Fallon Gross moved to Baltimore from her native New Jersey in August 2011 looking to meet someone.
At her first Shabbat dinner, she introduced herself to Noah Saposnik. They conversed about running, and Fallon felt an attraction.
They saw each other during workouts and ran together. A friendship blossomed, although Fallon hoped for more, and Noah did not return her sentiment.
Over time, being together became increasingly difficult for Fallon. But in December 2012, she made a change.
“I was falling more and more in love with him,” said Fallon, 29, an assistant pre-school teacher at the JCC. “I told him we couldn’t just be friends.”
An occasional text or a quick hello at the gym was their only contact. In mid-March, Noah told Fallon he needed her to “hear him out.”
They met one night, halfway between their Pikesville residences. Like in a movie, he stood on the sidewalk, in the cold and without a jacket and read a letter professing his love. After hearing for 18 months that he had no romantic interest and watching him date other women, Fallon was in shock.
“It was surreal; it was what I wanted to hear since the day I met him,” she said. “But I couldn’t cry at all. I had already cried a lot over him.”
They went on their first date to hear jazz, and it was admittedly strange. Noah opened doors and helped with Fallon’s coat. It was a different side of him, one that she liked.
“I would tell her how beautiful she is, how much I care for her,” said Noah, 30, a fundraiser for Montgomery College. “It wasn’t as hard for me as it was for her. I was ready to take on the … switch from strictly friends to more.”
Fallon spent that summer in Israel, and Noah planned a trip for them to his native Delray Beach, Fla., upon her return. There, she would meet his parents, family and friends. The trip would also include a week at Disney World, their favorite place.
On their first day, they strolled through the Magic Kingdom. Before their dinner reservation, Noah directed Fallon down Main Street. As they passed a caricaturist, Fallon asked to get a drawing of the two of them together.
Noah sat first. Then, they switched. As people walked by, they stared and smiled. Fallon guessed the artist must have been talented.
When the drawing of Noah proposing was revealed, Fallon turned to find him on his knee holding a ring. They celebrated over dinner at Cinderella’s Castle, wearing “just engaged” buttons, and were given VIP fireworks passes.
They married Oct. 27, 2013 at Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion with Rabbi Nitzan Bergman officiating. Instead of using table numbers, the 150 guests were guided by Disney ride names, and photos from their trip served as centerpieces.
The tish was emotional for both of them, and it provided their own fairy tale ending.
Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.