A woman has gone viral on TikTok after sharing the story of her rom com-style relationship with her colleague – which blossomed over the pandemic and they kept hidden from work for a year.
Holly Sandberg, 28, a market researcher, moved from London to New York two years ago as she wanted to seek adventure outside of her comfort zone and experience a new way of living.
Luckily, her company had an opening in their New York office for her position, so she decided to take up the opportunity despite only visiting the US once before.
As she already knew everybody in the office, it was easy to make friends and after settling into her new work space, she recognised a familiar face: co-worker Cam.
“Cam is a dual citizen and worked in the UK office for six months, although our paths rarely crossed there,” Holly told Jam Press.
“Our company moved him a couple of weeks after me and we became friends as we shared that experience of being ‘newbies’ in the office.
“For two weeks, we would grab lunch together and spend time walking around exploring the city.
“One time after work, we went to Central Park together and spent three hours chatting and taking pictures of the moon – it was a very new and blossoming friendship.
“[Initially] there was no romantic attraction on either end and we were both just friendly people who got on well.
“He’s also four years younger than me and, if anything, I saw him like a younger brother.”
Holly was in the city for just five weeks and had yet to make any other friends before the pandemic hit.
She said: “I phoned my mum and said that I didn’t know what to do, as I didn’t know anyone in or out of the city.
“We knew that flights were getting cancelled, so it would be difficult to get back.
“I thought my American adventure was done after just a few weeks.”
Cam was living with his father, Rick, in New Jersey and, as he was her only friend, Holly’s mum convinced her to see if she could come and stay.
Holly said: “I was hesitant as it seemed like a giant ask, but I eventually agreed with her and spent a long time crafting the message.
“He responded straight away to say that he and his dad were talking and, if I felt comfortable, they would gladly let me stay with them for a week or so until things eased up.”
Holly packed two weeks’ worth of clothes and got on the train to live in a completely new place – and has been there ever since.
As they were put on the same projects at work, their schedules lined up perfectly and they spent every second of the day together – even throughout Holly having neck surgery and recovering at their home.
The duo would often go on walks, kayak, spend nights cooking on the beach together and Holly recalls seeing Cam from the moment she woke up, until the moment she went to sleep.
After spending so much time with one another, she began to realise her feelings for him.
She said: “I realised how much of an incredible person he was, as it’s rare to spend that much time with someone and genuinely enjoy every moment of it.
“All of my friends back home kept saying we would end up together, but I was adamant that it wouldn’t happen.
“After four weeks, I texted my friend: ‘I spend all day with this man and each night I go to bed, I can’t wait to see him again the next day.’
“A day later, his dad left the house and we both tried yoga together, where we ended up lying on the floor next to one another.
“That’s when I leaned over and kissed him. Everything felt so right, like it was natural for us.
“We fell in love very slowly and it was like we skipped all the dating drama, as I already knew him intimately.
“We were sneaking around behind his dad’s back for a couple of months, as we were still figuring out what it was between us.
“Cam didn’t want our colleagues to know, which I respected and our friendships were intertwined with work, so we told only very few people.
“This was so lovely, as it gave us time with no pressure to just enjoy being with one another and we were in our own little loved up bubble for a whole summer.”
Holly left the company one year later, and they finally told their colleagues about the secret romance.
She decided to upload details of the sweet story on TikTok, where she has received 2.3 million views and over 310,000 likes on the post.
In the clip, she begins by talking on the phone with the text: “Me: moves from London to New York then panics as I watch the whole city shut down with a global panderama.” [sic]
As the clip cuts, she re-enacts her conversation as the text reads: “My new American colleague: I know you’re totally alone here, do you want to come stay with me at my dad’s until this passes?”
Holly shows a slideshow of photos from their time together, including bike rides, sitting at the beach with Cam and his father, as well as Christmas Day.
Users were enamoured with the movie-like romance.
“Ma’am we’re either going to need more or a movie,” one viewer commented.
Another person added: “What in the romcom,” followed by a crying emoji.
“I’d watch the absolute HELL out of this show/movie,” someone else wrote.
One person said: “All the while keeping it a secret from your co-workers!!!”
“Sell the movie rights, buy his dad a house and yourselves a house,” another viewer commented.
Holly added: “From the moment I set foot in Cam’s house, my life has felt like I’m living a story out of a beautiful romance film.
“We’re at a super exciting time as my VISA is finally moving which means we can go to the UK together for the first time.
“He’ll finally be able to meet all my family and friends and as travel is something that has been a real passion for us both, we’re planning a lot of adventures right now.”