On December 14, 2005, I created an account for, and started playing, World of Warcraft (henceforth known as WoW). For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's an online game where millions of people log on and play online. We create and control characters through leveling and questing and friendships are made, broken, grow into relationships and beyond. These friendships cross over into the real world and I know of at least 6 couples who met on WoW, someone moved, they got married, and have children now. In the game people form guilds and in May 2006, I joined a guild called Legacy of Khan. This is where I met The Canadians. I capitalize it because this group of people have been my friends for well over 3 years now and they've seen me at my worst and helped me get through it. So here's the cast as it sits now. Hey, this is my story I can tell it how I want.
Shanna: Exceptionally beautiful and kind Canadian.
Jordan: Shanna's best friend and co-worker at a call center. (Not gonna lie, I sorta had a crush on Jord for a while. I got over it. I was married.)
Joe: Shanna's brother.
Alex: NOT a Canadian but became Shanna's boyfriend and later husband. Lived in Kentucky. He and Shanna are now happily married in Ohio. He's a total hottie.
Rob: Co-worker of Shanna and Jordan.
Now, in game, I went everywhere with these guys. Some days I felt like the little sister following her older sibling and their friends around, even though I am older than these guys. 7 years older than the oldest of them. But these guys became my friends. We talked to each other everyday on a program called Ventrilo that allows you to talk over the internet. Now towards the middle of 2007, I was really getting into my depression, my marriage was a failure, and I was unemployed. I made WoW my life. I left the computer to occasionally sleep, shower when my clothes began to disintegrate, or eat when T demanded food. That was it. Otherwise I was on WoW and talking to these guys. They had no idea how bad things were because on vent I was laughing and joking and lying my ass off about how things were at home. In game we do these things called raids where 10 or 25 players all get together and work on more difficult mobs as a team for better gear. We raided 3 nights a week and I NEVER missed a raid. I lived for them. I let it consume me because it was so much better than what reality had become.
I think back now and all I really remember was WoW and raiding was fun. Reality consisted of fighting and crying. Now y'all, when you're married and having troubles, intimacy tends to fly out the window. My marriage didn't have a WHOLE hell of a lot of intimacy to begin with but honestly at the end when we would argue about the last time we had been intimate it was ridiculous.
Me (usually crying): Why do I stay if you don't want me?
T: But I do want you.
Me: No, you want my cooking and sometimes cleaning.
T: I love you, you're my wife.
Me: No, I'm your roommate! Spouses have sex every once in a while.
T: We do have sex.
Me (usually screaming): We haven't had sex in 5 fucking years!!
T: It's only been 4!
Seriously? Really??? Yeah we could argue about the number of YEARS, people. Not days, week, even months. Years. And honestly I had given up. I no longer wanted the intimacy because I knew I would just lose it again. It never stuck around for long and it hurts worse to have those few moments of what should have been a constant only to have it withheld again and again. So there was no intimacy, we stopped talking, we didn't do things together, we fought about every little thing it seems...yeah my marriage had been over for a long time. I look back and realize now that a lot of my depression was me mourning the death of my marriage. So I hid in WoW. I lived vicariously through The Canadians and existed.
Now around the Summer of 2007, another co-worker of Shanna and Jord's started playing on the same server as us. They helped him level and catch up to us and he started raiding with us. I don't think I ever helped him level any. I believe I was just much too busy raiding to be that helpful to anyone. So into the picture comes Cory. Cory, at the time, was, to me, a friend of theirs. I got along with him and he fit into the group well, but I wasn't really interested in getting to know him. Yes, I was a selfish bitch, I know. Can we move on now? Thanks.
So in game you gain reputation with different factions by doing what are referred to as daily quests. Cory and I started doing dailies together and started talking. He was fun, as flirtatious as me and we have the same sense of humor. Yay! A new friend! He is also a fantastic listener and I found myself opening up about my problems and he listened. He never gave advice, he was just there for me. Now, Cory speaks softly and slowly. He's articulate and thinks before he speaks so at times there's a pause before he responds. I cannot begin to describe how soothing this was to my raw nerves. As soon as I'd hear him say, "Hi there!" I would just relax. It was like slipping into a warm bath after a hard day. He always made me laugh and yeah, in a way I used him. He was the balm I needed during that time. I've already apologized to him for using him. Don't judge me. During this time, Shanna and Alex got engaged. Shanna asked me to be in the wedding. I promised to do everything in my power to make that happen.
By the summer of 2008, I considered Cory to be one of my best friends. He and I discussed anything and everything. Then his computer broke. I no longer had access to him. This...this drove me insane. The game wasn't the same. My refuge was gone. I snapped out of my happy realm and ended up facing reality. It was ugly, y'all. Reality sucked balls. I left T and at the end of 2008 I was staying with Laura and family. One day Rachel told me Cory was back. I had my computer over at the house but I was trying to resist the lure of playing WoW again so I just had her tell him "hi" for me. This lasted for about a week and a half. I missed talking to him. I logged onto vent to talk to him and that was all she wrote. I had my happy place back. I had seriously missed the sound of his voice. I had missed our flirting. He let me talk about things that were going on with T and he always urged me to think about what I truly wanted before making any final decisions. He never once told me to end it. I guess it was around October of last year, a couple of weeks after I had told T that I wanted a divorce, that Rachel (my "sister" via Laura) teased me about liking Cory.
Rachel: Why can't you admit you like him?
Me: Like who??
Me: Oh whatever. He's my friend, crackhead.
Rachel: You do so like him!! Your face lights up when you talk to him!
Me: You're retarded. I can't fall for my best friend.
Rachel. That's how it's supposed to work, dumb ass. Your spouse should be your best friend. Besides, you can totally tell he likes you, too.
Then I started thinking about it. I DID like this guy. Well shit. I'm still married, well, legally anyway, and my self image is in the shitter and he LIVES IN CANADA and I live in Texas and.....well shit. I decided that if I was ever going to really live again I was going to have to grow a pair and put myself out there. So I told him. I did too. It was the scariest thing I've ever done. His response? "Interesting...."
Wait....what? No matter, I let it drop. We went back to our flirting. But his flirting took on a new tone. I realize now he was being sneaky and seducing me. Yeah, it worked. Shut up. We both knew I was going to Canada in May for Shanna's wedding and began talking about how cool it was going to be to finally meet our best friend in person and I couldn't wait to give him a hug for having been such an awesome friend through all the shit. In November I moved in with my folks since my dogs and most of my crap was there anyway and began making plans to go back to school. I was ready to get back out in the world but Mom and I were going to Cozumel again in April and I was heading for Canada in May, so getting a job and going to school had to wait until I got back. When I got back to my folks and had all my computer stuff set back up, Mom asked me a question that was probably a bad idea. "I have this web cam I don't use, do you want it?" Hell yeah.
I made Cory go buy one. We began playing online games like cribbage and dominoes and turning on the web cams to talk. We discussed hobbies, books, movies, politics, religion, our childhoods...we put forth a lot of effort getting to know each other better. We talked every day without fail. We spent hours talking, joking, laughing, flirting and playing and it just was never enough time. My nephew started calling him my "Canadian boyfriend." I would yell at him to cut it out because I was still legally married. Yeah, I took my vows pretty damn serious. As it was there were times I felt I had no right to be talking to Cory because I wasn't divorced yet. It was too late. I was pretty damn hooked on him already.
We began really looking forward to May but neither of us wanted to do anything to mess up our friendship. We had a LOT of discussions about what would or would not happen when I got up there. I had already decided I was going to stay a little longer after the wedding to spend time with him and get to know him in person. He seemed pretty keen on this idea. We started out with, "I just wanna meet my friend." It progressed to "The possibility of something happening is there but I won't be divorced yet so hell no." Adultery was so not on the menu, thanks anyway. By the time April rolled around the plan became me getting there the Wednesday before the wedding to spend those days helping Shanna finalize things and then spending a full week up there with him after the wedding. Sex was definitely a possibility. We weren't ruling anything out but we weren't flat out planning on it either. Yes, by then we had planned on him staying at the hotel with me for that week but you never know what will happen once you meet face to face, right?
A week before I flew to Canada, Cory disappeared. He quit logging onto MSN, WoW and Vent. I went into a panic. My thoughts ranged from, "His computer broke again" to "He's changed his mind and doesn't want me and oh shit what have I gotten myself into." My best friend, Pamela, got me through that week. Kudos to her because I was a mess. I believe my end of one our conversations where I was crying went, "What if he doesn't want me and he's changed his mind and I don't know if I even have a hotel room because he's booking it and paying for it and I don't have any way to talk to him and I am such a fucking idiot for falling in love with him and I miss him and....." whoa. Yeah. I said it. I meant it. Especially the fucking idiot part. So by Sunday of the week I was flying out I got desperate. I looked up his mom and stepdad online, got their home number and left him a message with his mom. Oh c'mon! Don't act shocked. I'm a stalker, people!!
He got the message not 2 minutes after I hung up with his mom and he logged into MSN. Yes, I had a place to stay. He had just "gotten busy" that week so hadn't been around. I let it slide. I knew he had been thinking things through but I didn't want to deal with it just then and I knew I planned on making him talk about it while I was up there. So off I fly to Canada. He had promised Shanna to stay away from me until after the wedding because those days belonged to her. I was not amused. I mean, I got to see him that Thursday night because her bachelorette party was guys and girls since, like me, the majority of her close friends are guys. I must admit, I was a smooth and suave individual that night. I was talking to our friend Rob, who I was ever so excited to meet, when I saw Cory walking to us. My face fell and I think I went white. Rob said "Just breathe, you're gonna be ok." I responded, "Am not!! I can't do this."
He was standing below us on the floor of the pool hall so I got brave and walked down the steps, walked over beside him, bumped my shoulder into his and said our standard greeting of, "Oh hi." We smiled at each other and my brain shut off. If anyone spoke to me for that few seconds I didn't hear them. The world went a little gray around the edges, not gonna lie. Yeah, I'm cool as a cucumber. So we all proceeded to the small party room to shoot pool and socialize. It was awesome to get to finally meet these people, but weird as hell seeing people I had only known online for 3 years. I spent the night trying not to be obvious in my drooling over Cory. Cory spent the night walking up behind me and running his hand along my neck, my lower back, down my arm or, when we were sitting, along the side of my leg. I jumped every time he touched me. I think I squeaked a couple of times. Yep! Suave, that's me. He spent the evening being seductive. I spent the night jumping at shadows. I handle romance so well.
At the end of the night we were all standing in the parking lot and with out me getting any say in the matter, it was decided that Cory was driving me back to the hotel. Lemme tell ya, this did NOT calm my nerves. We got into the car and he hands me a sack with something in it and says I can't look at it until after he's dropped me off. We stopped so I could grab some bottled water for the room and then he took me back. We sat in the parking lot and talked for a bit when he got this devilish grin on his face and said, "Ok, look in the bag. I wanna see your reaction."
Now for a little back story. Back in February for Valentine's Day, I got the best freaking gift ever. Cory sent me an invite to start viewing his web cam. I accept said invite and as soon as it shows up, he's standing there, comPLETEly nude holding a heart shaped box in front of him in a very strategic manner. I laughed until I cried. Best Valentine's Day I've ever had.
So inside this bag he's given me is the heart shaped box he had held up that day. I laughed all over again. In my roaring laughter I realized there's something in the box. It's not supposed to rattle. I open the box and it's full of condoms. Ya gotta hand it to him, he's creative as hell. So I get out and head up to my room with my now box o' condoms and he heads home. He held true to his word to Shanna and I didn't see him again until Saturday at the wedding. He went with us for the picture taking. He stopped and got bottled water for me. He stayed at my side and was a perfect gentleman the whole time.
We get to the reception and I am warned, "The wedding protection promise is wearing off. Wedding stuff almost over." This scared me a bit. Cory comes up to the bridal table where I'm seated several times and runs his hand over my neck, scaring the shit out of me and making me squeak. The table he was sitting at held him and 2 of my other friends so they enjoyed his teasing as well. This game did not seem get old for them. As soon as dinner was over and I felt free of my bridesmaid obligations, I headed for the fun table. Not to say that the bridal table wasn't fun, because it was, but it's just not where I wanted to be for some reason. Hmmm. Luckily the bride understood and was surprised I had stayed as long as I had. The rest of the evening may has well be titled, "The Seduction of Angie" because he spent the rest of the night driving me insane. Planting small kisses down my arm, across my neck, holding my hand and playing with my fingers, running his hand along my exposed back. He's good. I gotta give him that.
At this point all I will say is he came back to the room with me and helped get the 45 bobby pins out of my hair for the oddity that was my up do for the wedding and then he spent the rest of my stay in Canada with me. It was, without a doubt, the most amazing week of my life. Sunday we had brunch with the newlyweds and our other friends and went to a movie with them. Tuesday we only left the room long enough to walk the block to Tim Horton's for coffee and take a short walk. We weren't even gone for 2 hours. He drove me around to places that were beautiful and places that held meaning for him. I took a thousand pictures. I met his family and we watched movies in the basement cuddled on the couch, snuggled under a blanket. We slept in each others arms and professed our love for each other.
We both cried when I left. We still talk every day without fail. Plans are being made for him to move down here to be with me. He's supporting my decisions about school and wants to help me make it happen. He's excited about the turns my life has taken. We have the same sense of humor. We like the same things for hobbies. He understands my need for yarn. He knows how to cook. Seriously! I love this guy! How could I not? So yes, out of pain and tragedy I have found love again. When I thought my life was over due to divorce I realized it's just beginning again. I'm starting over fresh. Have I had my doubts? Of course I have. At first I doubted my feelings. I doubted the timing. I have fears about the future. I never once doubted his love for me. So, without further ado, meet Cory.
You'll be hearing a lot about him, I'm sure.