SALT LAKE CITY — Riders on a TRAX train can expect many things — an interesting conversation with a stranger, maybe. A speedy trip to City Creek Center, perhaps.
That pressing urge to wash one's hands, definitely.
But can true love be found on a train? Ask Steven Seril and Diana Mavlanova, and the answer is yes.
It was 2017 and Seril was on his way home from a workout when the train got delayed.
"The train stopped at Meadowbrook and couldn't go any further. We took a bus bridge to Ballpark, and everyone was tired and grumpy," Seril said in a news release from the Utah Transit Authority.
"I took my gym bag and plopped it on one of the planters, and then this beautiful, unbelievable, angel-like woman puts her grocery bag down across from me," he added.
That woman was Mavlanova, who is from Turkmenistan but was working in Utah as a critical care technician, according to the release.
She was wearing a shirt that said "Ski Association," and Seril saw an opportunity.
"I knew that he wasn't that interested in skiing and he just wanted to talk to me," Mavlanova admitted in the release.
He remembered feeling thankful for the detour.
Through their shared interest in fitness, they became friends, but because of her cultural beliefs, "she only wanted to date if she was sure she was going to marry," the release states.
But they spent a lot of their time together until last Christmas when, at the First Baptist Church on 900 E. 1300 South under "all the Christmas lights," Seril asked Mavlanova to marry him.1 comment on this story
Mavlanova told her suitor she needed some time to consider the proposal and said she would answer after she graduated from nursing school in May.
"Steven counted down the days until her May 14 graduation," UTA officials said.
When she finally gave him her answer, she said, "Do you want to know my decision? Marry me," according to the release.
They wed in July.
According to UTA officials, the couple continues to take trains together.
"Steven rides almost every day of the week — but now he usually has Diana by his side, napping on his shoulder."