We met on a warm October night in Pasadena. He was a son of German business couple who came to Los Angeles to run a furniture store around 1970s. Couple of years later they had a boy. When he was still little, they went back to Germany. He came back to LA to do his post-doc in Caltech. Our relationship developed quickly and intensely. We talked marriage and children. At the time he was financially secure and lived in a nice house atop of the hill overlooking JPL. Life seemed wonderful. Then everything changed. He lost his beautiful house and was forced to move. Instead of my plans to marry and raise a family I had to go back to 9-5. A depression set in, I was put on medications. He transferred to UCLA and moved to Pasadena. I felt we were falling apart and almost broke up with him. Yet, we managed to work out the problems and I ended up moving in with him into his shared apartment in Westwood. I also changed jobs for the one with better pay in Santa Monica. At least that was good. We had rough couple of years living there. Aside from financial, relationship problems, my health started failing. We discovered what I suspected for a while. I suffered from infertility. It was also confirmed he had a male factor infertility. We started fighting about that too. I blew hot and cold about the concept of adoption and sperm donors. I felt we were ready to break up again. Still, we patched things up. Then the offer to join MIT came for him. I suggested he moved to Boston first and when he would become established, I would come out and join him. He would not hear none of that. So we packed a truck full of furniture and things and sent it off to the East Coast. My mom paid for the move. It was decided I was to keep in touch with our distant relatives who lived there. I was 24 then. On the morning around October 5, we loaded into my Chevy Cavalier with him and my cat who was 9 at a time(now he is 16). We took off for the unknown. In my car we crossed the states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island. One week later we were in Boston. It was rough to get started again. At one point I had to sign for food stamps. Folks, for the whole duration of our relationship Ive never seen his US picture ID. He had no bank account that I knew of. For the whole time that weve been together, I rarely saw any cash in his hands. But somehow he paid his rent and share of bills. It was indeed shady. He told me he was getting paid cash at his lab, but as Accounting person I find this hard to believe. We told me his DL got stolen; I fought to get him to the RMV to reinstate that.. It went on and on. Strangely, there was also infertility drama going on parallel to those strange problems we were having. There was a lot of storage things about him. For instance, when his parents were in Los Angeles visiting him, I only got to meet his mom. His dad did not even come to say hello to me, keeping in mind we were together living as pretty much a married couple. Secondly, parents we in what I understand was an open marriage. They at times lived in different places. The father had a second wife, a housekeeper and his mother was ok with that! Thirdly, he pushed for a sperm donor as a mean of reproduction. He was afraid of passing strong cancer genes off to his children. At the same time he wanted children with me and tried to convince me of using a sperm donor. Finally, he was not ok with the notion of marriage. He was committed to me, but he said it was strange to him to marry because he was not religious. Just commitment was enough to have children. Strangely, on the last point I agreed with him. Otherwise I wouldnt be trying to conceive with him. I remember one 4th of July when I wanted to go to the Cape Cod for couple of days. It was stupid of us not to reserve anything because everything was packed. We ended up sleeping inside Cavalier, took the shower at the beach late at night when we finally got there. The next day we mostly drove around. Towards the evening we went to hang out at the beach and watched people leaving. The fog set in over the water. The smell of wild roses was intoxicating. It was so beautiful all around, so peaceful! And thats when it hit me. I had to get out of that relationship. It was depressing me more. He had no money to at least rent a nice hotel to spend a weekend in. He would not give me his sperm. I would never have a beautiful white dress to marry in, even in a civil ceremony! I would remain bitter and sarcastic. So in the next year I started talking about leaving Boston. Finally a year later, I packed my stuff and having mailed my bulk belongings to LA, I loaded in Cavalier and told myself to be strong even while watching him crying as he was helping me leave. There was no other option for me. I didnt like Boston anyway. I missed the desert and the mountains so much during those 2 years, - it hurt. So I drove. And I drove. And I drove. I was leaving my problem behind and told myself not to look back. It was hard as hell. It was scary and uncertain. There were times when I regretted my decision and wondered if something else could have been done. The time proved I was right by leaving. But I had to prove it to myself. I left because the fertility time was running out and I wanted a real family and not some weird arrangement without photo ID, no money, with lots of uncertainty. Still, it was scary to leave because at the time I did not know if I was gonna meet The Right Person. But I did, and it was the biggest payoff for the risk.