Sarai Gal-Chis received the surprise of a lifetime when she visited her longtime boyfriend in West Palm Beach, Florida, this summer.
Her beau, Nathan Costiuc, is a nurse by profession - but does "street magic" on the side. Costiuc asked the former Wilson Central High School Class of 2012 salutatorian to film a newspaper trick that he had been working on. Unbeknownst to Gal-Chis at the time, Costiuc was asking her to film his marriage proposal.
A YouTube video posted by Costiuc showed him prior to the proposal explaining why he wanted to "put a ring on it."
"She is pretty much the best thing since bread slices," he told his internet audience before showing footage of his magic trick and proposal.
In the video, Costiuc approaches a friend, in disguise, sitting on a bench reading a newspaper. He asks the man if he can show him the trick, which involves ripping the newspaper into shreds before magically putting it back together.
Once the trick is complete, Costiuc turns to Gal-Chis, still behind the camera, to reveal the front page of the paper with a headline that asks, "Will You Marry Me?" A few folds and shakes of the paper later - a round-cut diamond engagement ring falls out.
Gal-Chis said she met her future husband three years ago at a Romanian church worship service in North Carolina. Gal-Chis, who moved from Romania to the United States with her parents at the age of 5, said a lot of young people of Romanian decent attended the service - but it was Costiuc who caught her eye. A couple months later they met again on an outreach trip and started their long-distance relationship.
"Thankfully we have been able to see each other every couple of months," she said.
Since graduation from Wilson Central, Gal-Chis has pursued her nursing degree at Belmont University.
She said that they have talked about getting married for a long time, especially since Costiuc graduated from college.
"We knew we wanted to get married after I finished school (next year). To throw me off he hadn't mentioned anything recently - even when I asked him things," Gal-Chis revealed.
"The day he proposed I had on a necklace with a fake diamond and he said, 'I just found out they have different cuts for those.' I was thinking, 'You should know about this.' It completely threw me off."
Gal-Chis said that her younger brothers, David, who graduated as valedictorian at Wilson Central in 2014, and Eusebiu, an upcoming freshman, and parents will definitely come visit her in Florida after she becomes Mrs. Costiuc.
"I have a feeling they will be paying lots of visits - but I am okay with that."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.