Melanie and James

How We Met

James and I met Freshman year of high school during computer class; actually, before that I visited the school the semester before to shadow. The only thing I remember about James? His hair- I remember thinking he had the coolest hair and I had never seen hair that blonde. Supposedly, on this very day, James had his eye on me, too. While I do not declare this “love at first sight,” I do believe a seed was planted that day for each other. From the first day of computer class, we had the easiest interactions, and the most fun ones. We laughed throughout the entire time, despite the fact that we were in class! After a few months of seeing each other in class, he finally got my number. Several months later, (yes, he’s slow) he asked me to be his girlfriend with a big banner he had written on.

Melanie and James's Engagement in Huntsville, AL

We dated for the rest of high school, and we never stopped having just as much fun as we did in that computer class. Unfortunately, we went to different colleges, which led to a few bumps in the road. During the first semester of college, I began to gain a feeling of uneasiness regarding our relationship; were we doing the right thing by not broadening our horizons? I was definitely feeling led to break up with James, despite the fact that he was the most wonderful person I knew and that I still loved him deeply.

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Melanie's Proposal in Huntsville, AL

I just knew we at least needed some time apart. Well, little did I know that breaking it off would be so hard! We just kept texting and hanging out, we were- and still are- magnets for each other. But, the summer after Freshman year, we broke up for real, this time. We both used this time to grow- both individually and spiritually. It was a hard time, and it got harder when I realized he might be moving on, and I realized I didn’t want to. So, I called him one night in October- I told him I missed him and asked if I could drive up to see him that weekend.

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Being the gentleman that he is, he showed no bitterness nor hostility toward this idea- in fact, he seemed just as excited as I was! So, we met for lunch that Saturday. We talked and had butterflies all over again, both knowing what we wanted at the end of the day. Finally, I told James that I wanted to get back together. Before I said this, I knew that I had to be sure because there was no way I was going to hurt him again. Thankfully, I had no doubt in my mind- and I told him just that. James was on the very same page as I was, and when he told me this, a wave of relief swept over me. So begins our “second leg”-undoubtedly even better than the first. We’ve been dating ever since then- growing closer each day.

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How He Asked

Since altogether James and I had been dating for about 6 years, we thought it’s about time we tie the knot! When we established a rough time-frame, it was just a matter of when he would propose. Unfortunately for him, I am probably the most curious person in the world- a characteristic that did not bode well for this situation. James did his very best to keep me in the dark. He texted with my mom and three roommates/friends frequently.

My roommates, also aware of my curiosity, went so far as to change his name in their phones so that I wouldn’t get suspicious. Despite their best efforts, I’m a perceptive gal; James repeatedly asked me if I would be coming home for Memorial Day weekend. I told him that I had to be at my sister’s graduation Saturday and that, yes, after that I would go home. Clearly, it was going down sometime during that weekend.

Well, Sunday morning rolls around, and I went to church with my family. My mood was not very pleasant, as I had received a text from James regarding all of his plans that day; he told me he wouldn’t be able to see me until the next day. My best friends went so far as to tell me they were on their way to the beach/to Auburn already. So, I gathered that it was not happening that weekend after all, hence the sour mood. After church, my mom hands me her keys and says, “Here, just go on home and I’ll pick up lunch.” I thought nothing of this because she knew I wasn’t happy and shouldn’t be socializing at that time.

When I pull in the driveway, I decided to stay in the car for a bit because I was gathering my thoughts- debating if I should get mad at James or not. Finally, I go inside and there is a beautiful sign that says “Walk This Way” with an arrow pointing to my porch. There are pictures of me and James everywhere along with flowers and various decorations.

I go onto the porch and James is standing there with that boyish grin of his, and he says, “Well it’s about time you got out of that car.” I am in absolute shock at that time as I glance over to see my best friend (the one that was “on the way to the beach”) with her camera a few feet away. James gets down on one knee and asks me to spend the rest of my life with him- to which I responded so elegantly- “Yes, duh!”

After he slips the most beautiful ring on my finger, he tells me to leave my phone because we are going to get in his car. I got in, and there is a picnic basket in the seat; he tells me that if I’m hungry he packed lunch to eat on the way. (On the way where?!)

He then proceeds to explain that we are going to some of the places that are most important to us and our relationship journey. We go to the place we met, the place where we had our first date, several places in between, finally ending at the spot where we are getting married; we end at my house, where all of our closest friends and family are gathered.