Old Friend

My name is Beryl. I attended Holly Lodge High School in Liverpool. Whilst in sixth form I had 2 close friends, Shelagh and Pat. We left school in 1956. We three attended different Universities and lost touch for many years. We were all aware that we had married but because we were no longer close we neither attended weddings nor knew the nanes or professions of the three husbands. During the academic year 1986-87 I studied for a Master's Degree in Manchester University. One of my tutors was Professor Tom Christie. A man for whom I had great admiration. Following an inspiring lecture one morning I was discussing the content with a friend, at that time she was a lecturer in the Shcool of Education, and the conversation turned from the professional to the personal. This lecturer mentioned the nickname of Professor Christie's wife, Boz, in respect of something totally unconnected with the matter in hand. I did not immediately invest this name with any importance. However, much later in the conversation, I asked (apropos of nothing) the lecturer if she was aware of the proper name of Boz. I was prompted by absolutely nothing to ask this question, nor was it important that I should know this person's name. Therefore when my friend informed me that the Professor's wife bore the name "Pat" I confounded both myself and my friend by ststing with some force that this Boz-Pat was one of my best friends from school. I remember that both of us were white faced, trembling and not a little scared! Several days later I was invited to a small party in the University to be given by Professor Christie. This was a surprise to say the least. The party was in full swing when Professor Christie approached me and asked me to look towards the entrance. When I looked at the doorway I noticed several persons amongst whom was a junoesque woman who was clearly appraising me. As she made her way directly towards me I felt no connection. When she greeted me by my maiden name I was taken aback as this was not a name by which I was known in University circles and it was only when I looked directly at her that I recognised the eyes as those of my long ago friend from the sixth form, Pat! She was indeed the Professor's wife. It appeared that the party had been secretly arranged by the Professor to test the assertation I had made weeks earlier. His wife had immediately recognised me from the doorway, for apparently I had altered very little during the thirty years intervening years, and she had approached me in the belief that this meeting was a coincidence. It was of course no coincidence but I believe that my curious connective leap was indeed a coincidence.
Total votes: 293
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:02 +0000Coincidence ID:3671