David and Emelie

How one day changed my life forever

I had no idea that rekindling an old friendship would lead to such change. That was four years ago.

Emelie and I corresponded via computer and messenger services. She had a quirky sense of humour and a wit so quick that it kept me on my toes. Our conversations were always thought provoking, changing the way I saw the world. Neither of us began by looking for romance, but what started out as laughter and friendly banter blossomed into a relationship.

I knew little of Manila other than that it was in the Philippines, where the legendary Muhammad Ali had fought Joe Frazier when I was a teenager. My education rapidly developed. I grew fascinated by everything related to the Philippines, but Emelie was even more enchanting. I soon realised that I was falling in love.

The sudden death of my father caused me to reexamine what I was doing with my life; was I taking advantage of the precious time I had been given?

Although I had travelled around the world as a professional trumpet player, I had never made a long distance trip by myself. It wasn’t enough to stop me from making plans to visit Emelie in the summer of 2011. Emelie had been sent to the island of Cebu for a temporary work project; I decided upon a split vacation between Cebu and Manila.

I stood outside the Cebu airport, filled with questions and uncertainty. Anxiety dissolved as I turned my head to meet the most radiant smile I had ever seen – the same smile that continues to melt my heart to this day. Her serenity and beauty held me spellbound as I tried to take in the familiar lilt of her voice. We moved to embrace and – in that instant – I knew I would always love her.

After a few months, I returned to Manila to reside with Emelie until May 2012 when we made a trip back to England for a visit. It wasn’t too hard to say goodbye when she returned to work in Manila, because I assumed it would be a short separation.

I did not realise that my heart would be ripped apart on 9th July 2012.

We have but few days in our life to tell those around us we love them. Time, simply, runs out. For me, life is for living and loving. Both have been denied me because I fell in love with a beautiful woman from the South Pacific.