It wasn’t very long into that search that we had to sit down and decide something very tough. There was not a lot available for D in his field where we were currently located. That was added with the fact that I only had one year left of law school before I would be graduating. D and I went back and forth on this awhile. I finally told D he needed to apply to any job he could find that would be in his field, no matter where that job might be.
Things became stressful in our relationship. D was depressed about the job situation. I was trying to finish law school. During this time (and prior to D’s job loss), I was also adding to the stress by putting pressure on D to get engaged. Looking back, it was clearly not the time to be thinking of getting married, but I couldn’t seem to help myself from adding that pressure.
D continued filling out job applications and going to interviews. One interview occurred at a small company in a small town in Minnesota. We knew the job prospects for D were better in his home state of Minnesota. The only effect it had was whether or not I would take the bar exam in South Dakota or Minnesota.
D ended up getting the job in Minnesota. Late that fall, D had to move. Luckily, the job was close enough to his parents’ house that he could live with them for awhile to save money. D worried about me staying the apartment by myself (partially because he was worried about me being alone, and partially because he was worried about the financial aspect).
Thankfully, a fellow law student had a house with an extra bedroom that he was willing to rent out to me. The last semester of law school, I moved in with him and another law student. It was a bit of a challenge getting along with “roommates” again, but it worked out fairly well.
That year, D and I were both looking forward to Christmas. We had already been living apart for a month and a half. It was a struggle after being together for so long. D and I were at my grandparents’ house celebrating with my Dad’s side of the family. We were opening presents and laughing as usual.
Suddenly, D brings out a present for me. “I thought we were going to open ours later. I didn’t bring your gift with,” I told him. “That’s okay,” he said, “I wanted to give you yours now.” Thinking nothing of it, I began to open the present. On the top was a book I had asked for. I lifted the book out of the box and turned to say thank you. When I looked over at D, He was down on his knees smiling. I couldn’t believe it! I threw the book on the floor and looked back at the box. There was more in the bottom. Inside, was a Cracker Jack box. On the box, there were words written in sharpie.
What did the box say? Check it out tomorrow in Part VI!