From Taz: I was the manager at an animal shelter and Jessica was the new trainee. At first, I didn’t really notice her, other than the fact that she was shy and a fast learner, much like myself. As the second day went on and I was talking with some of my other employees I noticed she was laughing at what I was saying. The way she smiled and giggled at something stupid was so cute and made me smile like I hadn’t smiled in a very long time. From then on I started to pay more attention to her, trying to decide if she played for the same team that I did, but alas, I could not get a definite vibe. With that in mind I invited her to play softball with some of the other workers and myself and to my delight she agreed.
At first it was fun, but I grew more and more intrigued by this incredible woman before me and I knew I had to find out more about her. Then one day the opportunity came to play never have I ever, as the other workers were tired and did not walk to play ball that day. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity I outed myself, and in turn, made her come out as well. Now that I knew we had several things in common I was even more determined to get to know her on a personal level outside of our professional relationship.
As time passed we became more comfortable around each other and the small flirting began. That is until the day that really changed everything, the day that made us both blush. It was when everyone else had left after playing ball and the sun still shone brightly above us that we decided to stay later. We sat on opposite ends of the bench by the field and discussed likes, dislikes, dreams and plans for the future. Then the flirting really began as we threw pine straws and grass at each other between trying to decide what the clouds above us looked like. Time seemed to fly by all the while and before we knew it the sun was starting to make its descent in the distance. After that day we started to spend most days together for several hours just sitting there, even in silence it was magical. I knew that I was starting to fall for this woman, but I wasn’t sure if the feelings were mutual or if a friend was all I would ever be to her.
We both have a love for musicals and a new one had just come out that neither of us had seen so we decided we would go and see it together. October 8, 2012 we met in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Kitty Hawk and she got in my truck so we could go get a bite to eat before the movie. We decided on pizza and stopped at a little pizza place right up the road and had a slice. We still had plenty of time before the movie so we got a 6 pack of Green Apple Smirnoff and sat in the theater parking lot playing 21 questions while sipping on a drink. After making a pit stop at Kmart we went in to see Pitch Perfect and it was perfect. Holding hands in the dark, shaking from nerves and enjoying just being there, it was shaping up to be a great night, rain and all. After the movie we went back to the parking lot of Wal-Mart so she could head home, but before she got out of the truck I stood in the rain to wipe away her tears. Tears that came from the fear of change and something new, tears that I knew had ensured my place in the friend zone, but I didn’t care. I knew I would be here for her no matter what zone I was in. After almost a month the friend zone lifted and I move into the girlfriend zone and from there I knew I would never let her go.
Almost 2 years of being together, 6 animals and 1 house later I decided it was time to propose. I found a ring online, paid it off and had it on the way while conspiring with our friend from the shelter, Christina, on the proposal. Well, the ring finally came in the day I was to propose and was the wrong size and looked awful so I used my class ring as a substitute and went ahead with the planning. I knew I wanted to do it at the softball field where we spent a good portion of our time early on as a couple. I made a total of 5 signs that said; This is where we first clicked…Between the pine straws and clouds…And the sparkle in your eyes…This is where I fell in love…This is where I gave you my heart. I had also written Marry Me? in the dirt on the softball field and as she walked towards me I dropped each sign, one at a time, making her move closer to the spot where the marry me was written. When we got to that spot I got down on one knee and asked her to say yes and I promised to fix the ring issue and make her happy for as long as she would have me. I was so excited when she said yes that I got up and squeezed her in my arms and just held her close to me, this woman of my dreams.