Every couple, successful and failed, has moments along the way that really cement their feelings (good and bad) for one another. Ashley and I had a night rather early on in our "budding" relationship that made things a lot more clear. We both relive it every time it rains. I have been really considering moving somewhere in the U.S. where it rains more as a result!
When Ashley and I met she had a boyfriend. I would have only been frightened if she hadn't had one. I wasn't really looking to date. I hadn't been looking for that for quite some time. Just like anything of true value though (from God to a life path) its much easier to find love and a relationship when you aren't really looking.
Just a note to all you single guys out there: If the girl you are talking to says she is single with absolutely no attachments be super suspicious. From my experience there is no woman on this planet that has passed the threshold of legal adult age that does not have some relationship entanglement. This is just a fact of life. A boyfriend, ex boyfriend, husband, ex husband, best friend, ex best friend, stalker, creepy co worker, ex girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex wife, or some other form of romantic entanglement is just to be expected. Accept the "significant other" as stated fact and relax. If the girl is talking to you and showing real interest then she isn't really "his" anyway. Thank God I had this attitude when I met Ashley.
She and her man had been on the outs for a while. She was on the verge of kicking him out when we started chatting as friends. I was probably a good outlet since I was her boss. A lesson is probably in there somewhere, but ultimately it was easy for her to tell her boyfriend that we were talking about work. It still pissed him off to no end and still does even though she and I are married.
There were even other guys chasing Ashley. Once again I was nonplussed by this. Women of any quality are a bit like a big gold nugget. Most everyone that sees them wants them on some level. Luckily for all us loser guys out there the girl picks her guy. Ashley dumped her guy. She had a date with another guy not long after that which prompted me to step up and throw my hat in the ring and confess that I really liked her. According to her even though she still went out with the guy, she spent that night trying to decide if I was serious which ultimately led to her realizing she really liked me too.
See guys, another dude isn't the worse thing in the world. Anyway...
So after a few very sweet and innocent outings ( i was so nervous the first time we went out I couldn't even eat my supper) Ashley and I had sort of become an item. I had lost my normal laid back confidence at first, due to thinking that Ash was way out of my league. It came back, but not before she went to dump me.
I was working 90 hour weeks. Ashley was getting a lot of pressure from the ex boyfriend to let him move back home. I have never been a controlling douche bag so I did my best not to trash talk the guy and just have faith in the idea she picked me. That isn't very easy when you know he is spending his every waking moment begging and pleading, but I did a pretty fair job of being relaxed about it. I did once whip out a pistol and cock it with him there, but that is a total different story and no where near as threatening and illegal as it sounds.
So I come home about six one evening and get a phone call from Ashley basically breaking things off. She was crying which is very unlike her. On that front, she didn't cry when I proposed. She didn't cry at the wedding. She didn't cry when she got her puppy. I am still working on tears of joy damn it!
After a couple of botched explanations on her part I finally asked if I could come out. If i was getting dumped she was going to dump me to my face! So I jumped in my car and absolutely drove like a maniac to B.F.E. Her new roommate let me in and I found Ashley rather weepy and unresponsive in bed. After an hour or so of talking and me rubbing her back she admitted she didn't want to dump me she just couldn't handle all the pressure from her ex and all the stress she was under.
We all have stress. It sucks. If you get a chance to help someone out help them with their stress level. Decrease stress and increase happiness and that person will love you forever. Ashley's best friend and her best friend's son were there. They didn't have much in the way of food. Ashley was the only one working and providing and paying all the bills. That's not a fun position for anyone!
So I persuaded everyone to load up in my car and we went out for burgers. We talked. We ate. We chatted about all the stressful stuff going on there, which is when I figured out they were out of gas in their one vehicle. Its a very very bad thing to be broke, out of gas, and living way the hell out in the country. All that kicked in my chivalry circuit and I swung through the Kmart, bought a gas can, ran to Weigel's and pumped 5 gallons in the can, and started out towards Ashley's house.
Which is when the heavens burst open and the floods started. We drove home at a crawl. My thoughts were more on taking care of everybody getting home safe than how much I really liked the girl in my passenger's seat. We did make the trip finally and found that to make her bad night worse the windows of her car were down. I jumped out and rolled them up and got soaked all the way to my skin.
Already dripping I just shrugged, grabbed the can out of the trunk, and stood in the storm and filled her gas tank. Even with my specs dripping I could see the look on Ashley's face. I realized that I didn't mind being wet as long as it made her happy.
Ashley was probably the first girl I hadn't said," I would do anything for you" to , but I realized that I felt that way, and I think at the same time she realized it was true. I wasn't willing to see her go without. At the same time she spent the whole night trying to get me to not spend money on her. It was only by not telling her what I was doing at the Kmart and also topping up my already full tank that I was able to buy her gas. Even though she is my wife now, she still really won't let me buy her things or pay "her" bills.
That is a big part of what amazes me about her. I am used to being used. Ashley was too, and she wouldn't even accept help without me just forcing it on her (even though I was always sweet and careful about it). Her independent streak is wider even than mine. That day though with then rain pouring and me standing in it watching her while I fumbled with a full 5 gallon gas can I could tell she really appreciated me, not for what I was doing, but for the fact I cared enough to do it.
It was still a long time before we said those three little words, but I think we both knew it in our hearts all along. I remember it every minute of everyday, but I think about it in a special way when it rains.
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