Lucina and Petros
How We Met
It all started November 14, 2012 at Ellwood Beach with a bonfire and some wine.
I had just started my freshman year at the University of California, Santa Barbara and I was very homesick. I didn’t do anything besides hangout in my dorm and call my mom crying every single day. I kept telling her that coming to UCSB was the biggest mistake I ever made, how much I hated it, and how much I just wanted to come home. My mom being the sneaky yet loving mom that she is had found UCSB’s Armenian Student Association page on Facebook and found out about the bonfire they were going to be having. She urged me to go to but I just kept saying I didn’t want to leave my dorm especially because I didn’t know anyone at the bonfire and I had a midterm coming up in two days.
The day came and my friend Michelle and I decided to go to the bonfire last minute. Everyone was meeting up at one house then driving to where we were going to be having the bonfire, and that house happened to be where my now fiancé lived. I remember sitting on the couch next to Michelle and whispering “That guy is so cute! Do you know his name?” and she responded “I think it’s Peter.” The first time I noticed Peter was at the ASA meeting prior to the bonfire. It was his sophomore year and he was treasurer at the time and like all the other executives he would come to meetings dressed up in formal attire. He caught my eye was when he was drawing a raffle at the meeting. He had all eyes on him and he loved it. He was cracking jokes left and right and was just enjoying being the center of attention and I remember thinking to myself “Damn he’s good looking…ohhh and that suit!…but he’s such an attention lover.” I don’t exactly remember the first thing I said to him but I think it was along the lines of “Your cologne smells so good, what is it?” and his smirky response was “If I tell you…I might have to kill you.”
30 minutes of hiking through darkness, over narrow bridges, and down a super sloped and soft sandy hill later we had arrived at our spot. There was a lot of wine to go around, so I decided I’ll have a whole bottle to myself. Mind you, the most wine I had ever drank at a time was a glass with dinner here and there. I just sat there by the fire on the beach enjoying my bottle of wine and talking to some new friends. I finished my entire bottle and didn’t even feel buzzed. I looked over and I saw Peter drinking wine out of his bottle and decided to ask him “Can I have some of your wine?” He came and sat next to me and poured me half his bottle. He laid down in the sand and was just staring at the sky so I did the same. I distinctly remember him pointing to the sky and asking me “Do you know how you can tell which ones are stars & which ones are planets?” and I said no so he went on to explain “The ones that twinkle are stars and the ones that don’t are planets.” I just thought it was so cute how he was talking about stars and planets because I always found myself getting lost staring at the stars and the moon at nights. The next thing I remember is him asking me if I want to go on a walk, which of course I said yes to. And that’s when it hit me…the moment I stood up is the moment I realized how far I was from being sober. I don’t remember much else from that night besides immediately falling asleep next to the bonfire after we came back from our “romantic” walk beside the night shore.
I think this picture of the bonfire is really funny to look at because you can see both of us before we actually started talking for the first time and we’re each into our bottle of wine. We are both fairly close to the center of the picture but you can see me more on the left side looking down at my wine bottle, then there is him more on the right side sipping on his wine straight from the bottle staring straight into the camera.
Here comes the embarrassing part…according to the stories I’ve heard about myself I wouldn’t wake up when it was time to leave and all I kept saying was “Just leave me here, I’ll be fine.” Let’s just say I had to be carried all the way back through the dark and long hiking trail. Thanks to my now fiancé, I woke up alive and safe in my dorm the next day. The next day I text everyone thanking them for their help and apologizing for what happened with me. The day after that Peter text me asking if I wanted to go to someone’s birthday with him and his roommate…which I of course couldn’t decline.
We have basically spent every single day together since the day we met at the bonfire. A little less than three months after the bonfire we made it official and I can honestly say every day we have fallen more and more in love ever since.
Our story always sounds like a modern fairytale to me…meeting around a bonfire on the beach, talking for the first time when I ask for some of his wine, staring up at the stars, going on a walk along the shore. It just doesn’t sound like something that happens to people,
How He Asked
Fast forward exactly 3 years and 1 week…
We were going back home to Los Angeles that weekend for my little sister Naré’s dance concert. The week before Peter had told me that since the concert is on Sunday, he wanted to take me out to dinner on Saturday night. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, besides the fact that it was a sweet gesture to take me out without an occasion.
It wasn’t anything new that he didn’t tell me where we were going or what we would be doing exactly because he loves surprising me any chance he gets. So before we left to Los Angeles that Friday he called and told me what he planned on wearing to dinner so I can plan my outfit according to how fancy he was going to be dressing. At first, I planned to wear a more causal dress with boots but my roommate Annie tried to convince me to go with a fancier dress and heels. Keep in mind she didn’t have a clue about Peter’s plans. I ended up driving back to my apartment a few minutes after leaving to grab the fancier outfit and thank God I did.
That day I actually started getting ready very early, which is unlike me. I took my time on my hair, did my make up better than I usually do, and even put on Peter’s favorite red lipstick.
The whole day my mom and little sister kept joking around and saying Peter was going to propose that night. They really didn’t know a thing, they really thought they were joking. My little sister jokingly said I’ll always remember the fact that we got engaged the night before her dance concert. As we walked out the door my mom whispered “Don’t forget to send me a picture of your sparkly.” I just blew off their comments, not even thinking it was possible for it to happen that night.
On our drive there, I remember noticing how sweaty Peter’s hand was when I held it and made a comment about it but he just said “It’s because it’s hot”, when in reality it was actually pretty chilly but again I didn’t pay much attention.
We ended up getting to the restaurant 45 minutes before our reservation. When we walked in the hosts both gave us really big smiles. In my mind, they were just smiling at us because of how dressed up we were and thought we were cute for doing that. As it turns out, they were smiling at us because they knew about Peter’s plan to propose to me because he had been at the restaurant before he came to pick me up. Everyone from the hosts, to the waiters and waitresses, to the chef…everyone knew what was going to happen at the end of the night and was anxiously waiting for it.
They sat us in front of a beautiful fire pit on cute lounge couches around it. I was in love with the place.
We started off ordering our drinks and Peter originally suggested we get cocktails but I decided wine would go better with my meal. To me, it felt like I made the decision to get wine when in fact Peter had already decided we were going to be ordering a bottle of wine.
…a fire pit and a bottle of wine…how did I not realize? He was recreating the first night we met! Peter had spent lots of time researching to find the perfect restaurant for our perfect moment. He definitely had wanted to somehow incorporate a fire and wine, which is why he landed on the beautiful Tanzy Restaurant in Westwood as a more fancy version of the night we met.
I honestly don’t know how to describe in words how I was feeling at that time, even though I still knew absolutely nothing. I remember thinking to myself just how perfect everything was at that second. The simplicity of it is what made it so perfect if that makes sense. It was just me and the love of my life sitting around a beautiful fire enjoying a bottle of wine. Things just felt so right. Every now and then he would hold me and kiss me and tell me how much he loves me which is nothing too alarming but it just made it all that much sweeter. There was a special sparkle in his eyes; a sparkle that made me think how incredibly blessed and lucky I am to be loved by this man. The moment was just to perfect, I never wanted it to end.
I kept asking what the occasion of the dinner was and Peter told me he would finally tell me when our entrees arrived. Once we got our food, he opened an email in his phone and showed me a blueprint of my ring. He told me they were ready to start making it and that’s what we were celebrating. He said he just wanted to make sure I loved it and didn’t want to change anything before they started making it. I started tearing up from happiness and the rush of emotions. It was absolutely perfect and I didn’t want to change a thing about it. All I kept saying was that I wanted it now and his response was “It’ll happen when the time is right.”
He got up to go to the restroom twice and once to talk to the waiter while we were sitting, which I questioned but thought there is no way it’s what I’m thinking…absolutely no way it could be happening today. It’s just me being crazy trying to connect all these weird things that kept happening and the fact that my mom had kept mentioning a proposal that day which had stuck with me. I almost even ruined the surprise a couple times. We were sitting and I quickly grabbed Peter’s phone when it lit up with a text. It said the text was from his sister but little did I know he had saved the photographer’s number under his sister’s name just in case that happened. Then he even got a call from a random number which he casually answered and had a conversation with ending with “alright man.” I asked who it was and he said it was his dad’s friend and I told there was no way he would have that casual of a conversation with his dad’s friend and also call him “man”. You would think all these clues would’ve given it away but a proposal was completely out of question in my mind. I just thought everything that was happening was just a coincidence.
Peter’s cousin’s baby was born just two days prior and he urged me to finish my dinner quickly so we could make it to a celebratory barbecue. Not thinking anything of it, I left my plate unfinished and we asked our waitress to take a few pictures of us before we left. I’m always really particular about how I want pictures taken and I thought it was so incredibly nice of the waitress to take so many pictures from different angles and in different lighting. Once again, that was just me not realizing that everyone knew what was about to happen besides me.
As we walked out the restaurant…there it was…this beautiful sign with an abundance of red roses all over it, candles, petals on the floor, written “Lucina will you marry me!” in purple glitter (my favorite color). I don’t remember exactly how I reacted because to this day it still feels like a dream to me. It’s like time froze still at that second and it was just me and the love of my life in the world at that moment. Both of us instantly teared up and I just couldn’t look anywhere else but into his eyes. Apparently, I didn’t even look away for a second to give him time to take the ring out & go down on one knee (oops!). Next thing I know my soulmate is on his knee, looking up at me with the biggest smile, and eyes full of tears…oh and lets not forget the most gorgeous ring I have ever set my eyes on. I wish I could remember exactly what he said but my emotions got the best of me. All I remember is “You are the light of my life…will you marry me?” and my response was “Of course!”
I truly felt like I was living in a fairytale. I couldn’t believe this had just happened! My other half and I were engaged!!! I don’t think I’ve ever felt more happiness and love in my life. It was just me and my fiancé under the moonlight…nothing else…nothing else existed at that moment. I don’t think I will ever forget that feeling for as long as I live. This was it…this was the day I had been waiting for…with a man beyond my wildest dreams…and in a way that could not be more perfect and more us.
As we were celebrating our moment with lots of kisses and tears I could hear the clicking of a camera going off but I couldn’t see anyone. I remember thinking “I really hope there is a photographer so we can look back at this perfect moment later” and sure enough he had thought of that detail and a few moments later Peter motioned for the photographers to come out which I was so thankful for!
I could not be happier that I get to marry my other half and we get to continue our fairytale together throughout our lifetime. I am so incredibly blessed to love and to be loved by the most amazing man and I beyond excited for the journey God has in store for us.
-Soon to be Mrs. Khachatrian