Karen and Aakash
How We Met
We first met in 2011, when we were both attending New York University. He was a Senior, and I was a sophomore. We were both kids from the Midwest but living euphorically in New York City. We both remember the moment we first saw each other on campus, but neither of us made the first move. A year later, on New Year’s Eve, our friends coerced us to meet each other. Just like that, we were enamored by each other – we couldn’t stop texting and calling each other.
What drew us close was our passion, ambition, independent nature and love for life. We felt like nothing could stop us, but of course, nothing could be that perfect forever. After three years together in NYC, our careers forced us into a four-year long-distance relationship. Long distance was incredibly tough, but we worked through it by prioritizing seeing each other each month. Fast forward to today, we are both happily living together in Chicago.
How He Asked
For my birthday, he made me take a red-eye to New York City so that we could celebrate in our favorite city. He surprised me with new NYU leggings that matched his NYU t-shirt and said that we needed to match for a “team workout” in the West Village. In hindsight, I have no idea how I believed his story. As we walked towards the “workout class,” we wanted to stroll through Washington Square Park on NYU’s campus. It was 9 am, and the park felt empty and oddly peaceful. In that moment, we couldn’t hear the roaring of cars or chatter of people, and it felt like an oasis in the middle of chaos. When we walked through the park, he jokingly turned to me and asked, “do you want to jump into the fountain together?” I looked at him dumbfounded, but then he went on – “I’m here at the place where we first met, where we first fell in love, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry you marry me?” I responded emphatically, “obviously, yes!”