Time went on, and I continued to juggle caring for Meadow, working at my career, and seeing both Jake and Pat.
With Pat's help, Meadow learned to walk and talk. We were both so excited when she took those first steps! She was a very quick learner, a very smart little girl. We were working on teaching her reading next.
It was all rather exhausting, but it kept me too busy to think about the things I was trying to avoid.
After learning that Cheesesteak was both Jake and Pat's favorite food, I learned how to make it. It sure made choosing what to serve for dinner very easy!
But I was becoming more and more afraid that if things continued this way, I would lose both Jake and Pat. I just needed to find the courage to talk to Pat soon. Who would he choose? I was so scared to find out, because I was afraid it wouldn't be me. But that was all the more reason to make some changes, so I knew it had to be done.
And then one day after returning home after work, I received quite a shock. I got a love letter from Pat in the mail. It read;
"I've been wanting to tell you for a while now - I just didn't know how. I love you, Laura."
I stood there next to the mail box for a few moments. I had so many feelings running through me that I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Was it true? Would he leave Julia even if it was?
After changing clothes and hiring a babysitter, and putting on my sunglasses to hide the evidence of the tears I did cry after all, I ran over to Jeck's house because she just had to talk to someone about this. Fortunately he was home! I told him all about how I loved Pat but I was afraid that he would never leave Julia, and had a terrible time letting go. But I loved Jake also, and was afraid that I would lose Jake if things continued this way.
"I had been seriously thinking that I should talk to Pat about making a choice between me or Julia and if necessary, ending our romantic relationship. But I'm also afraid of hurting Meadow's chances of being with her father. But then Pat sent this letter that had me all torn up about what to do!"
"I can't believe he did this to me! Just when I was about ready for the possibility of just being friends with Pat for Meadow's sake, and commit fully to being with Jake, he sends me a love letter and tells me that he loves me!"; I said in frustration.
"Well", Jeck finally replied after a short silence, "I don't want to be a downer, but I can't see how it makes much difference that he says he loves you. You don't really think he's going to leave his wife, do you? After all this time?" he asked. "If what you want is something more permanent, I don't think Pat's the right guy for you".
Sadly, I didn't think he would ever leave her either; I had to admit that I had come to that conclusion quite a while ago. But hearing Jeck say it out loud was heartbreaking because I knew that I had still hoped for a different outcome. Maybe it was finally time to confront Pat about our future once and for all, and I needed to steel myself for doing just that. I knew that the longer things went on this way, the more I risked losing Jake, and that was a very painful thought, too.