I wrote this a few years ago on my other CafeMom account, I put so much time and thought into it that I didn't want to lose it....

In many posts and replies I state that my situation is one that looks absolutely terrible from the surface, and unless you know the whole story, it just doesn't seem quite right.  So, I figured I'd take the time to write out the story, and that way if people are curious they can take the time to read it - and I won't have to explain bits and pieces over and over and over again! So, here we go....

It all started over eight years ago.  I was a junior in high school.  I lived in Cloquet. My best friend, Jess, had briefly dated a guy from Grand Marais, but they had broken up.  She had given me the go ahead to chat with him, and he eventually ended up asking me out, I said I needed to think on it. Well, of course, in high school, that means "I need to talk it over with my friends." So, naturally I talked it over with Jess, and Jess kind of hinted that she would like an second chance with this guy.  Since I wasn't that into him, I said go ahead. 

They ended up dating again. Because of this she decided that they (Jess and the other guy) needed to set me up for prom - with another Grand Marais boy, the other guy's friend.  So my date for Junior Prom was a blind date - although things ended up working out where we met the night before.  My date was Richy.  We clicked right away.  But I was timid, and wasn't ready to start dating, so it took awhile, but by the end of the school year Richy and I were "official".  We dated through that summer, and into the following school year. 

Well, Grand Marais is about a 3 or 4 hour drive from Cloquet.  Richy and I didn't really get to see each other all that often, just a weekend here, a weekend there, phone calls, and online chatting and instant messaging.  I was in contact with another Grand Marais boy at that time, too.  He was Richy's best friend's brother - Nate.  Nate was in the law enforcement program at the local college, and Jess and I would go hang out with him in his dorm. Nate started filling my head with all these stories of what kind of person Richy really was, and that he was sleeping with a girl back home in Grand Marais - because, of course, I was the stereotypical "good girl" and wouldn't sleep with him.  I broke up with Richy.  I regretted it almost immediately and a week later I asked him back out (ahhh high school relationships!) - but then he said he needed time. 

We fell out of contact.  Finally 3 months later in December - the week of Christmas - I get an email from Richy - he was with Alyssa (the girl I was told that he was sleeping with), and had a strong belief in not ending one relationship for another one. I had to accept that and move on.  We stay in contact through scattered e-mails and phone calls.

I was still madly in love with Richy, and still working hard on healing when I started dating Mike - a military guy - right after high school graduation. Mike and I got engaged 7 months into the relationship, but planned on waiting until I graduated from college to get married. 

 A year into it, Mike decided to switch branches of the military.  He had to go to Texas for 3 months for re-training.  He was gone from August through October.  It was during that summer that Richy came down to Duluth quite frequently and we'd get together for an hour or two and just hang out at the mall.  Towards the end of August he came down for a weekend. We were never alone together, but we ended up staying out all night just talking.  Mike got wind of this (did I mention that he lived next door to his parents) and ended up breaking off the engagement.  Richy was there watching me cry my eyes out over this.  I was SOOO torn about my feelings.  I loved Mike, at least I thought I did.  I also loved Richy.  But Richy was with Alyssa (and remember his promise to himself - he'd never leave one relationship for another).  But he also made it very clear that he still had feelings for me, too.   

I leave my relationship with Mike in October - because despite the end of the engagement we stayed together to try to work things out.  He then decided that he didn't know who he was or what he wanted, so we broke up.

Early November I meet J.D. - We started dating.  Things were going really well.  I hear from Richy that Spring that he and Alyssa broke up.  He moved from Grand Marais to Grand Rapids, and met someone and is getting married.  In August J.D. and I go to Richy's wedding.  That was one of THE hardest things I had ever done - to stand next to the man that I thought I loved (and in my own way, I suppose I did) and watch the only man that I had ever loved promise forever to someone else. 

Two years later, J.D. and I are planning a wedding, and I'm pregnant.  Stacey Fern was born April 7, 2006.  J.D. and I got married July 14, 2006 - Richy wasn't able to make it to my wedding.  When I got back from our honeymoon, Jess tells me that Richy had called her, his wife is pregnant - I felt a pang of something with that news, but couldn't put a finger on it.

Arianna was born March 12, 2007.  April 2007, Richy calls me, he and his wife are having major problems (it wasn't until much later until I learned more about them). May 2007, Richy calls again, his wife left him, but he's got a new girlfriend that he wants me to meet.  June 2007, I meet Nikki.  It was the same day that I met Nikki that I realize exactly how strong my feelings towards Richy still are.  I don't see Richy until he's in town for work in October.  My feelings were still there and still just as strong. 

The day after Christmas, J.D. gets a call from his mom.  She's got a job all lined up for him.  We just have to move to Florida by the beginning of February.  I didn't want to move, but we had both been unemployed for quite awhile.  Then December 30 I get a call from Richy - Nikki is pregnant!  Wow! Did that hurt!  By now I'm fully aware of my feelings for Richy, but have NO clue as to what I'm going to do about them.

I say it was the prospect of the move and lack of sleep (because Stacey was in a phase of waking up at 2 am ready to play) that gave me the courage to finally email Richy and tell him how I feel. Basically it was an "I know the timing is terrible, but I still love you.  Do what you want with this information" sort of an email. It was about a week before I heard from him.  He said he still loved me, too.  But what now?  I tell him I'm staying in my marriage (that had been falling apart before it even began) for the sake of Stacey.  I tell him that I need to make this move to Florida, to see if I can be happy with what I have.  He asks me when it will be our turn? our turn to be together? our turn to be happy?  i tell him I don't know.

That night I send him an email.  I tell him that I've had a feeling since I was with Mike that he (Richy) and I would end up together someday.  I told him that I didn't (and still don't) know if that would be 10 days, 10 weeks, 10 months, or even 10 years from now. But I know that we'll end up together.

Richy and Nikki come to town for our going away party.  We had so many people around that Richy and I didn't really have a chance to talk.  He told me before he left that night that when I have a chance and when I'm ready to call him because he has something to tell me.  We were in Florida before I had a chance to call him and find out what it was that he wanted to say.  He told me that he was willing to wait.  He didn't care how long it took - he would wait for our chance to be together.  I later find out he was expecting to have to wait until Stacey had graduated and moved out. 

Richy being willing to wait made up my mind right then and there.  He loves me enough to wait, he shouldn't have to wait!  Richy and I stay in contact the whole two months that I was in Florida. Oh, and by the way... the job that J.D.'s mom had lined up , well that fell through.  Richy and I talked daily, both of us getting into trouble for the number of cell phone minutes we were using.  We kept in contact through MySpace putting songs on there as messages to each-other about our feelings for one another - things we weren't free to say, yet.

Finally, as we're filing our taxes, I tell J.D. that as soon as the tax returns are back, I am taking Stacey and moving back home to Cloquet.  I tell him nothing of Richy (he now says he knew).

March 27, I pack my car and Stacey and I set off for Cloquet.  It was 3 days of 14 hour days in the car.  I got back to Cloquet on March 29 - Stacey and I are living with Jess and her husband (yes, she has remained my best friend all this time) until I can find a place and a job.  March 30, Jess, Stacey, and I hop into the car and head out to Rapids to see Richy.  We meet up with Richy at Country Kitchen and have lunch.  Nikki is at home sleeping.  After lunch we follow Richy to his place and we hang out there until nearly midnight.  Jess leaves in the middle of the visit to go across town to see her aunt that also lives in Rapids.  Richy convinces Nikki to run and get something for dinner.  That was the first time since all this started that we were alone.  We have about 10 minutes just the two of us, we shared our first kiss in nearly 8 years.  It was wonderful! 

Later that week Richy comes to Cloquet, he is on his way up to Grand Marais for work for a few days.  He tells me that I should pack up some stuff and we'll get a room for the night because he "won't have a baby-sitter up there".  And after lots of arguing with myself and Jess, I finally convince myself to do it.  I pack up the car, send him a quick email (he's got no cell signal up there), get Stacey loaded up and we're on our way!

It was an amazing night! One that we had both been waiting for for a loooong time.

But, he was still with Nikki - and he had to handle that situation delicately.  He was afraid that she wouldn't let him see his baby when he's born.  So he had to start breaking things away bit by bit. 

No, we're not proud of the fact that they were still together when we first slept together.  But it is what it is, and we have no regrets.  Later when we found out that while we were up there, she was at home packing her things getting ready to move out when they broke up (obviously things had been falling apart there, too). 

They finally break up April 10, Richy came to Cloquet to stay with us while she got her stuff out of the house that they shared. That same day I find out that I got the job out in Rapids that I had interviewed for 3 days before.

This moves things along faster than we had wanted, but because I couldn't afford to get a place at the time that my job started, Stacey and I moved in with Richy. 

Here we are two months later, we couldn't imagine things any other way.  We are madly in love and already discussing the very likely possibility of marriage (once we both file and go through our divorces).

It took us 8 long years, but we're finally where God intended us to be.  I am with my soul-mate and I couldn't be happier.  We just regret all the time we lost.  I say it makes us appreciate what we have so much more.  Richy doesn't agree.  He says that we were meant to be together and that is enough to make us appreciative of what we've got.  If that's the biggest argument that we have, I'll be okay with that!

Since I wrote this, his son (with his ex) was born and we also had a son together.  We've got 4 kids and it is great.  We also recently got engaged!!!! 

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