Jay was my friend

Jay was my friend.

I met him about 9 years ago. I’d just come off maternity leave and I was starting work on a new series. I was nervous and scared. I was working with a new bunch of people and the only thing I knew about my researcher was that he was called Jay. As I walked very slowly to my new office, the image of a bird came into my head, a Jay. I immediately felt better.

As I turned the corner I saw the back of a man’s head sitting opposite my desk. As I approached the head turned round and the face smiled. A big, welcoming smile, with sparkling, smiling eyes greeted me.

“Hi Fatima, I’m Jay”.

And so we began. Smiling through all the hard work, smiling when the shoots went wrong, smiling when edits went on into the early mornings, smiling when contributors pulled out, really smiling when the music work, laughing and smiling when the programmes went on.

Jay made me smile when I all I wanted to do was cry. I would be a liar if I said I was a smiler, I wasn’t but Jay was and he taught me to smile more.

I miss Jay awfully. The image I take with me, the one I will always treasure, is the one I have of him on the first day I met him, the happy, joyful, beautiful smiling face, that told me everything would be alright.

Fatima Salaria