Yesterday it rained nearly all day.
Rain would pour in through the kitchen window of our first flat in Prince Charles Square during the 70’s.
The plastic sheets hastily attached to the window grille with clothes pegs were useless against the slashing rain.
After the rain came the mopping. I resented living in a flat that leaked, ignorant of the fact that all the flats in that low SES neighbourhood of ours were subjected to the elements.
I guessed I wouldn’t have felt so ashamed of our living conditions had it not been for that one time when my well meaning school teacher and her husband decided to pay our home a visit.
I had managed to put off her attempts to visit my home a few times. And guess what I was doing on their surprise visit? Yes, mopping the floor!
But this time it included mopping up milk which my then baby brother had spilled when his milk bottle came crashing down.
My young teacher and her handsome husband stood in awkward silence as I picked up the glass shards and went about clearing the mess.
Looking back the rain that day had washed away my pride, and the broken milk bottle had shattered whatever illusions of economic wellness I was trying to project.
I think after that, my teacher learnt to respect her students’ boundaries. I learnt to tell the truth if I disagree with or lack anything, so that I don’t have to make up excuses.