Christmas was fast approaching. I wasn’t feeling in a celebratory mood, but decided that I would bury my pain and face the world head on with a smile on my face. Life was still going on around me. To hell with it all, I wanted to be part of life, not stay hidden away in some dark corner pining for something that couldn’t be altered. “R” and I hadn’t broken up. He had just gone away for a while, for how long at that stage, neither of us knew. I wasn’t naïve enough to think that he wouldn’t be out having fun. It was my intention to do similar.
I put most of my energy into my job becoming very involved in every aspect of it. My boss introduced me to a young hosiery buyer from one of the Myer department stores. Fay had moved down to
Laurie, a friend of “R’s” from their high school days, whom I’d met and befriended, decided he, too, would try being a radio announcer. Following in “R’s” footsteps, Laurie decided to join the Colour Radio network, but because he was inexperienced, he was being sent to
That year my Christmas plans were made for me. I spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with “R’s” parents who lived in Geebung, a
The eve of the new year arrived. I’d booked a seat on the Gympie train for around . As I was leaving my office, I ran into a guy I knew, Don Baker, who invited me to go for a quick drink with him for New Year. I had a bit of time up my sleeve so I agreed. On the way we crossed paths with Laurie, who decided to join us. Like the Three Musketeers we settled comfortably into a cocktail bar at a hotel in
Sitting on our verandah chatting quietly with my mother and grandmother, a car pulled up outside. It was Marj and her soon-to-be husband, Quentin. (It was Marj’s older brother, some of you might recall, whom I had been seeing off and on before I met “R”, the one who sent me the “Dear John/Marsha” letter). She and Quentin, failed in their plan to meet me at the train station so decided to catch me at home. We all sat around talking and sipping on rum and cokes before Quentin was duly and dutifully chased away at . Marj and I spent her last night of “singledom” discussing our past and what our futures may have in store for us, before finally drifting off to sleep in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Another older brother of Marj’s was my escort to the wedding. Poor Des, he had no idea what was in store for him. He’d not long arrived back in
Everything was going along smoothly at the wedding until it came time for the speeches during the reception. Without warning I began to cry. Not just cry, I became uncontrollable, inconsolable! I was losing everyone, all my dear and much-loved friends. “R” was in
Mum tucked me into bed that night, listening empathetically to my outpourings of grief. I cried until I could cry no more, finally descending into an exhausted sleep. I had depleted the dam, at least for a while. I awoke next morning feeling wrung-out. I caught the early afternoon train back to
Once back in
To be continued....