We like to think our story begins in 1996, when we starred together in Waterman Elementary’s production of Blame It On The Wolf, in which the Big Bad Wolf (Caite) stands trial for all of her misdeeds against various fairy tale characters, like the lumberjack from Little Red Riding Hood (Brian). Unfortunately, memory being what it is, the most we can recall from that time is a few off-stage flirtations.
The real story starts in the spring of 1999, when we were placed in the same eighth grade math class. Caite sat in the second row and Brian sat directly behind her—continually kicking her chair—in the third. Those kicks, coupled with the way Brian would say Caite’s full name to get her attention (and also his giant smile), were enough to render her smitten. After a lot of AIM conversations, a highly orchestrated murder mystery party and a couple of months, he asked her out via AIM in late May.
Cut to the following spring—after we’d gone to homecoming, written each other approximately 6,000 notes during class, survived Y2K—things started to fizzle out and Brian broke up with Caite for an older (15-year-old) woman. (Sorry, B. I just think these nice folks deserve to know the truth.)
But we stayed friends. We went to prom together our senior year and were the last two people on the dance floor that night. We kept in touch through college and while we transitioned into adulthood. It was never more than an e-mail here or a holiday visit there, but we kept hold of a special place in each other’s hearts.
Then, in 2013, we found ourselves discussing the possibility of once again being more than friends. It turned out that was a premature notion. Our hearts were already there, but it would take a few more years to get our heads around the idea. In 2016, after a lot of text message conversations, a highly orchestrated murder mystery party and a couple of months, Brian asked Caite to be his girlfriend in mid-October, 17 years to the day that we had our first kiss.