A long time ago, in a galaxy
far, far away…
Naw. JK kidding. JK kidding.
It was 2013 and in Columbia, SC.
Josh had been working at his home church until they laid him off in August. In the two months after, he would go to a Starbucks every morning until afternoon and write. (Can someone cue up that Hamilton song that’s all “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”) He had a friend that worked there and, in November without planning on it, was interviewed on the spot and offered a job.
So, on November 11, 2013, he strapped on a green apron to caffeinate some people.
Not long after that, Leigh-Ann came strolling through the door. Josh thought she was pretty, funny, and had a great laugh. Leigh-Ann thought Josh was kind, cute, and loved that Josh constantly kept her laughing.
After working together for a little while, Josh developed a crush. But not the kind of Crush that is a delicious orange soda. Rather, the kind of crush that makes cartoon birds fly circles around your head while you sigh deeply. (This might be why he developed a fear of birds.) But, alas, Leigh-Ann was dating another guy.
Josh became the opening supervisor and, in the summer of 2015, Leigh-Ann joined him in waking up at the crack of dawn to sling beans. (Or, in her case, set up the pastry case.)
One morning, while brewing the coffee before opening the store, Josh asked her how she was doing and Leigh-Ann replied, “I’m okay… We broke up this weekend. And it’s been tough.”
Josh stopped what he was doing and, while facing away, gave a small, silent fist pump “Yes!”.
Fast forward a few months.
Leigh-Ann left for New York to go to Grad School at Columbia so that she can change the world. Josh left for Nashville to go to Grad School too. On their last day at Starbucks together, as Leigh-Ann was leaving, Josh stepped off of the floor to say goodbye. He gave her a hug and she said, “You were my favorite to work with.” And he said, “Maybe I’ll come see you in NYC. I’ll need a vacation!”
Leigh-Ann thought, “I’ll never see that guy again.” Josh thought, “I wonder how in the world I'm going to get to NYC.”
They went their separate ways.
As they both began Grad School, phone calls started and went from a few minutes to a few hours.
Leigh-Ann went to Nashville for New Year’s and they had their first date at The Smiling Elephant (where she got some strange smelling Thai food) and Zanies Comedy Club where they saw TJ Miller perform.
In the last week of February of 2016, Josh flew to see Leigh-Ann in NYC. The thing he remembers the most of that trip was, on that Wednesday, she rested her head on his shoulder while they were in the subway. And the thing she remembers the most is when he gave her a spontaneous hug while in the New York Public Library. When it came time for him to leave to go back to Nashville, they stood in the middle of the LaGuardia airport and cried while they hugged.
They knew something had changed. Now, they knew for sure that they wanted to be together.
After a trip to Nashville in May, and with Leigh-Ann's graduation quickly approaching, Josh asked Leigh-Ann if she would consider moving to Nashville so they could be together.
In August, he flew to NYC to help her pack her stuff in a van and, together, they drove back to Nashville.
Over the course of the fall of that year, they fell deeper in love, met each other’s families, adopted Miller (named for the comedian they saw on their first date), and decided to embark on their greatest adventure yet…