There should always be an introduction. How can the whole story make sense if there is no background information, on which to build? To explain the why, you need to know the whos.
I'm Christina. I've lived in New Jersey my whole life, well, until recently. My best friend in middle school through high school was Corra (Yes, this is relevant to the plot). I'm not going to lie and say we were friends from the start. I thought she was a rival for my beloved band teacher's affection. I loved being one of his favorite students. I was a female trumpet player which was uncommon, and I had a sense of humor. Suddenly, here was another girl, trumpet case in tow, sitting down next to me.
Fast forward, Corra and I had become best friends, and were finally in high school. We had freshman year together, doing marching band. I had given up playing trumpet and was actually in the colorguard. Playing the trumpet had never been a pleasure for me; not like it was for Corra (who wallpapered her room with sheet music). That was the last year we had together. Corra's father had to move for work, so their whole family got uprooted and moved to Michigan. We stayed friends via phone, postcards, letters, and visits. Facebook made it much simpler.
The Big Surprise:
Years went by. Both of us were in our junior year of college, and living our separate lives. One day during a routine check of facebook, I saw a surprising update. "Corra is engaged!" Of course I picked up the phone and called her, and to my surprise, she was serious! This girl had only started dating once she moved out to Michigan, and even then, it was the music that courted her more than the boys. Yes, she had been in relationships, but I didn't think either of us were ready for marriage. I didn't even know she had been dating this particular guy, let alone getting engaged to him!
Side note- I was still dating my high school boyfriend -sweetheart does not apply to that relationship. We had gone waaaay past the honeymoon stage and spent a lot of our time being unhappy.
Back to the call- Her engagement wasn't the only surprise she had for me (NO SHE WASN'T PREGNANT). She wanted me to be her Maid of Honor! I knew we were friends, and I love Corra like a sister, but I thought one of her friends from Michigan would be her choice. Don't get me wrong, I was psyched. We chatted on the phone, and she talked about her *gulp* fiance. It was obvious I was going to have to get out to Michigan to meet the guy and approve.
Long story short, we were all young. Really young. That part still kinda bothers me a little, but they were in love. Corra was a very mature 20, and her fiance was a surprising 19. ((I'm not crazy, right? That is young?)) They were/are still perfect for each other. Corra needed someone who was as mature as herself, with the same values and goals. John was her perfect match. So with my approval given, and wedding plans underway, I went home.
Side note- Home is a fuzzy idea here. Jersey had always been home to me (still is), but my parents had retired to Kansas. That is an incredibly long story that I'm not going to share, and before you ask, "Why Kansas?!?!" I'll tell you. Their extended families ALL live in Nebraska, so Kansas was close enough, but not too close. Plus, my retired airline pilot of a father found them a house on a grass runway with a built in hanger. That's all I'm saying.
The wedding was planned for August 2, 2008, Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had told my boyfriend and he had agreed to come. The routine pre-wedding stuff happened, I met the other members of the bridal party and found out how little I know about weddings. Anyway, it was getting closer and closer to their big day, and I got some bad (at the time) news. Michael wasn't coming.
Michael is another one of those side notes that would turn into it's own blog. I loved him. I really did. He made me crazy, did things I hated, wouldn't do things I liked but I still loved him. Not keeping his promise was the proverbial straw. To comfort me, Corra told me I could dance with her cousin. She was worried about me becoming a wallflower at her wedding reception. I promised her I'd be fine and shrugged it off. I would be what she needed so her big day would be as perfect as we could manage. *Can you say in-laws from hell?*
The day before the wedding we were having a rehearsal dinner (read BBQ on the back deck). The entire family was there, friends, the usual crowd. The two brides maids and I were pretty close by then. The youngest, Allison, was dating Corra's brother Mike, while Katie was single (by then I was starting to consider myself single). I don't remember much of that day anymore. It saddens me especially since that was the biggest turning point in relationship history. What I do remember is Katie and I agreeing that Corra's cousin was a stud, and that we were going to take turns dragging him onto the dance floor at the wedding. -Sorry Johnathan, but you were just a piece of man meat at the time-
Later that night, when the party was over and it was just family at the house; Corra's father, uncle and cousin all tried to get me to play a card game. I had had a few Mike's Hard Lemonades, and wasn't up for anything but flirting with the cousin. I slid my chair closer to his, and pulled a few classic moves (asking him to explain the rules, looking at his cards, sipping my beverage, and going through his wallet). I flirted shamelessly and had a ball. His name is Johnathan.
The next day I was focused on wedding details. Well, up until it was time to take pictures. For some reason they decided to take them before the wedding (just of the bride, brides maids, parents of the bride, etc). I couldn't get my eyes off Johnathan. He had his camera and was snapping away. I think he got more shots than the wedding photographer. Every smile, I smiled for him.
We went to the church, did the deed, drove to Mill Pond for photos of the newly married couple, then on to the reception. (I realize I'm leaving out a lot, and would love to just go on and on, but all of that would drown out the story I'm attempting and probably failing at telling). Once the wedding party was seated, the scheming started. I feel bad because Allison could only listen and laugh at our plan. Katie and I decided to grab Johnathan and his brother (they were next to each other), and drag them out on the dance floor.
Unbeknownst to us, Johnathan was formulating his own plan and fortifying himself with liquor.
Once dinner was over and the first dance was danced, it was time to set the plan in motion. Katie and I had agreed that she get the first dance with Johnathan. I had no objection to this since I was technically not single. We wove our way through the tables to were the guys were seated. John was ready to go, so he and Katie took off for the dance floor. If anyone was to be described as a wallflower, it would be Dan, the brother. I practically had to shove him off his chair.
-Little did we know, Dan getting the first dance, would be a way for John's family to tease him for months after.... actually it's still going, and might even be in a toast at our wedding one day -
The boys were free game after that. Dan got stuck dancing with me for the first song, but after that, it was all John.... and some Fraiser, haha. Johnathan requested a song which has been 'our song,' since he took me in his arms and started crooning in my ear. Fishin' in the Dark still takes me back to that night.
Now some of you might be calling me a cheater at this point, and occasionally I agree, but I did nothing with him that I wouldn't do with a brother. Sure, the holding me close would have been awkward if we were related, but beyond that, everything was innocent. Even when we attempted to step outside for some fresh air (it was humid and hot), nothing happened. I drank more than I've ever had (not saying much, since I don't really drink), danced the night away, and survived the most dangerous ride home ever. **Never tell a guy's sister that she reminds you of her stepmom. It might be meant as a compliment but is never received as one**
Johnathan had to leave early the next morning to head back to Canada -Sorry, I forgot to mention the most monumental fact that led me to where I am today. John is Canadian- We swapped names and phone numbers so we could keep in touch, but we both figured that night as going to go down as one of the most romantic, life changing nights, to ever lead nowhere. We said our goodbyes and parted with only a (few) hugs and me dodging a few kisses. I'm not going to say I had innocent thoughts that night as I lay in bed, knowing John was just a few floors below me, but I never physically cheated. I refuse to feel guilty.
That night was the nail in the coffin for my relationship with Michael. I explained what happened and how I felt. I was nothing but truthful with him. After much jumping through hoops, mistake making and heart breaking, I was free, but a long way away from my canuck.
And that was the beginning