Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Intended Collisions (2) - For Auntie Sarah

I was a prefect at school. Leavers year, age 16 and taking my badge seriously, even if I did mess about in maths - sorry Mrs Mellow.




Anyway, it was a day when all the junior school children were coming up to have a tour of the 'big' school they would be starting come September. It was my responsibility to show one of the classes around. 

This done, I was crossing the quad, when I came upon one of the young lads that had been in my group, somewhat harassed by a boy in my year. Russell Alcombe. Now I liked Russell, but he was a notorious thug.

As I told Russ to leave the little lad alone, unbeknown to me, the deputy head was watching the entire scene play out. All three of us ended up in his office. Russell got suspended - poor sod - and the 12 year old, Chris, was just happy to be on his way again, no doubt grateful that an entire summer holiday lay between now and his setting foot in his new school again. Oh and the fact that Russell would be long gone - on his way to some sort of detention centre no doubt?

Fast forward many years, a few continents, and a failed engagement, I'm travelling across the deserted north of Australia in Qantas. The ticket to fly was one of the last things in my possession, and pretty much after landing and reclaiming my dusty pack, I would be destitute and alone. Literally I had no money left and no onward ticket home.  

In these moments of madness, on the very last bones of my arse, serendipity has always stepped forward and taken over. And the funny thing is, at times like these when I've thought I've had nothing, I've ended up with everything. Trust is the string that holds all the pearls. 

Broome airport back then (1998) was a tiny tin shack with an air strip cut out of the pindan earth that surrounded it. So small, that everyone huddled collectively waiting for the luggage that some poor old outback Aussie was having to handle alone in 40+ heat. 

Wiping sweat off my brow and swatting flies in all directions, an extremely tall young man approached me. Friendly looking and a bit shy even, he asked quietly, "Are you from Portsmouth?" and immediately had my attention. 
"Yes." 
"Is your name Emma?" My mouth dropped open. 
"Yes. Who are you?" 
"You may not remember this, but when I was 12, you were showing my class around school. You stopped an idiot having a go at me. Thanks for that."
"Of course. Well isn't that mad! It's nice to see you again."
"Come and meet my girlfriend Sarah, she's just over here."

A pretty face smiled at me, saying hello and explaining how she had nudged Chris to ask if it was me, as he wasn't sure. (Ten years had elapsed after all).

And so serendipity lent a hand. What went around, came back around. I saved his arse all those years before, and here he was now saving mine. Although at the time, I couldn't appreciate that this was only the beginning...

No longer lonely, not only did I walk with them to a backpackers hostel, I managed to get a job cleaning it in exchange for my accommodation. That then led to another job and six weeks of hard graft that earned me £3,000 aussie dollars and further travels down the west coast of Oz. Eventually, I caught up with Sarah and Chris in Fremantle and slept in an over cramped houseshare with them, laughing a lot, hung over a lot and working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. Okay, not cocktail bar, cafe on cappuccino strip. Loved it. I'm wondering if the Freo Queen of Tarts cafe still exists?

Fast forward, six years and Sarah introduced me to a colleague that she thought I'd get on really well with. She was right. So well in fact, that three years after that we were married. Sarah of course was our bridesmaid, and a little further down the line, became fairy Godmother to our two girls. 

Needless to say we all adore her. Most especially me. THANK YOU Sarah x



32 comments:

Judith Kingston said...

What an AMAZING story!! Just goes to show, it's always worth doing what's right, who knows what dividends it might pay years down the line!

Sarah Miles said...

That made me smile; call it fate, karma but it's true that in moments of desperation or sometimes when I am over-assured life will step in.

The coincidences seem too great...or are they?

Redpeffer said...

As I was reading I couldn't be sure whether it was real or not. How amazing-I do believe in a bit of karma.

Jenny Ripatti-Taylor said...

What an incredible story. I bet she feels so special reading this too. So sweet. #prose4thought

Sara Murray said...

How wonderful, I am a firm believer in fate and that things do happen for a reason xx Prose4T

Rajlakshmi said...

Wow that's how destiny works... That's a beautiful story :) #prose4T

Emma Oliver said...

Too true, thanks for your comment Judith x

Emma Oliver said...

Bizarre isn't it... happy I made you smile! Thanks for the comment Sarah x

Emma Oliver said...

I know, it is amazing. Thank you for your comment Iona x

Emma Oliver said...

She told me it brought a tear to her eye. It is all the more incredible when you consider how tiny Broome is and how isolated it is - and that we were all from the same home town. #prose4T

Emma Oliver said...

Destiny - if I hadn't met him then, I would have met hi further down the line, I've no doubt about that - and Sarah too. Thank you for reading. x

Emma Oliver said...

It is indeed! Thank you for your lovely comment ;-) #prose4T

Denise Johnson said...

Funny how life works out and what a small world we live in! Lovely story - sounds like it was meant to be. :-) #ThePrompt

Anonymous said...

Wow a nice story! Its like good karma all over! Its nice to be nice!

#theprompt

Lisa from Lisas Life said...

Brilliant story...love good karma and love a happy ending :)

Sara Murray said...

I loved this when I read it yesterday, it's perfect for #ThePrompt this week, thanks so much for linking up x

Anonymous said...

That's such an awesome coincidence! It reminds me of the Black Swan blog post by Mummy Tries for this week's Prompt - as she says serendipity often steps in when you have really put your neck on the line. Its those of us who sit safe and secure in our suburban homes and never risk anything that don't get to experience the wonderful and weird stuff that the universe might have had in store for us... #ThePrompt

Wicked World of Lucas said...

Amazing story x #prose4t

Mummy Tries said...

Oh my word I've got goosebumps after reading your story Emma! Absolutely incredible black swan - some things really are meant to be. 2004 must have been an especially great year for meeting other halves, I know loads of people celebrating ten years in 2014. Congratulations lovely xxx

Lous Lake Views said...

Wow, what an unexpected outcome! I am a firm believer in fate and karma and it looks like both were in play here. What a fabulous story to tell your kids :-) #ThePrompt

All At Sea said...

What an amazing story!! Half way round the world - that was MEANT to be! xx

Emma Oliver said...

Too right it was meant to be, when your destiny as a couple is so strong, nothing will tear you apart. Thanks so much for commenting #theprompt

Emma Oliver said...

Ah, it is only when it comes back years down the line that you see it for what it was!

Emma Oliver said...

Hi Lisa, thank you, happy endings are us!

Emma Oliver said...

I know, it was so perfect for #theprompt of 'unexpected', thank you Sara, what a great linkie you run there at mumturnedmom. x

Emma Oliver said...

I loved the Mummy Tries story too! It was similar and quite bizarre that we were on the same page - although, maybe not... I think we have a lot in common! Thank you for responding, I love your comment. We can all learn from this that sometimes it is ok to take risks... as I say, trust is the string that holds all the pearls!

Emma Oliver said...

Thank you! Cheers for the comment.

Emma Oliver said...

I never thought of that - that is why this blog exists! Thank you for commenting!

Emma Oliver said...

I know, don't you just love that?! Thanks Helen x

Emma Oliver said...

Ten years this month is crazy Mrs! I do not know where they all went, but I do know this. We are stronger everyday. That is karma, fate, destiny, black swan... and I know you know what I mean Miss Serendipity beach!! x

Victoria Welton said...

This story has given me complete and utter goosebumps. How wonderful. It really does prove that life moves in mysterious ways. Fantastic :) Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought xx

Emma Oliver said...

Pleasure as always Vicky, it's a great link! Hope all okay x