(1/2) “Amanda and I worked at the same shoe store when I was seventeen. We had the same goofy sense of humor. And I knew I loved her right away. But she was so beautiful, and I was on the bigger side. So I didn’t think I’d interest her in that way. But we ended up becoming great friends. We’d go on nice dates. I’d show her my favorite spots in the city. It was almost like having a girlfriend except that we never kissed. I certainly had my chances. There would be these times when we were close together, and things would get really quiet– but I’d always freeze up. And the longer we remained friends, the harder it became to make a move. Eventually both of us started dating other people and we began to drift apart. I think there was a jealousy thing involved. Our banter became more targeted. We’d make fun of each other’s partners. And eventually we stopped speaking all together. I ended up marrying my girlfriend and we had a beautiful daughter named Scout. But things didn’t work out, and two years later we got divorced. Not long afterward I got a random call from Amanda. We talked about our friendship, and what had happened. And I ended up writing this long-winded email about how much I loved her. We agreed to go to my friend’s wedding together. But this time It was unquestionably a date. We had our first kiss the moment I stepped off the plane. Scout had come with me, and of course I was worried about how they’d get along. But it felt like they’d known each other forever. The first time we crossed a street, Scout reached for Amanda’s hand instead of mine. It was magical. And a few months later we all moved in together. There wasn’t a ton of money, but things were going well. Amanda was ‘all in’ as a stepmother. And since I was sharing custody, we also had some space to be a new couple. But then one day I got a call from Scout’s mom. She told me: ‘I’m not coming to pick her up. I can’t do this. I’ll sign the paperwork.’ I walked downstairs like I’d seen a ghost. I was so scared for Scout. And I was terrified it would be too much for Amanda. But when I gave her the news, she didn’t hesitate for a second. She just gave me a hug, and said: ‘We’re gonna do this.