Zoe and Montrel
How We Met
Her: The first time we met was freshman year in college at the University of Houston. I first saw him in the cafeteria between our two dorm buildings. He was on crutches for the first few weeks of the semester (the hottest, most humid months of the year, it had to have sucked to be crutching around campus at that time of year). Our friends knew each other so I had seen him eating with and talking to a few friends from back home, as well as few new ones we’d made as the semester started. Then a few weeks later I saw him in line at dinner and he wasn’t on crutches anymore. In passing I said, “Hey, you’re off of your crutches!” With a confused look on his face, he responded, “Yeahhhh…?” He always tells me that was the moment he noticed me. That was the moment he thought, “Who is that?!” Him: Later on that same day, I was hanging out with one of our mutual friends (that at the time I did not know was a mutual one). He decided to go to someone’s room to help them with their homework. I decided not to go with him, until I realized he had forgotten his backpack. So, I took the backpack up to him, and when the door was opened, guess who was waiting for me on the other side? The same girl from the cafeteria who had caught my eye. Looking back, that was a pretty big coincidence considering the size of the campus, as well as the number of students. I don’t really believe in coincidences, though *wink wink*.
How He Asked
My fiancè proposed to me during a family trip. The hotel we were staying at was only about 50 minutes away from my mom and sisters, so I thought nothing of it when my future mother-in-law asked if my family was going to come down and hang out with us during happy hour one evening. She elaborated that they were going to have some special words said for her mother, Momma Ellison (my fiancè’s grandmother), since she was the oldest living relative and it was her lineage that was attending the reunion. My family arrived and my then boyfriend was told to go help set up a few tables and chairs in a group downstairs so that everyone could be seated together. My family, his parents, and I kept talking until someone called my fiancè’s mom and told her that it was ok to start heading down. When we got down to the lobby, I noticed that everyone was already downstairs. I introduced my family and we all got seated as my fiancè’s mom made an announcement that we would all be celebrating Momma Ellison. She made a winking face to the rest of her family and I wondered, “What’s going on?!” She then proceeded to say that Montrel, my fiancé, would be the first to exchange words of gratitude. The first thing he said when he got up was, “First of all, let me say that Momma, this is not about you.” Everyone laughed and I started getting nervous as I thought, “Oh my gosh, what is happening?!” He continued to say,” What I’m going to need…is for Ms. Zoe Steele to come up here!” At this point, everyone started cheering and I really felt myself getting very hot and flushed. As I walked to the front of the group, my cheeks and ears turned red, and I got more shaky with each step. He went on to explain to everyone how the day before was our 3 year anniversary and that I had been bugging him about where my gift from him was at (it was so unlike us to not exchange gifts at the same time). He announced that since both of our families were here he could, “finally” give it to me. He got down on one knee, and I could just barely hear the words, “Will you marry me?” as the whole lobby had already erupted in cheers! Our family, and even people we didn’t know were giving us a standing ovation. I was absolutely speechless. I could barely nod my head ‘yes,’ and I only remember mouthing my affirmation instead of actually vocalizing it. I held out my left hand, and he placed the ring on my finger, stood up, and hugged me. He later told me that he was so nervous after he took the box out of his pocket upside down that he had forgotten which hand was my left! All I could do was cry, and I’m never one to cry. I couldn’t believe what had just taken place. I held onto him tight as he tried to let me go, several times. After finally releasing me, we shared our first kiss as an engaged couple.