written by Trinity with Gianluca's inputs in italian.
Although Gianluca and I had been working at the same University for over a year, it took a visiting student from another country to bring us together.
In April 2008 I was searching for a new roommate and posted an ad on the ODU housing board. In just a short time I was contacted by Eleonora, a Masters student from Italy, who was also looking for a roommate. As soon as I met Eleonora I knew I would invite her to be my roommate and despite the cost of the rent, I suggested/encouraged her to become your roommate and when she visited my apartment she brought a mysterious professor with her...Gianluca De Leo, PhD, or so it said on the business card he gave me. I still have the card in case you were wondering.
I also told you my name was Neo as soon as I found out your name was Trinity. I though I was funny. You still haven't watched the Matrix and you probably had met hundreds of guys who tried to be funny with that line.
A short time after Eleonora moved in I got to spend more and more time with the mysterious professor and soon enough he was showing up at my house and office, unexpectedly, with excuses such as coffee or workout plans. On the other hand, you were showing up not so unexpectedly at my pizza and pesto pasta parties. We quickly bonded and spent many long runs talking and getting to know each other.
In September 2008 I booked a trip to Italy to visit Eleonora with plans to meet him in his hometown at the end of my trip. The vacation sealed the deal and upon our return to Norfolk we announced to our friends and family that we were officially dating.
In April 2009 while Gianluca was on a business trip in Las Vegas he purchased an engagement ring. Coincidentally, for that same trip, I had secretly packed a present for him; a special gift with the words "I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend. I love you" inscribed on it. I found that present the same day but AFTER the purchase. Apparently we were on the same page.
Gianluca proposed at the site of our first "official date", First Landing State Park, on October 17, 2009. We aren't running as much as we should these days, but I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of time for that. We are thrilled to spend the rest of our lives together.