Saturday, September 08, 2007

TGIF's unplanned date with a “long lost” friend

One of the things I look forward to during the weekdays is for the bell to ring at 5:40PM. Since I am not too busy at work, I always yearn to get out of the office as soon as possible. If only I can get paid from not coming to the office… Anyway, to me, Friday is always a day to look forward to – I don’t really have to tell the reason, do I?

Yesterday, 20 minutes before the bell rings, hubby came to my desk with the phone on his hand on a notion to pass it to me. I asked who’s on the line and he told me he doesn’t know. I was like huh, you’re talking to somebody you don’t know and now you’re passing the phone to me???
I got the phone and said “hello”. The person on the other line replied and in turn, I responded with one of my longest “hi’s” ever. The voice was so familiar to me and I started to post the caller questions such as “where are you?”, “how are you?”, “what happened to you?” and “why did you only call me now?”. These were followed by “I am so happy you called!”, “Ive been looking for you.”, “I’ve been trying to reach you since I got back here.” and a lot more exchanges followed.

I met her in my workplace 4months ago, the 1st time was during her interview. I was tasked to screen her fluency in English. We had a very light conversation which turned out to be exchanges of our personal experiences. I know I like her already and wished she’ll be taken for that position. She is older than me, by how many years, I really don’t know. It made me happy to hear that she got hired. For one reason, I will have somebody to share my work loads with. As I was to take a two months vacation then, she was asked to be with me as she would be taking over most of my projects. Aside from the conversations we had when I gave her trainings, we did have our chat times in the coffeeshop and in our work tables. I always tell her how I hope she will still be in the company when I get back from my break. She just gave me smiles and a “let’s see” expression. Anyway, I knew that we would jive well.

Not even a month passed when she told me a bad news that her mom met an accident and she needs to go home to their province to attend to her mother. Her initial decision was to quit from work as she expected that she needs to spend long time with her mom since her siblings were out of country and she’s the only one left here. It saddened me to hear the news. But then, her boss offered to grant her a 2 months vacation similar to what I planned to take. She tried to turn it down (I felt she has other plans already) but the boss insisted so she gave it some consideration. I asked her to contact me once she gets home and that I made her promise that I will still see her when I get back since her turn to return to office is a month earlier than me. On the other hand, I also told her that even when she decides not to come back, we would still keep in touch.

During my vacation, I eventually found out that she decided not to come back to work anymore. I got sad of course but knowing that I could still contact her made things better. We came back to Taiwan mid-June and one of the first things I did was to call her. The phone kept on ringing but nobody picked it up. I sent a text message but received no reply. I thought she might be busy tending to her mom so I’d give her another call later. I did call her again few days after my first attempt but this time, it was a voice message that answered. I didn’t leave any message instead I sent another text message. I waited but received no response. Days and weeks passed – nothing from her. I asked one of the HR personnels in the office if she knew why she didn’t come back but the girl didn’t know anything. She told me she could be travelling abroad. Ah, yes, maybe, I thought. Last month, I tried to call her number again but still no luck. I gave up and thought she might have gone to another country already. Not until I received that call did I found out that she lost her phone several months ago… and that’s why she became unreachable.
She eventually realized she got my calling card – only on the day she called.

Since we have a weekend appointment, I told her we’ll meet her the following weekend or weekdays but she told me she’s scheduled for a business trip on Wednesday so I told her that we could meet on Monday. But then she told me right there and then to why not meet today instead. Impromptu, we had a TGIF date. I had to bring my family so we went hope to fetch our daughter first and headed to meet her in the MRT station.

We exchange stories like we haven’t seen each other for ages; we had to walk to the restaurant so we took the chance to talk on our way. And still we had spent more more than 2 hours dining and telling our own stories. Oh how really glad I am to have seen and talk to her. Eventually, we can keep the ball rolling.

Reunited ...

That's Tita Irene, Jade

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