Sonal sat at the light wood desk of her college dorm room and logged in to her blog account, where she regularly posted about politics and happenings around her Florida college campus. As she clicked her way through the site, she saw a new post from Varun, a blogger whose account she followed. Sonal scrolled down, scanning the entry, until she saw a photo of a handsome man with thick, dark hair, easily kicking a soccer ball. Sonal’s heart fluttered. Could this be the man behind the posts she’d been reading all these months?
Soon, the two started exchanging instant messages and spent hours on the phone talking about their favorite topics: politics, social issues, traveling the world. Sonal was intoxicated by Varun’s intelligence and wit and she quickly fell in love with a man she had never spent even five minutes with.
Despite their growing connection, circumstances prevented a meeting. Varun was a 23-year-old graduate student in California with little money. Sonal shared a cramped dormitory with her roommates, who, along with her friends, were apprehensive about this new relationship. Sonal was only 19 years old−vivacious, warm and easy to love. What if this man was not who he said he was? But in her heart, Sonal knew their bond was true.
Determined to test their connection in real life, Varun booked a plane ticket to Florida that spring. The two spent weeks poring over the details of his visit. “How will I recognize you?” Sonal wondered. “I’ll wear a yellow shirt and a backpack,” Varun reassured her.
At the airport arrivals terminal, Sonal was shaking with anticipation, scanning crowds of travelers. At last, she saw a man walk forward in a yellow shirt and backpack. Their eyes locked and they instantly recognized each other. At first embrace, they knew their physical attraction was just as strong as their emotional bond.
After that, Sonal and Varun saw each other as much as possible. Through summers spent together in Washington, D.C. and cross-country weekend trips, their relationship deepened.
It was on one of these very trips that things got serious. The couple planned a Christmas getaway to Napa Valley. It was to be romantic but modest; they would stay at an inn, and keep to a budget. So when Varun pulled in to a breathtaking resort, Sonal was puzzled. “Just for a drink,” he said. But after that, Varun led her to a luxurious suite overlooking lush wine country, where their luggage was waiting. The next day, more surprises were in store, from vineyard tours to massages and relaxing dips in a mineral pool.
That evening, after a candlelit dinner, Varun got down on one knee and asked for Sonal’s hand in marriage. Shocked, she ecstatically said yes as a nervous Varun struggled to slip the ring on her right rather than her left hand. But Sonal didn’t mind. They both knew this sweetly awkward moment was only the beginning of more beautiful adventures to come.