Oh. My. God! Could Samira Wiley be any more adorable?
The full story online is crazy long so we printed just the best bits below for you. Enjoy!
Samira Wiley: We met in December 2012. We were both working on Orange Is the New Black, our first big jobs in the industry. We spent four days in a row working together.
Lauren Morelli: I’d already seen Samira’s audition tape and immediately had a crush on her — the complication being that I was married to a man at the time.
I had started questioning my sexuality as a result of being in the writers’ room and talking about all the themes on the show. I was still very confused, but I knew the attraction between us felt magnetic. We spent a couple of weeks together before Christmas on that first episode, and then I came back to New York in February.
Wiley: I found out she was married — I assumed to a woman. It was a little dagger in my heart. I remember this whirlwind of me falling in love in those four days.
My parents are pastors, and I have a real sense of the “right way” of doing things, so I was really cognizant of the fact that she was in a relationship. I loved her as a friend first, but after a while it was clear it was more than that.
Morelli: I was very open with my husband and told him. That turned into a year of going to couples therapy. It felt like my whole world was falling apart. I had a few queer women around me, but not many I could talk to about such a huge, vulnerable thing. Samira became my outlet, and through that process I fell in love with her.
Wiley: Right before (our trip to) Thailand, I flew to L.A. to see Lauren after she’d moved into her own apartment. It was the first time we could really be together. She got me a ring, which I now wear around my neck, and a card that said, “Will you be my girlfriend?”
Morelli: We were coming up on our three-year anniversary, and I was like, I will wait until we have our three years and then propose. Then I thought, What am I waiting for if I know I want this woman to be my wife and I want to spend my life with her?
Wiley: Lauren has been married before, so I wanted her to tell me she was ready, her to be the one to propose. I didn’t know she was as ready as she was. I was completely shocked. I was crying uncontrollably.
Morelli: I was so nervous and terrified she knew it was coming, but she was so shocked that I couldn’t get her to stop crying. She was hyperventilating. I thought, Oh, this is not good. This has gone too far. She was very clear she’d wait for me to be ready, so to give her something I knew she wanted so much was incredible. It was the most magical day of my life.
Wiley: I think — I know — I would not be where I am without Lauren. When I was first being thrust into the public eye, I wouldn’t talk about my orientation. Being with Lauren taught me self-love.