Friday, January 18, 2008

And finally, the story of us, part three

So I moved home in the summer of 2000 and settled into life as a grown up. I began working as a technical writer downtown and between visiting my ass of a boyfriend who was still at NIU and taking the train to and from Chicago every day, I didn't have a lot of spare time to sit around wondering what Skippy was up to. I was busy trying to learn to be a responsible adult. In the fall I found myself unexpectantly single again, and after that I really plunged into my work, trying to put NIU behind me.

That December, my bestest girlfriend Jax graduated with her teaching degree. And as my bestest girlfriend, I of course wanted to attend her graduation ceremony. So we spent the weekend bumming around the campus that until recently, had been our home. We saw old friends, hit the bars, and just had fun. Somehow we ended up in Walmart around midnight the night before graduation. Maybe we were feeling nostalgic. Because in DeKalb, Illinois there isn't that much to do in the middle of the night. Except go to Walmart. Jax used to call me to go out and buy new socks. She didn't have a weird fetish, she just hated doing laundry. So who knows, maybe we were reliving our glory days. Sad huh?

And on our way out the door who walks in? Who, you may ask?

Of course. It was Skippy. If I remember correctly, he was making a late night run for cat food - because let me tell ya, nothing spells rekindled romance like meow mix.

So after standing there in shock for a few minutes, we made some uncomfortable small talk and before I realized what was happening, we all ended up back at the same apartment where a couple of other former co-workers were living. For the next two hours Skippy and I kept meeting each other's eyes and I swear all of the resentment and anger was still there, but there was a sadness too. I realized I missed my friend. Best of all, his girlfriend was no where in sight.

The following week I was sitting at my desk procrastinating work by checking my email for the eleventy-billionth time of the day and there it email from Skippy. Basically, it was a hey-I-know-we-haven't-talked-in-forever-but-I-kinda-miss-you-wanna-get-together-for-dinner kind of email. And naturally, I accepted.

Thus began the Skippy and Amy Wednesday night dates. Every Wednesday without fail, he would drive his beat up Chevy Blazer out to meet my train in Fox Valley and we'd go out for dinner. I started to revolve my weeks around Wednesday. I LOVED getting off the train on Wednesday. We'd sit for hours and talk. Before we realized it, we had slipped easily back into our old patterns without missing a beat.

Then one night he noticed that I was quiet while we were on our way back to my parents' house. And let's face it, I'm anything but quiet. We've always been able to talk about anything and everything so my blunt refusal to meet his eyes was probably setting off some pretty big alarm bells. Finally at a red light, he pulled me over across the front bench seat of the Blazer and demanded to know what was wrong.

I turned my face away. Then I buried it in his shoulder. Then I turned and stared out the window and tried to mentally make the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of New York and 59 levitate while I quietly told him that I was pretty sure I was falling in love with him.

I remember his arm tightening around me so clearly. He sighed and my heart fell. After all of these years of back and forth and up and down, this was the part where he'd try to let me down easy. I mentally started taking an inventory of ice cream in my Mom's freezer at home. I wouldn't even need a bowl. Just a big old spoon and a box of tissues.

But instead he softly replied "Thank God. Because I'm falling in love with you."

And that was that. From then on, when we weren't working, we were together. On the weekends I would drive out to DeKalb and during the week we continued our Wednesday night dates. Then he moved even closer to my Mom and Dad's and we took our first vacation together, to Oregon while I was out there working at a new job during the summer. We started to talk about moving in together. We started to talk about getting engaged. And on September 25, 2001, I discovered that I was pregnant. That pretty much sealed the deal.

We were married on January 19, 2002. It has been a wild, turbulent, wonderful, emotional and challenging six years. Six years, three babies, and one cross country move later, I love him more than ever.

And he's still my best friend.


kat said...

oh my. that sent shivers down my spine, and me reaching for the tissues. i might just have to believe that he's actually not so bad ;-)

Katy said...

SO cute! :)