I must have been only 16 or 17. I usually sleep on the main living room alone on the floor, on a simple mattress. I like it because it is most windy and cooling there.
I remember one night, I was forcing myself to stay awake throughout the night. I was a rebellious little bastard, doing one of my projects or something. I know that my grandfather would wake up first to go to the market, then followed by my father some 30 minutes later. And so like clockwork, I heard their alarms going off. I heard my grandfather first going through his morning ritual of going to clear his bowel, brushing his teeth and finally wearing a shirt to the market. I can still remember that thick smell of his Brylcreem hair cream when he waddles out the door as he passes by me.
There was one particular night when I noticed my father was not running like his usual self. He woke up after my grandfather as usual, went out from his room, but today he sat on the sofa, and he let out a sigh. A sign of tiredness maybe? Maybe the monotonous lifestyle has taken its toll on the middle-age man already? He sat there for a long while, arms resting on his knees. What was going on in his mind?
I saw that same look again on the night my grandfather died and was carried away on an ambulance. My father just sat there on the sofa, he must have sighed long and hard. Did he cried? He’s not known to be a man who wears his heart on his sleeves, I have never seen him cry. But on that night, he had that forlorn look, like he had lost something.
It’s been 20 full years since my grandfather passed away. My father is still alive, bless his old soul. But I can’t help but wonder, will I sigh too when the time comes? Only time will tell…