How we met: 'My twin sister joked she wished she'd kept him for herself'

Amy Scease was living in Boston, Massachusetts, with her identical twin, Becky, in 1987. “That winter, she invited me to a party in this old loft,” she remembers. When they arrived, Amy spotted a good-looking man in a brown leather jacket. He introduced himself as Richard, and the pair hit it off. “We went out to the roof to talk all night because it was noisy,” he says. She discovered he was from San Diego and they both worked in banks. “There are so many jerks out there. When you meet someone nice you want to see them again,” she says. But as the party drew to a close, one of Becky’s friends threw his arm around Amy, and Richard made the assumption they were a couple.

Thinking nothing would happen between them, he left. “When I told my sister I didn’t have his number, she said I was an idiot,” Amy says. “I ran outside to find him, but he had disappeared.” The next week she tried calling the bank he worked at, but with so many Richards working there it was impossible to find him. “I thought that was that,” she says.

A few weeks later, Richard went on a skiing trip to Jackson, New Hampshire, with a friend. The day after he arrived he bumped into Amy’s twin, Becky, who was staying at the same hostel. At the time they dressed and wore their hair differently. “She told me her name and although she knew who I was, I couldn’t place her. I thought it was from a different party a few years ago,” he says.

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Assuming Richard knew she was Amy’s sister, Becky gave him thephone number for the house they shared. “She was trying to set me up. She already had about three boyfriends at the time so she wasn’t looking for another one,” laughs Amy.

In early 1988, Richard gave Becky a call and Amy answered. “I knew Becky had a roommate called Amy but it still hadn’t clicked,” he says. He started hanging out with both of the twins, and although he liked Amy, he couldn’t remember exactly where they’d met before. It wasn’t until a mutual friend reminded him about the loft party that the penny finally dropped. “I had this lightbulb moment,” he says. “That night we had this really romantic walk in Boston and we became a couple after that.”

Not long after they started dating, Richard was asked to sail to Europe with friends, a long-time dream of his. At the same time, Amy was offered a six-month stint in Germany to set up a new office. After quitting his job and sailing for three months, Richard joined Amy in Munich for the remainder of her trip. They returned to Boston in September 1988, but he struggled to get another job. He eventually found work in California in February the following year.

Amy and Richard on their honeymoon in Hong Kong in 1992.
Amy and Richard on their honeymoon in Hong Kong in 1992.

“I’d always wanted to live there but my family was in Boston,” says Amy. “One day, I fell over in this freezing slush puddle of icy water and thought: ‘That’s it, I’m going.’” They settled into finance jobs in Orange County and enjoyed plenty of camping and skiing trips. In 1992, they married in San Diego, and the first of their two children joined the family four years later.

“Life changes when you have kids, but we loved going to the beach and riding our bikes,” says Richard. Since being diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, Amy has struggled with lymphoedema, a side-effect of her treatment. “It’s made it hard for me to do things,” she says. “But during the pandemic we got electric bikes and I’ve been able to get out. It’s been amazing.”

The couple are currently living with their adult children. “We’re really grateful for that, although they might have a different opinion,” laughs Richard.

Amy has always loved her partner’s kindness. “That can be hard to find in a man,” she says. “He’s been with me through all the ups and downs and was so, so loyal and helpful when I had cancer. After we met, my sister joked that she wished she’d kept him for herself.”

Richard says he adores his partner’s determination. “She’s beautiful, but she also has this essence. She sees what needs to be done and does it. I have so much respect for her.”

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