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Emily knew that Josh was the right guy for her even before they met in person. She got a positive vibe simply from seeing his photo at her friend's house. "I don't know why, but I thought he looked like someone who could be my best friend," she says. When she found out that he was going to an upcoming Halloween party, she was determined to find out if there was more to her feeling.
The night of the party, Emily made an entrance that caught everyone's attention, though it was definitely not by design. As she was walking down the stairs, she lost her balance, tripped on the steps and slid all the way to the bottom — landing right at Josh's feet. Turning a deep shade of crimson, Emily thought she had blown her chance with him. But Josh was unfazed, and smoothed everything out; he helped her up, gave her a hug and introduced himself. "From that very second, I knew that we were meant to be," she says. "Love was not on my mind yet. I just knew that I had never felt such a strong connection to anyone before."
As soon as they started chatting, the two felt completely at ease and talked as if they had known each other their entire lives. "By the end of the night, it was pretty flirtatious," recalls Josh. "Everybody was noticing, and after she left, all the guys were coming up to me to see if I asked her out yet."
Josh wanted to get to know her better first. He suggested Emily and their friends go to the movies, so they went to see The Waterboy. Even though it wasn't an official date, something clicked. "We held hands and it was just so wonderful," says Emily. "Usually when you like someone, you don't know if it'll work. But after weheld hands, it was kind of inevitable that something was going to happen."
On Christmas, Josh planned to ask Emily to be his girlfriend. "I was thinking long and hard if I was ready to make the commitment," he explains. "And I decided I wanted to. It felt right." He called her up and, pumped up on nervous energy, blurted out, "Would you like to go out sometime?" She thought he just wanted to hang out, and responded, "Where?" He was thrown off by her reaction, but he repeated his question. She still acted confused. After a moment's hesitation — and wondering if he should change his tack'he asked her a third time. "Right after that, I realized what he was doing," she recalls. "Then I got all nervous. But I said yes."
Emily says that Josh is different from most guys she knows. "I like him because he's funny and cute," she says. "He's not one of those big tough guys who like football and cars." Josh says, "I wasn't really brought up like that. My mom had her own ballet school that she taught out of our garage studio. So I've been around girls all my life and never really got the macho guy thing."
As they spent more time together, their feelings grew more intense. "Neither of us had ever been in a relationship before, so we took things slow," says Emily. "But after the six-month mark, we both kind of realized that it was serious, even though we hadn't actually said the I-love-you thing yet."
One topic they discussed openly was whether or not they wanted to lose their virginity. "After we became more serious, it was an issue," says Emily. "We talked about it and decided we wanted to wait to have sex." Adds Josh, "It's just not something we want to do right now." They reached this decision together, and their commitment has brought them closer. "While most couples think it's crazy, it only makes our relationship stronger," she notes.
"It's not like we walk around with a sign — ‘We haven't had sex,'" says Josh. "But when people are talking and it does come up, they're, like, ‘How long have you guys been going out?' They're pretty amazed."
But the pair doesn't worry about what other people think. "It's like everyone thinks it's rare not to be having sex on a regular basis," she says. "But with us, we both feel lucky to have each other."
The couple is constantly looking for ways to have fun together. "We both like to be dorky and funny," admits Emily. "We have the same sense of humor. And we laugh and joke around a lot." Often, they amuse themselves by sharing a pie at their favorite table at Frankie's Pizza and Pasta, or simply going to pick flowers on a nearby farm. Both dog-lovers, they enjoy taking Emily's puppy — a golden Lab named Ruby — for strolls around the neighborhood dog park.
Since it was a photo that first brought the couple together, it's only fitting that they love to take pictures. A year ago, they discovered a black-and-white photo booth that they visit every few months. For Valentine's Day, Emily surprised Josh with shots from "their booth" of her holding up signs with messages for him. Josh has also pulled off some creative stunts. Following Emily's graduation, he snuck into her house while she was sleeping. Using a Polaroid camera, he took pictures of himself and hid them around her room so that she could wake up to his smiling face.
In the summer of 2000, Emily and Josh went to California on a three-week vacation with his family. The highlight of the trip was attending a friend of the family's wedding on a pirate ship in Long Beach. To play along with a medieval theme, Emily and Josh went clad in authentic 1700s garb designed for the occasion...
|Letter from the Editor||viii|
|Chapter 1||Friends First||1|
|Emily Johnson & Josh Peck||3|
|Kristi Piel & Jay Maxwell||13|
|Yen Nguyen & Gilbert Ayala||19|
|Chapter 2||Opposites Attract||27|
|Renee Krajcik & Justin Ridenour||29|
|Robin Godfrey & Jamie Bourden||39|
|Chapter 3||Through Thick & Thin||45|
|Catherine Nguyen & Sinh Luong||47|
|Ann-Margaret Brannon & John Swearingen||53|
|Chapter 4||Against the Odds||61|
|Feather Rogers-Dayton & Ingmar Erler||63|
|Jamie Dwyer & Jamah Perry||75|
|Chapter 5||Love Connections||85|
|Terese Opiela & Brian Jones||87|
|Maria Alejandra Navas & Enrique ("Rico") Iribarren||95|
|Chapter 6||Reel-Life Romances||105|
|Boys and Girls: Veronica Valencia & Nick Casey||107|
|Felicity: Allison Clark & Kyle Ehnis||111|
|American Pie: Suhmer Zeiter & Neill Mudano||115|
|Dawson's Creek: Britney Miller & Andrew Goldberg||119|
|Chapter 7||Star Woes||123|
|Chapter 8||Trendspotters Romance||131|