I decided that for my first writing prompt I was going to start at the beginning and how I fell in love and I mean that very real, very intense, like no other in love, when I wasn’t even looking for it.
February 2011 my marriage was ending, not amicably and quite suddenly and more of a cop out by him that I care to remember. I wasn’t that bothered to be honest as I may as well have been single anyway. As well as my full time job, I was also foster caring a young woman who had fitted into the family really well and I wanted to stand by her to see her through to when she was ready to branch out on her own. With fostering came training courses, one of which was at the end of February.
I got there late as I had to travel over 50 miles to get there and the traffic was awful. Last place to sit was next to a very handsome man who smiled at me as I unceremoniously splatted down next to him. I tried to catch up with the 15 minutes that I had lost and he helped me out a couple of times. I had to dash off at the end to get back home in time for the kids coming out of school.
The handsome man crossed my mind a couple of times during the next few weeks as there was something about him. However, all I knew was he was called David and I would probably never see him again.
As my divorce was progressing, round about June it became apparent that I would have to go through a fostering re-assessment as a single carer – yet more hassle and probing and form filling. Yuk, like I had time for that! I asked my social worker if he had any idea of what was involved and he told me that another carer was going through the same process but was further along than me and maybe I should email him and ask for any information. His name was David….THE David. So I emailed him, asked him a couple of questions and he very helpfully replied with the answers. That was it. “Oh well” I thought, “what a nice bloke he was for helping me out”. He did cross my mind quite often though over the next few months!
As time went on, with a divorce going on, 3 kids of my own, my fosterling, trying to run a household and a full time job, life became hectic but bobbed along nicely with me getting used to being a single mum. In October, I was directed to go on another course, which I really could have done without and tried to get out of – but it was a current topic and needed to be attended. So off I went, late again due to traffic and having to take the last available seat in the classroom. Then I saw him! THE David. He gave me the most amazing smile which lit up his whole face and I gave him just as an amazing one back (So he told me!). I will be honest and say that I don’t remember much about the content of the course as we both kept stealing little looks across at each other and smiling. I felt totally and wonderfully alive! When the course finished, we walked to our cars together, chatting for a couple of minutes about kids and schools and then parted company to go and do our various school runs. I couldn’t stop thinking about him all the way home, all that night and all the day after.
I decided to be bold and recruited my friend at work to help me pen a “subtle” email to him to test the waters. Over the next couple of days, the floodgates opened and we emailed 20 to 30 times a day until we decided I was going to drive over to meet him at his house on the Sunday evening – 65 miles away. It was a turning point and changed my life forever as the next 6 years were the happiest (mostly) I could have been. As I left his house that first night, I knew I had never really been in love before, because now I was and I had never ever felt this way with anyone. We had both agreed that before the October course, we were both probably not ready for a relationship and that fate had waited until we were. We lived 65 miles apart and would never ever have met had it not been for us both fostering.
We had 3 years of me commuting half the week to stay at Dave’s house whilst my children were at their dad’s, dealing with 6 kids between us, a divorce each and the most horrendous difficulties and issues I am not really allowed to talk about but which caused such heartache, trouble, distress and anger that I don’t believe many couples would have got through BUT we did it. We did it because we both changed each other’s lives for the better, were stronger together than apart and both our families said that we were made for each other. Apparently, people used to smile at us when they saw us together as we “ooooozed” happiness. What a lovely thing to be told, something that David was really proud of.
In October 2014, our lives changed for ever again but in sharp contrast to the happiness we had shared, this was much darker……………..perhaps with one of the next prompts I can tell THAT story.