Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess called Maria.
She wasn’t really a princess but she was so loved by her wealthy parents that she was treated just like one and given everything she wanted and was always allowed to have her own way. She was perhaps a little spoilt but she was so funny and pretty and full of life that everyone who met her loved her and forgave her sometimes negative traits.
For example, she got bored very easily if things didn’t go her way and so when she decided she didn’t like it at university she just dropped out. She tried her hand at a few jobs, including modelling, but because they didn’t interest her she never stayed long.
And then one day, she met a lady called Selina.
Selina recognised something of herself in this wild spirit and so took her under her wing. She gave her a temporary secretarial position in her office and Maria found that she loved it there. It soon became obvious that she was a natural in the PR world and she made herself invaluable until the directors gave her a permanent position as an assistant and from there she worked her way up. She stayed with the company for five years and the only reason she left was because she fell for one of the clients - a very rich young man called Gerald who swept her off her feet.
She had a fairytale wedding and Selina, who had become very close to her, was her matron of honour. All was well and Maria and Gerald were happy and settled in the country.
Or so it seemed.
Gerald would often ring Selina’s husband Ewan for advice on how to handle Maria as she was becoming more and more demanding and unhappy, living so far away from everyone. She refused to adapt to country life and complained bitterly that she wanted more. Gerald loved her and tried to make her happy but increasingly they led separate lives as Maria spent more time with her young single friends in London.
Both Selina and Ewan tried to talk to her but she refused to understand the need for compromise and after just three years, the couple split up. Selina spent a lot of time with Maria who was heartbroken. As much as she had pushed him away, she loved Gerald and now she couldn’t cope with him not being in her life. She alternated between partying wildly and shutting herself away for days at a time.
Selina, Ewan and Gerald waited, hoping that Maria would find peace and be ready to return to married life. But on the last Saturday in July 2010, she partied a little too heavily and then ran out into the road where she was hit by a car.
For Maria, there was no happy ever after.
I’ve been distraught since the news of Maria’s death.
Watching Gerald’s grief has been too much to bear. He blames himself and nothing we say can convince him otherwise. She had only just turned thirty and she had it all. I just don’t understand why she let it slip away.
I just can’t get over the pointless waste of such a young life.
Into the Wild Open Spaces
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