Hello My Darling
At 1.25pm on Wednesday 18th September 2013 an anonymous text message appeared on my phone. “Hello Mr………” it read. There was no contact information so I did not know the sender. The number was however showing but I failed to identify it as being international.
Now before I go on I must say I went through an incredibly bitter and acrimonious divorce. During that time I received a number of physical threats. While I am not one to back down from such encounters, I did decide to make myself somewhat difficult to track when I relocated.
I had not received such a threat for some time but I was instantly wary. I somewhat aggressively replied “are you a stalker?” The response “geez no,” followed by a quick “my apologies.” I then asked the sender to identify them self, to which I was advised that their picture should have appeared along with the message. I decided to attempt some humour and stated that the picture was all black and white and that it looked a bit like a poor police sketch and I was therefore having trouble making out the details. In fact all I could see was the generic avatar used by the phone for any caller without an image.
I had no idea who was messaging me, but they clearly knew me. After some banter about messaging apps, it was made clear to me it was an international text. That narrowed the field. Even after 14 years I thought (even fleetingly) could this be Darling? I quickly discounted the possibility. I was actually meant to be in the U.S. on vacation at the time. I thought it could be one of the party I would’ve been travelling with. They would have taken some pleasure in making tasteless jokes about my location in relation to theirs. The other option, and I cringe even now to dwell on it, was my reply. “Being called Mr ……… always make me think. I know a delightful young lady from Texas who calls me that, doubtful she would text however.”
I still had no clue at this stage. The next message however gave it all away . “No…….. I am thinking this was erroneous of me. I am sorry.” To which in part I replied “there is only one person who I could think of, but dare I hope?” The clue my Darling was “erroneous.” Not a common word. A word, I would say, that the better educated amongst us might use. I knew it was you!
So still playfully I thought, well my Darling doesn’t wish to identify herself just yet, so I will play along. You had me download a messaging app. I installed it, but before we switched our lines of communication you made one last statement. “You never said who you think I am.” My reply I thought both clever and elegant “I suspect I may quite literally hold a candle for you, along with your purple pyjamas.”
Now before I go any further, I should remind you that when you were last here we bought a scented candle in Leura. That night we lit it, and as it burned we shared some time together in a gorgeous old claw footed bath. As mentioned briefly, here we both know you’d left your pyjamas behind. However when you departed we also divided the remains of that candle.
You confirmed that purple was still your favourite colour and my world turned upside down.
I have replayed that text exchange on so many occasions since. After fourteen and a half years you had garnered the strength to text me. My first words, “are you a stalker?” You then wished to know if I knew who it was. My reply, “a delightful young lady from Texas.” Now in reality that line sounds like the introduction to a bawdy limerick*. The truth of the matter is that I do know a young lady from Texas. She is a thirteen year old high school student who had stayed with a close friend’s family while here on exchange. I had gotten to know her at the time as we shared our passion for all things Doctor Who (the British TV show celebrating its 50th season this year). All very innocent, but goodness knows what you were thinking? The last time we had spoken I had run off with another woman, now my current flame is Texan! It is a wonder you even continued the communication.
Well there you have it, our first contact in almost fifteen years. What I really must say is thank you.
You Will Always Be My Darling
From Sir With Love—————————————————————————–
Dear Lovely Sir,
In an earlier letter, I touched briefly on what led up to our first communication exchange in nearly 15 years. It still seems surreal when I think back on it. I have to constantly tell myself that I’m talking to Sir after all these years. THE Sir.
As I mentioned, I don’t recall looking for you until quite recently, and it wasn’t an extensive search. It’s nearly comical how it all played out. I was looking for a specific place in The Hunter Valley where we had stayed. On a whim, I put your name into the search engine alongside the other words – and there you were. I was stunned. I can still feel the shock wash over my body. I didn’t know what to do with the information presented before me, and I wasn’t sure if I should do anything with it. I let it simmer in my mind for days.
Then the day was here. I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom looking at my phone. I had Googled how to text international numbers and even checked my cell phone plan to get an idea of how much it would cost. I can’t tell you how long I sat there. What was the worst that could happen? You could tell me you didn’t care to hear from me. You could have told me to get bent. All these scenarios ran through my head. My ‘wondering’ got the better of me. I wanted to know if you were happy. I just decided to go for it.
“Hello Mr. ——.”
Then you asked me if I was a stalker. Whoa! Seriously? I let that roll over me, and I immediately apologized. My head was reeling. Did I want to continue?
You asked me who I was, and I am still aghast that I answered by questioning if my picture had shown up with my text message. The rational, thinking side of me knew that wasn’t possible due to the fact that in order for that to happen you had to do it from your side. That shows how the whole incident was affecting me; I wasn’t thinking properly. I was trying to keep any emotion from overcoming me. I was on auto-pilot.
When you asked if I was a “delightful young lady from Texas,” I wondered what I had walked into. If a woman with a drawl was your lover then I wanted no part of interfering on any level. I admit that I was quickly thinking how to gracefully bow out at this point, but I knew I wouldn’t have an answer to my question if I did. I bit the bullet and carried on. My disassociation cruise control was still working at the moment.
I wanted you to download a free communication app out of consideration. I didn’t want you to rack up international fees by texting. I was surprised when you remarked that you never noticed that the texts were coming from an international number; proof that you weren’t on your game as well. It made sense when you explained about the threatening phone calls, but I was not privy to that information at the time. I was just confused.
When you texted that you still had my purple pajamas, I was beyond dazed. I couldn’t fathom why you’d have them. As I’ve acknowledged prior, I was under the impression that you despised me. You remarked to me that you noted how long it took me to respond after you sent that line. I was having trouble comprehending it all. I was clueless about the candle and what it meant.
As you’ve so sweetly mentioned my stubbornness, it served a purpose and it didn’t let me down during this emotional exchange. I was determined to get the answer I wanted – if you were happy. I was having trouble believing that you wanted to talk with me. You were and are willing to ford the turbulent waters of mistaken beliefs and set things right. I think your stubbornness rivals my own.
And our journey continues……
Darling* An example of Sir’s dodgy limerick writing skills A delightful young lady from Texas A delightful young lady from Texas Who never wore more than a necklace The beads would go slack When she arched her back I’m not rhyming this line, I’m not feckless ©2013 Darling and Sir