Steven Weber Jr held his breath long enough to propose to his girlfriend under water, but he didn’t survive to hear her answer.
Kenesha Antoine was on the other side of a glass window at a luxury resort in Tanzania when her “perfect love” held up a handwritten letter inside a ziplock bag.
“I can’t hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. But everything I love about you, I love more every day,” one side of the letter said.
Flipping it over, the man, from Louisiana, revealed: “Will you please be my wife? Marry me?”
But in the “cruellest twist of fate imaginable”, Mr Weber never made it to the surface to hear Ms Antoine’s huge “yes”.
“You never emerged from those depths, so you never got to hear my answer, ‘Yes! Yes! A million times, yes, I will marry you’,” she wrote in a heartbreaking post to Facebook on Friday (local time).
“We never got to embrace and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives together, as the best day of our lives turned into the worst, in the cruellest twist of fate imaginable.
“I will try to take solace in the fact that we enjoyed the most amazing bucket list experiences these past few days, and that we both were so happy and absolutely giddy with excitement in our final moments together.”
Video of the proposal showed Mr Weber using flippers to keep himself submerged, while a snorkel mask covered his face.
He was shown pulling a box out of his pocket and opening it to display a ring inside before leaving the frame to swim to the water surface.
Ms Antoine said just a few days earlier, her boyfriend had commented on how they had encountered many cancer patients on their trip.
She explained how it had “dawned” on him they were experiencing a “once-in-a-lifetime thing that people want to experience before they die”.
He felt “blessed” she said, given they were doing it “in the prime of our lives”.
The exact cause of his death was unknown.
Ms Antoine expressed, wherever he was now, her late partner was “probably entertaining someone with a story about how he royally screwed up that proposal and died while being extra”.
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