It was Friday, August 26, 2016 when I met Kadeem. It was at the surprise farewell party for Tim Harrison, my manager who was retiring. Kadeem was replacing him. At the party, Tim introduced the staff to Kadeem. When I saw him, I couldn’t stop staring. He was drop dead gorgeous.
Coretta, my colleague and friend, nudged me conspiratorially and said in a low voice, “He is easy on the eyes, isn’t he?”
I smiled, not taking my gaze off him. Mind you, I was sorry that Tim was leaving but happy for him because he was retiring, something he and his wife, Arlene had been looking forward to for so long. Now, they would take extended vacations. He could spend more time on his hobbies or volunteer or buy that motor home he was always talking about or let Arlene use that money to remodel their home.
I would be lying, however, if I said that I wasn’t pleased that Kadeem was going to be my new manager. I wondered if he was married. I didn’t see a ring but you never know. And even if he wasn’t married, surely he had a woman.
When Tim introduced us, I was nervous. I hoped that our work relationship would be as smooth and wonderful as the one with Tim was. Okay, so I expect that it would be a little different because with Tim, I never felt like I was leaving the realm of reason. Right now, I found myself staring up into a pair of amazing eyes which I later found out were colored contacts and that smile…
“This is my secretary, Beulah. I have no doubt that you will be as blessed with the quality of her work and her dedication to her job as I have been over the years. I will always be grateful to her for joining our team.”
Kadeem shook my hand. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Beulah,” he said. “I’ve heard so much about you. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
I smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, too, Mr. Bahar and I look to working with you.” I thought my voice sounded a tad breathless.
His smile deepened. “Please, call me Kadeem.”
I nodded. He was still holding my hand.
Tim smiled. “Now that you’ve met everyone, Kadeem, I will leave you with Beulah. At three-thirty, you and I will meet in the office which will soon be yours to go over some final details.”
Kadeem released my hand then to shake Tim’s. “I’ll see you then.”
Tim excused himself and walked away.
Everyone else had filed out of the board room so it was just the two of us. “Let’s have a seat over here,” he suggested, indicating the leather sofa in the corner. “I’d like you to tell me about yourself and then I will tell you about myself.”
“All right.” I followed him over to the sofa and we sat down. Fortunately, I was wearing my jacket because the room was a bit cool because of the air-conditioner. I went first, telling him about my education, work history, family, hobbies and interests.
I learned that he was from Tehran and that he came from a large family. All of them were still in Tehran. He left there after graduating from high-school to study at Cambridge. He had always wanted to come and live in London. He enjoyed reading, biking, soccer, working out at the gym, the theater and good food.
It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him if he had woman in his life but thought better of it. It wasn’t any of my business. He was to be my new manager and our relationship was to be strictly business.
It was almost three-thirty so I stood up. I didn’t want him to be late for his meeting with Tim. I was sorry that our time together was over, though.
“It was a pleasure getting to know you, Beulah,” he said.
We left the board-room and while he went into Tim’s office, soon to be his, I went to my desk and tried to concentrate on my work which wasn’t easy.
Four years later, I’m happy to report that my relationship with my new boss is a match made in heaven. And, a little birdie told me that he’s single!