To M, After All This While.

I might come across as a dramatic, sensitive fellow writing this but while it is important to preserve the dignity of writing at the public’s attention (or lack of, oh, what dignity is there after all? We write to share vulnerability of this human condition, hopefully rightly so without fear of judgment), it is equally important for my future self to read this.

I was giving out worksheets and notes in a typical History class on a typical Thursday. No one was in the mood for lessons, not after 2 days of school holiday.

My students have the tendency of misplacing and forgetting the order of their worksheets- it is absolutely necessary to make them write their names, class, and dates on paper.

“Please write down your names, class, and the date today,” I said, as usual. Although more resembling of a command. Occupational hazard.

What is the date today, ‘Cher, someone asked.

“The date?”

I took a look at my watch.
Without second thoughts, I chirped, “It’s the 11th of August.”

And immediately after speaking, the date echoed and echoed and echoed for what seemed like hours in my mind, but which, was in fact, several seconds. I stopped speaking for a while, which is usually the cue when I want students to pay attention to the silent cue for silence, since I would probably be sharing something of importance.

I thought I must have stood frozen for too long.

11th of August. Some distant bell went ringing because the date should have meant something, yet I woke up and went to work as if it was any other day.

Imagine the guilt and the lack of appropriate response. The stunning revelation of memories I should have never let forgotten. And then more and more thoughts caught up before I stopped staying frozen and went on with the lesson, brushing off weird looks and concerned questions. Which was bad, because sometimes adults (not an adult but definitely aging like one) brush off children’s comments/ looks of concern as if they don’t matter.

But of course they do.

Happy birthday, M. Happy 52nd birthday, dear M.

Happy, happy birthday.

(I wish you were here)


3 thoughts on “To M, After All This While.

  1. Don’t ever forget the birthdays of people whom you care cause if they are not born, they would not have touch or be part of your life

      1. At least you realized it on the day itself, it’s not too late. As long as you have the person in mind and heart, I guess the other party will understand. Have a good day ahead!

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