Come back in time with me to about 7 years ago.
I was unemployed. I had been for so long that I was really starting to struggle financially. I’d gone to so. many. interviews but hadn’t been offered the job.
With my self-esteem at an all time low, I went into Centrelink to sign on for the JobSeeker payment (like the dole if you’re reading this from overseas).
Anytime anyone goes into Centrelink, they need to prepare for a long wait. Wear comfy clothes and bring some water with you.
I’d been waiting over an hour when Alun rang. I felt like everyone looked at me with my phone going off. Embarrassed, I answered in hushed tones “Hi”
“Hey” Alun sounded so happy. I love his Welsh accent and that his voice sounds so young and so filled with hope.
“What are you up to?” he asked.
I didn’t want Alun to know I was struggling, so I lied.
“Err…just waiting to be interviewed. I uhh have to go – typing test. Bye” I whispered, voice shaking because I suck at lying.
“Okay. Love you” Alun hung up.
I took deep breaths and tried to keep tears from falling; reminding myself that at some point, a lot of people can’t find work and that we all pay taxes for these very situations; to help those out who need the extra help – It’s okay, JD. Calm down.
I could sense someone walking towards me. I looked up – and it was Alun.
He must have known all along where I was.
So he knows I lied, too. Great.
I braced myself for being told off.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, Alun hunkered down next to me and gave me a lunchbox.
“I made you some sandwiches and put some little snacks in for while you wait. I also brought you the juice you like” and he placed a bottle of my favourite “orange C” next to the lunchbox.
I couldn’t move, I was so ashamed of having lied and so touched by Alun’s forgiveness and thoughtfulness.
Tears slipped down my eyes and I hastily wiped them away with my shirt sleeve.
“Love you” Alun whispered and kissed the top of my head.
He was still waiting in the car park when I came out 2 hours later, too.
This is the guy for me. I’m so thankful for Alun in my life.