That there was a change in me. I was paying more attention to how I looked, how I dressed. I was exercising a lot more, losing weight, and smiling all the time. I was on the treadmill every day, doing 60 minutes in the morning, and 90 minutes in the evening. In less than two months I had dropped about 25 pounds and lost over 2.5 inches from around my waist.
One of the courtroom clerks caught on pretty early that something was going on, and asked me “OK, who is she?”. I didn’t tell her, and said she’d just have to figure it out. She first told me that she thought it was KW, because I had made some comment about how awesome I thought that her smile was and how great her hair looked. Then she told me that she thought it was SE! Can you imagine? SE and I were always very friendly with each other, and I regularly told SE that I wanted to set her up with my oldest son, even though I knew. SE would always come and say “hi” to me whenever she was in court, and she is just an all around great person. But I guess that the clerk didn’t know that SE was already with someone, and that I wasn’t even close to her “type”.
A couple of days later Dawn walked in to the courtroom, stood against the back wall, and started to smile at me. I walked over and we chatted for a bit, walking out towards the witness room while we were talking. When I walked back in to the courtroom I must have been smiling like an idiot, because the clerk was just sitting there staring at me with a huge OMFG look on her face. I asked her why that shit eating grin was on her face, and she said “that’s her!” I told her that she was wrong, but she said “oh come on, I saw how you both acted around each other! it’s definitely her!” I was a little hesitant to admit it to her, but she seemed genuinely happy for me. And surprisingly, she was very supportive of it and even coaxed me in to going further.
What really surprised me was that even the Judges began to notice. All of them mentioned that they saw that I had been losing weight, that I seemed to be a lot happier, and that something must have changed in my life. One of the Judges pulled me in their chambers, and asked me directly if I had a new girlfriend and who she was. I just brushed it off by saying “I wish”, and the Judge was professional enough to let it go at that point. But I think that the Judge already knew that I was smitten with someone, and knew who she was. Mostly because when Dawn was in the courtroom the following week, I saw the Judge going back and forth staring at her, then staring at me and smiling. Either the Judge saw me begin to smile when Dawn walked in the courtroom and Dawn smiling back at me, or the clerk told on me, which wouldn’t surprise me either.
I must have been really obvious about how I was feeling, because it wasn’t just the clerks and the Judges that noticed. One of Dawn’s coworkers approached me several times, and asked if there was a new woman in my life and who she was. “Is she on my department? I know she is! Who is it? Is it SY?” I eventually admitted to her that it was one of her coworkers, and that it definitely wasn’t SY. But I never told her who it was.
I so wanted to be able to tell people that I had feelings for Dawn. But I had been told about what had happened before, and I didn’t want to do anything that might make her feel uncomfortable. I wanted this to work.
During one particular painful part of the roller-coaster ride I must have looked like a real mess, because one of Dawn’s coworkers pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong. I told her that a young woman was driving me crazy, and that I just wished that things would get easier. She put her hand on my shoulder, leaned towards me and quietly said “I hope so too. Just be careful with her.” She seemed to know that it was Dawn, but I’m not sure how she found out. I certainly didn’t tell her. But it was nice that she was worried about me.
Several months after things went to crap between Dawn and me, I ran in to one of her coworkers while I was riding my motor through FredNeck. When I pulled over and stopped to say hi, they asked me right out of the blue, “Alright, so who was she?”
I told them that they would be very disgusted with me if I told them, but they insisted. When I said that it was Dawn and to please not mention it to anyone, especially to her, they shook their head and said “Her whole life has been a disaster. Remember what happened with her? You should have known better!”
That must be pretty easy to say, when you don’t have feelings for that person.
And it’s really hard to hear when you do.