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      Reunited

     



Jim and I originally met in August of 1986 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where we were both stationed with the United States Army. He was a 39 year old sergeant, married with two teenage sons and I was a 20 year old single private. I was assigned to his cleaning detail for a week. For the first week, Jim and I were just friends and co workers, nothing more. I did find him very attractive, especially with his blue eyes.


On Friday of that week, we had a half day of work so Jim and I decided to go to Nashville, Tennessee to do some sightseeing for the weekend. After that weekend, we spent as much time together as we could during the next three months before he retired from the service after 20 years.


On Labor Day weekend, Jim, me and a friend of his who also lived in Indianapolis, drove up from Fort Campbell to visit Jim's family for the weekend. I met his wife and sons at that time and he took me on a tour of the city. At that point, Jim and I had been seeing each other and were lovers but his family didn't know anything about our affair. He retired from the Army in November of 1986 and returned to his wife and sons in Indianapolis while I stayed at Fort Campbell until I was honourably discharged on December 24, 1986 and returned to my home state of Massachusetts. Jim and I continued our friendship/affair by writing letters and talking on the phone. I have to admit that I wasn't very good at writing back to him. In early July of 1987, Jim visited his mother in New York and came to Massachusetts to see me for three days. We kept on communicating until the end of July, 1988, when we spent a week together travelling through Vermont and upstate New York. He told me that if I wanted to see other men, to write to him and let him know and he would let me go. In February of 1989, I mailed him a letter asking him to break it off with him mainly because I felt that it wasn't fair of me to have him come from Indiana all the time to see me and I also wanted to have a chance to settle down and maybe have children. We lost all communication after that time.


I dated a little and got married on September 11, 1993 to a man named Tony. Our marriage was fine at first, like all marriages, but something changed. What, I don't know and am not really sure. I've come to realize since being reunited with Jim, that I just married Tony because I was tired of being single. I wasn't completely happy in my marriage and hadn't been for several years. I started looking for Jim in or around 1996 when I first got onto the Internet and when the paper I was working for was bought by a rival paper. One of the new employees looked like Jim only is taller and has less hair. The main reason I couldn't find Jim was because I couldn't remember how to spell his last name. In March of 2003, I was looking through some books when I found a picture of Jim in his Army dress uniform that I took right before he left Fort Campbell. The picture was clear enough that I could see his name tag and know how to spell it. I got on the Internet and searched for his name and address like I had done many times before. That evening, after I found his picture, I went to work and hand wrote him a letter which I mailed a day later. It was fun trying to figure out what zip code I needed for Indianapolis. I mailed the letter on March 13 and he received it on March 17 and called me from Denny's Restaurant after being persuaded to call me by a manager and female friend of his. It didn't take much persuasion on her part. We didn't talk long that night because I had to go to work early that evening. At that point, we both pretty well knew that we were going to get back together again. I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas that whole week.


Jim called me on Saturday evening but we didn't talk long that night either because he was moving his oldest son into his new apartment and I was going bowling with my family. He called me Sunday evening and we talked for over two hours catching up on our lives and what had happened over the past fourteen years.


On Monday, March 24, he hooked me up with America Online Instant Message and we started talking as often as we could, which was every night and on weekends. I was working overnight by then and didn't usually have to be in until 12:30 AM. We talked about anything and everything. I think it was in mid or late April when I started thinking about moving to Indianapolis permanently. Jim and I had originally planned on meeting in August of 2003 while my husband was fishing in New York. I had plans to go to Virginia with my friend for my vacation in June but my car broke down in early May and it took nearly all I had saved up for the Virginia trip to pay for the car repairs. My husband had offered to give me $100.00 for the Virginia trip. After I paid the car repair bill, I had $100.00 left and my husband gave me the hundred dollars he promised me for the trip. I sat there after talking to Jim that night and started doing a little exploring on the Internet, mainly the Greyhound bus schedules and fares from Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Indianapolis. After I did my research, I emailed Jim with the idea of me coming to Indianapolis by Greyhound bus. I had to work overnight that night and it was the longest night ever. I kept running through my mind what Jim's answer would be. At first, he wasn't too crazy about it because of my being on a bus alone for twenty hours until I reassured him that I would have my cell phone with me and on for the whole trip then he loved the idea. After I asked my husband if he minded me going to Indianapolis for vacation, he said he didn't care. Two days later, he gave me an ultimatum and told me I had one year to decide if I wanted him or Jim. My friend was happy that I was going to be doing something on my vacation because she knew that I wanted to get away from the area. Jim got me a place to stay about three miles from his house for the week. I left Pittsfield, Massachusetts on June 7, 2003 at 11:40 AM heading west towards Indianapolis. Jim and I checked in with each other for the whole bus trip on our cell phones. I arrived in Indianapolis on June 8, 2003 at 7:10 AM.


I saw Jim for the first time in almost fifteen years sitting on a concrete barricade as the bus turned into the bus station. I stepped off the bus and said to him, "Are you looking for someone?" With that, Jim pulled me into his arms for a warm bear hug of friendship, welcome and love. We spent a great week together and I made the final decision to move to Indianapolis. Jim was working as a maintenance technician when I was out here in June and because of that job, he was on call for emergency maintenance at night. I got to go with him on his calls, which he had every night I was in Indianapolis. He was off Wednesday while I was in Indianapolis and we took a tour of the city. The city has changed quite a bit in seventeen years. He introduced me to a couple of lady friends. One of the ladies that he has known for thirteen years and he knew that she rents out rooms in her condo. He also worked as a maintenance tech for the property that her condo is located on. He contacted her and explained the situation to her; she agreed to let me live with her rent free in exchange for providing her with companionship.


On June 12, I met the woman I would be staying with. On June 14, my birthday, Jim and I spent the day talking until I had to catch the bus. I boarded the bus in Indianapolis and arrived in Pittsfield on June 15, 2003 at 7:30PM.That was the longest bus ride or trip I have ever been on. I didn't want to leave but I had to go back and wrap things up with my family and my job. After I got back and told my family my decision, which was the hardest one I've ever had to make, my husband told me that he would give me six months to see if I could make a go of it in Indianapolis and with Jim. Tony, my husband, said he would file for divorce in January of 2004. I had originally planned on returning to Indianapolis on July 1, 2003. On Wednesday, June 18, 2003, Jim was discharged from his job as a maintenance tech at the apartment complex he was working at. He filed for unemployment benefits on June 19, 2003, was denied and on July 18, 2003, he appealed that decision. His court date was set for October 6, 2003 and was done over the telephone. The employer never showed or contacted them in any way so Jim won his case and received back unemployment benefits for seven weeks on October 16, 2003. When Jim was discharged from his job, he called me and told me. We talked for the rest of the day on Internet or phone, depending on our mood. That day, we talked about changing the date of my return to Indianapolis. My orginial date for returning to Indianapolis was July 1, 2003. We moved it to June 27, 2003, a Friday. After talking more, we decided that I would leave Massachusetts on June 26, 2003 after I got my last check from my job. After talking more, we decided that I could wait for my check to be mailed to me and we decided to leave on June 25 early in the morning. I was scheduled to work overnight on the night of June 24, a Tuesday but my boss called me and asked me to work for her on June 23, which I did. Jim gave me a wake up call at ten on June 24 so that I could take my modem back and pick up a few things. My car was already packed and my husband had gone with my brother-in-law for the day. I called Jim after I got back from doing my errands at around two in the afternoon, called in to work and told them that I wasn't coming in that night or any other night after that. At that point, it was around two thirty PM and both of us were ready to head for Buffalo, New York, where we had planned to meet, so we took off. Jim was heading east and I was heading west. Jim and I talked on our cell phones about every two hours to see how everything was going. We met at Denny's Restaurant on the New York State Thruway just south of Buffalo at 10:45 PM, ten days after I had gone back to Massachusetts on the bus. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Dunkirk, New York on Lake Erie that night. The next morning, we went to his cousin's house in Cassandra, New York, to help her move and stayed there Wednesday night. Thursday, we went to the honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls, New York and did some sightseeing. Friday morning, we went back to Cassandra and finished helping his cousin move. Saturday, we headed west for Indianapolis, stayed in Cambridge, Ohio Saturday night and arrived in Indianapolis late Sunday afternoon. From the time that Jim and I got back to Indianapolis, we were looking for work together. During the time we were looking for work, we became closer on all levels, closer than anyone, including us, expected. At this point, Jim's marriage was in name only with him and his wife living separate lives yet sharing the same house and name.


Jim's sons are grown now; one is married to his high school sweetheart and the other is divorced with a six year old daughter, who Jim doesn't see very often due to his impending divorce from his wife and our relationship. On August 18, 2003, Jim and I went to put in applications for a janitorial position. After we filled out the applications, one of the people that worked in the office was Jim's former boss when he had a janitorial position in the past. She hired us right away and we started working that evening. We worked for the company for two months until they decided that Jim and I should work in separate buildings. Neither Jim or I were crazy about me working in a building alone at night so we resigned from that company on October 27, 2003. On November 4, 2003, Jim and I had an interview for another janitorial position at five in the evening. We started working at 5:30 that same evening, working together, which this company wants. On September 13, 2003, Jim and I were just hanging out checking out the various yard and garage sales when he got a call from his wife asking him to take a bookcase that her friend had purchased to her house in the southern part of Indianapolis. At first, we weren't going to do it but we decided that it was time to get our affair out in the open. He called his wife back and said he would do it but he wasn't alone. I sort of met her that day. She never offered Jim any gas money to take the bookcase down to her friend's house. She asked Jim something about Sunday morning and he replied that he wasn't going to be home all weekend. She called him ten minutes after we left her and got on his case about being rude and never asked who I was. September 16, 2003 was the last time he slept in his house across town. On September 18, 2003, he told his wife that their 35 year marriage was over. She has since filed for legal separation but he wants a divorce.


I never once asked him to leave his wife nor have I ever forced him to do anything he didn't want to do or wasn't ready to do. This was a decision he made on his own. As of now, Jim's divorce is pending and mine hasn't started yet. We're living together at the condo with his friend who offered me a room.

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