Written collaboratively with my hubby for our wedding website, now here for my amusement and recollection:
On August 23, 2009, Gabe walked into Fiereabend, a German bar in Seattle, and according to Justus, that was It.
But let's back up a bit, because this story really started back in1998 when Gabe met Jer, at Western Washington University. The two fast became good friends, especially when they realized they worked at the same group of radio stations in Bellingham. It was around this time that Jeremiah met his future wife, Hollie. For the last decade, Jer and Hollie constantly talked about this friend of theirs who lived in Canada -- she was beautiful, extremely smart, creative, and taller than a mountain. After hearing about her for about eight years but never having met her, Gabe figured she was probably a figment of Jer and Hollie's imagination.
In 2001, Justus met one of her best friends Hollie on a fanfiction website. At that time she began to hear stories about Hollie's boyfriend's friend Gabe, a wonderfully sweet (if slightly socially awkward) buddy who'd worked in radio with him a while back. Each story made Gabe out to be one of those smart, successful, funny men who make appearances in story books but seldom in real life. For the next nine years, she heard quite a few different stories about him and secretly thought he might be a made-up story himself.
Okay, now that we have the backstory established, let's return to August 23, 2009. We're still at the German bar, Justus is having beer with Jer, Hollie, and a group of their friends. Gabe walks in the door. He immediately caught Justus' attention. To Justus’ surprise and delight, he sat down with their, although halfway down the table. Introductions were given, then conversation resumed, with Gabe and Justus trying to talk to each other over the din of conversation, eventually rearranging the table to be closer to each other.
After a wonderful night, which came to an end far too quickly, they promised to look each other up on Facebook. Everyone moved outside to say their goodbyes, and most of the group left, except for Gabe, Justus, Hollie and Jer. As Justus is prone to getting cold, Gabe kept Justus warm while they talked outside on the sidewalk for the better part of an hour. After Gabe left, Justus spent the entire car ride back to her friends’ house exclaiming, "How is he single?!" and "He's incredible!!" and "Tell me about him again!" Similar conversation ensued the next day between Gabe and Jer about Justus.
Nearly a month later, after many emails and phone calls, Gabe texted Justus and said, "If the border wait isn't insane do you want to meet up in White Rock for a drink?" She, of course, said yes.
Gabe, of course, ended up being late, and was made even later still when border wait was indeed insane. Arriving at the agreed upon bar just at last call, they had a drink, walked the boardwalk, and went down to the beach where Justus pulled Gabe into the shallow waters (and somehow Gabe tolerated all the strange, wrong, squishy things under his feet!) They kissed here for the first time.
The next weekend, after several phone calls and late night conversations, Justus was asked to by Hollie to be a date for a wedding, which Justus happily agreed to do, knowing she would be dually rewarded by having a fantastic weekend with her friend and also by the possibility of seeing Gabe again. Justus and Hollie went to a theater production the next night, and Gabe met up with them for a quick drink before the show. After Gabe left, Justus looked at Hollie, looked at the empty doorway, looked back at her friend and said, "I have to go. I'll be back." She ran after Gabe.
After that it was clear this wasn't an attraction that could be ignored, but the prospect of a long-distance international relationship seemed difficult to them. Justus was back in Seattle to be Hollie's date for another wedding on October 10th; Gabe, however, was out of town for his sister's wedding. Justus managed to take a day off from work and stay in Seattle longer on the chance she could see Gabe. Arriving home from his sister's wedding, Gabe drove straight from the airport to Hollie and Jer's house on the chance he could see Justus again. He arrived past midnight, exhausted, but eagerly anticipating seeing Justus. The moment he walked into the room he realized this was "it" and that they had to be together. The next day Gabe and Justus spent the late afternoon and evening together, with Justus driving home past midnight, despite working at 9am the next morning.
Since then, Justus and Gabe have seen each other without fail at least once a week, which means that by the time they will live together they will have clocked enough kilometres / miles between them to have driven around the circumference of the Earth...and then some. It’s been worth every moment.