I met Kev when we were both 20. While at uni, I shared a house with his brother Dave. Dave broke his ankle and Kev would come around and mow our lawn. At the time I didn’t see anything strange about this but in hindsight they didn’t do nice things for one another very often. As it turned out, he was just trying to impress me. At the time, I lived in the party house. We lived walking distance to the pubs and everyone always ended up at our place before and after a night out. At the time this was 5 or 6 nights a week. Kev had a full time job but joined in the fun. Again, I thought to spend time with his brother and because it was fun – how naive could I have been.
Back then, Kev looked like a cross between Kevin Bacon and Hugh Grant, all floppy hair and handsome. We spent a LOT of time at the pub watching bands doing the rounds in Wollongong in the late 80s. Kev was always the first one up to dance and made sure everyone else got up with him. He had a love for music and an infectious exuberance about everything he loved.
He was always interested in people and their lives. To quote a song (A Woman or a Gentle Man) by our friend David Benuik, you weren’t “stuck watching a man’s wagging chin” when talking with Kev. He listened to people’s stories and remembered them. One of the many things that I was attracted to.
He liked that I was strong, smart and independent. There were one or two previous boyfriends who had said they were attracted to these qualities but then preceded to get upset when I was either independent, strong or smart. Kev, from the beginning, always encouraged me to be the best version of me.
It did take me six weeks to notice that he might fancy me though, so I couldn’t have been all that smart. Lucky for me I did because on the night we hooked up, he had decided that I might be a lost cause and if I didn’t notice him he was giving up. Kev’s signals have always been subtle!
After 6 months, we moved into a 2 bedroom flat that we shared with a parade of co-workers, British backpackers and uni students.