Long Beach, Calif. This is where Maria and I met after a Jehovah's Witness convention. A mutual friend invited me to hang out with a group of his friends over dinner. Within that group was a quiet, meek and yet cute girl. She didn't say a word and faded into the laughs and chatter of the group. Afterwards, we shaked hands and left. I don't recall how we added each other on Facebook and started liking our self-portraits of each other. Little did I know that just like me, she loved photographing as a hobby. We started to chat over the messenger about photography, music and other random things. We knew from right from the start that we had feelings for one another but we were patient and enjoyed our friendship as much as possible. After all she lived in Anaheim and I lived in Escondido.


After a year of friendship, we took the leap and told each other how we felt and it was beautiful. Our dates consisted of photo collaborations, photo projects, parties, social gatherings, sight seeing and exploring. When we would go on dates, I would of observe her how she carried herself with my friends and family and realized this is no girl, this is a woman! After a month of dating, I bought the ring because I knew what I had found. The love of my life.


I finally proposed to her after a botched surprise proposal that I ruined. I figured, 'I'll propose to her when its right.' The moment didn't take long. Maria picked up my mom from Fullerton after her shift and drove her down to Escondido where we lived. When she arrived, the sun was setting on my driveway and when she came out of the car. The light hit her like it was meant for her. My heart started pounding and I ran to my get my ring and ran back outside and got in one knee.