As of Monday, I will be starting work on a “pilot”project... it will be full-time... for at least six months... and the workload will be extremely demanding. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead, but the reason for mentioning my new role is that it has resulted in me being moved “back” to my original office.
I’ve been with the National Blood Service (NHSBT) for nigh on ten years and I suppose nearly half that time was spent in the office I am once again calling “home”. I guess most people will just say... “it’s only a room”, but yesterday’s move was actually quite a weird experience.
Back in that office, in February 2004 I took a call from my ex-wife’s former employer than changed my life completely. It may sound slightly dramatic, but the bottom fell out of my world that morning and what followed was a combination of an unravelling past and an incredibly uncertain future that very nearly broke me.
Much later, Elaine came into my life and it was at the same desk... on the same phone when she called and said (so softly I could barely hear her) that she had something to tell me, but she didn’t know whether or not I was going to
like it. I can’t explain that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think you’re about to lose something you want so much...
“I think I love you...”
“F**k me” is the only expression (as opposed to an invitation... I’m not that sort of boy) that comes close to conveying my reaction. My chest tightened, my tummy was invaded by butterflies and I could barely think straight... apart from that I was fine though...
As our relationship developed we had to contend with so much, but the ultimate legacy (and arguably irony) of the first phone call was that I found the inner strength to fight for the life I wanted... and the path that led towards that life arguably started with the second phone call...
Being back in the room is strange, but in a good way. I remember Elaine’s words vividly and as for the crap that happened before that..? Well Fate doesn’t always give you good cards, but even when you’re down to that last
chip, the unbeatable winning hand is only ever one deal away.
As for now... I think I might just unplug the phone...
All my own work... almost.