So I finally turned fourteen. If you were to ask me how I intended to spend my birthday three months ago, I’d give you my usual answer to such questions, “I don’t know.” This birthday was different. Behind all the smokescreens of daily routines and disappointments, I found something…special. Mind you, I wasn’t looking for it, nor could I have possibly fathomed what really happened, but I had better get on with it…

It was a Sunday evening like none other. Our youth group had its first prom. Scores of young people flocked together like innocent little lambs, clad in their suits, ties and lavish dresses for a night of fun and relaxation. Streamers lined the walls and pillars, in bright contrast to the varnished wooden floors. Stools skirted the bar, outfitted with numerous intoxicating drinks, (for display of course) and a kind hearted gent who readily served patrons their soft drinks, free of charge. Just opposite the bar was an evacuated space for a dance floor and to its left the dining table, draped with lilac cloth and orange napkins alongside rows of silverware.

It was the setup for the perfect night.

It was the idea of our leader, Brother Roland we called him, to choose our dates via a lottery method. Regardless of relation, age or race, whomever drew the same number as you was your date for the evening. Strangely enough, my number had none to its name but me. Lucky me, I thought. Nevertheless, there was food to be consumed, and so I took my place at the head of the table and tried my luck at the macaroni pie and jerked pork with potato salad using as much table manners as possible. It was over without much of a peep from me, being the somewhat shy guy that I am, and so we proceeded to the talent show.

It turns out we didn’t have as much talent as we had thought, since the winning act was a kid being able to recite the alphabet backwards, but the event was quickly forgotten as my birthday was announced, as well as another; a girl named Mimi. She and I cut some cake and served each other, much to the envy of the other males in the room since she was quite the catch. The dance floor was declared open soon after and the fun was about to begin.

Up till this point, the recent events carried some form of significance to me, but the next few events were all that mattered to me over the next few weeks. They circled around one phenomenon, and I call it thus not to objectify it, but rather to highlight its significance. Or should I say her significance? Surprisingly enough as I recall them, it seems to just be a blur; a red dress, a scarf and an emotion so subtle that it lopped my head off without me noticing. Nothing contrary to my beliefs occurred, but simply an infatuation that would charter the course of my future.

It took me a week to understand what that emotion was, as I was new to this whole love thing, and even now, I am completely baffled by it. When I really think about it, it all really started on that day, and with God as my witness I say even now that I would have had it any other way. O how sweet life is!

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