How I met your father (part one)

It’s pretty mind boggling when you think about how many little things have to come together to make you, you. In fact it’s a miracle any of us are here when you consider the odds.

Bill Bryson

When I look back at my life there are certain moments that I have pretty much no recollection of and others that still feel like they were yesterday. One such moment happened in Spring 2006 and is where I’m going to start your journey, in the little room upstairs at the front of Grandma’s house. I was sitting at the computer looking jobs in London (yes the search area really was that wide) in the vague hope that a boy I was dating would also find a job there. Lucky for you he found a job in Stockholm consequently bringing that relationship to a fairly abrupt end. Anyway, a school popped up on the screen looking for a physics teacher, it looked like a great school, with sixth form teaching and very different to the one I was doing my training in, which many had termed a baptism of fire. It was the first job I’d ever really applied for so didn’t have high expectations but I gave it a go. Shortly after I was called for an interview and so prepared as best I could before heading down to London and the delightful borough of Croydon. The day went really well, I had no idea where I was but I got a good vibe from the school and was excited to receive a phone call on the way home from the Head to offer me the post. As I reflect on that day there aren’t too many vivid memory’s, perhaps the phone call, parts of the interview and one other, a small section of the school tour which led us to the music department and a practice room where a small group of staff were preparing their performance for the school talent show. I popped my head into the room and said a quick hello, a teacher sitting in the corner at a drum kit caught my eye and then we left to carry on with the tour. And that was the moment I first met your dad.

Back at home I continued with my training and also fell into relationship that was supposed to last a few dates but ended up lasting a few years. At the start it was fun, a welcome break from the study and so different from the last relationship I was in where if we’re being totally honest I was into it a lot more than he ever was. This new guy however (lets call him A) was head over heals and I was flattered. He helped me move down to London and then would visit most weekends which was great as I knew very few people. Turns out London was a pretty big place and not as easy to get around quickly when your living so far south of the river. 

As the time went by I started to make friends at work, I was really enjoying the social side and not as dependent on A. But then about four months later my housemate moved out and I needed to find somewhere new to live. I panicked and convinced A that it would be a good idea to get a flat together and he would drive a three hour round trip to Oxford for work each day. In hindsight we weren’t ready for this and I pushed it because it was the safest thing to do. I never found it the easiest to make new friends and the thought of having to find more housemates was something that made me really anxious. So a few months later we ended up moving into a flat in Putney.

Around about the same time I was invited to sit on the PE table at the school Christmas party. Your dad was on a break from his relationship and had convinced his Head of Department and the organizer of the night to put me on there. We talked all night and there was an undeniable spark, he was exactly the sort of guy I’d go for if I’d been single, but I wasn’t. After that night although we chatted on a few occasions (your dad was never one for the staff room and rarely came to the pub on a Friday) your dad got back together with his girlfriend and later that year I moved in with A so he just stayed another friendly face at work. 

It wasn’t until the following summer I really got to know your dad when I went on a school trip to Spain with the PE department. It was a long bus ride and there was plenty of time to talk, I enjoyed spending time with him, he made me laugh till my sides hurt and we just clicked. I knew that I was starting to like him more than I should and although I suspected the feeling was mutual we never spoke about it. I felt so guilty when I got back home for feeling the way I did but as it was the summer break and I wouldn’t see him again until September so I tried to focus on forgetting him and instead making things better with A. By the end of the holiday l was feeling much more confident about our relationship and things were going fairly well until I went back to work only to find out your dad had split up with his girlfriend once again, this time for good.

We starting talking a lot more and grew much closer as the year went by. He would tell me about the dates he was going on and I would pretend to be interested all the while feeling would I rather it was me? As much as I tell myself that because nothing physical happened I never cheated I sometimes think that only has so much mileage, we weren’t ‘just friends’ and the feelings I had for him were undeniable. I was so confused about what I really wanted, maybe A knew this underneath it all and by the next summer he had gone away on a training weekend and made the decision for us. You see when he cheated he did it properly and for a good month afterwards he lied about where he was and what he was doing, he spent nights and days with her and all the while I was oblivious.

Now, although this will probably sound quite contradictory after what I’ve just said about your dad I was devastated. Life’s not always black and white and your feelings don’t always make logical sense. My pride was hurt, my trust shattered, I felt gross and ashamed that he was with going between the two of us and although I’d had my doubts I’d genuinely thought I was in love. I was also frustrated, how dare he do that after how hard I’d been working to make things better?

Looking back it was undoubtedly the best thing he could have done and a lucky escape for me. We weren’t right for each other at all and I knew that deep down. Incidentally, he ended up married to that same girl for a while before history repeated itself and he went off with someone else.

It was now Summer 2007 and I had very little planned for the school holidays other than feeling very sorry for myself. Your Aunty S came to visit and cheer me up and we did lots of random sightseeing. After that I decided the best best thing to do was to get out of the flat and go back home to stay with grandma and grandpa and mope about there. Then out of the blue I received an e-mail from your dad from an internet cafe in Laos.  Things were finally going to get moving and very quickly.

Love Mum xx

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