It all started in the eighth grade at Cousins Middle School. That's when 21-year-old Andrew Terrell first saw Kaila Sills in his homeroom. That first meeting led the couple to where they are today. Engaged after a surprise proposal at the annual Covington Christmas parade Saturday.
"She was the first person I noticed when I walked into class," said the Newton County deputy. "She was the first girl I ever called on the phone, held hands with, kissed - all that stuff," said Terrell.
"They went to their first dance together," said Terrell's mother Debra. "That first dance sealed it!"
Though the couple dated off and on through high school (he went to Newton, she to Eastside), but like many high school sweethearts, it didn't last. Nearly three years ago, they saw one another again at a mutual friend's birthday party and got back together on Dec. 21 of that year and have been solid ever since. So much so, that Terrell decided, despite their young ages, that now was the best time to make sure Sills knew he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life.
"We've been together so long it's obvious that she's the one I want to be with so why wait?" said Terrell. "I just want to give her the world. I'm ready to make her happy."
Sills was watching the parade on the square and thought that Terrell was riding on the NCSO float. Instead, he was on one with both his parents and hers. A sign reading, "All I want for Christmas is yes" hung above an arch, and signs on the side queried, "Kaila Sills will you marry me?"
Terrell seemed confident of Sills' response Friday evening saying, "She's going to bawl her eyes out."
Sure enough, Sills said that when she realized what was happening, she started to cry.
"I heard people chanting my name over and over," she said. "I started looking around and when I turned, there was Andrew running up to me with flowers and then he got down on one knee. I had no idea; it was a total surprise. I totally started crying!"
But through the tears she managed one word. "Yes."