Steve and I re-met 8 years ago. I say re-met, because I knew him in high school.
It was the early 90’s, he was good mates with my high school sweetheart and we were all busting moves to Michael Jackson at bad taste parties. Plenty of my friends were disco pashing his friends – but I never disco pashed Steve.
Back then, Steve was a big hunk of spunk and I was, well, lets just say…mousey. I am little, with mousey brown hair and mousey brown eyes. Your average girl next door. My nickname was even Mouse.
About ten years later I remember a moment whilst standing in mum’s kitchen. By this stage of my life I had been divorced for about two years. I was the only divorced human being I knew – a little pity party of one. As far as I knew, I was the only loser who couldn’t keep their marriage intact. Mum said to me over a sink full of soapy dishes, “Remember your old mate Steve, I ran in to him down the street. He has separated from his wife. I think he’s having a pretty tough time.”
My first reaction was, “Awesome! I am not the only loser going round.”
Not my finest moment.
My second, much stronger emotion was – sadness.
Everything I knew about Steve was that he was a good, caring person. I knew, first hand, the hell he was going through – and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Divorce is a lonely, shameful, dark place. I wanted to reach out to him and say, “I’m here. I know you. I know how much this sucks.” But I didn’t know how. I thought it would be a bit stalkery-weirdo to call him up out of the blue after all these years and say, “Want a shoulder to cry on?”
So I didn’t call.
Many months later my high school sweetheart rang and invited me to a party in the city. He was, and still is, one of my best friends. He was also still mates with Steve.
When it came to blokes and romance, this stage in my life was… how should we say it…uneventful. When I left my husband I left with the view it was me and the kids against the world. To be completely honest, I suppose I didn’t believe someone would want a 30 something year old mousey-girl-next-door and her two little cherubs.
I was also feeling very content. I had purchased a little white house and a little white car (both of which were less than desirable, but they were mine). I was in charge of my own happiness – and that was the way I liked it.
As it turns out, Steve was invited to the same party.
I was standing at the bar holding my pink coat and a near empty glass of wine, when Steve walked in. He flashed me his trade mark grin and said…
“Another wine? And I’ll take that for you…”
Steve carried my pink coat all night…until 5am, when the bar shut and he stood with me in the fog and waited until I got safely in a taxi. We sat – propped on two bar stools sinking white rum – and talked all night long.
He must have needed to talk. I must have needed to talk. Or maybe it was the Bacardi. It doesn’t really matter, because we have been talking ever since (ok, ok – I do more of the talking, but you get what I mean).
The courtship with Steve was fast. It was fast because there was no bulls@#t. When you are divorced and have small kids, no one has time for bulls@#t. We both felt strongly that if at any point we thought this might not be a forever gig – we would bail.
Steve is my opposite. Steve is calm and predictable. I am like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gunna get. Steve stops and talks to strangers at the supermarket checkout. I am usually pissed other people have the audacity to slow down my shopping experience.
It doesn’t matter – because it works.
Somehow, out of all the chaos and heartache that was my divorce, I found the reason I had to go through it. I never predicted this ending for me. I couldn’t have, because I didn’t know it existed.
Steve and I were married on October 30, 2010 under a big white marquee in our paddock. It poured rain all day – to the point the dance floor became a mud slip and slide. But nothing could dampen my spirits. It was the day we officially became a blended family. It was the day the mousey girl-next-door landed the kind, caring hunk of spunk.
I wish I could go back and tell my high school self this is how it would all work out. I can’t – so I will tell you instead.
If you are in the middle of any kind of s@#t-storm right now, take it from me, everything happens for a reason. If you stay positive and open, good things come (sorry for the cliché – but it’s a good one).
And guess who the best man at our wedding was?
My high school sweetheart.
Steve and his best man – my high school sweetheart!
Blend it your way,
Leese (Mouse!) x
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