Some love stories withstand time a little longer than others. And while time may have the power to disparage, or diminish things, time also has the power to renew, strengthen, and build.
Because of this, our team at ARLA Productions wants to celebrate the stories and journeys of our dear clients, that not only persevered through trials, but also have faithfully committed to each other since years and years back, when they were still in high school.
High school! Could you imagine that? Imagine the growth one goes through during that time, and on afterwards. Imagine the changes, the tumultuousness of life through the eyes of an angsty, emotional teenager, now fully grown and matured. And imagine, most of all, the feeling of having the same person by your side, who has seen you, as you were and as you are, and has still chosen you, each and every day, throughout that massive length of time.
We’ve created this segment to share their stories. And with this, we start with the first. Yaohan and Caroline.
When they were only high schoolers, attending different schools in Surabaya, one of Caroline’s classmates introduced her to a boy named Yaohan. “We met in high school in 2009,” she says. After a while, they decided to make things official. The exact time? 12:34:56 PM, on 07/08/09. Wondrous numbers, one might say.
Everyday after school, Yaohan would find time out of his busy schedule to meet with Caroline. Buying her dinner, keeping her company, even joined some classes she had just to spend more time together. “I was a nerd back then. We met during my most awkward phase. I mean–braces!!” Caroline admits. But that never deferred Yaohan from falling in love.
THE HARD PART
All sweet romances come with its own difficult times. For the couple, it was when Yaohan had to move to Melbourne, to pursue his studies. “It was the hardest phase of our relationship,” Caroline recalls. Same as most long-distance romances, the couple had to endure time differences, new surroundings, not to mention the jealousy and tears. “We fought almost everyday during our first year. It was so depressing that we almost broke up, many times,” Caroline says. “But thank God we never did.”
They FaceTimed each other as much as they could. “I hung on because life with Yaohan is simple,” Caroline explains. “There’s a phrase that says everyone comes with their own baggage. But with him, we’ve grown up together and we already know each other too well.”
Indeed one of the reasons a love that has blossomed so long, since high school especially, is so special, is because there are barely any more secrets to keep. The couple has now become a part of each other’s past, not just the present and future. From awkward high school kids, to young students in university, and now adults tackling jobs and real world things, it is precious to have someone that has been on that journey with you, since day one.
After 8 years of dating (and 6 years of long-distance), Yaohan took Caroline to a beautiful savannah. She mentions it as one of her most favorite memories she shared with him. He brought his drone that day, made it fly up high, and told her to wave at it, convincing her to look up and wave at the camera. Little did she know he was already on the ground, kneeling, asking her to marry him. After all the ups and downs, this was it. They’d made it.
“She is loyal, hard-working, and she accepts me at every condition I’ve been in,” Yaohan says, “she supports me through my hardest days and is there for me. All the time.” The couple has a similar sense of humour, Caroline also states, “We can steal lines from one another. He’s a real definition of a best friend.”
Yaohan has since worked and finally gained a Permanent Residency in Australia, and the couple is now happily married and living together. “It was freaking hard,” Caroline admits, “but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” They now share a home in Melbourne, without any distance separating them any longer.
“I am grateful, and unafraid of making more memories with him,” Caroline wrote. “After so long, there’s nothing to hide. No fear and no doubts.”
Indeed, there are none.