The meeting

 

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Susan and I met on a Christian camp held at Easter that neither of us intended to attend.

I was dating a girl called Sue (sorry, I didn’t choose the names in this story) who insisted that I went to the camp with her. Cynical examiners of the events that followed say that she simply wanted transport to the camp. However, I believe that the self-doubt arising from Sue’s epilepsy caused the events that followed.

Susan (not Sue) was working in Perth. Her parents lived in a country town and were planning a trip to England, to see their relatives. This left her younger brother in need of a "baby-sitter" for part of the school holidays, so he could attend the camp. Reluctantly, Susan agreed to take her brother to the camp.

Not long after Sue (not Susan) and I arrived at the camp, Sue decided that she was uncertain about "being seen" with me, and asked that I "backed off" a bit. This wasn’t the first time this had happened, so I told her we would be best off "just being friends". I told her that the "on-again, off-again" thing was just going to make us both become frustrated with each other, and that we would end up hating each other. Sue readily agreed.

On the Saturday evening there was a camp fire burning and people were sat around on logs near it, generally chatting. I was chatting to a friend and at the same time listening into a conversation going on between some people behind me. The girl behind me was describing her experiences with an abusive black Australian while she was serving in the bar of a country hotel. What impressed me was that her approach to the problem was totally lacking in any sense of prejudice. I determined that I had to meet this girl, spun around on the log out of my conversation and into the conversation behind me.

The girl talking was Susan. Neither of us is certain what happened to the people we were talking to but, by the time the camp finished on the Monday afternoon, Susan and I were committed to staying in contact with each other.