Riah (pronounced Ri- uh) Gabriella Anderson and Leeland Phillip Taylor’s relationship started long before they were ever conceived. It started when two teenagers, Amelia Everest and Chloe Nickelson determined that they were soul sisters. The two had met at church camp and had hit it off instantaneously. They had a million inside jokes, they had their own code that they talked about boys in, and were similar in so many ways. One day as they were talking about their dream futures Amelia proposed, “What if two of our kids got married?”
It was a silly suggestion; the idea that everything would work out so that the two girls would have kids around the same time, and that those kids would fall in love and marry each other, but Chloe and Amelia liked the idea so much that they intended to see if they could make it happen. They plotted and planned, but all they could truly hope for was the first names of the kids they wanted to try to get together, Riah and Leeland.
Years passed and the two soul sisters stayed close, despite the distance of their homes, with the help of conversation through Facebook, texting, and the occasional sleep over. Even as their dream to actually be related one day seemed to fade or grew more improbable by the day, they never truly lost sight of the idea.
Eventually, the two girls found their true loves and Amelia Everest became Amelia Anderson and Chloe Nickelson became Chloe Taylor. Chloe had a son but named him Ishmael; feeling that he would not be the one to wed Amelia’s maybe daughter. Two years later Amelia also had a son first, and she named him Andrew. Then Chloe had another son a year later and named him Leeland praying that Amelia would have a daughter soon. To the friends’ absolute glee, just a year later Amelia had a girl and named her Riah. However, the bliss of children was not quite over yet because a year later Chloe had a daughter herself and called her Chastity. Chloe and Amelia were overjoyed with their new additions as any parent would be but the two soul sisters were especially excited to see if their dream of Riah and Leeland would actually come to fruition. Despite many attempts over the years, it would be 13 years before the two had a chance to test the chemistry of their pairing, and they hoped with all their might that the two would get along.