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Alyssa and Mike
The night Mike and I met, I was actually out on a group blind date with my friends, Cassie and Steph. Suffice it to say it was NOT going well, and we were so happy to see two of our friends, Andy and Mikey walk past our table, with a tall, dark stranger in tow. They introduced him as Mike (A.K.A. the "other Mike A" I had been hearing so much about) who was freshly back from a deployment in Afghanistan - the boys were actually exchanging belated Christmas gifts (very belated, as this meeting took place in July). From there, Mike and I hit it off as friends. We continued to hang out in groups and frequent San Diego's finest bars - he was a huge goofball and had a knack for making me crack up. Then one night at Firehouse, Mike made the first move - and we were pretty much inseparable after that! That is, until he left for an 18-month shore tour in Naples, Italy just two months later. But the distance didn't bother us too much, and 18 months later, Mike was back in San Diego where he belonged. And the rest, I guess, is history!
Mike Perspective: I had just returned home from Afghanistan and was celebrating a slightly (seven months) delayed Christmas with friends in Pacific Beach, CA the first time I saw her. My friends knew her and some other members of the group, and pleasantries were exchanged, but for some reason the girl on the end just caught my eye. She was obviously beautiful, but there was just something about her… a spark… something I have tried to put into words numerous times, but have continuously failed. We spoke casually a few times and it was all I could do to keep my cool, but I failed there too. I started coming up with creative ways that I could ensure we were at the same events. Luckily that worked out because one night I finally got up the courage to kiss her, and we have been inseparable ever since (except an inconvenient 20 months while I was overseas).
I think we knew that each other was "the one" when it came time for Mike to depart for his shore tour in Naples... just two months after we started dating, and neither of us even questioned whether or not we would stay together. Everything about us just made sense.
- Photographer Elizabeth Fogarty