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Story Of The Week

The Interview

by Candice Harper

I was a free-lance writer for a local newspaper when I was asked to do a story on men who risk their lives in the work they do and why.  I called the local police department and was referred to a sergeant who would coordinate my interviews with his fellow police officers.

When he answered the phone, I melted at the sound of his voice, because it was by far the best representation of masculinity I’d ever heard.  It was mellow and confident, and his tone almost dissolved my agenda.  In minutes, I digressed from a serious, qualified journalist to a budding high school reporter who was suddenly awestruck by a man’s voice.

I knew I had lost myself when I suggested that I interview him over lunch because he sounded interesting and could perhaps offer a different perspective about the job that I hadn’t considered.

To my surprise, he seemed equally enchanted with me and my personality, and readily accepted my invitation.  When I got off the phone, I called my two closest friends to share my excitement, and they were just as excited as I was.  They gave suggestions on what to wear, how to wear my hair and what to say.

On the day we finally met however, I had to dig my car out of twelve inches of snow while it was still snowing in order to get to the restaurant.  By the time I arrived, my appearance was disheveled, my hair was wet, and my makeup was smeared.  I was exhausted when I sat down across from him, as I tried to change my harried look to one with poise.  He sat cool and dignified, while I looked all wet and frazzled, but when I looked into his face, he far exceeded my expectations.  He was not only fine, but he had light brown eyes that stared at me with a certain familiarity as if he knew all about me.

Though his eyes radiated warmth and amusement during our talk, his conversation remained official and focused.  When I tried to get personal with general questions like, “are you single,” he answered the question ambiguously with a slight smile and said, “Sometimes.”

 Therefore, after we conversed for over an hour, I tucked my ego in my sleeve and came to the conclusion that the “enchanted bell” was only ringing on one side of the table, and it definitely wasn’t his.  So I called the meeting to an abrupt end, reached for my coat, and my self-esteem, and almost left my pad behind.

I saw no point in continuing the charade of an interview when all I wanted was to get to know this man.  I quickly assumed that he was either married or a player because he wasn’t wearing a ring.  As a courtesy, I passed him my card, thanked him for coming, and hurried out the door, without looking back.

When I got home, I looked in the mirror and saw all the reasons why the interest wasn’t mutual.  The cold and the snow had practically dissolved my eye makeup, my curls had drooped, and two of my well-manicured nails had broken while I was digging my car out of the snow.

When the phone rang, my disappointment was in my voice when I answered.  “It didn’t work out,” I said, expecting it to be one of the friends I had told about the meeting.

But it wasn’t.  It was him.  “What didn’t work out?” he asked with a deep chuckle in his voice.  I was so shocked I couldn’t speak. 

Before I could answer, he said, “I was wondering.  Now that your interview is over, could we possibly meet again for dinner, so that I may interview you on an upcoming article I’m doing on beautiful, smart women?”

In a barely audible voice, I whispered, “Sure”…and the rest is history.  It turned out he was single after all.  We began dating regularly and a year later, he proposed to me in the same restaurant we’d met in.

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