Loran and Joe

How We Met

Imagine a boy and a girl. A story we’ve all heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. Nothing special, right? Wrong. We start with a girl with an attitude small but fiery, and a goofy boy, lovable and happy. Seventeen years old. Summer before senior year of high school. Two different schools. Rival schools. The story begins with a mutual friend: Gerri. She is thunder on a sunny day and warm laughs in winter. The relationship cultivated. Twitter conversations were had. Parking tickets were acquired. Kisses were exchanged. Skip ahead to August thirteenth—it’s official. Loran and Joe are boyfriend and girlfriend. High school graduation came. High school graduation went. They couldn’t even go to each other’s because they were at the same time. And then they were off to college. In two different states—seven hours apart. And with busy schedules, it wasn’t like they could hop on a train every weekend. College passed for them in FaceTime calls and surprise visits that alighted both their hearts with instinctive joy.

How He Asked

Who knew that five years later Loran would be an undisputed member of the family and officially engaged to the boy who got himself a parking ticket on their first date? Summers were the best times, as summers tend to be. The summer after those four years, on June twenty-third, Joe proposed right there on the beach of Long Beach Island, where he asked her to be his girlfriend.

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All their family and friends were there, but only a handful was actually on the beach to witness the act. The world is now stretched before them. After their magical wedding next June, they will have to travel to military bases around the country to live by themselves. Yet they will thrive because they are determined to do so. And when Loran wants something she will work to make it happen. The only thing that isn’t work is their love.