The convergence of two lives rarely occurs overnight. In this case, it took far longer than that. In 2016, two paths crossed on a tiny rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Guam is a remote island with a tumultuous history of conquest and liberation that is now home to approximately 160,000 people. Located at the edge of the Mariana Trench, sea life abounds- much like a certain Pixar movie. Sea turtles and sharks, rays and jellyfish, dolphins and divers call this ocean home.
Speaking of homes, Tobey James decided he needed a project, or 1,000, and bought a fixer upper on Guam. It was eventually rehabbed with the assistance of his friends who he somehow pulled away from hikes, dives, waterfalls, beach days, sunshine, sand and salt water to an unedited HGTV episode. Naomi's first encounter with Tobey James did not involve a beach sunset or diving crystal clear waters. Instead, it was under a ceiling fan that he decided she, a total stranger, was going to learn how to install. With his help she did, and the rest is history...a history with an 18 month "prologue."
Their friendship among the self-proclaimed best group of friends Guam has ever seen grew. Life was done together with this group, from daily work lunches at the Dining Facility to sunset watching and home cooked meals during the week, from morning hikes chasing waterfalls, to afternoon dives chasing sea turtles, from laying tile all Saturday to waking up at 4 a.m. Sunday for college football, from beach bonfires to country dancing. Little did Tobey James and Naomi know that this year and a half of island living would form the foundation of their future relationship.
Three months before moving to Alaska, Tobey James, with the unequivocal support and guidance of their friends, pursued a relationship with Naomi - or Nemo as he affectionally calls her - beyond the friendship they had already formed. Then began a season of time change calculations, intermittent Face Time dates, airport hellos, exotic vacations, and unplanned visits thanks to last minute Air Force work trips. From Guam to Alaska, and Florida to Mississippi, this life of adventure has been better together - even when apart - than either of them could have ever imagined.
- Naomi Kong Fisher