Conor Cawley: A Love Story

Ten years ago, I met this girl. She was smart, and beautiful, and blonde, and kind of a goof. If she didn’t have her face in a textbook, she was galavanting around the University of San Diego campus with no shoes and a smile big enough to make Julia Roberts blush.
 
Despite running into each other a lot freshman year, we became best friends sophomore year when we lived across the hall from each other and dated each other’s roommates. She would study while I would procrastinate, she would party while I would also party, and she would develop a keen sense of the educational process while I would pretend to have swine flu to get out of going to class.
 
And we talked about everything. From the undeniable value of an iPod Touch to how hot my Communication teachers were, the lines of communication literally never closed between us.
 
This continued throughout our lives. Even when we graduated and she traveled to live in Africa and Asia, we were in constant communication, sharing crazy stories, laughing at stupid videos, and even running into each other at O’Hare once on her way to Istanbul.
 
A few years ago, she began applying to graduate school (did I mention she’s smart?). I was keenly able to trick her into attending Notre Dame in an effort to be closer to her. Despite our mutual status of “friends,” we traveled back and forth between the rural Indiana town and the big Chicago city every other week to see each other, never once realizing that people don’t do that for people that aren’t madly in love with each other.
 
Eventually, she graduated from Notre Dame, becoming a MASTER OF SCIENCE(!!!) and, on a rain-filled afternoon at Midway, we nervously said “I love you” to each other at the exact same time. She subsequently moved to Chicago, despite the fact that her arch nemesis, the cold, calls this part of the country home. Since then, I’ve been dating my best friend, and yes, it’s been just as amazing as it sounds.
 
On Thursday, after a month of telling friends, family, and strangers that I was going to do it, I proposed to that girl. I was asked by no less than 50 people if I was nervous, if I was sure, and if I was scared to propose to my best friend of nearly a decade.
 
I wasn’t. Not even a little bit. Honestly, it felt like the biggest no-brainer in my entire life, and I was once offered free Lollapalooza VIP tickets. I count myself among the luckiest people in the world that I get to spend the rest of my life with Bri. And if you’ve ever met her, you know exactly why.
 
I love you, Bri. And I hope this post makes you cry as much as you did when we looked at the pictures.
 
Photo credit: Tien Cao
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