Returning from our honeymoon, Mervyn and I settled into our life together as man and wife. I enjoyed decorating our little apartment in an attempt to make it feel like “home”. And life was fine for a while, but in time I became unsettled and restless within myself. I began to feel fenced in, trapped. Discontentment crept in. It became invasive. Mervyn was a good man. What I was experiencing wasn’t his fault. I didn’t fool myself. Fully aware I’d married on the rebound, it was up to me to face and deal with the consequences. We socialized often; spent weekends at Noosa when we could juggle them in with our other commitments. Mervyn was still a surf lifesaver and had to fulfill club responsibilities.
Throughout the years, looking back to that time in my life, dissecting it and understanding it, I’ve spent many hours reflecting in an effort to understand my actions of rushing blindly into marriage. “R” had deserted me. I felt betrayed, lost and alone, not that I admitted my feelings openly to anyone else. The majority of the time, my pain and hurt I kept to myself, with only a couple of weak, indiscreet moments. Obviously, one such unfortunate untimely moment was when I attempted to enter the church to be married to someone else. For the next couple of years, I pushed “R” to the back of my mind and into a secret hidden cavern in my heart. My efforts succeeded for a while, but persistently my memories of him kept recurring to taunt and haunt me. As hard as I tried, he was difficult to forget. “R” had stolen my heart. He had failed to return it. Battling with the reality of my true feelings, I couldn’t get “R” out of my mind. His shadow hovered constantly, in my dreams and in the daylight hours. Unremitting, interfering thoughts of him teased and tormented me. I was fully aware that I had no one to blame for my disquietude except myself. Without stepping back, spending time to think, I’d vaulted the truth and plunged into the deep end without a life-preserver, with a lifesaver!
Three years into our marriage, our life together had become robot-like. I knew Mervyn and I couldn’t continue living with our heads in the sand, pretending everything was all right. It wasn’t. Our arguments were minor and few, but we had descended into silences and remoteness. Knowing this wasn’t how life was meant to be, one evening I insisted we both sit down together to calmly discuss our situation. And we did. Brought out into the open, we were able to face each other honestly and reasonably as we dissected our lives, our marriage and what each of us expected and wanted. No blame was shed upon the other by either one of us. We’d shared many fun times. Generally, we’d had a great time. We were just not meant to be a “couple” forever. Agreeing we were better off parting and going our separate ways, I chose to be the one to leave the” marital home”. We weren’t in a hurry to get a divorce as neither of us had any immediate plans to get married again. I’d decided I'd “been there” and didn’t intend “going there” again for a long time, if ever. Mervyn felt the same, so the idea of divorce was put on the back-burner. More pressing matters were at hand, such as finding a place for me to move into. Within a couple of days, I found a flat in
The day arrived, again, for my removal from the ‘marital home”. Mervyn helped me pack and move, much to the delight of our upstairs neighbours who we had befriended. They were a young British couple, around similar ages to Mervyn and me. They thought they’d seen it all when he took off on foot towards my new abode with a tall bookcase resting on his head and shoulders. He’d made the bookcase for me, though not very handy in that department, he was very proud of his effort! Halfway through the relocation, we stopped, inviting Terry and Christine, our upstairs friends, to join us in going into the city to view the “Warana” procession. It was “Warana Festival” week and the parade of colourful floats etc., was about to commence. Shaking their heads and laughing, Terry and Chris joined us in watching the brilliant parade of floats, clowns and entertainers of all kinds. Now they had seen and heard it all, they reckoned. No one ever stops in the middle of moving out from a marriage to go and see a parade! No one except Mervyn and Lee, that is! There was no animosity, no spite or bitterness in our separation. Mervyn and I remain friends to this day. He has never failed to telephone me on my birthday. I do likewise. We email each other frequently. Periodically he rings me. He married again eventually. Jackie, his wife and I have met and spoken many times. They had a daughter, who only last week gave birth to their first grandchild. They also have twin sons. I’ve always been kept in the loop. All’s well, that ends well.
Five years or so after we separated, Mervyn rang me to enquire about us divorcing. I told him I would handle it myself, rather than donate money to solicitors for doing work I was more than capable of doing. I’d had five years legal experience. Divorce Law Reforms had come into being in the intervening years. We didn’t have joint property or children to be taken into consideration. So, I typed up the necessary papers etc., and in time, our divorce came through. It cost us $45.00 and that included my cab fares to and from the court! I don't regret those three years of marriage to Mervyn. I know he feels the same way about our time together. They were probably good for me. I matured. I needed that "life-line" to stay on course, I guess. Who knows? Life has its own mind. We are just mere actors in the play.
Settled into my new home on the banks of the
Taking me aside once afternoon when only he and I were in the office, John Trimmer said, “Look…I know you think you’d like to do the consultancy work, but I know better. It’s not what I want for you. It’s a shit job…you don’t want it, I promise you. We are moving forwards and upwards. Busy times, very busy times are ahead of us. I need you by my side to help me do what has to be done. I want to know you will be with me, beside me…I want you to be my “right-hand-man”. This company is growing and there are massive changes afoot.”
That proved to be an understatement.
John poached a departmental manager from one of the major inner city stores to join us. Isabell became manager of Glo International Handbags’ section of the Kolotex Group of Companies. Our little office of two had multiplied into six. The growth wasn’t to stop there.
Shortly after the purchase of Glo International, The Kolotex Group of Companies added another company to its stables. Rogtex Men’s and Women’s Wear was the latest acquisition.
John Trimmer formulated a plan based on his dreams and my daydreams of our ridding ourselves of the wholesale agents. He had always agreed with my vision for our
We were about to embark upon the ride of our lives. We were on the brink of a most thrilling, exciting and fulfilling ride full of surprises, achievements and unexpected occurrences. I was ready but even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined what was in store.
To be continued....