The Sunkissed Life


Jahara Stevenson

Saturday morning I woke up to an empty house. This was confusing to me because when I went to sleep my house was full of sleeping guests. I woke up to silence from everywhere, even from my puppy who is usually whining and groaning all morning. I poked my head out and looked around the apartment. There was no sign of anyone, so I curled back up in my bed turned on the Real Housewives of Orange County and blew up all of my friend's phones for three hours. Finally someone responded and everyone was too busy to hang out with me. As I layed in bed my girlfriend finally came home. She got in the bed and watched this crazy reality tv with me as we planned where to eat because I was starving. So I get ready and we decide to dress up and get super cute for our date. In my mind this is just a normal date day for us. We leave the house and it was pouring rain and I was nervous because the highway was hectic. We get to Norfolk and I hear our song playing over the radio and she hands me the first letter she gave me after we started dating. I was tearing up but still just assumed we were going on a romantic date. I closed my eyes and decided to be surprised on where we were going. We parked and I open my eyes and we are at the Chrysler museum. This is my favorite place in Norfolk but I was very confused because it was about to close and we were supposed to be eating. We ran like we were in a marathon through what felt like a typhoon. Running through puddles splashing all the way up my legs, we made it inside. We headed upstairs to the exhibits and made a pit stop at the doodle station. We wrote a letter to leave on the wall and we hung them up. Once I stepped back I realized there was a note with the lyrics to "our song" next to our letters. I was still slightly confused and just thought it was a cute coincidence. We began to enter the exhibit room and I heard our song playing. All of a sudden I looked up and saw 11 of our closest friends and a photographer and began piecing together what was going on. We took our jackets off and the water works immediately kicked in. I was trying to hold myself together as I listen to her tell me how amazing this past year and a half has been and how happy I make her. She looks at the wall where there was a huge elephant art piece and under it a fixture with a vase of white roses and sunflowers and said, "You like elephants, you like flowers, and you like me" she got down on one knee and told me it would be an honor and a privilege to spend the rest of her life with me. She reached over, grabbed the ring box and opened it. Without hesitation I squealed unintentionally. Everyone laughed, and she proceeded to ask me to marry her. Without even having to think twice I said yes through a fog of tears. In that moment I felt I was making the best decision of my life. I felt so confident and proud. Once she placed the ring on my finger, I realized it was the exact ring I fell in love with last year in a jewelry store where I thought there was no chance of me every getting to have that ring. It was everything I wanted in a piece of jewelry and I thought I would never see it again. Then I found out she bought it the day I found it and fell in love and has had it for over a year now. She always knew she was going to marry me and that made the entire moment even stronger. The people there were such staple friends in our lives and apart of our everyday lives. I couldn't have been any happier than I was in that moment. And just like she said, I love elephants, I love those flowers, and I love her. I am so excited to spend my forever with her and plan the best day of our lives. Knowing how I felt that day makes me so excited for our next special day where we get to say I do. There is no better feeling than knowing you have found the one that your heart loves. This is going to be a rollercoaster ride with many bumps, humps, and loops but I am so excited to have her by my side and we are on our way to #becomingbowen #frombridetobowen