1989. Russia,the evil empire imploded. Coke had beaten Sputniks. The West had won. The Cold war never became hot and the West and decency triumphed.. Like all empires that rely on force the Soviet empire had in the end failed. Some declared that with the end of this ideological confrontational ,history now over and we were all totally in thrall of liberal democracy. Once again some knew very little
For most of my family the end of the Iron Curtain was a blessing. Members of the family mainly in the Czech Republic who could not travel could, other members could go back and meet their loved ones. Normal relations suspended for too long were resumed. The long dark night which started in 1939 was over.
But for one in the family a tragic ,Gothic tragedy unfolded in 1989.
Adrian a remote cousin was handsome ,brave and bright. He was a great sailor . He had got into computers early and was happily married with two children. During the Cold War ,as the Soviets could not look to the USA for its computer technology they shopped in Britain. Adrian got a long term and well paid consultancy in Kiev in 1980 helping the Ukraine government bring forms of computerisation into their system,.
It was well paid but it meant long periods away from the family. One evening after work with his colleagues he met Natasha. Sh e was thirty, h e was a bit older. They talked.They danced. They had a few more drinks. They slept together. They both liked it. And as adults,why not?
It was a classic holiday romance. They both knew it would end, so why not enjoy it while it lasted. But Cupid may look cute but he is a beast. They both went in deeper than they had first expected. Or at least he expected. The few nights with Natasha preyed on his mind,unsettled his life.He same back for his next trip a few days early hoping to get more hours with Natasha. She opened up in a way a wife can never. The lights were always on the Christmas tree.
But Cupid is a beast. Natasha became pregnant. She may have always seen something more than a love affair in the relationship. Adrian didn’t mind. He was in love and one way of expressing love is to have children together. With the Iron Curtain in place there was no way Natasha could disturb his UK nest. With his consultancy fees and the hopeless Soviet ruble it was no problem supporting two families.This was hardly original,one man two families, it went on for nearly ten years
But then came 1989 and the door was opened.. Natasha wanted equal rights. She wanted to bring her two children to England and have a real full time relationship. But Adrian loved his wife and two English children. No matter, Natasha came any way.
For a while Adrian tried to keep both sides happy. Impossible.I love you both, don’t make me decide, he cried. For Natasha this was not enough. She took another lover. An older man, a banker. For Adrian this was a move which pushed him off the board ,
He always sailed,it was one of the many things that he and his wife enjoyed together. Sometime in 1991 he took his yacht out of Lymington and told his friends and the harbour master he was going for a weekend in Brittany Two days later his boat was found crew less, drifting in the busy Channel shipping lanes. His body was never found. It is assumed that the thought of losing one or both families became too much and he took the Roman way off his yacht. A handsome man, maybe not so brave , not so bright.
Funnily enough if he was alive today h e would be around 85. A month ago I swear I saw him in Kathmandu, the girl on his knee was a fraction of his age was having a good time and so was he. Well,its Xmas and I needed a happy ending.