March 13

Still trying to figure out what in the world has just happened to me today. Friday the 13th, that’s what it is!

I’ll start from the beginning.

Gwen was in charge of my wardrobe today. Which was probably a good thing. I’m not exactly a traditional dresser. She took a look at my clothes and shook her head sadly. “So totally wrong for a church interview.”

She left and returned with a neutral colored skirt with a neutral colored blouse from her own closet, pulled my hair back, and tied it in an uncomfortable knot at the nape of my neck. After all her efforts, she pronounced me acceptable.

I refused to look at myself in the mirror.

Off to the church.

I drive myself to the interview, giving myself a pep talk the whole time and trying to boost my self-confidence. Doesn’t work. Just makes me more nervous.

I make my way to what I think is the entrance to the church office. I can’t open the door. I walk around to the side and try another door. Nothing. Now to the third side of the building. Another no-go. All doors are locked. I walk around back to where I started. I’m trying to keep my frustration and irritation from boiling over.

“Hi, you must be Natalie. I’m Kate.” She’s holding the door open.

“But I tried…” I begin.

“It’s a huge door. Takes a little muscle.”

I really need to get back to the gym.

She smiles and leads me to an office. I see a “Senior Pastor” sign posted on the door. Kate knocks briefly and opens the door for me to enter. “Mark, Natalie, Natalie, Mark.”

There’s an awkward silence.

Mark clears his throat. “We’re waiting for the Associate Pastor. Technically, he would be your boss, if you were hired.”

I nod my head. There isn’t anything else to do.

Apparently my not-terribly-punctual boss.

I clear my throat. Pastor Mark gets out a peppermint and starts crunching on it. I get goosebumps because it sounds like his teeth are going to fall out.

“He should be here in five minutes,” Kate is telling us after reading a text she just received.

“Who?”

“Your potential boss…?”

“Oh! My boss!” I sound like an airhead, even to me. “Of course! I didn’t forget. Well, I mean, I remembered first…but then I forgot.”

I’m a little nervous. It is my first interview. Ever. All the other jobs I’ve ever had have been people basically just asking me if I’ll work for them. Friends of my dad, a couple teachers at college. It’s never been something I’ve tried to do.

“I’ll be back in five.” Mark leaves us alone in his office.

Kate looks directly at me.

“Are you from the area?”

“No, my sister lives here. I just moved into town.”

“Our Associate Pastor just moved here too.”

I start imagining what the new associate is probably like—forties, bearded, bellied, and boring.

“Your dad’s a pastor too, isn’t he?” Kate asks.

That makes me laugh—mostly because I’m so nervous, it’s a relief to laugh about something. Anything. I think I go a little overboard with my laugh, but oh well. “Yes. But my dad is not your typical pastor.” All the same. I do sort of wonder about my maybe boss. “So…what’s my potential boss like?”

Kate gives me a sideways glance. Kate is very real and down to earth, I can tell this already.

“Well…he’s different than what you’d expect. He works with the women’s group, youth, and singles.”

Whenever anyone says “different,” that’s always a bad sign.

So that scares me.

“You’ll like him fine.” Kate grins.

I smile and stare at a wall.

Voices down the hallway, coming closer, increasing my apprehension.

Shockwaves.

Sparks going off in my brain.

What in the world was this!

Pastor Mark was coming back to the room…with James Bond.

Of course, it wasn’t the actual James Bond. But it was someone who could have easily been James Bond. The way I always imagined him in my mind.

Aviator sunglasses, dark hair, body in great shape. Faded blue jeans and white t-shirt. Then Bond took off his glasses with a smile to reveal a set of perfect teeth and blue sparkling eyes.

Swoon.

I felt like a teenager.

“Hi, I’m Tavish. Tavish MacGregor.”

“What? Hello MacTavish yes?” Gaaah!!! What was I saying? So much for quick wit, maturity, and charm—I was supposed to be polished.

And the accent! Now normally, I don’t get excited about accents. I remember when that Swedish—or was it Swiss? I think it was Swedish. Anyway, when we had two missionaries staying with us, every time the man opened his mouth he sounded like the chef from the Muppets. Swedish, the chef is Swedish, and so were the missionaries. In any case, that accent…not so much.

But this accent? Something about it…

But it gets worse.

This Tavish guy is just staring, looking at me like he’s taking notes—from my slicked-back brown hair to my horrible tan skirt. Mark is looking a little pained, Kate is smirking, and then Tavish explains:

“I’m the Associate Pastor.”

Are you out of your mind?

“As your potential boss, he’s going to interview you, too,” Kate was saying.

Thank you, Jesus.

“Tav and I were in seminary together several years ago in Edinburgh,” Mark explains. “I thought he would be perfect for our church and invited him to minister with us. He’s been here about…three weeks now?”

That would explain the accent. Scottish, eh? Not the three weeks. But Edinburgh. Who would have thought an accent would sound so hot?

“Thanks, Mark. It’s been awrite.”

Awrite?

There is no way to describe how Tavish talks. It’s like heaven and manna for your ears. Can your ears have manna? I don’t know.

I guess I answered all the questions…alright. They seemed happy with my answers. But if I’m honest, I think they’re just desperate to find someone and they know I’m a PK, and I looked…well, neutral. I would just fade into the background of taupe and mauve of the church wall. They didn’t even check out my secretarial skills.

A very good thing, actually, because—spoiler alert! I don’t really have any.

3:45 p.m.

Just received a very nice phone call from Mark. I’ve passed the first round of the interview process! Now I have to meet the Personnel Committee tomorrow.

I wonder if Tavish will be there…

Actually, never mind. It doesn’t even matter. The last thing I need is to be interested in someone right now. I’ve got the world to explore, and so many baguettes in Paris waiting for me to eat them…