I met Ashley two years ago online. I live out east on Long Island near the Hamptons, but was on a police detail in downtown Manhattan that day, not realizing my account had adjusted the details of my location. It turned out that I was on a post at the foot of her office building on Wall Street. Little did I know I stood outside my now-fiancee’s building numerous times before even meeting her.
After dating someone long distance I told myself I would never do it again. When 80 miles, 2 bridges, a tunnel and Manhattan lie between you, it takes a strong bond to keep the fire burning. But after a few dates, I realized I’d have driven 200 miles, crossed countless bridges and endured the Cross Bronx Expressway during rush hour just to hear her laugh. Talking and envisioning life, marriage and family with her was so easy. We both knew it was a step we wanted to take together, it was just about finding the perfect time and place. I didn’t want to spend another night not waking up to her. I haven’t since then and I only look forward to early mornings with her.
We moved in together after a year of dating and both relocated our lives to an unknown town that was in the middle. Since meeting Ashley I guess you can say I’ve taken many risks and have done things I said I would never do again. I said I would never date a city girl again or move anywhere outside of Long Island. Here I am, living elsewhere and trekking into Manhattan just to meet her for happy hour after work.
Ashley was different, the kind of different you knew you couldn’t live without once you found it. I realized that pretty fast and knew I had to show her in the most perfect way that I wanted her forever. Somewhere beautiful and unforgettable. We had planned a trip to Iceland in April and that’s where I asked her to be my better half. Never in my life did I think I would be able to pull off an engagement in another country, at some unknown hidden waterfall with a secret photographer hiding in the background.
I was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life and it was all because of a little box I had hidden in my back pocket. A box that I had looked at for three months prior tucked away in my locker at work. That box meant the world to me and was hoping for it to mean even more for her. My mind was racing with what to say, heart pounding and somehow had sweat building up on my forehead in freezing 40 degree Icelandic weather. Ashley looked beautiful that day as always, but a different kind of beautiful. Almost like a calming innocent look. Maybe it was because I knew after asking her she would be that much more to me, and she had no idea what was about to happen. I was so scared, but not of her. I was scared of the love that had completely consumed me and had all control over me. The moment before asking her I had complete tunnel vision and she was all I could see. She was standing in front of a powerful water fall and an amazing back drop but for some reason all of that was blurry. The only thing I could see was Ashley standing in front of me and I was staring at the rest of my life.
I asked Ashley to turn around so her back was towards me and jump as high as she could in front of the water fall to take a picture. I knew I had to distract her somehow and it worked. She turned around and I said on the count of three,”jump!: Of course while I was counting down I wasn’t reaching for my camera, I was reaching for this box in my back pocket to quickly pull out before she turned back. After three of the longest seconds she turned around and there I was on one knee asking her to marry me.
Before the words “will you marry me” could even come out of my mouth she immediately started crying and covering her mouth in complete surprise. Ashley is the strongest, toughest woman I know and is not one that shows emotions easily. When I saw such a genuine reaction and tears rolling off her cheeks I immediately started to cry myself. It was a face I’ve never seen Ashley have before. In that moment, with all the tunnel vision and nervousness I had, nothing else mattered. That face she had will forever be a picture in my head.
With a little bit of luck, faith and a crappy foot post in Manhattan, my life changed for the better and I couldn’t be more excited to marry her next June. She came into my life at the most perfect time and I couldn’t have asked for a better story to tell the world.
From the couple, Meaghan and Ashley