I was always told that to be happy in life you had to "do the right thing". So what went wrong?
I was lonely. I was 30. I was badly in need of some form of female companionship. My job was fine. I’d just gone through a financial scare, sold up my apartment in order to pay off some debt, and managed to land a position as a gardener at a large house situated on the periphery of the city. But, whada-ya-know, the job came with a cottage so I was all set. Me and my doggie moved in and all was once more well with the world.
Nevertheless, long working hours and no social life whatsoever generally equates to a necessity for more, in order to find a certain level of contentment. And sure enough, this was how I succumbed to making the biggest mistake of my life.
One night, after tanking up on whisky, I got myself online and started to trawl the dating sites, as you do when you are desperately seeking Susan. Even back in 1998 there were already innumerable dating sites online.
Thus, it was merely a matter of picking a popular one and filling in your profile, paying the necessary dues, finding a half-decent photo or two of yourself in order to wow the ladies (yeah, right!), and you’re off to the races. In hindsight, I really wish I’d lost that race, but as it happens, this time was to be different.
I was always known to be a shy one at school. Suffering from an extensive episode of bullying and developing more and more of an introverted nature as the weeks progressed to months, and one school term merged with another. Little did I know it at the time, but five years of school life passed me by without scoring once with a girl. Not one single girlfriend in five years, and yet this – the teenage years – are supposed to be the prime dating years, or so I thought.
How does that sit with a guy? Particularly when all his friends were considered “prime meat” in the dating scene. Life can deal some very cruel blows!
Notwithstanding, here I was, some 13 (lucky for some, not lucky for all) years after departing school, and desperate all-over-again to get my ideal girl.
And it didn’t take me long before I sensed that I’d found her!
The first thing that attracted me to her was her grey-green eyes. They were somewhat sad. Sad but provocative. Deep. Friendly. Beautiful. Yes, beautiful.
I read her profile. Previously married. 26-years-old. One child – a boy – only one-year-old.
Okay, so that’s a complex scenario we’ve got there. But it was not enough to put me off, even though it should have been.
Slim build. 5 feet 7 inches tall. Languages spoken – Russian.
Yes, Russian. She was Russian, and living in Russia. Ulyanovsk, to be exact. A sizeable city located on the banks of the River Volga, some 900 kilometers south east of Moscow.
Well of course, I knew full well because even in my whisky-dazed state, I was still completely aware of the fact that I was perusing a Russian dating site.
Naively – very naively, I considered that everything would fall into place nicely and we’d get together and create a family and be happy forever-more. That’s what I set my sites on from the get-go. And I surely got a whole lot more than I bargained for!