Making Light of Things

Mourning Into Dancing

I remember almost being made a prefect in primary school. I wasn’t the model student, never ever doing my homework, but somehow landed the nomination of the head prefect. I remember that a prerequisite to being made a prefect was a short “talk” with the vice-principal, a thinly-haired softspoken man who I presumed knew nothing of me.

I remember staying in the classroom when my time came. I was uncharacteristically quiet, and whispered to the head prefect that I didn’t want to go. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a prefect. God knows that to have the red armband was one of my greatest wishes then. But I couldn’t do it. I guess I thought I didn’t fit the mold of what a prefect should be.

I was afraid to fail. I was afraid that the thinly-haired softspoken vice-principal would find out that I never did any homework.

These days I’m put in charge of different things. I’m the husband of the most beautiful woman. I do the ironing in the house, and I make sure she gets up on time to catch the six-thirty bus to school.

The alarm rang at its usual five-thirty this morning. I got up and woke her. She did her usual “five minutes more”. What I didn’t do was my usual wake-her-up-in-ten routine.

I failed.

She somehow got up at six-thirty-five. I jumped out of my bed, looked at the time and panicked. “Dear…”, I said. “I know”, she replied.

When she was brushing her teeth, I hugged her from behind and apologised, unable to ascertain if the “I know” had an edge of anger to it.

“God woke me up in time”, she said with a tone of heavenly gratitude and childlike joy.

If I were placed her position I would probably be at least a little agitated. Here she was, rushing but not lacking in composure.

And there I was, and still am, utterly amazed and very, very much in love with this girl.