It was Valentine’s Day 1983 when I received an anonymous package through the internal mail at the Insurance office where I worked in London. I opened the package to discover a cassette-tape on which there was a handmade label with the words ‘our wedding music’ at the centre of a beautifully intricate interwoven design. It was a work of art created with many different coloured felt-tip pens and must have taken hours to complete.
In my car after work, I played the tape and was surprised to find it featured only one song and nothing else. The song was ‘Melt!’ by Siouxsie & The Banshees and, to my mind, an odd choice for a piece of wedding music.
I think I eventually worked out who my secret admirer was. I’m convinced it was a girl from the post-room who always seemed to be dressed in black and whom I’d spoken to at various times around the office.
But there was to be no marriage, no date, not even a single stolen kiss on the stairwell. This was hardly surprising as she always seemed embarrassed and would avert her gaze whenever our paths crossed.
A few months later I left the company to go and work for a competitor. I never saw the girl again but I think of her often and what might have been.
Whenever I hear that song, I picture her listening while sketching intricate designs with all those coloured pens and imagining us dancing on our never-to-be wedding day.