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Love Notes

by Sabrina Rocco

Couple go from driver's ed to, years later, walking down the aisle

Tracy Falkingham, 23, and Michael Krlin, 23, of Oldsmar. Married July 21, 2012.

They met during a driver's ed course. The first time Michael saw Tracy, it felt like a slo-mo movie scene where the pretty girl's hair blows in the wind and there's a ray of light over her head.

"He wasn't one of those guys that tries to impress you with a bizarre story. He was just so laid back and so sweet," Tracy recalls.

By the end of the summer class at Largo High School, Tracy and Michael exchanged numbers, tried to keep in touch. He went to Largo, but Tracy went to Indian Rocks Christian School and she was busy with her studies and dancing.

"I always had a modest approach to dating," Tracy says. "I wanted to save myself for marriage, so I wasn't really interested."

Two years later, in 2007, Tracy was checking out at Publix when someone came in the grocery store and yelled: "Does anyone drive a black Volkswagen?" Tracy's car had been hit, and the driver took off. As she waited for the police to arrive, Michael popped in her mind. She remembered he was into police work and called him. Toward the end of the talk, Michael said, "Well, I'd really like to see you again . . ."

In a few days, they were having coffee at Starbucks. What was supposed to be just a friendly cup of joe turned into one of those epic six-hour dates that just keeps going because neither person wants it to end.

Two weeks later, he sent her on a scavenger hunt. It led her back to Starbucks, where a specific drink was waiting, the exact one she had on their first date: a cinnamon dolce latte with extra whipped cream.

The last stop: his house. She could see strobe lights flashing from his truck. "Will you be my girlfriend?" was scrawled onto the side.

After four years of a nearly perfect relationship, Tracy hired a photographer to take cute photos of her and Michael. But he had a different idea: He would propose during the session, capturing it all on camera.

The photographer gave them two small chalkboards and told them to write notes to each other and stand together without revealing the messages.

Michael's said: "Will you marry me?"

The photographer snapped away.

Then he turned to Tracy, showed her the message and proposed.

She said yes. They have the photos to prove it.

Couple go from driver's ed to, years later, walking down the aisle 08/25/12 [Last modified: Saturday, August 25, 2012 4:32am]
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