Suffice it to say, coming out of that relationship I felt extremely cautious about entering into another one. As a matter of fact, the last thing I wanted to do was meet another man. However, it was on my first official "girl's night out" that I actually met Duff. He was attending a woman's birthday party with one of his friends and smoking a cigar in my vicinity, which bothered me greatly. Still smarting from my recent break up, I tended to be very short with people at the time. I believe I asked him to move or put out the cigar in no uncertain terms. Shortly after, Jeana called him over to our table, probably to apologize for my rude behavior, and we all ended up in conversation. Jeana encouraged Duff to ask me to dance, to which Duff replied, "With her??" (Implying, "That rude chick?") But we danced and had a good time, regardless. He asked me out, but due to my situation I declined. My good friend Jeana, always wishing to help me out, gave him my phone number though. Duff called and we actually spoke on the phone several months before going out on a date. This later escalated into a great relationship. We felt like rebels, both having come out of unfortunate marriages. My divorce was long and complicated, and more than anything I longed for a normal, loving relationship by then. But I was fearful of marriage and did not want to contemplate doing it again at that time. After eight years together we decided to have a child. We lost our first child, but then we were very fortunate to have Ryley, who is a blessing to all of us. Well, this is where the road got bumpy. I changed the rules on Duff. Officially free from Lou, and now with a child, I wanted to get married.