We recently met Jason and Andrea. They were the lawyers whose relationship turned from professional to personal after Jason's wife died.
They first met over 30 years ago, when they were on opposite sides of a case. Jason says he won the case. Andrea says she doesn't remember anything about it.
"I was a young lawyer working for someone else and hadn't spent a lot of time with the case before going to trial. My impression of Jason was that he was smart, professional and nice."
At the time, Andrea was married, but she divorced several years later.
Jason remembers that they continued to stay in touch over lunch. "The lunches were only once or twice a year," says Andrea. "He thinks they were more frequent. We usually talked about cases or his travels, which were usually into the woods to fish."
She says those lunches were strictly platonic. "He was married and gave off no vibes expressing any romantic interest in me. We're very different, so there was no chemistry on my end, either. He loves the outdoors and dogs. I am an excellent couch potato and had always lived in a condo."
Jason does appellate work, and over the years, Andrea would call him from time to time with questions. One day when she called, his secretary told her that he was at the hospital with his wife, who was dying. "She gave me a little background of what was going on."
After his wife died, Andrea called with a question, and Jason suggested lunch. She says he seemed different.
"He looked at me differently, leaned over the table a little and stayed longer than at previous lunches. I thought afterward, 'He might ask me out sometime.'"
Boy, did he! If you recall, he asked Andrea if she'd drop her plans to spend the weekend with her girlfriend and instead spend it with him at his cabin. She says she was "surprised."
"I didn't know what to think. I had known him so long and knew him to be very stable. I really couldn't imagine he would do anything to pressure me. When I said I wouldn't stand up my friend, without taking a breath, he said, 'OK, what about next weekend?' I told him maybe, but I had to think about it."
Andrea told her girlfriend Jan about Jason's invitation and then happened to check her office voicemail. There was a message from Jason inviting her friend to come along.
"When I told her, her response was, 'Let's go!'"
"The three of us got to Jason's cabin in the afternoon. None of us knew what to expect. I thought the two of them would be well matched. They both like the outdoors. As I said, I'm a couch potato. But by the end of the evening, it was clear Jason and I were attracted to each other."
After her friend went to bed, Jason and Andrea sat in front of the fire and talked and talked.
"I ended up sleeping on the couch. I never made it to the bedroom. When we were back in the city, we began to email. It was through those conversations that I came to know another side of Jason. He's wickedly funny, loyal and just a wonderful human being. I'm still amazed that I have such a wonderful husband."
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