Jessica and Patrick
How We Met
Patrick and I met on his first day at “the farm” – a computer company named after a fruit (hint,hint). I remember that day like it was yesterday. Together with my coworkers, we formed a large circle in the back room to cheer on and welcome in the new hires who had just entered the building. When I spotted Patrick, I immediately turned towards my friend standing beside me, and whispered, “He’s so cute, but when did we start hiring 16 year olds?” After asking around, we discovered he was really 18 years old – just one year younger than me. At the time, Twilight was all the rage; hence, why my friend and I thought it was appropriate to introduce ourselves to Patrick chanting,”Team Pat!” Despite the fact I was in a relationship when we met, Patrick and I grew to become best friends over the next two years.
Everything changed after our first trip to New York City together in 2012 because Patrick expressed how he truly felt about me. Together with our friends Emma and Anil, the four of us shared a hotel room near Time Square, where Pat slept on the floor one night, in his attempt to be closer to me. Forget the Notebook, how romantic is he?! One of my favourite memories of this trip is surprisingly, our bus ride home to Toronto. Pat let me fall asleep on his lap, and played with my hair, while we watched one of his favourite movies, Drive. (I’d like to think part of the reason why he loves this movie so much is because it reminds him of our ride home, happily squished together on an uncomfortable seat on a greyhound). After my previous relationship ended, Patrick never left my side, and gradually our friendship grew to something deeper. It wasn’t until I was across the pond, traveling Italy with one of my best friends, when I had time to reflect. I realized how much I missed him, and couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone but him. The rest, as they say, is history.
How He Asked
Fast forward five years, Patrick and I consider New York City our home away from home, visiting the Big Apple every year. We decided to visit this past March, coincidentally on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Leading up to our trip, Patrick expressed interest in a morning walk through Central Park. He would talk about how nice it would be to wake up early, and enjoy a scenic walk through Central Park while the snow still covered the ground.
We arrived in the city Thursday afternoon, and Patrick took me to watch the Knicks vs. the Nets game at Madison Square Gardens. As per usual, I pulled out the ol’ digital camera, expecting us to document the night’s festivities. Insisting we enjoy the game, Patrick agreed to take only one photo, promising me countless photos the following day. What sounded like music to my ears, should have been my first hint at what was to come…One of our NYC rituals has been tuning in to the Today Show on NBC. Friday morning’s broadcast revealed the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade could be viewed along 5th Avenue, parallel Central Park. Needless to say, the news freaked out Patrick – I was more surprised NYC makes such a big deal over the day to have a Parade. Patrick was worried Central Park would be a zoo – loud and crowded with people attending the Parade. As it so happened, that wasn’t the case, and the day unfolded like a fairy-tale.
On our way out, I noticed Patrick was constantly checking his apple watch and phone, responding to incoming messages and emails. In his attempt to cover up his plan, Patrick would huff, “I really need to delete this app. It sends way too many notifications,” and, “I’m just responding to a work email.”
Once we reached the 5th avenue entrance to Central Park, Patrick decided now was as good a time as ever to see the NYC Plaza Hotel. Little did I know, Patrick was finding different ways to waste time until our secret proposal photographer, Vlad Leto, was done setting up. He tried distracting me once more inside the park, stopping in front of an ice rink and asking if I’d like to go ice skating for the first time. Once I agreed, he took back his invitation saying, “Actually, it’s probably not the best idea because you’ll fall.”
Continuing on our walk, Patrick asked me if I remembered one of our first dates together. He was referring to one of our adventures downtown. On this particular date, the day took us to the Much Music Parking Lot where the band Hedley was practicing for their MMVA performance of ‘Kiss You Inside Out.’ After reminiscing, Patrick started to sing parts of the song to me as we walked.
Once we reached Cat Rock, one of the best spots in Central Park for a view of the NYC skyline, I could hear Hedley’s song getting louder and louder. In that moment, it felt as though my heart was beating outside of my chest. I looked up at Patrick and asked, “Is this really happening?!” I pressed my forehead against his and happily sobbed. Patrick reached into his jacket pocket for a box, got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me, baby?” In between all of my shaking and crying, I said “YES!” After thanking Adrian from Bandits on the Run for playing our song so beautifully, Pat turned to me and said, “Oh, and Vlad’s going to photograph us for the next hour.” He knows me so well!! Thank gosh Vlad documented our proposal because I remember blacking out from all of the excitement, around the same time Pat got down on one knee. I can’t wait to marry my best friend!