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Root of all evil.

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October the fifteenth. That was the day on which they were supposed to have arrived. Two days before that, on Monday 13th, I moved into what was to be our family home.

I thought I’d done rather well, securing a two bedroom, ground floor flat with a private garden, for a reasonable rent in a quiet close on the edge of town. I’d managed to furnish it on a budget by buying everything from one local house clearance specialist and, along with a few pieces of my own homemade furniture, had the flat looking like home in no time.

Being able to afford it was another matter, in the long term at least, as that depended on Her earliest possible arrival, enabling us to marry, (after a month or so of further bureaucracy and shelling out yet more money for Her “spouse” visa of course) and for Her to be able to start work.

But since our little setback with the ministry of misinformation had put paid to our plans, I was about to reach my financial limit and the longer we were delayed, the longer I’d be paying all the bills.

It was all a bit of a gamble.

Now I admit that talking about such prosaic stuff as mere money, when discussing true love, lifelong happiness and general hearts-and-flowersiness may sound a trifle cold and mercenary, but these were genuine concerns that had begun to worry me.
It was all very well having a nice home to live in if I couldn’t afford food or heating.
One of the main causes for financial concern were the aforementioned spouse visas, which both She and Her daughter would have to apply for after we got married.

At a cost of £600 each!.

And because we couldn’t afford to wait the {insert random number here} weeks for them to be processed, we were going to have to pay for yet another “priority” service, costing a staggering £400 for each visa, making a total of another £2000, a month after She entered the country and without Her being allowed to earn a living.
Why do they have to make everything so difficult?

Cue the appearance of another of our guardian angels, our emergency rescue service if you will, in the shape of an old friend of mine with very sad news that was to have tragically happy consequences.

(Sometimes I think the Universe may just be taking the piss,…you know what I mean?)

This was exactly the sort of juxtaposition of emotions I’d been experiencing for a while, but not even those stomach-clenching moments of stress prepared me for this bombshell.
A friend I’d known since I was 15, one who I’d only recently been back in touch with after nearly 20 years, rang me to tell me that he had been diagnosed with advanced terminal cancer.

We are very good friends and although the subject was hard, the call was surprisingly relaxed and I could tell that he was coping better than I expected with the news.
Even so, for my part the conversation consisted mainly of;
Shock.
Disbelief.
Acceptance.
Sadness.

I visited him soon afterwards and unsurprisingly, he didn’t want to dwell on the subject and instead was eager to hear of any news I had about our ongoing romantic drama.
So I told him about our latest battles with the authorities and all the crap they were putting us through, just updating him on the story so far and chatting about old times when he said;
“So when d’you need this two grand then?”

I told him it wouldn’t be for a month or so and he simply said;
“Well if that’s all you’re worrying about, you can stop worrying. When you need it just tell me, it’ll be there. I’m leaving you some money in my will and if you can’t pay it back then it’ll just come off what I’m leaving you. Of course if you do pay it back, you’ll get it back when I die anyway,”, and he laughed.

I nearly cried.

So that was it. At a single stroke we suddenly had no more financial worries about the visas and could concentrate on getting the formalities processed.

This had to be the home straight….didn’t it?