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Real Story
Both Halves of My Heart


With no one special in my life, it was easy to lean on a stranger that I'd hardly known but was somehow sure would be part of my future.

The place was slightly less romantic than a Kate Hudson movie, but what else could a waitress working double shifts at a diner expect. I'd been working at this hole-in-the-wall diner which was adjacent to a gym and a strip joint for three years, with no hope for promotion. My boss and my life sucked and I was on the verge of a psychotic breakdown.

One day, a charming man came into my life. He'd been eating at the diner regularly for about a week before striking up a conversation with me. I was a lonely, desperate and broke waitress covered in burger grease and smelled like pickles. What did this mystery man want with me? After dating for only two months, I fell madly in love with him and we decided to elope in Vegas.

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When we arrived in Vegas, we didn't have a witness for the wedding ceremony so we paid a black-jack dealer we met fifty bucks to stand next to us while we read our vows to each other. The black-jack dealer attended our "reception", which was actually a couple of drinks at a bar. The guest-list includes James, the black-jack dealer, Adam, my groom, and me. We got stinking drunk and had the best honeymoon possible.

We stayed married for two years before Adam was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His condition worsened and he had to stop working eventually. I was back to doing double shifts at the crappy diner. I struggled to make ends meet and tried my best to help Adam. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and went into a depression. Adam passed away and I attempted suicide but never achieved it.

I was still praying for a miracle but had almost given up on God when I went to work that day and served a cheese-burger with no lettuce and extra ketchup to a very familiar looking man. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that the man eating that burger was James, the black-jack dealer who witnessed my wedding and attended my reception. At first I was furious with God for reminding me of my lost husband when I had finally started to pull myself together again. However, James smiled and offered me a bite of his onion ring as we talked about the past, the present and eventually the future.


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Not a day goes by that I don't think about my Adam and the love that we shared. Nevertheless, I will never cease to be amazed by the mysterious plans fate had laid out for me. James and I fell in love. Not a greater love then the one I had before and also not better or worse but different. It is a new love with a shiny silver lining. James is now a lawyer and I swapped my job at the diner for college and a medical degree. He proposed and we're planning a big wedding. Adam might not be there when James and I say our vows but I know he'll be looking down at us as a witness to another amazing love. I hated that diner but it was there that I found both halves of my heart.

By Jesse Gresl


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