We worked together more than twenty years ago.
I was a kid, with little idea about anything. Somehow, they still befriended me.
He was the radio station’s sports man. Followed in the giant footsteps of his mate Darrell Eastlake. He was our rugby league caller too. Accurate and passionate.
She looked after station promotions. If we were involved in something, she was in the thick of it. Possibly the funniest woman I’ve known. A delicious laugh with a razor-sharp wit.
We caught up last weekend. Like so many of my colleagues of the time, we’d lost contact over the years. They were in town, and made the effort to get in touch. I’m so glad they did.
I organised to meet at a pub with a view. I saw them before they saw me. Sure, time had changed both. Older, and a little slower, like other retired couples. I could have sworn they almost walked in step.
After hugs and handshakes, the stories came thick and fast. We laughed lots. It was a time when after-work drinks happened every night. And some afternoons. Even a few mornings. Long before Human Resources departments were involved in our lives.
As we sat there, I noticed things about them. One would help the other finish a story. She buttered his fruit loaf without breaking sentence. He organised the sugar for her cup of tea.
Things were not always so easy. I remembered back to when they got together. Both had gone through painful break-ups. A difficult time. It took years. But they were meant to be.
Over a second cuppa, she told me about some of their struggles. He sat quietly, letting her tell the tale of their life. I had no idea how tough things had been.
However, each story came with a laugh. No seeking pity here. It’s just how life plays out. They were survivors, who had each other. What else mattered?
She said they talked, constantly. First thing in the morning. Last thing at night. Everywhere in between. They are still genuinely interested in each other.
They giggle, lots. Even when there’s not much to smile about. They didn’t need anyone else around to have fun. They have always enjoyed doing the most basic of things together.
I asked if there was a secret. Simple, she said. Find your best friend. And be with them for life.
They were running late for another catch-up, but didn’t seem to mind. He told of their fascination with the car’s ‘talking navigator’. A woman’s voice telling him where to go. Another one. They both laughed at that.
We promised to keep in touch, and we will. I watched them walk away, and they were talking as they went. He was carrying her coat.
Two people, still happy after all this time. Best friends. With no need for anything outside of each other. Yep, she’s right. It’s that simple. Love always wins.