Saturday, January 25

The First Date

This time eleven years ago I was a twenty four year old single mum waking up from what was quite possibly the most wonderful night of my life. Some eighteen hours early I had nervously been awaiting what was really one of my first ever real dates. 
Image credit: Jasmaine Mathews

A blind date it was not, yet in many ways that was exactly how it felt. It had almost been like a lifetime since our paths had last crossed. We were as good as strangers in so many ways.

My mother had agreed to care for Lovely, who at the time was not yet two. Since Mum lived with us at the time it was no real inconvenience for her have her for the night. I greatly appreciated it though and it was by no means something I did often or took real advantage of.

Even though I was a single mum I had not really been so for very long. Lovely's father and I had gone our separate ways the previous April. A week after Lovely's first birthday. I had followed him out in a last ditch effort to save our very flawed relationship. I received the message loud and clear there was nothing to salvage.

The following eight months were incredibly tumultuous for me as I tried to find my way in life once more.

May saw me with a 13 month old, a broken arm and homeless. Returning to Mum and Dad's house really was the most sensible option and reluctantly I took it.

By July I was nearly back on my own feet and settled into my very own rented accommodation. An old weather beaten fibro built house that had some how managed to remain standing when most of the city had been destroyed by a cyclone some twenty five years ago. 

It had three bedrooms, a stainless steel kitchen and a massive yard. All that I needed and a whole lot more. Apparently it was best for me not to be alone. Not that I was alone because I had Lovely but it was a handy excuse for those that wanted to be alone. 

My parents were well and truly entrapped in a can't live with or without them scenario. They would take turns in coming to stay for extended periods of time. Having one with me gave them the space they both needed at the time. 

Dad had gone on another road trip, which mum had to be at her house. For a few moments I was alone. 

Then a friend need a place to stay. In many ways I felt responsible for his lack of accommodation. I had the room so gave returned the generosity he had shown to me when I needed it most a few months prior.

A few days turned to weeks, which went to a month, and then longer. Somewhere along the way, we stopped being just friends. We were both so lonely at the time it seemed to make perfect sense.

Only it wasn't really.

Deep down I knew my heart wasn't in it. 

I had spent the last few years doing things that my heart wasn't in. I had vowed never to do that again. Never. 

By this time my dad had returned and mum was looking for some space of her own again. The what would have been empty room was again empty no more as  mum quickly entered the vacated space left by my friend come lover who would eventually become but a stranger.

Life seemed to be rolling along nicely. 

With the new year upon me I was filled with hope and possibility. I had a casual job and was studying. I had found a wonderful day care option for Lovely. Life felt like it was coming together. Sure there was something missing but for the most part all the pieces were slowly falling into places.

Then the dreams started.

So real and vivid. Even in waking hours they would begin to invade my every thought.

A face. A person. Someone from what felt like a lifetime ago.

When I won a double pass to a local nightclub exclusive party there was no doubt on who I would offer the other pass to. Provided of course I could actually make the call. My hand would waver over the phone for so long before I would actually have the courage to pick it up.

Even thinking about it all these years on my stomach still starts to tighten and swirl all at the one time. My heart had never beat faster and it amazes me how I actually managed to get the words out.

"Hello it's Rhianna, is Mr Awesome there?" I somehow stammer
"No of course he is not here" his mother curtly replies

I am suddenly thrown back to the early nineties where I was an awkward and nervous teenager when it came to boys. My heart sinks and I am engulfed with disappointment. What ever was I thinking?

"He doesn't finish work till five, should be home by five thirty" a slightly softer voices continues.

Of course work. Why didn't I think of that? 

Feeling more than slightly stupid I leave my number and begin counting down the hours till I can at least begin expecting a return call.

to be continued...
joining in with Kerri
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