William Walker – The Quintessential Boy-Meets-Girl Story
Couple’s Love Song: Coming Home by Leon Bridges
While Rachel and I may fall into the quintessential boy-meets-girl story, we have almost too many coincidences that make it seem that we were truly destined to be together. Before I touch on those, I will start with the day we first met: January 19, 2013. I had just returned from a semester working abroad as an intern at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and was excited to return to my life at Arizona State: rowing, my fraternity and Rotary. I received a text message from Sarah-Rae, a girl in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority that frequented many of our Delta Tau Delta parties, asking me if I would be interested in joining the AGD Date Night with her “little”. Assuming she meant Monique, who I had met before and as I thought her only little, I said sure – as I was purely amazed by the fact that her little has wanted someone “fun” and Sarah-Rae thought of me.
I came to find out that it was not Monique she was talking about. It was a girl named Rachel. As any sensible millennial I quickly Facebook-stalked her profile and learned that she grew up about 30 minutes from my hometown of Maple Valley, Washington, and shared one of my majors, Global Studies. Of course I did not bring this up when we first met that night – hoping that I could save it for last should the conversation ran low. After being picked up by Sarah-Rae, we met at Rachel’s on-campus apartment where the pre-game was taking place. Being locked out, we waited at the gate for Rachel to come down. And there she was, a tall, sun-kissed blonde bombshell…who quickly let us in and proceeded to walk outside on the phone without so much as a “hello”. A great first impression. But fortunately I was not there to fall in love, and instead continued upstairs to uncork my bottle of tequila.
But as we finally began to talk (my brothers pushing me to talk to her, her sisters insisting she not ignore me), we found that we had many common interests. She was a French and Global Studies major, I international business and Global studies, she had a strong interest of pursuing a career abroad like me, we both enjoyed running and talking about dogs.
From that first night, we began, almost subconsciously, to build our futures around one another. Toward our senior year, we took the GRE exam together and despite my scores (I remember her holding me after my exam was over, four hours of silence), we both received scholarships to the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. After surviving two years of graduate school and finding employment before graduation, we set out on a two-month European trip, visiting London, Turkey, Italy and France. While in high school I was a Rotary youth exchange student in Izmir, Turkey and had grown very close with my host family. So close, that while in Turkey, they had given me the keys to their summer house in Cesme, and on the night of May 31, 2016 around midnight, I proposed.
Going back to the coincidences I mentioned, we’ve come to learn some odd fun facts about our relationship: Rachel and I were both born at Valley Medical Center in Renton, Washington and are both one of four siblings; we have parents that work at Boeing (my mom and her dad had actually worked together once before we had even met), her parents are Jim and Donna, and mine are Tim and Dawn. She ran cross country in high school and regularly raced against my school – in her photos I see friends of mine running alongside her. She also raced in Maple Valley and has a photo from 2009 at a park that was across the lake from my neighborhood, where I regularly walked my dog. At Arizona State, we lived at the same housing complex and she recalls regularly seeing a tall guy in line buying pretzels (a favorite snack of mine freshman year). I was friends with her big sister, Sarah-Rae, almost the first week of my freshman year because of joining Delta Tau Delta, but Rachel was always too busy or unavailable to come to our parties. I think that in our 26 and 25 years of life we had numerous of opportunities to meet, and in some cases were mere steps away from one another, but fate waited until it was the right time for both of us to come together.