Jessica and Corey
How We Met
I met the man of my dreams the first day of my last semester of college at Sonoma State University in our Senior Seminar class. Little did I know that this man, Corey Nathan Neal, would change my life forever. Somehow we both managed to choose the same three classes in a row, pure serendipity. Every single class we sat on opposite sides of the room until one day in the library Corey decided to sit next to me and start a conversation. A study session followed by a few text messages back and forth sparked our interests in each other.
We realized that our paths crossed multiple times and we didn’t even bat an eyelash at one another. Corey was the Student Assistant to the Sports Information Director and would stand directly in front of me while I performed on the dance team. Corey was also friends with several of my sorority sisters and we still never met in those previous three years. I honestly believe that it was fate that finally brought us together in those last few months of college after we both got out of serious relationships.
Both hesitant to start anything serious because we were both ready to end this chapter of our lives to take on new adventures, Corey and I were just living in the moment. I never truly knew I cared so much for him until I nervously asked him to my last sorority formal during the intermission of my senior dance show in front of the whole audience. I stood there vulnerable and shaking under the bright lights as I held up a sign that read ‘AXID Formal?’. Trying to catch my breath, I got the courage and nervously said the words I had been rehearsing in my head throughout the show, “Corey Neal, I am sorry that I laugh like a seal. I’m also sorry that I’m asking you late, but will you be my formal date?” He agreed after what I thought was the longest round of applause and I could not help but feel so giddy.
The date of formal arrived and we were having the time of our lives in San Francisco. We decided to go into the photo booth to capture a memory from that night and as the machine started to count down from three, Corey leaned in and kissed me for the very first time. I remember feeling the butterflies bounce off the walls of my stomach and that was the moment I started to fall in love with this man.
Our first date is near and dear to my heart because it was the day before our graduation and it started a tradition for us that will last for years. Corey took me to a San Francisco Giants game for our first date and even knew the best place to take a picture. It started our tradition of visiting a new Major League Baseball park every year for our anniversary until we see a game at all 30 parks.
How He Asked
June 18, 2016, I had this date planned in my calendar for months. I wanted to throw Corey a birthday party with a few of our closest friends and both of our parents. After three years, our parents still had not met and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for them to finally meet. After I found the right date to throw the birthday party, I sent out the invitations, booked the table at our wine club Truett Hurst Winery, and started to organize what I needed for that day. I wanted everything to go absolutely perfect so I was getting extremely nervous as the date approached.
That day could not be any more gorgeous. I was so happy that everyone was having an amazing time and that relationships were starting to blossom. Corey decided on taking a group photo and I was surprised that he had this idea on his own. As we walked towards the grass area, I started to place everyone accordingly so that the picture would turn out well until Corey looked at me and told me he wanted to make a speech first. He put his arm around me and began thanking everyone for being there to celebrate his birthday. He started to thank me for being his best friend and for supporting him throughout these past few years. He then took his hand off my back as he said to me that he loved me. I felt his hand shaking as he put his hand in his pocket, got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?”
I was speechless and I could barely get the word “yes” out. In that moment, I was the happiest woman in the world and I kissed Corey like no one was there.