August 31st, 2024
The Barn at Graver's Tree Farm
841 Dairy Rd
Tamaqua PA, 18252
How We Met
Covid-19 hit the world with a shock in March 2020, which resulted in limited to no social gatherings, jobs closed, and people bored out of their minds. Citizens were advised not to leave their homes, to stay a maximum of six feet apart, and to wear masks whenever surrounded by people. It was the epidemic that hit the world of all people of all ages, thus shutting down normalcy and fun.
Yet, it didn’t stop the Jimmerson household from hosting its annual Fourth of July party. Think again, Covid.
It was July 4th 2020, and Brenna had just worked her eight hour shift. Her friend Travis had insisted that she come over to his girlfriend’s house to celebrate the holiday. Travis was Brenna’s high school friend whom she hadn’t seen in a while. Brenna obliged, deciding to visit the party. She planned to stay two to three hours max. Little did she know that she’d stay until 6AM the next morning deep in conversation with an attractive stranger.
Upon arriving at 5PM, there was food, music, games in the backyard, and lots and lots of drinks. When Brenna was told where the wine station was, she happily helped herself.
Throughout the evening, Brenna was so immersed in talking to Travis and his girlfriend Leah and playing with the little kids that she didn’t really pay attention to Ryan until later that evening.
However, Ryan did take notice of her, and he liked what he saw. He didn’t know who she was or know anything about her. She wasn’t family or else he would have met her before. He only knew that she was Travis’ high school friend. That much was obvious. Though he liked her in those pants and that smile she wore, he didn’t approach her. Not yet anyway.
The rest of the night continued, and by this time, it was dark enough for fireworks to begin. The men were the ones to light the fireworks, telling the women and children to step back. There were screams and shouts of joy and awe at the pretty colors. Sparklers in their hands, Brenna, Travis, Leah, and a few others carved their names into the darkness and waved their hands around. Some pretended their sparklers were swords, wands, and light sabers.
At some point, a fold-out, white table was set up with red, plastic cups on each side. By this time, Brenna’s social battery was nearing the end of her night. She still wasn’t sober yet to drive home though. From the sides, she decided to watch the beer pong game, not wanting to participate. She hadn’t played beer pong a day in her life, and she doubted she’d be good at it.
As for Ryan, he was drinking his beer, and he was feeling good. Then his friend Eric bailed, deciding not to be his beer pong partner. Ryan looked at the attractive friend of Travis’. He knew her name was Brenna. “Brenna, you’re my partner,” he said to her.
Brenna looked at him in disbelief. “Are you sure?” she asked him. “I’ve never played a day in my life.”
“You do what you can, and I’ll do the rest. I’ve played many times before. I’ll make sure we win.” Brenna looked at Ryan, relieved that he knew what he was doing. Of course, she tried to not have her eyes linger longer than they needed to.
“Okay,” she said. I’ll stay awhile, she thought.
As the game began, Brenna surprisingly wasn’t bad at peer pong. On the contrary, she was pretty good. As for Ryan, the beer was not enough to save his performance. To be frank, it was Brenna, the beer pong newbie, who was leading the team. This caught Ryan’s attention. Her talent only confirmed her attractiveness if that were remotely possible. If that wasn’t God’s sign to notice her, he didn’t know what was.
“I thought you were the one who’s played countless times,” Brenna teased. “What’s your excuse?”
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Ryan replied, dumbfounded by how badly he was playing.
Each time Brenna made the ping pong ball into the red cup, Ryan looked at her impressed. Yet, he wouldn’t let her know that. Besides, he was supposed to be the skilled player here. Brenna continued to lead the team, and she didn’t let Ryan live it down.
After the game, Ryan and Brenna were in the backyard, talking. Most people had left the party between 2 and 3AM. Ryan looked at his watch wondering how Brenna was still here engaged in a conversation with him. At that point, Travis and Leah had long gone to bed. His friends had left, too.
“You can leave if you need to,” he told her.
“I want to stay and help clean,” said Brenna.
Ryan was taken aback by her answer. Most girls he liked or dated wouldn’t have stayed to help clean. Though Brenna did mean it when she said she wanted to stay and help tidy up, she still did it with selfish reasons. Truth be told, she wanted to continue getting to know Ryan a little more.
When they were cleaning, they continued their conversation, not missing a beat. At some point, they had made it to the front of the house in the driveway. Somewhere in the back-and-forth banter, they got onto the topic of ticklish spots. Ryan would guess a spot and try to tickle her to no avail.
“Okay,” she said, “I have ticklish knees.” Knowing this, Ryan began to tickle her knees through her ripped jeans. “Stop it,” she said half-heartedly. Ryan persisted, and she twisted her body to avoid the torture. At some point her glasses had come off of her shirt, and Ryan stepped on them.
“My glasses!” she said. Ryan realized they had fallen, and he accidentally stepped on them.
Brenna tried not to let herself get too angry, but she didn’t need her glasses broken. The one leg was slightly angled now, and she picked it up to try to fix it.
“Here, let me try,” Ryan said trying to fix the glasses as best as he could. “Sorry about that,” he said as he handed them back to her.
“It’s okay,” Brenna said, her annoyance slipping away. “Thank you.”
Ryan asked her what time it was, and Brenna checked. It was 6AM.
“I guess we should leave," said Ryan "I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.”
“Yeah, I should probably head home," agreed Brenna.
The two stared at each other awkwardly, not knowing who would make the first move. Brenna swayed on the heel of her foot.
Ryan looked at his phone, realizing it was dead. There was no way he could ask her for her number now. He had nothing to write it down with. “How ‘bout this,” Brenna spoke. “If I want to keep in touch, I’ll text you.” Brenna opened her phone. “What’s your number?”
Ryan told Brenna his number, secretly hoping she’d keep in contact with him but understanding if she didn’t.
The two hugged, and Brenna realized how much she wanted to kiss him. She had the urge the whole night, resisting doing so, knowing they had just met. “It was nice meeting you,” she said instead. “Drive home safe.”
“You too,” he said.
The two drove home in their separate directions.
Not even twenty-four hours later, Brenna debated with herself if she should or shouldn’t text Ryan. Would that be weird to text him in such a short time? Would he think differently of her? “Oh, shut up, and just do it!” she told herself.
Brenna took the initiative. She texted him. And to her surprise, he replied.
The rest is history.
Brenna and Ryan decided to do a getaway trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. Brenna was insistent on going with or without her boyfriend. However, Ryan would not abandon her to her own wits. “You don’t even know how to navigate an airport like I do. I’m coming with you,” he said. And thus the couple flew to Colorado for their pre-deployment vacation. It was their final trip before Ryan took his eleven-month trip to the Middle East.
Screw you, Army.
Little did Brenna know that Ryan had been talking to his sister and brother-in-law about proposing to her. The day before their vacation, he had finally found a ring. Going off of Brenna’s claudaugh ring and what she said she liked, Ryan was able to find a ring perfect for her. It was a silver ring with a heart and a diamond in the center. It wasn’t too flashy or too extravagant. It was simple and pretty enough for his soon-to-be-fiancé. He stuck it in his backpack where he knew Brenna wouldn’t look, nor would it get lost.
Of course, Ryan and Brenna enjoyed their time in Breckenridge as much as they could. Despite Brenna’s period cramps wreaking havoc on her mood and body, she was able to enjoy the vacation. She was at a pro at hiking the mountainous terrain. That gym routine was really paying off!
As for Ryan, he was not better off. He was huffing and puffing.
“Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to be in the military?” Brenna teased.
Not having enough air in his lungs, Ryan couldn’t argue if he wanted to. “I’m out of shape,” he said with a huff, stopping midway up the mountain.
Ryan’s ideal proposal would’ve been on that mountain hike. However, it wouldn’t be likely he’d propose at the top. If it wasn’t for Brenna’s determination to climb up this literal breath-taking mountain, Ryan wouldn’t have continued this journey. Plus, that was too obvious and expected. Either way, it seemed unlikely he could make this proposal possible, because the elevation was kicking his ass.
The second to last day of their trip, Brenna had her own worries. It’s nearing the end of the trip, and he hasn’t popped the question yet, she thought to herself. He either would’ve done it by now, or maybe he’s waiting ‘til we’re back home. Or maybe he doesn’t want to get married like I thought? She tried not to overly lose herself in her thoughts. Instead, she tried to absorb all these awesome moments they shared together, knowing these were her last memories with him until August 2023.
It was later that night when Ryan and Brenna were in their suite. Brenna was emotional due to her cycle, and she had a mental breakdown. Knowing that Ryan would be leaving her soon really saddened her. She was enjoying this vacation, and knowing that he would be gone soon really started to feel more and more real. To say the least, Brenna cried her eyes out.
To distract herself, she decided to scroll on her phone. Noticing that she needed to charge it, she looked in her suitcase for her cell phone charger. She couldn’t find it. “I must’ve left it in the rental truck,” she said. “I’ll just use Ryan’s.” She knew that the two of them didn’t want to leave their rooms for the night just for a charger, so she decided to use his.
Brenna dug her hand into Ryan’s backpack, looking for his charger. Being oblivious, she didn’t notice the red and black box inside. However, she did find the charger, plugged it into the outlet, and continued her scrolling time. She was completely unaware of the box’s existence.
Ryan had just gotten out of the shower, and he saw his distraught girlfriend. Though she had stopped crying, he noticed her reddened eyes. He asked her why she was upset, and she told him the reason. “Take a shower,” he said soothingly. “You’ll feel better.”
Brenna gathered her clothing while Ryan noticed something was amiss with his backpack. It was open. Ah, shit, he thought. Did she see the ring box? Ryan worried that his surprise was ruined. He looked at her. “Did you go through my bag?” he asked.
“Yeah, I did,” Brenna said. “I was looking for your phone charger. I left mine in the truck.”
“Did you see something you weren’t supposed to see?” Ryan asked skeptically.
“No?” Brenna said confused.
“Are you sure?” Ryan asked. He continued to ask, testing Brenna’s patience.
“I’m sure,” she snapped. “I’m getting a shower.” She walked into the bathroom and shut the door.
Ryan was left unattended in his thoughts. Was Brenna lying to him or was she telling the truth? Then again, she was insistent that she hadn’t seen the box. She wouldn’t have snapped like if she wasn't serious about not seeing anything. Ryan decided to take her word for it.
Though the TV was turned on, Ryan contemplated his next move. Half a bottle into Jameson whiskey, he felt ballsy enough to propose. I gotta do it anyway, he thought to himself. This should make her happy since she’s had an emotional night. Though Ryan had more confidence that Brenna would say yes, he had some doubt that she wouldn’t. “If she says no, I at least have a half bottle of Jameson to finish,” he said to himself. Talk about a confidence boost.
After Brenna had showered and changed, she walked back into the bedroom. Ryan was ready for bed by then, and he was dressed in his boxers. He had mentally prepared himself for the past twenty minutes. It was game time.
Brenna had felt much better after her shower, the emotional escalation done for the night. She was ready for bed. She put her clothes away while Ryan prepared his surprise proposal.
Brenna sat on the edge of the bed on Ryan’s side. She wasn’t paying attention much to him when Ryan knelt down in front of her. “You already cried, so I figured this seemed like the perfect time,” he said to her.
Brenna was momentarily confused before Ryan opened the red and black, square-shaped box. Inside was a beautiful heart-shaped ring. Ryan said some words, but Brenna had no recognition of what he said. She looked from the ring, to her boyfriend, then back at the ring again. “Brenna, would you marry me?” he asked.
Brenna stared at Ryan’s faced and looked down at his boxers. Unable to control herself, she burst out laughing. “Are you serious?” she asked then laughed again. “Are you really proposing to me in your boxers right now?” She laughed hysterically. “Seriously?! For real?” Every time she tried to breathe, she looked at her boyfriend and then cracked up again.
Ryan wasn’t sure how to respond to her laughter. Maybe she was in disbelief, but her laughter persisted and he was unsure of how much longer she’d laugh in his face. “A simple yes or no would be nice,” he said.
Brenna continued to laugh until her abdominal muscles hurt. Finally, she spoke. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
Ryan smiled and gave his newly engaged fiancé a kiss. Brenna admired the ring, smiling. Feeling satisfied with himself, Ryan was relieved that he got that proposal out of the way. “We have to post it on Facebook!” he said with childish glee.
The lovely couple was engaged on September 14th, 2022.