Little did Fader know, Harris had plans to ask Fader to marry her atop the Brooklyn Bridge Aug. 9.Last month, Olivia Fader, her girlfriend Mallory Harris and a couple of friends road-tripped to the Big Apple.
About halfway across the span, Harris took a lock out of her bag, with the words "Don’t freak out," engraved into the brass. In addition to the inscription, the lock had a stunning white gold emerald cut diamond ring threaded through the bar.
"I had no idea, I didn’t see it coming at all. So I was very, very overwhelmed, just in complete shock," said Fader.
As Harris attempted to unlock the lock and retrieve the ring, the lock popped open, and before she realized what was happening, the ring fell to the bridge deck, teetered between two planks before it "fell into oblivion."
"The ring kind of popped off the lock and fell. It sat between two planks for, what felt like five minutes to me," said Harris.
"I had that thought, ‘I’m going to jump over this bridge and get that ring.’ What else do you do in that moment when it disappears. It was pretty terrifying."
Within seconds the couple and their two friends were on their hands and knees, frantically searching for the ring.
Luckily for Harris and Fader, the ring had not disappeared into the depths of the East River, it landed 12 metres below on an industrial platform.
All was not lost
"Within a few seconds we spotted it. We couldn’t get to it but we could see it," said Fader.
"A friend out ours, Madeline, ran back because she had seen NYPD officers at a different part of the bridge. So she brought them back to see of they could help."
Fader said the two officers went back to their car and parked on the bridge, stopping traffic to make the 12-metre climb down to the industrial platform below.
"They climbed down into this lower platform area, found the ring and brought it back up … and then she proposed for real," said Fader.
"It’s kind of crazy. Where we decided to put the lock is where this platform began, so we had gone well past where the locks began. If we had done it about [three metres] earlier, we would have been over the East River, instead of the platform."
Fader said it’s not something either of them will forget.
"It was the most overwhelming moment, I think, of both of our lives -- so many emotions in one 10-minute span," she said.
As for the officers, Fader and Harris feel "incredibly grateful."
"They just really went above and beyond and worked it out for us and completely went over their job description. They had no obligation to help us, whatsoever," said Harris.
"They were great, we sort of joked around a bit, they made fun of Mal for dropping it," said Fader.
Fader said in the emotion and chaos of the moment, she forgot to say yes.
"The only thing [Mal] knew is that I would want [the proposal] to be a real story, is what she had said, and it’s just so funny, we were laughing about it this morning because it was such a huge story," she said.