Against all odds
How can I just let you walk away, just let you leave without a trace. When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh. You’re the only one who really knew me at all.
I wish I could just make you turn around, turn around and see me cry. There’s so much I need to say to you, so many reasons why. – So take a look at me now, well there’s just an empty space. And there’s nothing left here to remind me, just the memory of your face.
And you coming back to me is against the odds, and that’s what I’ve got to face…
(Phil Collins, Against all Odds – 1984)
Note: you can listen to the ‘Tabby Reads’ recording here)
These words, written and sung by Phil Collins, were the words that kept ringing in her ears after she’d lost the one person that genuinely respected her and saw and accepted her exactly as she is. She felt these words in every fiber of her body, in every breath, in every tear. But there was nothing she could do.
Breaking up with someone always causes heartache, but being forced to break up without either one wanting to, that’s torture.
Settling for another life
But she was only 16 and had a whole life ahead of her. So after a couple of weeks of deep mourning and a lot of tears, she found her positive self back again. She had to move on, so she did. She started working a full time job and made new friends in her religious group.
A year after all this happened she met someone that was ‘approved’, since he too was in the religion. Ten months after they’d met, they got married. She was not over her first love, but she felt that there was no use in longing for something that was gone, so she and her new husband did their best to make their marriage work. Obviously he knew everything, she had told him her whole tragic story on their first real date.
Not ready to let go
In the following years they had a child, bought a house, had another child, started their own business, but somewhere deep inside of her there still was this hole, and the remains of a love that once was, but wasn’t allowed… Thoughts of ‘what if’ showed up every now and then. And more than once, through the years, she reread the letters of the one she once loved so dearly. She had kept those letters like a treasure, because they held so many memories.
And when she read his words, she’d keep his passport photo in her hand, holding on to the memories and trying to keep them alive…
In her heart there always was this feeling of wanting to know what had become of him. Of course she thought of trying to find him, but her husband was very much against that, so she didn’t. Well… with the exception of one letter she wrote just before they were going to move to another province. She never received an answer… so she thought he was cross with her because of what had happened to them.
Goodbye to her old life
After a marriage of nearly 15 years, she finally found the nerve to leave her husband. Although their marriage wasn’t horrible, she just couldn’t be herself and she felt like a caged bird. She needed her freedom. So she took some drastic steps, and did not only leave her husband, but also their religion. Causing her to lose most of her friends and family, because everyone in the religion was forbidden to even say so much as ‘hello’ to her. She was excommunicated, or as they call it ‘disfellowshipped’, and shunned.
Even though it was terribly traumatic to experience being an outcast from one day to another, it did give her back the freedom she so long yearned for. No more controlling parents, no more controlling religion, no more husband telling her what to do or what not to do.
She started a relationship with someone she met through the internet, but it didn’t take her long to realize that he wasn’t ‘mr. right’ either. And like in her marriage, she felt that the trauma of losing her first love, was standing between her and any man she would try to have a relationship with.
That’s when she knew that there was only one thing she needed to do: go find her lost love. She wanted to know if he was happy and she needed to hear from him whether or not he blamed her for their forced breakup. After all it was her father, and she had accepted her father’s verdict. She needed to heal that old wound, she needed closure.
So she went online and typed in his name in Google…
Attic hatch and buried past revealed
Totally unexpected he received an email from someone he hadn’t thought of in years. “Do you remember me?” was the subject. Heck yes, sure he did remember her! He felt cold and warm simultaneously, and reading her email felt like being hit with an attic hatch on his head, followed by an enormous amount of memories and feelings that had been laying buried deep inside his mind under a thick layer of mental dust….
More than seventeen years had past, but he instantly felt a spark from that old fire he had tried to extinguish all those years ago by burning everything he had from her. He emailed her back, and told her he was married and father of a little boy. And he asked her to write each other again, like they used to way back when.
He also assured her, he wasn’t mad at her. Not at all! Mad at her father, still, yes, but he didn’t blame her for what had happened.
She couldn’t be happier with his reply. Finally she had found him, she now knew he was doing well, settled and all. This was the closure she needed, now she could move on with her life!
But as always, things never go the way you think they should. As in this case.
To be continued… 😉