All the way to the moon in half an hour
Leila smiled and placed the framed photograph back on her desk. It was past 6pm and most of her colleagues had left. Reports were overdue so she had stayed and worked in. She was failing at it though; it was hard to concentrate with the image of her and her husband Mike, face up on the grass – he holding up the camera. Thirty years ago. Exactly thirty years ago.
Come let’s go for a walk, Leila
Where would we walk to?
All the way to the moon!
Haha! You’d have to come get me.
How long would it take to get to you?
Five days Mike! Five days.
Mmmm…well it will take me 6 days to get off my bed so let’s see…
Yeah right! 11 days to get to me then.
Yes my love…11 days to get to you. Then we’d take a walk for thirty minutes
To the moon?!
Yes Leila…All the way to the moon in half an hour!
That night, he had walked from the graduate hostel to her room to get her, and then they walked up the university hill…up to where you could see the whole of Accra settle for the night. There, on the grass where it sloped gently down, he asked her to be his wife.
Leila sighed and minimized the document she was working on. They had been married for 3 decades, with 3 sons. Years spent with Mike was every bit what she imagined and more. She smiled and shut down her desktop. Work could wait.
When she got home everything looked normal. Was a quarter past 8 and the house was quiet. It was their anniversary. No wonder she had thought about them all day. Kobby, their youngest son was in his room with his nose in a book; always reading. Just like his dad.
They had made no plans. It had been so each year. They just allowed for surprises. This time there was none yet. All the years before it had been she, Leila who had planned stuff – the weekend get-away, the football game, the choral concert, the trip to France, the new car, all of it. All the way down. They had always been ok with that. But this time nothing had been planned. Leila had had a particularly busy year since her promotion. She hung her keys where they belonged, took off her shoes, had dinner standing by the kitchen island, cleaned up and went in to their bedroom. Mike was asleep. She stood staring at him for a while before she slipped out of her clothes and went into the bathroom.
There, on the mirror, was a sticky note. She walked up to it and read…tears filled her eyes and spilled. She was laughing and shaking her head.
The note read….
We did it, love
A year for a minute
Told you we could.
All the way to the moon in half an hour!
And it was the best anniversary she had ever celebrated. She sat on the WC sobbing while Mike snored in the bedroom.