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In my 50 years, I had never left South Africa, and this was the perfect opportunity to have an adventure. John invited me to stay with him, so I didn’t have to worry about accommodation. My decision was made and I started making plans. The Visa application went well and I kept telling myself if everything went smoothly without any hitches or problems, then we are meant to be. The 40 day count down began and my excitement mounted. Our relationship continued to grow via sms’s, facebook messages and phonecalls. I purchased my ticket, and two weeks later my Visa arrived.

“The” day finally dawned and I was off to the airport. My very first long flight. My son kept asking me, “are you nervous yet?”. The strange thing was that I never got nervous at all, as I was so sure that I was doing the right thing. My friends arrived unexpectedly at the airport to see me off and we all chatted excitedly. It was finally time to board the plane. We said our goodbyes and my adventure began.

As I sat on the plane waiting to take off, I said a little prayer, that all would go well and that in 12 hours I would be with this man I had falling so deeply in love with. My anticipation at seeing him again after 30 years was almost overwhelming.

The flight was uneventful, and I passed the hours by staring out the window looking into the night, watching the moon and the stars, and the lights of the ships way down below as we flew over the sea. Morning arrived as we flew over the White Cliffs of Dover and on into Heathrow, where I was met by my friends, who took me home for coffee to pass the 5 hour stopover.

Back to Heathrow and onto a small plane to Manchester. Due to unforeseen circumstances, John was not able to fetch me and asked me to catch the train to Doncaster where he would be waiting for me. Suddenly I felt very independent at having to do all these things that I had never done before. Catching a shuttle to the station and then the train to Doncaster. The trip was beautiful and I enjoyed every minute of it. It gave me time to just relax and enjoy the ride, and appreciate the scenery.

Next stop Doncaster station. I hauled all my luggage off the train and suddenly felt his arms around me. I turned and my arms flew up around his neck. My life’s search was over, I was home. He kissed me and and we held each other, neither wanting to let go. I knew that we were meant to be together. From that moment on we were inseparable for the next 30 wonderful, blissful days. As his friend drove us back home he held my hand, and I felt safe and secure with him.

He ran my bath and made me something to eat. I climbed into bed and as I drifted off, Cape Town and my life seemed a million miles away. I was with the man I loved and I had never been happier.

I was woken the next morning with a kiss and a cup of tea and we fell into a routine from day one. Either he brought tea or I did, whoever was awake first. We spent hours talking about our lives and what had happened since we were at school. We talked about our likes and dislikes and found so much common ground. We shared so many interests, views and dreams for our future together.

The process of discovery was amazing. The realization that this was “it” and we were finally together, was overwhelming. Even though we had exchanged hundreds of messages over the past 7 months, and so much information, we still had so much to share. Our love for each other just grew stronger and more intense by the day.

Our time together was wonderful and we enjoyed every moment of being together. Catching buses, walking in the Moore’s, exploring the countryside, having coffee in numerous little coffee shops, shopping, cooking, cleaning and loving, plenty of loving.

The weeks went by too quickly and before I knew it we were driving back to Manchester airport. My head was buzzing, I did not want to leave, but I missed my kids and family. My heart was ripped in two. I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving John behind. But as we said goodbye I knew that it would only be for a while, and we would be together again soon. The holiday was over, and our life together had just begun.

It’s been almost three months since I returned home, and we are still counting the days till we can be together again. Only this time it will be for the rest of our lives. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that your search is over and that you can just relax and be comfortable in the knowledge that your life has come full circle and that your love will be home soon.


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Bridie R.

“I enjoyed reading it, very interesting. Well done!”