Outwardly, Olivia North looked the happily married woman. Her children continually made her proud, and her husband had indeed provided the kind of lifestyle and financial security most women could only dream of. Few of her friends could understand what needs she may have beyond the beautiful house, the cars and the apartment on the Sunshine Coast. Yet there was something quietly missing… a sense of partnership and intimacy, and had been for a great many years.
Emptiness engulfed Olivia after her youngest daughter Lucy moved out of the house to university. With no regrets or thoughts of resentment, Olivia walked away from her marriage, reaching out for emotional support from her brother, his wife, and her daughters. Olivia took stock of her financial situation, embracing an uncertain future with faith everything would fall into place.
Sitting comfortable on the swim step, she was pleasantly surprised that both Sally and Lucy answered their telephones. The must have recognized the call as being from Thailand, and as she hadn’t been calling anywhere near as often as expected, they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see how things were in Phuket. Sally had looked thought all the pictures, and especially close at the ones her mother had taken of Andrew.
“Mum, I think I can see what Lucy has been saying. Looking at his eyes, I can understand it when you say Andrew is a gentle and caring man. It shows mum.”
Olivia loved this softening of Sally towards Andrew Walker. Sally had been protective, wary, and not at all caught up in the romantic notion of a holiday in another country with a man she herself had never met. Things were changing. Lucy, on the other hand, never questioned her mother’s decision. She sensed something about Andrew from the moment they met, and she wholeheartedly approved. She was the romantic of the family. She too had loved the pics and had been back to look at them many times.
“Mum, that Meridien resort in Khao Lak was a romantic paradise. I adored it and you must have had such a nice time there. Have you fallen in love mum?”
That question interrupted Olivia’s thoughts completely. How could she answer Lucy when she wasn’t sure she had the answer herself? She hesitated a little before saying a word.
“Mum, I’m waiting!”
“Don’t do this to your poor mother. I’m sitting on the back of the boat a few hundred meters off the beach. Andrew is down below cooking lasagna, and the sky is becoming the most beautiful shade of pink. To be honest sweetheart, all I can say is that I am having the most wonderful holiday and I don’t even want to think about this dream coming to an end.”
“Oh My God Mum. I’m crying tears of joy for you. I love you and I love that you guys are having such a romantic time.”
Olivia too had tears in her eyes and saying goodbye to Lucy, reached for the towel she had folded to sit on. Cradling her face in the towel, drying her tears, she sat there looking out over the water as she thought more about Lucy’s question. Yes, she and Andrew definitely shared something very deep. Still, neither of them had mentioned the word love. In a multitude of ways, the word itself seemed superfluous. Emotions were not words, and it was difficult to use words to describe or explain emotions.
I’m an Australian, the product of a conventional upbringing, and marriages to a couple of very different, yet extraordinary women. My life has comprised the normal range of failures and successes, and continues to be a wonderful and enlightening journey.I’ve lived and worked in numerous places around the world, including Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, the United States, and India. I continue to divide my time between Thailand and Australia.