I write for kicks and giggles.

Here are a few nuggets.

Life Story: A (Cracker Barrel) Fairy Tale

This article was published on my Medium account.

On April 29th, I met this guy.

It was graduation season. And of course, ya girl was taking grad photos every day from sunrise to sundown. (Translation: Ya girl was doing ninja-inspired stunts and Grade A army crawls to get those good angles, internally screaming with every stadium step after a week of unintentional #legdays, and externally screaming after dripping with sweat within 5 minutes of being outside.)

By the time it got to Friday, April 29th, I was fifty shades of sunburnt and fifty more shades of done. I had finished my first two photo shoots for the day, almost fell asleep over my lunch at Fork and Pasta, and my internal Kermit the Frog was whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Me circa 2:30 PM on April 29th

Me circa 2:30 PM on April 29th

It took every ounce of willpower in me not to cancel. But I couldn’t let this random group of engineers down. I pushed the shoot back 30 minutes and soothed my weary soul with a fresh Diet Coke.

I made my pilgrimage to the stadium. We met. And I was instantly revived.

Right off the bat, my soul caught on fire and continued to burn for the entirety of this photo shoot. These guys were the definition of awesome and I found myself thinking, “Why didn’t I know any of you wonderful humans beforehand? Did they hide you in Marston for four years?” But there was something about Bernie. I was fascinated… instantly. He was quick with a joke and even quicker with a witty comeback, oozed with charm and off-the-charts charisma, and had the most magnetic personality I’ve ever come across. I was hooked.

The photo shoot ended and I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun I had — and about Bernie. So, while sitting in Piesano’s pizza joint at midnight, I messaged him a picture I took of his friend Julio getting photobombed by a Subaru.

We talked for hours and I only knew one thing for sure: I needed to know more about this guy. So I asked Bernie out to Cracker Barrel for dinner. (Now accepting kudos for my boldness and superb taste in restaurants.) We spent the entire night together — going to dinner, stopping by Barcade for a friend’s birthday, walking and talking around campus, and going back to his apartment to pack up his stuff. He dropped me off at 7:30 AM. He graduated at 8. Then he left for a month-long Asia trip.

And every day since, that fascination has grown stronger. (Note: He’s casually changed my life by introducing me to hackathons, teaching me how to code, and inspiring a total shift in my career plans.)

I feel so unbelievably lucky to have this boy named Bernard in my life — and even prouder that he’s moving to San Francisco to start working as a Software Engineer at Twitch.

It’s been nine months and change - and I wouldn’t change a thing about our Cracker Barrel love story. I love you endlessly, my sweet Bernard (and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Twitch hoodies that sell for $500 on Ebay).

Elle Beecher