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Sally and me


I haven’t seen Sally for more than 20 years now and every now and then she pops into my mind and I wonder where she is, what she’s doing and more than anything else – Is she happy?

You see Sally and I spent most of our teendom together, discussing kissing boys, fashion, music, parents and other important issues of the day. My dad and her mum became an item throwing both families into a unit whether we liked it or not and after an initial polite meeting where we clocked each other from tip to toe to see if the other would ‘do’, we started to get on fine and to look forward to spending time together.

Sally was a year younger than me, she was pretty, as slim as me and quite shy. I, on the other hand wasn’t shy and felt an almost instant urge to protect Sally from the first time we met.

She told me her dad was a cop and she didn’t see him very often. I found out later he had beaten Sally’s mum who had finally plucked up the courage to escape and start life on her own afresh.

Sally was sweet and when she laughed it was the prettiest tinkling sound but it was hard work to keep her happy as she was engulfed by a blue cloud every time I saw her. It took all of my might to lift it and try to convince her that life was fun only to return the following weekend and have to start from scratch.

We would spend hours in her room, listening to David Bowie, Boy George and the hit parade. We’d swop make up and talk about school, my dad, her mum and our brothers. I was lucky, mine, yes they were pains, but we all got on well enough. She, on the other hand, was constantly being beaten and blackmailed by her younger brother Laurence and I couldn’t bring myself to like him no matter how much I tried and I never said anything to dad as Sally had specifically asked me not to. I didn’t want to break her trust.

I remember one summer in particular with Funkin’ for Jamaica by Tom Browne on the record player non stop. That was probably the last summer we spent together before boyfriends came on the scene and became more important pastimes.

My life path took me to Italy and I came back to visit them all when my first born Thomas was 3 months old in ’88. Sally was very distant, not wanting to see the baby, hold him or be any part. It was hard for her as she had decided to terminate a pregnancy and her unborn child would have been born around the same  time, a constant reminder of the choice she had made I imagine.

It wasn’t until the autumn of ’89 that we were to meet again in the most dreadful circumstances. I had received a phone call in Italy that her mum, my dad’s wife and soul mate, had passed away quite unexpectedly at the young age of 43.

I got on the first available flight with Thomas and flew to be near them, not quite sure of what would be expected of me. Mum looked after the baby on the day of the funeral for me and I went down to be close to them all.

I didn’t know what to do in situations like this so I did what felt like the best thing and muddled through. It was hard, it was sad and my youth denied me the words of comfort to say as I would know so well today.

I never saw Sally again.

I returned to Italy and dad came home from work one day to find everything in the house gone. Sally and Laurence, on advice from their father, had emptied his home of every memory he had of his wife.

Dad moved away and never got over his loss using alcohol to numb his pain. He joined his wife in ’08 and I pray he has finally found happiness.

As for Sally, I searched on Facebook and came up with Laurence. I sent a message to him and said I would love to see her again. He told me she was fine, living in Kent with three sons and a happy marriage. She was working as a secretary but was not a technophobe (ie didn’t have a facebook page) He said he’d be seeing her in a month or so and he’d pass on my info. That was November ’08

I waited and waited but never once received a message or email until I have finally given up any hope.

Shame because I liked Sally.

This post has been written for Josie’s Writing Workshop#17. I chose prompt 1. Tell me about someone from your past who you lost touch with and who you often think about.

photo Chosen for the beautiful colours in honour of Tara’s Gallery today and its title ‘May their JOY embrace U’

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/03/2010 6:16 pm

    aww that’s such a shame. I hope you do manage to find a way to contact her again, if only to check that she is ok and happy. You never know, she may stumble across this post at some point.

    • 18/03/2010 1:12 pm

      Who knows? But I won’t push any further, I gave it a good shot and maybe she doesn’t want to be found. Sometimes you just have to let go do’t you think?

  2. 17/03/2010 8:04 pm

    Wow-that gave me chills.

    Why don’t you send the link to this post to Lawrence.

    • 18/03/2010 1:14 pm

      I shan’t be contacting Laurence again, I tried and I still don’t trust him. And as I said to Livi, maybe she doesn’t want to be found.

  3. 17/03/2010 9:34 pm

    Beautiful Post Mari, as always.

    I hope that you and Sally meet again one day.

    Beth x

    • 18/03/2010 1:15 pm

      Thanks Beth, (now I know who you are!) I’m a great believer in ‘What will be will be’ and if our paths should cross one day that would be great. I’m happy that I tried at least, can’t do much more than that eh?

      • 18/03/2010 1:20 pm

        Unfortunately you can’t do more than that.

        Sorry, did I confuse you with my change too? (I must remember to actually tell people if I do it again, but hopefully I won’t do it again.)

        Beth xx

  4. 18/03/2010 1:53 pm

    Beautiful post ….I know it is so sad when someone just disappears from one’s life and one doesn’t know how to connect with them again but one can always hope that tomorrow things might change

    • 18/03/2010 3:19 pm

      Thanks Emma. I’ve stopped hoping now and have moved on. Should she turn up, great but I’m not going to force it anymore. Maybe it’s not meant to be?

  5. 18/03/2010 11:51 pm

    Oh Mari, that’s so sad. I hope maybe one day you can meet up and reconnect. x

  6. 19/03/2010 5:00 am

    Maybe he just forgot to say to her…? After all, he did reply to you. He could have just ignored you if he’d really wanted to. If it were me I’d try again. If then nothing comes of it, I’d come to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to work. I’ve got the most horrendous memory ever, and I know that I’d probably forget to pass something on to someone I didn’t see much. I think that’s why I’d try more than once. I know what it’s like to forget things… even important things. I’ve been there.

    • 19/03/2010 1:15 pm

      Hi Louise,
      Maybe you have a point, it’s something I will consider but my gut is telling me otherwise. Sometimes relationships are just supposed to fizzle out I suppose

  7. 19/03/2010 5:05 pm

    This is so sad.

    It’s hard. We come to love someone, as a friend and as part of our family, and then when our family situations change we all have to find a new way of continuing that relationship and sometimes it doesn’t happen for whatever reason.

    I have a similar situation with my step brother and sister. Now ex-step brother and sister. My dad and their mum’s relationship has ended, she doesn’t want them having anything to do with us, and I miss them so much.

    Thanks for sharing this Mari. As always you write so beautifully x

    • 19/03/2010 7:59 pm

      To continue a relationship you have to be in two wanting the same thing. Maybe their mum is acting out of hurt and anger? Us ladies do have a tendancy. If they want to see you please continue to do so, just don’t rub mum’s face in it and one day when she’s ready let her know. Big hugs Josie. You’re being thrown a lot of life’s hard lessons all at the same time. I’m thinking of you x

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