In 1993, as Sergei and I were preparing for our return to competitive pairs skating, and Chris and I were doing the same in ice dancing, I was probably happier than I had ever been. Life was good - plain and simple. Yes, I was still very much in the midst of hiding Enna's paternity from the world, but right then, that didn't matter. We had Enna, and that was what mattered. Yes, Ted Kennedy hated me, but right then, that didn't matter. We were still about a year out from that dark day in May of 1994, when Ted would go from being just the person I hated most in the world and become, additionally, the person I feared the most. John was with Daryl Hannah, and he was one of my best friends. And then there was Chris. Our feelings for each other hadn't gone away, but they somehow no longer stood in the way of our friendship. We were as close as we had ever been, and a lot of that was attributable to Jill. Chris's divorce from Isabelle Duchesnay was final, and he had fallen in love with Jill Trenary. Truthfully, we had all fallen in love with Jill. With Jill, our circle was complete. Chris had Jill, and I had Sergei. And Sergei was the one who had made the formation of the circle possible in the first place.
My memories of Sergei Grinkov are classified in phases. First, he was the gangly teenage boy who didn't speak a word of English and called me Ms. Phelps, and called Chris Mr. Dean. And even that was through an interpreter. We couldn't talk to each other without assistance for the longest time, but my goodness we could laugh. Before long, he became my partner, and not just because we skated together. I knew, just as I knew with Chris and had for years, that Sergei was my other half on the ice. He wouldn't hurt me, and he wouldn't allow anything else to hurt me. Seamlessly, he became my friend. For the longest time, I still considered him a kid, and that kept me from discussing some of the more scandalous aspects of my life with him. But suddenly, there was a day in Paris. And on that day, Chris married another woman, and George was married to a woman who couldn't stand me, and John and I hadn't spoken in so long...and Sergei was there. And that day we entered a new phase, and I let him in to all of the things I never thought I would share with him. And we couldn't have known, on that day, just how quickly everything was going to change. We couldn't have known that within a couple of months Sergei would be my husband. But even that wasn't the last phase. He married me to help me out, to keep the media (and Isabelle) off the scent. They couldn't know who Enna's father was, so Sergei was willing to let them think she was his. But then I fell in love.
I didn't see it coming, but I think he did. And though I know there are people who won't believe it, I am 100% certain that I would have been married to Sergei Grinkov forever. Only death could tear us apart. But neither of us ever would have imagined death would come so soon.
I've had 18 years of life since I lost Sergei. Life moved on. I moved on. I loved again, I married again, I became a mother again. I was even happy again. But I was never complete again, and I know that I never will be.
So much has changed. The world knows who Enna's father is, Chris and Jill are no longer together, Ted is gone, John is gone. Without Sergei, all who loved him are left with the remains of a circle which he made possible. But the circle has become a hole. And it will never be filled.