Nicole and Derrick

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How We Met

July 16, 2011 – my mom and I went over to her best friend, Kelly’s house. They were having a huge pool party, and Kelly’s son had his first gig in his new band with his best friends. They started playing and everyone crowded around them, cheering and singing along, it was such a blast. Kelly came up to me and said, “You are welcome to marry any one of these young boys someday. They all have good hearts, you just take your pick.” I laughed and pointed to Derrick and said, “Well he’s pretty cute, I wouldn’t mind marrying him.” After they got done playing, Kelly took me to introduce myself to them, and I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest when I said hi to Derrick for the first time.

From that point, we hardly ever said anything to each other for about a year. Any time my mom said she was going to Kelly’s, I asked if I could join her. I knew Derrick would most likely be there, and I loved being his creepy silent stalker. Over time, we eventually got closer, and we grew to become best friends. His humor and wit always kept me laughing, and we started to learn just how much we had in common. I started to hang out with Derrick and his friends almost every weekend. My feelings for him started to grow beyond a friendship love. We went through so many hard times together, and we celebrated each milestone and accomplishment together. We each fell into relationships, which at times pulled us away from each other. That was the hardest part.

Derrick and I started to go on our own adventures at times. We’d often drive around the city blaring Disney music, grab a burger at Winsteads, or splurge on half price shakes after 8 at Sonic. It never felt weird, it always felt so right to be doing those things with him. In the summer of 2013, I started to really fall for him. I held those feelings back, because I knew there was no way I stood a chance with him. We were both in relationships, and we were both happy with our significant others. In that same Fall, both our relationships fell apart around the same time. We used each other to stay strong and push through. Derrick would take me on friend dates to show me how I actually deserve to be treated. He was always the one to tell me I deserved so much more than what I ever got. One day while going on a drive, I told Derrick I wanted to make a deal. Our deal was, if we both were still single by the time we were 30, we would marry each other. He pinky promised that we would follow through with that. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a week after that.

I learned that next summer that Derrick was moving away to go to school. Of course, right when I’m starting to have strong feelings for him! That same day, we met up for lunch. We ended up running errands together, and then going back to my apartment to eat the most candy one can stomach, and watch scary movies. On that day, July 27, 2014- I knew I had fallen in love with my best friend. After he left, I called my sister crying, because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. It was an amazing feeling, but also the scariest feeling in the world.

October 20, 2014, Derrick made a trip home to see me on the weekend, so we could carve pumpkins and bake the seeds. He knocked on my door, and when I opened it, he stood there with a gorgeous bouquet of my favorite flowers, and a promise to change my life forever. That night, my best friend kissed me. I thought I was going to faint. He had felt the same way about me since the very beginning, and he finally decided to make me his!

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How He Asked

New Years Eve 2015, we wanted to throw a big party with all our closest friends to bring in the New Year. Derricks birthday is the end of December, so I decided to go behind his back and plan a surprise party for him along with the New Years Eve party. I got all our friends in on it, and they were so amazing at helping me plan everything to surprise him! Little did I know, they were also keeping a surprise from me at the same time. That evening, we took our friends Jonny and Kyleigh out to dinner. I gave Derrick’s sister a key to my apartment so that she could sneak in while we were away, and decorate and let everyone in who arrived early. During dinner, Derrick, Jonny, AND Kyleigh were all acting so weird and quiet. I just brushed it off, and thought maybe they were being quiet to keep the secret from Derrick. Once I got the text that everything was set up & everyone had arrived, we finally headed home. Aside from Derrick nearly punching one of his friends in the face because he mistook him as an intruder in my apartment, he was very surprised and happy we pulled this off!

The evening went on and more of our friends showed up. I noticed Derrick, Jonny, and his other guy friends kept disappearing somewhere, and totally thought something was up. As midnight approached, we all did the big countdown, and we celebrated and laughed and kissed and cheered. Then all the sudden, Derrick is trying to get everyone’s attention to make some sort of speech or something. Everyone was getting out their phones, and Derrick and Jonny were standing next to each other. I figured they were going to sing or dance or do something crazy or funny, since it’s something I wouldn’t put past them to do. Maybe that’s why they kept running off somewhere, to go perform. I tried to step back into the crowd a bit as Derrick started talking, and one of my friends gently nudged me forward and smiled at me.

Derrick started making a speech and recalling all the good and some not so good things about 2015. Then he looked at me and explained how thankful he was to have me, and to have been able to fall more and more in love with me throughout the year of 2015. Then I noticed all the camera lights turning on, and Derrick dropped to one knee and asked Jonny to hand him something. In front of all our closest friends (who knew the entire time he was going to do this!!), Derrick asked me to marry him! All I could do was cry and hug him and say yes.

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Everyone had to remind me that he had a ring in his hand and was supposed to put it on me! Everyone snapped their pictures and captured the video of it, it meant so very much that they were all there. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to get engaged to my best friend, and I can’t wait to marry him in just a few months!

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Special Thanks

Kayla Walker
Photography