As she waited on the DLR (District Light Railway) station she thought how very easy it had been. She was quite sure she had convinced the woman, Sandy that she was the long lost daughter. And wasn’t it lucky that they agreed to meet at the Westfield Mall at Stratford. That was only a five minute train ride away from her rooms in Plaistow.
She had taken particular care with her hair and dress, remembering how the other Barbara had dressed. Not today the short short skirts, tight tops and high heels of her usual dress. Today she was much more subdued. Skirt and blouse with sensible shoes. And very little makeup.
She remembered the day she met another Barbara when they started to work together at the solicitors office in Holborn. This girl had also been adopted and they spent many hours talking about their situations. How she had been brought up in a variety of foster homes and how the other Barbara had landed on her feet having been adopted into a warm loving family.
Somehow, this unlikely pair formed a bond. Many hours were spent reminiscing and they each got to know the other very well. They talked of so many things, and shared parts of their lives that they had never shared with any other person. Then came the day when the other Barbara didn’t turn up for work and she heard that there had been a dreadful car crash the day before. Barbara, her mother and father had all died at the scene.
She really missed her friend. They had been so much more than just work mates. She started to read the Death Notices in the paper and so learned about the funeral. The funeral was to be held in St James Church in Cowley where Barbara had been brought up. It was easy to get there by public transport. She would walk to West Ham Station and from there take the tube, with one change, to Uxbridge then a bus to Cowley. Having lived in London for many years she was used to travelling by underground (the tube) and could easily find her way from one line to the next. The difficulty would be finding the church once she got there. So she would allow herself plenty of time just in case she got lost.
She took the day off from work to attend the funeral, standing in the back of the church away from family and friends. Attending brought home the fact that she would never see her friend again. She went home feeling very dejected.
And then after time she thought “Why shouldn’t I become the other Barbara?” She knew many of the little details that made up the other girl’s life. She knew about the search for her birth mother and the unsuccessful attempts. She also knew that there was another lead to follow. She had her friend’s notebook with all the unsuccessful leads followed and crossed out and there was just one more lead. So she sent the email.
She regretted the action immediately, but then it began to take on a life of its own. The response from Sandy, the meeting and promises to keep in touch.
“Perhaps at last I’ll have a family to be part of.” She thought and “I’m not hurting anybody am I?. Sandy wanted me to be the long lost daughter and I want to be her daughter.”
She thought this could well be a win-win situation. A smile lit up her face and her eyes shone as she began the walk home from the station wondering how soon she would hear from Sandy.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion,
Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832)
Episode 9 in the Sandy Saga