Three Meetings

This week's Sunday Scribblings theme is: How I Met My...
The following is part of a larger piece of fiction I'm working on where the hero, on the eve of his marriage, reflects on what brought him and his wife to be together.

We actually met twice. The first time was when she turned up in my class with at the beginning of a new year. It was my second year of running an English conversation class in the local cultural centre. The first year had started with a bang, but slowly but surely numbers started dwindling. We ended the year with just three participants, two of which were leaving town and would not be back the next year.
Despite all the director's encouragements I was not looking forward to the new year. My question was not would we see through the year, but would we have enough participants to get the group off the ground. A conversation class of one is not exactly ideal. But as I stepped through the door of the centre a large number of people were milling around, either wanting to register for new classes or waiting for their class tutor to arrive. How many of these would end up in my class?

To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember if she was actually present on that day. Some students didn't actually begin until two or three weeks into the year. And there were so many new students I was overwhelmed. But she became part of the group.

Then, there was the second time we met was some three or four years later. We were in the pub together. It had become a habit for four or five of us to prolong the class with a drink together in the club. She belonged to that group. Over the years we had all become great friends and as we sat there clinking our glasses our eyes crossed and we suddenly understood what we both wanted to say to each other.

I still can't understand how I hadn't realised sooner. But a far more pressing problem was what to do about it. My friends had been pressing me for a while to come out of my shell. "You can't stay a widower all your life. It's been nearly five years now. You've got to get out and meet other women." But I had been hesitant. I still was. Could I overcome this hesitancy? And then, there was the question of age. I knew exactly how old she was, just as I knew when her birthday was. I got the lists of all the students year after year. Names, addresses, date of birth, telephone, email. I knew hers off by heart. How could she want to get involved with someone almost ten years her senior.

Yet, after this one brief short moment, this second meeting, things just weren't the same. And I knew that we somehow had to find a way. We did. And in the morning there'll be a third meeting - one which will link our destinies forever on this earth.


I hope you will let us see the larger work of which this is a part. It is fiction with the ring of reality.

23 August 2008 at 01:56  

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