What is one moment in your life you thought could only happen in a movie? When a Quora message board posed this question to users, newlywed Kevin Walsh wrote back, “I can't not answer this.” He added a throwback photo of himself side-hugging a woman who looked to be about the same age. And the love story that followed will give you chills.
"Once upon a time I was 13 at a summer camp," he wrote in the post, "and the prettiest girl I'd ever seen walked right up to me and said 'black is a good color on you.' No idea why. We chatted and became friends, exchanged AIM screen names (it was the time) and stayed in touch for a while.
We fell off each others’ radar some time in high school, but I can promise you that not a day went by that I didn't think about that girl. Even now I'm not sure I can say why—something about her just stayed with me.
In my senior year I went through some dumb high school stuff that seemed earth-shattering at the time, and fell hard into depression. I resolved to take my own life, wrote a note, and went to where I planned to end things.
Somewhere between five and ten seconds before I would have committed suicide, my phone rang. I checked the caller ID—I couldn't die not knowing. It was a number I didn't recognize, so I picked up and it was her.
I asked her what was up and she said she just felt like she had to call me. At that point it had been a year since we had spoken, and at that moment she just had to call. Long story short, she pried, I spilled the beans, and she talked me out of it. I mean she literally said “What? Don't do that.” And that was that.
She made me promise to call her the next day, and we hung up. That night I started writing the words which, ten years later, I'd propose with.”
He included a photo from their wedding:
To make a long story short, Kevin wrote, “My first crush called me out of the blue at exactly the right moment to prevent my suicide, and then I married her a decade later.”
The Quora post had received 296,000 views and 34,761 up-votes at the time of publication. “The story is something that has been near and dear to me for a long time," Kevin tells Brides, "but I’m never ready for how other people are going to perceive it. It’s integral to my existence, but when other people hear it, it’s received more significantly than I expect it to be.”
What happened after that day? Kevin and his then-friend Blake continued communicating as much as they could while they navigated separate lives filled with school and significant others and families that only vaguely understood their friendship. "We stayed really good friends," Kevin says. "That kind of thing really bonds people." Sometimes their inexplicable connection was hard for others (especially significant others) to understand, but they stayed in touch anyway.
Their longest lull in communication ended on September 18, 2015, when Kevin reached out in person to see how Blake was doing. She was in a relationship that had gotten really serious: She was planning a trip to go house-hunting with her boyfriend and they'd discussed marriage. Kevin was supportive as always. And when that boyfriend broke things off with Blake two weeks before their planned trip, Kevin was her virtual shoulder to cry on. When she expressed an interest in getting out of the house and out of town in place of her house-hunting trip, he had an idea.
"I said, 'Why don’t you come down to [Indianapolis], where I live, and I’ll show you the city and we’ll have a good time, and when you get back you’ll be a week out from this,' " Kevin says. "So, she took me up on it and it was exactly what we thought it would be." When she left, though, it seemed there might be something more between them than the long-distance friendship they'd always known.
A month later, in mid-January 2016, Kevin visited her for a weekend while she was working in Detroit. By then he'd told her he loved her (yes, things moved quickly after that visit in Indianapolis!). Kevin remembers one night very clearly: "She was like, 'Well, do you think you’ll love me forever?' And I was like, 'Absolutely, one hundred percent, I’ve loved you since the moment I met you.' And she was like, 'Should we just get married then?' And I was like, 'Yeah probably,' and we sat there and planned our wedding on the last sheet of the notepad in my hotel room." Plot twist!
When Kevin and Blake broke their wedding plans to their families, they were not understanding—which is exactly what they'd expected when they sat in his hotel room that night. But when they gave them the back story, reliving the phone call that truly started it all, their families and friends were thrilled.
Just because they effectively planned their wedding on hotel stationery doesn't mean Kevin was going to skip the proposal, though! That April, she visited him in Switzerland while he was away on business. There, in front of Lake Geneva on the Swiss Alps, Kevin proposed with the words he'd written after that fateful phone call—along with memories and thoughts he'd added during their 10-year friendship.
Five whirlwind months later, the wedding was held at the Olde Farmhouse Barn in Marshall, Michigan. Blake wore a spaghetti strap gown with her hair pinned back, loose tendrils falling around a magenta and blush flower crown that matched the bouquet she carried. Her bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in varying tones of blush that complemented the groomsmen’s burgundy suspenders and bowties.
At the reception, held inside the barn, guests made their way to their seats after finding their name and table number on flags of mix-and-patch paper designs that crisscrossed along a clothespin near the windows. The couple served assorted glazed and filled doughnuts, and his-and-hers drinks in glass dispensers. Jumbo balloons with “love” and “X-O” floated low along the barn’s interior beams, and strings of lightbulbs added a soft glow from above.
As the sun set, the party raged on, and Blake changed into something more comfortable: a shimmering maxi dress accented with the flower crown and pearls she’d worn for the ceremony. The pair snuck off to a corner of the barn, where Kevin played Blake a selection on his guitar.
Looking at these beautiful photos, it would be impossible to know that this couple’s love story could have ended in tragedy before it even began. That’s the thing about life and love: they intertwine in the most magical ways.