Back from where we came.

An open letter to my wife of 22 years. Happy anniversary darling.

Mildly intoxicated and high on life, I left the smoke filled nightclub and exited via the narrow staircase, stepping eagerly into the orange streetlights and enthusiastically breathing in the cool, fresh night air.
The tunes of the beginning of the second summer of love still ringing in my ears from inside, outside the sound of the occasional taxi broke my reverie.
The club was shutting but the night was young. I looked around for someone to engage in conversation with. There were a few familiar faces in the kebab shop doorway across the road, but from the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of you leaning on the windowsill of the shop at the northwest corner of the crossroads.

Your dark hair matched your black leather jacket and black jeans. I think you had just lit a cigarette and you held it in your right hand.  I smiled and you returned the gesture.
Over the years our relationship had been frosty to say the least. We simply didn’t like each other. The age gap too great and our personalities too different to allow even a friendship to develop. Over the past few months we had been finding ourselves in shared company. Common friends allowing us to see each other in a new light. We had been casually talking earlier that night in the midst of the dance tunes and so I approached with confidence.

“Awright? Whit ye up tae?” I said.

“Nuthin’ much. You?” You replied.

“Just gaunnie head up the road. You fancy a slice of toast and a cup of tea?” I was ready to test the water of a new friendship.

“Aye. Awright.” You offered in reply.

We chatted casually as we crossed the road and set off up the street in the general direction of my mum’s house. My heart was beating just a bit faster and my mind was full of happy thoughts.

You were, on that night and still are, a friend waiting to be found and by the time we had reached my mum’s front door, you had gathered a group of fellow late night revellers to join us on our inaugural late night, after hours party. Unkown to me, the characters that passed through the door that night were to form a large part of our lives for many years to come, but there were more than a few strange looks when, after everyone had sat down I proceeded to ask “who wants toast and tea”.

Sometimes I find myself wistfully looking back from where we came, I often wonder what would have happened if I had just crossed over and bought a kebab or a burger instead of offering to make you a cup of tea and some slightly cooked bread, but there’s no use in wishing for what might have been. After 30 years together and 22 years married, I guess we’re stuck with each other. At least we can still laugh.

X


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