Bringing Them Together

Hi folks,

I'd love to begin this story by introducing myself, but I'm afraid that's not possible, at least, it won't be possible until tomorrow. You see, I've not been born yet, so I don't know what my name is. I'm not even sure if I'm a girl or a boy, although I do have my suspicions on that one. Today, I want to tell you about something that happened, not only long before I was born, but long before I was even thought of. You might call it my fight for existence.

You see Mum and Dad had very little going for them. They lived thousands of miles apart in two different countries. They spoke two different languages and moved in very different circles. You can imagine the uphill task I faced in bringing them together. Now, I'm sure there are some sceptics out there, who feel that my story is too far-fetched to be true. An unconceived child can't do all the things I'm going to claim to have done here. So you think I'm making all this up. Well, just reflect a little. If it really is all made up, then imagine the amount of creativity required to make such a story work. If you attribute me, such an incredible creative faculty, then why can't you attribute me the same amount of creativity in actually bringing these things about, as opposed to merely making up.

Well, let me tell you, with all these obstacles facing me, I needed to get to work at once. The first thing to do, would be to make sure, that Mam and Dad would be able to converse with each other, if and when I succeeded in bringing them together. You see, Dad came from New zealand and Mam was from Austria, so somehow I had to get them to learn each other's language.

For Mam that was quite easy to achieve. German speakers love learning new languages, and most of them are required to take English at school. The moment Mam first heard the language, she fell in love with it, and spent all her spare time trying to find ways of improving her fluency. But as for getting Dad to learn German, that was another kettle of fish. In New Zealand people suffer from the same illness that exists throughout the English speaking world - an innate hatred and lack of interest in language learning. Let the whole world speak English - that's their motto. And since the whole world obliges by so doing, then why bother trying to learn any other language. I did, however, have one thing going for me. Dad was naturally inquisitive, and loved literature. He fell head over heels for Shakespeare the moment he heard his very first verses. So when he discovered, that such beautiful literature also exists in other languages, he jumped in with both feet. The problem was finding the right teachers. French was easy, as a number of French people had emigrated to New Zealand and were looking for teaching jobs. But German! And when I finally found one and got him up to the Northern Island, then Dad had already made his choice of second language, and decided to do Latin instead of German. I was devastated. How on earth was I to get him to learn German, now?

That's where the language teacher shortage played right into my hands. After just two years of learning Latin, their teacher decided to move on to new waters. And of course, they couldn't find anyone to replace him. So all those learning Latin had to move to either the German or the music class. Now, it's true that Dad loves singing, but the moment he opens his mouth then everyone else darts immediately for cover. So at last, I had him learning German and a second stroke of luck came when Dad won a scholarship to spend one year studying at a leading European university.

So with Dad busy learning German and on his way to Europe, it was time to get working on Mam again. She had made good progress in English and had even learnt a bit of French, but when it came to arranging her future studies, she turned her back on languages and decided to go for maths and biology instead. But I wasn't unduly worried. If I could just get them in the same place, then there would be plenty of opportunity to meet. And I knew exactly how I was going to bring that about. I had the key all ready. Mam took a long time in making up her mind, but in the end decided to go to university in Strasbourg. In so doing, she could begin studying biology but if she so wished, she could even move to medicine after the first year.

So with Mam in Strasbourg, the way was clear. What better place could there be for a language student majoring in French and German. It was also a major arts centre and sported several theatres, a first class opera house and some excellent music ensembles. All I had to do was put in a request in Dad's name for information about the city and the rest was child's play, the moment he got the brochures, his mind was made up. My plan was slowly coming to fruition.

Of course, it was not all plain sailing. Mam was a really pretty young girl and wherever she went, suitors followed close behind. I really had my hands full trying to keep them away and keep Mam concentrated on her studies. Added to that was the fact that Dad had a quick head, that turned at the sight of almost any pretty girl. And the moment he saw one, he believed himself madly in love with her. I suspect that in a previous life, Dad must have been the guy Shakespeare modelled his Romeo on, except that Dad wasn't quite as handsome as Romeo. Indeed, the more in love he was, the less likely the young lady in question was to take up with him. True, we did have one or two close shaves, but we negotiated most of them without too many problems.

Well, time was ticking on, and I decided it was about time to bring the two together. My first chance was when the world's greatest tenor gave a gala performance at the Strasbourg Opera House. As was his custom, a number of tickets were made available to young students at a fraction of the normal price. Both Mam and Dad snapped one up, but they were too far from each other to meet. Later that year, I got them both an invitation to a dinner party at a cosy little restaurant in the heart of the old city, but despite the fact that they were seated at the same table, they scarcely seemed to notice each other. Well, if normal means weren't enough, then I was going to have to try something drastic. A Europe-wide, multi-disciplinary conference was being organised with a view to bringing together some of the greatest thinkers on the continent to discuss the many problems the world was facing. But as well as featuring experienced and tried minds, a deliberate decision was taken to bring in younger, lesser-known talent from various disciplines. Both Mam and Dad were chosen in their respective fields and were to spend 5 days in Berlin discussing various issues with their fellow thinkers. Here was my chance. All I had to do was to bide my time and to bring about a mix-up with the hotel keys at precisely the right moment in time.

Dad was the first to arrive, and I managed to get a look at his key number - room 512. A nice glass of wine was enough to put the old porter off to sleep and I soon managed to obtain the spare key to Dad's room. A quick dash back to the reception just in time to see Mam arrive. A glance at the reception book revealed Mam had been given room 396, so I slipped the spare key to Dad's room into her pigeon hole and made off with the real key before anyone could discover what I'd done. Mam took the elevator up to the fifth floor and set off in search of her room. Just as she arrived in front of room 512 Dad came out and gave her the fright of a lifetime. Mam burst out into tears and the hotel security guard almost marched Dad off to the manager suspecting him of something untoward. But Mam soon calmed down and the mix-up was discovered. Later that evening an unusually shy Dad knocked on Mam's door to ask after her.

"Well, if I taken away your room, maybe you'll let me buy you dinner."

And from there it was all plain sailing. They saw each other every evening during the conference, and soon realised that they lived within just 2 kilometres of each other in Strasbourg. That summer Dad took a holiday to Vienna and spent every evening with Mam on the floors of the city's famous dance halls. They announced their engagement before the end of the year, and were married just two months later. My task was complete. All I had to do was sit back, wait nine months and... another nine months... and another nine months...

What on earth was wrong with both of them? It was when they started talking about adoption that I really started getting stared. And it was that self-same night under the starry heavens above Mam and Dad's holiday campsite that my waiting came to an end. The nine-months will be up tomorrow. That's when the fun will start.

7 comments:

i cant stand it!!!!! first the love intrest and now this!!!!!!!!

9 November 2007 at 02:43  

wow. now I'll never be able to look at my children in the same way... wow.

9 November 2007 at 11:40  

I'm a firm believer in this Paul ... and what a great yarn to boot!

Perhaps my daughter will be able to tell a similar story when we pluck her from the ether and make her wait the nine months and beyond ...

9 November 2007 at 15:23  

What a great take on the prompt. Different but definitely very good and entertaining. You had me believing that the baby had done it all through sheer will power. Ha ha. =)

9 November 2007 at 15:32  

I love the unique perspective provided by the unborn child, fully conscious and choosing the parents he/she wants. Love it love it love it! :-)

9 November 2007 at 21:08  

This was wonderful! I love the concept. You could definitely make this into a novel all by itself. If I picked my parents I did a pretty crummy job of it. Oh well! Ces la vie!

9 November 2007 at 21:14  

I have long suspected that we are all born fully conscious, we just never realise that throughout our lives...

I love the scheming of this little baby, before he was even a twinkle in his father's eye!

9 November 2007 at 21:15  

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