Michael was one of those friends-of-a-friend that stayed. Our mutual friend, Kyle, was my friend and coworker, and he knew Michael through Auburn's Student Veterans Association. My first significant memory of Michael was in the summer of 2017 when he scored a last minute ticket to a beer fest I was attending with friends, so he bought a ticket and came along with us. Fast forward to April 2018. I had lived in Birmingham for almost a year, and still traveled down to Auburn every few weeks for football games and events. Kyle called me saying he had an extra ticket to Auburn Rodeo. Rodeo was mainly an excuse to roll into a field in a pickup truck filled with coolers, cutoffs, and cowboy boots to hang out with 50,000 of your closest friends while a rodeo happened somewhere in the background. Naturally, I went and met Kyle and his friends at his house that Saturday morning. Throughout the day, Michael and I chatted and flirted, mainly over whose jean shorts were shorter. We finished the day by going to the Riley Green concert at the end of Rodeo and hanging out with our friends more. Michael slyly slipped his phone number into my Instagram DMs to ask me for the pictures I took of him, his brother Andrew, and best friend Ben the day prior. A few weeks later when Michael graduated and commissioned as an officer in the Navy, I ran into him at Kyle's house for a graduation party. We started talking more constantly then, and Michael ended up buying my friend Kristen's extra ticket to Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores a few weeks later. He drove down to the beach with me and three girl friends, and the rest is history!