"One snowy January night, I decided to go to my friend's 21st birthday party. The party was Panama-themed, so naturally I was wearing a turquoise tube top in the dead of winter. Apparently this was a good choice, since it caught the attention of one guy in particular.
As soon as I got to the party, my friend approached me, telling me his friend thought I was really cute. I didn't think much of it but was curious as to who this mysterious guy was and if I would think he was cute too. Throughout the party, several acquaintances kept on telling me that their friend wanted to talk to me, but I still had no idea who they were referring to. After several hours, he finally built up the courage to approach me.
I remember it like it was yesterday — we were in the kitchen when he finally said, "hi." It was surreal, there we were at a loud house party, and I felt as if we were the only two people there. It was like we were in a movie and the camera was zooming in on us. Our conversation was natural, it just kept on flowing and felt right. We talked about the basics like our majors, years, where we were from, and in that moment I felt safe.
I usually shrug off guys that approach me, but this time it felt different. Unfortunately our conversation was cut short because he had to leave with his friends, but he asked for my number and we continued texting all night.
The next day I got a call from him. I instantly froze. I was thinking to myself, "Oh crap, it's him. Who calls nowadays? Who is this guy? What's his deal? What do I say?" I purposely let it go to voicemail and listened to it over and over again. He asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner that night. I was shocked. It was the sweetest voicemail I've ever received.
I am usually the type of person who never goes on dates with someone I don't know, but I agreed to go. The next day he picked me up and we went to Judie's. It was the best decision I ever made. We talked for hours, until I had to go because I was the RA on duty that night and needed to be back at the residence hall. I remember leaving that date, giving him a hug, feeling amazing, and wishing I didn't have to leave.
From there on, our love grew. We spent the entirety of our last semester at UMass together. We found out we had a ton of mutual friends and connected friend groups to build new bonds. We went to movies at the Hampshire Mall, bowling in Noho, waited out blizzards in OHill, and partied it up at the Townhouses. It was the best time of my life and he made it even more memorable.
Kyle has always had my back. He's my best friend, partner, and my number one supporter. It's been four years since we made it official. I can't imagine my life without him now. Life works in mysterious ways and I often wonder about the fact that if Kyle didn't study abroad in Paris, he wouldn't have met our mutual friends, and I wouldn't have met him.
I'm sure he's as happy that he studied abroad as much as I am that I agreed to go on a date with this complete stranger. I'll never forget that night. UMass brought us together and we still go back to visit Judie's and reminisce about our first date. Happy Four Years, Kyle. I love you."
- Elisa Ungaro