Rashaad and Jasmine

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How We Met

We’ve known each other ever since high school. He was a junior and I was a sophomore, and we both held high-ranking positions in our local Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) high school chapter. Most days we never crossed paths with each. It wasn’t until Rashaad and I started spending more time around each other after school that we knew we had a special connection. We would linger in the hallways after our FBLA meetings flirting with one another. He would flirt with me and I would naturally flirt back with him; however it wasn’t anything serious up to this point… we promise! This would soon all change at the end of our Fall semester however.

During our Annual Fall FBLA Leadership Conference our lives would be forever changed for the better. One night during the conference at the University of Georgia Gameday Hotel Center, Rashaad and I kissed. It was actually during a game of “truth or dare.” He dared me, and the rest is history! We ended up going our separate ways after high school attending different colleges. However, graduating from different colleges couldn’t stop our love. We would soon get together after undergrad and never look back.

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How He Asked

I love surprises. I even once surprised Rashaad with a birthday dinner complete with friends and family for his 26th. However this time, the tables were turned. After one month into my first year of teaching, Rashaad surprised me with a trip out of town. There were little details provided, however Rashaad told me he wanted to take us on a road trip (as we’ve done before in the past) to celebrate the Labor Day Weekend, and my first successful month of teaching. I was thrilled!

I packed my bag (the morning of our “road trip”) and was ready to start our Labor Day Weekend. When he got to my house to pick me up at 6:15am Saturday morning on September 3rd, I wasn’t quite ready like I was supposed to be. We were “supposedly” scheduled to pick up a rental car from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport no later than by 7:00am. Seeing that we were going to miss our 7:00am deadline, Rashaad continues to say to me, “Babe can you please hurry up so we won’t be late picking up our car?” To Rashaad’s dismay, I continue to take my time and we leave the house around 7:15am.

We’re finally on the road, and Rashaad is speeding towards the airport. He is literally flying down the highway like a bat out of hell. A few minutes later, he pulls into the airport area and suddenly veers away from the rental car terminal. He goes towards the airport parking deck instead. I screamed, “Rashaad, what are you doing? You missed your turn!” He politely turns to me and says, “Are you ready to exercise, because we’ll need to run to the terminal in order to catch our 8:00am flight via Southwest Airlines?” I was in total disbelief. Rashaad tricked me into thinking we were going on another road trip when in reality we were flying out of Atlanta instead. “But where could we be going…” I thought to myself. I pleaded with Rashaad for an answer, but he would only say… “Babe, we’re running late and we’ll need to run to the gate to catch our plane before it takes off.” We parked the car and proceeded to pick up our tickets at the Southwest Terminal.

Since I thought we were going on a road trip, I packed as I normally would with standard (non-travel size) containers and liquids. Now that we were flying I knew I needed to check my bag in to avoid losing my non-travel sized items during the TSA screening. Unfortunately, we were running 45-minutes late and there was no guarantee my bag would make it to our plane in time before takeoff. So Rashaad insisted that we proceed towards the nearest gate and go directly through security with our carry-on bags in tow. It was a failure. I lost just about all my precious (non-travel size) fragrances and lotions including those from Bath and Body Works and Victoria Secret (my absolute favorites). I was heated to say the least. However Rashaad was right; we saved time by avoiding checking in our bags. Shortly after being screened, we ran all the way through the airport to reach our gate and successfully boarded the plane just as the doors were being shut. We were relieved. We successfully boarded our flight just in the nick of time.

Shortly upon catching my breath after takeoff, I finally learned the destination of our “surprise” flight. We were headed to our Nation’s Capital of Washington, DC. I had never been to the District, however I always wanted to go. From this moment forward, I was absolutely pumped. I could care less about losing expensive lotions and perfumes earlier in the day… I was going to Washington, DC with the love of my life.

Rashaad insisted we had an action packed agenda as well, and needed to stay on track if we wanted to see all the important monuments throughout the day. We started off the morning eating brunch at the famous Washingtonian mimosa restaurant, Busboys and Poets. We then stopped by the White House and Washington Monument on the National Mall. Later we would stop by Pentagon City to do some quick shopping that afternoon. Everything was so much fun. Rashaad continue to insinuate throughout the day that he had some special dinner planned for us somewhere in the city later that night. The evening finally came and we were both dressed to impress. I had on my newly purchased black dress, and Rashaad had on a dapper pair of black suede loafers and a costumed tailored navy blue suit. We were ready to take on the city and enjoy our night.

Rashaad orders an Uber and escorts me inside the blacked-out Chevrolet Suburban. He helps me up into the large SUV, however tells me he forgot his wallet. He closes the car door and heads back upstairs. Rashaad NEVER forgets anything however. How could he forget his wallet? I just did not get it.
After about a 10-15 minute wait (which seemed like forever), Rashaad returned back to the car. The driver unexpectedly exits his truck and meets Rashaad car side. The two exchanged words with one another in a secretively manner (hands covering their mouths, etc.) and Rashaad jumps into the back of SUV again. Next thing I know, Rashaad is leaning over and whispering, “Babe, I love you. I need you to wear this blindfold. I don’t want you to see the entrance of the restaurant. It’s absolutely beautiful.” I obliged and Rashaad quickly puts the blindfold over my eyes. He places my hands onto his arm understanding I wanted to feel safe and secure. He consoles me and continues to whisper, “Babe, I love you…” over and over.

The suburban finally stops and we’re at our destination. Rashaad helps me out of the SUV as I am still blindfolded, and begins walking me somewhere. We walked and walked some more. It was somewhat bumpy and even had a few stairs along the way. I could hear people all around me. “Were we finally in the restaurant?” I thought to myself.

Rashaad then whispers into my ear again and says, “I love you babe. I will see you at the top.” He takes off my blindfold and I am in total disbelief. I instantly begin crying. I was standing in front of my cousin-turned-sister, Shay. She grabs my hand and we head up to the top of the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. Friends and family members line the stairs holding up signs detailing important events and significant dates about Rashaad and I’s relationship… the first time we kissed back in high school, when we said, “I love you’s” with each other, etc. It was so memorable and heart throbbing. It made my heart melt!

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At the top of the stairs, Shay finally let’s go and Rashaad takes charge. Standing perfectly like the heaven-sent man he is, Rashaad grabs my hand, brings me close, and professes his love to me in front of a crowd of hundreds. It was surreal. Rashaad then drops on one knee and asks, “Will you marry me?” I said, “Hell yes” and the rest is history!

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Apparently everyone knew about this date (codename “The Best Day Ever”) for months! He bought me flowers and took everyone out to eat for dinner afterwards. He even flew his good friend and fraternity brother, Khiray Richards, up to DC to film and record the entire thing. It was honestly the best day of my life, to date anyway (until the day I say “I do” of course). I absolutely cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and love of my life! Rashaad and I would like to give thanks and praise to our personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; through Him all light shines! #OwensForeverAfter

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Special Thanks

Khiray Richards
photographer and videographer