Friday, 2 February 2007

Ten years

I have decided to submit a lovey-dovey story into Scribbit's February "Write Away Contest".
I am not a very romantic person I am afraid. I once read some of my parents "love letters" that happened to be hidden away in the top of my cupboard, when I was a young girl. Believe me, there ain't NOTHIN' romantic about writing to your beloved about crutching sheep or crop sowing ...I was disappointed, and after a letter or two, I was almost asleep. My poor Mum! So no, I didn't miss out on the romance gene, it just never showed up on the offering table when my genetic make-up was being doled out.

So, without further adieu. This is about as romantic as she gets around here....but it is love none-the-less.

My husband (Ashley) and I, celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on the 21st September 2006– 10 years! Time sure does fly. While 10 years sounds like a long time, Ashley and I have actually been together for almost 17 years – over half our lives.

We are the proverbial “high school sweethearts”; an irksome phrase if you ask me, even if it is the case. We had attended the same high school for three years prior to being placed in the same year eleven home class. I had no recollection of having seen him prior to that first day of the new school year, and for him, the same applied – no prior recollection of me- to this day, we wonder how that could have been possible.

Something about him caught my eye – the mysterious energy called fate, I suppose. However, I had other issues at the time, like an unwillingness to let go of a lust-filled obsession for a hot, but totally unworthy loser. As for Ashley, year eleven was all about having a good time; whooping it up with the drongo mates and hooning around town in the wake of a new found sense of freedom, which just so happened to have four wheels. In any case I was shy and mostly silent, and Ashley was largely…well, absent.

If I could muster the courage, I would sometimes engage in a little bit of awkward small talk with him during home class time. We were teased for “liking each other” (“ooh arr, giggle, smirk, tee hee, hardy ha, you know, that sort of thing). I think I turned red and said to my accusers something dignified, original and witty like “Do not! Jerk!” Ashley, on the other hand, played the aloof card and told the class that he thought I was “a snob”; a remark that sent a dagger straight into my precious heart, leaving it to labour and heave amidst the agony of the gaping wound.

It wasn’t until our final year of high school, once it was long over with the tormenting presence that came to be the fore-mentioned "loser", that I actually told a friend of my feelings for Ashley.

I only divulged this furtive information to entice this friend to reveal the identity of a guy whom she had harboured secret feelings, since grade 8, and since the high school days were drawing to a close, it was now apparent that she should relinquish her burdensome secret, or risk a life-time of wanting and imagining the what-if.

So... my name for her name, that was the carrot I used to coerce my friend to surrender the name of her heart's desire, and send it soaring to my open ear like a dove from the hands of its captor. Of course, the risk in our information trade was that our secrets would be made known…and at that age, well….it was really only a matter of time, and I guess that was the sub-conscious reason for the reveal …too paralysed and fragile to take action ourselves.

So as expected, my friend told everyone else, including someone who happened to travel home on the same bus as Ashley. Predictably, without my knowledge or consent, these two friends of mine eventually set Ashley and I up.

I remember it clearly, at lunch one day, some poodle-type girls trotted over to my friends and I (you know the type - primped and fluffed; lots of make-up and hair). I knew them to hang out with Ashley’s group of friends. Grinning, they announced with exaggerated giggly enthusiasm “Ashley said YES !” Confused, I turned in the direction of my friends, who were fleeing the scene, with knitted eyebrows, grim faces and on tip-toes.... as fast as they could. I can’t remember what I yelled out to them, but I wasn’t impressed nor was I happy.

After lunch, Ashley approached me at school assembly, and I too considered doing a runner, but didn’t, I would have to face the music eventually. We sat down, and with the droning waffle of some teacher in the background, I told him that my friends had played a joke on me, and I had nothing to do with their devious plan.

We sat there, silent for a little while. It was awkward. We did not really know what to do or say next. I was still tender and reeling from the disastrous experience with that other guy, and wasn't planning on going through a potentially similar scenario any time soon, but Ashley, I have since discovered, has no idea how to take a hint; consequently he completely ignored the wall I put in front of him, and asked me out to a party instead. He made it sound casual, and suggested we go and see how things turned out. Hesitantly, and rather miraculously, I agreed.

The party was a bit of a fizzer; it basically entailed a bunch of yobbos standing around staring into a bon-fire, drinking beer and having very little to say. We left early and went to the bowling alley, caught up with some friends of mine and chatted together for the remainder of the evening.

As if nothing has changed since that moment, I yabbered on and on and on about serious things that were sincere to my heart, and I felt, for the first time ever, that someone was actually listening to what I had to say, without their eyes glazing over with boredom or confusion, and without the fear of being ridiculed.

The rest....well, lets just say that the details are filled pages in this book that has become our life together, while the rest remains unwritten.


Tracey said...

I love stories about how couples ended up together! And as always, you just write so beautifully... I don't think I could go anywhere close to expressing myself re 'us'. (And Mr Practical would probably have kittens if I blogged it!) Our story is on our website (if you follow the Family Website sidebar link on my blog)and then on the 'history' link.

scribbit said...

That wedding picture is lovely, you look so happy. Ten years is a big accomplishment!

Thanks for entering this in the contest.