The view stretches out through the trees, over the horizon and onto the oblivion beyond.
Villain plays in the background and I am taken back to that concert back in 2000 where the barefooted man placed a gift into my hand, long ago now but a moment burned into my mind, insignificant for me, but a life changing one for him, funny how that happens.
It was 2001; I sat crossed legged on the kitchen bench with the newspaper in front of me and the phone in my hand. It was so damn depressing, I had been searching for weeks for a place to rent, any place. But nobody wanted me, I had quite a lot of animals that I had to bring and nobody trusted my age.
I glanced up at my grandmother sitting in a chair nearby, with her disapproving eyes and her mouth moving in and out rythmatically like some sort of hyped up goldfish, the way it always did when she was annoyed.
I had to get out.
There was one last ad at the bottom of the page, a share house with 3 blokes, the room rent was comparable and the location was right on the bus route. Ok Deep breath. I dialled the numbers.
A man answered; hi I’m ringing about the ad for a room? I stuttered nervously, Oh yes.... came the reply and then I lost it and just blurted out. “ Look, I will give it to you straight because you won’t want me living there anyway, I have a dog, a cat, a 4ft fish tank, a frog tank a bird and a rabbit.... and I’m only 16... BUT I work full time and I can pay the rent....”
There was a deathly silence and I blinked back a tear for a moment knowing that I had just reduced any chance to ashes. Suddenly there was a laugh from the other end of the phone, “Well you can come over for a look, but does your dog get along with other dogs? Cause there are three here already...” I nearly fell off the bench.
There were 2 cars and a Ute parked in the driveway as I arrived the next day at a rather nice brick home complete with massive yard and veranda sweeping along the front.
I knocked on the door and a bloke about 20 something with curly brown hair spilling out the sides of his baseball cap opened it, ”oh” he said as he looked me up and down made a kind of grunting noise and walked off.
I was left standing on the step not sure if I was invited in or not and waited there about a minute or so before a big burley man of around 50 came to the door all smiles, he introduced himself, showed me around and after a bit of a chat offered me the room. I was to move in on the weekend.
As I was leaving he introduced me to one of the guys living there who seemed really nice and pointed out another who was on top of the pergola out the back hammering something – it was the rude bloke from the door, I had kinda hoped he was just a tradesman and not actually living there. Oh well beggars can’t be choosers.
I moved in, time passed and I actually got to know the rude bloke from the door that day, turns out he was pretty nice guy and we became firm friends until I eventually dumped my boyfriend and we made it official. That was 10 years and 4 kids ago and now I couldn’t imagine life without him.
The paths we take, the road we choose to follow its strange how it all comes together just so. Imagine if you hadn’t taken the bus that day? Filled the car at the other petrol station? I know if I hadn’t made that one phone call things would be very different right now, strange how such insignificant actions can change the entire course of our lives.
Has a seemingly small thing ended up changing your life?
How did you meet your partner?