Words by Joelle

When I moved to Rhode Island, I was so ready to start a new life and make new friends. I had made a couple of good friends off dating apps, and let’s just say, I was not interested in finding love on any of these apps. One day I was scrolling through OkCupid, and I came across Alysa’s profile and was very intrigued by her passion for health and fitness and that she worked as a Personal Trainer. (Also, she looked cute, but that didn’t matter because I just wanted to make a friend, right? I had just got hired as a Personal Trainer at a local studio, so I absolutely HAD TO message her because we had so much in common! Once we started chatting, we discovered that the place I was recently hired was where she worked.

One evening I was out going to the local gay club with my friends as usual, and Alysa and I were texting. She was out with some other people from work to celebrate her birthday. She, a few drinks deep, accepted my invitation to come to meet up with me. I was nervous to meet my new co-workers, I was wearing bright purple lipstick and minimal clothing! We met, and the night was full of fun and dancing. Little did I know she thought I was crazy and wild.

After this, I was so determined to become close with Alysa. My roommate and best friend were starting to get very suspicious and kept calling me out for having a crush, which I was in complete denial of. Alysa invited me to a volleyball game, and I accepted and was way too excited to go watch a sport that I knew nothing about. We were half watching the game and half talking, and I just remember her talking about her life and her hopes and dreams with stars in her eyes. I was so amazed by her. That was it, I was hooked. And so was she.

Fast forward through months and years of us being that couple so completely in love, and obsessed with each other and we decided to do a photoshoot together as a Christmas present to each other, instead of exchange gifts. This became a belated gift because we wanted to do the shoot in summer, by the water.

After getting ready and showing up to our shoot 45 minutes late, I was ready to start modelling. We took a bunch of photos together, and Alysa told me to do some of just me which I happily agreed to as I love the camera! Little did I know, she was not watching, but texting both of our families to get them together to surprise me.

She came back, and we started to take more photos, and she kept wanting me to face the water. She stepped away from me, holding both of my hands, and I was a little confused. Is she trying to spin me around? Nope. She got down on one knee and pulled out a ring and said, “Will you marry me?”.

I was so full of emotion, and shock. I could not even speak. I literally fell on top of her and started crying. I was laughing and crying at the same time. At this point, I still hadn’t given her an answer, and so she asks again; “Is that a yes?”.

I replied, “Obviously yes!” and threw both hands at her to put on the ring because at this point I did not even know which way was up! I was shaking so much and so excited. The whole moment was a blur.

We then stood up and she turned me around. I saw both of our families were at the seawall watching everything! With the best surprise ever, we walked to our cheering families in utter bliss.

Photograpy by Mac Olink