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River Ch. 03

People are very fond of saying everything from "when you least expect it, love will find you" and "just you wait, someday when you turn the corner, there he'll be" to "stop trying so hard, let the universe help you", and I guess that was sort of what I was doing; taking one day at a time, going to work, meeting my friends out for a drink, passing my time.

In the end, I think there's always something in us that wants us to reach for, to search and find that special someone. I'm sure my friend Mary would be able to explain the "general principles of human nature" in a quick and humoristic way, but by my way of thinking it's just natural to want someone to share your life with. And so, I stopped waiting and I started trying again. I went on a couple of first dates with kind, intellectual men with good finances, and followed my old "this is my preferred type of partner"-pattern. But somehow the Danny Disaster had changed me; I just didn't trust as easily, and I didn't let the first dates become second dates. And I didn't love.

I'm not sure if you can understand what it feels like not to be able to live and love fully, when you've been living and loving to your heart's content all your life. A rather large part of you is suddenly gone. At work and with my friends I was still happy, but there were times when I was alone when everything seemed less shiny, less colorful somehow. It's as close to a depression I had ever come in my life. I shook it off kind of quickly, and the only lasting result of my temporary blues was that I lost some weight, which meant that I could buy some new clothes, two sizes smaller than before. And honestly – retail therapy really does work!

My new, thinner, slightly more cynical, but still infinitely romantic self continued going to work and continued meeting my closest friends every Thursday. My friends could see that I struggled somewhat with my new world order, but except for some darkly cynical thoughts from Mary's side, some cold half-smiles from Susan and some cheer-up-everything's-going-to-be-all-right-sentiments from Rose, life went on in a familiar way.

Yes, life went on in a familiar way up until "the day with the knife waving mother" came along.

It started as normal as a day can possibly start, with breakfasttime, playtime, lunchtime; everything at the right time, in the right place, with the right amount of kids, the right amount of teachers. Just fine-fine-fine.

And then when we're playing outdoors, a loud yell from a teacher, a swift intake of breath from a shy child, someone calling for security. And in the end sirens blearing loudly close by and teachers desperately collecting silent children, calling parents to come get their kids. And in my arms a shocked, shaking, silently crying child, his arms wound tightly around my neck.

But of course the child was brilliant, shy, silent Sam. And of course the crazy lady with the knife was Sam's mother. And of course the story of the broken family and the violent, drug abusing mother that was not allowed access to her own child was known by the management, who had not deemed it relevant for the teachers to know about it.

In just one short hours' time, we all knew the sad story. Only a few teachers and kids had actually seen the woman, only one teacher had been threatened with the knife and security had come to the rescue in record time, so the damage to the school, the children and to the teachers was minimal. However it was decided that everyone should be sent home with information about the incident.

Sam and I were left mostly to ourselves, since any attempt at other contact only made Sam cling to me more desperately. In the end we were left alone in the room where we'd first met, sitting together in the sofa, just gently holding on to each other.

The father that stormed into the room an hour later had almost no similarities with the eraser-cutting, worried but gentle father from those few weeks ago. This was a raging papa bear type of a father, still worried, but with a great warrior from the past appearance; six and a half feet of masculine anger steaming ahead, his only thoughts on his son's safety.

I lifted my head up from resting it on the now exhaustedly sleeping Sam's head. "Shhhh" I whispered, "he's asleep".

Seeing me sitting calmly with his son in my arms made him stop, take a couple of deep breaths and try to collect himself. He reached the sofa and sat down slowly beside me and then it was as if he'd completely deflated. With a gentle hand on his sons head he folded in on himself, face in his other hand, shaking from silent tears. His son was safe.

I let him cry without reaching out for him, but I felt his sorrow and his relief with every breath I took. These were the tears of someone who had been forced to be too strong for too long. When I could tell that most of his calm had returned I slowly righted myself and lifted his son into his arms. When Sam sighed and turned his face into is father's shirt I had a feeling that everything was going to be all right in the end. Without a thought of appropriate teacher-parent behavior I reached my arms out and held as much as I could of both of them, to show them I was there for both of them. And then I finally shed my own tears, the ones I had barely held back since Sam had first reached for me. And I let myself cry a river of tears for all of us.People are very fond of saying everything from "when you least expect it, love will find you" and "just you wait, someday when you turn the corner, there he'll be" to "stop trying so hard, let the universe help you", and I guess that was sort of what I was doing; taking one day at a time, going to work, meeting my friends out for a drink, passing my time.

In the end, I think there's always something in us that wants us to reach for, to search and find that special someone. I'm sure my friend Mary would be able to explain the "general principles of human nature" in a quick and humoristic way, but by my way of thinking it's just natural to want someone to share your life with. And so, I stopped waiting and I started trying again. I went on a couple of first dates with kind, intellectual men with good finances, and followed my old "this is my preferred type of partner"-pattern. But somehow the Danny Disaster had changed me; I just didn't trust as easily, and I didn't let the first dates become second dates. And I didn't love.

I'm not sure if you can understand what it feels like not to be able to live and love fully, when you've been living and loving to your heart's content all your life. A rather large part of you is suddenly gone. At work and with my friends I was still happy, but there were times when I was alone when everything seemed less shiny, less colorful somehow. It's as close to a depression I had ever come in my life. I shook it off kind of quickly, and the only lasting result of my temporary blues was that I lost some weight, which meant that I could buy some new clothes, two sizes smaller than before. And honestly – retail therapy really does work!

My new, thinner, slightly more cynical, but still infinitely romantic self continued going to work and continued meeting my closest friends every Thursday. My friends could see that I struggled somewhat with my new world order, but except for some darkly cynical thoughts from Mary's side, some cold half-smiles from Susan and some cheer-up-everything's-going-to-be-all-right-sentiments from Rose, life went on in a familiar way.

Yes, life went on in a familiar way up until "the day with the knife waving mother" came along.

It started as normal as a day can possibly start, with breakfasttime, playtime, lunchtime; everything at the right time, in the right place, with the right amount of kids, the right amount of teachers. Just fine-fine-fine.

And then when we're playing outdoors, a loud yell from a teacher, a swift intake of breath from a shy child, someone calling for security. And in the end sirens blearing loudly close by and teachers desperately collecting silent children, calling parents to come get their kids. And in my arms a shocked, shaking, silently crying child, his arms wound tightly around my neck.

But of course the child was brilliant, shy, silent Sam. And of course the crazy lady with the knife was Sam's mother. And of course the story of the broken family and the violent, drug abusing mother that was not allowed access to her own child was known by the management, who had not deemed it relevant for the teachers to know about it.

In just one short hours' time, we all knew the sad story. Only a few teachers and kids had actually seen the woman, only one teacher had been threatened with the knife and security had come to the rescue in record time, so the damage to the school, the children and to the teachers was minimal. However it was decided that everyone should be sent home with information about the incident.

Sam and I were left mostly to ourselves, since any attempt at other contact only made Sam cling to me more desperately. In the end we were left alone in the room where we'd first met, sitting together in the sofa, just gently holding on to each other.

The father that stormed into the room an hour later had almost no similarities with the eraser-cutting, worried but gentle father from those few weeks ago. This was a raging papa bear type of a father, still worried, but with a great warrior from the past appearance; six and a half feet of masculine anger steaming ahead, his only thoughts on his son's safety.

I lifted my head up from resting it on the now exhaustedly sleeping Sam's head. "Shhhh" I whispered, "he's asleep".

Seeing me sitting calmly with his son in my arms made him stop, take a couple of deep breaths and try to collect himself. He reached the sofa and sat down slowly beside me and then it was as if he'd completely deflated. With a gentle hand on his sons head he folded in on himself, face in his other hand, shaking from silent tears. His son was safe.

I let him cry without reaching out for him, but I felt his sorrow and his relief with every breath I took. These were the tears of someone who had been forced to be too strong for too long. When I could tell that most of his calm had returned I slowly righted myself and lifted his son into his arms. When Sam sighed and turned his face into is father's shirt I had a feeling that everything was going to be all right in the end. Without a thought of appropriate teacher-parent behavior I reached my arms out and held as much as I could of both of them, to show them I was there for both of them. And then I finally shed my own tears, the ones I had barely held back since Sam had first reached for me. And I let myself cry a river of tears for all of us.

river  

May 17, 2018 in romance

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