Letitia and Aaron

IMG_0767Aaron and I met on the praise team at our church, Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church. I was a current member of the team when Aaron joined in November, 2011. Aaron wasn’t very talkative, but we ended up getting close because on Aaron’s first Sunday singing (New Year’s Day 2012) I saw him playing Words With Friends. I’m an English teacher and had recently started playing the game, so my expectation was to knock him out. He beat me … bad. I realized I was playing opponents who were way too easy, lol. I decided to wait to request a rematch once I played a few more people. I won the next four (I’m competitive!).

Whenever we would see each other, we would talk trash about the game. We later found out that we were both in Greek organizations – he’s a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – so our conversation started to include college stories. As we began singing background for other singers, we spent a lot of time together. As he felt more comfortable with me, we (and apparently others, so they claim) realized how similar our personalities and senses of humor were. Our friendship grew and eventually evolved into a romantic relationship.

How He Asked: On Friday, March 21, 2014, I was finishing a day of teaching 9th and 10th grade students and working on a data analysis project. At 2:30pm,my principal came over the intercom and announced that the
IMG_1375dismissal procedure was starting, and ended the announcement by saying, “Ms. L. Smith, please report to the office.” I quickly grabbed the reports that I’d just finished, walked to her office, and began explaining the data that I’d collected. My principal smiled while taking a seat in her chair, and said, “That’s great…but we can discuss that on Monday.”

I responded, “Oh…okay. Well, what can I do for you?”

She reached under her desk, and sat a basket on her desk and said, “This is for you.”

It was a brown, wicker basket that contained turquoise rose petals, an open Bible, and a printed card. Attached was a small chalkboard that had the numbers “3 2 1” written on it. On the back of the card was a picture of Aaron and I with lyrics to Chrisette Michele’s, “A Couple of Forevers”, and the Bible was open to 1 Corinthians 13, with verses highlighted throughout the chapter. I was honestly surprised, and a bit confused as to why she would give me such a gift (lol). I said, “Thank you! …can I open it?” She chuckled and said, “Well…I believe you should.” Inside was a card from Aaron, explaining that he had a great weekend prepared, and that I had a 3:30 manicure and pedicure appointment at J Salon & Boutique. Because it was near the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and I worked in Stone Mountain, she suggested that I get a move on.

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While trying to gather my things, my co-workers saw my package and started exclaiming how sweet it was. One looked at me and said, “I think you’re getting engaged tonight.” I told her, “No ma’am…I’m not dealing with you.” My reasoning was that if this was a well-planned special date, I wouldn’t want to be disappointed for something that was thoughtful and sweet. It was not far fetched to think that it could have been a great date because Aaron pays attention to detail on a regular basis. Also, earlier in the week, Aaron told me that a co-worker had suggested a really nice jazz place to try that was dressier, and I responded that it sounded nice and would need to get a manicure and pedicure before we went. Because I’d had a particularly busy and rough week, I thought my boyfriend wanted to pay special attention to me. When I was walking to my car to leave, I pulled out my phone to find a message from Aaron saying that he had many surprises for me, but that I shouldn’t call or text unless it was an emergency.

On the way to the salon, I called one of my closest friends to tell her about the special package. I told her that I needed her to keep me focused because the engagement idea had been planted in my mind, and I didn’t want to focus on it. She said, “It’s okay. Your boyfriend is loving on you, so just go with it and be happy.” I entered the salon, and a lady asked if she could help me. I said I didn’t know, and held up the card that was contained within my basket. Her face lit up and she said, “Oh! You’re here for Aaron! Come on back.”

The nail technician engaged me in conversation about my relationship with this awesome guy during my manicure, and seemed genuinely excited that he had done something so thoughtful. Once my manicure was complete and mostly dry, the eyebrow tech presented me with a second basket. This basket contained a second Bible – opened to Song of Solomon chapter 4, with verses 1,9-11 highlighted – green rose petals, and another card. This card indicated that I had an appointment at Sage Skincare & Spa for a one hour massage. Also, I was given a brown paper bag with an indication that Aaron figured I wouldn’t have time to grab something to eat. My brown bag had a small bag of chips, a granola bar, and a bottle of apple juice. The technicians kept complimenting his attention to detail, and telling me I was so lucky. I completely agreed.

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I went to the next spa for my massage appointment, excited and nervous about what the rest of the day would bring. Once my massage was completed, I walked to the front desk and was happy to see a third basket filled with purple rose petals, a third bible (Proverbs 31 with several verses highlighted), and a third card. This card indicated that Aaron was ready to see me, and that I should go to the Georgian Terrace Hotel, across from the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta.

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Once I arrived at the hotel, I checked in and walked into my room. Aaron wasn’t there, and I was a bit disappointed, but perked up when I saw candles, rose petals, and an additional card on the table. This card said that Aaron would see me very soon, but that I should get dressed, do my hair and makeup, and be ready at 8pm. It also indicated that everything I needed was already in the room, along with a few surprises. I looked around and saw my jewelry tower on one table, my makeup case on another, and my hair supplies in the bathroom. I looked in the closet, and saw that Aaron brought 4-5 dresses from my house as options for me, along with three pairs of shoes. I was then surprised to see that Aaron bought three new dresses as options for me to choose from! I quickly prepped and dressed (choosing one of the new dresses), and was sitting and staring at the door at 7:52pm. I was so excited and anxious, and I was trying very hard to remain calm.

At about 8:15pm, the front desk called and requested that I head to the hotel roof, but to only bring my room key. I took the elevator to the penthouse to head to the roof and saw that there was a pool with a walkway that lead to an overlook that allowed you to see all of Atlanta. The walkway was lined with candles, and I heard Chrisette Michele’s “A Couple of Forevers” playing softly in the background. I walked up the stairs, and was happy to see Aaron. The ground was filled with candles, and two photographers were positioned and quickly snapping pictures.

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I walked to where Aaron was standing and gave him a huge hug. He asked if I had enjoyed my day, to which I responded yes. Aaron then told me how much I meant to him, how happy he was to have me in his life, and how much he loved me. He said that there’s been a question he’s been asking me everyday over the past few months (which is true. Almost everyday, Aaron would say, “Are you gonna marry me girl?” I’d respond by saying, “Boy, yes. I’m going to marry you SO much!” …and we’d laugh.).

Aaron announced that he was going to officially ask the question, and my mouth dropped open. He pulled the ring box from his pocket, got down on one knee, and asked me to be his wife. I excitedly responded, “Yes!” while photographers snapped in the background. He placed the ring on my finger and we hugged each other tightly for several minutes, and kissed.

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The photographer posed us for a few pictures, and Aaron looked at me and said, “It’s me and you.” I responded, “Forever and ever.” He then said, “I have one more thing to give you…your Bible.” I said, “Um…you just gave me 87 Bibles today.” He said, “But, this one is yours.” He handed me a Bible with an inscription on the front – Letitia Lee. I was so surprised and moved! It was honestly my favorite part. We hugged, kissed, and snapped more photos while looking over the Atlanta skyline. I genuinely just wanted to enjoy the moment with the scenery and my new fiance.

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He said, “I have to tell you about the hilarious conversation that I had with your daddy.” I lit up and said, “YOU CALLED MY DADDY!!” He said, “Of course, girl. What do you think this is?” We laughed and hugged and cracked jokes and kissed. It was the best moment of my life. As the photographers finished, they gave us congratulations and said the pictures would be emailed within a day’s time. I asked if I could call my parents, and I did. They were excited and happy. I then called my siblings, my four closest friends, and my cousin. Aaron told me that we had reservations at The Sundial, housed within the Westin Hotel.

I could never have asked for a more perfect evening. Aaron made a memory I’ll never forget, and made me the happiest woman in the world by asking me to be his wife. I cannot wait for the rest of our lives!

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Photography: Marlon R Productions // Hotel: The Georgian Terrace