Standing outside the concert hall, I could feel the intensity of the music pounding through my chest.
It was April 2013, and I was waiting to see my favourite band, Marillion, perform at the Wolverhampton area – a yearly tradition for me.
My fiancé Pete, 36, was also into the group and we were meeting up with super fans, Trevor, 49, and his long-term-girlfriend Carolyn, 40.
‘What better than a night of good music and good company?’ I thought to myself.
The concert was spectacular as it was every year, and worth the 650 mile journey we had taken to get there – from our homeland Norway.
‘This was worth it,’ I yelled to Pete over the heavy metal. ‘I’m so glad we’re sharing this moment together.’
As I tucked myself into bed at our hotel that night, I thanked my blessings and drifted off whilst my partner cracked open one last beer.
Pete and I had only been together for a year and a half, but our relationship wasn’t exactly as dreamy as I had seen it at the time.
I knew he liked to drink, but it soon became evident that he was an alcoholic – and had lied about his addiction throughout our relationship.
Even his mum was fooled by his ability to hide his problem, but like all other addicts, his health caught up with him, to the point that no lie could explain what was going on.
After nearly a lifetime of heavy drinking, Pete fell into a coma on 6th December 2013, just months after one of the best night of our lives together.
Pete was bleeding internally, and he had knackered his body to the point that his doctor’s knew his death was imminent.
‘I’ll never forgive you for not telling me,’ I whispered to him as he lay dying. ‘Why would you put me through this? If you told me about your problem, I would’ve been able to at least say a proper goodbye even if I couldn’t help.’
When Pete was dying, I told him to go to the (metaphorical) isle of Wight, and wait for me there.
Days before Christmas, Pete lost his battle, and became another statistic leaving me behind as a heart-broken other-half.
I got angry with him after his death.
I cried out to the sky as he drifted away: ‘If there’s a guardian angel out there, you have to either send Pete back to me, or send someone for me to spend my life with.’
‘How could I live without love?’ I thought to myself.
I grieved, quietly and reserved, until I realised I hadn’t even told our tight-knit Marillion community about what had happened.
The band had brought loads of us metal-heads together.
No one cared what you looked like or how you dressed – just if you liked the music, which I did.
So I reached out the only way I knew how, through a Facebook post on our community wall.
I explained what had happened, how alcohol had played a part, and encouraged everyone to hold on tight to the ones they love.
Likes and comments rolled in offering support, but even though I shared so much with these people, they didn’t really know what it was like to be in this situation, did they?
But then, one comment caught my eye.
It was from Trevor, who I had been with at the concert months earlier.
‘We seem to be in the same situation. Shall we help each other?’ he wrote.
‘What did he mean? How did he know, exactly?’ I wanted to find out, so I asked him.
He replied explaining that Carolyn – who was all laughs and smiles last time we met – was battling the same demons as my Pete.
Not just that, but it had killed Carolyn too – six days after I lost Pete.
The coincidence was startling – but I knew I had to confide in him instantly.
Despite only having met Trevor once before, and him being quite quiet, having someone in the same situation felt oddly reassuring.
As the days rolled on by, my grief became less of a personal struggle, but a joint mission between Trevor and I to get our lives back on track.
He almost felt like a guardian angel.
We would text in the morning to check the other one was out of bed and we provided a shoulder to cry on when the reality of our situations sunk in.
Two months later, in February 2014, I had just finalised selling the house Pete and I lived in, so whisked myself away to Tenerife for a change of scenery.
The streets were bustling as soon as I stepped out of the taxi from the airport – a carnival was going on.
‘Why not join in?’ I thought to myself, so I scooped up a blue shiny mask and snapped a pic of myself in it to send to Trevor.
‘Having a ball of a time, how do you think I look?’ I asked him.
‘Beautiful,’ he replied, and I felt butterflies in my stomach.
‘Wait,’ I thought. ‘Is he flirting with me?’
I wasn’t against the idea at all, considering how close we’d become, so I decided to flirt back.
And then the romance started. It wasn’t ever on the cards, but after all that we’d been through, we deserved some fun.
It was a leap, but I dived in head first.
The next month, I invited Trevor to visit me in Norway, as our conversations were still flowing better than ever.
Before he arrived, we checked in with our old other half’s family, to let them know what we had planned.
‘I couldn’t be happier to see you smiling again love,’ Pete’s mum said to me, seeing how nervous I was to tell her I had moved on, let alone with someone Pete knew.
Carolyn’s family also gave their blessing, and the stress of the situation suddenly evaporated.
The moment Trevor touched down on Scandinavian soil, I felt like I was in a fairytale.
‘This is the way it should feel,’ I thought out loud.
I kissed him at the airport, and it was like a movie scene – pure magic.
The next five days were a blur, and Trevor and I were inseparable.
Just holding him was enough to make my heart beat that little bit faster, and we became intimate with each other as soon as we could – it was even better than I had imagined in my head!
When he had to go back home to the UK, my heart ached for him to stay, but I was equal parts excited to come and visit him next.
And I did just that. Each month, for the next three years, Trevor and I would pop on a plane to see the other, and it was always the highlight of my month.
On one visit to the UK in Easter 2018, Trevor surprised me with tickets to MacBeth.
‘I’m surprised you remembered I like this!’ I told him jokingly, before we settled back to watch the play with my favourite actor Christopher Eccleston in.
But as the curtains were closed after the last act, and people were making their way out of the theatre, Trevor took my hand and dragged me up to the stage.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked.
‘Just wait,’ he said.
I turned around to see if any onlookers understood what was going on, and when I faced Trevor again, he was down on one knee.
I gasped, completely overwhelmed with what had quickly become the best day of my life.
‘Vil du gifte deg med meg?’ he asked, in perfect Norwegian – meaning: ‘will you marry me?’
I looked down, and saw him open a weirdly shaped box, too big to fit a ring in.
‘So it’s not an actual ring yet, because I couldn’t figure out your size. It’s a Norwegian measuring ring though, so still counts,’ he said, and I burst out into tears of laughter.
‘I love you, and yes, I will marry you,’ I said.
I couldn’t believe how thoughtful his proposal was, considering he has never spoken a word of my native tongue to me in the years that we’d known each other.
I knew he was the one for me, and I couldn’t wait to be husband and wife.
We held the ceremony in July 2019 in Tintagel, Penzance, Cornwall, the place we shared our first holiday together.
It went without a hitch, even my son from a previous relationship, Gabriel, 15, was excited for the occasion.
Since that day, we’ve dedicated our time to moving in together.
I’m still over in Norway with Gabriel, but by summer we hope to have moved in with Trevor and his two sons, Luke, 22, and Josh, 19.
I can’t help but think given the awful situation I was in, a guardian angel directed me and Trevor together in our darkest hours.
The future is nothing but bright now, and I guess my desperate prayers paid off in the end.
Sikje wrote and performed a song for Trevor on their wedding day – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S22q8H-0k3o&feature=youtu.be