As my English teacher at high school so rightly observed: “Janet, you appear to be wearing your rose-tinted spectacles again. This was supposed to be a horror story, not a love story.”
Okay, so my zombie was more Romeo than Psycho…
I confess I’m a dreamer. A thinker. A lover of all things romantic, from chocolate love hearts and long stem roses to a good old-fashioned emotionally charged moral dilemma. Tales of chance encounters and dates with destiny captivate me.
After all, I believe fate had more than a hand in reuniting me with the man I’m now married to.
More years ago than I dare to consider have passed, the two of us were at the same house party. Me, huddled in one corner of the lounge with my girlfriends, wearing my new red dress and sipping a glass of fizz. Dave, also in red, a V-Neck jumper which he insists to this day wasn’t patterned (it was!) rooted in the kitchen area (where else?) with several other blokes, clutching a can of lager. Our eyes met, numerous times, a little exchange of smiles here and there, but we never actually managed to speak to each other before my taxi arrived. I never forgot him though. I did spy him once from afar but felt too shy to go over and tap him on the shoulder in case he didn’t recognize me.
Fast forward fourteen years from that first encounter and there we both are at another mutual friend’s party. I hadn’t wanted to go as I’d recently come out of a long-term relationship and thought it would be all couples. My older sister talked me into it; said it was better than sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. The first person I saw when I walked into the hall that night was Dave – very much single – having just come out of a relationship himself. We spent the whole evening chatting to each other. Much to the delight of our fellow guests, we even managed to sneak-in a slow dance.
It transpired that we’d been playing cat and mouse for years; frequenting the same pubs, clubs and restaurants, staying at the same holiday park, missing each other by two days.
But now we’d created our own love story.
Or to quote Mum’s words to me over dinner the next day: “Ships that pass no more, Jan…”