Rekindled Romance At The Oslo Train Station: The Love Story of Marika and Axel
About a month ago, my friend and founder of She's The First, a nonprofit that supports girls’ education, reached out to me to tell me about a selfless, kind-hearted couple. The couple had decided to fundraise for STF in lieu of collecting wedding gifts. All the money raised through their wedding went to sponsor girls' education.
My mouth dropped when I heard this story and immediately knew that I wanted to help give back to this selfless couple. I partnered up with She's The First to give the gift of their extraordinary love story (and when you read it, you'll see just how extraordinary it is!). Please enjoy the love story of Axel and Marika titled,
"Rekindled Romance at the Oslo Train Station."
There she was. A yellow platform below her and a digital sign noting the train’s next stop above, she twirled around with curiosity about the next few moments. A few railroad car lengths away, Axel spotted Marika’s flowing honey-blonde hair first, then her knitted dress and ballerina shoes. He had just flown into Oslo from London and promised to meet her at the station as she arrived by train. Before walking over to tap her on the shoulder, he halted for just one more glance without her knowing. After 13 years, Marika hadn’t changed a bit. She was still as stunning as how he recalled her from their days together at university in Manchester, England.
Visions flooded his mind about those times. They were no more than 21-years-old then. Both had joined the university’s Scandinavian society and ran in the same circle of friends. She was from Sweden and he hailed from Norway. They met in a near-campus pub one night in 1992. There was immediate chemistry, but over their five years at university together, they only had a fling. If there was Facebook back then, their status would have been labeled “complicated” and upon graduation, their lives and careers pulled them in different directions.
London was the commerce mecca and Axel’s career demanded he be there. After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Salford in 1993, he started a new life in England’s capital city. He eventually got married, but it didn’t last. By now, 13 years had gone by in a blink of an eye. He always recalled fond memories of Marika and started wondering about her. He knew that she was the one who slipped away.
His flashback was interrupted by a woman’s voice.
“Hi…Axel!” Marika said. She recognized him instantly. Although moments prior, she wasn’t sure what to expect since it had been so long since they last caught a glimpse of each other.
She couldn’t help but think how crazy, crazy romantic, this all seemed. Just a week earlier, she got a what would become life-changing phone call. The person on the other end seemed timid yet excited to speak with her. It was Axel, her friend from university, and he explained to her his mission to track her down.
Back then, there was no easy way to find someone. No email, no social media, no texting. Communication was still more or less done via phone or letter. Or word of mouth.
Axel expressed to his best friend, Carsten, his desire to reconnect with their mutual friend from university, Marika, but had no idea how he’d find her. Perplexed by the conundrum, both Axel and Carsten continued on with normal everyday life, which took Carsten to Gothenburg, Sweden a week later for a U2 concert. While trying to squeeze through the tight crowd, he thought he recognized someone in his periphery. He squinted to see more clearly. He couldn’t believe who was standing only meters way. It was Marika. They caught up from years of being out of touch and when their conversation neared the end, he asked for her phone number and immediately called Axel and said, “you’ll never believe who I ran into.”
Axel was timid during that initial phone call for good reason. He had no idea whatsoever what Marika’s life was like. He had so few answers but didn’t let that stop him from dialing her phone number. He learned that she had been married, but, like him, had recently gotten divorced. She had two children and was a working mom. At the end of the call, he asked if she’d be interested in meeting him for a first-date weekend in Oslo the following week.
It was the weekend of September 26, 2009, and Axel had planned a brilliant weekend full of great experiences and even better conversation. Both Axel and Marika explained that while they were together, it all seemed to click just like it had before.
That weekend began a whirlwind love affair – flying from Stockholm, Marika’s hometown, to London and back every weekend. By Christmas that same year, Marika was pregnant. Axel had always wanted children and couldn’t imagine a life without Marika in his close proximity any longer. He asked her, along with her two children, Ida and Hannes, to move in with him and embark on a new journey together in London.
Expecting trepidation, Marika spoke with her children about the idea of moving. Would they want to start over in London? Both said yes enthusiastically. On Easter weekend of 2010, Marika and her two children moved all their belongings to Chelsea with Axel. Then came the birth of their first child together, Milla, in August of 2010. Their youngest daughter, Maya, was born in January of 2012.
After unbelievable life events that brought the two of them back together, Axel was ready to tie their lives together officially. In the Summer of 2015, he planned a romantic getaway to their vacation home in Marbella, Spain. While Axel was looking forward to proposing, Marika was planning something of her own. She had invited Carsten in for the weekend to surprise Axel. Axel was beyond surprised, but his proposal plan was compromised.
Back in London near the Thames River, with the engagement ring in his pocket, he found a secluded spot to get down on one knee and ask Marika to marry him. They wed in an intimate ceremony which gathered 40 of their closest friends and family on the coast of Spain on September 26, 2015, six years to the day after reuniting at the Oslo train station.
Written & Documented by Kristen Rocco