Andrew.

Andrew was the perfect distraction.  He was from Portugal but had lived in the US since college and only recently moved back to his family home in the countryside outside of Lisbon.  Andrew was straight forward, giving, passionate, funny, and interesting…and I only knew this from his email, I hadn’t even heard his voice yet.  He was a distraction that I was enjoying and at the time the distance, approximately 5,500 miles was exactly what I needed!  I was still quite a mess and the last thing I needed was a random guy dropping into my life.

I had figured out the bank account situation, aka my husband shutting it down and taking all the money out and I was slowly starting to feel better about life.  I had even started to research divorce lawyers.  My husband, who was communicating through our therapist, thought we should use a mediator and not go through lawyers.  In hindsight, he was probably right but at the time I couldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him so there was no way in hell that was happening.

The time had come, Andrew was in LA and we were going on a “date” or as I kept explaining it, I was having a dinner with a friend of a friend that was in from out of town. He had just arrived in LA that morning but I was leaving for the 4th of July holiday the next morning so we made it work. I already appreciated his effort.

I went home every summer for the 4th of July, it was my favorite week with my family.  I had been spending the holiday at our lake house since I was 3 years old and it was my happy place.  My grandfather had bought it in the early eighties and I had so many amazing memories there. I had spent so much time there and on the water that I learned to drive a boat before I could drive a car, and I had my car license at fourteen! This year my father called about two weeks prior to tell me we would not be spending the holiday at the house I had grown up in but we were going to a different lake.  What?  But that was my happy place…and I needed my happy place.  I didn’t want to go to a different lake I wanted to go to the house I had been going to for the past 30 years!   Though I was super disappointed it was small on my scale of disappointment lately and I was still excited to see my family and spend time with my nieces!

I was more anxious than ever to get home and my anticipation took away some of my nerves about the date. It was the first date and I hadn’t been on a real first date since my husband six plus years ago, so my nerves were a bit high!  The good news was that before Andrew arrived I felt like we already knew each other, we had been communicating for over two weeks via email and talked about everything under the sun; travel, food, favorites, music, life, religion, family, and love.  He talked so openly about love, I had never really encountered that in anyone.  It was a very foreign concept to me but thus far it was a huge turn on, a man who wasn’t afraid, to be honest about his feelings was fascinating to me.  I thought he should be studied and I was willing to do the research!

I felt like I was a whole different person with him, he made me feel sexy and confident and we hadn’t even met yet.  I got excited when his name popped up in my inbox and I spent way too much time crafting the perfect response. Our emails consisted of three questions that the other person had to answer honestly. We figured it was the best way to get all the small talk out of the way before we met in person.

From the photos, we had shared with each other his home was like a fairytale.  He lived in a huge piece of land located in the countryside of Portugal that had been in his family for generations.  Rolling hills, 500-year-old stone buildings, orchards, … it was so different than anything I had seen, except maybe when I was in England in college.

I had thrown on jeans, heels and a blazer because it was a Monday night and I had picked a sushi place for our date, I didn’t want to overplay.  Cool and casual yet sexy and laid back.   I had never dated a guy from Europe and as it turns out I had no idea what I was up against.  Andrew arrived to pick me up and when I walked out of my building he was standing outside of the car.  He didn’t look anything like any guy I had dated and was as polar opposite from my husband. Andrew was literally tall, dark and handsome!  Shaved head, slim figure, leather jacket, full lips, dark eyes… needless to say I was not disappointed at all!  As we got in the car I immediately felt comfortable with him, no tension from either of us just lots of excitement!

Dinner was amazing.  The conversation was easy, we laughed a lot and never stopped talking. Andrew was one of those people who looked directly into your eyes when he spoke to you.  It didn’t matter who he was talking to; me, the waitress or the valet it was like he looked into your soul when he spoke to you and you were the only person in the world! Our waitress was wetting herself every time he spoke to her, I found it amusing and I was happy to know it wasn’t just me he had that effect on.

During dinner, we talked about everything you can imagine and I was particularly interested in what his life was like in Portugal.  “You will see when you come visit,” he said. I laughed and day dreamed about doing just that for a brief moment, me visiting the countryside in Portugal… good one.  The one thing we had not spoken about was our past.  He had an idea of what I had been though, our mutual friend had given him the cliff notes and he wasn’t interested in filling me in on his past either and at that point and I was perfectly fine with that!  It was nice to not have to discuss and explain everything in detail.  At this point, it felt like my impending divorce was the only topic of conversation in my life.  It was all I spoke about with my family, my friends, interviewing lawyers…. I was over it.  For those brief moments with Andrew, I was just Keylee, not Keylee going through a divorce.  It was bliss.

Finally, the jet lag was catching up with him and I had an early flight so we ended the evening.  Andrew drove me back to my apartment and we pulled up I started to feel disappointed that I was not going to see him for 7 days.  He got out and walked me to the door, as we said good night he grabbed my hand and leaned in gently to kiss me.  Melt. At first, it was super soft and gentle, then full on fantasy kissing….the whole thing was 100% electric.  It was literally like a bolt of lightning went through my body.  As he pulled away I was so in shock I stood there in a daze as he walked back to his car.  I don’t think I had ever experienced a kiss where my toes went numb, until that moment.  I highly recommend it to everyone.

The next morning as I was headed to the airport I was still in a happy haze from that kiss but needed to speak to the divorce lawyer I had decided to hire before I got on my flight.  I was headed home for the first time since I had escaped to Kansas back in January and I wanted to just relax with my family and friends and not think about anything.  Conversations with an attorney are never fun. Have you ever seen that video of the guy trying to shoot his while the attorney hides behind a tiny tree?   That is pretty much how I feel about divorce lawyers.

Which party files first was important in the state of California and so he pushed me to file for a legal separation before my husband filed paperwork.  I told him I was in the midwest and wasn’t sure what I could do but thanks to modern technology on July 2, 2012, from Oklahoma before I went on the lake for the day I filed for legal separation from my husband. I was now separated, what did that even mean? Sigh.

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