Credit: John Paschal/JPI

The question is, would she ever walk through it?

Ken Corday feels your pain. The Days of our Lives honcho tells Entertainment Weekly that he was upset — “dismayed,” even — to learn that Kristian Alfonso was leaving her role of Hope Williams Brady after nearly 40 years rather than warm the bench for a while.

“In order to launch a new story — and we had a great story for her, we still do — I needed her off camera for three or four months,” he insists. “During that time, something very interesting happens so she comes back to Salem with a secret.

“It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” he adds. Indeed, it doesn’t. The veteran actress has made it very clear that she has no intention of returning to the NBC soap — ever. “I’m very happy I made the decision” to leave, she told Access Hollywood. “I do feel a sense a relief.”

That said, were she to change her mind down the road… well, Corday would be more than willing to consider taking her back “That’s up to Kristian,” he says. For now, at least, she seems committed to writing a new chapter of her life. ( even had a few ideas of new roles that she could tackle.)

In the same interview, Corday confirms that like Camila Banus (Gabi) before him, Galen Gering (Rafe) isn’t really leaving Salem. He adds that there will be more returns announced shortly.

Who are you hoping is heading back to Days of our Lives? Hit the comments with your wish list, and while you’re here, check out the below photo gallery of all of the actors already confirmed to be booking return trips to Salem.