Love across borders

Former SHS couple adapts to new long-distance relationship


Streit and Crémer lean into each other at the canal after prom on May 14. Their night was “magical.” Photo contributed by Carlie Streit

With a sour goodbye at the Indianapolis International Airport on June 8, after being together for not even two entire months, seniors Carlie Streit and Pablo Crémer, a foreign exchange student from Spain, try to hold on to their long-distance love with a final hug before he begins boarding his plane.

“This has proved how much we love each other,” Crémer said. “All of this is helping us to fortify our relationship.”

The couple shared an unpredictable love story last school year.

They are trying to adjust to the change from being around each other everyday, to having to face the harsh reality that they will now be communicating through a screen. They are continuing their relationship long distance, based on the connection that was there from the beginning.

The two met on the very first day of their junior year, and immediately they had a shared interest in each other.

Despite the fact that he had only been in the school for just a few hours, everyone was already encouraging him to meet a familiar favorite named Carlie. He took their advice and Streit quickly became one of his first friends at SHS.

He was at lunch with his friend, senior Hannah Matthews, when she introduced them to one another.

Crémer cheered on Streit during a tennis match on May 4. Photo contributed by Carlie Streit

The couple talks about their first encounter often and bonds about the funny differences in perspective. Crémer and Matthews both agree that it was the most awkward and random moment ever. However, Streit doesn’t recall it that way.

“I don’t remember it that way at all,” Streit said. “I just remember thinking he was super nice.”

After this, they found out that they would both be participating in tennis. The place where everything started to roll for them and where they really built their friendship. They shared one-on-one moments, just the two of them and that is how their “spark,” as they call it, ignited.

Staying after school talking in the hallways, waiting for practice together or morning after morning before orchestra class, the two inevitably grew closer. All the little moments and memories recalled by Crémer could continue on forever. He was filled with excitement each morning to go to his first period orchestra not because he was a morning person, but just because he knew she would be there.

Outsiders like Matthews witnessed the development of their friendship in which, according to her, everybody felt that they were more than friends.

In terms of personality, what Streit first noticed about him was the amount of happiness he always carries with him. She says he is just one of those people that can instantly light up a room.

However, their romance was not instant, not even close. At the beginning of the year, dating a foreign exchange student was not an option for Streit. Knowing that he would end up going back to Spain, and all the difficulties that would cause made her think she would cause pain to everyone involved.

But, that changed when Streit was going through a rough time and felt that she needed somebody to rely on, and Crémer became that person.

“He was my emotional support person at the time,” Streit said. “He cared about me more than anyone that I’ve ever met before.”

She soon realized he genuinely cared for her. She didn’t know whether it was romance or friendship, but Streit did know that she wanted him in her life. Around February or March, their friendship started getting stronger and stronger, and so did their admiration for one another.

The couple and Thomas Wright, Crémer’s host dad, performed at the first advanced orchestra concert on Sept. 21. Photo contributed by Carlie Streit

Everyone noticed it and could see how caring they were to one another.

“He treated her like a princess,” Matthews said. “And she treated him like a prince.”

On April 19, the couple became official. Aware of the limited time that they had, both agreed to just enjoy the moment.

Their relationship still works the same way now, even though they are thousands of miles apart.

While they still text each other every day and Facetime once a week, they know that a long-distance relationship includes having their individual lives at home.

“Carlie and I know that there are certain things more important than calling everyday,” Crémer said. “It is not about calling everyday … It is about trust, communication and understanding that some day we will be together.”

Streit met Crémer’s family for the first time on her trip to Spain in July. She remembers the moment when she hugged him again, and Crémer’s mom was behind them with a big smile on her face, waiting to give her a huge welcome hug. According to Streit, it was adorable how after only seeing her in “random waves on Facetime,” she was so genuinely happy to see her.

Streit and Crémer kiss while on a trip to a beach house at Lake Erie on July 19. Streit had just traveled to Spain, so Crémer came back to America. Photo contributed by Carlie Streit

Even though Crémer didn’t want to let her go, he knew she was returning back home with a better idea of Mallorca. She was leaving with a better understanding of him.

Although Crémer could never express his feelings to Streit in just a few simple words, he knows that being with her has opened his eyes.

Streit truly thinks that they are definitely far from being perfect, but she knows that what they have is deep.


“Before her,” Crémer said. “I have never felt love the way that she loves me.”