Ee, double blimey! I make my way along the plush corridor, staying in the present tense to give my narrative an air of breathless spontaneity, and wishing like mad I'd done a bit more basic research into this powerful archbishop of the entire Northern Hemisphere. All I know is that since the re-structuring of the Anglican Communion Worldwide, archbishop Pagan Purple has become the most powerful churchman globally, unless you count the Pope of Rome.
I bet even the Pope of Rome doesn't have corridors this long, I quip inwardly to keep my courage up. The suede-clad blond chaplain--I assume he's a chaplain of some sort-- continues to incline his head, waiting for me as I stumble clumsily towards the door he's holding open.
The door to Archbishop Pagan Purple himself's private study.
Triple hecky thump! My brain simply can't take in the fact that I, an ignorant young cub reporter from The Church of England Times and lay reader from Yorkshire with unruly hair and a crumpled blue cassock, can be going to interview Pagan Purple! My heart pounds. My knees are trembling. What is it about the idea of him that gives me the willies? I'm not normally like this. Why am I even doing this? I'm much more at home curled up with a Tom Wright For Everyone volume!
'Go right in,' says the chaplain chap. 'His Grace is expecting you.'
'Thanks,' I croak. Then I clear my throat and say 'Thanks!' in what's meant to be a business-like tone. Like I'm always interviewing important bishops. Although I'm not. I'm just a trainee. From Yorkshire. I bundle my unruly hair away from my face, take a deep breath. If only my eyes weren't so large and blue with such ridiculously long lashes, much too large and lashy for my face! I think irrelevantly. I take another deep breath and step into the room.
Only I don't step. I trip on the ultra-ultra deep shag-pile violet carpet and go headlong. I cartwheel into a heap in front of a vast antique rose-wood veneer desk in the Louis Quatorze style with rather attractive knobs on, like one I'd seen only a week earlier in Period Homes.
Quadruple HECK! Now I feel like an utter wazzock, with my cassock hiked up and carpet burn on my face.
Then I feel gentle yet strangely firm hands helping me up with long sensitive fore-fingers. I push back my unruly hair.
And find myself looking into the violet-tinged and oddly arresting eyes of a man. They burn into me. I feel weird. An electric tingle buzzes through me. What is causing this strange current between us? No way is that carpet nylon, so it must be coming from him. He's a young man, I suddenly notice with an inward quiver. Hecky me, he can only be about 26. That's 5 years older than me, I swiftly calculate.
This can't be Pagan Purple. It can't!
Or can it?