Three years ago I left my family, my friends, everything I knew in search of love and happiness. I lived in Connecticut my entire life and felt like I didn’t belong. I lived in Miami for less than three months when I started to volunteer for a non profit organization organizing their yearly gala. Thats when I meet him, Jeremy Mason. I first heard him speak on the phone and I was so intimidated by him, though I never saw his face - he spoke so eloquently and refined. It wasn’t until one fateful night that my friend Kevin dragged me out to “Gay Bingo” where drag queens called out the bingo numbers and they offered shots to all who participated. Thats when I saw him, and I will never forget that moment. The first thing I noticed was his piercing green eyes and bright smile. I felt a spark between us even though I convinced myself he wasn’t my type. I enjoyed seeing him blush as I flashed my pearly whites. It felt good to have someone so smart be so smitten over me. It was then I invited him for tacos with my friends. And right when we got to tacos, I realized that I never put more money in the parking meter! So I left, not even leaving him a glass slipper. I did however take the taco.
Jeremy was persistent. He invited me to the beach which I later cancelled to travel back to Connecticuit for the birth of my nephew. When I came back, we finally had the opportunity to open up at a birthday party my friend threw for me . It was then we got lost in each others eyes. We spoke about our dreams, our ambitions, where we wanted to travel. That night was the first time we kissed and from then on we were together everyday. We had long talks in a bathtub filled with candles, explored parts of Florida I had never seen. It wasn’t until he left on a weeklong work trip that I started to realize I was falling In love. I needed to show Jeremy my feelings, but how? Then one of the most memorable things happened, the night of the balloons. When Jeremy came back I left a note hanging that said “pop each balloon with fork and read the messages inside”. I hung balloons from the ceiling leading up to the bedroom. When he popped each ballon confetti would burst out and each one had a message. When he reached the bedroom it was filled with candles and Sam Smith “Lay Me Down” was playing. That was the first time we danced to that song. A month later under a pink and orange Miami sunset we said “I love you” for the first time.
The Next Step
Fast forward moving in together, meeting our families, and making a life together - we talked about the next step, engagement. I’ve dreamt of getting married since I was a little boy playing with flowers in my father’s garden and I knew Jeremy was the one. So I waited for him to ask me. Until one day I told my sister I wanted to beat him to it. “You know this is the 10th time you told me this, Chris. You’re going to do it, I know you!” she said. It was then I realized what I had to do and a week later I had a ring in my hand and the planning process began. It was one of the most stressful, nerve racking, emotional times in my life. I planned every detail. I would recreate the moment with the balloons but this time the messages would have a location where something significant happened in our relationship. The last balloon however was a new location, the location was where I would wait for him. Underneath that balloon I would lay out his clothes I bought for him and his travel journal he wrote in when he traveled in Asia. I would write a love letter hinting what was going to happen next and tell him to meet me at the location written in the message. When he reached the location a violinist would play our song – “Lay Me Down”– and I would be waiting under a beautiful floral installation (made by me of course) and a massive muslin scroll with the letter I wrote, written by a calligrapher. The morning of the proposal I woke up. I had never been so happy or ready in my entire life. As While I created the floral installation alone, and I reminisced on all the memories we had made together. After today we would start a new chapter.
Remember the first time we got lost in each other’s eyes? The whole world melted around us and nothing was left but you and me. Since that day every embrace, every kiss, every memory has written a love story named after us. Since I meet you my life has been an adventure, one I never thought was possible. Our love is written in the stars and there are moments we have spent together that some only read about in books and hear in love songs. You have always looked for adventure, and I ask are you ready for the next chapter? Do you take me forever? This time I leave you with something to find me, maybe not a glass slipper but a trail of balloons leading to an address. There I will be waiting.
As my photo was being taken inside the venue I could see his car pull in to the parking lot. My heart dropped – it was go time. I ran through the courtyard to where my most beautiful creation, built with love, was waiting. As I stood there, ring in hand, I could hear the door from the courtyard open and close. “He’s here!” I could hear someone say. That’s when the violinist started playing and I could see him walking towards me in awe and disbelief. I grabbed his hand and said the words I had practiced a hundred times. It wasn’t until I said “Will you make me the happiest man alive…” where everything turned vivid and then melted away where nothing was left but Jeremy. His eyes were the same piercing green I had seen when I saw him for the first time, and for a moment I felt like I relived that moment. Only this time I was in love and I was about to ask him to take me forever. “…And marry me” I said, finishing my sentence as I went on one knee. Everything after that was a blur. I remember hearing him say yes and hugging him. We both shook as we held each other crying. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with joy I couldn’t stop kissing him. This was it, the moment we had been waiting for and it was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
Today, Tomorrow, Forever
I am so lucky for far more than this beautiful story that has unfolded. I meet my prince and he is far better than I had ever dreamt. I don’t know how our story will continue. We haven’t decided on a wedding date or picked out colors, but we have the rest of our lives to have a wedding. We are just enjoying this moment, dreaming of forever. Jeremy, you are far more than any fairytale prince, more than a dream engagement. I have the privilege of waking up everyday with you next to me and growing old with you. I love you, now and forever.