Word-High July: Halakhak


When the sunlight hit Mike’s face through the blinds he awoke in panic; 8:18 flashing on his alarm clock. Shit, he thought; swinging the bed covers to the side and landing them on the floor. Where had his alarms been that morning? How had he slept through them? Bounding to the bathroom quickly he had no time to keep to his usual routine.

Everything had to be condensed into a hasty, assortment of actions. Mike grabbed his toothbrush from the side, coating it in paste as he pressed the switch for his shower, and stumbled into the glass cubicle with a foot tangled in curtain. That’s when he slipped. In slow motion Mike watched as his toothbrush flew upwards, ascending towards the turquoise ceiling and over the steamed up shower walls. There was a loud splash and he knew just where the toothbrush had landed.

Shit, he said to himself. Taking a quick peak from the shower, he confirmed his suspicions of the toothbrush meeting the toilet. With no time to sort anything, he grabbed the toothpaste from the side and spread it over his index finger. It was clearly not going to be the most efficient method, but what of today had been? He thought.

Leaving the shower he went straight for his phone and pressed the automatic button to signal a taxi. A driver would be with him in 4 minutes, it said; plenty of time to get dressed. Freshly cleaned from the shower he grabbed his shirt from the side and started putting it on. When it immediately clung to his back it dawned that he hadn’t even begun to dry himself. He looked into his mirror just in time to see the soap suds stain the back and collar of his shirt.

Explicit words left his mouth again as he flung a different shirt into the dryer; this one still damp from the airer. Mike watched it spin for a moment before reminding himself how little time was left. He still had trousers, socks, and shoes to put on; let alone a shirt to press once it was dry. Anxiously he sorted the rest of his things, until the shirt was his only delay. He took it from the dryer and slapped it onto the table – no time for the ironing board – and began to smooth out the creases. As he worked quickly, the iron steaming away, his phone buzzed; the taxi driver was outside, and had been for 3 minutes.

“I’ll be out in a sec!” he said, answering the phone, “I know, I know. I’ll be down in two minutes I swear”

Mike put the phone into his pocket and returned to his shirt, where the iron had begun to burn one of his cuffs. Angrily he wrenched the iron away, leaving it on the side where it could do no more harm. There were no more words for his morning, and at least a cuff could be turned up, he figured ,hopefully Nobody would be the wiser. With the final adjustments to his outfit, grabbing his keys and his bag, he left for the taxi; the agitated driver almost ready to leave without his client.

“Sorry!” Mike shouted as he got in, “It’s one of those days.”

The rest of the journey was out of his control, placing all his faith in the taxis abilities. Still, Mike couldn’t help but feel that everything was moving that bit too slowly, that traffic was that extra bit congested. Restlessly he sat in the back, too agitated to look at his phone, and tried to take his mind off things to no avail.

When Mike arrived at his office place he tipped the driver generously, but more through lack of time to wait for change, and ran into the office. He waved quickly at the receptionist, flashed his badge to security, and burst through his office doors just in time to sit at his desk. With relief he let out a loud sigh and looked around.  With all his efforts and rushing Mike had actually managed to arrive right on time, but, to his surprise, his colleagues looked at him with confusion, as though he was in some way unusual.

“It’s nice to see you” Said his boss “But isn’t today your day off?”

Mike’s jaw hit the desk in disbelief, then his eyes darted to his calendar pinned up on his partition. True enough, today’s date was circled in a bright yellow smiley face. Today was his day off, one he had actually been looking forward to for a while. One he hadn’t wanted to wake up early on, and one he had wanted to spend the whole day doing nothing but relaxing after a stressful couple of weeks. Mike laughed. He laughed louder than he had in a long, long time. He laughed so hard that tears streamed down his face, and so hard that his colleagues, some of whom were oblivious to the reason, laughed with him.


This is entry #26 for the WordHigh July Challenge of 30 Beautiful Filipino Words!

One thought on “Word-High July: Halakhak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s