Mary knew Yvonne’s last name was Stevenson, but what if she had changed her name? Recently, having set up a social media account, she logged in and typed Yvonne’s name in the search bar. Great, there are hundreds.
She narrowed the search down to Sydney. OK, only eighty-three to scroll through now. She didn’t need to scroll far before one profile quickly caught her eye. Retired ballet teacher. That could be her?
Mary clicked on the profile and immediately recognised Yvonne’s face. Albeit much older. Then something else caught her eye. ‘This profile is now managed by her beloved partner Viviane in loving memory of Yvonne.’
Sitting in silent shock for what seemed like an eternity, Mary contemplated sending a message. She eventually brought up the message bar and typed.
You don’t know me, and frankly, I am not sure where to begin. So, here it goes. Many many years ago, Yvonne had another love. My dear long-time friend Barbara.
Barbara and Yvonne were only very young when they fell in love, and being in the 1970s, Yvonne’s family did not accept their relationship, eventually tearing them apart.
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. Barbara is now living in a nursing home and is rather unwell. I fear she doesn’t have long until she meets her maker. She never had another long-term relationship after Yvonne, and still often thinks of her.
I decided to search for her so I could let Barbra know she was happy. It’s now clear that she was. I am very sorry to hear of her passing, and thank you for taking the time to read this.
Mary had no idea if she was doing the right thing, but hit send, never the less. She was about to close her laptop when a notification popped up at the bottom of the screen.
Thank you for reaching out. Yvonne told me all about Barb and their relationship. Yvonne and I had only been together fifteen years when she died last month.
I asked her why she never tried to track Barbara down. She told me she didn’t want to complicate things for her if she had met someone else.
I think it’s terribly sad that Barbara spent her life alone, but please know that Yvonne loved her very much. She always did.
Mary sat staring at the blinking cursor on the screen before replying.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I was worried you might think I was some unhinged stalker. I really appreciate it. Now I can tell Barb that Yvonne was happy.
Unpublished work (c) Hayley Walsh 2021