Ok, so I promised to tell my side of our “romantic tale” but as anyone with kids can attest, it’s difficult to find time to sit down and do anything for yourself and when you DO have a little bit of free time, you just want to sit down and unwind. Translation: I’m lazy.
Chuck and I dated when we both lived at Hahn Air Base, Germany. He was a firefighter in the Air Force and I was an Air Force Brat. My father was stationed at Hahn from September 1988 until July 1991. I attended and graduated from Hahn American High School in 1990. Like most teenagers, I yearned for my independence and my own spending money so I went out and got a job.
I worked after school and on weekends at the NCO Club. Glamorous job that it wasn’t; I enjoyed working and hanging out with my friends that I met at “The Club”. As fate, destiny, or just plain dumb luck would have it Chuck and I met while working together at The Club. I first noticed Chuck while he was standing in front of the bulletin board in the kitchen. He was checking his schedule and I was…well, checking out his “assets”. After a couple weeks (or was it months? I don’t quite remember) of flirting we became a couple and spent every opportunity together outside of school and work. Now that I think about it, it must have been a couple of months before we began dating because reflecting on a conversation we had I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to be put off by him. A group of us were talking while getting ready for dinner service one evening and somehow the subject of age came up. Chuck mentioned that he was 19 to which I replied was only two years older than me and not so old that I couldn’t date him. I wish that I could remember exactly what he said at that point because it was Chuck’s cocky attitude and his indifference to me that made me want to pursue him. Our first date was at The Roxy in Sohren, a dance club, where I learned that Chuck loved to dance even if he wasn’t as good as he thought he was. Funny thing, he still thinks he’s a good dancer.
After almost a year of dating, an upcoming high school graduation, and Chuck’s impending military orders to move to Minot, North Dakota (which turned into Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota) Chuck and I began talking about a future together. Chuck surprised me while I was working at my second job, Hollywood Video, with a promise ring. We agreed that we needed to wait at least two years to get married and set a date of September 9, 1992. Then came the hard part, breaking the news to my parents who at the time didn’t much care for Chuck because he was in the military and I was still in school when we started dating. Chuck left Germany in October or November 1990 with a promise to find us an apartment in South Dakota where we could start our life together and I promised to tell my parents that I had a plane ticket and planned on leaving just after the New Year.
On January 4, 1991, I got the phone call that I never expected. Chuck called me to tell me that he no longer wanted me to move with him to South Dakota. My first and only thought was, “what’s her name?” Chuck swore up and down that he wasn’t involved with anyone, but in the next few weeks I found out that he had moved in with someone else. I was heartbroken.
In an attempt to pull me out of my depression my friend introduced me to someone with a very unique name. William Williamson. “Did his parents hate him?” I asked my friend. I was told that he went by his middle name-Keith. Yeah, ok, whatever. It was February of 1991 and I had no interest in meeting anyone. On June 15, 1991, Keith asked my father if he could marry me. Just after getting engaged to Keith I got another phone call that I wouldn’t have expected. Chuck called to tell me that he was going to be stationed somewhere in the Indian Ocean and that he loved me. I was physically sick. My nerves were raw and I trembled inside and out as I listened to him tell me that he loved me. When Chuck says that he “vibrated” when he heard from me, it surely had to be this same feeling. I was shaking so hard I could hardly speak, if I hadn’t been lying in bed with the phone to my ear I doubt that I would have been able to hold the receiver. I told Chuck that I had met someone else and that I had just gotten engaged. He wished me well and that was the last time I talked to him.
I moved back to the States with my parents and married Keith on August 31, 1991 in Stone Mountain, Georgia not far from where his mother lived. Keith was in the Army and when Hahn Air Base began its closing proceedings in 1991 he was stationed to Crailsheim, Germany. After we married, Keith went to his new duty stationed and five months later I moved back to Germany to be with my new husband. In 1992 we moved to Huntsville, Alabama and then on to Ft. Hood, Texas. I loved Keith and don’t regret marrying him, but we both know that our marriage was on the rebound from my relationship with Chuck and we probably should have never gotten married. We had our daughter, Katlyn Nicole, on December 5, 1993 and divorced in August of 1994. I moved to Lawrenceville, Georgia to start a new life with Katlyn in October 1993 and have lived in metro Atlanta ever since.
In 1999 I moved to Dallas, Georgia to become roommates with a girl that I had met thru my ex-mother-in-law. I started to become internet savvy when my roommate bought her first home computer that year. I started hearing about “googling” people and thought I might try it with a few people I had lost touch. Classmates.com and other like websites became familiar to me as I tried to reconnect with friends I thought I would never talk to again. I tried to “google” Chuck’s name but as luck would have it Chuck Wolf is also the name of a highly popular camera store owner in the Atlanta area. I searched the white pages and did people searches on and off during the years. I looked in South Dakota and in Pennsylvania where I remembered Chuck’s mother had lived. I printed a list of “Chuck Wolf’s” that lived in Pennsylvania and stuck it in a drawer. There were five phone numbers that I thought that maybe someday I would have the courage to call to see if any were the right one. Every once in a while when I was bored and surfing the net I would try to look up Chuck’s name again to see if I might find something new. On my list of names there was a Chuck and Cindi Wolf in Etters, PA that I felt for certain was the number that would connect me to who I had always wondered what had happened.
In July 2005 I found myself chatting with old friends from high school on an internet reunion site. A random post from a guy named Jeff said that he was in a profession where he “found people” for a living and that if we were ever in search of someone to write him an email with as much information as possible and he would see what he could do to reconnect us with our “lost” person. As usual, I mused to myself ‘I wonder whatever happened to Chuck?’ I thought about sending an email to Jeff but thinking that Chuck would surely be happily married and not at all interested in hearing from me I put the thought aside. Two weeks later the idea was still nagging at me so I wrote a quick email to Jeff and gave him all the information I knew. On August 25, 2005 I received a call from Jeff telling me that he had found “my Mr. Wolf” and that his wife had taken a message to have Chuck call me. No sooner had the words left Jeff’s mouth I had an incoming beep on my phone. I answered it and it was as Jeff put it, “My Mr. Wolf”. As I had always expected, Chuck was married and living in Pennsylvania. Chuck and I talked for two hours that evening catching up. I asked him to reassure his wife that I wasn’t calling to tell him he had an illegitimate child or to cause trouble in his marriage. I had always wondered what had happened and I finally had my answer.
Many who would read this or hear our story would say that I did exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do. I broke up Chuck and Cindi’s marriage. I gave Chuck an excuse to walk away and not try to fix the problems that they were facing. I’m guilty. At the end of that first conversation Chuck and I had after fourteen years apart, I told Chuck that if I never spoke with him again I wanted him to know that I had never stopped loving him and that I never would. I’m not proud of how the next couple months went. I never planned to be “the other women” or to cause Cindi pain. Over the next three months Chuck and I talked endlessly and knew after a few conversations that we wanted to be together again. We planned to meet face to face in Gatlinburg, TN the first weekend in December to see if our feelings would be the same in person as they were on the phone. Three weeks later Chuck moved to Georgia to be with me. As I said, I’m not proud of the way things took place, but I am happier than I have ever been. We have our rough spots and times I wonder what in the hell did I get myself into, but at the end of everyday I go to bed knowing that I am loved by an incredible man and that our love for each other will always hold us together.
Chuck and I were married January 4, 2008 and our son, Aaron Michael, was born February 4, 2008.