It ended in the same place it began, in the place she hired me, in the place where I met her son: where I confessed my crush one Saturday when I'd been called into work and there he was picking up his sister who was then but a sophomore in high school; and there in the whirlpool room that cold November morning he asked me to the movies that night and gave me a hug. Around the corner, one Thursday morning nearly three years later, I surprised his mother with my engagement ring- nearly as much a surprise to me. I had known for two years I wanted to marry him, but then there it was. I told my mother by calling to say, I am engaged, I think, whilst staring at the ring on my finger with incredulity and disbelief.
And we were off and running; engagement changes life in ways I wouldn't ever have known without being there.
In that same building, three months before our wedding, three days after we'd supped at her home, and three before she was to dine at ours, she found out I was gone- No wedding, no shower to throw, no family coming from Belgium; no mother of the groom, no in-laws to be gained; no rehearsal dinner, no photographs for the hall.
I knew as cold feet grew that leaving would cause great upheavals, would create a giant mess, but it is only now I am beginning to comprehend the ripples of my decision.