During the fall of 2015, a classmate and friend of mine from law school, Hillary Meyer, said she wanted to introduce me to her best friend and maid of honor, Allie Corey. I was single and living back in Bamberg after having just taken the Bar Exam, and Allie was single and living in Mt. Pleasant.

Hillary's selling point to me was, "Allie is from Kingstree, she's a teacher and she doesn't care where she lives." I told Hillary I would love to meet her and asked Hillary to set it up.

A few months went by and during the South Carolina vs. The Citadel football game as Hillary (and her now husband, Steve) were walking up the bleachers to sit with my dad and me, Hillary brought it up to me again as we saw each other. In fact, she did not even say hello and the first words out of her mouth were that Allie wanted to meet me as well. After hearing this, I was definitely a little excited.

USC lost that game, and I was in a pretty bad mood. However, while we were waiting in traffic, I Facebook searched Allie and thought, "Wow, she's beautiful!" I then quickly texted Hillary and told her I thought Allie was beautiful. I asked Hillary if Allie was sweet, and Hillary said she was "the sweetest." I later found out that she was dead-on. However, I did not find out until almost a year later that Hillary either immediately told or texted Allie telling her that I said she was beautiful. Apparently, Allie was also having a bad day, and I "made her day" by texting Hillary.

A few more weeks went by and I eventually got Allie's phone number from Hillary. We began talking to each other in early December while I was in Atlanta and Allie was in Beaufort visiting Hillary and Steve. At some point during that week, I asked Allie if she would like to go on a date the following weekend. She said yes and we made plans for me to pick her up in Mt. Pleasant on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, to go out on a date. Little did I know that this self-planned blind date would not only be the longest first date I've ever been on; it would also be the best first date I've ever been on.

I picked up Allie from her apartment in Mt. Pleasant, and we went to eat brunch at Tavern & Table on Shem Creek. Hillary had been texting Allie since I picked her up, but I do not remember Allie ever responding to her. At some point during brunch, Allie suggested we prank Hillary. Allie then texted Hillary telling her that I was a no-show and did not pick her up. I texted Hillary a few minutes later and told her that I wasn't feeling the date after all and had bailed. I don't remember exactly what Hillary said to Allie, but I do remember that Hillary never responded to my text. Allie and I both had a big laugh out of it, and that's when I knew Allie had a good sense of humor.

After brunch, we decided it would be a good idea to go bowling since it had started raining. I told Allie that I wasn't that good at bowling and let's just have fun. I then proceeded to get strike after strike after strike; it was absolutely the best game I've ever bowled. I ended the game four points shy of a score of 200. I crushed her score but Allie just laughed it off, and apparently, it didn't bother her at all. I felt terrible because I actually tried not to bowl too seriously.

Afterward, we decided to go walk on the beach at Isle of Palms since it was unseasonably warm. I had packed an extra bag with old shoes and fresh socks just in case we went to the beach. I remember Allie commenting that she liked how "prepared" I was. I still don't know if she actually liked it or was just making fun of me. Either way, I had dry socks and shoes for the ride home to Bamberg. We ended up having a great walk on the beach, and it was perfect weather.

After the beach, we continued our date by driving and grabbing pizza and taking it back to her apartment to eat and watch "Elf" since Christmas was not too far away. Around 9 p.m., after having spent 10 hours with her on this marathon first date, I decided it was best that I get on the road. I remember telling my mom the same night that it was the best first date I had ever been on. I told a neighbor and good family friend the same thing later that same week.

One year later, I asked Allie to marry me. She is beautiful, sweet, smart, caring, funny and hard-working, and I love her more than anything. I cannot wait until 12.31.17.

Submitted by Aaron Ness, Bamberg

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