the story of we: the later years

For days of yore, see here. And this is where it get’s serious.

So years passed… many of them. In 2005 a friend and I were chatting about the Man’s brother (as he was a mutual friend… like I’ve said before, small town). I went home thinking about where the Boy/Man was and what he was doing. Again. I hadn’t spoken to him since his graduation night in 1992 (where I said hello, and swooned, but he doesn’t remember).

I went to work.

I came home.

Rinse. Repeat.

Curiosity was getting the better of me. (For those who will inevitably ask… Yes, I was married. I had been for 12 years. No, I was not looking to rekindle anything, not being shady or seedy, just wondered what brilliant thing he might be doing with his life and wanted to find out. The very basis by which social networking thrives. Duh. (Admittedly more curious about what was going on with him than anyone else I went to high school with.)

I googled his name. It wasn’t hard to find his email address. Thank you World Wide Web. So I emailed him. We exchanged emails and quickly got caught up on each others lives. He was newlywed. I was on my way to a career in midwifery. We filled each other in and chatted about how he was going to be in town for a get together. I told him it was still hot in the valley. He told me he still hated it here.

Caught up on what he was doing with his life (being married, not having kids, working in the bay, playing in a band), I went about my life. He went about his. Etc.

The next year he emailed me at my birthday. (he remembered my birthday?)

I didn’t get the email (an address I no longer used). Another missed intersection point on our life graph.

Then I thought again about emailing him. Just to check in. Two years had passed. Certainly there was a little Boy (or Girl) running around by now. So I came home from work early one morning, got the kids of to school and I shot off a “HEY! What’s going on?!”email. And within a few minutes (literally like five) he emailed back. And no, no little Boy (or girl). He told me about his job and asked me about mine. We struck up a friendship. We exchanged opinions and talked about the upcoming election. We talked about religion. The valley we grew up in. Music. Our marriages. My kids. His cats. Work. We talked about running. Fitness. My half marathon training (and leg breaking). We bickered about why we had never really dated. We found we had a lot in common.

We became fast friends.

This went on. For some time. Like a long time.

While this was happening, other things were happening. My marriage was in the state of discontent it had perpetually been in. And the discontent was getting the better of me. The kids were older now and I was feeling less compelled to stay for the sake “of the children” as it were. I nearly left. Then I decided to stay. I spent nights on the bathroom floor. Sobbing. Staring at my own reflection. Trying to figure out what was the best thing to do. For them. For him. For me. (This is one of those life situations you really need to be IN to understand. It’s an ugly, sad, scary place.) The Man, as a good friend should, told me I should get to work on the marriage. And fast. For the kids. The vows. Myself.

I did.

Months passed.

It didn’t get better.

What happens next is certainly not the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to two people. But also far from ordinary. It sounds a little Montel Williams, only no screaming and punching.

I left. (The marriage that is.)

{I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it all eventually worked out.}

Anyway… After I left I decided to go see the Boy/Man.

I hadn’t seen him since I was 17.

And I. Was. Terrified.

But I drove to the Bay where he was living. A heap of trembling flesh. Sad but relieved. Scared but hopeful. Lonely but not alone.

And there he was. The same. But different.

And I fell into him the way you fall into a pool on a summer day in this valley’s unrelenting heat. Completely. And with reckless abandon. And all the way to the bottom.

And I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said that he fell into me the same way.

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is the other half of your puzzle?

All the corny, cliche things that they make romantic movies about?

Yeah. That.

This happened in September.

Of 2009.

Go ahead. Do the math.

I wish I could provide you with some tale of an extended romance. Of courting and wooing. Something drawn out that would keep you suspended in anticipation. But the truth of it is, when you meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right away.

And so it goes.

The months that followed were a blur of seeing each other when we could, talking on the phone until the wee hours and trying to build our future. All while trying to pick up the pieces of the past. He met the kids. I met his cat. By October we were partly co-habitating with him living in the Bay and here. In December we were getting engaged.

By the beginning of the year we were making a baby.

Then buying a house.

Then getting married (admittedly a little out of order)…

I call this one “Feigned indifference”

THEN having a baby:

And that, my friends, is our story.

Sometimes smack in the middle of an ordinary life, the universe gives you a fairytale.

He is mine.

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6 Responses to “the story of we: the later years”
  1. Krystal says:

    Thank you for sharing. This is exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. Still waiting for my “fairytail” and for the courage to leave. But…there is a baby involved, so it’s complicated. Wish I had your courage!
    Thanks again ….really.

  2. Amber says:

    Sooo the story of my life. :) I was in a very verbally abusive draining marriage for 10 years. I met my hubby now from work. I always thought he was so sweet and he spoke so highly of his wife. I talked to him about church and my kids and stuff (he alwys didnt have any kids I had 3 from my marriage.) anyway I met him in 2006. When I decided to leave my marriage his wife left him :) (we were friends on myspace so as soon as I found out I felt like it was fate.) We also have a baby together now and a house and working on baby number 5. It was a very hard choice for me…but the best choice I ever made. BTW I love love your wedding dress and hubby’s tie…too cute.

    • mommabare says:

      Wow. We are living parallel lives! I think there are probably more of us out there than we know… people just don’t say. Congrats to you!

  3. Susan L says:

    Hola –

    I must admit I don’t get to read all of your blogs, but inspired by you and Matt and up today due to far too much red bull, I had a chance to catch this post. Reading this reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love, except better, because I have known the people involved (you, Matt, Stace, and the Valley-town) for a long time. THANK YOU for reminding us that love is in the universe and out there. So good to see you and beautiful Ella on Friday!

    Much aloha and love,

  4. Erin says:

    It’s passed midnight. I just blogged about your cake. I should be in bed, but instead I’m reading (part of) your life story. ^_^ #noregrets

  5. Krystal says:

    Thanks…I would love to. What’s your email address?

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