I’m alone at home for two weeks while Oliver is off at a training. I would have quickly followed into my old routine of working too late reading ridiculous loads of emails and eating dinner on the couch, except for a visit from some an old colleague and his kick-ass girlfriend, who chose this last week to cruise through town.
They both used to work at my company and we went spent countless lunch and water cooler time together. He and I shared an office and worked really closely on the same projects. That this came to be was a strange series of coincidences. We both came from the same state and grew up not far away from each other. I was from a larger city, he was from a small town nearby. When his family wanted to ‘go to town’ they came my way, when I went to summer camp as a kid, my bus pretty much went past his front door. We studied at the same university at the same time, with similar majors. By all rights, our circles of friends should have tossed us together at some point. But they never did.
Both of us ran off to Europe however, and there we ended up sitting across from each other. The way my hiring had been handled should have guaranteed that we hated each other. He wasn’t even told about me until I’d signed the contract. I arrived for my first day of work and found out there was already someone doing a similar job to mine when I saw his desk (he was on vacation) and started meeting my co-workers – most of whom saw my hiring as a threat to him. We were set up to be suspicious of each other.
When I finally met him, any suspicion lasted just minutes. Then we clicked. It was great working with him. We worked really well together. Better than that, it was fun. I was extremely bummed when he told me he was leaving to go to Canada with his girlfriend and try life as a kanook. We stayed in touch, emailing now and then. He is still to date, the best work relationship I’ve had.
Seeing them again, after more than two years was a bit of a shock. The first night, I talked so much I lost my voice the next day. Meeting up with them several times since has ensured that my sexy jazz voice stayed with me all week long. The other night, as they drove away in their cab, I realized that I’d said goodbye to them like they still lived here…
…and I so wished that they still did.