Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Romance Part 5

Where was I? Oh yes, the bowing out of swan-girl (If this is your first visit, I suggest you scroll back to Romance Part One - just a few posts back) Once our relationship became known at work, life became tricky. I have no doubt that swan-girl had much to say about us even though she didn't say anything to us. There was antagonism from many women (I know I sound paranoic, but it really was like this) partly because there was jealousy, and partly a sort of "Ugh, thats so not ok" factor. There was an office known as "the machine room" - where rows of girls worked. They were the in-crowd who knew everything about everyone. With sharp wits and sharper tongues, they were like a pack: woe betide anyone on the wrong side of them! There they sat at their machines, doing whatever it was they did, talking and laughing. Until I walked in. A thick silence then dropped on the room, penetrated only by stares. I remember trying to act cool, pretending not to notice, and just getting out as fast as I could. Probably others got similar treatment for different reasons; at the time that didn't occur to me though. The disapproving talk filtered back to Clay: he thought it was funny. Maybe he even enjoyed the stir. He was yet to find out how insecure I was. One of the ways that manifested was, every time we had a disagreement, I would assume it was all over and try to bail on him before he bailed on me. Every time a pretty new face would arrive at work (and that happened a lot) I would assume he would drop me for her. I feel sorry for the person I was then. Such damaged goods! Amazing that he would have pushed through all my crap! We spent every moment we could together. He was wonderful with my children: which was an absolute prerequisite. My eldest was 8, middle child 6 and my baby, 2 going on 3. A real challenge for anyone; for a 23 year old guy, one would think, an impossibility. But he genuinely loved small children, and specially mine, so soon regarded them as though they were his own. Very soon, we decided to move in together - to the consternation of my mom and step father, who were very disapproving. Not that that made the slightest difference to us. I don't think either of us were thinking clearly: about the future or the ramifications of this being permanent; we just lived in the moment. We wanted to be together; I needed to see if he could handle the whole 'being a dad' thing; and also to see how our relationship would work if he actually lived in our space. It was magical. Anyone who has travelled the divorce road and known the hollowness of being alone in that way, will relate to the joy of finding 'your other' at last. I did suffer bouts of terror at first though, that this would fade away; fears that such an odd pairing couldn't possibly last; that he would find someone younger and wonder what he had been thinking; that parenting the three children would be too much for him. You name it; I had fears about it. I'm hoping to end the saga in the next post: you can have too much of a good thing. Contrary to popular opinion :-)


Kirsty said...

He is a very special man indeed! For a 23 yr old to take on 3 kids at very impressionable ages.... must have been love ;-)

Lynette said...

Wow Allie...he loved you from the beginning.

Sjoe, you were revolutionary in those days...moving in together and all;-D