As I reflected this morning over the past few months and what they have brought for me in terms of happiness and pain, I considered my life. I considered what would happen if I were to turn it completely upside down. If I were to have run away with that guy who displayed interest in me. If I were to give up on my dream of becoming a mother, of having Little Viking and run away and start a new life instead.
One thing was clear: I would lose the Viking.
It’s not often I say it these days, I guess I figured you’d all heard it too many times before, but the Viking is the love of my life. Call it fate, divine intervention, serendipity or the universe, we were brought together. We were brought together because we fit. We fit in more ways than I thought a person could ever fit with me.
I was 14 years old when I first met the Viking. I don’t remember him, and I only vaguely remember the incident, but I was showing off, trying to display how different I was to other girls my age, and I made a total arse of myself. He was at our house to teach my big brother guitar, and they continued those lessons and that friendship at the Viking’s house for years after that. I knew of him only by his surname, and thought he and his brother were one and the same.
The next time I met the Viking I was 16. It was my brother’s 21st birthday party and my brother had invited two men he knew well, he considered good friends, who were a little bit alternative – the Viking and a tall man with long hair. As the Viking sat on my parents’ lawn that evening smoking his cigar, I paraded in front of him, trying to show how mature I was, how grown up. I don’t think I succeeded. The fact that I was going through my Save The Last Dance phase and had sewn my own name into the waistband of my underwear probably didn’t help.
I spent a large portion of that party sitting at his feet, listening to his stories. Or so he tells me. I only remember making a fool of myself and one of our neighbours getting trashed and passing out on the toilet.
A few days after my 20th birthday, a couple at my church had their first child, a baby girl. She was the first baby I ever held, and I loved her from the moment I laid eyes on her. In the weeks following her birth, I became Aunty Tamsin and every Sabbath I would hold this baby girl in my arms.
The father of the baby girl brought his brother to church sometimes. I recognised the brother from an incident when I was 16 years old. A party. I figured he wouldn’t remember me. I was wrong.
One night I was invited to a dinner at my cousin’s house. My cousin and his wife were having a few friends over, and my brother & I attended. My boyfriend chose not to go as he started work at 6am the following morning. It was lucky he didn’t, as the Viking was there and we spent the whole night engrossed entirely in each others’ words. I don’t even remember who else was there. Only that he remembered me, this amazing man I had met years before. This incredible person I wanted to know.
A friendship bloomed, and before I knew it we were spending much time together shopping, talking, having fun. Mostly with my cousin, my cousin’s wife and my brother, and almost never alone.
We spoke a lot on the phone and he told me he could see what was going on, he knew I was being abused, and he wanted it to stop. We stopped talking for a few months after that. I had been banned from speaking with him again.
At 21 I finally had the courage to break up with the boy who had been controlling me. Finally broke free.
Two weeks later, I texted the Viking out of the blue. I told him we were going to the movies that night, a Friday, October 27 2006. He didn’t want to go, but he did anyway. He picked me up, we went to the movie and we bought popcorn. During the movie we had a popcorn fight and in that moment I knew – this was the man I was destined to spend the rest of my life with.
It was the following Tuesday before I told him how I felt. Halloween. He came to my house to visit me and we kissed for the first time.
Time moved differently after that, and sometimes I still believe it’s a dream.
This man, this incredible man, was brought into my life over and over again until the time was right. Until we were ready to be together.
Call it divine intervention, call it fate. Call it destiny, serendipity, the universe. We were made to be together. And I know it with all of my heart.