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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seven Years

Seven years ago I made the decision to be with my husband forever. Yup you heard me, it was roughly three years before he proposed and four years before we actually got married. Pretty intense stuff for a nineteen year old, but I knew and I had a plan on when I would ask my then boyfriend (referring to him as that sounds so silly to me) to be with just plain old me and no body else.

Our relationship started out a bit cumbersome. I was dating my high school sweetheart and he had recently graduated from high school (let it be known we both met each other while we were both in high school). In any case, September 11, 2001 occurred. The nation was in shock, mourning and devastated. My then boyfriend and I were hanging out at my house (my parents house) and taking in everything that happened that day. It was dark out (not sure of the time period exactly) when I got a phone call. It was my boyfriend's twin brother asking for his brother. He basically wanted his brother to ditch me to go out with the guys, which was really uncool in my book. I hung up on him and the phone rang a second later. I recognized the number and without really asking who it was, I just told off the person on the other end of the line thinking it was this brother badgering me again. But it wasn't the twin, it was a friend of theirs, a guy that I met on a few occasions called James.

Now James to me was an okay guy back then. He was known to the group as the ladies man. He never had a problem talking to girls or asking them for their phone number. His guy friends couldn't believe his frankness with the girls or his easy going/non nervous style of approaching the opposite sex. I thought of him as a womanizer. An okay guy in general, but a womanizer. Guys that do that (in my mind) usually thought of girls as notches on their bed post and I kept my distance.

So when this James guy answered back after I told him off , he calmly letting me know that he was put up to it and I felt guilty. He then told me that they were outside of my house anyways and to come out, which consisted of himself, the twin brother and two other friends. I honestly felt about an inch tall, so instead of being mad that they were not listening to me, I went outside to apologize. It was dark, chilly Fall night. I remember looking up at this James character and saying to him how sorry I was and that I thought it was so and so. He opened up his arms to hug me and I accepted. He pulled me in and I could feel the tightness of his black and yellow motorcycle jacket, the strength of his arms and the smell of his cologne. I tried pulling away after a millisecond, but nope James went right on hugging me. The guys laughed (as it was typical James style to do something like that). Once I felt him loosen his grip, I pulled away quickly only to see a smirk on his face and a shine in his eye. I decided to play nice (after the rather embarrassing episode with James) and I let my boyfriend go off with the guys and I stayed behind because I had school the following morning. Then as I watched the news, not five minutes after the boys had left, I saw that my classes were canceled for next day. I called up the phone number on my caller id and James answered again. He told me where they were and I drove off to meet with them.

I remember pulling up in my '95 oxidizing red Ford Probe while the boys waited patiently outside next to James's and Josh's motorcycles at the Sheetz gas station on route 50. Where to next was the question and the twins decided to go a pool hall their Dad used to take them to. We all headed to Shooters in Leesburg. As I drove into the night, I figured out how fun this was and realized my boyfriend and I really had never hung out with his friends together and that it would be nice to know some of these guys. The pool hall was less then packed and a few other girls met the group of guys and me at the pool hall. I never met them before but was happy to meet new people, but soon found that these girls really wanted nothing to do with me and for no real particular reason. I remember at one point one of the girls looking at this sad faced James and asking him what was wrong. He shrugged her off. For some reason, I figured I'd be a bit of a you know what and ask James the same question wondering if I would get a different response. He took the bait (or maybe it was the other way around) and he told me how he wanted a girlfriend. He wanted someone like me. I told him perhaps someday he would get one and to just be patient. Now if that isn't the damn truth.

Later that night I called my boyfriend from my house phone to let him know I got home okay when I got a ring on my cell phone, it was James. My boyfriend at the time wondered why the hell he was calling, but all James wondered was what my screen name was for IM and he would meet talk to me in a little bit. I complied because as a nineteen year old I was obviously curious and nosy on what he wanted. We talked well into the night.

Over the days and weeks. James and my relationship blossomed. It was a secret relationship as I was still dating my high school boyfriend. I didn't mean for a relationship to start and me to be deemed an emotional cheater, but there I was. I was cheating and although I felt pretty rotten for it, I also loved the exhilarating feeling that James gave me that my long term boyfriend just didn't give me anymore. My boyfriend at the time was a honest to God good guy and my one regret was the secrecy I kept from him and wasn't forthright and honest. I was young and had no idea what I was doing anyways. So with the relationship blooming came secret kisses, secret meetings and secret phone calls. My alias was Emily as James proudly talked about how he met this awesome Emily to the rest of his boys and my boyfriend with me sitting there and probably getting quite red. He was brazen all right and I liked it.

Eventually James wanted me for himself. Maybe he knew from the first night, I am not sure. So he started pressuring me on telling my then boyfriend to come forward about his and my relationship. To be honest, I didn't know how to approach it. My boyfriend and I were close and I did not want to break his heart. So James grew inpatient, told his twin brother and then that is when I had to come clean about what was going on. Let me tell you, that went over REAL well.

At first I did not know what I wanted nor did my boyfriend at that time know what he wanted. Did I want the guy that I knew well, was fond of and secure with? Or, did I want the guy that was charming, handsome and mysterious? I flip flopped for a bit to be honest. Then I decided I would stay put and decided to keep the boyfriend. James would call a million times and I would say and do ruthless and mean things to him. I told him to leave me alone, but I honestly wanted nothing more to go back to the secret ways where I did not have to make a decision. My boyfriend and my relationship was very rocky and very awkward. Then when my boyfriend let a friend of his call me a "ho", that was it for me. We broke up and I called James that night.

Surprisingly James came out with me that night. It was Halloween and we took a friend's little sister trick or treating. It was a casual night of just tad bit of awkwardness, but we survived. I then later, I flip flopped again and broke up with James right before Christmas. He had even bought a Christmas present stashed it under my parents Christmas tree. I decided then that I wanted to be alone. To explore my options. To casually date and not be held down. I wanted to live the single life. If James was up for dating then I would let him date me but not exclusively. I told James that he could take back his Christmas present but he declined. Instead he came over and opened it for me. Inside was a pair of sapphire earrings, sapphire necklace and ring. I remember how violently he was shaking while putting all the jewelry on me. He was hurting and wanted so much just to be with me. I felt bad (he'll probably say differently), but I had made up my mind and I am a stubborn girl. I was going to be single for a while.

Now the single part did not go as planned. James frequently made sure that most date nights were filled with him coming over or him hanging out with my friends and I. He was damned determined for me to not meet any guys. I believe during that time I only met two. One was shorter then me (I am only 5'1" people) and thought he was God's gift because he had an M3. I was less then impressed and never saw this guy again. The other guy #2 was ten years older then me, a foot and a half taller then me and my guy friends did not like him one bit. So he was out.

Eventually James with his persistent attitude and charm made his way back into my life. I stopped thinking about being single and started really falling for the guy that I met on that September 11th night. He never gave up on me. He was always there. So I gave in. I wanted him for myself. I did not want to hurt him anymore and decided that if our relationship was to ever end, then he would be the one breaking up with me. Therefore on April 23rd, I asked him at the stroke of midnight on my parents step if he would be with just me.

The rest is history. Seven years later we are married. I gush over that man like a teenager and love him deeply like a wife loves her husband. He is forever my rock, my best friend, my confidant. He has given me the most wonderous and glorious gift, my son. My world wakes up with him being here and I go to sleep hearing the quiet whispers of his breath. He's my world. I love you babies. Here is to seven years and may there be seventy years of joy after this.

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