In 1991, I was four years into what was my first real job after having graduated from university. I had been fortunate enough to have received a couple of promotions and by this time I was working in Marketing with new product development. I worked in what was know as the collectible's industry i.e. limited edition plates, dolls, cars, etc. It was an extremely lucrative market in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As part of my job, I got to do quite a bit of traveling, which was fun, as well as was given a nice healthy expense account, but for the most part, I worked Monday to Friday 9 to 5. As a result, Sara was in daycare. She ended up going to the same daycare for five years, until she started school full time.
I loved that daycare and was actively involved with it. I served on its Board of Directors as Vice President the entire time that she attended. As a result, I got to get to know the teachers there quite well - I had hiring and firing privileges cause of my position on their board, as well as cheque signing privileges. One of Sara's teachers just happened to be my future sister-in-law. By 1994, my brother and I ended up purchasing a house together in Old South. It was an extremely large duplex. Jim, Sara and I lived on the main floor which was a three bedroom while my brother and his then girlfriend lived on the top floor which was an equally spacious two bedroom. We shared a huge backyard which overlooked a park and both of us were fortunate enough to each have a huge porch - ours was in the front while my brother's was in the back off of his kitchen and over top of my family room. It was truly an idyllic arrangement.
By this time, Jim was working afternoons which meant he worked from 4pm until 4am. I still worked 9 to 5 for the most part, but once a week each month, I had to remain in the office until 7pm to take my turn managing the late shift. This kind of sucked but nothing that I could really do about this. Certainly raised a bit of a problem concerning collecting Sara from daycare as they closed at 6pm. On these days, my brother and his girlfriend were kind enough to grab Sara for me.
Whenever he picked her up, SIL (sister-in-law) made a point on commenting on him. She went out of her way to mention how cute he was, how kind, how nice he seemed to be, blah, blah, blah. Now I may have thought this kind of odd but to be honest, way back then I didn't really think too much about it. SIL had also started to do some babysitting for me on the side if I ever happened to need one during the week at night or on the weekend. On these occasions, she always asked if my brother was around and if he was, made a point of engaging him in some sort of conversation. Never did she seem to stop to consider that my bro had a live in girlfriend and perhaps, this wasn't all that appropriate.
Now by this point in time, the fall of 1995, my bro and his gf were actually starting to have relationship issues. Jim and I couldn't help overhear some of their ever increasing fights through the ceiling. We did our best to look the other way and not get involved. We did great until one evening when SIL was downstairs at our house kind of tipsy and decided to invite my equally tipsy bro downstairs. He didn't decline her invite and about three hours later, Jim and I were frantically looking for both of them. We found them huddled together out back and by now, both of them were convinced that it was fate and that they were made for each other. WTF?