Rachel and Kornelius
How We Met
Kornelius and I first met at a pep rally on the campus of North Carolina State University in 2010. I was a freshman and he was a junior (my mom says he robbed the cradle,lol). I attended the pep rally with my friend, Monica, and we were observing all the action from the sidelines of Harris Field. Kornelius and a basketball player from our college were hosting at the pep rally when Kornelius noticed me. He told the basketball player to invite me on stage to participate in a football throw contest. So Kornelius and I are both onstage playing the typical throw the football into the inflatable catcher. Mind you, I am doing terrible throwing the football and I’m completely embarrassing myself onstage. So once Kornelius and I finish the game I grab my free t-shirt and practically run off stage. Little did I know, Kornelius was crushing on me and made sure to introduce himself once the game was over. He came down from the stage and introduced this other male freshmen to me and tries to start small talk all awkward (this was his version of spitting game to women haha). Since he was a campus leader, he was trying to get other freshman acquainted with one another. I thought nothing of it at the time. It was not until days later when we crossed paths on the notorious “Brickyard” that he approached me once again, this time to get my number. He is a part of a fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, and used that as an excuse to get me to come to a party. I will never forget after he got my number he walked away and almost immediately texted me, “You’re so gorgeous”. So I am looking at this text and I show Monica, who I am with once again, and we both start giggling. He asked me on our first official date to the annual North Carolina State Fair. We would go on periodic dates, but we didn’t start dating for real until two years later in 2012. Once we started dating; however, I think we both started to sense we would be together forever. I still remember the first time he teased me and called me “Mrs. Bascombe”.
How He Asked
It all started with a fake photoshoot that Kornelius set up for me. It was a great way to trick me because I had just finished a hair shoot for a blogger named, Samantha (@ahfro_baang). One day I am sitting at work and I receive an email from Samantha telling me her friend is working on an editorial blog and is looking for a couple to be featured in a romantic shoot. I was thinking to myself how thoughtful of Samantha to consider us for this photoshoot! The detail that really had me hooked though was that the editorial would pay $1000 each, to both Kornelius and I. And let’s be real as a young couple living in expensive Los Angeles, $2000 is a pretty penny as some would say. I was so excited! I literally told Kornelius a second later about the opportunity. I text him saying, “BABY!!!!! READ YOUR E-MAIL!” as I had forwarded him the email I received from Samantha. Kornelius at the time sent a screenshot of what I said, to my friends and his friends, who were in on it, and they all busted out laughing hysterically, because I took the bait!
I email Samantha telling her we are definitely interested in the shoot. Later we receive an email from Myron (the photographer) who gives us more information on the shoot. The theme as he calls it was “Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Martin and Gina”. So per Myron’s instructions there is to be a test shoot that was held on July 16th and the actual shoot on July 23rd. I read further down the email and there is even more description on how we were to prepare for the actual shoot. I remember thinking to myself I have all these instructions (hair done, nails polished red, black/blue dress) and all Kornelius was instructed to do was get a haircut! I did not think much of it at the time. The excuse for having to have my nails done was there would be close up shots so my nails needed to look nice (A+ for Kornelius making sure my nails got done).
It is now July 16th, the day of the test shoot, and Kornelius and I arrive at Kenneth Hahn Park. We meet up with Myron and Myron asks us to pose as we normally do. Kornelius and I look at each other and do our normal hand around each other, instagram pose haha. Myron looks at us funny and says something like, “ok give me something else”. At that point I got nervous because I start thinking, “oh no, are we not good enough for the shoot?!”. But, Kornelius and I start to get creative and end up with some really cool pictures.
One of the last poses Myron instructs us to try is this incredibly magical spin that I am supposed to do. He explains that I am going to have roses in my hand and I have to spin like a ballerina and end up facing Kornelius in the shot. We look around us for props and grab a few leaves from a nearby tree (sorry mother nature) and I use those as fake rose petals for the test shot.
It ends up being tougher than I thought so Myron instructs me to practice this on my own time. Myron gives us a few more details regarding the photoshoot including the location which is an actual helipad and a helicopter as a prop!
The day of the photoshoot is finally here! I am very excited! I have my nails done, my hair done, and Kornelius ended up picking out the perfect dress for me, so I am all prepared. He tells me the day before the photoshoot that him and a friend have a casting call for a commercial right before the photoshoot so I have to meet him at the location of the shoot. Here I am getting ready and trying to do my makeup and hair as perfectly as possible, but I am a little upset because I don’t have my best friend, Kornelius, to give me a second opinion or tell me I look good. I start stressing out like any female because now I am running a little late. I grab all of my extra makeup, shoes, and coat and head to the photoshoot. I arrive and Kornelius is happier than ever and I am still a little stressed because I’m hoping I look okay. He tries to cheer me up by getting me to dance around and just play around with him. As we head into the building, we are greeted by the helicopter pilot on our way up to the roof. I get up there and the view is AMAZING! There is an astonishing view of the Los Angeles skyline with the helicopter in the foreground. We start to take some pictures and the vibe was perfect. I truly get the feeling we are Mr. and Mrs. Smith and we are owning this photoshoot!
What made the shoot even more amazing is that part of the sky was a blood-orange color because of a huge fire going on in LA. The time has finally come for the signature pose of me tossing the rose petals. I begin to prepare myself mentally and hope I don’t embarrass myself in my four inch heels (or accidently twist my ankle haha). Myron hands me the rose petals and I clinch them as tight as possible in my hands. He places me and Kornelius in our positions and tells me to do one practice run. I try out my spin in hopes that I am ready for the real thing. So here it is, the signature pose and no more trials! I plant my feet and grasp the rose petals as tight as possible. I begin the spin and the next thing you know I scream as I see Kornelius down on one knee.
I am literally in shock I grab his hand because my legs start to feel like jello and I don’t know if I can even stand at this point (I think I almost passed out)! The special moment was here and I am just so excited and happy. All I could do was smile back at him! We literally stare at each other for thirty seconds not saying anything (not captured in video) as we both realize what’s happening. Then he begins to speak and the next thing I know I start balling.
He says some of the sweetest words and I begin to feel like I am in a dream. I then hear him say my full name and I sort of wake up and hear him ask me to marry him. Of course I say yes, and he immediately stands up, kisses me, and yells to the world, “She said Yesssss!”
Looking back on this moment, we have both fallen in love with the fact that neither of us realized he forgot to give me the ring, but instead we were just so elated to be spending the rest of our lives with each other!
And to be honest, Kornelius is the the type of person that goes above and beyond for someone. It is the characteristic I admire about him the most and even makes me look up to him in a way. What he pulled off for the proposal amazes me and I think I’m still in shock. But, the great thing about him is that he shows me that level of love every day. He makes me a very lucky woman and I cannot wait to be Mrs. Bascombe!