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Brian and I had locked eyes back in 1999 while on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Caribbean. I was eighteen, he was twenty-two, and we were both with our friends and families enjoying our vacation. I had just graduated high school, and he was headed to the police academy. We spent the entire week together, and when we had to part ways, we exchanged emails.
I went back to Chicago, and he went back to New Jersey. We wrote to each other a few times while I attended college in Indiana, but we never seemed to be able to work it out to see each other. I graduated and moved back to Chicago with my boyfriend at the time. During that five year relationship, he sent a Christmas card to my mother's home, formerly where I was living, and my mother passed it on to me. We sent a few more friendly emails, and then the connection again drifted off.
After breaking up with my then boyfriend, on a whim, I moved to Oregon to do something different! Three months after moving there in 2005, Brian contacted me via text message while I was on my way to work. He said, "Is this Adrienne?" I didn't recognize the number, but I replied, "Yes, who is this?" He then said back, "Do you remember a cop from a cruise?" I almost fainted! All these years I had never changed my cell phone number, and he had kept it. He had also saved my emails as well. That night we talked for hours and hours just catching up. We spoke everyday for three months until one day he wanted to fly me out to see him in New Jersey. I was excited, yet nervous to see him after seven years.
I spent five days on the East Coast with him, and feel hard for him. A few months passed by, and my feelings grew stronger. I flew out again, though this time we said, "I love you." Things got complicated, though we decided to try this 3000 mile relationship. It was hard, but I had never felt this way about anyone. We spoke numerous times every day. Our friends all thought we were nuts! We travelled back and forth every other month.
A year later, when he came to see me, we hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls where he asked me to move to New Jersey to take our relationship to the next level. I moved four months later, leaving my Oregon life behind. In August 2008, we went on another Royal Caribbean cruise. He got down on one knee while we were alone, and proposed to me where we met. I cried. It was the most perfect proposal! The next night the ship decorated our room with rose petals and left a bucket of champagne, and at dinner that night, the wait staff sang and presented us with a cake. It was love made on the high seas! Whenever I tell the story, no one can believe me. Distance does make the heart grow fonder and stronger - we are living proof!