I am enthralled by the current love story episodes by gifted blogger Kayla Aimee. So enthralled that I found an urge to share one of my own. Love is a magical, mysterious, wonderfully tragic part of the human condition. As with all true yin and yang experiences, the equal and opposite of love must present itself it at some point: love and heartbreak must coexist. The tears and triumph, despair and delirious happiness.
But alas, I seem to lack either the fortitude or the imagination to relay my own love story. Perhaps, in the future, as I gain traction and composure in my blogging journey.
This will be the true story of a couple, whose anonymity shall be shielded. We shall call them Jack and Jill.
The two met at work in the early 1980s. She was tall, blonde and smart. She looked a little bit like Miss America. He was tall and handsome; intelligent with a slightly caustic sense of humor. They noticed each other at work, and as often happens, found plenty of opportunities to be in each other’s company where they became acquainted then became friends. She was dating another man and he was involved in a relationship of long standing with another woman.
But some of their coworkers thought they might make a perfect couple. These coworkers happened to notice little things, like the way he lowered his voice sometimes when he was speaking with her and the comfortable, casual way they fell into an almost daily lunch ritual. Or the way she sometimes flushed when she caught him looking at her.
Jack was cautious and although he was smitten with Jill, he never let on. Never hinted, never gave her even a clue that his friendly attention was more than friendship. Jill knew enough about Jack’s current girlfriend that she never considered his friendly attention might have more substance. Perhaps she hoped, in a very secret secret place, but dared not admit it, aloud.
Jill was in her early twenties and in a couple of years, her career aspirations led her to examine job opportunities that offered a better salary, and of course, more responsibility. Her boyfriend encouraged her to pursue one of these and in the blink of an eye, she had a job offer. A minute later, she was gone from Jack’s daily existence.
There was not much reason to keep in touch, it would have been suspect. So they didn’t. But one of his coworkers, one who suspected the secret, didn’t lose touch with Jill. They talked on the phone from time to time. This friend, the matchmaker, waited for the inevitable. Waited for the day when Jill would admit that her relationship with her boyfriend was crumbling and confess, under a promise of strict confidentiality, that she had always had feelings for Jack.
Three years later, Jill and her boyfriend did break up. Coincidentally, Jack and his girlfriend had been experiencing a significant amount of trouble too, but were still together every weekend. Jill had started dating again and one day casually mentioned this to her old friend as they were chit-chatting.
In almost no time at all, Jack was in contact with Jill and invited her to meet him. He told her that his romantic relationship was nearing an end, had never stopped thinking about her, and wanted badly to see her. She coolly agreed.
The very next day he knew. This new path for the rest of his life had appeared before him and he was almost trembling. I met him for a drink after work that day and he told me about Jill. I could see the future in his voice. It was just a matter of time.
He broke up with his girlfriend. He and Jill started dating and the long years of love they had hidden poured forth. He was deliriously happy and before long proposed marriage. He was nervous. She said yes.
The early years of their marriage were stressful because his job status became uncertain. But after he started a new job, everything flourished. They had two children; he started becoming more and more successful in his profession. He traveled frequently.
When he was home, Jack noticed some unusual symptoms in Jill’s behavior but pretended it was nothing. Then she had a breakdown. He was distraught. They hired a nanny to relieve some of the childrearing burden. But their marriage grew distant and there were arguments, accusations, tears.
At the height of his success, she filed for divorce. He was heartbroken. She was the love of his life. He moved out of the house but could not bear to go to his apartment after work. He did anything else. Not necessarily things of which he was proud. Later he bought a house and tried to maintain a friendly relationship with the mother of his kids. He knew he would always love her but did not know why she stopped loving him. His heart always ached and he tried to find ways to soothe that hurt.
Jill thought she might marry again. She started dating a man introduced to her through a friend. It had been two, now three years. He proposed and she accepted. But her attorney astutely recommended that she enter the marriage with a prenuptial agreement. When she proposed the contract, their romance faltered and the engagement became strained. It finally evaporated.
In this midst of this breakup, she again began talking with Jack. He was nonjudgmental and listened to her. She remembered this man. She remembered how she had loved him. She agreed to see him once more.
The following summer they married. Leaving hardship behind them, they again found the romance and love they had known before for so many years.