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Cheryl Lavin: After 25 years, they may finally be ready to get serious

Holly had a crush on Trace all through grade school and high school. They never got together except for one — what shall we call it? —encounter — when they were seniors.

“I had a boyfriend at the time, then I found out he had cheated on me. I ran into Trace at a party, and we hooked up. It fulfilled some childhood fantasy, but I was surprised that he never called.”

Holly and her boyfriend got back together, briefly. Then they all graduated, and Trace joined the Navy. He married, had a couple of children and moved out of state. Holly married, had a couple of children and remained in the same city where Trace’s parents and siblings lived.

Over the years, Holly attended grade school reunions; Trace attended grade school reunions, but somehow they never attended the same ones. Trace came home for weddings, funerals, and family get-togethers, but somehow they never bumped into each other.

“My fault really,” says Holly. “I never made the effort. But we did swap birthday cards, emails and texts.”

Holly separated from her husband a few years ago, although they remain in the same house. She sleeps in a twin bed in her daughter’s room. Last summer, she heard Trace was coming to town just when she was leaving for a cruise.

“It didn’t mean much to me to miss seeing him again; I was too excited about my cruise. It was my first one, and he was knowledgeable about them, so I asked his advice. A few days after returning home, I sent him some pictures.”

At first they emailed from work. Then one day Holly got an email from Trace’s personal account. So they started emailing each other at home, at night. And their emails became more personal.

“He brought up our one and only night together. He told me he never called because he thought he couldn’t compete with my boyfriend. But he confessed that he followed me the summer. I do remember him being at a lot of parties, even a few at my house. He said that he regretted never calling again.”

Trace followed up the email with a “very sweet love letter” telling Holly she was the love of his life and that it took him years to get over her. He told her that he had wanted to get in touch with her every time he came to town, even though he never did. Holly wrote him back and told him about her separation.

“Trace and I have been talking for a year now, sending emails, cards, photos and gifts back and forth. Not a day goes by that we don’t talk!”

And now, 25 years after their one-night stand, they’ve made plans to get together. “I’m crazy about him and he’s crazy about me.”

There’s one hitch. One major hitch. They’re both married. “He’s not happy at home. No surprise or he wouldn’t be talking to me! And he’s hinted that one day we may be together. I won’t make him commit to me, and I have no expectations that he’ll ever leave his wife. Still, I can’t wait to lays eyes on him and get to know him for the few days we’ll be together.”

Holly says their story is to be continued . . .

Did a one-night stand lead to more? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com.

And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.”