me and will always love me. The waterworks started flowing at this point and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes to this wonderful man of mine. I continued to cry and hug him over and over again. I kept telling him how much I loved him and that I couldn’t believe that this was happening. His best friend, Dylan, was there as well as his friend Emilio filming on Chason’s phone and a photographer catching every moment on camera.

After the most wonderful proposal, Holly Johnson, the photographer, took us around our alma mater to take some photos. It was incredibly special to have this moment be so personal to Chason and I. We became friends at Skyline, we fell in love at Skyline, we grew up at Skyline, and we faced trials and great successes at Skyline. Everything about the afternoon of May 16, 2015 was just as perfect as May 16, 2011 and every day in between.

Chason has truly become my best friend over the years and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him by my side.

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Photography by Holly Johnson