Matt and Colleen, High School Sweethearts!

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Matt and Colleen, High School Sweethearts!
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Matt and Colleen, High School Sweethearts!


You cannot vote for this story anymore, as this story participated in constest that ended on June 30, 2014



It all started 13 years ago at St. Mark High School in Ottawa. I sat down for my first semester of grade 9, and noticed a cute girl with pigtails sitting across me shivering. After a brief introduction and minor conversation, I noticed she was cold and offered her my sweater. Little did I know that it would be another year and a half before I could call this attractive girl my girlfriend, and once I had her, I knew this was a person I could spend the rest of my life with.

Fast forward to June 1, 2013 (three days before our anniversary), and I walked into the office at St. Mark's High School. As a supply teacher in the Catholic School Board, through my contacts I was able to find a teacher who was staying until 5 pm on the date of my proposal plan, more than enough time to get her away from work and to the school. Next, unbeknownst to her, I stopped by the veterinary clinic where she works, confirming that she could be covered to get off work early on June 13th - only an hour, but enough that she wouldn't be suspicious. Once it was confirmed, the only thing I was waiting for was the ring.

Ten days later, I was on my way back from her parent's house after asking her father's permission when my phone rang. The jeweller was calling to inform me that my mother's engagement ring - a family heirloom that had been passed down to my dad - had been touched up and refinished. Picking it up and sneaking it home, I laid the groundwork for Thursday. I started by mentioning that I would be supplying at St. Mark High School during the day, but that afterwards I would like to meet for dinner. Knowing how she would be unable to resist, I mentioned that I was craving poutine, and that there was a great chipwagon place in Manotick I wanted to try.

But of course, nothing ever goes off as planned. On the day of, I arrived at her work a little bit after 4 pm. I was informed that she wasn't able to leave before 5, despite my repeated pleas of "it's REALLY important", and "I had this all arranged beforehand!". There was nothing I could do, they were shortstaffed, and I would need to wait. As I sat in the waiting room, getting more and more anxious, the ring burning a basketball sized hole in my pocket, the texts I sent to the teacher waiting for us going unanswered, I may have started to get a little worried. When Colleen finally came out of work at 5:05 pm, I informed her that I had forgotten my laptop at St. Mark's that day, and that we would be able to go back to retrieve it before we went out for our delicious poutine.

On our way, as I regaled her with comments of "wow there are a lot of rocks in that quarry" and other informative tidbits about the surrounding environment, my mind was racing, hoping my friend would still be at the school to let us in. When we arrived, the doors were locked, but luckily, a group of custodians were working outside. As Colleen waited while I went to talk to them, my conversation went something like this:

Custodian: Sure I can let you in, I heard about what you were doing, congratulations!

Me: (my eyes bulging) Thanks! But it didn't happen yet, so let's keep that our little secret.

As we walked through the school, looking at everything from our old lockers, to classrooms where we shared memories, to reminiscing about being elected Prom King and Queen, the nostalgia was hitting Colleen pretty strongly ("this is so weird!" was uttered quite frequently) . My friend was nowhere to be found, though we did find a custodian kind enough to open the room. This became my worst nightmare, as proposing with an unsuspecting janitor looking on is not my idea of romantic. On our way to the classroom, I (thankfully!) saw my teacher friend in the hallway, frantically trying to get her phone reception. She escorted us the rest of the way, idly chatting with Colleen about what she did, how she used to be a student here, etc. - catching her hook, line, and sinker. Once she let us in, I made an attempt at pretending to look for my "forgotten" laptop while engaging her in conversation about how we met in this classroom so many years ago. As she walked over to the window, overlooking the concourse, I took her hands in mine, and told her that I didn't know that 13 years ago, when I sat down in this classroom, that I would be meeting the girl I would want to spend the rest of my life with. As I went to one knee, I heard that familiar phrase "this is SO weird!". When I asked her to marry me, her official response was "noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, YES!"

With that, I had my answer. All my planning had paid off, and the surprise was worth it. As I looked at this beautiful woman with my ring on her finger, the person I really saw was that beautiful girl I had met all those years before, who was now my fiancé, and soon to be my wife.
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