Story Submitted by Liane Houde

Eight months ago, Jeff and I decided to move almost 1100 miles to Boston (from GA) so that I could attend my dream graduate school and fulfill a masters degree in speech-language pathology. I started classes, he began working remotely from our small office in our 500-square-foot apartment, and life was beautiful.

A week before Leap Day, Jeff asked me to set aside one day the following weekend so we could have a “Date Day” (something we tried to do at least twice a month). It was settled that our Date Day would be Saturday, February 29th.

The day finally arrived and our plan was to visit an arboretum in a suburb of Boston not too far from our place. We jumped on the T (Boston’s subway system) and made our way to one of the most beautiful parks I’d ever seen. It was cold and windy, but the exotic trees were beautiful, and the view from the top of the hill was exquisite.
We had packed a lunch to enjoy at the arboretum, as well as a pair of binoculars to better see certain buildings of the city. Jeff handed me the binoculars and pointed out a few of his favorite buildings. I struggled to figure out exactly which buildings he was referring to, and after a few minutes took down the binoculars to ask him directly what he was talking about. I looked at him, and he was down on his knee, looking up at me.

We had been dating six years at that point, and still my initial reaction consisted of “oh my gosh! Is this real? Are you serious?!” He proceeded to tell me he loved me and asked me if I would spend “forever with him.” Of course, I said yes!
We sat down to digest what had just happened, overwhelmed, ecstatic, and full of adrenaline. He then said to me, “open the box of ThinMints,” and I did. Inside was a map of Boston circa 1770, with little colored dots indicating the locations of our apartment, a sushi restaurant in the time stamp 5:30 next to it, and the location of the Boston Symphony Orchestra venue with a timestamp of 8:00 next to it.

“Is this our schedule?!”

“Yup! I asked you to set aside a whole day. This is what we are doing today.”

Needless to say, that day, Leap Day, is now one of my favorite days.