Vincent M. Mallozzi
Jazmin Moses, who lived in Atlanta, did not believe that Alphonso Counts III was on his way to meet her despite the fact that Mr. Counts, who lived in Orlando, Fla., called her from a gas station there and said, “I just filled my gas tank, I’ll see you in about six hours to take you on our first date.”
“I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, whatever,’” said Ms. Moses, 30, a lawyer in the Fulton County public defender’s office in Atlanta. “I thought he was joking.”
It was April 2017 and they had met a month earlier on Instagram, and, minus the more than 400 miles between them, the plus signs were evident.
“He was a man’s man, a take-charge kind of guy,” said Ms. Moses, who graduated from Howard University and received a law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. “That’s something I couldn’t find in previous relationships.”
Mr. Counts, 31 and the head band director at Towers High School in Atlanta, was also discovering something new.
“Jazmin is someone who has a sweet disposition and is very sure of herself,” said Mr. Counts, who graduated from South Carolina State University and is studying for a master’s degree in music education at Georgia College and State University. “She was also so easy to talk to, and each time I did it was as if I were talking to my best friend. That is something I never experienced before with anyone else.”
All those miles? His GPS led the way.
“I told her very early on that I was, without a doubt, heading in her direction,” he said.
Ms. Moses continued to disbelieve, until Mr. Counts contacted her via FaceTime, using a split-screen to show her a road sign that read: “Welcome to Georgia.”
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, he was serious’,” Ms. Moses said. “The next thing I know he’s in front of my house, and I met him in the parking garage of my building, and we just started talking and talking.”
“People talk about love at first sight, which I never believed in,” she said. “But now, oh my God, I was captured by him.”
Mr. Counts had arrived around 8 p.m., but was fairly exhausted, so they went to a nearby IHOP before returning to Ms. Moses’s apartment, where they talked some more.
Though Mr. Counts had made arrangements to spend the night with a cousin who lived in Atlanta, he and Ms. Moses continued to talk until 4 a.m., before he fell asleep on her couch.
A month later, he was back on the road headed to Atlanta, where they had a date at the Georgia Aquarium that set in motion a nearly two-year long-distance relationship.
“It was magical, just the best date ever,” Ms. Moses said. “He planned out a great day for us, jam-packed with so many things to do.”
“By the time I got home that night, I knew I had found the man of my dreams.”
They were married Oct. 10 by the groom’s father, the Rev. Alphonso Counts Jr., a Baptist minister, at Saint John Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. A reception followed at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center. (Despite the coronavirus, the couple were able to keep their wedding and reception venues, but their guest list took a big hit, dropping to 200 from 500.)
“From the moment I met him, Al has continued to make all of my dreams come true,” Ms. Moses said. “He said he would make me a very happy woman and he has truly been a man of his word.”