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  • Writer's picturePaul Hopkins

Page 12. I never forgot her.

My boss agreed that another service was a good idea and the service I mentioned, was about to go through a change. The manager of the service in question was about to leave for a six-month period (a secondment, the NHS thrives on secondments and neputising people into roles), filling an empty position due to another secondment, ideal timing for me to come in and run another service. So, long story short, I stepped in and started running a small team of five in addition to my other service.

Interestingly, I was about to talk to a lady that I had spoken to four years earlier. I can’t say her real name, so let’s call her Rose (as in Rose from Titanic). Why not? At first I was unaware, but Rose, who I’d met four years earlier, was now working for the small team that I had just taken on. I was surprised, but kind of happy. Why? Because four years previously to this Rose came for an interview for my other service as we were looking for a new member of staff and I interviewed Rose with two other colleagues.

So contact was made for the first time.

I remember it so well because Rose made an impact on me at that interview, and captivatingly.

She was led into my office for interview. If this were a film I would imagine her walking into my office in slow motion and me encapsulated by her in a magical, mysterious way; even now, I see it. Rose was a small, fair-haired, petite lady about thirty-one years old when I interviewed her. She had a beautiful charm about her, a cheekiness, a cuteness, class, she came across as confident but in a humble way. With a cheeky laugh and a lovely smile.

I was intrigued and at that time there seemed to be a connection. An unexplainable, desirable, deep, wanting to know her. How could this be? I had never even met her before, this was madness, how could anyone make such an impact on me… how? She did though.

Introductions were made (remember I was in my marriage with Mitchell, who was so giving and we had no specific problems at that time). I had never even thought “affair” and still didn’t, even after meeting Rose (I don’t just think “affair” after I meet people), but I never forgot her. Over the next four years Rose would pop into my mind for no reason at all… strangely. Even now as I sit here and write this, I get goose bumps at the memory of that interview… in my opinion it was the most awesome interview I have ever experienced!

The interview progressed; I was absorbed by Rose. This pretty, petite lady who interviewed well. An impact was made for no particular reason. It was a destiny meant to be, we simply didn’t realise at the time that we would meet again and that the passion would be so intense, that it would shift our lives to an incomprehensible angle. We were just two people living life, but during that life our paths met and crossed. I still remember the interview five to seven years later like it was yesterday and even writing that, my heart annoyingly pounds.

Eventually the interview came to an end and Rose left. Later that day, discussions were had and it was deemed that Rose would not get the job (for whatever reason) but she was a very close second. I had to inform Rose, and I remember the phone call. I explained why she had not been successful, but that she had interviewed so well and that if ever another post came up, to apply. Rose was so sweet and polite. We had a pleasant short conversation and I wished her good luck. I hung the phone up, leaning back in my office chair and paused, as did life at the very moment, like a still that has been captured and is looked at from time to time. This was an introduction of significance, but I did not know at that time how much of a significance that would really be.

I type this now and sit here and ask: how the hell is this possible? How did Rose and I come to meet twice in this world that has so many people, so many avenues and directions? How? Does it mean something?

Ok, so fast forward to four years later and back to the new department that I had been given to manage. I introduced myself to all the team. However, unbeknown to me Rose was on this team, but was on maternity leave. Yes, Rose was a part of the new department that I was now going to run. At this point I didn’t think too much about that, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Rose was a part of this new team of mine. But my thoughts were, we had met previously, we are both in happy relationships, Rose was on maternity leave, and that’s life.

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