LIRR workers reunite bride-to-be with lost ring
When she didn't hear that familiar "ting," Brooke Bene knew she had lost her ring.
The Huntington bride-to-be found herself in a panic Tuesday morning when she grasped a hand bar on the No. 2 subway train.
"I didn't hear the 'ting' against the bar" -- the sound of her two-carat pink sapphire engagement ring making contact, Bene, 31, recalled Friday.
She frantically scoured her bag in a fruitless search during the 20-minute ride from Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal to Wall Street that Bene said "felt like forever."
Bene got off the subway and bolted to her office at a bank, where she got in touch with a Long Island Rail Road customer service agent who connected her with a conductor on the 6:38 a.m. train that Bene takes to work every day.
"I knew how important this was so I started pulling up the cushions from the seats," conductor Tim Parrett said Friday. He found the ring nestled in the space between the cushion and the seat back, which "catches liquids, coins, wallets -- everything," he said.
Bene had taken off the ring to put lotion on her hands, placing the jewel on her lap.
"I did it right as I was pulling into the station, not thinking that I didn't put the ring back on my finger," she said.
From her office, Bene called 511, which directed her to customer service.
Her call went to 13-year veteran LIRR employee Deana Teemer of Hempstead.
"I was trying to calm her down and listen to what she was saying," Teemer said.
By 8:10 a.m., Teemer was on the phone with Parrett.
Being a creature of habit worked in Bene's favor: She always sits in the same window seat, in the same car, "because I tend to lose things and I'm very forgetful."
Parrett, a conductor for 15 years, personally delivered Bene's ring to customer service. Bene returned to Penn Station on Tuesday morning to reclaim her lost treasure.
"I hugged and kissed Deana, telling her, 'I love you, I love you,' " Bene said.
She didn't call her fiance until after the ring was back on her finger.
"I told him I had good news and bad news. He wanted to hear the bad news first. He was completely silent," she said.
Bene dated her boyfriend for 3 1/2 years before he popped the question in April. They plan to marry next year.