a story of Us

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Do you believe in love at first sight, serendipity, synchronicity, fate or meant-to-be?

a story of Us
a story of Us

Sara commented on my story the long way ’round” my favourite ever stories are ‘how we met’ stories” and other commenters shared snippets of their own.
Kate said… “You only have to read Celi’s account of how she and Our John met, missed, met again and married. One of the most fascinating ‘how we met’ stories and clear evidence that some things are just meant by the universe to happen” and “It sounds like the start of a collection of stories to me”.

For myself, being slow on the uptake, it took literally a word in my ear from the Universe to finally set the wheels in motion for us, as the G.O. so inelegantly phrases it, to “hook up”!

If you have a happy ever after or a relationship stepping-stone in life story, I’d love you to share it by commenting below, or posting and linking back to this post.

This is mine.

♥ EllaDee

It’s so easy to see now. But for many years I didn’t. I know there are a few doubters who look at us with speculative eyes. All I have to say to them is don’t judge us by standards which are not ours.

I can feel the autumnal Saturday afternoon, daylight waning. I can see the place: scruffy shops adjacent a suburban Sydney railway station. I remain connected to the moment as if by a long silver thread. A thread that twisted and tangled but joins us still twenty-five years later.

I’d escaped a too-young marriage and utilitarian country town to seek better in the city. I’d come without a job but with a man. It was complicated. I should have known it was never going to end well. It took fourteen years and the failure of a second marriage before I gave up trying to deny to myself that blind naivety had given what ought to have been a misguided fling an artificially long shelf life. Abetted by impossible pride, I’d made another mistake.

Its redeeming legacy was my friendship with the G.O.  Husband#2 had introduced us in the beginning; on that autumn afternoon so indelibly inked into my story. For more than a decade after that day, the G.O. came and went from my life. Familiar to my family and friends. Beloved of my cats and dog. Sometime sharer of households and long late night conversations. We attended each others weddings and wished each other happiness.

In the end, it took a serendipitous job where I spent week-nights away from home to distance me literally, figuratively and sufficiently to see clearly and disconnect from my marriage. Finally forced by foolishness and deceit to view it with honest eyes.

Although Husband#2 and the G.O. had teamed up once again working together, just as the marriage couldn’t withstand the increasing chicanery nor could their friendship. The G.O. also had had enough, and returning to his country life, left Husband#2 to his own injudicious devices. The G.O.’s withdrawal was another clue how far Husband#2 had gone. Too far.

Change was in the wind before I consciously realised it. Months before I physically left, a chance remark tipped me off to what would soon eventuate. A work colleague commented about my long daily commute and my spontaneous reply “I’m moving back to the city” surprised us both. But sure enough, as inevitably transpired, sufficient responsibilities and impediments fell away to enable me to rent a small apartment in the inner city – alone.

Lingering obligations tied me to Husband#2. His problematic life continued to encroach my progression to freedom. I couldn’t save him from himself and I damned sure wasn’t going down with him. Holding him up financially and materially simply perpetuated his imprudence. One of the last accommodations I made was to indulge his claim I had gotten the better of our two mobile phones, and swap. It was a gesture that would go on to change my life.

Just when I’d had enough, thought I’d done enough, there was more. Several months after I removed myself, the significance and permanence of my absence revealed itself to other parties inveigled by Husband#2 into involvement with his business affairs. I swapped phones but kept my number. It started ringing; revealing mendacity I hadn’t been involved in and couldn’t explain.

Husband#2’s phone came complete with contact numbers I didn’t bother removing. After one particularly harrowing late night call I scrolled through the list and saw the G.O.’s home number. If there was one person who might enlighten me about the dealings I was being confronted with, it was him.

Although not feeling it myself, the time of day I waited until to call the G.O. was civilized. He was surprised to hear from me, somewhat surprised at the news of my marriage split but unsurprised at the purpose of my call. He’d been aware of escalating dubiousness in Husband#2’s conduct, had interpreted my apparent tolerance as acquiescence and prudently refrained from interfering.

Neither the phone call nor confirmation of Husband#2’s further transgressions had an immediate effect. By and by once the complainants believed I neither had knowledge nor influence their entreaties fizzled out. Eventually I extricated myself from the snarled web woven by my good intentions and Husband#2’s schemes.

While I sorted out peripheral details, the core of my life was strong. Half a year before the dam of my denial broke, the contract role that had taken me away from home morphed into a permanent job. The decision to move back to Sydney freed me not only from the marriage but from a four hour daily commute. As if by magic the small apartment that felt like home manifested at the right time and place.

I didn’t miss having a man in my life. Monday to Friday professionally the law firm partner I assisted was sufficient. Lovely man that he is I revelled in shutting the door each evening and not hearing him call my name. I explored the streets of my new neighbourhood. I invested my spare time variously in the blissful peace of aloneness, books, meditation, massages, a spiritual development group, the cinema, and volunteered with an asylum seekers support program.

And so the months pleasantly passed until just-another-Wednesday evening in the last days of winter I was leaving work waiting for the lift to arrive at my floor. In the moment before the doors opened I heard a clear silent voice say “Call Wayne”. There’s no mobile coverage in the lifts so I had twenty-five floors to digest this communication. It wasn’t until I’d exited the building, descended the escalator, walked the expanse of the near empty food court and stepped onto the next escalator that the authenticity of the message registered.

Half way down the second escalator I pressed the G.O.’s number on my phone. He answered by the time I stepped onto the street. He hadn’t been expecting my call, rather hoping as he was working in the city for a few days, intended to call me but inadvertently left his wallet containing my phone number at home.

He suggested we catch up; it had been some time since we’d talked on the phone, longer since in person. He was busy that night but not the next. That suited me as well so we agreed on time and place.

The next evening when I climbed the railway station stairs he was waiting for me on the overpass. We greeted each other like the old friends we were, proceeded to drinks and dinner. As with our past long late night conversations the hours flew, until it was nearly midnight and we were again standing at the steps of the railway station. I was about to get on a train when he kissed me goodbye. I missed that train and the next.

At last seated on a homeward bound train, I knew it would be a long time until my whirling thoughts let me sleep.

This story would be a real life fairy-tale if our happy ever after started at that point. In reality we lived disparate lives; him country, me city. It would take another year before the lovely possibility of us became a true Us.

The G.O. has been waiting for me at railway stations whenever he can manage ever since.

We got married last year ten years to the day after that first kiss.

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35 thoughts on “a story of Us

    davidprosser said:
    July 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Despite the delay,it sounds like this was on the cards for a long time and you had ten years to be sure the decision was right before the marriage. I was so pleased for you when it happened and no less pleased for you now. I’ll be delighted when it’s time to retire to Taylor’s Arms and live the country life you want.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Thank you David. I’d been on a losing streak I think… I’m not much of a card player, it was certainly a surprise to see I had a winning hand 🙂

      Like

    katechiconi said:
    July 24, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    So as not to hijack more than my fair share of commenting space, I’ll summarise. Unmarried all my adult life, it took my re-emergence into life after breast cancer to discover the Husband, reading and commenting on the same blog as I was. He sounded nice… normal, from similar family situations, also never married. He was 1500km away. In short order, blog chatting became first emails, then phone calls, then Skypes. We said things to each other in the safety of our distance that we might have waited to say face to face. Finally, he jumped on a plane. I met him at the airport. From that moment there was no doubt for either of us and parting was almost unbearably painful. It took perhaps 6 weeks to decide to get married, and a further 4 months to make it happen in the face of puzzlement, unflattering amazement and outright resistance from some of our nearest and dearest. That was two and a half years ago. No regrets, no reservations… we are two halves of a whole, so well fitting that it’s unsurprising that neither of us could get along with anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Having been married 1) young, 2) old enough to know better and finally 3) wisely, with hindsight I think permanent relationships and marriages are better made after, at least for some, we know ourselves first.
      Such a lovely ‘story of Us’ for you and Mr HoC. But I did laugh because despite our long friendship and relationship the G.O. and I also experienced the same “puzzlement, unflattering amazement and outright resistance from some of our nearest and dearest” after we eloped and for several months later.
      I love your summation, that is a real happy ever after story 🙂

      Like

    Gerlinde said:
    July 24, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    It was the hands that attracted me to my husband. That was over thirty years ago. There have been difficult times but I got lucky finding the man of my life.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Hands, I can understand that, they play a big part for me in attraction too. I still remember the first time the G.O. held my hand! We’re all human so difficult times, I think, are inevitable & necessary for us to learn and grow.

      Like

    mybrightlife said:
    July 25, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Already picked up bits and bobs of this story from readings over time but loved the full telling…Thanks for sharing your story. Lovely to read.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Thank you. There have been quite a few stories! More than I ever thought 🙂

      Like

        mybrightlife said:
        July 26, 2015 at 11:18 pm

        And all charmed in their own way..I too love a good ‘how we got together tale…

        Liked by 1 person

    diannegray said:
    July 25, 2015 at 6:58 am

    This is such a lovely story – I adore the ‘railway’ kiss! It’s amazing how quickly the time goes during an evening/dinner/wine/chat spent with someone we love. Beautiful story, Dale 😀

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Thank you. If we had days & times we could revisit, that evening would be one I’d choose. And, that railway kiss will always be special… an eye-opener for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    ardysez said:
    July 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Our story is every bit as serendipitous/sychronistic as yours but waaaay too long to write in your comments so I’ve pasted the links to it from my blog here below. Beautifully written and heartfelt Dale. Thank you for sharing it. Most of the time I think true life is way stranger and more creative than fiction!!
    http://ardysez.com/2013/06/27/how-the-woman-got-her-man-and-a-new-country-in-the-process/
    http://ardysez.com/2013/06/30/how-the-woman-got-her-man-the-prequelpt-2/

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Thank you. I remember reading these stories and admiring both your wisdom and sense of adventure, and thinking wistfully I wish I’d had your strength and belief in myself at that age. But all types of journeys are learning experiences… As far as stories, fiction and true life, I surprise even myself sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Francesca said:
    July 25, 2015 at 7:42 am

    The railway kiss and the missed trains made a perfect and uncomplicated ending to the story of the G.O and you.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Thank you. Your comment makes me smile 🙂 The railway kiss and missed trains certainly made for an uncomplicated ending to that part of the story but not so much the beginning of the next…

      Liked by 1 person

    acflory said:
    July 25, 2015 at 9:33 am

    -hugs-

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you Meeks 🙂

      Like

    Bill said:
    July 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Isn’t love grand?
    I had had plenty of girlfriends in my life, but never a woman who I would have considered sharing my life with completely. Then I met Cherie, who had just been hired as a paralegal at my law firm. As corny as it sounds, it was love at first sight (for me, not her). We’ve been married for over 27 years and enjoyed a pretty unusual and sometimes crazy journey together.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 27, 2015 at 6:54 am

      Wonderful story 🙂 I’ve seen quite a few fine romances develop in the environs of a law firm (and heard about more, oh people so love to talk). Many of which like you & Cherie have gone on to happy ever after, marriage and kids… and sometimes best of all, set out on different journeys.

      Like

    Glenda said:
    July 26, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Ooh, Ella, you are such a romantic 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 27, 2015 at 6:38 am

      For worse, and for better, there’s no doubt about that 🙂

      Like

    Lori said:
    July 27, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Fun story to read. I know you only had so much space and couldn’t write all the details, but I’m curious as to husband #2’s schemes. I’m also left a little confused as to how you actually met the G.O. I get that he was a friend of your husband’s, but I’m not clear on how they were associated. I’m also not clear on those late night talks. Did he come over as a friend to your then husband and end up talking to you? Was your husband there? Were you attracted to the G.O., then or did you not really think about it until later? Of course, if these questions are too personal, I understand. I do enjoy those ‘how we met’ stories too. Yours sounds like there is so much more to the story and could be a very interesting, romance novel. My story is simple. We met in a bar. Ha. I wrote about it in a strange sort of fairytale way on my blog a few years ago.
    https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/twenty-seven-years-ago-today/

    Like

    sara said:
    July 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Naaw ❤️ I’ve been waiting for a long time for this story to be written! I wasn’t disappointed either :). I haven’t even been married yet – I’m not ruling it out as a possibility, but seeing as the Bear and I have been together for 15 years and we have two children and a mortgage, a wedding seems kind of redundant. Briefly, the Bear and I met through our best friends who were dating. They thought we’d be a great match. We hated being matched up, so it took about 6 months for them to get us to meet. When the Bear turned up at my work with a bunch of flowers and formally asked me on a date in front of all my co workers, I knew he was the one – courage turns me on :).

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you. A beautiful story… “Who could refrain that had a heart to love and in that heart courage to make love known? William Shakespeare
      I love the stories of Us; a reassuring balm that ‘magic happens’ isn’t just a bumper sticker.
      It’s good to never rule anything out as possible. Possibilities are one of my favourite things 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    July 30, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Magic does happen – but you have to be ready for it and willing to see it, then walk with it.
    Your story made me smile. Sometimes you have to know what you don’t want to realize what it is you do want. Happy you found each other

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 31, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Thank you 🙂 True words, and something I needed to learn, you have to be ready for it. There’s much wisdom in the words which in my younger days I thought were booooring… all good thing in good time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    memoirsofahusk said:
    July 31, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    What a heartwarming story Elladee. I enjoy catching pieces of your life on here and patching them together 🙂 I think when we are very young we can fall into things quickly and sometimes feel we can’t jump out because having made a commitment we feel it should be forever. Slow falls have turned out to be better in my life than sudden ones.I wrote about the start of my own happy relationship with Archaeo-man at great length in my blog and won’t usurp your kind space with an overlong summary – suffice it to say that a young woman from northern England meeting a young man from Texas (who didn’t think I should be washing my then boyfriend’s socks) in the small African kingdom of Swaziland has to be the result of a roll of the dice in the game of fate. It could so easily not have happened …

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 1, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Thank you. My stories never seem to hatch in chronological order, rather at their whim.
      After a quick perusal, I realize I came to your blog after those stories. I will go back and enjoy because as well as harking to a ‘story of Us’ they are wonderful glimpses and stories. No, you shouldn’t have been washing someone else’s socks, but we all did… and still do but at least by machine and it’s now reciprocal.

      Liked by 1 person

    anne54 said:
    August 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    That is a wonderful story. And if you hadn’t been through all that with husband#2, you would not have been in the right place to “hook up”. Sometimes it seems like we go through all that shit for a purpose. The Fella and I met down at the MUA picket line……the only thing I have to thank John Howard for!!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      It is reassuring in hindsight to see some method in the madness of poor choices 🙂 You have good reason to thank John Howard for that, and all of us for gun reform!

      Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    August 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Beautiful story EllaDee. I love hearing how people found each other too. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you. The synchronicity at work in our lives never ceases to amaze me.

      Like

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