Matt and I met in 2008 while student teaching across the hall from one another. Within a few months of dating, we had both accepted teaching positions in Northern Alberta, and promptly drove across the country to begin our new adventure. It was during our second Christmas home that Matt proposed in the parking lot of the place where we first met.
Matt had begun writing a short story in September of 2009 that morphed into a 200 page novel in October. I cheered him on and read each chapter as he completed it.
Christmas Eve morning Matt and I headed to the middle school in Milford where we were supposed to meet up with a teacher friend we had. When we got to the school no one was there, so we pulled over to wait because we were early (or so I thought). Suddenly, he hands me a wrapped box and I’m so excited because I think I’m getting my Christmas gift early (not surprising, as we usually exchange early due to our awful secret keeping skills). But, as I unwrap it, there’s his novel… the same novel I helped him bind! I was a bit confused, until he pointed to the ACE playing card stuck into the pages. I turned to the page, a scene in his novel when the main character is proposing to the lady he is dating, and in bold red letters:
The main character's name was scratched out and replaced with my own!
I looked over, and there he was in the driver’s seat, smiling with the ring case opened and ready to repeat out loud what I had just read. I started to giggle, the ring went on, and phone calls were made.
Turns out, he had started writing the story with the proposal in mind, and the two main characters are actually loosely based on the two of us.
We’re getting married on July 9th, 2011 at White Point Beach Resort. The photo above was taken this summer at Oakfield Park, by Trevor Allen Photography.
*As told by Christi Budd, with edits.