Bran first caught my attention at a Westmont dance. I was busy dancing in my own world when I noticed a crowd gathering around someone. Sure enough, a freshman I had seen around campus was free-styling some VERY impressive break-dancing moves. As I edged into the crowd, Bran suddenly turned around, struck a pose, and winked….at me? I looked around to see who was winking back but everyone else seemed completely oblivious to what had just occurred. “Did this freshman just try to hit on me?” I was shocked by his confidence but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little impressed too. That first encounter was true to Bran’s style as I would come to learn, he does everything with charm and bravado.
Bran and I became good friends in the following years, and surprisingly, we both never mentioned the dance floor “incident”. We hung out sporadically in the midst of our crazy college schedules, but no matter how short the encounter, Bran never failed to make me laugh. Even when I was studying abroad in Ireland, he found a way to comment on my pictures with witty, hilarious things that made me crack up 5000 miles away. He was the most outgoing person I had ever met, and me being a bit more quiet natured, I was surprised how easily our friendship developed.
My senior year, I began recruiting dancers for Westmont’s Hip Hop team. I had failed to convince Branon to join the team the previous year so I used as much charm and smiles as I could and...it worked! I maybe should have taken that as a hint but if I’m being completely honest, I was totally unaware of any crush he had at this point (I know! I know! SO OBLIVIOUS).
We started spending a lot more time together and that’s when I began to notice some crazy chemistry between us. At one point, Bran grabbed my hand to “look at my nail polish” but then he wouldn’t really let go of it… and I didn’t want him to. Multiply that by 100 more confusing and wonderful moments between the two of us and I was a goner. I really couldn’t help it...Bran was the kindest, most unique man I had ever met and he was making me fall in love with him before I even knew what hit me.
Fast forward a month, and he officially asked me out while we were standing in the ocean under the stars, on the pretense of a dare that I think was adorably thought out haha. That was just the beginning of us and it all started because an overly confident freshman had the audacity to wink at me 5 years ago. Bran is my best friend and my fiercest supporter. I have felt loved an impossible amount every day since he first said, “I love you” and no matter what lies ahead for us, that will be all I’ll ever need.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our story. It's not the craziest or the most exciting, but it's ours, and that means everything to us. Maybe you can relate, or maybe you're still looking forward to the story that awaits you with that special someone. Regardless, we can't wait to hear about that special, unique narrative that makes you YOU.
- Rachel & Branon
OUR OWN LITTLE LOVE STORY
Rachel was definitely the most gorgeous girl on campus.
As a headstrong freshman, I swore to all my friends I would ask her out by the end of the year, for which they hyped me up with encouragement (as true "bros" would do). Of course, at this point she had almost no clue I existed, and had much less of a clue that I was remotely interested. I finally made my impression on the dance-floor at a school-sponsored event, after I jumped into a big dance circle, popped-and-locked it, and ended by locking eyes with her in the crowd and... wait for it - shooting her finger guns and a wink. I wish I could tell you all about my smooth first encounter, but yes - this is the first impression I chose to leave on the woman of my dreams.
We met officially through a mutual friend not too long after that "incident" (what else would you call it?), but because my friend was interested in her I chose to pursue a friendship with her out of respect, in adherence to "bro-code". Rachel and I remained friends for several years, and enjoyed occasional beach days, bonfires, and good times.
Rachel had been a dancer her entire life, and she naturally found her way into being the president of the college's Hip Hop dance crew, N'step. After witnessing my embarrassing dance moves (that she swore were legitimately impressive), she had worked hard to convince me to join the crew each year, for which I always declined with some excuse, ashamed of my moves.
Eventually I couldn't resist her charm, and I decided to try out. After making the team and spending a ton of time with her at practices, it took about a week or two for those dreaded feelings to pop back up - I was crushing super hard.
At a beach bonfire that weekend she lost a bet to run into the freezing water in the dark, and I told her I'd join her so she would at least have some company. After we had made our way well into the bone-chilling Pacific under the bright stars and glow of the distant bonfire, I made her an offer she couldn't refuse: let me take you ocean kayaking sometime, and we'll get acai bowls after!
She said yes, the date was awesome, and every minute since that day has been increasingly more awesome. I never would have thought the girl I winked and shot finger guns at after busting horrific dance moves would become the best thing that's ever happened to me (much less date me for even 5 minutes), but life is a mystery.
I love her with every bit of me - she is my best friend and my life-partner, and I have a feeling she always will be.